XXVII. LECTVRES, or readings, vpon part of the Epistle written to the Hebrues.

Made by Maister Edward Deering, Bachelour of Diuinitie.

¶ Imprinted by Lucas Harison.

ANNO. 1577.

¶ To the Christian Reader in­crease of faith and knowledge, with an earnest Zeale of Christ Ie­sus the Lord.

THE Epistle to the Hebrues contey­neth such doctrine as the holy apostle knew moste necessarie for the Iewe, who (a fewe excepted) in the blindnes of their heartes, acknowledged not Christe Iesus for the Messias: albeit all thinges long before pro­phecied of the Messias, by the holy Patri­arches and Prophetes, were in him clearely and fully accom­plished, and that in the eyes and eares of all Israel. This their great blindnes, caused the excellent light of this Epistle to be set foorth to the whole world: for as their other wantes and falling off from the faith, and naturall Oliue tree, caused the full­nesse and grassing in of the Gentiles: so their doubtfulnes, as the doubtfulnesse of Thomas, occasioned such cleare doctrine, that we which come afterwarde, cannot now without singular impi­etie, make any doubt in the doctrine and gospel of our Lord Iesus Christe, the which long agoe hath not beene both made, and ful­ly aunsweared.

Whereuppon, all men ought to bee armed with this persuasi­on, that whosoeuer againe doubteth, where the doubt is alrea­dy taken away: and whosoeuer sinneth the sinne that hath beene heeretofore punished, is a double offender: for hee is not guiltie of the infidelitie alone, or of the sinne, but also of the despising the example set downe for vs, that we trembling at the iuste iudge­ments of God against others, should auoyde the the sinne in our [Page] selues: knowing that if wee cōmunicate with the wicked in their blindnes, wee must also communicate with them in the daunger: is in the prouocation, then in the punishment. Wherefore, concer­ning my first woordes, the Iewes acknowledged not Iesus Christ for the Messias and redeemer of the world: but we must ac­knowledg it, and the rather hauing amongst the vnspeakable treasures of the word of God this pretious epistle, wherin the do­ctrine of the person, and offices of Christe are most substantially prooued, and witnessed by the holy Ghost.

For therein the Apostle chiefely proueth Christ to be the an­noynted of God, annointed not with common Oyle, but with the Oyle of gladnes, that is, with all fulnesse of the spirite, into a pro­phet that teacheth vs the wisedome and loue of the father: hee alone the priest that washeth away sinne, & maketh peace with his sacrifice, euen a high Priest after the order of Melchise­dech, al other priests, after the order of Leuie being for the time, but shadowes and figures of the light and life in Christe: hee a­lone the King of Salem, whose kingdom is without vnrighteous­nes, and euerlasting: not as other kingdomes, which are outward and bodily, but his kingdome frameth and ruleth the hart, by the spirit of God and the scepter of his lippes: the throne thereof be­ing established in trueth and maiestie for euer and euer. Besides these chiefe partes, being the bodie of the Epistle, there be other braūches, conteining both vehemēt exhortations to the worthy receiuing of the word, & this present doctrine in faith, and also to the bringing forth of the plentifull fruite therof in patience.

This excellent epistle, about foure yeres past, was expoūded in the citie of London by two learned & godly men, who made, I suppose, their choice of that Epistle, as conteining very necessary doctrine for our times, wherin the enimies of the Gospel are to to many, & preuaile too too much against the peace of the Church: for they seke righteousnes in their own works & sacrifices, whi­che is not foūd otherwise in heauē or earth, thē in the righteous­nes & alone sacrifice of our lord Iesus Christ: who not by the sa­crifice [Page] of staūge bloud, but by the offering vp of his owne bloud, being himselfe the sacrifice, and sacrificer, made an end of all sa­crifices and oblations going before, and lefte no place for any new sacrifice or oblation to be vsed afterwarde. Neither was this all, that the Apostle ouerthroweth all other sacrifices, establishing that as all sufficient which was at the fullnes of them, according to the eternall decree of God the father made vpon the altar of the crosse once for euer, and so consequently confuteth the Pa­pistes, mainteyning, euen with bloudie sacrifices of men, their vnbloudy sacrifice of the Masse: but moreouer, the doctrine is ve ry profitable, and necessarie to stirre vp the minds, and furnish the harts of professours of the Gospel, [...] knowledge concerning the person and offices of Christ Iesus the Lord.

For to leaue the Catholiques (as they vntruly call themselues) either to the grace of God to be conuerted (which God graunt vs hartily to pray for) or to the blindnes of their hart, to worship they know not what, concerning the professours of the truth, I beseech thē in the mercies of Iesus Christ to knowe the height, the depth, the length & bredth, & al the mesures of Christ preached in the Gospel, that as the foundation is moste certeine, so it may bee also certeinely knowne, and bring forth certeine fruites to the glory of God & their own assured saluatiō in him. Otherwise, if the know ledge of our lord Iesus Christ be weake, our faith cānot be strong: if the faith be not strong, thē our hope is small, & the afflictions of the spirit many. But on the other side, daily and effectuall exerci­ses of the worde bringe increase of knowledge, increase of know­ledge bringeth increase of faith, increase of faith bringeth in­crease of hope, hope bringeth patience, and in patience wee holde the possession of our soules til the day of our ful redemption.

But, to returne to the two Interpreters of this Epistle, the one lyueth, and may doe wel (if the Lord so dispose of his hearte) to publishe in Printe his Readinges made to his greate prayse vpon the whole: the other is layd vp in peace with the righteous: but before his death he painfully gathered together the greatest part of his lectures, leauing thē in writing, that therby he might [Page] againe profite the Church after his death: and now they are pub­lished to the benefite of the Church, the zeale wherof greatly exercised his godly minde, and many times brought his watch­full head and weake body neere to the graue. Of whome I might truly speake much to his great prayse, & yet nothing vnknowne: but let God haue the praise: neuerthelesse, as I will say no more▪ in persuading men, so I can say no lesse in duetie then this: his goodnesse was, by the grace of God, very much, and his harme­lessnes more: his giftes notable, and his spirite more notable: ac­companying him for the measure of his bodily strength, with dai­ly increase, til the last day and hower, wherin, for our punishment the Lord translated him from mortalitie to immortalitie.

Touching these his Praelections, a goodly paterne of his swete spirite, thou hast them (gentle Reader) in thy hands, and I leaue them to thy iudgement, they neede not my commendation. But be not thou deceiued in iudgeing good thinges by the first taste: for they delight more the second time, then at the first: and more at the third time, then at the second. Try my commendation, and giue thy sentence.

But of all other readers of these M. Ed. Deerings expositions, I haue namely to exhort and beseech the Citizens of London, & others, sometime his diligent auditours, that they would now re­paire their vnderstanding, and re [...]site their consolations reaped at the first f [...]utes of this present doctrine: that they would also examine, and take an accompt of their memorie, to see what is now set downe in writing here, that they haue vtterly forgotten long agoe. So they shall beholde how easily good thinges, and com­fortable things, euen thinges of eternall life, how soone they pe­rishe, and for want of true reuerence to the worde, or diligent re­gard to our sáluation, are by Satan made fruitelesse: whereas in small matters olde men haue freshe memories, as to remember where their gold lyeth, and how many obligations they haue, and of what conditions. And what is it (I pray you) that in them causeth so good momorie? euen the hart set theron with diligent care: which heart more set vpon that that is more precious in­finitely, [Page] what iudgement, what comfort, what stedfastnes would it cause in the word of life? But how commeth so small heede in so mightie matters? Certeinly herevpon, that the worldly man is of a worldly minde: and a man without the spirit (as the Apostle Iude speaketh) hath no tast of the spirit no delight in spritual ri­ches, they are to him foolishnes. But of memorie thus much may suffice: I would haue thought it too muche, were it not that to learning and knowledge in man, I know nothing better. For thy memorie, though the voice be taken away and the spirite with the Lord, yet the doctrine remaineth to thee in letters: remaine thou mindfull now to make that hereafter fruitfull to thee by di­ligence, which hetherto hath by negligence lyen barren.

Let vs account it a blessing from God, that we haue thus ma­ny of M. Deerings readings, the rest, whiche w [...]re to the x. Chapter or there about [...] the other three Chapter's waite for, and desire some other [...] faithfull labour. If any man hauing small hope to make the remainder like to that which w [...]e haue, refuse therefore to attempt the matter, let him, otherwise aboū ­ding with gif [...] and [...], and hauing exercises in the Church, humble himselfe to be in the second or third place, to finishe the worke, and benefite the Church, whereunto al men are ins [...]tely [...]ndebted, and almost no man carefull to come out of debt.

But most of all, let vs continually pray, that our good God would, in these perillous ends of the world put on vs al his whole complet armour to stand against the power and malice of Satan: that he would also illuminate our heartes, with the bright bea­mes of his wisedome and holy word, that we may be freed from the darknes of ignoraunce and errour: that the mouthes of the wicked may be stopped, and the lippes of the children of God ope­ned, and fulfilled with the [...] of God.

Moreouer, seeing the Lord hath layed sharpe roddes, and long time executed great iudgements vpon our neighbours round a­bout: giuing vs now, all these 18. yeares of our gratious Soue­reigne, the Gospel in great peace: it is our duetie, to consider our duetie in this behalfe: first, that we in brotherly compassion, and [Page] in an inward fellowfeeling lament, & to our power redresse their calamities: secondarily, that wee be thankefull to God, for our peace, and carefull to yeeld our selues in all singlenes and trueth, euery way obedient to the kingdome of our Lord Iesus Christ, the king of peace, in as large & the same maner, that is to vs offered in the word of life: in the third place, that all diligence bee vsed that the word may haue his free passage, and main course to the ouerthrow of all aduersarie power, especially, of the open enimies, Papists and Atheistes, & to the discouerie of other sectes sprin­ging vpp of their owne accord, where the word is not planted: fi­nally, to the cutting off of prophane and loose life, which nowe ad­uaunceth it selfe against heauen, and prouoketh the Almightie, except by discipline it be broken downe, that the kingdome of Ie­sus Christe may be moste glorious on earth, and that the sonnes of men may be safe, and reioyce vnder the shadow of his winges. For a further vnderstanding hereof, and of many other like exer­cises in the knowledge & practise of Christianitie, I referre thee (gentle Reader) to these Lectures, beseeching God to make thy labours fruitful with his cōtinual blessings, especially in thy pray­ers: wherein as carefull for the whole Church also, pray that the Lord in mercie would make the Churches beyonde the seas, rather partakers of our peace, with fulnesse therof, then in iustice to make vs companions of their punish­ment in the laste place, and greatest measure.


¶ The Praelections of Edward Deering vpon certeine of the first Chapters of the Epistle to the Hebrues.

¶ The first Lecture vpon the firste verse of the first Chapter.

‘1 AT sundrie times, and in diuerse manners, God spake in the olde time to our fathers by the prophets: in these last dayes he hath spoken vnto vs by his sonne.’

AT sundry times & in diuers maners. &c. Why this Epistle was writ­ten. Before we begin the exposition of this Epistle, I wil briefly speak somewhat of these three pointes. Why this Epistle was written, by whome, and at what time. And first touching the cause of the writing, though we knowe assuredly, it was cause sufficient to leaue so excellent doctrine vnto the church of God: yet a speciall occasion then giuen, was vndoubtedly this. The Iewes were stubbernly set to the maintenance and defence of the law of Moses, holding fast al the ceremonies of it, as things necessarie, neuer to be a­brogate, but perpetually to be vsed in the worshipp of God. Among ye residue they did especially striue for Circumcision, next vnto it, for the obseruation of meates, and drinkes, and times, and feastes, and sundry purifyings, as these things are namely men­tioned Gal. 4. 10. Col. [...]. [...]. Act. [...]1. 14. in the scripture: Besides these, other ceremo­nies: [Page] they imbraced them and loued them. And though many thousandes (as it is in the xxi. of the Actes) did beleeue: yet were they still zealous for the law, nor could possibly heare of the abrogation of it. In so much that they and their forefathers had made this an article of their faith, and it is the ninth article of their Creede, & they holde it to this day: God gaue his lawe to his faithful seruant Moses, and he wil neuer alter it, nor chaunge it for any o­ther. And this their opiniō, as it was rooted in thē, so they had very many, & plausible persuasions for it: they stroue not for the inuentions of man, but for the law of God: not holden by traditiōs, but writtē by Moses: not in doubtful testimonie, but in mani­fest shew of the glorie of God. And this their opi­nion they did not think was any coniectural expo­sition, but the manifest word, as it was oft repeated, that this should be an ordinaunce to them for ouer. For this cause the Apostle hauing compassion vp­on Cap. 5. 12. &. 6. 1. & Cap. 12. his weake brethren, who beleued in Christ (but were also thus addicted to the law) he writeth vnto them this Epistle, by all meanes persuading them, neuer to ioyne together our sauiour Christ with the Ceremonies of the lawe, whose glorie is perfect in him self alone, and all height must be abased before him. He created alone, and he will redeeme alone: He made alone, and he wil saue alone: and to be set in cōparison with him, all the gold, siluer, precious stones, & all the ornaments of the temple, they are but Beggerlie Elements. Nothing else in earth, no­thing vikler earth, nothing in heauen, nor in the Galat. 4. vers 9. [Page] heauen of heauēs, no vertue, no power, no strength no name else that is named, in which, or by which, we can be saued, but only the name of Iesus Christ. And for this cause this epistle was written. Wher­in it shalbe good for vs to marke, how from the be­ginning, sathan hath striuen to obscure and darken the glorie of Christe: and howe hee hath holden stil the same purpose vnchaungeably, euen to our dayes. First he chaūged him selfe into an Angel of light, with glorious names of Moses, Moses, vnder pretence of holinesse striuing against trueth: a mar­ueylous practise, & in those dayes inough to haue subuerted the faith of many. For who would haue thought that such men, so great louers of the lawe, of the Temple, of Moses, should bee enimies of the true Mellias? or be ignoraunt of the saluation and spirituall worship which he should teach them? But here we learne, not to ground our faith, neither vp­on the glorious wordes, nor vppon the glorious hames of mortall men. For this deceiued from the beginning: but the worde it selfe must bee graffed in vs, if we will not erre. So now in these our last times, in which the diuel striueth as at the firste, wee see how many say vnto vs, The church, the church, The pope, the pope, The fathers, the fathers, & ma­ny thousandes are led with this sound of wordes: yet in these wordes is no wisedome: onely they re­newe the olde deceipt in which the diuel first trou­bled the church of God: For what is the Churche they speake of? who is the pope? who are their fa­thers? are they greater then the Temple? then the [Page] lawe, then Moses? if not, then their names may be vsed for a cloke of falshood as y others were. Then we must trie them and examine them, whether it be a true churche, or true fathers they speake of. To follow a church you know not what, is to trust to the Temple you knowe not how. And knowe it well, such wordes are but mockeries, and such spi­rites are of error and darknesse. The effect is proofe inough. For the end of their religion is, that igno­rance is the mother of deuotion.

Now touching the author of this Epistle, who The Au­thor. it was, it skilleth not. For if the name had ben here, what had it shewed but that God vsed the ministe­rie of such a man? And now the time is not kno­wen, it teacheth expressely, the doctrine is of God. And for this cause to the bookes of holie scripture, names are sometime added, sometime not, that the doctrine of the Lorde might be vnto vs, without respect of person. And for my parte, who wrote this Epistle, I can not tell, nor I see no cause why I should seeke it. For when the spirite of God hath lest it out, can I think it the better if I should adde it? I remember, Athanasius sayeth: that since the In Dialog. de S. Trin. fo. 11. Gospell was first preached, this Epistle was euer thought to be Paules. But Eusebius, as boldly on the other side, saith that he dareth constantly affirm as the sense is the Apostles, so the phrase & pēning is some other mans, but whose God knoweth: and lib. 6. cap. 19. thus much of the authour, whome we will leaue as we finde him, a faithfull wittnesse of Iesus Christ, euen to the ends of the world, but whose name we [Page] knowe not.

Now for the time in which it was written, it is certein it was in y apostles dayes. For if it had bene after the destruction of Ierusalem, threatning so oft the anger of God to those who would despise his What time this Epi­stle was written. sonne, no doubt he would haue mentioned so sin­gular an example. Besides this he maketh mention of Timothie as his companion and fellowe, who was famous among the Apostles. And it is like, that this Epistle was written about the later end of the Apostles age, because he saith that this doctrine first preached by the Lord, hath now bene confir­med vnto vs by them that heard it. And noting the time how long the Gospell had bene preached afore, he sayth, that time required that nowe they should be able to be teachers of it. Againe, in the x. chapter he putteth them in remembraunce, that in times past they had suffered great and manifolde af­flictions for the Gospels sake. So that we easily see this Epistle, as it is holie and Apostolicall in the trueth of doctrine, so it hath also the honour of their time. And thus farre of the occasion, authour, and time of this Epistle.

Now, as briefly as I can, I will shewe you the The Ar­gument of this E­pistle. argument of the whole Epistle, and that is this: that onely in Iesus Christ is the forgiuenesse of our sinnes. Which argument he handleth thus. Firste setting out our sauiour Christ, who he is, in the ten firste chapiters: Then howe saluation is thorough him, in the residue of the Epistle. In setting foorth our sauiour Christe who he is, he sheweth first the [Page] nature of his person, in the two first chapters: then what is his office, in the next eight. Touching his person, he teacheth first that he is perfect God in the first chapter: then, that he is perfect man, in the se­cond Chap. of which we wil speake more particu­larly in expoūding of the text. Of his office where­of we said he intreateth in the viii. next chapters, he teacheth this firste, that he is our Prophet, from the beginning of the iii. chapter, to the xiiii. verse of the fourth: then that he is our priest, from thence to the xix. verse of the x. chapter. And though the Apostle of purpose and with great care, do plainely teach that Christ is our king: yet because this neces­sarily followeth of the other, & there was no doubt but that Messias, their priest and prophet, should be also their prince and king, therefore, he seemeth not to make any particular intreatie of this, as of the other offices: but as he was a kingly prophet, a king­ly priest, and the sonne of God, so in proofe of all these he maketh with them, manifest proofes of his kingdome; at in the text more plainely. (God wil­ling) I will shewe, when I shal more particularly speake of them. Nowe of his prophecie in the iii. & Christes prophecie. iiii. chapters he teacheth this, that he is our onely prophet, prouing it first, because the sonne of God tooke vpon him our nature, the excellencie of his person is warrant ynough, that God ordeined him our only prophet. Secōdarily, he was faithful in his ministerie, neither needeth any to be ioyned with him. Thirdly, he was more honorable then Moses himselfe, and therefore much more should rule in [Page] the house of God alone. Fourthly, the Prophet sayth: To day if you will heare his voice &c. Therefore by the Prophet commended to vs as our only pro­phet. Last of all, the nature of the worde, agreable onely to his person, maketh that he is our prophet alone: and thus he endeth this treatie. Of his priest­hood Christes priesthood he speaketh more at large, shewing first in the end of the fourth chapter, what maner of Priest he is, euen such a one as by his own vertue hath entred into the heauens, and made a way for vs, that wee might boldly through him come vnto God. After this he beginneth a comparison of y priesthood of Christ with Aaron, and so more clearely sheweth, both his priesthood and the excellencie of it. This comparison he maketh in these pointes. First, that the priest of the lawe was a naturall man, like vnto his brethren. Secondarily, that he hath not a priuate worke, but doeth all the peoples seruice in thinges apperteyning to God. Thirdly, that he appeared not before God in his own vertue & righteousnes, but with offerings & sacrifices for sinne. Fourthly, that he was ful of compassion toward his brethren, to pittie them in their weakenes. Fiftly, that he had his calling of God: in all which things, Christ ex­ceeded all that were before him, & this he teacheth in the ten first verses of the fifte Chapter. Then be­ginneth (by occasion) an exhortation which conti­nueth to the vij. chapter. After that, he setteth out at large the example of Melchisedech, and the compa­rison of the first couenant, with the tabernacle & sa­crifices apperteyning vnto it, so teaching at the last [Page] our sauiour Christ to be our onely priest. The se­cond parte of the Epistle, which is, how this salua­tion of Christ is giuen vnto vs, in the 11. 12. and 13. chapters the summe of it, is, that we haue this salua­tion through faith, which faith is tried in many af­flictions, & stil bringeth forth fruit in good works.

Now let vs come to the text. I tolde you firste the Apostle proueth the excellencie of the person of Christ, God and man. In this first Chapter hee proueth his Godhead, and beginneth thus. Many times &c. In this first verse, setting downe the gene­rall proposition of the whole Epistle, that God hath now made knowen vnto vs all our saluation in his sonne Christ, naming him, Sonne, that these titles after attributed vnto him, might appeare more to Sonne. bee according to the prophesies of him. Then streight he describeth him, making it manifest that he is God. First, by the glorie which his father hath giuen him. Secondarily, by the excellencie of his person. Thirdely, by the greatnesse of his power. Fourthly, by the benefites purchased to vs. Fiftly, by the dignitie which to him self he hath obteined: all this is in the third verse. Lastly, by comparison with Angels, whiche comparison hee maketh in many points, alledging scripture, according to the titles before giuen vnto him, & so endeth this first chapter. Many times, and after diuerse sortes &c.

Out of this verse, first let vs note and consider well, touching this doctrine which we are taught by Christe, the certeintie of it, which is first in the authour, who is God himself, euen the same God of [Page] our fathers, which so many times and ways spake euer by his Prophets: euen he in an assured trueth, hath also spoken by his sonne. Thus giuing the au­thoritie of the word of Christe to God the father, that it might be confessed true, and to take away al vaine quareling of contentious men, who vnder pretēce of the name of God, would easily haue dis­puted against our sauiour Christ, and saide: We know God is true, and he spake to Moses, he spake to the Prophets, this man speaketh of himself, and we wil not heare him. To stop this offence, though the Apostle might haue giuen the authoritie of his word, euen to the person of Christ himselfe, yet he would not, but said thus: God spake by him. Ano­ther profe for the certeintie of his word, is, that he spake by his sonne: in whiche name God sealed it vnto him, to be his sufficient witnesse in the world euen as him self had spoken with a voice of glorie: This is my beloued sonne in whom I am wel pleased, he are Matth. 3. 17 him. And this was a sure & knowen truth vnto thē, that no man had sene God at any time, but the on­ly begotten sonne, who is in the bosome of his fa­ther, he reuealeth him. He is the personal word, & maketh knowen al the mysteries of God, euen as he hath beene present with him in all his wayes.

Now as our sauiour Christ is our certeine tea­cher of vndoubted truth: so how farre this truth is taught by him, appeareth also in the wordes: Ma­ny times, many wayes, by many Prophets, of olde, to our forefathers. Of all these we must set the contrariotie in our sauiour Christ, that God spake by him, not [Page] many times reuealing his will by measure, nowe some, then more: but once he hath sent him filled with all measure of wisedome and vnderstanding. And before, God spake many wayes, either by An­gels, or by the cloude, or betweene the Cherubims, or by Vrim, or by visions, or by dreames: but now he hath spoken one way, euen by Christ made our brother, with the voyce of a man, in the middes of the Congregation plaine and euident in all mens hearing: and all varietie shall ceasse for euer­more.

Likwise, before God spake by many prophets, now he doth not so, but hath sent his sonne alone in sted of all, that all his people should heare him, Likewise those times they are olde and past, but the time of Christes teaching passeth not, but is for euer. And that was to y fathers, men of diuers calling, but this is to vs al of one condition. So this the Apostle tea­cheth, that Christe alone, once euen in the dayes of his life, after one manner and fourme hath preached vnto vs all that Gospell, which eternally shalbe the power of his heauenly father, to saue all which doe beleeue. Nowe let vs marke first the agreement, & then these differences, manifestly to be seene be­tweene Only God must speak in the mouth of all Mini­sters. Christ and the Prophets. First, they agree all in this, that God spake by all, and this onely they haue a like from the first to the last. Adam, Seth, Enoch, Noe, Abraham, Moses, Dauid, Esaie, Christe, not one of them spake one worde of a na­turall man in all their ministerie, but onely the wordes of him that sent them: that is, they spake [Page] not themselues, but God spake within them. Whē soeuer were the time, whatsoeuer were the meanes, whosoeuer were the man, wheresoeuer were the place, whatsoeuer were the people, yet the wordes were the Lordes. And whosoeuer he be in the church of God from the beginning to the ending, to whome this ministerie shalbe committed, if he will be numbered with Patriarches and Prophets, Apo­stles 1. Pet. 4. 10. and Pastours, and with our Sauiour Christe himselfe, whatsoeuer he speake Let him speake as the word of God. For this couenant God hath made with al his seruants, euen as the Prophet Esaie saith: My spirite which is vpon thee, & my words which I haue put in Esai thy mouth, shal not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seede, nor out of the mouth of thy seedes seede, from henceforth▪ euen for euer. And in deede, whose words else should diuide betweene the marrowe & the bones, but his onely, who alone searcheth the Hebr. 4. 11. [...] hearts and the reynes? Or whose wordes should kil our earthly affections, but his alone, who giues the sworde of the spirite? And we, whose messingers are we? Or of whome are we sent? Is not God our Maister, and shall we not make our account to him according to that which we haue receiued of him? We must looke vnto our owne charge, and for all other men, though they seeme to be pillers, what they are it skilleth nothing to vs, we are not ac­countable by their giftes. Augustine, Ambrose, Ie­rome, Gregorie, or any else, they had their owne charge of God, and we haue ours by warrant from God: they did speake, and so must we. If I speake [Page] out of the fathers of the Church, and know it to be the word of God, why do I attribute it to man, ra­ther then to God, whose trueth it is? Or if I speak of the Fathers, and knowe it not to be the word of God, be it neuer so true in the doctours mouth, in mine it is sinne, because I speak not as I am taught of God. This I speake not so much for the papists, whose heartes and soules the decrees, and decre­talles haue stolne away, and left them without vn­derstanding: But I speake it, because of brethren, who knowe not their calling, but fill the pulpites with doctours and counsels, and many vanities, where they should onely speake the word of God, that our agreement may be with the Apostles and Prophets, and with our sauiour Christ.

Nowe let vs see the differences here spoken of betwene our Sauiour Christ and all other pro­phets, The firste difference. what we may learne of them. The firste is, the doctrine taught by them, was at diuerse times reuealed, but that which Christe teacheth, is reuealed but once.

And this is twise after expresly noted by the Apo­stle himselfe, as in the ninth chapter, Now at the lat­ter Cap. 9. 26. end, Christ hath beene once reuealed. And in the xii. chapter, Yet once will I strike, not onely the earth, but the Cap. 12. 26. heauens also. And this it is whiche sainct Iude saith of the christiā faith, that once it was giuen to the saints, which, once, doth mean the time of Christ in earth, for so he saith, it was by his sonne. For though the Apostle yet vnderstoode not all, and the spirit was after giuen them, yet the same Spirite did but [Page] more lighten them in such things as Christ had also taught them. By this we learn boldly to refuse it, & accoūt it as bastard doctrine, whatsoeuer is sprong vp since, & cōmeth vnder the warrant of a mortall man, as namely the idolatries of that mightie king and priest, Prete Giam, of the Abizannes in Africa: and the idolatrie of the great Cam, king and priest of the Tartarians in Asia: and the idolatries of Is­mael, king and priest of the Persians: and the idola­tries of Mahomet, king and priest of the Sarasins: and the idolatries of the Pope and Papall men, this day kings and priestes, as proude as the other. And of these what sects soeuer haue sprong of Homares or Halys, Cuselbasoe or Casaboe, of decrees & de­cretalls, Thomists or Scotists, white friers or black, that eternall Gospell, as they called it, more then 300. yeares since deuised at Paris: the reuelations of S. Brigitt: all other doctrines and expositions, we must cast them away, so many as came not in the warrant of our Sauiour Christ once preaching vpō earth, which because it was once, it cōfuteth all after it, and abrogateth all before it, which had diuersitie of time, as the Apostle himselfe gathereth. ca. 12. 27.

The second difference, that the doctrine of Christ The secōd difference is taught after one sort. For though first were mira­cles, and nowe none: firste Apostles, nowe none: these were but meanes to confirme the preaching, the word onely was the power of saluation, which is the same it was then. Whiche because it is but one, therefore it is perfect. For if any way before had bene absolute in itself, there should none other [Page] haue come after it, but it pleased not God to giue the glorie vnto all those maner of reuelations, but reser­ued it to the preaching of the gospel, which he hath made his owne power to saue all that do beleeue, & giuen it so great grace, that it worketh more migh­tily then all miracles, and pearceth deeper into the hart of man, then any maner persuasiō, yea, though one should arise frō the dead to speake vnto vs. And therefore we may condemne that, whiche before vs was done, in building monasteries, vowing of pil­grimages, praying for the dead, their masses & diri­ges, honouring of saincts, setting vp of Crosses, and such like. For howe were these thinges taught vnto men? Not by preaching the Gospel, but for the most part, men were driuen vnto it by feare & terrour of the night, as we may see in their owne books & le­gendes: But as it was, so it is come vnto it, and the darkenesse hath couered it, out of whiche it sprang.

The third difference here, is, that that was old, & therefore abolished: for it cannot be but that which The third difference waxeth elder and elder, must at last vanish: but the testamēt of Christ, it is still new, yea though it were frō the beginning, yet it is still the same, and the day passeth not, in whiche it was giuen, but it endureth with the age of mā. And therfore it is no sacrifice of the new testament, to haue a masse which waxeth olde, and when it is done, is not: but you must haue a newe, & so fill your number. Neither yet is it pos­sible that works should iustifie, which also wax old & are forgottē, so that the righteous man of an hun­dred yeare olde, if he leaue then his righteousnes, it hath none accoūt. The saluatiō of y world, it is not [Page] thus, but alwayes new, if once I be in this couenāt, it is an euerlasting couenant, I was not taken vnder cō dition of time, nor no time shal preuail against me. The saluatiō it self, it is not changeable as Ad [...]s was in Paradise, but it is made sure in the bodie of Christ vnited with the person of his Godhead, so the ways in which we are led vnto it, they are imutable, our faith is not quenched, our loue not extinguished, our hope faileth not, nor the holy spirit can euer be takē from vs, but still they are newe euen to eternall life.

The fourth difference, is, in the fathers with whō The. ii [...]. difference the first couenāt was made, who though they were al called in Iesu Christ, yet was there a difference of their honour, & euery one more exalted, as God ap­proched more neere vnto them. So Abraham & his posterity were a more honorable people then the o­ther before him. So the Israelites, that had receiued the law, & dwelt in the land of promise, had greater blessing then their fathers in Egypt. So Iohn Baptist more then all Israel. But now they that are called of Iesu Christ, by his owne voice, & in him crucified before their eies, haue a [...]eined a singular honour, & the least of them touching their calling, are greater then al Patriarches & Prophets. And these al in like precious faith, like spirit, like promises, like couenāts like accepted of god, euery man in his own measure of grace. No difference of Iew or Gentile, learned or vnlearned, but al haue throgh faith one entrance vn to the throne of grace: that I neede not say now, O Lord remember Dauid, nor the couenāt made with Abraham: But, O Lord remember me, & the coue­nant which thou hast made with my fathers house. [Page] For vnto all, both those that are nigh, and those that are far off, there is but one couenant in Iesu Christ, whome now we knowe not according to the flesh. And this excellent glorie of Christian men (dearly beloued) as oft as I remember it, it grieueth me to thinke vpon the madnesse of some, who call them selues spirituall, & other temporal, themselues cler­gie, and other layitie, them selues regular and other secular, themselues, they should say straungers from the Lord Iesus, and other the liuely members of his body. For what is it else to make this difference, but to denie the brotherhode in the calling of Christe?

The fifte difference is, that God then spake by his Prophets, now by his sonne, by Prophets mea­ning The fift difference. the continuall succession, of Prophets in all a­ges. For as they were men taken away by death, so it was necessarie other to come in their places. And because no Prophet was able to giue his grace to o­ther, or of his fulnes, make other learned in the my­steries of God, but they were al taught of the Lord: therefore they had the credite of their worde euerie one in himselfe, and none iudged by anothers gifts. But so it is not with the Sonne of God, for both he liueth to appoint vs teachers still, and of his fulnesse he giueth all other their continuall increase of grace. For which cause now, the warrant of all dependeth vpon him alone. And the greatest Apostle that euer was, hath no other glorie, but onely to be his ser­uant and messinger, for he is that redeemer, whose worde must be in the mouthe of his seede, and in the mouth of his seedes seede, after him, for euer­more. [Page 17] So that it must needes be the pride of verie antichrist, for a mortall man to exalt him selfe, and giue the warrant of truth vnto his owne word: that he cannot erre: that all knowledge is in the closet of his breast: that we must beleeue it as the Gospell what soeuer he decreeth. A vile seruant so to swell in pride, and set him selfe in the seate of the sonne of God, why do we not abhorre it? and rather kisse the ground vnder the feete of the Sauiour of the world, to be slowe to speake out of our owne hart, and quick to heare what hee hath commaunded? And these be the differences which I thought good to note vnto you, as the Apostles wordes plainely teach them. Now where it is said, In these last times, meaning the daies in which this gospel is preached, which also the Apostles and Prophets call the end of the world, and last dayes: It hath this name, bothe for because in comparison of the age of the world, these dayes shall be but few: and also for that the will of God is finally reuealed in his sonne Christe, who shall inherite the glorie, to be our Prophet from the day, in which first his father sealed him to that of­fice, euen to the latter end. And thus much of this first verse.

Now let vs pray to almightie God our heauen­ly father, who hath so loued vs, that hee gaue his only begotten sonne, to lead vs in the way of truth, to saue vs from the bondage of death, and to sacri­fice his owne bodie for the raunsome of our sinnes, that for his sake we may bee strengthened with the grace of his holie spirite, to heare his word & kepe [Page 18] it, that we may in a good time and happie issue of our wayes be blessed by him, who is our onely Sa­uiour, to whome with the father and the holie Ghoste be honour and glorie for euer.

¶The second Lecture vpon the second and third verses.

2 WHome he hath made heire of all things by whome also he made the worldes.

3 Who beeing the brightnesse of the glorie, and the in­graued forme of hi [...] person, and bearing vp all thinges by his mightie woorde, ba [...] by him selfe purged our sinnes, and sitteth at the right hand of the maiestie in the highest places.

WE haue heard howe the Apostle hath taught, that our Sauiour Christe the sonne of God hath beene once sent vnto vs an eter­nall Prophet, to teach vs all thin­ges which GOD hath done for our saluation, & through the preaching of the gos­pel to sanctifie vs all vnto him: that him alone we should acknowledge to be our leader vnto eternall life. Now the Apostle beginneth to proue this sin­gular glorie to belong onely to Christe, which he doeth by setting out a full and large description of him▪ in which, as I sayd, he proueth him to be eter­nall God.

[Page 19] Firste, by his rule ouer all creatures, verse. 2. Then by the glorie of his owne person. Thirdly, by his great power. Fourthly, by his benefite bestowed vpon vs. Fiftely, by his glorie purchased to him selfe, verse. 3. Sixtly, by comparison with Angels, verse 4: whiche comparison he maketh in manie pointes, as shall appeare in the residue of the chap­ter. The rule of Christ ouer all creatures, he shew­eth in this, That he is heire of all, and created all. By heire of all: meaning, howe in the person of a mediatour he hath restored all, as in the person of the sonne, he was the wisedome of God to make all. And there­fore called the heire, because he restored not the worlde, but by redeeming it, and purchasing it vn­to himselfe, according as God the Father had giuen it to be a recompence of his worke, in whiche re­spect it is said, that God appointed him heire of all things. This our Sauiour taught vs, when he say de: Mat. 2 [...]. [...]. Iohn. 16. 15. All power is giuen vnto mee in heauen, and in earth. And all things the father hathe are mine: Not onely earthly things, but also heauenly: For of the graces of the spirite he saith also, He shal glorifie me, and take of mine, and giue it vnto you. The Apostle addeth the seconde note of this authoritie. That by him the world was made. Maker of the world. by the worlde meaning all things in heauen, earthe, and vnder the earthe. For so Sainct Iohn addeth to this testimonie, And without him nothing was made, what so euer was made: Then if all creatures were by him, himselfe was vncreate, and onely creator of all that is, that we might boldely giue him the glorie of the father Almightie, maker of heauen and earth.

[Page 20] And this is notably set out by S. Paul in the first chap ter to the Colossians, where he saith: He created all Col. 1 [...]5. thinges, in heauen and earth, visible & inuisible, whether they be thrones, dominions, principalities, or powers, all things were made by him: of which, it must needes followe, euen as S. Paule also concludeth, that he is God aboue all.

The second thing wherein Christ is here exalted, is the glorie of his person. First, that he is the bright­nesse of his fathers glorie, whiche title is absolutely giuen him, as essentiall vnto the sonne of God, not Bright­nesse of glorie in respect of his father onely before vs, but euen before his Father, that as all the properties of the Godhead haue their beeing in the person of the father, so the brightnesse and beau­tie of them is in the person of the sonne, and so this name was proper to him before the worlde was made, noting, that eternally he was of the father. In whiche sense Sainct Iohn calleth him The worde, not according to the time, in which creatures haue bene, but an essentiall worde before all creatures. In the beginning saith he, was the worde, and the word was with God. But of this mysterie I ceasse to speake. For we cannot knowe it, our tongues cannot speake it. And these verie wordes whiche I nowe vse, or any man can vse of Gods maiestie, thinke not that their sense and meaning is according to Gods nature, they are onely helpes of our weakenesse, that by them our faith might be quickened in a spirituall vnderstāding, otherwise all the woordes in the worlde, cannot ex­presse the least part of the liuing God. Touching vs, he is called the brightnesse of his fathers glori [...], many wayes, as, because in our nature he shewed foorth [Page 21] the liuely countenaunce of his father, in all fulnesse of grace and trueth, and because in the power of his worde, hee wrought mightily in all creatures, and againe expressely Sainct Paule calleth him The image (which is the shining brightnesse) of God, in Iohn. 1. 14. Iohn 5. 36. 2. Cor. 3. 18 respect of the cleare manifestation of the Gospel, in which he hath set out so glorious a light of the po­wer of GOD to saue his electe. So he is to vs the brightnesse of glorie, because many wayes he shew­ed foorth the glorie of his father vnto vs. Euen as Iohn. 1. [...]8. Sainct Iohn sayth: No man hath seene GOD at any time: that onely begotten sonne, who is in the bosome of his father, he hath reuealed him.

The second thing here attributed to him, is, that Ingrauen fourme. Col. 1. 15. he is the ingrauen fourme of the person of his father, no­ting hereby the vnitie of substance, as in whome the fulnesse of the Godhead dwelt bodilie. Euen as Saint Paule doeth also call him, the image of God: distin­guishing him by this name from all shadowes and figures, like as this Apostle vseth the woorde in the tenth chap. And here expressely he addeth ingrauen, aboue all the figures in the lawe, the Ephod, the V­rim, or the Arke it selfe, shewing the excellencie that is in Christe.

The third title of honour here giuen vnto Christ Susteiner of al thin­ges. is, of the greatnesse of his power, and that is, that he heareth vp all things with his mightie word. In the meta­phore of bearing, after the manner of the Prophets, no doubt he meaneth, the nourishment and preser­uation of all things in the state that God hath giuen them, which is the prouidence watching ouer al his [Page 22] woorkes. Now this beeing knowen to be the work of the liuing God, That in him we liue, we moue, we are, Actes. 17. 28. and this manifestly agreeing to Christe, by cleare proofe of all his workes here in fleshe, in which hee reuealed the image of God in him. In this also it is assured that he is very God, the stay and strength of the world, without whose hand all thinges would fall into confusion.

Forthly, he extolleth the person of Christ by the greatnesse of his benefites bestowed vpon man, in Purger of our sinnes. these wordes, By him selfe hauing purged our sinnes, put in here as a Parenthesis, because it sheweth the way how Christe purchased that excellent dignitie, to sit at the right hand of his father, wherof after he speketh. In that he saith: purged our sinnes: expresly hee war­ranteth his Godhead. For what creature could haue done so excellent a worke? The Iewes could not be ignorant, but though a man were as great as Adam: yet Adam, when sinne rested on him, it draue him out of Paradise, yea, though a man could be as pure as an Angel, yet the Angels, when they sinned, and kept not their first order, their sinne weyed them into Iude. 6. the condemnation of hel, so y our Sauiour Christ taking our sin vpon him, & beeing able to purge it, which no sainct or angel could euer doe, it necessa­rily followed, that he is the eternal God, euen accor­ding to the knowen prophecies of the Messias, that they should call him the Lord God our righteousnesse.

The fifte thing wherein Christe is here extolled, Iere. 23. 5. is the high dignitie which he hath gotten, in these woordes, he sitteth on the right hande of high maiestie: [Page 23] Noting hereby, that God the father hath taken him vp into his glorie, so that he sitteth in power and maiestie, equall with his father, and this is plaine in that he calleth it the right hand of highest maiestie. And the scripture sheweth this end of it, till I make thine e­nimies Psal. [...]10. 4 thy footestoole: shewing that this is the power of God in him, to sitte at the right hand of God. And thus muche of the woordes of the Apostle, in this, magnifying the person of our Sauiour Christ.

Now a litle further we will examine the words and applie them more particularly to our instructi­on. In that it is saide firste, God made him heire of all. So that we see, howe these woordes of the Apo­stle Heire of all. haue euerie way their weight, to proue that Christe is the sonne of God, the king of his people, God and man, mediatour betweene God and vs.

We must learne, of our selues we haue nothing: but beeing ingraffed in him, we are owners of all thinges. In mine owne right I am naked and voyde of all, I haue no meate to feede my hungrie bodie, no drinke to comfort my faint and thirstie spirite, no cloathes to keepe me warme, no house to har­bour mee, I am to take no profite of any creature, nor no pleasure in the sight of the Sunne. For the earth is the Lord Iesu Christes, and all that is in it. I may haue from man my warrant here in earth, that my house is mine, and my lande is mine, and he is a theefe and a robber that taketh it from mee. But all the men in the worlde cannot giue me my pos­session before the liuing God, but onely his Sonne [Page 24] Christ, who is Heire of all. And I am a theefe and a robber, if before God I claime any other right in it. Then, that our hands may be our owne: our goods our own: our seruants, our wiues, our childrē, ours: Let vs be Christes, that in him we may haue the good assurance of all our substance. Take not thy meate, but as the gift of Christ, who hath sanctified it vnto thee, nor any thing thou hast but with thankesgiuing to Christ that hathe sanctified it for thee: if thou doest, thou art an intrudour, into the right, not of a mortal man, but of the fonne of God: and thou shalt be sure the recompence of the iniu­ries that thou hast done, will fall vppon thee: and thou shalt know what it is, so to dishonor thy God. But contrariwise, if I know my self by faith made a member of Christe, and his right is mine in the creatures of the worlde, and in his name, and to his glorie I vse them, whatsoeuer God hath giuen mee in the dayes of my pilgrimage, the profite of it is mine, I may vse it to my necessitie, and the plea­sure of it is mine, I may vse it to my delight. If my garments be silke, I may put them on. If my table be furnished with sortes of meate, I may eate what my stomach craueth. If I haue fieldes pleasant and delectable, I may walkein them. If I haue orchards of great delight, I may eate the fruit of them. Nay, I will say more, that their condemnation may be iust which loue not the Lord Iesus. If thy dogges will hunt the beastes of the fielde: or thy hauke will kill the birdes of the aire, thou mayst vse the delight of Gods creatures. I meane so farr as the state of Gods [Page 25] people, in common wealthes, which he hath ordey­ned, doth permit to euerie one, for his holy recrea­tion and pleasure, who walketh faithfully in his cal­ling, to the glorie of God, and profite of his people. I do not iustifie the shamefull abuse of the worlde, which hath carried away the christian libertie into carnall wantonnesse. I allowe them not, which wil needs weare silke, and are not able to buy cloth: or those, whiche so giue ouer themselues to vanitie, that the day is to short to make thē pastime, except they watche the night at cardes and dice, and rio­tous dauncing, with suche men I meddle not, but in their sinne in which I find them, in it I leaue them. I speake onely of the goodnesse of God vnto his Saincts, what recreation God hath giuen in their wearie life.

And where it is further saide, All things were made Al things made by him. by Christ, we may boldly conclude, that no man hath power ouer his creatures, but they must serue their creator. What haue I to doe with another mannes worke? God hath appointed his creatures a vse, in it they are holie. If thou wilt set them another law, thou prophanest thy selfe in them. When S. Paule had saide that to forbid meates was the doctrine of deuils, he proueth it by this reason: because God created them to be receiued with thankesgiuing. If God created them, who will exalt him selfe to be Lord ouer them? If God appointed them to be receiued, who shall say 1. Tim. 4. 3. vnto me, they are vncleane to vse? Surely (dearly beloued) and before the Lord, who hath made all, & will iudge all, that proude and arrogant man of [Page 26] sinne, who hath left all the ordinances of God, to fill the world with his decrees, and decretalles, he hath taught vs the doctrine of diuels, and let vs cast it frō vs. We are Christes, & he hath made all, in his holy appointments let vs euer liue. For other lawes of meates, drinks, dayes, apparel, &c. as then they may stand, when they are profitable to any countrie, and made onely for policie: so they are to be despised, when they are thrust vpō the church, & made mat­ters of faith and religion.

Further, in that, that it is saide in the third verse, That Christ is the brightnes of glorie, & ingrauen fourme of the substance of his father. Let vs marke well why the the bright nesse of glorie. Apostle thus magnifieth the person of Christe. For no other cause, but to warrant vnto vs the trueth of his worde, that he is our Prophet, & we must beleue him. And so S. Peter in the Acts, teaching Christ to be the onely warrant of faith & saluation, he sayth: God approued him thervnto by many signes and miracles, & Act. 2. 22. mightie workes. And in deed the father himself with a voice of excellent glorie, approued him out of the clowd, & his voice was heard, This is my beloued sonne heare him. And all this was, that Christe alone might Matth. 3. 17. be before vs, the onely warrant of trueth. Nowe he that shall take vpon him this honour, & bid y world beleeue because he hathe spoken, what doeth he but boast himselfe as if he were the brightnesse of Gods glorie, or that God had approued him by signes and miracles? and who would do this, that feared either to be, or to be called the verie Antichrist, that should come? Againe, it is said: he beareth vp al things with [Page 27] his mightie word. Where we must marke, it is at­tributed Vpholdeth all things. to Gods mightie power, the gouernance of all things in our sight either great or small, that wee should learne not to measure the power of God by our weake senses. It is his mightie power y vphol­deth the earth, that stretcheth out y heauens, that sē ­deth forth the windes, that raiseth on high the great waues of the sea, & these things we cōfesse are great & mightie, but as it is here, so euery where, ye migh­tie power of God maketh the fether to moue, & his strong arme leadeth the flie in her way, & the same force which now shaketh a lease, if he had sent it a­gainst a monteine, it would haue turned it vp from the foundations: and the same strength that blow­eth vp the dust, if it came against the earth, it would shake the bottoms of it. And this should make vs feare before him, y what soeuer he hath done, whe­ther it seeme great or little, wee should confesse his handie work, & according to his greatnesse, so wee should honour him, that whatsoeuer he hath com­maunded, whether it seme weightie or light, al our obedience should be streight vnto it. It foloweth, by him self he hath purged our sinnes. I do not doubt but you knowe how Christ hath purged our sinnes, and the more you know it, I am sure you are the more glad to heare it, & for this cōfort that we haue all in it, I thought euē my duty to make some rehearsall of it. Thus therefore we are taught, and thus we doe be­leeue. Our Sauiour Christ being y eternall sonne of God, through the work of the holy ghost was made man of the virgin Marie, and borne without origi­nall sinne, and by the same spirit filled still his man­hood [Page 28] more and more with grace, till the fulnesse of all righteousnesse was within him, that so his man­hood might inherit saluation, according to the pro­misse: Do this, and thou shalt liue. But hitherto, as he is Luke. 10. righteous, so he is righteous for him selfe, and only that man is yet blessed, which was conceiued by the holie Ghost, and borne of the virgin Marie. Our sinnes doe yet remaine, and we abide holden vnder the death of them, and therefore, as his first woorke sanctified him self, so yet there remained more, that he might sanctifie vs, For when he commeth to vs, he findeth vs in sinne, & through sinne in death, and in the condemnation of the diuell, who had the po­wer of death. So that he had nowe another worke, then in his first righteousnesse to sanctifie his owne bodie. He must also abolish sinne and death, and hel in which we were holden, if he wil be a sauiour vn­to vs. And heere he must multiplie all his former righteousnesse, and make it infinite, for a greater worke is behind, and a new law is giuen vnto him, a law neuer giuen to all flesh, a singular law, out of the depth of Gods wisdome and goodnesse, which without the fall of Adam, had neuer beene seene nei­ther of man, nor Angel: a law of a redeemer, that is, a law, by which he might bring man from death to life, from hel to heauen, from hatred to loue, and from the diuell to God: a work farre greater then to make the worlde of nothing. This law was to loue God, & his brother, not in vsual things of life, wher­vnto al we were appointed, but in taking vpon him sin and death, and treading the winepresse of the an­ger of almightie God.

[Page 29] And this thing he hath also done. For being righte­ous, pure, holie, and without spot, the sinne that a­bounded, he tooke it all vpon him, and deathe that reigned, he submitted him selfe vnto it, and went as despised among men, in shame, in ignominie, in affliction of the flesh, for the sinne of our bodies: and in anguishe of spirite, in mourning and in sorrowe, to beare the sinnes of our soules: before GOD, fee­ling the heauinesse of his wrathe, whiche was the sting of death and condemnation: and before man, shewing the signes of it vpon a cursed crosse, in ago­nies, bloudie sweates, and in wofull crying accor­ding to the sense and feeling of sorrowe that was vp­pon him. And all this he endured, not vnwillingly, for then he had done nothing, but with exceeding ioy of heart, that he had found out the miserie, in whiche he might seale it, howe muche he loued his father, and make it manifest, howe he loued vs. So went he willingly vnto death: and that he might sa­tisfie the iustice of his father, and purge the sinnes of his people, with all his heart he gaue his bodie vnto the crosse, and his soule a sacrifice for our sinne, which obedience was accepted of his father the iust punishment of all sinne, and full redemption of all his elect. And this the Apostle here meaneth, when he sayth, that by himselfe he purged our sinnes.

And because he saith, by himselfe he purged our sinnes, in this we see a cleare discharge giuen to the Taber­nacle, and all the sacrifices at the doore of it: not one of them purged sinne. And though some wee cal­led sinne offeringes, and the sinnes of the people in [Page 30] such sacrifices were saide to be forgiuen: yet they had that name and calling, not according to the merite of the woorke, but according to the vertue of the thing they signified, euen as the Lordes supper is called the communion of the bodie of Christe, and baptisme is saide to bee the washing away of our sinnes, not in trueth of the thing, but in mysterie of the signe. The phrase being so vsed for more assu­rance and warrant of the promise: not to carrie the grace of God from our sauiour Christ and his spirit, to the dumbe elements of bread or water. And if the Iewes are here instructed, to leaue their vaine trust and confidence in the lawe, and to knowe that the forgiuenesse of their sinnes was not in meates & drinkes, and diuerse washings and carnall rites of the temple, nor in the bloud of Goates and Calues, or in the ashes of an heifer, sprinckling thē which are vn­cleane, but onely in the precious bloud shed and the bodie crucified of Iesus Christ: notwithstanding all these ordinaunces were giuen them of God, what could our fathers say, who sawe the Lawe abrogate, the temple pulled downe, the lande prophaned, the Iewes scattered, the wordes of faith preached, and that they should glorie in nothing, but in the Crosse of Iesu Christ? what could they say, either Tertul­lian Ter. de ieiu­nio de Cor. Mil. Cypr. de [...]psis. Theo. li. 8. de Mat­tir. Cyril. li. 10. c [...]. 18. in Ios. In E [...]he ridio [...]. c [...]. 10. for fasting, crossing, oyling, whiche he lear­ned and had of Montanus the heretique? Or Cy­prian, for satisfaction: or Theodoretus, for mar­tyrs merits: or Cyrill for iustification of woorkes: or Augustine, for prayer for the dead: or Ierome for so many superstitions of lights, garments, vessels &c. [Page 31] Nay, what can we say, who haue seene all that the olde fathers haue seene, why at this day we should loue their errours? nay, why we should deuise new of our owne, which the oldefathers knew not? why haue we loued the popes woful Iubileis, or his dam­ned pardons? why do we yet think that the masse is a sacrifice propitiatorie for the quick & dead? why was purgatorie first drempt on, as much hotter thē our fire, as ours is hotter then a painted fire? or why was the building of chapels, chauntries, or religious houses, thought to be a meanes to deliuer vs from such burning? A thousand such things why we haue loued them, what cause can wee alledge before the Lord? The lawe of God giuen by Moses his faith­full seruant, a lawe which had bene a scholemaister to leade many thousands vnto Christ, could it not stand with Christ, without darkening of his glorie? and can the lawe of the pope giuen by Summists & Canonists, a people not knowē in y house of God, which lawe onely leadeth to the obedience of the church of Rome, can it be that it should bring any light to the gospel of Christ? I nede not stand in ma ny words to confute so great folie, I leaue it to the conscience of all that be wise hearted, whether God abrogating his ownelaw, ment that the pope shuld institute a new: or whether he ment to take away all earnall ordinaunces, that hee might make it plaine whiche the Apostle heere teacheth, that by Christe alone all our sinnes are purged?

But heere, some man by a subtile enimie may bee easily deceiued, who will saye: All this [Page 32] neede not, they attribute not the forgiuenesse of sinnes to the popes pardons, or to any masses, but to Christ alone. The Pope and masses are onely the applying of the fruit of Christes death vnto vs. If it were thus, yet what is become of building religious houses, of pilgrimage, of numbering many prayers, of their holie orders, their garments, their fasting, &c? All these they let sink in their own shame with out defēce, for these applied not the death of Christ vnto vs, but in the merite of the worke they were commended. But as these haue no colour of good defence, so the excuse of the other is very vaine: for how say they that the pope or priests applie the me rites of Christ, seeing this application cannot stand, by their owne confession, without a real sacrificing of Christ? For saith not y Apostle here, that Christ did it by him selfe? not onely making Christe the woorke but also the woorkman, the price and the chapman, the sacrifice & sacrificer, not al the world can giue any other recompence for sinne but him: nor all the world can giue him but him self, as both more plainly we shall heare afterwarde. And here is expressely saide, that he did it by him selfe, with as great warrant giuing vnto him y doing as the thing done. As wel and with as litle sinne we may choose another sacrifice as another sacrificer. For by the same worde of God bothe are giuen to him a like. And as there is not mentioned any other thing that euer could be offered, so there is not named any o­ther person that euer could offer this. But as he is a­lone our king, and alone spoiled principalities and [Page 33] powers vpon his crosse: so he is alone our priest, and alone he sacrificed vp his bodie once for all.

Now where it followeth in the Apostles words: That he sitteth at the right hand of high maiestie: we must first marke the change of wordes, where it is vsual­ly saide: he sitteth on the right hand of God. Here The right hande of maiestie. he saith, on the right hand of the highest maiestie, whiche is as it were an interpretation of the right hand of God, signifying nothing else, but the power and glorie of God, giuen vnto the person of the me­diatour, according to that saying of Paule: God hath highly exalted him, and giuen him a name aboue all names. Phil. 2. 9. Beside this, seeing the right hand of God doth signi­fie his power: wee must learne to be wise hearted, & not make vnto God a right hand or a left, like vnto ours. Wee know the commandement: Thou shalt make vnto thy selfe no grauen image, nor the likenes of any thing that is in heauen aboue, or in earth beneath, or in the water vnder the earth. Let vs giue our obedience, and confesse that God is incomprehensible, not like to any thing which possibly our bodilie eyes can see. And let vs not seeke vaine pretences, that we might committe sinne and see it not: to say, I will make it for a remembraunce, or the more to stirre vp our mindes: make it howe thou wilt, the precept is bro­ken, which saith: thou shalt not make it. And be thou well assured, as long as S. Paules wordes shall betruer then thine, so long it shall stand, that if thou do make any similitude in the worlde, to represent God: Thou hast now turned the trueth of God into a lie, & changed the glorie of the incorruptible God, to the likenes of Rom. 1. 23. [Page 34] the image of a corruptible creature: and if accordingly God giue thee vp to a reprobate sense for this pride in thine owne wisedome, he doth with thee but as he did with thy forefathers: & therfore take heede. The cause why the Scripture attributeth vnto God eares, and eyes, and hands, and feete: it is because we are not able yet to comprehende any thing of Gods maiestie, & therfore the holie Ghost applieth speach to our infirmitie, that we might by these woordes: the Lord seeth, heareth, kepeth, and ruleth al things, that in him we might boldly trust. Let not vs carrie away this great goodnesse of God into rebellion, to leaue his glorie whiche we see onely by faith, and make him handes and feete and gray haire, like vnto a wretched bodie that is consumed with yeares. But the time is past. Let vs pray that it would please God our heauenly father, to humble our hearts vn­der the mightie power of his sonne Christ, that wee may feare, loue, and obey him: reioycing in the ex­cellencie of glory that he hath giuen vnto vs, who is the sonne of God: and the Lord increase in vs our faith and hope, that in the assurance of Gods loue, our consciences may be at peace, and in the reuelati­on of Gods glorie our hearts may be filled with ioy in the Lord: which we be seech God to graunt vnto vs, euen for his sonnes sake our only mediatour and aduocate.


¶ The third Lecture vpon the 4. 5. 6. and 7. verses.

4 And is made so much more excellent then the Angels, in as much as he hath obteyned a more excellent name then they.

5 For vnto which of the Angels said he at any time? Thou art my sonne, this day begat I thee. And againe: I wil be his father, and he shall be my sonne.

6 And againe: when he bringeth in his first begotten sonne into the worlde, he saith: And let all the Angels of GOD worship him.

7 And of the Angels, he saith: He maketh his spirits his messingers, and his ministers a flame of fire.

IN these wordes (as I tolde you) the Apostle beginneth to set out the per­son of our sauiour Christ, by compa­rison with Angels, and this compa­rison he maketh in many pointes, as wee shall heare: that the more cleare wee see it, tho more effectually we might confesse his high God­head, and therefore aboue all thinges, to set him a­lone: called in the new testament, the high Prieste, and Prophet, and King of his people.

And the first comparison here made, is of the first title before giuen him: that he is the naturall sonne of God, begotten of the substance of his father, whereby he must needs be one and equall with his father: which name, as no Angel hath it, so no An­gel is to be compared to him. [Page 36] That thus the Apostle taketh the name of Sonne, ac­cording to the dignitie of nature, it is plaine in his owne wordes, saying: And is made so much more ex­cellent &c. verse. 4. making his excellencie according to his name, & his name according to his excellēcie. For otherwise, the name of the sonne of God, may be giuen to euery one of vs: as God calleth Israel his first borne, and all the elect the sonnes of God: So the magistrates are sonnes of God: and the An­gels also the sonnes of God, but we by adoption & grace: the magistrate, because he executeth ye iudge­ment of the Lord: the Angels, by creation: none of vs according to the worthinesse of our owne na­ture. But by nature, substance, eternitie, as the Apo­stle here meaneth, there is none the sonne of God, but Christ alone. And that thus Christ is the sonne of God, he proueth it, first out of the second psalme, where it is said: Thou art my sonne, this day haue I begot­ten thee: Where the Prophet shewing causes, why the whole world should not preuaile against Christ he saith: because God had decreed it in his eternall counsell, and proclamed it with this sentence: Thou art my sonne, this day haue I begotten thee. That is: this day haue I declared that thou art my natural sonne, meaning especially the time in which he made him knowen in the worlde, by his wonderfull workes, as S. Paule ment when he saide: God was made mani­fest in fleash: noting the power of the spirit working in him, in his birthe, life, death, resurrection, and ascension: So (this day) noteth not any particular time, but all times in generall, wherein God hath [Page 37] shewed his power in Christ, as especially in the time he liued among vs. And it see meth that the Apostle maketh manifest this sense of his wordes, in that he addeth to the text alledged in the vi. verse, the time when it was fulfilled, leauing this without any di­stinct time, as that whiche apperteined to all times, in which Christ should be shewed to be the sonne of God: especially as I saide, in his life, and before, or since, as God sheweth his glorie in him: So this sen­tence was true when he appeared to Abraham, Ia­cob, Moses, to any of the patriarches or prophets, or after his ascension, when he appeared to Stephan, to Paule, or any other, or whensoeuer he sheweth his power to defend his church vnto the end, according to his owne promise: I am with you to the latter end of the world. And thus this word, (to day) is takē in that which is after alledged: To day if ye will heare are his voice, harden not your hearts. And againe, In the day of health I haue heard thee. And, in the day of saluatiō I haue succou­red thee: meaning no particular day, but al the time that the word is preached vnto vs.

It followeth: I wilbe his father, and [...] [...]y sonne. This is another texte, to proue Christ the naturall sonne of God. It is written in the seconde of Samu­el the seuenth chapter: and they are the wordes of God vnto Dauid, by the Prophet Nathan, to giue him a promise of the blessing of his seede after him, which was begone in Solomon, who built the tem­ple, and whome God so highly aduaunced in all wisedome, richesse, and honour, that the Fatherly prouidence of God appeared ouer him, as ouer an [Page 38] especiall chosen sonne. All which, as it was promi­sed to Dauid: so Dauid looked for the perfour­mance of it in Christ, and to be figured in Solomon his sonne after him: whose temple was a figure of the Churche of Christe: his riches a figure of the great graces of the spirite of Christe, giuen to his Church: his honour aboue all kinges a figure how kinges should submitt them selues to Christ, and be nurlefathers, and Queenes nurses to the Churche of Christe: his wisedome a figure that in Christe should be hid all treasures of wisedome and know­ledge: and finally, he called by name, the sonne of God, in respect of his blessings, as a figure of Christ who is the eternall sonne of his father, in nature of his person.

And so the Apostle here alledgeth this place, without any suche long exposition, howe the place is meant, because we should see in it, that the people of Israel were not so ignorant of the Scrip­tures as we be: but brought vp in the knowledge of the lawe, and taught the vnderstanding of it, euen from their [...]dell as we shoulde be. And thus haue we heard this argument of the Apostle. Christ hath a more honourable name then the Angels: therefore he is more excellent then they.

Nowe also let vs see the manner of proofes here vsed.

He proueth Christe to be the naturall sonne of God, by textes of Scripture witnessing [...] he don [...] ­eth that Angels are so, because God in his scriptures [Page 39] neuer spake it, for so he beginneth: Vnto which of the Angels said he at any time &c.

The self same maner of proofe againe he vseth in the 13. verse following. Because the scripture saide it not, therefore he proueth it is not so: making his An argu­ment ne­gatiuely from the authoritie of the scripture is sound & good. argument negatiuely from authoritie of Scripture: whiche in all thinges, what soeuer man is required to do or know in matters of religion, is euer a most certeine conclusion: God spake it, therfore we must doe it: God spake it not: therfore we haue nothing to doe with it. And this argument must needes bee good, so long as this word of the Lordo doeth en­dure: What I commaund thee, doe that only. And so long as this is a iust condemnation of all our owne deui­ses: who required these things at your hands? And so long Deu. 12. 32. as this shalbe true, that our wisdome is folishnesse, and Esay. 1. 11. we cannot doe well, but when we bearken to the worde of God that shineth in our harts, as in a dark place. True it is, and if we had but the wisedome of chil­dren, 2. Pet. 1. [...]. we must needes see it, that all particular lawes and orders, with which we may be bound, they are not set downe in precise words of Scripture: but it is as true that the nature and propertie of euery lawe or order is so described, that the worde of God, as clearely is followed in it, as if the wordes of the law were set downe in it.

For of all decrees to be made in his church, hath not God said? It must be without offence: it must edifie: it must bee comely, and according to order: and it must serue to the glorie of God. [Page 40] Now God hauing giuen grace into our heartes, to iudge what soeuer we decree by these rules, is not the word of God the warrant of it? By such mani­fest proofe ofscripture, the church of Christ doeth iustifie all that she doeth. Thus the Apostle proueth heere his doctrine. Thus we must do, if we will bee the Apostles scholers. Marke well this reason, for it is worthy. God said to Christ: thou art my sonne, therfore he is his sonne. God said not so to any An­gel: therefore no Angel can take the name vnto him. In like manner we will dispute with them. God said: The true worshippers should not go to mount Sion, nor to Ierusalem, but worship God in spirit and trueth. Where said he, go a pilgrimage, or go vi­sit Ioh. 4. 2 [...]. the holie sepulchre? God said: Doe not obserue day­es, and monethes, and times, and yeeres. Where said he, Cal. 4. 10. keepe vnto me, Lent or Aduent, imber weekes, or Saincts Eeues? God said vnto vs: It is the doctrine of diuels to forbid marriage, or to commaund to abstaine from [...]. Tim. 42. meates. Where said he, eate now no fleash, now no white meate: let not the minister marrie? God said, Let euery soule be subiect to kings & princes: and the autho Rom 13. 1. Luc. 22. 26. ritie of such men, let it not be in his Apostles. Where said he: let the pope haue the gift of kingdomes, bee exempt from authoritie of man, weare a triple crowne, and haue Lords and noble men vnder him? God said: Cursed [...] he that addeth ought to his law, or ta­keth Apo. 22. 1 [...]. from it. Where said he: the pope shall dispense against my apostles and prophets? God said: It is bet­ter to speake fiue wordes which we vnderstood, then [...]. thou­sand in an vnknowen tong. Where said God: the igno­rant 1. Cor. 14. 19 [Page 41] men should pray in latine? With this verie ar­gument are ouerthrowne all doctrines of men, all traditiōs, alpoperie. And if this argumēt were good in the Apostle, why is it not good in vs? Nay, if this be vsuall in y scripture, why are we so dull that we will neuer learne it? Doeth not God condemne the idolatrie of the people of Israel by this reason: They built high places, which I commanded not? Doeth he not Ier. 7. [...] condemne all their superstition and vaine worship­ping with y same argument? Who required these things at your hands? When Dauids purpose was stopped Esa. 1. 12. from buylding the house of God, was not this the word of the Lord that came vnto him? Where socuer 1. Chro. 17. 6 I haue walked with all Israel, spake I one woorde to any of their Iudges, saying: why haue you not builte me a house of Cedretrees? But why seeke we further, whē the law is plaine? What I commaund thee do that onely. And true it Deu. 4. 6. is, y it is our wisdome, and the Light that shineth in our 2. Pet. 1. 20. harts as in a dark place. If once we go from it, as y pro­phet saith: There is no wisdome at all within vs. And this I say, because of some which would not haue argu­ments Ier. 8. 9 made negatiuely of scripture, I think because it is against Aristotles doctrine. But let vs now go forward. It followeth in thevi. verse: Againe, when he bringeth &c. This is the second comparison betwene Christ and the Angels. That it is saide plainely of Christ, who is the sonne: Let all Angels worship him, a thing determined by y scripture it self that Christ is not onely greater then Angels: but God to be ho­noured of all Angels. And he alledgeth to this pur­pose the manifest prophesie, that whē God brought [Page 42] his sonne into the worlde, hee proclamed before him this honour: Let all the Angels worship him.

First, touching the alledging of this texte out of the Psalme, we neede not doubt, this doeing of the Apostle is proofe inough, that that Psalme is a pro­phesie of the kingdome of Christe, of which the psalme saith, that God with great power and glorie would establish it in earth [...] shewing miracles in his creatures, feare and confusion in his enimies, ioy and gladnes in the hearts of his children, righteous­nes and holines in their liues: and not only this, but all Angels should worship before him.

Now as he hath taught this, by the testimonie of the prophets giuen to Christ, so after in the 7. verse Angels are mini­string spi­rits. he sheweth the same on the other side, by the testi­monies which y scripture giueth to angels: of whō sayth he, it is said: he maketh his Angels spirites, and his ministers a flaming fire. The absolute mening of which wordes, wee must learne of the Apostle him selfe in the 14. verse following: where according to this testimonie he hath defined their nature, and called them ministring spirites. Then in these wordes he maketh his Angels spirites, and his ministers a fla­ming fire, hee nameth them a flaming fire, accor­ding to y similitude in which their glorie hath ben seene: as the angels that were with Elizeus, his ser­uant sawe them as chariots of fire: the similitude of the beasts which Ezechiel saw, were as coles of bur­ning [...]. Reg. 6. 17 Ezech. 1. 13. Esay. 6. 2. fire: and the Seraphims haue their names, be­cause they are of a fierie colour: and these wordes▪ spirits and ministers we must resolue thus, ministring [Page 43] spirites. So out of this texte, his argumēt stādeth thus▪ Christ is called the sonne, the first begotten sonne, whome the Angels worship: but the Angels are his ministring spirites: therefore Christ is greater then the Angels. Now for the allegation of this text, the Apostle is a sufficiēt witnesse to me, that this verse of the 104. Psalme, is ment of the Angels of God, and not of the windes: and I see no reason to the contra­rie. For first he mentioneth the winds before, where he saith: He walketh vpon the wings of the winde: and therefore a repetition of the same in other wor­des was not necessarie▪ Againe, seeing ministers here signifie those which execute Gods power to saue his people, I see no cause to attribute it to the windes: for though God euen by the elements help his peo­ple manie times, yet that praise is not giuen as a name to the element, which is done in the Angels. Now, where it is obiected, that the Prophet there setteth out the maiestie of God, according to his go­uernement in thinges of the worlde, I graunt it, and so the ministery of Angels was then open & known in the world. And therfore of Angels also the Pro­phet speaketh, as of them in whome the glorie of God shined, euen as in the heauens, the cloudes, the lightnings &c. beside this, in these words the apostle wil proue what is the nature of angels, which requi­reth that he should speake in the naturall sense of the prophets wordes. And the preposition, [...], vsed of the Apostle, seemeth not to be without cause: for though it be the Hobrue phrase▪ as it is saide, yet it may well haue iust cause, why the Apostle vseth it in Greeke, & it signifieth as much, as if he said thus: [Page 44] Vnto all Angels, we may say: you be but mini­string spirites. And so it is like vnto the text next al­ledged of Christ. To the sonne he sayth, &c. And thus the preposition is verie conueniently vsed, and ma­keth the Prophets wordes a naturall description of the Angels. Therefore for my parte thus I say, and thus I am persuaded, that as it is here alledged: so the wordes were ment, of the angels of God which are his ministers to execute his will, for safetie of his people. And thus muche of the Apostles argument here made.

Nowe, where our Sauiour Christ is here called, the first begotten sonne of God: both Sainct Iohn suffi­ciently sheweth the meaning of it in the beginning of his gospel, and S. Paule doth plainly expounde the word. Iohn saith of our sauiour Christ: that he was in the beginning, with God: that al things were made by him, & without him nothing was made at al: which is as if he had added, he was his first begotten sonne. Saint Paule expresly addeth the comparison of creatures, naming him, the first begottē, before al creatures, because saith he: all things were created by him, in heauen, in earth, visible or inuisible, angels or powers, by him, and for him, all were made: so this is the first begotten, the maker & creator of all things. And he is called the first begot­tē, not the first creature, that in this name we might see the blasphemie of Arrius, who sayth: there was a time, when the sonne of God was not: when this name first begotten, is not in respect of nature, as one in time begotten before other, but in respect of his work: as one by whō al other things were begottē. [Page 45] And againe, being the first begotten of all creatures, in this name he condemneth the blasphemie of Ser­uetus, which denyed him to be the sonne of God, but onely in respect of his comming in fleash. And that y apostle speaketh here of bringing into the world. he meaneth not barely his natiuitie: but as God gaue vnto Christ all the endes of the earth for his possession, so the honourable setting of him in this authoritie, he calleth it his bringing in into the world: as appeareth, because this is the glorie of this bring­ing, that the Angels shall worship him. And againe, when he sayth, the world, he meaneth not this age of man, but as he expoundeth it in the second chapter, the worlde to come: euen also as the Prophet Esaie cal­led it, that is: the kingdome of Christ in the world through the preaching of the gospell. And the wor­ship with which the Angels shall worship him, is, that they shall haue from hencefoorth, no such rule as before, authorized in their owne persons from God, but now they shall giue all glorie to Christ. Euen as we see in his natiuitie, a great multitude of Angels sang: Glorie be to GOD on high, and in earth peace good will towards men, because Christ was borne in the Citie of Dauid, a sauiour vnto all people: So in all his life, in his death, in his resurrection, ascen­sion, and since his ascension, there neuer appeared angel vnto man, but to the praise of Christe, and to ratifie all honour and worship due vnto him: which ministerie of Angels, because now so clearely it ser­ueth Christ, the Scripture is fulfilled: Let all his An­gels worship him.

[Page 46] And now that we haue seene the sense and mea­ning of this Scripture, in some pointes, I will more particularly applie it to our instruction. It is saide first When he bring [...] is his first begotten into the worlde: which wordes meane as (I said) when in glorious triumph, God l [...]deth him into the possession of his kingdome. And as the prophet saith: whē God giueth him his d [...]n from sea to sea, and from the riuer vnto the endes of the land, that [...]ll that dwell in the wilder­nesse Psal. 71. 8. may kneele besore him, and his enimies may lick the dust.

Heere we must marke howe this hath beene ac­complished, and when wee knowe it, if wee loue Christe, let vs set foorth his excellent glorie. This was especially doone (no doubt) in the crosse of Christe him selfe, according as him selfe prayeth, when he entreth vnto it: Father glorisi [...] thy sonne. And Sainct Paule saith, in it he hath spoyled principait [...]es & Iohn. 17. 1. powers, and hath made open shewe of them, and triumphed Co [...]. 2. 9. ouer them vpon his crosse.

A proofe of this wee sawe with our eyes, when Christe vppon the crosse so wrought in the hearte of the Romane cap [...]eine, that hee cryed aloude: Truely, this man was the sonne of GOD. When all the people behelde it that was done, and smo [...]e their brests Ma [...]. 15. 39. Luc. 23. 47. and went backe: when manie Saincts roase out of their Matth. 27. 51 graues, and went into the holie Citie. And not one­ly this worke was in men, but that wee might know the vertue of his deathpearced euen into hell, to bynde iudgement to the diuel and his Angels, with eternal desperation, and to witnesse it vnto his [Page 47] Church, that the gates of hell should not preuaile a­gainst it. To this end we sawe the earth did quake, the stones were [...], the Sonne was darkened, the graues did open: and this was the beginning of this kingdome.

The increasing and amplifying of this, is the preaching of the same crosse, that is, of Christe crucified, that it might be seene and heard in all the worlde, which had also a glorious beginning in the Apostles of Christe, whome God sancti­fied to that worke with excellent power, and graces of the holie Ghoste: so that notwithstanding the weakenesse of their persons, yet their voice went into all landes, and their wordes vnto the endes of the earth.

And boldely Sainct Paule witnessed of them­selues, that God had giuen them glorious weapons to fight withall, weapons not carnall, neither swoordes, nor prisons, as earthly princes haue to keepe their subiectes in feare: but other weapons, in deede more contemned of the worlde, but yet made by God more mightie then al other weapons or engines to cast downe holdes.

For by our weapons sayth Saint Paule: we cast downe mans imaginations, and querie [...]ighe thing, that is 2 Cor. 10. 4. exalted against the knowledge of God, and bring into capti­uitie euerie thought to the obedience of Christ.

And this not onely was for that age, but as GOD is vnchaungeable in all his wayes: so this is made his euerlastinge ordinaunce, that the [Page 48] preaching of the Gospel shoulde be his might [...]e power Rom. 1. 16. to saue all that do beleeue. And accordingly this cōmis­sion is giuen to all that are sent out in the name of Christ, for the gathering together of the Sainctes, for the work of the ministerie, and for the edification of the bodie of Eph. 4. 12. Christ, t [...]l we meete all together in the vnitie of faith, and knowledge of the Sonne of God, vnto a perfect man, and vn­to the measure of the age of the fulnesse of Christe.

Sith this then is that spirituall pompe, and those victorious chariots, by which the Sonne of God is carried in triumph into the inheritance of ye world: they that haue eares to heare, let them heare what it is to preache the Gospel of Christ: and they that be called vnto it, let them knowe what woorke they haue in hande: and they that resist it, shall at the last be consumed: as they that be enimies to the glorie of Christ, must needes be made his footestoole. So that euerie one in the regard of so glorious a worke, should humble himselfe to become a labourer in it: yea, the greater dignitie, the more trauell it shoulde bring vnto it. So that princes them selues haue no greater honour, if we wil beleeue the Prophet Esaie, then to licke the dust vnder the Churches feet. By which speache, the Prophet meaneth, that the faithfull & zealous kings which reigne vpon earth, should with the perill of their crownes, not feare to set out, and giue all their strength to the Gospell of Christe, by whiche the Lorde of Lordes is to be settled in his throne, and he that ruleth for euer in the house of Iacob, is to be crowned king.

The preaching of the Gospel is the preparation [Page 49] of his waye, and the obedience vnto it, is the ho­nour of his reigne, and what king hath too good a hand to ioyne in this? nay, what king whose spirite is in his nostrels, and all his glorie is but a vading flower, what king (I say) is worthie to be a doer in this worke, but that it pleaseth this immortall and heauenly king of his free grace to accept his labour? so that iustly they are iudged, that are despisers of GOD, and knowe not the Lord of hostes, against whome they are proude. Shall God proclame it with so loude a voice, that when he beginneth this worke, of his eternall decree, to bring his sonne in­to his kingdome, all the Angels of heauen shall worship before him: and shal a mortal man so farre exalt himselfe, in his wisedome, in his richesse, in his honour, in his nobilitie, in his crowne, in his kingdome, that he shall thinke it a disgrace to giue all his life to the Gospell? Can fleshe puffe it selfe vp so farre aboue the Angels? O (dearely beloued) if we be happie, let vs learne this, and let vs further the worke of the Lorde: the Angels worke with vs. If we will not, we shall pine away in our owne enuious idlenesse, and without vs the Sainctes and Angels shall giue Christ his glorie.

Another thing here we may marke, howe it is attributed to God the Father, this glorifying of Christ, for so he saith: when he bringeth his first begot­ten sonne into the world: Whereby we learne that it is the worke of God, and let not vs boast: for though he vouchsafe to set our hande to his businesse: yet our hande that is but vanitie, doeth wither awaye [Page 50] in the worke, except God giue it vertue that it should haue fruite. We cannot so much as speake, except he put his spirite into our mouth: and when we do speake with a good measure of grace, yet the ignorant do not heare vs except he prepare their hearts, and still our worke is nothing worth, but he alone worketh al in al. And for this purpose that we shoulde giue him the glorie of his owne woorke, and not seeke our owne praise, therefore hee hath chosen his workmen as you see, Not many wisemen of the worlde, not many mightie, not many noble: but com­monly men of small account, & a few in number, he giueth them tongs to speake and they carie his Go­spel ouer mightie kingdoms, and make it flourish, when al the powers of the realme haue armed them selues against it. And all this that we shoulde con­fesse, as here the Apostle saith, it is he, it is not we, that giue this kingdome vnto Christ. And seeing it is his worke, who is able to bring all his purposes to passe: it shalbe our wisedome to further that, which God himselfe will make to flourish and pro­sper, whether we will or no.

And where it is here saide: Let all the Angels wor­ship him: he giueth our Sauiour Christ a cleare testi­monie, Christ is God. so to be the sonne of God in petson, that he is also in nature one & the same God with his fa­ther. For, whome shoulde the angels worship, but God alone? who in themselues haue suche power giuen them of God, that one is able to destroye whole kingdomes, and suche glorie, that our eyes cannot beholde them.

[Page 51] And seeing God hath made this law: Thou shalt wor­ship the Lord thy God, and him alone shalt thou serue: and yet the Angels worship Christ, how cleare a proofe is it, that Christe is God? for we knowe their per­fect and willing obedience, and therefore we pray: Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heauen. So that the Iewes might throughly know, that seeing the An­gels did worship him, and had so their charge from God: therfore Christ was one God in the maiestie of the father. And most true it is, our sauiour Christ without that nature had neuer taken that honour vpon him. The Apostles of Christe, Paule, Peter, Barnabas, & other men of excellent gifts and singu­lar Act. [...]. Act. 10. Act 4. power, to worke mightily sighes and miracles: yet would they neuer heare the name of worship. Peter vtterly refuseth: Paule and Barnabas, they rent their clothes, being rauished with zeale of gods glorie, when it is once offered them. Nay, the An­gels them selues, whiche are greater then all kinges, they cannot abide it: as manifestly we see in the Angel whiche appeared vnto Iohn, when Iohn would haue fallen downe at his feete to worshippe him, the Angel gaue him streight charge: Take hede Apo. 19 1 [...]. Apo. 22. 8. thou do it not, for I am but a fellow-seruant with thee, and then teacheth him that which heere we learne, that worship only apperteineth to God: so that this text serueth the Apostles purpose very fitly, both to the cōfession of the godhead of Christ, & in his prefer­ring so farre aboue Angels, that the Israelites might more equally beare it, that he should be preferred be­fore Moses. In the 7. verse wher he saith, he maketh [Page 52] his Angels ministring spirits: wee muste note that this name the Apostle giueth them as that wherein is their greatest honour.

For otherwise, if he named in the Angels thinges of least account, it had bene no proofe of the glorie of Christ: but naming that by which they most ex­celled, & yet exalting Christ so farre aboue them, it is cleare proofe of his excellēt glorie aboue all crea­tures. So I say here we must note that yt holie ghost attributeth this to the Angels, as their highe ho­nour, that they are ministring spirites, wherin let vs wel consider what it is to serue the liuing God, and how truely it is said his seruice is perfect freedome. If he be an Angel, hee hath no greater glorie: and who are wee, and what are our fathers houses, that can fancie vnto our selues more honour, then to feare before God, and walke obediently in his com­maundements? Howe many times doe Abraham, Isaak, Iacob, Iosue, Moses, Dauid, and all the good kings of Iudah, how many times doe they intitle them selues the sonne of GOD? how many times doth God shewe foorth his great loue and fauour vnto diuerse men vnder this name, to call them his seruants? Or who was euer heard of except Sena­charib, or Pharaoh, or men like vnto them, that would boast otherwise and say: Who is the Lord that I should heare his voice, I knowe not the Lorde, neither will I let his people go.

Praye (dearely beloued) that wee may haue eyes to see, and cares to heare, and hearts to vnder­stand, vnto what honour in this day we bee called: [Page 53] for most assuredly true it is, and all the Angels of heauen beare wittnes vnto it, that in the world there is no greater glorie, then to serue the Lord. If thou were as highe as the Prophet Dauid, yet Dauid had no greater glory to boast of then this, Behold Lord for Psal. 116. 16. I am thy seruant, I am thy seruat, & the sonne of thine hand maide. Or if thou were a king aboue all kinges, full of wisedome, riches, honor, as Solomon king of Is­rael: yet to be the seruaunt of the Lorde were thy greatest dignitie, & aboue titles of kingdomes and Eccle. 11. countries, this were most honourable: Solomon the preacher, the sonne of Dauid.

Yea the Angels of whom we speake, they haue al their glorious names, of Thrones, Powers, Rules, Principalities, Dominions, in this respect, that they be the seruantes of the Lorde, to execute these his mightie workinges: and take away from them this seruice of God, you take away the honour of their highe calling. So assuredly we may beleeue & con­fesse it boldly, that amōg men there is no other ho­nour but this. If God haue made my life to abound in worldly peace, the crowne and beautie of mine honour is to serue the Lord. If God haue giuen me trouble in the dayes of my vanitie, this is cōfort y­nough, that I am the seruaunt of the Lord. Be our life as it will, either high or lowe, the only fruit of it is the seruice of God: & the onely hurt that can ap­proch vnto vs, is to forget the Lord, whose seruants we should haue bene: and let vs so much more con­stantly dwell in this persuasion of heart, because we haue heard that the Lord hath spoken it, there is no [Page 54] greater glorie, no not in his Angels, then to serue be­fore him.

Of the nature of angels as they are here described, by the grace of God I shall say more in the latter end of this Chap. Now let vs pray, that as we haue learned, so we may follow, acknowledging the glo­rie of our Sauiour Christ, and what the honour of his kingdome is: and desire grace that we may be founde woorthie to be labourers in that excellent worke, in which God hath appointed to glorifie his sonne, and that we may serue him in holinesse and righteousnes all the dayes of our life, who is only al the hope we haue, and shall in his good time fill our life with his owne presence, and satisfie our eyes with the sight of his maiestie. And the same onely and liuing God giue vs his holy spirite in which we may be comforted, to liue in his loue, to walke in his wayes, and to account al the world but vanitie, in respect of the inheritaunce purchased vnto vs in the Lorde Iesu, the onely forgiuer of al our sinnes: to whome with the Father and the holy Ghost, be honour and glorie worlde without ende,


The fourth Lecture, vpon the 8. and 9. verses.

8 But vnto the sonne he saith, O God, thy throue is for euer and euer: the scepter of thy kingdome is a scepter of righteousnesse.

9 Thou hast loued righteousnes, and hated iniquitie. Wher­fore God, euen thy God, hath annoynted thee with the oyle of gladnesse aboue thy fellowes.

NOw the Apostle beginneth the third comparison, according to the title before. Bearing vp all things with his mightie power: which set­teth out the kingdome of Christ, so that the comparison is: Christe is an eternall king, so is no Angel: therefore he is to be honoured aboue them. Thus hauing made mention of his kingdome, then he describeth it more at large, bothe to shewe what his kingdome is, and to make it more plaine, that though we could imagine easily, that Angels in ho­nour deserued the name of Kings: yet such a king­dome no Angel could euer haue. An euerlasting throne, a righteous scepter, exalting trueth, beating downe iniquitie: in worthinesse whereof, GOD hath annoynted this King with gladnesse aboue all other, and hath called him by the name of GOD himselfe.

Heere the Iewes, whome God hath shut vp in a heauie iudgement, and for the first centempt of [Page 56] his Gospell, keepeth them stil in blindenesse vntill this day, they as they seeke busily all wayes of er­rour to deceiue them selues: so they haue blinded their eyes, that they should not vnderstand this pro­phesie. And first, where it is said: Thy throne O God: They say, the name, GOD, is likewise attributed to men, as they occupie any rome appointed them of God, as where this same prophet saith: I haue said, you be Gods: whiche meaneth, that they haue com­maundement Psal. 82. 6. from God to execute his iudgement. But the Iewe, if he had not chaunged his heart, and turned it away from wisedome to follie, hee might haue knowen, that though this name be also giuen to Angels or iudges, yet it is giuen, not to one but to manie: so that in their number it is manifest, that it is a figuratiue speeche. Or if it be giuen to one, it hath some addition, as where it is saide to Moses: I haue made thee Pharaoes God: limiting the name to a certeine sense, but thus attributed to one, without a­ny correction of speache, it was neuer but to God alone. Againe, they say all this Psalme is of Solo­mon: and therefore beeing true in him, it cannot proue any diuinitie in Christ: but this errour is euē as grosse as the other. For how so euer this is true, that the Psalme was written as a wedding song of ioy, at the marriage of Solomon with Pharaoes daughter: yet this is knowen and manifest, that in the stories of those men whiche were figures of Christe, something is euer spoken not agreeing to the figure, but to Christe alone, that we might bee bolde to applie it vnto him. Neither yet can this [Page 57] Psalme possibly be written of that mariage of So­lomon, simply in it selfe. For when the Prophet be­ginneth: my hart breaketh out into a good matter: howe can this praise, or this earnest desire of the Prophet agree to it, which was contrarie to the lawe of God, and of it selfe could neuer be good? What had the Kings of Israel to doe with Idolaters, and blasphemers, to marrie their daughters? & no doubt as Solomon was a most famous prince: so the glo­rie of the world did here lead him. For Aegypt was the greatest Monarchie in the world, and Pharaoh the mightiest King: so that his daughter giuen to king Solomon, was the princeliest marriage that could be made, but that it displesed God, it is cleare: for bothe his generall lawe is against it, and this is particularly alledged in the causes of Solomons ru­ine. Exo. [...]4. 16. Deu. 7. 3. 1. Reg. 1. 1. And though this Psalme were now to wishe prosperitie and peace vnto it, what then? who will dispute with the Lorde for turning all thinges to the best to those that loue him? so when Solomons hautinesse had done this, what though God would except her after the renouncing of all her idolatries, when as the lawe saith, she had shauen her head, and Deu. [...]. 1. 2. pared her nayles, and forgot her fathers house? what though he would haue her a figure of the honoura­ble calling of the Gentiles, and shewe then in her, that though he gaue his lawes to Iacob, yet he was a God in all the earth, all that proueth nothing, but Solomon might do yll still: & this wedding song was made, not for him, but for another whome hee figured. [Page 58] But let these Iewish quarels againste the trueth a­lone, and let vs examine the text heere as it is, what honour it giueth to Christ, and how by no meanes it can agree to Solomon.

In this scripture there are foure speciall things spoken. First, he is called God alone, as I saide, and without addition: euen as the prophet Esai also cal­leth him the mightie God. By whiche warrant of [...]sa. 9. 6. the Prophets, beeing a moste sure word, the Apo­stles are bolde to giue to our Sauiour Christe, the name and power of the liuing God, as Iohn saith, the worde was God. And Thomas with these wordes confesseth his former vnbelief: My Lord and my God. Iohn. 1. [...]. And S. Iohn in his Epistle saith: Iesus Christe, this Iohn. [...]0 1. Ioh. 5. 20. Rom. 9. 4. is the true God. And Sainct Paule calleth him the God which is for euer to be praysed. And in the Epistle to the Colossians: The fulnesse of the Godhead dwelleth bodi­ly in him. And many other places plaine as these, Col. [...]. 6. grounded vpon this, and such other places of the Prophets before them. And therefore our sauiour Christ him selfe, said vnto these Iewes whiche yet beleeue not: Searche the Scriptures, for they beare wit­nesse of mee.

The second thing heere attributed to Christ is, That his kingdome is euerlasting. So the Prophet Esaie had saide: The increase of his gouernement and peace shall haue no ende. He shal sit vpon the throne of Dauid and vp­pon Esa. 9. 7. his kingdome to order it, and to stablish it with iudge­ment, and with iustice from hencefoorth euen for euer.

The same testimonie the Angel gaue of his kingdome, when hee came to the virgine Marie. [Page 59] The Lord God (saith he) shall giue vnto him the throne of Luke. 1. [...]. Dauid his father: & he shall reigne ouer the house of Iacob for euer, and his kingdome shal haue no ende.

And howe can this be possibly applied vnto Solomon, so directly against the Scripture, that the Gen. 49. scepter should be taken once away, not onely from the house of Solomon, but from all tho tribe of Iu­dah? And howe could they not see with their eyes the ruine of that kingdome, and the throne of So­lomon quite forgotten.

The thirde thing attributed heere to Christ is, y the scepter of righteousnes is the scepter of his kingdome [...] according as the Prophet Dauid saith in an other place: that righteousnesse and iudgement are the foundati­ons Psal. 97. [...] of his throne,

And the meaning of these wordes, is after ex­pressely added: Thou hast loued (saith the Apostle) righteousnesse, and hated iniquitie. This is the scepter of righteousnesse whiche he speaketh of, that is: that his gouernement shalbe without all respect of pen­sons, a ministerie of iustice, and true iudgement, euen according to the will of God his father, with whome there is no acceptation of the person of a man.

And howe can they attribute this to Solomon? They knowe howe Solomon did fall away so farre from righteousnesse, and hated iniquitie so little ere he died, that he became a notable idolater.

And howe was his gouernement in suche iustice, when the whole people came after to Rehoboam his sonne, and saye:

[Page 60] Thy father did make our yoke grieuous, now therefore make thou the grieuous seruitude of thy Father lighter, & we will Reg. 1 [...]. 4. feare thee.

The fourth thing he [...]e spoken of our Sauiour Christ is, y for this cause God had annoynted him with the oyle of gladnes aboue his felowes. For this cause saith the scripture, because thou louedst so muche iustice, what meane they still to thinke here vppon Solo­mon, and of suche reward of his righteous rule, ex­cept they would haue the Scriptures false, that beare witnesse of him. He had turned (as the Prophet sayth) iudgement into wormewoode. And howe standeth it that he was annoynted with the oyle of gladnes: that is, with giftes of the holie Ghost, aboue his fellowes? when many kings of Iudah haue greater praise of God then he: and scarce any did fall from God so grieuously as he. Nowe one refuge behinde, which they think they haue, is nothing at all: they wil say, that all this was spoken in respect of his beginning, in which he was famous, with this oyle of glad­nesse aboue his fellowes, and aboue all the worlde. True it is, in respect of his gouernement at the first, I graunt this might be spoken of him: but are not the wordes plaine, that they are not meant of any that should beginne well, and then fall backe? For saith not the texte, that this scepter of iustice shalbe in his kingdome for euer? Therefore howe so euer Solomon was once honoured aboue all kinges: yet this praise was not his, but anothers, who shoulde for euer abide in his iustice and righteousnesse. So these foure thinges here witnessed of the Prophet: [Page 61] that he is called God, that his kingdome is euerlas­ting, that his gouernment shalbe euer righteous, that he is annoynted with oyle of gladnes aboue al his fe­lowes. All the Iewes in the world cannot see Solo­mon, nor any mortall man in this glasse: but muste needes acknowledge our sauiour Christ, the sonne of God, God and man, the sauiour of the worlde, the King and Priest of his people for euer.

Now further to examin this scripture for our own Which Christ was figured in sinful mē. edifying, let vs marke first how Solomon is set out a figure of Christ, and so singular tokens & shewes of Gods loue and mercie vppon him, that he should resemble his only begoten sonne: notwithstanding a man loaden with sinnes and iniquities: so as few haue appeared more vnrighteous or more vnthank­ful to God. Such an other example almost we haue in Samson, a man ful of infirmities, yet exceedingly beeloued of God, and a liuely figure of his sonne Christe. We learne in this, bothe to knowe our selues and to knowe God. In our selues to truste to nothing, not riches, honour, friendes, strength, authoritie, no not learning, wisedome, gouerne­ment, or any knowledge: for in these both Samson and Solomon haue fallen downe before vs. And if euer man had ben borne yt could haue his happines in him selfe, that man was Solomon, strong in po­wer, rich in treasure, wise in rule, healthful in bodie, sober in affection, abounding in pleasure, what so euer his eyes or eares could desire. No gifte wan­ting in minde, in bodie, in outwarde life, yea more then this, a hart that could measure al the delights of [Page 62] the world to vse them as they are, and se the vanitie that is in them, and confesse that life in immortali­tie is aboue all: yet from al this he falleth when God leaueth him in his owne power, to make trial of his owne strength: for how could fleash and bloud pre­uaile against principalities & the power of darknes? And how could Solomon stande vpright, thoughe his strength had bene double, when Adam him selfe could fall from Paradise. Then let not vs pore crea­tures boast our selues, in whome there is no wise­dome. Come not into this fight in thine owne ar­mour: for where Solomon hath fallen, who soeuer thou art, thou wilt be crushed in pecees: & if in him there was so little help, confesse thou with al hum­blenes of minde, y in thy flesh there is no goodnesse, but put thy trust in the liuing God, by whome thou shalt be able to do all things. And on the other side, seeing the great fallings of Solomon, did not let the good worke of the Lord, but that hee made a man so full of infirmities, so cleare an image of his sonne Christe, and powred all his benefites so plentifully vpon him. Let vs here see the goodnes of God, who hath found a way to burie for euer the sinnes of all his people, and so to forgett them, that they haue none accompt: the figure of Christ was therfore in Solomon, that we should see how grace aboundeth aboue sinne, & how mercie is exalted aboue iudge­ment. In the nature and bodie of Solomon, we see the spirite quenched, grace despised, and iniquitie to haue the vpper hand: in the figure that hee beareth wese the spirit to conquer, righteousnesse to be ex­alted, [Page 63] and a Kingdome of glorie to be set vp for e­uer, that if we should finde in our selues the sinnes of Solomon, yet we might assuredly knowe, they cannot driue away the image of Christe, but he is redie to iustifie al that do beleue, for it is no dout but he in whose person was suche an image of Christe, Christ offred to him againe an image of righteous­nesse, in which he should be presented faultelesse to eternall life.

Now, where Christ is set out thus a King for e­uer, Christe is our lawe­giuer, & his gouern ment is for euer and euer. we are taught not by dayes and times to mea­sure his commaundementes, but to holde them without chaunge, as the gouernment for euer of his eternall kingdome: for it is to to grosse follie for vs to say, he is still our King, if we dare abrogate his lawes: for he is our ruler for euer, and yet without him we will make lawes continually. Was it euer heard, among earthly kinges, that subiects could ei­ther repeale or change their princes lawes? or make lawes without them in their owne kingdome? Or can there be greater treason then to cōspire for such a lewde libertie? Euen so it is with all men and prin­ces in the Churche of Christ. He is our Kinge, he must be our Lawe-giuer, he is King for euer, and his lawes must neuer be chaunged, he is our king a­lone, & without him al the world can make no law. In no cōmon wealth, there was euer law proclamed but in the name of the King: In the Churche of Christ, who shall proclame decrees but in the name of Christ? and therfore expressly Christ taketh vp­on him to be our onely Lawe-giuer.

[Page 64] And all princes, the more godly they bee, the more carefully will take heede to be no lawgiuers in his churche, for matters concerning faith: for that were to giue a lawe vnto him, which none wil do but an­tichriste himselfe.

The Pope stirred vp Charles the fifte and King Henrie the eight, and gaue them for their hire this title, to be called defenders of the faith: a proud bee­quest: and how humbly it was possessed, God doeth know. After that king Henrie taking vnto him the courage of a true and naturall king draue out that spirituall tyrante out of all his Realme, and by graūt of the clergie & cōsent of the parleament toke vpō him the name of supreme head of the church of England, which the pope had before vsurped ouer al nations. But seing now it is so, that these names are taken vp and made hereditarie to our Kinges and Queenes, we will not reason of the titles, rather let vs do the duetie of louing subiects, & pray that they may finde grace, by their names to be prouoked more to godlinesse: that in true ioy of heart, they may haue the honour of their calling, and hold fast a good conscience against the day of Christe. This onely we testifie to all potentates and princes, that what honourable titles so euer they haue: yet they must be subiect in the Churche, and haue Christe alone to be king ouer it. Let them make no lawes, appoint no orders, ordeine no gouernement, but such as are agreeable with his lawes, orders, and go­uernement. For that were sacrilege, and it is the presumption of the man of Rome: but let them ex­secute [Page 65] the lawes of Christ, see his orders kept, esta­blishe the gouernement which he hath ordeined, & holde men of al degrees in obedience vnto God: for this is the true honour of the Lordes chosen Prin­ces, and the glorie of their calling, which shall not wither.

And now to the end we may the more willingly do this, both we and our kings, whom God hath set ouer vs: let vs marke this further which the Apostle addeth of our Sauiour Christe, that His scepter is a scepter of righteousnesse: meaning (as I saide) that his gouernement is all in trueth and righteousnesse. A good reason, and a great persuasion to all that are of God, why we shoulde let Christ alone with the ordering of his Church. His scepter is a scepter of righteousnesse, not only a righteous scepter, that is, that whatsoeuer he ordeineth it is righteous, but the scepter of righteousnesse, that is, whatsoeuer is righ­teous, is ordeined of him: and all spirituall scepters of all kings, which are not directed by him, they are crooked & broken, scepters of superstition, & scep­ters of idolatrie, there is none of righteousnesse but onely the scepter of Iesu Christ. The scepter is a lit­tle wand which Princes haue accustomed to beare in their left hand, and it is a signe of their gouern­mēt, & by a Metonymie it signifieth here the gouern­ment it selfe. Now the scepter of Christe is as his kingdome is, not a scepter of wood or metall like o­ther kings, for his kingdome is not of this world as theirs is: but his scepter the Prophet Esaie in plaine words describeth it. He shall smite the earth (saith he) [Page 66] with the scepter of his mouth & with the breath of his lipps shal he kil the vngodly. In which wordes of ye Prophet we see, both what is this scepter, and why it hath the name of righteousnesse: the scepter is the worde of his mouth, that is, the preaching of the Gospel, not decrees, nor decretalls, nor traditions of men, nor vnwriten verities: by none of al these we haue recei­ued the spirit of God: but onely by hearing faithe preached, it therefore alone is the scepter. Heere tell me (dearely beloued) I wil aske no harde question, but a thing which your eyes haue seene, and your bands haue handled. Tell me what kingdome is the Popes? Or whence is it? Is it Christs? Then the pre­ching of the Gospel is the scepter of it, and the scep­ter bearers are in euerie congregation the pastors & teachers: by the Gospel preached it bindeth and lo­seth, by the Gospel preached it ruleth ouer vs, by the Gospel preached it teacheth faith, it ordeineth reli­gion, it ministreth Sacraments: by the Gospel it be­getteth vs, by the Gospel it nourisheth vs, and in the hope of the Gospel it layes vs downe in peace. If it haue another scepter then this, then it is an other kingdome then that of Christ. If the scepter be the Canon lawe, & the scepter bearers their Cardinals and clergie lords, their chauncellers, and commis­saries, and other men that wee knowe not. If they binde and loose by pardons and bulls. If they teach a faith solded vp (as they terme it) in an idle fancie, that we must beleeue as the Churche doth beleeue, and the Church beleeueth as we do beleeue, when neither our Church nor we can tel what we beleue. [Page 67] If they teache vs to worship after the traditions of men. If it feed vs vp in the hope of the Church of Rome. If it lay vs downe at last in an vnknowen purgatorie, whether this be the scepter, iudge you: and if it be, I assure you in the worde of trueth, the Apostle and Prophet bothe witnessing with mee, this kingdome is a kingdome of darknesse: a king­dome of sinne, and it shall returne to the shape of his first beginning. The kingdome of Christ shalbe euer knowen, by the scepter of the onelie Gospell preached and practised in it.

Now, why is this called the scepter of righteous­nesse? Because saith the prophet it killeth the vngod­lie, the same exposition the Apostle immediately addeth. Thou haste loued righteousnesse, and hatediniqui­ [...]ie: therefore it is called a scepter of righteousnesse, because it maketh the faithful righteous, & destroy­eth the sinners from the face of the earth. In this sense Saint Peter calleth it the seed of regeneration, be­cause 1. Pet. 1. 25. by it we be begotten a-new, into the image of God, which is in righteousnesse. So that heere we know whether we be of the Kingdome of Christ, euen by the scepter by whiche we be ruled. If the knowledge of the Gospel of Christ haue refourmed vs into a newe image, to bee holie, as our Sauiour Christ is holie, that by his spirit the worlde be cru­cified vnto vs, and we vnto the worlde, then haue we our enfranchisement in this kingdome: if not, though we dwell in the mids of the Sanctuarie, yet were we straungers from the lawe that came out of mount Sion.

[Page 68] And though we were baptised with all the water in the sea, or as the Prophet saith, though we wash our selues with Nitre and take much Sope, yet our ini­quities are marked before the Lord: except we fele the forgiuenesse of our sinnes, in the righteousnesse and holinesse of this kingdome of Christe. And what madnes can be like vnto it, to flatter my selfe, as if I had my portion among the electe of God, and yet dwell in tabernacles of the Children of the diuell, that is I meane, & yet walke in all the sinnes of a corruptible man? Are not Gods children his Sainctes? be they not brought vnto him with the scepter of righteousnes? doth hee not keepe them with the seale of his holie spirite? If I see no good workes in my hands, if I know neuer that the prea­ching of the gospel killed concupiscence in me, and made me hunger and thirst after righteousnesse, if I feele not the spirite of God to sanctifie more and more my heart & al mine affections, how can I say I am the childe of God? No, no, talke while thou wilte, vse thy libertie, say thou art a Protestant, re­nounce the Pope, except thou loue righteousnesse euen as thou louest thy soule, & reioycest in weldo­ing as in thy life, thou hast bene but an idle hearer of the worde of trueth. Godlinesse is not made of wordes, as a wood is made of trees, but it is an ear­nest loue, proceeding from a pure heart, and a good conscience, and an vnfeigned faith, in whiche wee may glorifie God, and do good to his people. Paule was godlie, when he gloried in nothing but in the crosse of Iesu Christe, by which the worlde was­crucified Gal. 6. 14. [Page 69] vnto him, and he vnto the world. They are godlesse Hypocrites, which in worde confesse they knowe God, but in deedes denie him. They Tit. 1. [...]6. are Christs which haue crucified the fleshe with the affections & concupiscēce of it, they are of their fa­ther Galat. 5. 24 the diuell, that in wickednesse do the desires of the diuell. Let vs then learne (dearely beloued) in Iohn. 8. 44 good time to be wise: when we were in ignorance, then we walked in the woorkes of darkenesse, now we haue vnderstanding, let vs walke as the children of the light, & if we take the gospel into our mouth: let vs knowe, it is a scepter of righteousnesse to re­forme our life: and whosoeuer he be that hath cho­sen Galat. 6. 15. this portion, peace be vpō him & vpon the Isra­el of God: and he that withdraweth himselfe from this purpose, euen as the Apostle after saithe: Let our Hebr. 10. 3 [...]. soules haue no pleasure in him.

And here let vs also marke howe the Apostle setteth out this righteousnesse of Christ. Thou hast (saith he) loued righteousnesse and hated iniquitie. This is generall in all duetie which we do vnto God, to loue the obedience with all our heart and soule, and to detest and hate all the transgression and sinne. So the Prophet Dauid saith: I hate vaine inuentions, but thy law I loue: & againe: thy law I loue, but I hate fal­shod Psal. 119. 1 [...] ▪ & 163. & abhorre it. Euē so must we hate iniquitie if we loue righteousnesse, and abhorre falshod if we loue the trueth: and this is that eternall lawe whiche God gaue from the beginning. I will, saith he, set e­nimitie betweene thee and the woman and be­tweene thy seede & her seede. But O Lord, what a [Page 70] rebellious people are we? where God hath com­maunded all concorde, and bound vs together in all bonds of vnitie, One bodie, one spirite, one hope of our cal­ling, one Lord, one faith, one Baptisme, one God the father of vs all: yet al these bondes we breake in sunder: & an­ger, hatred, reprochful words, quarels, wounds, mur­ders, euerie cursed thing, but we reach our hands vn to it: to make strife one with another, and disanull the agreement which God hath made: on the other side, touching the workes of darkenes, we wil walke in them: and though God hath separated them from vs, as heauen from hell, or Christe from Belial, and hath made the hatred of them perpetuall to vs and our posteritie, yet we thinke as the Prophet sayth: to make a league with death, and to beat agreement with hel, we will follow our fleshly concupiscence, as though there were no lorde to controll vs, and we will not hate sinne at all. A corrupt nature, to loue that which we are bid hate, and hate that which we are bid loue, but a more corrupt affection, if we giue place to these desires, and are well pleased to loue them still.

It followeth in the end of this seuenth verse, thy God hath annoynted thee with the oyle of gladnes aboue thy felowes. In this we may learne an other notable cause why we shoulde acknowledge Christ our onely King and Law-giuer: Because he is thus annoyn­ted, that is, in him dwelleth all fulnesse of grace, and the treasures of all wisdome and knowledge are hid in him: so that leaue him, leaue his lawes, leaue his scepter, we leaue instruction, we leaue righteous­nesse, [Page 71] we leaue eternall life. And heere note that the oyle of gladnesse is the giftes of the spirite of God: gladnesse to our selues, because it filleth vs with ioy in the Lord: and gladnesse to other, because it pow­reth grace into our lips, to cōfort the weak harted, & to make vs a swete sauour of life vnto life, to all that hearken vnto vs. The heart of earth y is dry and ba­ren, and beareth no ioyful fruite of the Lord God, this oyle of gladnes hath not yet softened it to make it a fertile soile for the seede of the worde of God. And the carelesse man, of a dull spirite, that is not touched with his brothers sinning, but letteth him alone in his vncleanesse, to sinck or swim, to stand or fall, to liue or die: and all that vse companie only for worldly pleasure, without regarde of swea­ring, lying, backbiting, idle talke, wantonnesse, or what soeuer: what gladnesse receiue other by their admonitions & exhortations? Or how can they say this sweete oyle is in their heartes? Let no man de­ceiue him selfe, God is not mocked. Hee that is of Christ hath a care to bring other vnto Christe, hee hateth the iniquitie of all men, and giueth comforte to manie with the oyle of gladnesse, of whiche hee hath receiued. And thus farre of these verses. Now let vs pray to god our heauenly father, that we may be taught of his spirit, that like as he in his vnspeak­able wisdome and mercie, hath giuen vnto vs his owne sonne to be a Sauiour, to establish vnto him a perpetuall Kingdome, that our libertie might bee defended with his strong hande, and to make vs partakers of all his benefites, by rulinge vs with [Page 72] his scepter of righteousnesse, that is, filling vs with a holie knowledge of his Gospell to loue righteous­nesse, to hate iniquitie: and by giuing vs of his ful­nesse, that we should receiue grace for grace, & haue a hapie measure of the oyle of gladnes, with which he was annoynted: so according to these his great mercies towarde vs, let vs pray: and the Lorde graunt vs, that wee may finde fauour in his sight, to imbrace his sonne alone, to follow his wayes, to loue his trueth, to set out his honour, and to finishe our weary pilgrimage in his seruice, to the profit of our brethren, & strengthening of our faith, through Iesus Christe our onely Sauiour, to whome, with the father &c.

¶ The fift Lecture, vpon the 10. 11. & 12. verses.

10 And thou, Lord, in the beginning haste established the earth, and the heauens are the works of thine hands.

11 They shall perish, but thou doest remaine: and they all shall waxe olde as doeth a garment.

12 And as a vesture shalt thou folde them vp, and they shall be chaunged: but thou art the same, and thy yeeres shall not faile.

THE Apostle goeth forward as be­fore, and heere addeth the fourth comparison, in exalting Christe a­boue Angels. And hee maketh this comparison according to the title before giuen him, that by him [Page 73] the worlde was made, and it is this. The sonne of God, our Messias, of whome we speake: he made the worlde, and ruleth it as he will, and wil abolish it in the time appointed, him selfe being vnchange­able in all his wayes: which is a glorie farre aboue al that the scripture attributeth vnto angels. Touching this scripture here alledged, how it may be applied to Christ: it is certeine, that the Psalme according as the title is, was a prayer of the afflicted Churche, most like when it was in the captiuitie of Babylon, bothe because of the great complaint of the singular miserie which they suffered, & because they in their prayer alledge the appointed time of deliuerance to Iere. 29. [...] bee come vpon them, which was only of the capti­uitie of Babylon: to which God had appointed by his prophet Ieremie 70. yeres. Now that captiuitie being a figure of our captiuitie vnder sathan: ye Pro­phets fortelling that deliuerie, sawe also in spirite the deliuerie which we should al haue vnder Christ. And accordingly the spirite so spake in the Pro­phets, that something was so proper to Christ figu­red, as it must needes be referred to him, and not ap­plied to any figure. And this is generall in all the ex­presse figures of our Sauiour Christe, who so euer were the men, or what soeuer were the blessings that GOD brought vppon his people, because in Iesu Christe, all his promises had their trueth and accomplishement: therefore hee is some way so described, that the people must needes be lead to acknowledge still the couenaunt which they had in him. So in this captiuitie of Babylon, the Prophet [Page 74] Ieremie foretelleth their deliuerie thus: that they shal returne to serue God and Dauid their King: Dauid bee­ing Ier. 30. 9. Iere. 23. 6. Eze. 37. 14. before dead. And againe: He would raise vp to Da­uid a righteous braunch, whome they should call, the Lorde our righteousnesse: which must needs be meant of the Messias, whome they looked for to be the sonne of Dauid: and expressely he noteth their returne into the fauour of GOD, with the same wordes, with which God maketh with vs his new testament, in Iesu Christe, that God wil be our God, and we shal be his people. He will forgiue their sinnes and ini­quities, they shalbe all taught of God. Euen so heere in this Psalme the prophet sore telling their returne from Babylon, fore-seeth the redemption that is in Christ, and breaketh out in complaint of his shorte life: because he should not tarrie to see the day: and to comfort him selfe againe, speaketh out in spirite what ioy and gladnesse he sawe in Christ, and how glorious a God he is, and so vttereth the wordes here alledged: And thou in the beginning, O Lorde, didst lay the foundations of the earth, & the workes of thy hands are the heauens &c. And heere these words: He laide the foundations of the earth, and the Heauens are the work of his hands: are spoken according to our infirmitie, which knowe no buildings but by foun­dations, nor can make any great workes without our hands: otherwise it is certeine, the earth hath no foundations, nor no handes could make y heauens, but al was made & consisteth by the power of God. Thus we haue heard, what argument the Apostle heere vseth & how this text is applied vnto Christ.

Now, touching the wordes, where the Prophet [Page 75] saith: And thou Lord, the Apostle is a good expositor that this is spoken to the Sonne of God, to whome he attributeth the original and cause of making the worlde. A place most worthie to be diligently mar­ked: for it giueth clearely vnto Christ the fullnesse of ye godhead, according to the article of our crede, I beleue in God the father almightie maker of heauē & earth. And all Arrians, olde and newe, which so long haue blasphemed the Sonne of God, and made him but a seruant in the creation of the world, because many times the Scripture sayth: By him God made the world: if they heare this spoken to that sonne: And thou Lord in the beginning didst lay the foundati­ons of the earthe: they will ceasse to blaspheme, and confesse he is God to be blessed for euer. And where it is saide: that God the Father, by him made the world: that phrase of speache diminisheth not his glorie, but rather testifieth it more clearely. For we haue saide before: that Christ is the s [...]ning brightnesse of the glorie of his father, that is: the person in ye Deitie, by whome onely the eternall wisedome of GOD could make his maiestie shine vpō any creature: nei­ther was it euer possible, that any creature shonlde shewe forth the goodnesse of God, but onely by the person of the sonne. And therefore, when the name of God, or creation of the worlde, is giuen vnto the Sonne, as here we see: we doe humbly confesse and adore the vnitie of the Godhead that is really in him. When it is attributed to the father, as he that by his Sonne hath made all these things, we acknowledge the properties of y persons, the fa­ther dwelling in light which none cā approch vnto, [Page 76] a founteine and head-spring of immortall glorie. And the sonne, the shining brightnes of that glorie, by whome it is made knowen of men and Angels: so, when we say: we belieue in God the Father Al­mightie, who made the worlde: we acknowledge the goodnesse and mercie, by which the world was made, originaly to dwel in the person of the Father: when we say the worlde was made by the Sonne, we acknowledge the wisdome of God, by whiche the thing was wrought, and the glorie of it impar­ted vnto vs, to be in the person of the sonne: as like­wise, wheresoeuer the holy Ghost is mentioned in Esa. 40. 13. Psal. 33. 6. this worke: we acknowledge the vertue and power giuen to all creatures, both for their continuance, & for the efficacie, to be of the person of the holie Ghost: and where the creation is attributed to all, Father, Sonne and holie Ghost, we confesse the vni­tie of the Godhead, in the distinction of persons, which now we see in faith, and wherein we reioyce in hope, which shal neuer be confounded, but shalbe made perfect, when this mortalitie shall put on im­mortalitie, and we shall see God as he is.

Where it is said further: God laide the foundations of the earth, and the heauens are the workes of his handes. We must consider, the creation of the world is thus attributed to God, not onely because all things were made by him: but because he hath so made them, that they carrie a marke imprinted in them, of the power and Godhead of the Creator. Thus he meaneth, when he sayeth: the Heauens are the workes of thy handes. Euen as the Prophet sayeth: [Page 77] The heauens declare the glorie of God, and the firmament Psal. 19. 1. sheweth his hand [...]e worke. Day vnto day vttereth speache, and night vnto night openeth knowledge. And heere we Wee must acknow­ledge the glorie of God in his workes. must learne according as the works of God are thus before vs, so to beholde them and take the pleasure of thē, that we giue glorie to God in all that he hath done. When I see the heauens: I must see his great­nesse, who was able to set such a couering ouer the earth. When I behold the earth: I must behold his prouidēce, who hath ordeined such a place of nou­rishment for all creatures. When I looke vpon the vnchangeable course in which all things are establi­shed: I must loke vpon his cōstant wisdōe & good­nesse: who in a stedfast purpose hath extended his mercies ouer all his workes. In the least of all the creatures of GOD, when I see wisedome, power, glorie, more then all the worlde can reache their hands vnto: let mee humble my selfe vnder his high maiestie, before whome no King, no Prince, no power of the world hath any account: but all nations before him are as nothing, and they are ac­counted Esa. 40. 17. vnto him lesse then nothing, and lighter then vanitie it selfe. Thus God hath shewed him selfe in his creatures, and euen as S. Paule saith: his inuisible things hee hath made manifest in them, both his eternall power and his Godhead, that they might be without excuse, all that will not honour him. Let vs therefore (dearely beloued) forget now the times of ignoraunce, and at last be wise hearted, to reade the bookes which GOD hath written in great letters, and layde open before vs, in all his [Page 78] workes: let vs see his glorie. Thus did the Prophet Esaie before vs, as in the 40. chapter of his prophe­sie, we read: Who hath measured the waters with his fist: and compassed heaven with his spanne: who is he hath com­prehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mounteines in a weight, and the hilles in a balance? No­thing in the worlde, no not the verie dust of the earth, could come in the prophets eyes, but he could see in it a great worke of the Lorde. Sainct Paule saith: God left not him self without witnesse amōg men, euen when the times were moste blinde. For Act. 14. as much as hee gaue vnto them from heauen rayne and fruiteful times: for who is hee that maketh the rayne to fall, & the Sunne to haue his course of shi­ning? Who hideth the treasures of the snow, & brin geth foorth the hoare frostes? Who couereth the Heauen with cloudes, and bringeth foorth the windes out of their places? Who maketh the sea to roare with the greate noyse of the waues, and maketh it calme againe, as if it had not beene mo­ued? What Princes, what hostes of men, though al the worlde woulde ioyne their strength together, can doe the least of these things? Nay, if all nations should bende them selues together, they can not hurt sea, land, ayre, cloudes, elementes, day, night, summer, winter, nor any thinge that God hath es­tablished for euer: but in euery one of these is the strength which cannot be resisted. The ayre can in­fect all fleash: the earth swallowe it vp: the Sunne burne it with heate: the frost kill it with colde: the thunder and lightning do make affraide all the ty­rants [Page 79] amoung men. Nay, we may learne in the plagues of Aegypt, howe the moste vile things can make ashamed all the children of pride. And why then do we not learne in all that we see, to confesse y greatnes of the Lord? Why doth not the strength of his workes make vs confesse his power: and all the delight that we haue in them, why doth it not make vs acknowledge all his goodnesse to the chil­drē of men? The prophet Dauid saith: When I be­holde the Heauens whiche are the workes of thy hands: the Moone and the starres, which thou hast ordeined: what is man, say I, that thou art mindeful of him: or the sonne of man, that thou so regardest him? Our Sauiour Christ saith: when we see how God feedeth the sparowes, and cloatheth the Lilies: we are a faithlesse people, except we see his proui­dence ouer vs, to feede vs, and to cloath vs in all our necessities. And sure the trueth is, except I see with such eyes the creatures of God, I am become a crea­ture degenerate from that image, in whiche I was first fourmed. If I see nothing in the heauens, but that they are light, & aboue my reache: the horse & mule see this as well as I. If I see nothing in the earth, but a place to walke in, or to take my rest vp­on it: the beastes and foules see this as well as I. If I see nothing in my gorgeous apparell, but pride of a goodlie colour: the Peacock seeth that in her fea­thers. And if in all my meate and drinke, I knowe nothing but the pleasure and sweetenesse of the taste: the hogge and swyne haue heere as great a portion as wee.

[Page 80] To be short, if hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, feeling, be all the delight we can finde in the workes of God: we haue giuen our preeminence to the dumbe creatures, which haue these senses more ex­qisite then wee: and we haue turned the heartes of men into the heartes of beastes, who with wise­dome, prudence, vnderstanding, knowledge, & rea­son can do nothing. And the wordes of the prophet are fulfilled in vs: Man, when he was in honour had no vnderstanding, he was compared to the bruite beastes, and was made like vnto them. I speake this with the more wordes, and the more earnestly, that you might see and detest the shame of some, who do not onely, not see in the creatures of God, the glorie of God to feare before him, and to giue him honour: but quite contrarie in all his creatures, they prophane his name, which eate till they surfeit, and drinke till they be drunken: who put on pride with all their apparell, and make their lands and houses priuiledged places for muche iniquitie, which fill their mouthes with cursed swearing, euen in the sight of the Sunne, and commit their whoredomes, and feare not at the darkenesse of the night. Flee (dearely beloued) farre from suche: hate them (as the prophet saith) with perfect hatred al their assem­blies. The earth that mourneth vnder the burden of them, one day will spue them out, and the creatures which they hold in this miserable bondage of sinne, one day God will heare their sighes, and they shall giue a speedie witnesse against their oppressers.

And thus much of the creatures of God, which here [Page 81] are saide to be made by the sonne of God, and to be the workes of his hands.

An other thing heere we haue to consider, that the Apostle teacheth the excellencie of Christ in respect of his continuance, before whome, the heauen and earth are but a moment: for so in this comparison, he speaketh of their age, as a thing of nothing, They shall perish, they shal waxe old as a garment, they shalbe fol­ded vp as a vesture: making al the continuance of the heauen to be vanitie, and of none account: for al­though it may seme he might haue made this com­parison with things of a more expresse shewe of va­nitie then a garment, as to haue compared them with smoke, with the shadowe of smoke, with the dreame of a shadow or such like: yet in comparing the time of the heauens, whiche are so many ages, with a garment which is scace a yeare, it is as cleare a testimonie al is nothing, as if al were not a minute of an houre. Besides this, the cause of this compari­son with a garment, was the similitude in whiche God hath sette the Heauens, who hath spred them like a corteine, and made them as a couering to all his creatures: it was not to make the comparison lesse in shewe of their vanitie. Then heere let vs be wise hearted as the prophet was, as oft as our hope is before our eyes, to see our Sauiour Christ liuing for euer: let vs not only cōfesse that our owne age is no­thing in respect of him, but let vs boldly continue euen the continuance of the heauens, and account all thing nothing that hathe an ende: for let the dayes be neuer so manie, whiche you can call into [Page 82] account and multiplie yeares into the longest con­tinuaunce which your thoughtes can comprehende, that thousand thousandes be before you, and tenne thousand thousandes are in your minde, with one worde you shall confute them all, & with the breath of your mouth you may blowe them away: and, as the prophet sayth, make them all as a garment that is rent and worne: for reckon vp all thy thou­sandes that thou canst, and put this worde, (Past,) vnto them, and where are they nowe become? a thousand thousand thousand yeares past, what are they?

And if time be such a tyrant, to breake the delight of ye long age of the verie heauens, that the wise hart of a man doth say, euen they are vanitie, & wax old as doth a garment: what foolishnesse hath wrapped vp all our vnderstanding? and what blindnesse is in our hearts, that we see not our owne life, what it is? Not one of a hundred that hath three score and tenne yeares, and of those a great parte are slept out, so that we feele them not, and a greate parte consumed with sorrow, either in losse of credit: or feare of punishment: or paine of sicknesse: or griefe of our labour: or pensmenesse of our wants: or an­guishe of our desires: or at least, euen with a weari­nesse of time it selfe: so that of three score and tenne yeares, let him speake that can glorie most, and he shall finde that in them all, he hath scarce tenne full yeares of pleasure: and this verie pleasure, euen then, when it is greatest, what is it? Surely suche as if hee [Page 83] loke downe into his owne thoughts, he should say in the mids of it, his heart is heauie.

And shall yet this life, so short, so troublesome, so without pleasure, so fast holde vs bounde with blinde desire, that we neither long for nor looke af­ter Iesu Christ, who liueth euer, and hath cast forth of his presence all sinne, and sorrowe, and deathe it selfe?

Could the Prophet so shewe him in immortalitie & all his elect with him in the glorie of his father, that he bewayled the vanitie of his owne life, yea though it should haue lasted as long as the heauens, and while the Sunne and Moone endureth, though he should haue abiden king of Israel, was al this vn­to him as a shadowe or an idle dreame in compari­son of Christe who is for euer, and whose yeares shall neuer faile? And shall we think wee haue the spirite of God or any portion in Iesu Christe, who in his euerlasting continuaunce, cannot finde such pleasure as in our visard of vaine life, that souden­ly appeareth and is no more? who in the glorie of his presence, and maiestie of his Father, can see no such delighte, as in carding, diceing, daunsing, and such like works of reproche and shame, and horri­rible confusion?

Nay, I will tell you (dearelie beloued,) and I will tell you true: your owne eyes and eares shall beare witnesse with mee that I lie not.

These men that thus serue in the vile bondage of these pastimes, they carrie with them, the badge and cognisaunce of another maister then of [Page 84] the liuing God: for tell me, from morning to night are not their mouthes full of adulterie, of wrath, of hatred, and swearing without shame [...], in whiche God is dishonoured, and the crosse of his Sonne Christ made despised? Then doubt not what these men do, nor what maister they serue, but pray that God may haue mercie vppon them, as vppon vs this day, who loue not their delights, that they may repent, and withdrawe them selues from the snare of the diuell, in which they bee holden, according to his will, and begin while yet it is good time, to despise this, and regarde the life of Christe, in com­parison of which they may say with the Prophet: The Heauens shall perish and consume as a garment, but thy yeeres (O Lord) they haue no end.

One other thing foloweth in the Prophet, which the Apostle reciteth not, but for our times it hath a verie good instruction: the Prophet thus conclu­deth: The children of thy seruants shall continue, and their seed [...] shal stand fast in thy sight: because Christ had ioy­ned his Church to himselfe, he the head & they the bodie, by him who endured longer then the Hea­uens, the Prophet knew his people could neuer pe­rishe: and in his thought, if the Prophet had com­fort against the tyrannie of the kingdome of Baby­lon, what comforte may we haue now against the enimies of the church of Christ?

They thinke they be many, & strong, and rich, and wise, and they will preuaile: their Pope shall vp againe, they will haue Masse, they will exalte the Church of Rome: they will become slaues to a [Page 85] vile person as they were before: they will do, I can­not tell what. Alas poore soules, how fast they hold a lye in their right hand! The shame that they seeke for they shall neuer finde. For what are they? Or what is their strength? How much are they better then grasse, or then the flower in the field? What is their life more then a vapour, or then a smoke that vanisheth away? yet they boast them selues against the Church of Christ, which is knit vnto the sonne of God, liueth in his life, standeth in his strength, whose right hand hath made all thinges, and whose yeres endure for euermore: while we trust in this, our hope is sure, and all our enimies shalbe asha­med. And let vs pray, that it would please God our heauenly father, of his great goodnesse, to haue mer­cie vpon vs, that by his spirit the eyes of our mindes may be lightened, to see what great Saluation he hath giuen vnto vs in Iesu Christ: who is his onely sonne: heire of althings: creator of the world: who ruleth and gouerneth all things: and shall shewe vs his glorie in immortalitie, when all these creatures shall haue their [...]haunge. And the Lord graunt that in these dayes of our vanitie, while yet we are wal­king to the day of rest, we may in the meane sea­son, see his grace and glorie in all his creatures, in whiche we haue our pleasure, that we may enioye them to his praise, and with wise heartes measu­ring his times who shall endure for euer, when all these thinges are past, we may mourne in spirite, to see the time approch, when we with him shall bothe [Page 86] see and inherite his immortalitie, through his sonne Iesu Christ, who hath purchased it for vs, and with his mightie power, will keepe vs in safetie vnto it, against that day: to whom with the father and the holie Ghost, our onely comforter, beal honour and glorie, nowe and euer,


The sixte lecture, vpon the 13. and 14. verses.

13 Vnto whiche also of the Angels, saide he at any time? Sitt at my right hand, till I make thine e­nimies thy foote stoole.

14 Are they not all ministring spirit [...]s, sent forth to minister, for their sakes which shalbe heires of saluation?

NOWE the Apostle maketh the fifte comparison betweene the Angels, and our Sauiour Christe: in which it is plaine, he is exalted aboue all Angels: And this com­parison is out of the saying of the Prophet: Sitt on my right hand vntill I make thine enimies thy foote stoole. A singular honour aboue all that euer Angel had: for it signifieth, that God hath taken him into the fellowship of glo­rie, and giuen him all power, in Heauen and in [Page 87] earth.

Touching this Psalme, as it is moste true: so it is confessed of all, that it is a prophesie of our Saui­our Christ, how he should be King of his Church, and vtterly subuert all his enimies, and be our priest after the order of Melchisedech: who should bring an end to the priesthood of Leuie: and according to this meaning of the Prophet, so the Apostle al­ledgeth this sentence, for proofe of this excellencie of the sonne of God aboue all Angels.

And with this testimonie, our Sauiour Christe him selfe confuteth the Phariseis, when they deny­ed his diuinitie, resoning of the force of this word, LORD, because the comparison then was with Dauid.

These wordes of the Apostle: To which of the Angels said hee at any time &c. they shewe plainely, what glorie it is to sitt on the right hand of GOD. For when the Apostle sayth: The like was neuer said to Angels, that is: such glorie was neuer giuen them: what can it else meane, but that Christe is confessed to be one God with his father? Or what can we vnderstand to be higher then all Angels, but God alone?

If the right hand of God could signifie his pre­sence, the Angels are in his presence: and of them, thousand thousandes are before him: and as our Sauiour Christ saith, They see the face of our heauenly father. If his right hand could signifie the fruition or sight of his glorie: the Angels are all blessed [Page 88] spirites, and see his glorie euen as it is.

If his right hand did signifie any inferiour po­wer, though it were greater then all the worlde, such power haue also Angels: so that one of them haue smitten whole armies of men, and whole Countries: and therefore bee they also called prin­cipalities and powers, because no strength in the world can resist them. But seeing his right hand no­teth vnto vs, that honour whiche neuer Angel was receiued vnto and aboue the angels we know none but God alone: therefore, the Scripture speaketh plainely, in setting Christe on the right hand of his fa­ther, farre aboue Angels: that he is one God and e­quall with his father. Besides this, sith it is saide, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enimies thy foote­stoole: it is plaine, that this is the right hand of God, the power of God giuen vnto Christe, in which he shall ouercome all his enimies: and sith this is the ende of that glorie, that glorie is nothing but the power by which this is brought to passe, and when this shalbe accomplished, that all his enimies shalbe confounded, then this shall bee finished: for him to sitt on the right hand of his father: not that Christ shall ceasse to be equal with his father, but that this kingdome of Christ our mediatour betweene God and vs, in which he keepeth vs: that shall cease, and he shall giue it vp vnto his father, and God shall be vnto vs, all in all.

And thus farre of all these honourable titles gi­uen vnto Christ: in all which the Apostle proueth [Page 89] him greater then all Angels. The first is, that hee is called the naturall sonne of God. The second, that the Angels haue commaundement to worship him. The third, that he is a King of glorie, reigning for euer in trueth and righteousnesse. The fourth, that he is Creatour of the world, and indureth when the world shall perish. And fiftly, that he sitteth on the right hand of high maiestie: all whiche are proper titles to the sonne of God, and greater then can be giuen to any Angel: and therefore Christ to be ex­alted aboue them all.

Now in the 14. verse following, on the contrarie parte the Apostle setteth downe, what is the proper glorie of Angels, that by plaine comparison, this dignitie of Christ might more appeare: and so of Angels he addeth, that they be all ministring spirits, sent out for the safetie of those whiche shall inhe­rite saluation. Where he calleth them ministring spirites, according to the testimonie of Dauid be­fore alledged: He maketh his Angels spirits, and his mi­nisters a fl [...] of fire, which bothe names, spirites and ministers, the one of nature, the other of office, he bringeth thus into the proper definition, that they be ministring spirites. And because the ministerie of any creature may be in diuerse things, therefore to take away this vncerteintie, wherein their mini­sterie should be, hee addeth streight: that they are ministers for the safetie of Gods electe. So setting out a perfect definition of an Angel, fully compre­hending all that wee can, or ought to knowe of [Page 90] those blessed spirites I for all their glorie is compre­hended in the nature of a spirite: and the prayse which continually they sing vnto God, is compre­hended in their ministerie: for they are named mi­nisters, according to Gods ordinaunce, and good pleasure, so that with continuall praise and thankes­giuing, and reioycing in the Lorde, they doe their worke as after their example we make our prayer: Thy will be done in earth, us it is in Heauen. Now vpon this definition of Angels, and the former testimo­nies of the great glorie of the sonne of God our Sa­uiour Iesus Christ, by good comparison the Apo­stles conclusion is plaine and manifeste that seeing our Sauiour Christ is so exalted, euen aboue the an­gels, in all the honour of a King, a Priest, a Prophet, wee ought much more so to acknowledge him a­boue Moses, aboue Aaron, aboue all Temple, sanc­tuarie, mercie seate, and all ordinances of the lawe, that he might be alone our onely health and salua­tion. And thus hee finisheth this first Chapter, in which I saide, he setteth out the person of Christe according to his Godhead, bodily dwelling within him.

Now, touching the wordes, what we haue to note of this, where he saith: to which of the angels saide he at any time: I then sufficiently declared vn­to you, as God gaue me grace, when I expounded the v. verse. Likewise of Christes sitting at the right hand of God I spake more fully, expounding the third verse.

[Page 91] Where it is here added: Till I make thine enimies thy foote stoole: The Apostle Sainct Paule, speaking 1. Cor. 15. 23. of this victorie of Christ, he saith: He shall abolish all rule, and authoritie, and power: noting, as he faith in an other place, that we wrestle not against flesh and bloud, but against principalities and powers, against worldly rulers of this darkenesse, against spirituall wickednesse in high places: Ephes. 6. wherein we see, of what force and strength our eni­mies are.

And because he saith: The last enimie shalbe a­bolished, Continual enimies to the church & of great strength. which is death, we see, that there shall ne­uer want enimies to the Churche: whereby wee shoulde be prouoked, in regarde of our continuall daunger, to be euer watchinge: and because of our stronge enimies, onely to put our truste in Christe.

And here (I beseech you) let our hearts be in out owne wayes, and of our naturall life, let vs learne wisdome, least we be also vpbraided of our Sauiour Christ, that we can discerne the face of the earth, & Luke. 12. 54. of the skie, but we can not iudge of our selues what is right.

Tell me, who of vs hauing a long iourney, by many theeues and wilde beastes, or passing the roc­kie seas in great and violent stormes, though lie es­cape a place or two, where no theefe is, not a [...]ye beaste hath molested him: yet at euerie place of daunger, his feare is still renued: And thoughe he haue passed many highe surges, and deepe gulphes of water, yet at euerie waue, hee is [Page 92] still affraide: not carelesse, because he hath passed farre: but still carefull, because there is more be­hinde: and this wisedome we vse, because we know we may as well fall toward our iourneyes end, and as well bee drowned before the hauens mouthe, as when we first began our daungerous voyage. Euen so with the Church of Christ in which this day we confesse our selues to haue our portion: from the first day of her peregrination in earth till her last en­traunce into glorie, there is a perpetuall hatred be­tweene the serpent and her head, and betweene the seede of the serpent and her children, in which strife euerie one of vs particularly haue our fight, so that from our mothers wombe, till we lie downe in the graue, our life is a warrefare vpon earth. No age, no condition of life, no day, no night, but brings his e­nimie with him, and the same enimie armed with sinne and death, as well against the man of an hun­dred yeares olde, as against the childe that is newe borne: and as well we may fall into condemnation through apostasie of old & croked age, as through concupiscence and pride of youth. And if at any time we become secure, like a carelesse people who haue our senses dulled with an idle dreame of peace, it is not because webe out of danger, but according to the parable in the gospel, The strong man hath posses­sed a [...] & therfore al things seme to be so safe & sure. Let vs therefore be wise, & shake off the weight of this dull sluggishnes, which presseth vs downe, that with attentiue eares wee may willingely heare [Page 93] his louing counsell, who one day will breake the strongest head of all our enimies. Hee biddeth vs watche and pray, because wee knowe not the day nor yet the houre: and so much the rather let vs doe it: because we stand not in danger of robbing, or drowning, or tearing with wilde beastes: which yet would make vs affraide, though death should end our miserie: but we stand in daunger of grea­ter calamities, when death shalbe abolished, whether we shalbe accursed in eternall fire, or whether wee shalbe the blessed of the Lorde. And as the perill is great, so we haue heard the enimies are strong, and such as before whome we are verie cowards: for be we otherwise neuer so valiaunt to indure paine, to quarell, to fight, to despise any daunger, as it is the manner of a great many ruffians in deed: but men of good courage they would bee called: bring mee one of them in battell against these enimies: wee haue to striue against pride, against concupiscence, against idle games, against all sinne, and thou shalte see no boy, no woman, no sickeman so verie a co­warde: he hath not the heart to strike one blowe, but yeeldeth him selfe a slaue, and is led away as an oxe to the slaughter-house. Let vs therefore watch: Let vs pray: for in this dangerous battell, in which these strong men are verie cowardes, what can we do? Euen let vs denie our selues, and trust vnto him that sitteth on the right hand of his father, and hee shall make all our enimies our footestoole.

And this word we must not lightly passe ouer: for it noteth a certeine & great confusion vpon the [Page 94] enimies of Christe: forthough it be sometime ho­nour to be named the Lords footestole, as where it is saide: Heauen is my throne, and the earth is my foote­stoole. Esa. 66.. And especially in the lamentations of Iere­mie, where he saith, The Lord hath darkened the daugh­ter of Sion, and throwne downe the beautie of Israel, and hath not remēbred his footstole. Yet in this place, where Lamto. 2. 1. it is spokē of Gods enimies, it noteth their extreme ruine and shame, euen as of those, whome wee doe stamp vnder our feete.

An example of this we haue in the Iewes: whose name was once so honourable? how doe the Pro­phets glorie of the house of Iudah? yet since they haue taken vp this enimitie against Christ, and sett them selues against his Churche and people, they haue had experience of the Lordes right hand, and their name is a name of shame and ignominie ouer all the worlde.

An other example we haue of Rome: what citie had once such honour? & what name was of more renowne? yet since it hath beene the seate of Anti­christe, enimie to the sonne of God and to his Gos­pell: as she hath filled her selfe with all abhominati­ons, so God hath troaden her vnder feete, and (as the Prophet sayth) shee hath left her name as a curse Esa. 65. 15. vnto the chosen of the Lord: that I assure you, in my eares, & in the eares (I am sure) of many thou­sands moe, the citie of Rome is a citie of contempt, of ignoraunce, of sinne, like a deade stock, whose sweete blossomes and pleasaunt fruite is withered and worne away, And her roote (as the Prophet saith) Esa 5. 24. [Page 95] is rottennesse, and her bud as the dust: and suche shal bee the ende of all the enimies of the Sonne of God.

Nowe followeth in the last verse this definition of Angels, whereof we spake before: in whiche we learne and so confesse, that they are ministring spi­rites, sent out for our safetie and defence: so that hereafter, whosoeuer will dispute with vs aboute Angels, with one worde we will answer him, and cut off all curiositie. This we knowe, and we know it onely, and who so euer knoweth more, hee knoweth nothing but the vanitie of his owne minde.

Angels are spirites, whiche serue the Lorde▪ for his Churches safetie. If yet we wil be vaine still, and thinke: yea, but what are Archangels, principali­ties, powers, rules, thrones, dominions? What are Cherubim and Seraphim? All these, how so euer they be called in diuerse respectes diuersly, they are all Angels in condition and nature, as they are so here defined. For if any Archangel, throne, or do­minion, or any other name that is named, were any way greater then an Angel, all this disputation of the Apostle were nothing worth: for how could it proue the excellencie of Christ aboue all creatures, because he is greater then Angels? If Cherubim or Seraphim, or any Archangel were also greater then an Angel? And therefore that the reason of the A­postle may be (as it is) strong and vnanswerable, we must confesse, all blessed spirits whatsoeuer they be, they be all this, and this is their glorie, that they be▪ Gods ministers, for the safetie of his children.

[Page 96] This doctrine the Prophet Dauid teacheth also ve­rie plainely in the 34. Psalme: The Angel of the Lord pitcheth roūd about thē that feare him & deliuereth them. Psal. 34. 8. And againe in the 91. Psalme: He shall giue his An­gels charge ouer thee, to kepe thee in all thy ways: they shal Psal. 91. 11. beare thee in their hāds, that thou hurt not thy foote against a stone. And according as this is Gods worde, and his promise: so we haue many examples, howe he hathe at all times iustified his faith in the perfour­mance of it, that we might not stagger in this doc­trine of Angels. The Patriarches, the people of Is­rael, the Prophets, the Apostles, and Saincts of the new Testament, our Sauiour Christ himselfe: we haue seene howe the Angels haue beene with them in daungerous times, and ministred the help of God vnto them.

Now touching the manner how the Angels of God execute this ministerie, euen as it is not harde vnto the Lorde in the battels of men to saue with manie or with fewe: so God sendeth out his angels, more or lesse, euē as he wil, that it might be known the power is the Lords. When Iacob feared before his brother Esau, God sendeth to him an hoast of Gen. 31. 2. angels to comfort him. When Eliseus was besett with the great hoast of the king of Syria, & his ser­uant 2. Reg. 6. 17 was now exceedingly affraide, Eliseus prayed to haue his eyes opened, that he might see the helpe of God, which was present with them, and hee sawe immediately the mounteine full of horses and cha­riots rounde about Eliseus, which were Gods An­gels sent for the Prophets safegarde. When our [Page 97] Sauiour Christ is in distresse and anguish, God sen­deth many Angels which doe minister vnto him. Matth. 4. 11 And so he testifieth of the vsuall work of God com­mon to all his sainctes, and applieth it particularly vnto himselfe, in reproouing Peter, who woulde needs drawe his sword to mainteine his cause. Thin­kest thou (saith he) that I can not now pray vnto my father & he wil giue me moe then twelue legions of Angels? And as thus God sendeth out a great multitude, for the saftie of one: so contrariwise, sometime he appoin­teth but one for the saftie of manie. So God sent an Angel to deliuer Israel out of Aegypt, and to guide Frod. 23. 2 [...] Num. 20. 16 them throughe the terrible wildernesse: and euer after in all their troubles, when they called vppon Esa. 63. 9. him, the Angel of his presence (as y prophet Esai saith) was their deliuerer: and when they should enter the Exod. 33. [...]. lande of promise, God sent an Angel to driue out the Canaanites before them. When the armie of y king of Ashur came and besieged Ierusalem, God sent an Angel, who deliuered the Citie and in one 2. Reg. 19. 35 night slew, 185000. of the Assyrians. When Dauid 1. Cro. 21. 16. numbered the people, and procured the wrathe of God: God sent an Angel into Ierusalem, who slew with the pestilence. 70000. of the people. So we haue many examples where, vpon occasion, to one man God sendeth one Angel: euen as it is saide of one that he came to comfort our Sauiour Christ in Luke. 22. 43 the garden. To Lot God sent two angels. So to the womē that came to the graue of our sauiour Christ two Angels appeared, & tolde them he was risen a­gaine. When the Apostles looked after our Sauiour Luke. 24. 5 [Page 98] Christ at his ascension into heauen, two Angels ap­peared vnto them, to teache them what they had to Actes. 1. 10. do. When God would destroy Sodome and Go­morth, he sent three Angels to Abraham to tell him Gen. 18. of it. In the vision that Ezechiel had of the destruc­tion of the citie, God sendeth out sixe Angels to ex­ecute Ezech 9. 1. that iudgement. And why is all this diuersitie? to the end (no doubt) we should not be curious, but rest in the doctrine which the Lord taught vs, that the Angels are his ministers, for their safetie who shall inherite his Kingdome.

Against this doctrine, as many haue offended: so among all, there is none which haue sunken down so deepe in folie, as the Papists haue done. First they haue made to euerie countrie a peculiar and proper Angel: a thing altogether strange from the word of God, & a meere imagination of their owne heade: And the reason wherewith some would proue it, is nothing worthe, thoughe I graunt some Godlie men doe not vtterly reiect it: for they say there is named in Daniel, the Prince of Persia, the Prince of Dan. 10. 13. Graecia, meaning the Angels, particular gouernours of those countries. In deede the Aramites might so haue vnderstoode it, which did thinke, there were some Gods of the mounteines, other some of the vallies: but Christian men that reade the Prophets, shoulde knowe that in the nexte Chapter, Daniel him selfe expoundeth, that those Princes were the Kings of those coūtries. And in deed this is not the opinion of the Prophets or of the Prophets childrē: but it came first from the olde idolatrous Gentiles, [Page 99] who from the beginning had this fancie, and made Noe him selfe whom they called Vertumnus to be Var. lib. 1. de ling. lat. the Angel, or countrie God of Hetruria, and from that day to euerie nation, they made euery patrone euen as they would.

Againe, they teache that particular men haue their particular Angels: one good, an other bad: and some good men dare not vtterlie condemne this opinion: but sure to mee it is an heresie not muche vnlike the M [...]nicheies, who taught that euery man was violently drawen to do good or euil by a good spirit or euil, which equallie of them selues had rule in man: for what vanitie is it, when I knowe that Gods commaundement is to all his Angels to haue charge ouer me, for mee to seeke whether any one haue a particular charge! Or what comforte can I haue in it, except I think Gods cōmaundements are some of light accompt, some in earnest? Or except I thinke it is with Angels as it is with men, that which is cared for of all is cared for of none? Be­sides this, it is a thing not agreeing to the similitude of God & of his Saintes: for Gods loue is one ouer all with out respect of persons, and our duetie is to all our fleash, of what nation or countrie so euer it be. A difference (I graunt) there is, of magistrates, pa­rents, maisters, kinsfolke, &c. whiche maketh our fault more or lesse: but this onely is according to the age of men, a thing not incidēt vnto Angels. But they haue also reasons to proue this is true: and first they alledge that Christ saith of his little ones, their Angels see all wayes the face of my father [Page 100] which is in heauen: therfore euerie one hath his an­gel. I meruel wise men can like of this reason: for seing they argue vpon this, because they are called their Angels, and are so named because of the mi­nisterie which they haue for their safetie, may not these woordes as well stand, though the Angels bee apointed al ouer all, as if they had charge euery one ouer one? Nay doth not the scripture thus expound it, when it sayth of euerie one of those little ones, when they turne from their sinnes, that all the An­gels reioyce at it? But an other reason they haue, where the disciples being astonished at the newes of Peters comming, as they are amased, they say it is not he, it is his Angel. Sure this must needes bee a slender trueth that hath no better proofe then the Disciples wordes: when they are amased & know not what they say. So we might proue that Saintes might dwell in Tabernacles: because Peter saide Lorde let vs make Tabernacles, one for Moses, an other for Elias. So we might think that dead men walke, because the Disciples astonished at the sight of men, thought somtime that they were goastes. If it be saide, yet they spake after common opinion of men, be it so: so was it the common opinion, that deade men did walke, as appeareth by Herode, who thought our Sauiour Christ was Iohn Baptist risen againe from the dead. And what if that place were as cleare as they could wishe it, why mighte I not expound it, it is his Angel, that is, some Angel which God hath sent for his deliuerance, this being according to the scripture, more then that to haue it [Page 101] his peculiar Angel: but let this goe an errour as it is, had it neuer so great patrones: and let it appeare more manifest by the errour which it draweth with it, that likewise euerie man hath an euill Angel: for what reason hath that when we know that into one was a Legion entred? Let this also therefore goe, e­uen to the Gentiles from whom it came. The first authour of it, that I read of, was Empedocles the Plut. in vita M. Anton [...]. Philosopher, who as (Plutarch sayth) taught it, that euerie man had two Angels, one good, another bad: and the Grecians haue a common verse which they vse in manner of a prouerbe: Euerie man hath his owne Angel to be the [...] of all his life. And so when Brutus was slaine, the night before one ap­peared Plu. de ani­mi tranqu. vnto him, and saide: I am thine euill Angel ô B [...]utus. But beside these things which I confesse, some wisemen haue beleeued, the papists haue gone much further, and haue tolde vs of the shape and fi­gure of Angels: what colour they haue: how bigge they be: of how many orders: what difference of each degree: and many other things which I meane not here to touch, as things more worthie to be for­gotten for euer, then once with good reason to bee confuted.

For if Moses by inspiration knowing the origi­nall of the world, how it was: yet had it not reuea­led what to write of Angels. If Stephan, that sawe ye heauens open: yet saw not these orders of Angels what they were. If Paule, who was taken vp in the third heauens, sawe yet so litle of Angels, that who so euer will teach so curiously of them, he saith they [Page 102] be puft vp of a fleshly minde, to speake of thinges which they neuer sawe. If Iohn in all his high reue­lation, had no suche knowledge reuealed of An­gels: Col. 2. 18. who is the Pope, or what is his parentage, that in these thinges we should beleeue him? In deede, to get him credit in greater folie then this, that vnchast counsell of Laterane writeth: that the Pope hath Sess. 10. authoritie ouer all powers in Heauen: But all the worlde knoweth now, suche witnesses haue taught their tounges to lye.

One doubte may heere arise, touching the de­grees of Angels, because they will seeme to alledge scripture for it. And first they saye: The Prophet Ezechiel describing the glorie of the King of Ty­rus, he nameth nine precious stones, which are in his garment: in which place, he nameth the same King Cherub, comparing him with the Angels: therefore these stones signifie nine orders of An­gels.

The second reason is, that there be nine seuerall names, with which Angels are called in y scripture: principalities, rules, powers, dominions, thrones, Cherubim, Seraphim, Angels, & archangels: there­fore there be nine orders.

A thirde reason they drawe out of this, because there is named Angel and Archangel: in whiche names, is manifest difference of degree: therefore there are nine diuerse orders of Angels. Touching the first argument of the nine precious stones of the King of Tyrus, it is nothing but follie: for what though he were compared to Angels in glorie, be­cause [Page 103] his garment was full of precious stones, doth it therefore followe, that as many kinde of stones as were in his gowne, so many orders there should be of Angels?

If I sawe a man cloathed in riche colours, and many iewels about him: so that I would say, hee shineth like the Sunne: must it needes followe that as many colours as are about him, so many colours are in the Sunne? But the thing is all false, the king is not compared there to Angels: but because the Cherubims that couered the Mercie seate, were of beaten Golde and excellent woorkemanshipp, with them that King is compared, and called the coue­ring and the annoynted Cherub: so that the nine precious stones muste bee nine orders of Cheru­bims vpon the mercie seate, or nine orders of cloa­thing.

Nowe, where they say, there are nine seuerall names of them: therefore nine orders.

First, that is false: for heere the Apostle out of the Prophet, alledgeth two names more: spirites, and flaming fire. They are called in Iob, ye sonnes of God: so by this accompt there must be twelue or­ders of Angels. Or if they will say, these names are common to all Angels: so is (I am sure) the name Angel, whiche yet they make one particu­lar order: therefore, if the communitie of the name take away the particular order, then are there but eight orders: if not, then are there twelue.

But touching these names, it is no doubt, they are so named according to our vnderstāding: as we see [Page 104] the great glorie & power of God to appere in them, that we might giue him the praise of his work, and not imagine so precisely, a iust number of the or­ders of Angels. And this is most cleare in Paule him selfe, when he had reckoned vp principalities, rules, powers, dominions, hee addeth: And euery name that is named in this world, or in the world to come: a cleare sentence of his owne modestie, in confessing a holie ignorance of the state of Angels: and such as should moue vs to sobrietie, to say with S. Augustine, The difference of these degrees I con­fesse I knowe not: if any man will say he knoweth it, let him speak: but let him proue that he speaketh. And in dede, very reason inforceth thus much, that none knoweth the difference: for the names are such as we cannot make any good distinction betweene them: and the same names are giuen also to the di­uels, that we should be sure, they note no order, but Ephe 6. 12. Col. 2. 16. rather signifie the power that is in them. Now, for their third argument, that there are Angels and Ar­changels, manifest wordes of degree: first this wan­teth much in accompt to make ix. orders: then I say, and it can hardly bee confuted, that wheresoe­uer the name Archangel is mentioned, it signifieth our Sauiour Christ, and no creature. Or, if it be at­tributed to a creature, he that in one work is called an Angel, in another woorke of greater glorie in our eyes, he may be there called an Archangel: yet I wil not define any thing, neither dare I affirme, that all Gods Angels are of equall glorie. I haue not climed into the Heauens, to knowe such thinges: [Page 105] but this I knowe, that all this proueth nothing a di­uersitie of thus manie orders. Therefore, now to leaue to speake of things vnprofitable to seeke after: let vs see, what true comfort God giueth vs in this place.

The Angels, of whome so muche we haue spo­ken, and whose honour is such, that seeing our Sa­uiour Christ exceedeth them, the Apostle here pro­ueth, he is the GOD of glorie. In that, I say, these Angels serue for our safetie: how great is our saftie? And what shall we render vnto God for this salua­tion? It were exceeding loue, to giue to any man a garde of men about him: it were more to giue him a garde of princes. But what are men? what are prin­ces? what are Kinges in respect of Angels, whome God hath made to pitche about vs? Not one of vs this day, that are Christes, but haue his Angels to keepe vs in our way. What princes glorie can now dazell our eyes, except we knowe not our selues? Howe can wee enuie earthly blessinges of houses, lands, seruaunts, to abound vnto our brethren, ex­cept we be ignoraunt what God hath done for vs? How can we fil our liues with any straunge concu­piscence of thinges whiche God hath holden back from vs, if we beleeue what excellent treasure of his angels he hath giuen vs? If his Angels be ours, how truely may we say with Paule: Let vs not hereafter glorie in men: for whether if be Paule, or whether Apollo, or whether Cephas: whether it bee the 1. Cor. 3. 12. worlde, whether life or else death: whether they be things present, or else to come: all is oures.

[Page 106] And why should we now feare to be shodd with the preparation of the Gospel of peace, and go bold­ly whether trueth, fayth, holinesse, duetie calleth vs? What if the world breake with hatred, or men swell in malice againste vs, are the Angels driuen back with vaine threatenings? Or, what if we doe fall before the enimie and he preuaile against vs (as it happened to our Sauiour Christ him selfe) is this a want in Angels that watch ouer vs? Or is it not ra­ther the good wil of God, that we should dye with Christ, the sooner to reigne with him?

Last of all, now let vs knowe how this glorie is giuen vs: not of our selues, but as wee are members of Christ: for to him it doth properly belong, who is our head. He is the ladder which Iacob sawe in a Gen. 28. 12. dreame, reaching from Heauen to Earth: and the Angels ascending and descending by it, as him selfe plainely expoundeth it, saying to Nathaniel, that he should see the heauens open, and the Angels ascen­ding and descending vppon the sonne of man: so that this honour is ours, as we be Christes: to him it apperteineth, and to vs it is giuen, as we be made mēbers of his bodie by faith. And thus far of angels.

Nowe let vs praye, that it would please God our heauenly father, of his gratious goodnesse, to ligh­ten our vnderstanding into all knowledge & wis­dome of his worde, that we may be carefull because of our enimies, lest at any time we fall into tempta­tion: and that we may be bolde in Iesu Christ, who sitteth at the right hand of his father, till he make all our enimies his fotestoole: and who hath giuen [Page 107] vs his good guard of Angels, that we might see his loue, and know our honour, that so we may con­secrate our selues to set forth his praise, and walke before him in holinesse & righteousnes al the dayes of our life, who is our only Sauiour, to whom with the father & the holie ghost be glorie for euer,


The seuenth Lecture, vpon the 1. 2. 3. & 4. verses of the 2. chapter.

1 WHerefore, we ought diligently to giue heede to the things which we haue heard, least at any time we runne out.

2 For if the word spoken by Angels was stedfast, and euerie trangression and disobedience receiued a iust recompence of rewarde.

3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great saluati­on, which at the first began to bee preached by the Lorde, and afterward was confirmed vnto vs by them that heard him.

4 God bearing witnesse thereto, bothe with signes & wonders, and with diuerse miracles, and giftes of the holie Ghost, according to his owne will?

WE haue hearde before, howe that the Apostle, after he had sette it downe that Christ was the Pro­phet of the new Testament, that we might truely giue him this glorie, streight hee magnifieth his person by many titles, and by comparison with Angels, proueing vnto vs that he is verie GOD. [Page 108] Now to shewe more clearely, for what purpose all those praises of Christ were rehearsed, himselfe ma­keth his conclusion in the beginning of this second Chapter: that therefore we should most carefully hearken vnto him alone. And this is the first part of this Chapter, before the Apostle came (as I tolde you) to proue that our Sauiour Christ is also perfect man. In this exhortation, first the Apostle setteth downe his doctrine, then his reason by whiche he will persuade vs vnto it: his doctrine is this.

That it behoueth vs now, more carefully to hear­ken to the woordes of Christe, then afore time it behoued our forefathers to hearken to the lawe of Moses. For where he sayth, We ought more diligently: he maketh this comparison plainly with the fathers in the olde lawe in the second verse following. And heere we must wisely consider, why he sayth: We ought to be more carefull then they: not that they might remitt any care: for expresly they are char­ged with all care, to adde nothing, to take away no­thing, to chaunge nothing, not to depart neither to the right hand nor yet to the left, but day and night, at home and abroade, to do always this, to studie it continually without intermission, as appeareth in Deut. 4. 6. & 5. 32. & 6. 6. & 11. 18. & 12. 32. & 28. 14. Ios. 1. 8. & 33. 6. & many other places. Nor it is not saide that we be more bound then they, as thoughe the authoritie of God were changed: but this is spo­ken after our sense, because now Christ hath spoken by himselfe: then by angels: now plainely: then in figures: therefore we ought more carefully to hear­ken, [Page 109] not that all care ought not to be in them as wel as in vs: but because our punish ment shall be more then theirs, euen as we shall be despicers of the grea­ter grace.

After this, the Apostle addeth his reason to per­suade vs to this especiall carefulnesse, aboue all other people, to hearken to the voice of Christe: and that is, of the perill that insueth: Least (saith he) we run out. The Apostle vseth a Metaphore taken of olde tubbes, which runne out at the ioyntes, and can holde no liquour. In such a phrase of speache one sayth of him selfe: I am full of creuisses or little holes, and I flowe out on this side and on that: meaning there­by, that euerie vaine thing whiche hee heard, he would blab it out: so wee, if we take into vs the sweete wine of the word of Christ, as into old bot­tels and broken vessels, that it runne out againe, we become then altogether vnprofitable, all good­nesse falleth away: and we be as water powred vp­on the ground. This Metaphore the woman of Te­koa vsed to Dauid, when in describing an vtter de­solation of the people, she said: We are as water spilt on the ground which cannot be gathered vp againe. And Da­uid him self describing the extremitie of all miserie. 2. Sam. 14. 14. which was come vpon him, he said: I am like water powred out, and all my bones are out of ioynt. Likewise, when he prayeth, yt all the plagues of God may fall vpon the wicked til they be consumed to nothing, Psal. 22. 24. he sayth thus. Let them mealt like the waters, let them passe away. So the Apostle, noting the extreame Psal. 58. 8. perill, and ine [...]table death that is in neglecting the [Page 110] worde of Christe, this glorious sonne of God, he sayeth, Take hede lest we be poured out: meaning as wa­ter powred on the ground, and is neuer after profi­table any more. And if you will see an example, what this flowing away meaneth: beholde the Ie­wes this day, to whome it is threatened: A despised people, whose verie name is as a cursse: so they haue flowed out and are come to ruine: if their example doe make vs wise, then this exhortation of the A­postle is not to vs in vaine.

It followeth in the second & thirde verse: For if the word spoken by Angels &c. saluation. In these words the Apostle aggrauateth his reason, & forceth it the more to feare the people. He vseth to this end an ar­gument of the comparison before made betweene Christ and the Angels: that if the lawe giuen by an­gels, were not broken without seuere punishment, because it was giuen by such glorious spirites: how much more shall we be punished, if we despise this great saluatiō, preached by the sonne of God? That the lawe was giuen by Angels, the scripture heere is plaine. Moses saith of the deliuerie of it: The Lord came with tenne thousand of Saincts. And S. Paule Deu. 33. 3. sayth expressely the same. Gal. 5. 19. And Saint Ste­phan likewise, Act. 7. 53. And how can it be other­wise? For when there was in the mounteine, thun­ders, lightenings, tempestes, fearefull sounds of a trumpet, and the voyce of a man heard: I am the Lord Exod. 19. 16 thy God that brought thee &c. what could this bee but the ministerie of Angels? For it must needes be true, which our sauiour Christ sayth: No man hath heard [Page 111] the voyce of God at any time: Neither then could the Iohn. 5. 37. maiestie of God speake, but the voyce of his mouth would haue shaken vnto nothing, bothe men and mounteine, and all the elementes that were before him. For howe can corruption stande in his pre­sence?

If we doubt because of the wordes, that the voyce sayth: I am the Lord thy God: And againe, in the third of Exodus, it saith: I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaach, the God of Iacob: true it is, that our Sauiour Christ then spake, who is the God of glorie: but he spake not in the voyce of his Godhead, but in the likenesse of an Angel, which he tooke vppon him. For thoughe it be true, that he tooke not the nature of angels, nor was made one of them: yet in his hea­uenly wisedome, he tooke vppon him the likenesse of an Angel, and according to that nature, so spake wordes: so that still this is true: The lawe was gi­uen by Angels.

Where it followeth here, that all transgression of that lawe was punished: no doubte he respec­teth the people of Israel in the wildernesse, where of so manie hundred thousandes, all died in their sinnes, except Caleb and Iosua, who were of an o­ther spirite: which fearefull example of this peo­ple, is likewise alledged by Sainct Paule in the firste to the Corinthians, the tenth Chapter: to admonish the Corinthians, that by their example they should learne.

And where the Apostle addeth, Howe shall wee escape, if we despise so great saluation? howe true [Page 112] this is, we cannot doubt, if we will open our eyes this day, and looke about vs. What is become of the Churches of Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philip­pi, Colossos, Thessalonica: all whiche Paule so highly commendeth? What is become of the chur­ches of Pontus, Cappadocia, Asia, Bithynia, to which Peter writeth? What is become of Smyrna, Pergamus, Thiatyra, Sardis, Philadelphia, Lao­dycea, y churches mentioned in the Apocalypse? In all Asia, Graecia, Macedonia, Syria, Palestina, and many famous countries else, where are nowe their churches? Yea, to come yet nearer home. What is become of the Churches in many Countries and Islands, which our eyes haue seene to flourish? The famous kingdome of Hungarie, the great Coun­trie of Liuonia, howe haue barbarous tyrants layde them waste, that scarce one Church of Christ hath peace within them? These are the punishementes which God hath executed, for the contempt of his Gospell: and our eyes and the eyes of our children this day haue seene it. If we will not be warned, but doe as we do, despise the Gospell, more then all nations round aboute vs: suffer mockers and scor­ners to make their banquets among vs: giue leaue to proude men to haue their pleasures at home: and come not once to the church in xiiii. or xv. yere: let the wolues loose, whose rauening teeth are yet red, and their bellies ful with the bloud of Gods saincts: if we will do greater abhominations then these: I wil not appoint times and seasons, for so God hath not sent me hither a Prophet: but as the scourge will [Page 113] surely come, so I dare boldly say: The wiseman seeth the plague comming and hideth him, but the foole goeth on forward & is snared. It foloweth in the Apostle in the 3. and 4. verse: Which at the first began to be prea­ched, &c.

The Apostle continueth yet his reason, added to this exhortation of taking heed to the Gospel which as he did before, of the excellencie of Christ the tea­cher of it: so repeating that, he addeth also for the more glorie of it, the way and manner in whiche it was taught, respecting heerein the glorious man­ner how the law was giuen, lest thereby any should lesse regarde the Gospel. And this manner of tea­ching he magnifieth, first by the authour, who was no Angel, but the Lord himselfe: then by the minis­sters of it, who were not one, but many: and eue­rie one in as honourable and assured a calling, as Moses himselfe. Thirdly, that the preaching of it was with signes, wonders, powers, and sundrie spe­cial gifts of the holy ghost, euen as it pleased God to distribute them: So that they shalbe without excuse all the despisers of it. Heere some haue thought that this epistle can not be Paules, because he sayth: They which heard this Gospel of Christ himselfe they haue cōfirmed it to vs: which thing Paul neuer saith, but al­ways standeth vpon this, that he receiued it by Re­uelation. This reason is not vnlikely, neither yet is it necessarie: for S. Iude being an Apostle, yet saith: Remember the wordes which before this you haue heard of the Apostles. And as Paul would not light­ly haue spoken it in his owne person, so heere his [Page 114] name beeing concealed, and making him selfe one with those to whome hee writeth, he might well speake it. And it is not to be pretermitted, that he saith not, it was taught vs, but, it was confirmed vn­to vs, which might be said euen of Paule him selfe being confirmed by Ananias, and conferring with Peter, Iames, Iohn, &c. and manie other wayes. Therefore this is a thing still doubtful, and whether it were Paule, or not Paule, we cannot tell. That he sayth heere of signes, woonders, and powers: he calleth miracles, signes, because they were testimo­nies & seales to vs of the doctrine to be from God: hee calleth them woonders, because they were straunge, and shewed an vnwonted woorke, not knowen of men: he calleth them powers, because they had an euident profe of the power of God: the sundrie distributions of the spirite, hee calleth the extraordinarie giftes, which followed those that did heleeue, as our Sauiour Christ promised, & where­of S. Paule speaketh at large, 1. Cor. 12. And thus the Apostle endeth this exhortation; that we would carefully hearken to the Gospell giuen by Christe, Marke. 16 preached by the Apostles, confirmed by the gifts of the holie ghost, whose contempt God our heauenly Father will moste assuredly reuenge.

Now let vs examine againe the words, and ap­plie them to our particular instruction. In the firste verse wher it is said: we ought more diligently to harkē to the things that we haue heard: we learne one lesson ve­rie necessarie for our time, and with which we may stopp the mouths of a great many papists, when we [Page 115] reason with them about the studie of the scriptures, howe all men ought to knowe them, if we alledge the moste cleare places, as in the vj. of Deuter. These Deu. 6. 6. words shalbe in thine hart: Thou shalt rehearse them to thy children: thou shalt talke of them at home in thy house, and when thou art in thy way, when thou liest down, & whē thou risest vp: Thou shalt binde them for a signe vpon thy hands, and they shall be as a frontlet betweene thine eyes. Thou shalt write thē in the entrie of thine house, and graue them vpon thy gates. These and such like places, they haue learned thus to answere: All that was ment in y olde lawe: now Christ hath giuen the holie ghost to the church, and it can not erre, therefore we must heare her. Whether this be not wilfully to be blind & see nothing, nowe iudge, when you heare the Apostle making comparison, namely betweene our fathers of the olde testament and vs, he sayth: that wee are more bounde to the doctrine taught by Christe in his gospel, then all our fathers to the law of Moses. But they say, God hath giuen his holie spirit to the church, to guide it in all trueth. First I answere, this helpeth them nothing: for it is a common argu­ment which all sectaries and scismatiques may like wise boast of it. But let them proue first that the church of Rome is the church of Christ. Now tou­ching this gift of Gods spirite, powred vppon vs, I say it is a promise to the particular comforte of euerie one, that wee shall neuer fall from the grace and loue of God: it is not a warrant generally to all, that the church shalbe euer in open rule & gouerne­ment & no blemish within her: for how else could [Page 116] it be true that the scripture sayth, there shalbe an A­postasie of men from the faith: Iniquitie shall haue 2. Thes. 2. Matth. 24. Apoc. 13. the vpper hand: No man shall haue the libertieof his life, but he that taketh on him the marke of the beast. And I would fayne knowe of them, whether the church vnder the law had not also this promise: Saith not God by his Prophet Esaie? My spirit which Esa. 59. 20. is vpon thee, & my words which I wil put in thy mouth shal not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy sede, nor out of the mouth of thy seeds seede after thee frō hence forth for euer more. What a glorious promise is this? Should now the Scribes and Phariseis rise against Christ, as they did, and say they could not erre, they had the holie ghoste, they were the church? Nay, they were not the seed of Esaie, but y seede of mur­derers that killed Esaie & the prophets: so these mē, they are not the children of God, but of the man of sinne, which exalteth him selfe against God: and vn­der pretence of the spirite of God, blasphemeth the Gospell: which onlie the spirit hath taught vs: and that he blasphemeth the gospel, I may say it boldly, and let them blame me if they can: for doth not the Apostle say heere? All our care must be to obey the gospell. And do not they say, that the Pope can dis­pense against the gospel, against the Apostle, against the prophet, against the olde and new testament, a­gainst the law of God and nature? Only one thing can heere possibly bee said: that they doe graunt all this care of the Gospel ought to be had, but the gos­pell say they is not onlie the written word, but ma­nie other vnwritten verities taught by Christe and [Page 117] his Apostles, and therefore we are bound to holde them. I beseeche you (dearely beloued) marke these mens sayinges a little with me, and iudge then with the spirite that God hath giuen you. They say the woord written in deed we must keepe, because it is of God: and so likewise Christe and his Apostles preached things neuer written: whiche yet prea­ched by them, ought to haue the authoritie of Christ himselfe. It cannot be denyed, but what Christ and his Apostles preached, it was the woord of God, equall with all writings of Apostles and Prophets. But tell me, is it the word of Christe wri­ten, that we should not worship Angels: and is it the word of Christ vnwritten, that we should pray Col. 2. vnto them? Is it his word written, that we shoulde not be bound to our forefathers traditions: and is it his woorde vnwritten, that our fathers traditions should be to vs as his Gospel? Is it his worde writ­ten that we shoulde not obserue dayes and times, nor make conscience of meate and drinke: and is it his worde vnwritten that we should kepe Lent, Ad­uent, Imberdayes, make difference of flesh and fishe? 1. Tim. 4. Hebr. 13. Is it his worde written, that to forbidde marriage, which is honourable in all estates, it is the doctrine of diuels: and is it his worde vnwritten, that minis­ters shalbe forbidden to marrie? Is it his word writtē, that fiue words in a knowne tounge are better in the 1. Cor. 14. cōgregatiō, then v. thousand in a straunge language: and is it his worde vnwritten, that in all congregati­ons, they shall haue a straunge language, and speake all in Latine, which the people vnderstand not? Is it [Page 118] his word written, that the dead are blessed which did in the Lord, and they, rest from their labour: and is it his worde vnwritten, that they are tormented in the fire of purgatorie? And yet to come neerer, is it his woorde written, that his ministers shoulde bee subiectes to kings, should be no Lords, should haue Rom. 13. 1 Luke. 22 1. Tim. 5. 1. Pet. 5. no ciuil gouernement, should attende vppon their owne flocke: and is it his worde vnwritten, that the Pope should displace kings, that he should haue a triple crowne, y his bishops, so many should be secu­lar princes, y they should haue more churches vnder thē then euer they once loked on? Hath God writ­ten it, that Christ sacrificed himself once for all, & Hebr. 9. made a perfect redemption: & hath he left it vnwrit­ten, that a shauen priest must sacrifice him euery day and say a masse propitiatorie for the quicke and the dead? What peruersnesse is this of men of a corrupt minde, thus to imagine traditions, contrarie to the worde of God? But I will tell you: Esaie prophesi­ed well of these men, saying: This people draweth nere vnto me with their mouth, and honour me with their lippes, Matth. 15. 8. but their heart is farre from me, but in vaine they woor­ship me, teaching doctrines, which are precepts of men.

They say, if we beleeue no traditions of our Fa­thers, why doe we beleeue this is the Scripture? And heere euerie one obtrudeth S. Augustines say­inge: I would not beleeue the Gospel except the au­thoritie of the Church moued me. If this had beene Augustines meaning, we would haue aunswered him again [...], that we will beleeue the Gospel though all the churches in the world would denie it. But Augustine speaketh in y person of one that yet kno­weth [Page 119] not God, as of him self, when he was a Mani­cheie. To what purpose heere would you alledge Paule or Peter, to one that knoweth not whether Paule or Peter were of Christ or not Therfore how so euer Augustine spake in this, either well or ill, his saying is nothing to our purpose. But touching the scripture, seing these men do cry so lowde, that they can not knowe them but by the church: I say againe Ioh. 10. 27. & 5. to them, that out of their owne mouthes wee may iudge them: for Christ his shepe know his voyce, & do sollowe him, and they do not know the voyce of a straunger, but flee from him. And touching this question, I wil not answere it by S. Augustine, but by a better man. S. Paule answering the like ques­tion, saith thus: In deede our eye hath not seene, nor our 1. Cor. 2. 10. eare hearde, nor our heart conceiued, how to iudge this, but the spirite of GOD hath reuealed it vnto vs. Marke (dearely beloued) the Papistes say, they know the Scriptures, because their eye doeth see where is the sea of Rome, that hath kept them, and so their eares haue heard their fathers say: These are they. But S. Paul saith, their eyes are blind, their eares are deafe, their heart is dull: all these cannot iudge the Scrip­tures. Will they say now vnto S. Paule, then they wil neuer beleeue them, if they cannot know them by the church? Let them rather be wise & learne of Paule, that God hath giuen vs his spirit, by whiche we should know the things that are of God, and of this I dare assure them, they cannot so discerne the light with their eyes, nor any sound with their eares, as they discerne the scriptures by Gods spirit: [Page 120] for if we be regenerate by this spirit, the law of god is not now hid, nor it is not far from vs, y we shuld say: Who shal ascend vp, or who shal descēd down? Deu. 30. 10. but the word is nigh vs, euen in our mouth, that we should speake it: & in our heart, that we should knowe it. With this spirite, the Prophet Dauid sayth: I haue knowē long since by thy testimonies, that thou Psal. 119. [...]52. hast established them for euer. And this spirite maketh vs see in the scriptures a doctrine without all earth­ly thoughts, the wisedome of man boldly troaden downe, more force to moue in plaine speache, then in all the eloquence of Tullie & Demosthenes, a do­ctrine which alone hath stoode euer in honor, whē all other doctrines haue bene worne out with time: a doctrine which hath ben assaulted with ten thou­sand imaginations of men, & yet abideth pure with out all infection of falshood: this the spirite of God makes vs see in the scriptures, more cleere (as I said) then we see the Sunne light with our eyes: and the word of God hath all his credit in it selfe, it needeth not the church, & it wil not haue the Pope to beare witnesse with it. Now (dearely beloued) if any of you feele not this warrant, in reading the worde of God, aske of him that giueth, and vpbraydeth no bodie, and you shall vnderstand all that I haue said. Set your heart vpon it: loue it with all your soule. Chaunge your selues with reading into those affec­tions, in which you see euery place written, and you shall percelue, Solomon is your good warrant. Seeke after wisedome, as you seeke after siluer, and you shall finde it. Thus muche I thought good to say vnto you, [Page 121] by occasion of this earnest exhortation of the Apo­stle to hearken diligently to the Gospel of Christe.

He sayth after: How shall we escape, if wee neglect so great saluation? Let vs note here, that the Apostle cal­leth all transgression of the word of Christ, the neg­lecting of so great saluation. Wee must not looke till men either speake open blasphemie, or doe all things to the open dishonour of God, as men mani­festly giuen vp to reprobate senses. All sinners did neuer fulfill one measure of iniquitie: but we see in the Gospel, as wel he is condemned that hideth his talent in the ground, and doth no good with it: as the other that wasted his maisters goods and liued riottously with drunkards and gluttons. Euen so it is with vs: a great number of vs will not blaspheme the Gospel as Papists do, and call them which pro­fesse nothing but it alone, scismatiques, heretiques, Lutherans. &c. A great number of vs hate the kno­wen sinnes of manie adulterers, drunkards, oppres­sors, dissemblers, flatterers &c. but be not deceiued, surely this is not inough: if we doe but neglect the Gospel, how can wee escape? The lawe giuen by Angels, forbad not only the open breaches of it, but it also required of vs, that we should loue it: that we should delight in it that it should be more deare vn­to vs then all our iewels or other ornaments. How much more the word spoken by the sonne of God, must we not onely, not openly transgresse against it: but also how ought we to loue it, how to delight in it, how to account all things but doung in com­parison of the excellent knowledge of Iesu Christ, [Page 122] that we may know him and the power of his resur­rection and the fellowship of his sufferings, beeing made like vnto his death, trying howe wee may Phil. 3. 10. come to the resurrection of the dead? This (dearely beloued) must be our life, and we must bee as men, who haue both dwelling and freedome in the hea­uenlie Ierusalem, to reioyce in the Lord, & alwayes reioyce. For, if other we be of a dull spirite, that we haue no ioy of our hope, or when we taste a litle, if it be streight forgotten, so that the Prophets words be true in vs: That our righteousnes is as a morning cloud, and as the morning dew it goeth away: it is with vs according to the common prouerb, As good neuer a whit, as neuer the better: and all our Religion is in vaine: for a spirit of slumber hath ouertaken vs. And though we draw not our sinns after vs, as with cart ropes: yet we do neglect the great saluation of Christ. This I say that we might stirre vp the grace of God that is in vs, not once to be negligent in the care of the Gospel: but that it may euer be vnto vs, as it is in deede, a promise of gladnesse, the pleasure of our youth, the comforte of our age, that all our dayes may be in peace.

It followeth in the fourth verse: God bearing wit­nesse vnto it with signes &c. Heere we learne that all signes wrought by God, serue to the setting out of the Gospel.

The Apostle speaketh plaine, and we must needes heare: in all the signes that are wrought by God, he beareth witnesse with them to the Gospell of his sonne. And our sauiour Christ him selfe is the first [Page 123] scholemaister of this doctrine: for when he sendeth out his Apostles to preache, he giueth them their charge to preache: that The kingdome of heauen is at Matth. 10. 8. hande: and he giueth them this warrant of the doc­trine: Heale the sicke, cleanse the lepres, &c. And where Mark. 28. 6. no opportunitie was to teach the doctrine, he giueth them charge there, not to tel of any miracle done: so that assuredly we know, those that are true miracles which strengthen the worde, and all other are illu­sions of Sathan, whose ende is superstition. A no­table testimonie of this trueth, God him selfe gi­ueth in his lawe, where he saith plainely: If a prophet Deut. 13. [...]. come vnto you, and worke signes and woonders, though they haue neuer suche effect, and be vnfeig­ned: yet if that Prophet call you out of the waye in whiche God commaunded you to walke, thou shalt not beleeue that Prophet, but thou shalt sley him: for they are no signes and tokens in whiche thou art iustified: but the word of God is the seede of thy newe birth, and the milke with which thou art nourished to be a perfect man of God.

If signes and woonders carrie away thine eyes, that thou shouldest not see the Gospell: cursed are y signes, & thou too that beleeuest, if thou turne not againe from such snares of Satan. And let vs here (dearely beloued) carefully beware, for our dangers are exceeding: you knowe how the vaine heart of man is not a little moued with euerie shewe of a wonder: if it be but a iuggler, whole heapes will go after him, and be partakers of his sinne.

If there come to passe any vn [...]yonted thing, rumour [Page 124] streight inlargeth it, and carrieth it farre and wyde. The diuel seeing this vanitie of our minde, abuseth streight our foolish simplicitie, and with many idle signes and shewes, he carrieth vs in deede into dead­ly blindenesse. Of this our Sauiour Christ warneth vs, and biddes vs beware: for there shall come decei­uers, Matt. 24. 24. which will shew great signes & wonders, able to seduce, if it were possible, the verie elect. And S. Paule foretelling the cōming of antichrist, he sayth: that through the working of the diuel, he shall shew 2. Thes. 5. 2 9 all power, and signes, and lying wonders. Euen as it was euer from the beginning, so it is: with straunge things we haue beene delighted, and with straunge things we haue ben deceiued. How Iannes & Iam­bres by many miracles helde the people of Aegypt in continuall idolatries, we may see in the booke of Exodus. How the Assyrians & Persians had their soothsayers and charmers, who wrought them mi­racles, and helde them in errour, the scripture in ma­ny places beareth witnesse. And how all nations of the earth by miracles and wonders were made ido­laters, and worshipped before stockes and stones, all stories beare yet record. Augustine saith the Dona­tistes did glorie of their miracles. Ierome saith that the Aegyptians, when they were stung with serpēts, August in Ioh. tract. 13 Iero. in pre­fat. in Iere. Ambros. serm. de Agnes. would go sacrifice at Ieremies sepulchre, and they were healed. Ambrose saith y all mē were healed of all diseases, as many as came to y tumb of S. Agnes: to be short, the fathers themselues here began to bee blind, & their posteritie far exceded thē: til antichrist at last with lying signes got him greate victories: [Page 125] and by such miracles from the top to the toe all standeth. A miracle made S. Peter to be crucified at Rome: for (as Ambrose reporteth it) when he fled away, Christ mett him at y gate, at whose sight Pe­ter beeing astonnished, talked with him, and percei­ued Amb. Epis. 23. Amb. in Psal. 40. that Christ would haue him go back & be cru­cified, and so he dyed at Rome, then because Am­brose saith: Vbi Petrus ibi Ecclesia, Where Peter is there is the church, euer since the Pope hath ben head of the church. When this was gotten by a miracle, then al things came apace by manie miracles: we learned Transubstantiation, & the sacrifice of the masse, prayer for the dead, going a pilgrimage, holie water, holie bread, oyle, candels: to be shorte, all and for euerie point of Poperie sundrie miracles done: yea the ve­rie dregges of miracles, in milkepannes and greasie dishes, by Robin goodfellowe, and Hags, and Fay­ries, all wrought somewhat for their idle superstiti­ons, that at this day we should knowe their myste­ries by their lying woonders. But we know all the miracles of God are to confirme his woorde, other signes neither wee nor our fathers haue knowen none. And now that y vse of miracles is performed vnto vs, and we doe beleeue the Gospell, in token that our saith is accepted of God: now hee hath ta­ken signes from vs, which serued vs before when we were vnbeleuing. And surely our fayth is neuer so honourable, nor God so well pleased with vs, as when we haue said bothe to heauen and earth, wee seeke no signes from them, when the worde of God hath suche a persuasion in our heartes, that wee [Page 126] haue now taken holde of all the good promises of God, and said vnto miracles, Get you hence. The Iewes seeke a signe (saith S. Paule:) surely we that be Christians seeke for none: when they were offe­red of God, he shewed his compassion vpon our in­firmitie, now he hath taken them away, he sheweth greater mercie y he accepteth our faith: and let vs hearken to y word of Christ, by it we shall liue: if we beleue it not, we wold not beleue all miracles in the world, no though dead mē should rise to preach vnto vs. For great miracles haue bene already done, not only by the Apostles, but by Christ him selfe, to confirme his worde: if we beleeue not them, it is to to much childishnesse to think we would beleeue o­ther. Signes were whē doctrine was more obscure: now it is so cleare the signes are gone. The sonne of God once reuenged the transgression of his lawe, with the earth opening, with waters, with fire, with hurlewindes, that the people might feare: he doeth not so now; because his threatnings haue ben heard of all flesh: Go ye cursed into eternall fire: a voyce that pearceth betweene the marowe and the bones, with greater feare then the rage of earth or water. And Christe once shewed louing signes to make his peo­ple put their trust in him: but now he hath spokē in­to our hearts: Come ye blessed of my father into euerlas­ting life: a voyce that goeth deeper into the soule & spirite, then the hearing of all the miracles, by which Israel was lead into the lande of Canaan. And we shal do iniurie to our Sauiour Christ, if now we will aske, that to these wordes he should adde mi­racles: [Page 127] for if we bring saith to that which is spoken, it will fill our hearts with all fulnesse, and will sell the sight of all the miracles in the world, to buy but one graine of a cōstant sayth in Christ, wherin who soeuer shall stumble, let him accuse him selfe if God giu [...] ouer to his owne blindnes, that because he had no loue to beleeue the trueth, therfore he should be ledd with lyes & deceiuable things. Thus much I thought to speak of miracles, that we might be wise to knowe them as they be, and from henceforth for euer put our only trust in the worde of our Sauiour Christ, which only in the world is y power of God to saue all that do beleeue. Now let vs pray, &c.

The eighth Lecture, vpon the 5. 6. 7. 8. verses, vnto: But we yet see, &c.

5 For he hath not put in subiection vnto the Angels the world to come, whereof we speake.

6 But one in a certeine place witnessed, saying: what is man that thou shuldest be mindful of him? or the sonne▪ of man, that thou wouldest consider him?

7 Thou madest him a litle inferiour to the Angels: thou▪ crownedst him with glorie and honour, & hast set him▪ aboue the workes of thy handes.

8 Thou hast put all things in subiection vnder his feete. And in that he hath put all things in subiection vnder▪ him, he left nothing that should not be, &c.

IN the last verse before, the Apostle had saide, that God gaue witnesse to the Gospel of his sonne, with signes & wonders, & diuerse, miracles & gifts of the holie Ghost, according▪ to his owne will.

[Page 128] The words now that followe depend vpon these, as I iudge in this sense: According (I say) to his owne will, for God hath not put in y hands, no not of his An­gels, to dispense the riches of his new testament, to whom they will: but this is the glorie of his sonne, according to the prophesies gon before of him: and therefore let vs carefully hearken vnto his word: So this is an other reason added vnto his exhortation. Now let vs examine his words, to se how this sense is gathered of them. He beginneth: For God hath not submitted to Angels, &c. This word (for) rendreth euer a cause of the speache before: so that here we must needes so referre it: his last woordes were, Accor­ding to his owne will: and why he saide so, he sheweth: because God hathe not giuen it, no not to Angels, that at their will these graces should be dispensed, but onlie by the will of Christe. It followeth, The world to come, of which we speake, whereof the Apostle hath spoken no man can doubt. All his speach hath bene to bring vs vnder the rule & gouernement of Christ: then it is Christs kingdome which heere he calleth The world to come: which is through the power of the spirite to renewe the worlde, to kill in vs the olde man with all his concupiscence, to quicken our soule and bodie into all righteousnesse, to van­quishe sinne, death, hell, and to establishe vs in hope of perpetuall inheritance of the glorie of God. This did our Sauiour Christ perfectly and fully accom­plish in his owne person: and we by the same spirit, euerie one according to the measure which he hath receiued, so he doth shew forth this victorie. Thus [Page 129] the Apostle, when he had mentioned the giftes of Gods spirite, commeth into the speach of the king­dome of Christ, which by the gifts of that spirite is set vp in vs, not according to the will of mā, nor ac­cording to the will of Angels, but as it hath pleased God: & we if we wilbe partakers in it, let vs confesse and serue the Lord Iesu, for he giueth this blessinge to whom he will.

It foloweth: But one testifieth in a certeine place: &c. that honour of renuing of the world, which the Apostle before had denied to angels, now by plaine testimo­nie of the prophete, he proueth it to beelong vnto Christ: and where he beginneth thus: But one witnes­seth in a certein place, rather then naming the prophet: bothe the vnwoonted speache better expresseth the affection of his minde, inflamed with the loue of that whereof he spake: and it is more answerable with the words of the prophet, who not with vsual speach, but with a souden exclamation saith: What is man that thou art mindeful of him? now touching this saying of Dauid, it is no doubte, but he spake it in extolling the goodnesse of God to all Mankinde: both the wordes of the Psalme are plaine, in recko­ninge vp the benefites which apperteine to all men: and here the Apostle expresly so vnderstandeth it, in the eight verse, where he saith: But yet we see not all thinges subiect vnto him. How then is it applied vnto Christ rightly, truly, and according to the prophets meaning? for one thing let vs learne (which I haue tolde you often) bothe of the prophets and of their prophesies, they had a continuall desire to see the [Page 130] dayes of Christ, and longed after the time of his ap­pearance, more then the chased Hart doth long for water brookes, or the fainte and thirstie soule lon­geth for meate and drinke, and therefore had a de­light euen to speake of his comminge, which they do often and with glorious words, touching their prophesies: because they knew y all benefites which God gaue vnto man, he gaue them for Christs sake who was onely beloued: therfore bothe in setting out benefites receiued, and foretelling the blessings which God would surely bring vpon them, in their woords they had respect to him, in whom all Gods promises were accomplished, and many times vt­tered such speches, as could properly agree to no o­ther but Christ alone, to whome alone was giuen, and by whome we were partakers of it: so that, thoughe most of their prophesies had a trueth of the present time, and incident vnto themselues: yet they are also truely and according to the prophetes sense applied vnto Christ, by whome all goodnesse came vpon them and vs. So it is here in this prophesie of Dauid: the words then are true, and spoken of the state of man as it was, but yet also are referred to Christ, because he is authour of it, and the only man to whom God gaue this excellent glorie, whiche we also haue, but through him: and that we may knowe thus the Prophet meant in deede, hee ad­ded these words: thou hast made him a litle while inferi­our to Angels, thou hast crowned him with honour & glorie &c: which fully & wholy agree to none but Christ. But of all this we shal haue occasion to speake more [Page 131] after. Thus we se how this prophesie is applied, out of which the Apostles second argument of his ex­hortation is this. In the preaching of the worde of Christ, God hath giuen vs his kingdome, and eter­nall life, a glorie which no Angel could bring vnto vs: how then shall we not moste iustly be condem­ned, if we contemne such a heauenlie blessing? God hath not made subiect to angels the world to come: the world present and the worlde to come. we do here consider as it were two worlds, the one past & made by Adam, which was sul of hatred, en­uie, rebellion, sorrow, shame, sinne, death, & the bon­dage of the diuel: the other now restored by Christ, ful of loue, blessings, obedience, honour, righteous­nesse, life, & the fauour of God: not distinguishing these worlds by times, the one first, y other after: or making any change of heauē, earth, or any creature, for they stand both together in the light of the same sunne & moone: but as in man are two estates y one of Adam & natural, which is in death and condem­nation: the other of Christe and by grace, which is in life & saluation: so they are called the olde world and the new, which phrase is vsuall in the scripture: often when God speaketh of sending his sonne, hee sayth thus: Lo I wil create a new heauen, and a new earth. Esa. 65. 17. &. 66. Esa. 9. 6. And the 70. interpreters whom here the apostle fol­loweth, they call our Sauiour Christ y Father of the world to come, because I say of this restitutiō which he maketh in the world. And though the name pro­perlie be giuen to these dayes in which the gospel is preached: yet the fruite & benefite was also before: neither were Abraham, Isaak, and Iacob, nor the [Page 132] other Patriarches and Prophets of the olde worlde: but they also sawe in spirit the day of Christe, and were then of his kingdome, onely the name is re­serued to vs, because that blessing is now clearely re­uealed in perfect beautie, and Christ the author of it hath appeared as one of vs, and dwelt among vs in our owne nature. This world God hath not put in subiection to Angels, that is, God hath not made his Angels neither purchasers, nor dispensers of this heauenlie treasure. It was neuer in their power to haue done this thinge. In vaine wee should looke for such blessing at their hands. If they should enter into this worke they would fall downe vnder it, for it is not an Angel, but it is the Sonne of God that shall chaunge the worlde, whiche was in sinne and shame, to fashion it a new, into righteousnesse and glorie.

This is a verie good place out of which we may learne how to knowe our selues, and all other crea­tures, & how to giue vnto Christ his own honour: for seeing the world to come noteth all the restitu­tion which is by Christ, the full chaunge of all that euer was by sinne, and therfore named World, be­cause wee should assuredly knowe there is nothing excepted: if then no parte of this worlde bee subiect to any creature, and if it be Gods eternall counsell that it should neuer be submitted to any, no not to Angels: in whome else can wee trust, or in what other thing can wee put confidence, to haue any parte of this wrought for vs? We are all as our fa­thers were, men by nature of the olde world, our [Page 133] bodies and mindes full of sinne, holden vnder the condemnation of the diuell, all creatures against vs, and God him selfe hateing vs, no way to renewe our age, no man to chaunge our state, no Angel but God hath giuen it to Christ alone. Wil I say, that I can alter mine owne wil, to make it couet goodnes? Or put power into the members of my bodie to serue righteousnesse? Or doe the things in which is any merite to eternal life? Or purchase againe Gods fauour which was remoued from me? If I wil boast of any of these, I speake too proud words for either man or Angel, and say that this seconde worlde is made subiect vnto me: all good will, all righteous­nesse, al merite, al pleasure in heauenly things, al re­conciliation, all victorie ouer death, all loue of God, all hope, to be short, all that is good, and all ioy of spirite is of this new world whereof Christ is king. And whosoeuer shall thinke, that any power of these things is in himselfe, he is puffed vp into pride of heart, suche as an Angel of Heauen should not beare vnpunished: for not vnto Angels, but vnto Christ these things are giuen. What can we nowe thinke of these men, that tell vs, the sacraments giue vs grace: the masse is propitiatorie for our sinnes: our submitting our selues to the Churche of Rome shall saue vs: the Pope, if we follow him, he can not erre: Crosses, Bells, Candels, Holie water, Vest­ments, Pilgrimage, Pardons, Reliques, euerie one hath his vertue: the number of prayers hathe his measure of reward: flesh or fishe it hath his holines according to his time. These men, and all the louers [Page 134] of their Gospell, which take away from Christ the only rule of the world wherof we speake, and put it in subiection to fleshe and bloud, and the elementes of the world: what shall we say of them? Shall we beleeue them? Or shal they prospet? Nay, they haue plowed wickednesse, and they shall reape iniquitie: they haue wandered in errour, and they shal eate the fruite of lyes.

Now, if this be so, that all flesh hathe no good­nesse in it: that all his wisedome and trauell can renue no whit of the lost worlde, or bring any light into horror and darknesse, but all is of Christ: what shall we yet do with wordes of louder blasphemie, which they call workes of supererogation? What shall we doe with the Pope himselfe, who by gene­rall voyce of all his Church, is saide that he can dis­pense the abundance of merites whiche were in the virgin Marie and in all Saints, by his bulls, to applie them Confessis & contritis, that they shal haue days of pardon as manie as he will number? Are they asha­med of these thinges? Nay, they are not ashamed: but euen now they lende vs ouer whole volumes to shewe the fruite of pardons how good they are, and of late haue sent vs a bull, that we should haue expe­rience howe they holde this doctrine.

And what shall we say of suche a one? Surely (dearely beloued) euen as the Prophet sayth of the people of Israel: His formeations are in his sight, and his adulteries are betweene his breastes: So his vncleanesse is manifest to all the worlde, and his marke is in his forehead, that hee might bee knowen to bee An­tichriste.

[Page 135] And you (dearely beloued) when you talke with your friends, who are not yet persuaded in the religion of Christ, when they thinke that wee haue free wil, or we may deserue by our works, or Lent and fasting dayes are holie, or flesh or fish doe please God, or the signe of the crosse is good, or censing and Musicke stirre vpp deuotion: or any suche thing.

Doe but aske of them whether they thinke obe­dience, loue, deuotion, forgiuenesse of sinnes, puri­tie, life, grace, and such other fruites of Gods spirite and his mercie: aske (I say) whether they thinke them workes of the olde worlde corrupt by Adam, or of the new restored by Christe? If they be of the new, God hath not giuen them, neither to our pray­ers, nor fasting, not working, nor day, nor time, nor meat; nor crosse, nor musick, nor belles: to be short, no not to Angels, but to Christ alone, to be dispen­sed according to his will If thou were as good as an Angel, or thy meate as good as Manna that fell from Heauen, or [...]hy garments as precious as Aa­rons Ephod, or thy censinges as sweete as the per­fume of all the Tabernacle, or the dayes that thou keptst were as honourable as the day in whiche Christ arose againe from the dead: yet neither thou nor thy garmentes, nor thy meate, nor thy dayes, can set one of thy feete in this world we speake of: it is the kingdome of Christe, and be hath done it a­lone, according heere as this prophesie is plaine and manifest. [...] [Page 136] Now followeth this prophesie, what it man that thou art mindful of him &c. by these words the apostle pro ueth this kingdome of Christ both properly and of right to be his, and also by faith through Gods spi­rite giuen vnto vs in our Sauiour Christ: they haue this sense: Was not thy glorie great inough (O Lord) in the worke of thy hands, but y thou shoul­dest giue thy sonne to be made man, in whom our nature should be so exalted, that al power should be giuen to him in Heauen and in earth, who by his death should abolish all enimitie against man, that he might be crowned with glorie and maiestie, and haue eternall life in his owne hand? And all this ac­cording to the verie sense of the prophet, and ther­fore here alledged, as in deed it was, to be a prophe­sie of our sauiour Christ. Of vs also it is ment thus. The prophet considering both the great maiestie of God appearing in his works, and the base and lowe estate of a frail man, that such a God of so great ma­iestie, should haue any respect of a fraile and wret­ched man, he could not but thus humble him selfe: What is man (O Lord) that thou shouldest regarde him? Such thoughts (dearely beloued) let vs haue, and with such secret counsels let vs nourish our fayth. This is the meditation to which we are called in all the workes of God, and for this cause God hath Medita­tion in the works of God. giuen vnto vs hearts of men, full of reason & iudg­ment, that we should rightly consider of all his cre­atures. When we see the heauens, we cannot chose but confesse before them, it was not the hande of man that set them vpp so high. We knowe the shi­ning [Page 137] light of the sunne, it is not giuen vnto it from earth or earthly thing, we are sure y earth is found: our owne trauel hath found it so, & our eyes do see the sunne doth cōpasse it about: then what strength of the world can make it stand in this wide emptie space compassed with the firmament? The sea that is so great & violent, who can stop the proud waues of it, or make it kepe his course to rise or fall? The diuel may for a while dul our harts that we may be made like the horse & mule in whome is no vnder­standing, and think of chaunce and fortune, and we can not tell what, so that for all these workes we be neuer the better: but if the power of the diuell be broken, and we be carried out of the darknes that he hath scattered before vs, our hearts shall see & feele it, and our tongs wil confesse: The heauens declare the Psal. 18. 1. glorie of God, & the firmament sheweth his handie worke: And not only in these things which before the sim­plest eyes are greate and merueilous, but in euery thing we shall learne wisdome. When we see the constancie that God keepeth with the day & night, which haue their course for euer, we will see much more y certeintie of his counsel, & the assured coue­nant that he hath made with his childrē. When we see how he cloatheth the flowers of the fieldes, and feedeth the young byrds that call vpon him: much more we wil knowe that he will not leaue his elect in their infirmities, but will cloathe their naked­nesse, and minister food vnto them.

And to be short, in all things we shall behold the goodnesse of God: and as the Prophet Dauid heere [Page 138] doth, aboue all workes, we shall acknowledge his goodnesse toward man, whom alone he careth for aboue all other: and whome alone he hath made ruler ouer all his creatures: with which thoughtes wisely conceiued, it is vnpossible but wee should be stirred vp with thankfulnesse, and with all our po­wer shewe forth his praise, who hath had so greate mercie vpon vs.

It followeth: Thou hast made him a little while in­feriour to Angels. In these words y prophet breaketh vp this praise of Christ, with an acknowledgement of his present state in earth, that if one should think: Where is all this glorie? Where is this honour he speaketh of? Was not his life in much affliction? Least any should be offended with this cogitation, hee preuenteth it thus, as if he had said: And thy sonne (ô Lord) whome thou hast exalted so high­ly, and giuen vs this glorie through him, we con­fesse thou didest abase him, and madest him a while inferiour to thine Angels, and gauest him vp vnto death for thy peoples sinnes: but thou diddest raise him againe, and gauest him honour and victorie o­uer death and sinne. The prophet Esaie, in the like purpose doth notably set out this great humbling Esa. 53. 2. of our Sauiour Christe, not onely beneath Angels, but beneath the lowest condition of all men: and af­ter sheweth how God would raise him vp againe a­boue all his enimies, that no man should be offēded at his crosse. And in this we learne, that in deede he had experience of euill, he was in deede abased, in deede bate our sinnes in his bodie, and was truely [Page 139] broken for our transgressions: that in the feeling of his sorrowe, we might the more sensiblie see what was all his loue towardes vs. And for as muche as the glorie here spoken of, is ours, as we be members of Iesu Christ, to whome it is giuen: we learne here so to loke for this glorie, cuē as our Sauiour Christ hath attained vnto it before vs. God humbled him vnto a lowe degree, that he might exalt him, our life must be as his, we must suffer with him, that wee may come vnto his glorie. Without him we are borne in anger, in him we be reconciled throughe many afflictions. He that liketh not thus to go vn­to glorie, he may lye downe againe in his shame, where Christ did finde him, and make the worlde witnesse of his vnspeakable follie. And he that will murmur against these afflictions in this way of life; whiche are no other then Christe him selfe did suf­fer, a thousand-folde more then he hath left them for vs, let him leaue his redeemer, and dwell againe in the bondage of death, that the Angels may beate witnesse of an vnthankfull wretche.

But we (dearely beloued) as many as glorie in the crosse of Christ, we must reloyce in afflictions, and thinke the reproche of Christe more honourable then any ornaments of Golde and siluer. Let vs comfort our selfe in this, that thought Christ were humbled, and our heartie desire is to beare the yoke with him: yet his oppressiours liue not euer. The seripture saith: it is but a verie litle while, that thus y Afflictiōs are but a­while. hast made him lower then Angels? euen so are all our troubles, as a cloude that is blowen away, or [Page 140] as the dark night against the appearance of y Sunne, a verie litle while and they are no more. We may call it as Paule did, The momentanie lightnesse of this affliction: or as Peter did, A litle while now we 1. Cor. 4. 17 are made sorowfull: or as the Prophet Dauid did, 1. Pet. 1. 6. Heauines may endure for a night: euen so it is with vs all, and what so euer our troubles be, many in number, great in weight, grieuous in circumstance, why shoulde we murmur? The Sunne that shi­neth, giueth a salue vnto them: the day that vani­sheth, drieth vp the wound: & in a verie litle while it is quite forgotten. A blessed medicine, that ney­ther al Apothecaries can make worse with drugges, nor all tyrants can keepe it away with prisons, nor all frowardnesse of the patient can make it of lesse vertue: but all afflictions, whatsoeuer they be, they are healed with this: if we be humbled with Christ a verie litle while, and all is cured. If this be not y­nough to prepare our hearts to tribulation, that they are our leaders to a perpetuall ioy: nor this ynough, that Christ hath tasted of them all before vs, and we shalbe like vnto him: yet this is ynough, euen for a froward man, that though all troubles doe come vpon vs; yet a verie litle while, and they are all con­sumed,

This is the goodnesse of God toward his church, he would not lengthen the dayes of their life, into many hundred yeares, as he did at the firste, when his Churche had greater peace: For if nowe wee had suche liues, it is vnspeakeable, what shoulde bee the oppression of the godlie, what tyrannie, of [Page 141] the wicked. Howe would they swell in pride, and tread the godlie vnder foote, if they should liue ma­ny hundred yeres, that now doe hate vs to death & beyond death, shewing crueltie to our bones and as­hes, when their owne feete stand at y graues mouth, and the earth is ready to swallowe them vp? Howe would the mightie men make vs laboure out all the strength of our body? the couetous men make vs pine with hunger? the ambitious men poure con­tempt and shame vpon vs? if now, since their minde is so fraught with malice, their bodies had also strength of a thousād yeres. But a short & fraile life is such a bridle in their iawes to pull them back, and death such a tyrant ouer thē to appall their courage, that they haue no heart to doe as they would: & yet if they do rage as mad men, not seeing their end, yet God hath had mercie vpon vs, turning their plague into our blessing, and hath giuen vs but a shorte life, least we should mourne too long: so that whatsoe­uer temptations we fall into, yet but a verie little while, & the Lord wil deliuer vs from euill: and all our troubles haue but a small reckoning, to the hin­derance of our glorie. For it is but a while here that God hath made vs inferiour to Angels.

It followeth: Thou hast crowned him with glory & ho­nour, thou hast set him ouer the workes of thine hands, thou Al things in subiec­tion vnto man. hast put all things in subiection vnder his fete. In all these words we learne the exceeding honour vnto which God hath raised his sonne Christe. To be crowned with glorie and honour, is to haue the excellencie of al dignitie giuē vnto him, as the words folowing [Page 142] in the Apostle doe plainely expounde it, where he saith: In that he put all things in subiection vnder him, he left nothing not subiect vnto him. And in this, accor­ding to the Prophet, we must see our owne digni­tie also as wee are Christes: for this honour is not the naturall mans, as all the miseries of our life can testifie: but it is his that seeth him selfe to be Christs that can say as S. Paule saith, I liue not now, but Christe liueth in me: ouer such a one the prouidence of God watcheth, the Angels pitch their tents aboute him, and he seeth great securitie in al his wayes. Though the mounteines were moued, or the seas did make a noyse, yet the name of the Lord is his strong to­wer, and he shall not be moued: for GOD who hath made him Lord of all, maketh that all things worke to him for the best. If at any time hee seeme afflicted to the worlde, it is but as a shewe or visard that seemeth feareful, when the milde face of a man is vnderneath: so these are but appearaunces with­out of a litle mourning, when within is nothinge but a perpetuall ioy of the holie Ghoste. S. Paule against those that are too much troubled to beholde our sufferings, he sayth thus: (I graunt you) we are 2. Cor. 4. 8. wroung, but we are not crushed in peeces: wee are troubled, but not at our wits end: we are persecuted, but not forsaken: we are cast downe, but we are not killed: as if the Apostle should haue said vnto them: ô, you think vs in great bondage, but our freedome is more then you are ware of. And in an other place he notablie setteth out these afflictions of the god­lie, which the worlde thinketh to be so great, that [Page 143] men shrinke backe, and dare not looke on them: I will tell you (sayth Saint Paule,) we are as contem­ned persons, but in deed honorable: as dying, but in 2. Co. 6. 9. deed aliue: as men chastised, but there is no death neere vs: lamenting, but in deede perpetually re­ioycing: as poore men, but in deede we make many other rich: like men that had nothinge, but in deede all the word is ours. So we see howe this is true in vs, euen now by faith, and after this in full perfour­mance of our inheritance with Christ, in the resur­rection of the iust: & thus, euen in outward thinges we are partakers of Christes kingdome, so that no­thing can hurt vs. Now touching y inward things, y is, a freedome of conscience aboue al things: this we know, if we be ingrassed into ye bodie of Christ, we be his, he liueth in vs, his victorie ouer al is ours, we see it by faith, & all thing is in subiection vnder our feete. Paule, Apollo, Cephas, things present, things to come, life, death, the worlde it selfe, all is ours, the fayth of Christ exalteth vs, & hath made vs higher then the heauens. In heauen and earth we haue no Lord but the Lord Iesus, & all things are vnder his feete, our faith hath made vs one with him, we are his, and all is ours: and no man can now beare rule ouer our faith, except he wil beare rule ouer Christ: by faith we are one with him, his power is ours, we reigne with him, we are risen with him, & ye world hath no more power ouer vs. Wil one com to vs, & forbid vs flesh, forbid vs whitmeat, cōmand vs fish? Heare it not, it is the doctrine of diuels. I speak not now of ciuil choyce of meates, drinkes, apparell, &c. [Page 144] We be Christs, and all meats are ours. Wil he say, this garment is holie, this day is fasting, this reli­que is to be honoured, this order is religious, this crosse is defensiue against the diuell, this Cake is thy Sauiour, this masse is propitiatorie, this worke is meritorious, this pope is thy lawgiuer, this church of Rome is the warrant of thy faith: what shall wee say to such swine y lye wallowing in myre, & seke for righteousnesse in dounge and clay, when Christ the sonne of God hath offered vs his righteousnes? What shall we thinke of such seruile men, who wil leade vs into bondage of euerie triflle, whom Christ hath made rulers ouer all the world? For what is it else to make me in bondage of things, then to bring me in this feare of them? I may not touche them, I may not eate them, I may not vse them: that will make me holie, this will defile me, and such like. Is this y voice of Paul? To the cleane althings are cleane? Is it ye voice of Christ? That which entreth in at the mouth Tit. 1. 15. defileth not the man. Is this ye voice of ye Apostle in an Matth. 15. 11 other place? You be bought with a price, be not the seruāts of men. No (dearely beloued) if we haue fayth, and 1. Cor. 6. 20. be of Christ, God our heauenly father hath giuen vs his owne Sonne, sure with him he hath giuen vs all things, we haue receiued the libertie of the children of God: and the conscience of a Christian man is no more in the power of all the world, but that is only sinne vnto him which is the breach of the lawe of [...]. Iohn. 3. 4. God. Now, sith this is the state of a Christian man, and thus all things are in subiection vnder his feete, we see easily vpon what ground our sauiour Christ [Page 145] said: that The kingdome of heauen is like vnto a pretious stone, which if a man finde, he will sell all that he hathe to buy it: for all other riches, of all dominions, they haue their measure, onely this treasure is infinite, & hath all thinges vnder it. Now let euerie man boast himselfe as he will, some of chariots, some of hors­ses, some of one thing, some of an other: but thou, if thou wilt haue perfect ioy, boast thy self of a Chris­tian heart. Neither the gorgeous chambers of any princes palace, nor the riche iuell houses of the earth are comparable in glorie vnto this: for what is it to be garnished with golde, and siluer, and vaine sightes The heart of man is the richest of al trea­sures. of a corruptible eye, which in time consume, and the rust and canker frett them away? But in thine heart which Christ hath sāctified, there is greater treasure then this. If thou loke vpon the earth, thine eyes are cleare to see from East to West, and all is thine, the stones in the streete are at league with thee, and the beasts of the field are at peace with thee. Let all the tyrants in the earth lift vp their handes against thee, they shall not finde any thing vnder heauen to doe thee hurt: all creatures are sworne to thy safetie, & it is not possible for man to breake their faithfulnesse: they can do nothing vnto thee but good. Loke also without the boundes and compasse of Heauen and Earth, and with pure eyes thou seest greater thinges then these: thou seest hell abolished, death troden vnder feete, the first sorrowe cast out into shame, Saints & Angels are in thy sight, immortalitie hath lengthened thy dayes, & the glorie of God is before thee in a glasse. He that can builde thee suche an o­ther [Page 146] tabernacle, let him be thy God: and where else thou findest suche treasure, there settle thy heart: or if this only be the greatest, reioyce only in this: and pray for a sincere faith, that thou mayest in deed see it, and haue thy soule knit vnseparably vnto it: that thou mayest greatly despise all other thinges, & say as the Prophet Dauid said: What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And thus farre at this time. Now let vs pray, &c.

The ninth Lecture, vpon part of the 8. verse: & vpon the 9. & 10. verses.

8 But we yet see not all things subdued vnto him.

9 But we see Iesus crowned with glorie and honour, which was made a litle inferior to the Angels, through the suffering of death, that by Gods grace he might tast death for all men.

10 For it became him, for whome are all these thinges, and by whome are all these thinges: seeing that he brought many children vnto glorie, that he should consecrate the Prince of their saluation through afflictions.

I Tolde you at the beginning, that the Apostle in the first & seconde chapter, setteth purposely out the person of Christ, how he is God & man: how he set out his god­head in y first chapter you heard: [Page 147] vnto which hee addeth this earnest exhortation in the beginning of this chapter, wherof also we haue already spoken.

Nowe, in these woordes, whiche wee haue read, he beginneth the other parte of his purpose, to teache, that our Sauiour Christe is perfect man: and taketh his occasion of the text before alledged, which he applyed vnto Christe as chiefe and prin­cipall, though it be ment also of all men: for when he had so highly magnified man: in consideration of mans present state, a doubt is streight moued: Howe can this bee, sithe we see not these things yet subiect vnto him?

To this the Apostle aunswereth, that it is al­readie accomplished in our Sauiour Christe, who is beecome man for our sakes, and through death hath gotten this glorie for vs: so heere is a full de­claration how this prophesie alledged, is verified in man: and a preperation to teach more at large, how Christe is perfect man. In the words of this eighth verse: But now we see not yet all thinges subiect vnto him: he moueth the doubt, whiche is easily made against that Scripture, whiche so highly extolled man: and aunswereth thus vnto it. In deed I graunt all things are not yet thus subiect vnto man, but yet in Christe wee see this already accomplished: for wee haue seene him made lower then Angels, and yet againe exalted, and crowned with glo­rie and honour, euen as him selfe is witnesse: All power is giuen mee in Heauen, and in Earth: and so hee is risen from the dead, that death hath no [Page 148] more power ouer him for euer: who beeing made man for vs, in him it is accomplished, that man is ruler ouer all the workes of God now in parte, and after this fullie, when our base bodies shalbe chaun­ged and made glorious. In this we see, how he com­meth to speake of the māhod of our sauiour Christ, which after he declareth more at large. For the suffe­ring of death: Some translate this, Through the suffe­ring of death, as shewing the cause, why God exal­ted him: but neither is that so pertinent to the A­postles purpose, nor his wordes doe so signifie: but thus: For the suffering of death, that is, to the end hee might suffer death. So he sheweth the cause why Christ was made lower then Angels, and that is, be­cause he might die: for otherwise, in the maiestie of his Godhead, all death, and all corrupion fall before him, and nothing can stand in his sight but life, glo­rie and immortalitie: therefore, to the end that that immortalitie and glorie of GOD might dye, and death might come vnto him, it must needes be that he should be humbled beneath Angels.

In the words that followe: That by Gods grace he might taste of death for all men: he sheweth here y cause why he dyed. As this was the cause of abasing him, that he might dye: so this was y cause of his death, that he might dye for vs, that is, that he might take our death vpon him, & so by him we might be de­liuered from it. Where he saith, By the grace of God: he sheweth that it was the free loue of God, that gaue his sonne vnto vs, no desert on our behalfe: but when wee sought not after him, then hee [Page 149] offered him selfe vnto vs: and when we sate (as the prophet saith) in darkenesse, and in the shadowe of death, then a great light rose vp vnto vs: to this end, that we which are the Gentiles might prayse God for his mercie. And where it is said: that he might tast of death, he calleth here To taste of death, to haue in deede sense and feeling of the paines, not diminish­ing the passion, as a thing lightly touched: but war­ranting the bitternesse and all the sorrow of it, euen to the bottome of the graue, and deathe to be tas­ted & fealt in deed: and saying, For all: he meaneth not by (All) good or badd, whosoeuer they be: but as Sainct Iohn plainely expoundeth it: God gaue his Iohn 3. sonne to die, to the end that al that beleeue should not perish but haue life euerlasting. So our Sauiour Christ saith: Matt. 28. 28. All that beleeue & are baptised shalbe saued. So thus farre the Apostle hath taught plainely, both how the for­mer prophesie is accomplished in Christ, and is ve­rified in euerie one of vs: and he hath aptly begun to teache this doctrine, that our Sauiour Christ is perfect man, which in this Chapter (I saide) was his especiall purpose. Now, touching this greate excel­lencie of man, whereof the Apostle hath spoken, & howe wee be made partakers of it, a little further weighe it.

He hath spoken greate and maruelous thinges, euen as the Prophet had saide: Marueilous things are spoken of thee, thou Citie of God. Psa. [...]7. 3.

There is neither Sunne nor Moone, sea nor land, golde nor siluer, meate nor drinke, no elementes of the worlde, no obseruations of Moses lawe, no tra­ditions [Page 150] of men, that is ouer man, but man ruleth all, and all is vnder his feete. Here streight way, bothe Iewe & Gentile saith: These be in deed golden pro­mises, but where are these honourable personages you speake of? Are not we as our fathers were, and doth not death deuour vs? To this the Apostle aun­swereth: I graunt we do not yet see with our eyes, how these thinges are: but I say againe, our eyes are no iudges in this case. The glorie is not earthly, and the kingdom is not of this world wherof we speak: but the riches spirituall, and of the spirituall man they are discerned. Know thy selfe, y by saith thou art Christs, and he thine: that he died for thee, and thou liuest by him: that thou art fleshe of his fleshe, bone of his bone, a member of his bodie, and what soeuer is his, is thine: haue this faith, and now come and see, and thou shalt see all the glorie of the worlde lesse then the glorie of suche a man: for thou seest Christe humbled in deede once, that he might suffer death, but euen then, when he was in the shape of a seruaunt, thou sawest him full of grace & trueth, euen as the onely begotten sonne of God: thou sawest him soft of speache, but of merucilous wisedome: plaine in teaching, but full of grace and power: simple in countenaunce, but of an inuinci­ble courage: of lowe degree, but of excellent po­wer: of no account among men, but great in mira­cles, at which man was astonished.

Thus thou hast seene Christ, euen when he was lowest, highly exalted: that thou hast no good cause to reason against thy dignitie, though thine [Page 151] eye see not, euen in this time, all things subiect vn­to thee: but see further into our Sauiour Christ, and thou shalt see more of thine owne honour.

Thou haste seene him in thy fleash raysed from the dead, and in thy nature ascended into Heauen, that man in his person might be crowned with glo­rie and honour: we haue seene him carrie our fleash into the presēce of God his father: and it is no more possible to take this glorie from vs, as many as bee one with him, then it is possible to pul away againe his personal humanitie from the person of his god­head. This I see in Christ, and know it in my selfe. And what though yet a while the outward man be grieued? Thou foole, that which thou sowest, it re­uiueth not againe, except it first dye: a litle corne of 1. Co. 15. [...]6. wheate, it can not haue vertue to becōe thirtie four­tie times better then it was, beeing multiplied to so many, all as good as it selfe, & bringing beside fruit­full increase of strawe and chaffe, except it firste bee cast in the ground & dye. And how shouldest thou haue a change, but if thou be first corrupt? And how much art thou better then a graine of corne, y thou mightest surely know whē through corruptiō thou shalt come into incorruption, that thy glorie shalbe then vnspekable, & althings shall serue thee to make thy life infinitely blessed more then it is? Thy hope now, if thou couldst inlarge it a thousand folde, yet it shuld be greter thē thou cāst imagine: & thy faith, if it could comprehend more assurance of immorta­litie, then y eye doth surely of y light of the sunne, yet y shalt finde y fruite of it aboue al thy thoughts. [Page 152] This thou seest, if thou see Christe: and this thou knowest to be thine, if thou know thy self to be one with him. And for thy sinns, howsoeuer they cleaue vnto thy bones, hate them as thou hatest hell: for from thence they are, and the diuel worketh them, but care not for them: for though they were heauie in weight and manie in number, what then? thou haste thy hope, not in thine owne person, but in the bodie of Christ, into which thou art graffed, and in which there is no▪ spott nor blemish, but perfecte righteousnesse, euen before God: and in him as all other things, so sinne also is putt vnder thy feete, and thou art ruler ouer [...]t. And thus farr of the doc­trine of the Apostle heere taught vs, in this his Ex­hortation.

Nowe let vs returne to his other purpose, howe he teacheth the humanitie of our Sauiour Christe: the first reason whereof is in these wordes: That hee might tast of death for all. For, as to the end he might suffer death, it was necessarie he should be humbled, because death else could not come into his presence: so suffering death, that man might bee deliuered, by that death it was necessarie that hee him selfe should be man, for so were the iust iudgements of God: he gaue man a lawe & pronounced a curse to him that brake it: therfore whē we had all trespassed we were fallen into the punishment of our sinne: for y threat­nings of God are not as the words of a man that can alter, or by some intercession that they can be miti­gated: but with God there is no change nor shadow of change: that whiche with him is once purposed [Page 153] was euer decreed, and his words are not weake, but what he hath threatened, if we fal into his hands, all the creatures of the worlde haue no helpe for thee: So that this beeing decreed of God: Cursed is he that Deu. 27. abideth not in all things written in this booke: all people must nedes say, Amen: And, The soule that sinneth must nedes dye: redemption from this there is none to be loked for, but by suffering of it: for y Lord had spo­ken, & it must be done: so our Sauiour Christ, sith he would deliuer vs, he must be made man like vn­to vs, and in our nature dye the death.

Our sinnes are not imputed vnto vs, but they were imputed vnto him. The punishment of them is forgiuen vs, but it was not forgiuen him. Righte­ousnesse is freely giuen vs, but it was not freely gi­uen him. He obeyed the lawe of his father euery iot and euery title, that he might fulfill all righteous­nesse. He bare the condemnation of hell and death, that he might abolish it. He tooke vppon him the guiltinesse of our sinnes, and bare them in his owne bodie, y he might nay le them vpon his crosse. Whē it pleased God our heauenlie father of his greate mercie, to accept the obedience of his lawe for our perfecte righteousnesse, and to giue vnto it the re­compence of eternall life: and when it pleased God to accept this for a full punishment of all the sinnes of man, if any man could bee found to beare it be­fore God and ouercome it, our Sauiour Christ cra­ued no more but this: the residue he perfourmed all in his owne bodie, and by his eternall spirite ouer­came it: so that in him is life, in him is righteousnes, [Page 154] in him is immortalitie, in him is the reconciled good wil of God, and that excellent wisdōe which hath made vs by faith one with him, the same hath made vs partakers of all his honour and glorie. Thus we see with what necessitie we are constray­ned to acknowledge the humanitie of our Sauiour Christe, and why he must needes be made man.

It followeth now in the tenth verse: For it became him for whome are al things &c. The Apostle now go­eth forwarde, teaching more largelie this doctrine of the humanitie of our Sauiour Christ: and first he taketh away the offence of it, then setteth downe manifest reason to proue it. Touching the offence, we can not denie, but manie thoughts and cogitati­ons arise in a carnall man, when he considereth the sonne of God to take flesh of the virgin Marie, to be made man in al likenes vnto vs, except sinne, to hun­ger, to thirst, to suffer all that he suffered: we would think this mysterie verie strange, if we had no more wisdome but of the heart of man to meditate in it. And therefore to stop all such offences, and vtterlie to take away all the tentations of the diuel touching the incarnation and suffering of Christe, he sayth thus: For it became him for whom are althings, & by whom are all things. An excellent saying, & able to bring in obedience vnto God, all the thoughts of man. All things serue for Gods glorie, and all things are ac­cording to his will: he hath so decreede, and this was best in his eyes: Who wil reason against it?

It followeth: When he would bring many children into glorie, to consecrate the prince of their saluatiō through af­flictions. [Page 155] In these words the Apostle setteth downe, what was this decree of God, that from hencefoorth all mouthes might be stopped, and no man should haue iust offence in the crosse of Christ. Beside this, in these woordes we may gather an argument also for the humanitie of our Sauiour Christ, whiche is, this: God decreed to bring man to glorie throughe afflictions, but so our Sauiour Christ entered into his glorie, therefore he was also perfect man. A ne­cessarie and sure conclusion in the Schoole of diui­nitie, where we striue not about woordes. These words: Many children, meaning all the elect, haue re­spect vnto these: The Prince of their saluatiō, meaning Christ: for in that he is called their chiefe leader in­to life, it is witnessed, that he is one in nature with the residue, a brother among all the children, whom the other might follow: so these wordes, To bring in­to glorie, haue respect to ye other after, To consecrate by afflictions: so that ye decree of God, was, to make such a way of life, in which his childrē by many afflicti­ons should be made meete for an inheritance of glo­rie, which way, according to the will of his father, our Sauiour Christe hathe gone, that he might bee knowne to be man, and the author of our saluation. And so we see the argument, whereof wee spake, why our Sauiour Christ was man, and submitted vnto death.

Nowe let vs further marke, what we may pro­fitablie learne in this verse.

First, where it is saide: It be seemed him, for whome are all things, &c.

[Page 156] Let vs learne in all thinges, whereof our heartes can consider, to make this vnto vs a sure principle of all trueth, equitie [...] goodnesse: That so it was decreed of God. How farre so euer we decline from this, to thinke it either straunge, or any other thing better, so farre we fall into all vnrighteousnesse, vntrueth, and sinne, being seduced with the corruption of our owne heartes. Let vs hold this then with an vnchā ­geable purpose: if it be once reuealed, this is the de­cree of God. Bring downe the hautinesse of thine owne thoughtes, and humble thy minde and vn­derstanding to acknowledge all counsel, wisedome and iustice to be in Gods ordinaunce: and if any thing seeme better vnto thee, confesse the hardenesse of thy heart, and say with the prophet Dauid: This is [...]y sinne: further reasoning then this is all of euill, & whosoeuer presumeth to dispute more, he shalbe o­uerthrowen at the last in his owne sollie, and giue glorie vnto God in his owne destruction.

The Apostle here to take away al foolish questi­ons and superfluous, about the humanitie of our Sa­uiour Christ, with this one worde he stoppeth the mouthes of all proude men: So the Lorde appoin­ted: so it seemed good vnto the Lord. Suche humi­litie as this was in Moses, when he maketh his long exhortation to the people of Israel, and foretelleth them, that when they shall forget the Lord, & des­pise his statuts, ye wrath of god shal wax hot against them, and he wil bring vpon them euery curse that is written in the lawe, euen so doing with them, as hee did with the nations that were before them: [Page 157] which wonderfull iudgements of God vppon his owne people, should make the world amased: wher­of yet lest any man should curiously dispute, Moses addeth: The secret things beelong to the Lord our Deu. 29. 29. God, but the things reuealed beelong vnto vs and to our children for euer. As if he had said: These are the ordinaunces of God, let vs walke in them: if wee transgresse, the punishment of our sinne is before vs: further we shal dispute in vaine, the secret things belong vnto the Lord our God, and his iudgements can not be searched out. Such an humble confessi­on was in the prophet Dauid, in his great persecuti­ons & troubles, wherein (no doubt) all his sorrowe was not for the sonne of Isaie, he would not haue made suche complaintes and cryes for the fall of a fraile man: but he knew the promises that God had made vnto him, and all his fayth how it rested vpon them, so that all his foundations seemed to bee cast downe, and it shooke his heart & reines to see the strength and rage of his enimies, and him selfe as a dead dogge in Israel, that is, a man without any ac­compt or reckoning: yet notwithstanding all this, though his owne wisedome had fayled neuer so much, yet he sayth: I should be dumbe, and not open my mouth: for thou ô Lord dost it. How soeuer his own wi [...] was turned vpside downe, that he saw nothing how things could come to passe, yet he acknowled­geth his sinne, that is, his follie, his ignorance, his in­fidelitie, Psal. 39. 9. if he should not confesse all that God did, it was best, and the next way to bring all his purposes to passe▪ [Page 158] The Prophet Ieremie beeing vtterlie amased, what it should meane that the way of the wicked did still prosper, or why they liued all in wealth, that did re­belliously transgresse, why God planted them, to make them take roote and to bring foorth fruite: as he was astonished at this work, and spake foorth the thoughts of his heart, yet first he acknowledged his owne ignorance, casting downe the thoughts of his owne reason, and said: O Lord, if I dispute with thee, thou art righteous. Ierem. 12. 1.

It was a redie bridle to the holie Prophet to rule all his thoughtes, to say, The Lord hath done it, let vs holde our peace.

And an excellent example of this humilitie, is our Sauiour Christe him selfe, to reache vs modes­tie, that are but men: for he, who so loued the peo­ple of Israel, that he weapt ouer their Citie, when they would not repent, prayed for them, when they houng him on the crosse, gaue his life for them, when they had cast him off and would none of his saluation, he that had this vnchangeable loue to his brethren, flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone [...] yet when he called his humane thoughts to y conside­ration of the decree of God, he humbled him selfe, changed his affections, reioyced in other thoughts, and said: I thanke thee, O father, that thou hast bid these thinges from the wise and prudent, and hast reuealed them Luc. 10. 21. vnto little ones. Whē he saw he was sent their minis­ter for the trueth of God, to confirme the promises made vnto their Fathers, he had no other longinge but how to winne them: when he sawe an other [Page 159] counsell of God, that they were not all Israel which were of Israel, he knewe this was best, reioy­ced in spirite, gaue glorie vnto God, and would not reason of his vnsearcheable iudgements. Who is he now, or of what wisdome, that dare dispute against the counsel of God? Are we greater then Moses, wi­ser then the Prophets, or higher then our Sauiour Christ? Or haue all these helde their peace at Gods workes, that we should reason against them? Let vs then rule our selues, or rather let vs be ruled of the Lord, that we may say as the Apostle saide, and this may be reason of all our beleefe: So the Lord hath thought good. A place much like vnto this, is in the 24. of Luke: when ye two disciples y went to Ema [...]s marueled exceedingly at al the things that had hap­pened vnto Christ, so that their faith began to fayle them: thus our Sauiour Christe reprooueth them, and all the reasoning that was with [...] them: O fooles Luke. 14. 26. & slowe of heart to beleue all that the prophets haue spoken: must not Christ needs suffer these things and so en­ter into glorie? He referreth them first to ye prophets, to know y this was the decree of God: but thē lay­eth a necessitie vpon the perfourmance of his word, that it must needes be so. And if that be not onely good, onely iust, onely wise in our sight that are but men, let vs not boast, there is no cause in this worlde of out misliking: but because wee bee fooles, & slowe of heart to beleeue. And thus farre the thing it selfe speaketh, howe meete it is for vs to humble our selues vnder all the ordinaunces of God. [Page 160] It followeth in the Apostle: For whom are al things, & by whom are all things: this is a singular reason, why we should be obedient, and aske none account of all the dooinges of the Lord. Is man afflicted? Why should he not be so? The Lord hath done it, and for the Lord hee was made. Are ye reprobate ordeined to destructiō? Why should they not? The lord so or­deined it, and for the Lord they were made. Are the elect freely saued? Why should they not? The Lord hath saued them, and for the Lord they were made. Yea, but the reason of these things I see not: yea, but (ô man) who art thou that takest a contra­rie part to dispute against God? Are not all thinges for him, and art thou onely enuious against his glo­rie? Thus (dearely beloued) carrie the word of God to leane on, & beleeue assuredly it shall be fulfilled: and thinke that it is best, and you shal not be moued for euer. If you come in place, with those auncient worne creatures, who with a colour of gray haire, which is the wisest part in them, so long deceiue our people, they or their disciples, if they reason a­gainst you: Hath God forsaken his Church a thou­sand yeare, and were all our fathers deceiued before Luther was borne, such antiquitie, vnitie, vniuersa­litie, was it all in errour? These wordes taken vp a­gaine in our dayes, and countenanced with the gray heads of our Phariseies, Watson, Fecknam, Cole, Heath, and other like, ô Lorde! how manie men doe they deceiue? For their owne reason lifteth vp it self, & they say: How can this be so? So many wise, so many learned, so many noble, all deceiued? Had [Page 161] God forgotten to be mercifull? First, I would aske of these men but this one question: and if they will not willingly be deceiued, let them answer as they thinke. What one word of all these, bothe might not and did not the Phariseies say against our Saui­our Christe? And howe dare they nowe reason a­gainst the Gospell of Christe, with the same argu­ment, with whiche the Phariseies reasoned against Christ? But they will say, now Christ hath made a promise to be with his Churche to the ende.

And had he not made this promise before? It not Iesus Christe bothe to day and yesterday, and the same worlde without ende? Looke in the 18. of Deut. and in the 59. of Esaie: as absolute, as Deut. 18. 1 [...]. Esai. 59. 10. full a promise then as nowe. But they were not so long in errour: put case they were not: he who pu­nished the transgression of the lawe giuen by An­gels, with 400. yeres blindnesse: may not he punish the transgression against his Gospell, giuen by his onely sonne, with 800. or a 1000. yeres blindnesse? But for your sakes (dearly beloued) I do more then I woulde, and with reason I confute them whiche haue no reason. Let vs come to the text & answere out of it. Was the world deceiued so many hun­dred 1. Thes. 2. 2. yeres? Why should it not? The Lord ordeined that there should come an apostasie, and a generall 1. Thes. 2. 7. fall from the faith of Christ: that the world might be seduced with the man of sinne: whose age began in the Apostles times, and shall not vtterly die till 1. Thes 2. 8. the day of Christ. Thus the Lorde appointed, and so let it be, for all thinges are for his glorie. [Page 162] And here let vs rest in all the thinges that [...]uer our hearts can thinke vpon, if we can see no reason of the word of God, we can see humilitie to confesse before him: ô the deapth of the riches, and of the Rom. 1 [...]. 33. wisedome, and of the knowledge of God! How vn­searchable are his iudgements, & how are his wayes without finding out? And because we knowe, that of him, by him, and in him are all thinges, let vs speake it: To him be glorie for euermore. All coun­sels, all doctours, all examples, all decrees, all what you will, they are not our scholemaisters, but our fellowe scholers, that we may learne together out of the worde of God, whose decree shal stand for e­uer, & whose iudgements are perfect righteousnes.

That which followeth in the latter ende of the verse: To consecrate him by afflictions: or, to make him perfect by afflictions: the meaning is, that Christ in his death accomplished a full redemption, and so was prepared to receiue an inheritance of glorie, not attributing so this worke to his death, as though all his life had ben impertinent: for in al his life, Christ was made our redemption. Sainct Paule expressely saith: By the obedience of one, a great many are presented righteous. And again he saith: For this cause he was made Rom. 5. [...]9. subiect vnto the law that he might r [...]deeme thē which were holden vnder the law. And for this cause he pretermit­ted [...]. 4. 4. not one iot, or one title of it, that he might be­stowe vpon vs the fulnesse of all righteousnes: but ye scripture attributeth commonly our redemption to his death, because it was the chiefest and greatest worke of all, the accomplishment & perfection of a [...] [Page 163] the rest vpon the crosse, he was lowest cast downe, and vpon the crosse he triumphed ouer sathan, and Phil. 2. 6. Col. 2. after the crosse he obteyned power ouer death and hell: therfore in it (as the Apostle saith) he was con­secrate to eternall glorie. And thus farre at this time. Now let vs pray &c.

¶ The tenth Lecture, vpon the 11. 12 and 13. verses.

11 For he that sanctifieth, and they which are sanctified [...]re all of one: wherfore he is not ashamed to call thē brethrē.

12 Saying, I will declare thy name vnto my brethren: in the middes of the Church wil I sing praises to thee.

13 And againe, I will put my trust in him. And againe: Be­holds, here am I, and the children which God hath giuen mee.

THe reasons before vsed, to proue the humanitie of our sauiour, were these. First he dyed for man: and therefore it was necessarie hee shuld be man. Secondly, it was the decree of God, to bring man into glorie, through many afflictions: but so Christe our head was also consecrate to en­ter into glorie, therfore he was naturall man.

Now it followeth: For he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of o [...]e. This word (For) noteth a cause of that whiche was saide before: as hee had said this: He that leadeth other into the glorie of God, by the same way he must enter also him selfe. [Page 164] He addeth now the cause and grounde of that say­ing: because they must be of one nature, bothe hee that leadeth, & they that are led into this saluation.

Now, because the Apostle hath spoken so plain­ly of the nature of our Sauiour Christ, that he is per­fect man, to teach vs that yet not in our owne na­ture, but being regenerate by his grace, we are made children: Therefore the Apostle chaungeth his for­mer speache: and in sted of saying, He that leadeth into glorie, which is the work spoken of, he sayeth: He that sanctifieth: naming the vertue incident, by which the work was done: and in sted of, They that are ledd, which is ye benefite imployed, he saith: They that are sanctified: which is the qualitie, with whiche they are indued: meaning yet one thing before and now: there, in plaine wordes calling it our entrie in­to saluation: here, by a figure naming it our sancti­fication, whiche is the meanes of our inheritaunce of it: and by this, exhorting vs that we would fol­lowe holinesse, which is our likenesse with Christ. And thus much touching these wordes, how they hang with the former. Nowe, to consider them in them selues, we haue the third argument, for the hu­manitie of our Sauiour Christe: which is this. He that shall sanctifie his people, must beecome one with them: but Christ hath sanctified vs, therefore he is of our nature. And the force of this argument standeth vpon that ground whereof wee haue spo­ken: that this is the decree of the iust God: that the nature of man could not be sanctified, but in the per­son of man.

[Page 165] A proofe & declaration that it is so, is added by the Apostle in ye residue of the verse: And for this cause he is not ashamed to call vs brethren: whervnto is streight added the testimonie of the 22. psalme, out of which he proueth it: I wil shew forth thy name vnto my brethren, in the midds of the congregation I will praise thee: a plaine & euidēt testimonie, where our Sauiour Christ cal­leth vs brethren: for the prophet Dauid, who in ma­nie of his afflictions bare the image of our Sauiour Christ, wrote that Psalme, thoughe in his owne great calamities, yet especially in the person of Christ, as it is certeine: because the Euangelistes and Apostles alledge out of that Psalme many places, applying them all to our Sauiour Christ: besides yt, the whole Psalme is a liuely descriptiō of the passi­on of Christ, and the latter ende foretelleth the cal­ling of the Gentiles, whiche were only to be gathe­red to the setting vp of this glorious kingdome of Christ: so that yt is aptly here applied vnto Christe, which there the prophet Dauid spake in the person of Christ. And here let vs mark this, while the Apo­stle proueth our sauiour Christ to be man, he alled­geth the scripture so, as distinctly shew the offices of Christ, that he is our Prophet, our King, our Priest, that we might know we can not giue him these of­fices, and denie his manhoode: nor graunt him his manhoode, and denie him these offices: so heere, this texte, as in the name Brother it proueth he is of our nature: so these words, I wil declare thy name, and I will sing of thee: they shew that our Sauiour Christ is our prophet, to reueale the wil of his father to vs. [Page 166] Now, where it is saide here: He that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are al of one: we haue to cōsider, y euen in the manhoode of our Sauiour Christe, is vertue and grace, in which he doth sanctifie vs: for not only as he is God he sanctifieth vs, but also in his humane nature he hath this vertue and power, to make vs holie, not taking his nature suche from the virgin Marie but making it such by pouring in­to it the fullnesse of his spirit. And this our Sauiour Christ himselfe witnesseth: for speaking of his sen­ding into the worlde, how he was sent of his Father to call his lost people vnto saluation, he saith in like sort, he also sendeth his Apostles, and streight ad­deth: For them I sanctifie my selfe,

The holinesse which the Apostles had in their calling, they had it from Iesus Christe, made man, and walking in that vocation before them. Euen so it is with vs: all that is good in vs, and all the righteousnesse that can be in vs, we haue it neither out of the East, nor West, but from the bodie of Iesus Christ: neither is there in the worlde any other sanctification: so that all we that be heere this day, and all people else of the world, except wee know perfect manhood, and our own nature to be reallie vnited vnto the person of the sonne of God, who hath sanctified himselfe for vs, there is no san­ctification for vs vnder heauen. Euen as our hands and armes, & other members, are not nourished but only by the meate receiued of the head: so our spi­rituall meate of righteousnesse and life, is not giuen vs, but from our head Iesus Christ. And as the veins [Page 167] are meanes, by which nourishment is conueyed to euerie parte: so fayth is the meanes by which we re­ceiue from Christ, all that is healthfull vnto vs. And as by ioyntes and sinewes, our members are real­ly knit, and made a bodie vnto the head: so really, truely, and in deed, by one spirite wee be knit vnto Christe, as perfectly and substantially made one with him, as our members are one with our head.

If thou vnderstand not this, or sayst with Nico­demus, How can this be done? I say vnto thee againe, Pray that thou mayst be taught of God, and that his spirit may reueale it vnto thee: for if the tounge of Paule were dumb, not able to speake what he sawe in vision: how much lesse is man able to speake the trueth of greater mysteries? And if our harts cannot comprehend all the wisdome of God in the winde that bloweth, how he rayseth it vpp or maketh it fall againe: how canne wee vnderstand this wise­dome of our vniting vnto Iesus Christ? Onely this I can say: God hath giuen vs fayth, in whiche wee may beleue it, and out of which such ioy shineth in our mindes, as crucifieth the worlde vnto vs: how farre our reason is from seeing it, it skilleth not, it is sufficient if we can beleeue it.

We beleeue in the Lord our God: yet we know not what is his countenaunce. We beleeue & ap­prehend by hope his glorie: yet neither eye can see it, nor eare can heare it. We beleeue and see im­mortalitie: yet our heart can not comprehend the height, the breadth, the length, the deapth.

[Page 168] We beleeue the resurrection of the dead, yet wee can not vnderstand such excellent wisedome, how life is renewed in the dispersed & scattered bones & ashes. We beleue our sauiour Christ is man, & we haue seene him and felt him: yet how he was man, borne of a virgin, all men in the world haue no wis­dome to declare: Euen so (dearely beloued) wee beleeue that our Sauiour Christ and we be one, hee of vs and we of him, he the head, we the bodie, real­ly, substātially, truly ioyned together, not by ioynts and sinewes, for that vniting I knowe wel enough: but by his spirit, of which we haue all receiued, and this vnitie I cannot conceiue nor vtter, till I knowe God euen as he is, and his holie spirite which hath wrought this blessing. Thus we learne what here ye Apostle teacheth vs, and thus wee vnderstand what is heere said: He that sanctifieth, and they that are sanc­tified are all of one.

And where it is said heere, He that doth sanctifie, shewing the present time & the worke still a doing: it teacheth vs, that our sanctification hath a daylie increase, & when it is fully accomplished, then God calleth, and our dayes are at an end. And let vs note this well, for it behoueth vs much: If we be Chri­stians, we are still sanctified by the spirit of Christ, for so it was in him: He grewe still in grace before God & men: If thou begraffed into his bodie, thou hast his spirite, and it will haue his worke in thee. Thou shalt not be wearie of well doeing, nor ceasse to reioyce in God thy Sauiour: but still increase in spirituall grace, til thou come to the age of the ful­nesse [Page 169] of Christe. There can be no affection in thee, according to the fleash, but if it be greate, it will ap­peare in his work: much more this which is of the spirit of God. If thou be sorrowful, it wil make thy face sad. If ioy be within, it maketh thy countenance merrie. If thou haue a flattering heart, all the mem­bers of the bodie will streight serue so vile a thinge. If hatred bee within thee, thy bodie will shewe it forth in all manner of cursed doing: and there is no­thing that can possesse the minde, but it leadeth the members in obedience of it. Howe much more if the spirite of God hath replenished thy minde, will all the bodie shewe foorth godlie desires. This the Apostle noteth, when he sayth: He that sanctifieth.

It followeth: For this cause he is not ashamed to call vs brethren. Vpon good cause the Apostle sayth: He is not ashamed: for if hee humbled not him selfe in great loue of vs, how iustly might hee accompt it shame to be as we are? He that made Heauen and earth, he that is the immortall and glorious God, one with his father, before whome all Angels do o­bey, and all Princes are earth and ashes: ought wee not to say, seeing it pleaseth him to acknowledge vs that are but poore creatures, that hee is not asha­med of vs? It was great praise in Moses, beeing so highly esteemed of Pharaoh, that yet hee would vouchsafe to visite his poore brethren. It was sin­gular loue in Ioseph, when he was nexte vnto the King in honour and dignitie, yet not to be ashamed of his fathers house, who were heardmen and shepe­heardes. But all is nothing in comparison of this, [Page 170] that Iesus Christ is not ashamed of vs: for what? the glorie of the vaine worlde made not a mortall man ashamed of his duetie, to acknowledge his poore fa­ther and brethren, in whose persons hee might suf­fer a little reproch: but how much greater was this doing whereof we speake? The shining brightnesse of the glorie of God, made not the onlie begotten sonne ashamed, of his free grace, to acknowledge vs that were his enimies, in whose persons he should suffer a moste shamefull and slaunderous death.

This is the case betweene Christe and vs, and this the Apostle meaneth, when he sayth: He is not asha­med to call vs brethren. And if his highnesse abased it selfe to our lowe estate, and was not ashamed: let vs (dearely beloued) learne to be wise, and knowe what the lord requireth of vs, for all the good which he hath don vnto vs. He sayth in the gospel: He that is ashamed of me and my word before men, I will bee asha­med of him before my Father which is in heauen. And is not (trowe you) this a iust condēnation: if we wret­ched men wil be ashamed of him, who beeing the God of glorie, was not ashamed of vs? How much is he greater then we? Abraham, when he approched nere vnto him, he felt him self how he was but dust. Gen. 18. When Iob came nere to see the tokens of him, he abhorred him selfe, and confessed how vncleane he Iob. 39. was. When Dauid saw the glorie of his dwelling, Psal. 84. he said, he had leuer abide but one day as a dore kee­per in the house of him, then tenne thousand dayes to beare rule in Kinges palaces. When Paule sawe the glorie prepared for vs in his resurrectiō, he said Phil. 2. [Page 171] he accompted all the worlde to be but doung, to the ende he might winne him.

If then, such a Christ be not ashamed to call vs brethren: a marueilous & vnspeakable foolishnes is bound vp in our heartes, if we be ashamed to call him brother againe. He were a folishe poore man, that were ashamed of the kinred whiche the King did chalenge of him: he is more foolishe, thoughe he were a King him selfe, that is ashamed of the Sonne of God, when he offereth himselfe vnto him. Yea, and be he neuer so proude a man, that nowe despiseth him, he shal confesse his follie then, when all that shal see him shal say: Blessed is he that commeth in the name of the Lord.

Pride, or flatterie, or couetousnesse, or vanitie, or feare, or what you will, may make vs nowe a­shamed to confesse him, or to dissemble that euer we knewe him: but when all this corruption is taken from vs, and the graue and death shall take their owne, that we shall liue againe in immortalitie, and knowe the length of his dayes in our owne bodies: our former foolishnesse will make vs so affearde, that we will pray vnto the hilles to hide vs, and to the mounteines that they would couer vs: but vowes and wishes shalbe but foolish thoughtes.

Let vs therefore despise the shame whiche Christe hath despised before vs. If it be imputed vnto vs for follie, that we feare the Lorde: let vs beare his reproche. If our companie haue no li­king, except we bring our sinnes with vs, to bee content to heare the blaspheming of Gods name, [Page 172] religion euill spoken of, Godlinesse mocked at, wordes to sowe discorde among brethren, yll re­portes of men absent, boasting and bragging of vaine persons, wanton & vnchast speaches, or other vaine and vnprofitable babblings, such as is most v­suall among men: if without this our companie be not pleasaunt, seeing in this our Iesus is dishonou­red, let vs rather denie them, then be ashamed of him: and goe rather out of Babylon the mother of whoredomes, then out of Ierusalem the citie of God.

It foloweth: I will declare thy name vnto my brethren: we are called the brethren of Christ, not in societie of fleshe and bloud: for that the wicked haue with him as well as we, who are yet no brethren, but straungers euen from the wombe: but as they are naturall brethren which are borne of the same pa­rents, so we are brethren with Christ that are borne of God, through the same spirite by which we crie Abba, Father, the fruite wherof is in glorifying his name, euen as our Sauiour Christ saith: He that do­eth the will of my Father which is in heauen, he is my bro­ther. And where it is further sayde: In the middes Matt. 12. 48 of the congregation I will praise thee: First, heere wee must needes confesse what duetie is amoung men, euen that they edifie one another: for as many as are of Christe, are called in this couenaunt: I will declare thy name vnto my brethren, in the middes of the congregation I wil prayse thee. He that considereth the dayes of his life, and findeth his yeares many, & in al them can not remember that he hath bene careful [Page 173] for his brethren, to tel them the feare of his Lord, or how in companies and meetings he hath spoken of his praise, he can not knowe that he hath any porti­on or fellowship in this kinred. The graces of God are not such that they can be locked vpon our harts, or kept secret, but they will burne within like fire, and make vs speake with our tounges, that we may make many brethren partakers of our ioy. The pro­phet saith: I haue beleeued, therfore I haue spoken. Saint Psal. 116. Psal. 19. 2. Co. 14. 23 Paule teacheth that it is so with vs, if we beleeue we will also speake. And tell me (I beseech you) what man excelleth in any thing, and hath not a delight to speake of his cunning? Doth not the shipman talke of the winds? the plowman of his oxen? will not the souldier be reckoning vp his wounds? and the sheepheard telling of his shepe? If hee be good in hounds, haukes, horses, shooting, or any such exer­cise, is not his name spoken of according to his skil? nay, let it be in things worse then these, cardes, dice, tables, daunsing, is not euer the mans talke according to the delight of his minde? And shall we think the knowledge of God hath lesse affectiō of our hearte, or lesse obedience of our toung, then the most vaine and vnprofitable desires of worldly minded men? Or my bowe & mine arrowes, haue they my tonge tyed vnto them, to delight in their talke? and shall not the mysterie of Christ, and God, wherein I ap­prehend the forgiuenesse of my sinnes and eternall Esa. 43. 6. life, hath my toung no portion of suche comforte? or if it be in my heart, wil it not fill my mouth with praise? If I haue heard of it, wil I not also declare it? [Page 174] I remember the Prophet Ieremie, once made with him selfe a solemne decree, that he would no more Iere. [...]0. 9. speake in the name of the Lord: but the woord of God saith, He was in my heart as a burning fire shut vp in my bones, & I was wearie with forbearing, and I could not staye. So, when the Apostles were Act. 4. 20. threatened exceedingly, not to speake a word of the gospel of Christ, they answered directly they could not choose: for the things which they had sene and heard, were such, as they were constrayned to speke of them to other. So it is with vs, if wee be the bre­thren of Christ, the couenant of our kinred, is: I will declare thy name vnto my brethren, in the midst of the con­gregation I wil praise thee: let them knowe this, all, to whome it is spoken, and let them discerne betweene hypocrites and true Christians. Some thinck it a prayse to be close men, secret to them selues, that by their words you shall neuer knowe them, of what religion they be: those men, where they think they hide them selues moste, there they lay widest open their shame: and while they thinke to kepe it secret of what religion they are, this their dissimulation proclameth it lowder then the blast of a trumper, that they be of no religion at all, at all (I say) tou­ching any religion of God: for if it were of him, it would shew foorth his praise: and what their heart beleued their mouth wold cōfesse it. But these La­odicoeans, that be neither hott nor colde, nor what God they loue you cannot tel, y Lord hath appoin­ted a day when he will spue them out of his mouth. Let vs learne a better profession: I wil declare thy na [...] [Page 175] vnto my brethren: & let vs hold it with ioy and glad­nes, that in the middes of the congregation we will singe prayses to him.

And note how expresly i [...] is saide, in the middes of the congregation: as shewing y no feare of man should keepe him backe from it: for before one, we will per­aduenture speake: or, before two or three we wil be bolde to rebuke swearers or other vngodly doings: but if it be before many, in solemne assemblies, and one impudent man alowde blaspheme the name of God: where is he that in the middes of the congre­gation will praise the Lorde▪ ô how squeamish we be heere, and full of good manner! not to speake o­penly for feare of offence.

But, ô poore wretched men that we be! who taught vs this modestie, to be ashamed of Christ be­fore manie? What is this else; but to keepe the ho­nour of God for holes, and corners, and solitarie pla­ces: and offer vp sacrifice to the diuell, in our dy­ning chambers, and in the market places?

We are not ashamed at open feastes to fill our tables worse th [...] with sp [...]ng, that is, with opē blas­phemie of the name of God, & with many vnclean wordes: but we are ashamed of the sweete incense y makes all the house full of pleasure, that is, brotherly to reproue y lewd sinner, that he may [...] to [...] before the lord. A maruelous affection of mans cor­rupt minde, & I cannot tell how to [...] it: for it is tenne thousand times woo [...] then [...]y madnesse.

Wee are ashamed to exho [...] men to doe well: wee are no [...] ashamed to provoke them [...] [Page 176] sinne. We are ashamed to minister talke of saith & religion: we are not ashamed of rotten & vncleane works of wantōnes. We are ashamed to speake to the praise of God, we are not ashamed to blaspheme his name. We ar ashamed of Christ, we are not asha­med of the diuel. But such sinnes the Lord confoūd them. It is no reason in many wordes to cōfute thē, for where so euer they haue any louers, I am sure without any mans words their own hearts wil con­fute them when they go to bed. Our sauiour Christ is our scholemaister, and hath taught vs thus. In the midds of the congregation I will prayse thee. The prophet Dauid was a good scholer in this doctrine, when he opened his mouthe vnto God and vowed: I will speake of thy name before kings, and will not be ashamed. Psa. 145. 21. Psa. 119. 46. Pray (dearely beloued) that we may bee partakers of the same grace. What can they say of vs? The woorst report they can giue vs, is, that we be godly men: if they account this a reproche, let vs be con­tent to beare it: for when their iudgement is done, we shall reape the fruite of a better sentence.

It followeth nowe in the 13. verse. And againe, I wil put my trust in him: This Psalme the prophet made when he was deliuered from the layinges of way to of Saule, and from all his enimies: wherein, as he was a figure of Christ, so it is most properly & tru­ly verified in Christ, that he said of himselfe. Be­sides this, many sentences in the Psalme are plaine, agreeing onely to Christe. S. Paule in the 15. to the Romanes alledgeth this as spoken of the mercie of God, in calling the Gentiles by our Sauiour Christ, [Page 177] I will confesse thee among the gentiles, & sing prayses vnto thy name. And in the 43. verse of the same Psalme the prophet saith: Thou hast made me the head of the heathē, a people whō I haue not knowen shal serue me: by which it apeareth, how this psalme is aptly aplied to Christ: for these words were neuer accōplished in the pro­phet Dauid. So it is alledged truly, as spoken by our sauiour Christ: I wil put my trust in him. Now, because the Apostle alledgeth this, to prooue our Sauiour Christ to be man, like vnto vs, mark how ye argumēt foloweth. Christ saith, I will put my trust in God: but it were a verie improper speach, and suche as the scripture neuer vseth, to say, God wil trust in God: therefore, there must be a nature in our Sauiour Christ inferiour to his Godhead, in which he spea­keth thus: I will trust in him, & that was his perfect humanitie like vnto ours, in whiche we sawe him subiect to perill, and howe, according to his trust, God his father deliuered him. And here the Apostle alledgeth such scripture for proofe of ye manhood of Christ, as also proueth y he is our king: for where he saith: I will trust in him: it noteth that Christe was not weake in faythe, but assuredly trusted in the power of God his father, that he should ouercome the diuel. And where it is saide: Beholde me & my children: he noteth the sure safetie of his children, that he will keepe them all from death, and hell, and not one of them shall perishe. And that the Apostle had this meaning, to proue also his kingdome, by these places, his owne words after, plainly shew: for of these places he cōcludeth, that Christ in his man­hood, [Page 178] by death ouercame the diuell, and set his chil­dren free from the bondage of the feare of death. Be­side this, y apostle (we are sure) made best choice of the Scriptures, to prouchis purpose: and therefore with great wisdome writing vnto the Iewes, who knew the lawe, he tooke suche places, not as in most cleare wordes proue the humanitie of Christe, but suche as proued it necessarilye, and proue plainely with all, that which they must needes learne, that Christ is our Prophet, our King, and Priest. And let vs heere learne, for our instruction, when we haue had experience of Gods benefits, as the prophet had, let vs vowe as he did: We will put our trust in him. When Dauid remembred how God had deliuered him from a Lion and a Beare, he was not affraide Sam [...] li. ca 17. of the vncircumcised Philistine. When Saint Paule had reckoned so many calamities, out of which God had deliuered him, he boasted of a holie hope, and said: he was sure that euer God would deliuer him. Our Sauiour Christ, when he would teache his dis­ciples that they ought not to be carefull for meate & drinke, he bad them remember, when of. v. loaues & two fishes, he multiplied so much, that he fed 5000. men: yet remained xii. baskets full. Likewise, how Matth. 16. [...] with vii. loaues and a fewe fishes, he fed at an other time 4000. & seuen baskets full remained. By this experience he would make them bolde, that God would feede them in all places: euen so it ought to be with vs. Hast thou experience of any be­nefite of God, whiche thou hast receiued in all thy life.

[Page 179] In this is the greatest thanks thou canst render vnto him againe: to trust assuredly that he will be good vnto thee stil. Hath God giuen thee ioy at any time in his Gospel, that thy soule hath had comforte in the hope of eternall life? Be glad of that in all tenta­tions, and know that God is wel pleased in thy faith, and this shall be the fruite of the former benefite, if thou persuade thy selfe that God will be merciful vnto thee, and giue thee the life that is euerl [...]sting. Thus we shalbe like our Sauiour Christ, and Gods benefites shalbe thankfully receiued of vs: hee hath beene good vnto vs, and wee will trust in him for euer.

An other testimonie yet followeth, to proue the humanitie of our Sauiour Christ, and it is this: Be­holde me and the children which thou hast giuen me: This is written in the eight of Esaie, in which chapter the Prophet fortelleth the captiuitie of the Israelites, by the King of Ashur: how it is determined of God, that the people for all their rebellions, should surelie perishe: but yet so, that God for his Churches sake would bridle their rage, and saue some who might prayse his name.

These threatenings and promises bothe, while the people did contemptuousely reiect: the Lord hiddeth the Prophet ceasse, and bynde vp these pro­mises, for another people, that should beleeue: and then the Prophet aunswering againe to God, in ac­knowledging all his trueth & goodnesse, saith thu (s). Beholde, I and the children that God hath giuen me. This is the sense of the Scripture, a [...]cording to that time, [Page 180] But in all deliuerances of the people of God, theē the benefite came vpon them only in respect of Christ, and it was euer a figure of the greate deliueraunce through him, which at last should be openly giuen, from death, and from the diuel: For this cause in all extreme perils of that people, whēthey would con­ceiue any hope, they would make mention of their Messias, and of the promises of God in him, which should neuer be frustrate: euen so in this place, whē the Prophet would speake certeinly of saluation, in the middest of daunger, he said of all those troubles they shall happen in thy lande, ò Emanuel: at the mention of whose name, he hath so sure hope, that Esa. 8. 8. he defieth the world, & sayth: Gather together on heapes, ô ye people, and ye shalbe broken in pieces: gyrde your selues and you shalbe broken in pieces: take counsel, and it shalbe brought to nought: pro­nounce a decree, and it shall not stande: for God is with vs: & so cōtinuing his prophesie all according to the similitude of the happie dayes of Christe, he sayth presently in his own person, and figuratiuely in the person of Christe: Though bothe the houses of Israel stumble, and the inhabitants of Ierusalem fall down: yet beholde, I and the children that God hath giuen me, will endure the reproches of men, & wil beleeue the promises. Which wordes in Christ haue this meaning: That how soeuer the wicked of the worlde doe fall, and are snared and taken: yet Christe wil keepe his, and not one of them shall pe­rish. Now, heere we must learne, as the Apostle tea­cheth: Was the Prophet Esaic a man like vnto his [Page 181] children, that is, like vnto those whiche obeyed his worde? Then was our Sauiour Christ perfect man, like vnto vs, whome he hath deliuered from sinne and death: and if he haue saued vs, he hathe saued those whom God hath giuen him, flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone: For this is his intercession vnto his Father: Beholde me and my children.

One other thing we must learne in this. There was an apostasie of all men, so that they which be­leeued were made as signes & wonders: yet how so euer the world was, the prophet saith: Beholde me and my childrē. Such shalbe the days of Christ, many shall fall away, religion & faith shalbe persecuted, iniqui­tie shall abound: What then? Our Sauiour Christe saith: Lo, I and my children, if the whole world fall away, we would not regarde their multitude to fol­lowe them to doe euill, but we would alone stande with the Lord our God. Such a faith & constancie was in Iosua, when he saide vnto all the people of Israel, If it seeme euil to you to serue the Lord, or if you will serue the Gods which your fathers serued Ios. 24. 13. beyonde the riuer: or the Gods of the Amorites in whose lande you dwell: yet I and my house will serue the Lord. Such a faith was in Elias whē he cō ­stātly folowed God, although he thought there was not one man beside in Israel, whiche had not wor­shipped [...]. Reg 19. [...] Baal. Such a faith was in Peter, when hee sawe all decline, euen the disciples and kinsfolke of our Sauiour Christ to fall from him, & vtterly for­sake him: yet Peter vowed it vnto Christ, that he & the apostles would not forsake him, shewing a good Ioh. 6. 68. [Page 182] cause of al their constancie: Thou hast the words of eter­nall life, & whether should we go? Suche a faith was in Paule, who cared neither for man nor Angel in this respect, but grounded his faith vppon Iesu Christe. Gal. 1. 9. And if an Angel would teache otherwise, let him (saith S. Paule) be accursed. Thus (dearely belo­ued) our faith must be sealed in our owne hearts, ha­uing the witnesse of the worde of God, on whiche we must so surely rest, that thoughe we sawe the whole worlde to fall away: yet we would stande a­lone, & in the midds of skorners and presumptuous sinners, we would speake as the prophet speaketh of our Sauiour Christ: Beholde I and my children whiche God hath giuen me. If other will needes by vnbelee­uing, seale vp the promises that they may neuer see them, and binde vp the testimonies that they may neuer heare them, let them fall and be snared, and be taken: yet I and my children will serue the Lorde. This boldnesse is the witnesse of a true faith: & this triall shalbe made of men, while the Gospel is prea­ched: For thus Christ cōmeth vnto his Father when all the worlde forsaketh him: Beholde me and my chil­dren. Here I would faine know of any learned man, nay, of any wise man, or rather of any reasonable man, whose heart is prepared to heare the word of God, & to obey it: let him tel me, why do they crie, The Church, the Church? Or why do they thinke the Church is alwayes in a visible gouernment? Or why do they carrie vs away to Rome, and tel vs the Pope cānot erre, his faith is catholique: beleeue as he beleueth & y shalt be safe? how cā this prerogatiue of [Page 183] place and person, stand with this tryall where vnto Christe calleth so manie: Beholde me and my children? that is, to holde the assurance of their fayth in their owne heart, when all the worlde shall be against it. The Prophet would then haue said, if such priuiled­ged places had bene: Behold Ierusalē I & my chil­dren wil dwel in it: And our Sauiour Christ would haue said: Beholde Rome, the Citie whiche thou hast chosen, I and my children will abide in it: but neither Ierusalem, nor yet Rome haue any excepti­on: the prophet Esaie & our sauiour Christe regar­deth neither of thē: but if Rome or if Ierusalem or if the Pope, or if the high priest teache an other fayth then out of the woord of God: Beholde, I and my children, we wil beleeue the Lord, & beare recorde against Popes & prelates: they be all lyers. All pla­ces and all people are brought in order: if they teach things that the word of God knoweth not let them beleue it them selues: Behold I and my children be­leeue an other. And is it not (trowe you) straūge, or haue not those mē lost their vnderstāding, who yet runne after the cry of the church, the church, and be­leeue a man they know not, a place they neuer saw, a people they neuer heard, & a religion they knowe not what? But with such froward persons the Lord hath dealt frowardly, & when they ran headlong they knew not whether, and inquired after a say the they knewe not what, God in his iustice did bring thē to Rome, the sinck in y world of all sinne & ini­quitie, & gaue thē their scholmaister to be the Pope, a man made of all abhominations and whordomes,

[Page 184] This is true (dearely beloued) and the Angels are witnesses with vs, this is true: but to this day, God hath not giuen some a hart to beleeue, we owe them a dutie, and let vs perfourme it vnto them. Let vs pray that God may open their mindes, and let vs speake vnto them the word of God, that they may learne wisdome, that at the last in their happie con­uersion we may glorifie God, who hath, and will deliuer his out of all tentations.

We must farther marke in these words, that the Prophet sayth: Beholde the children which thou hast gi­uen me. In y it is said, God hath giuē vs to his Sonne Christe, it teacheth vs to acknowledge his free gift and grace. And let none of vs think, there was any wisdome in our selues, why we wold choose him: nor any constancie in vs, by which we could cleaue vnto him: but God in his grace drewe vs, that wee Iohn. 5. might cōe vnto him, & with his power he strēgth­ned vs, that we should abide with him. This is it that our Sauiour Christe said vnto the Iewes: All 1. Pet. 5. 10. that my father giueth me, cōmeth vnto me & shew­ing in an other place, that his children can not pe­rish, he sheweth this reason: Because my father who hath giuen them to me, is greater then all: and in the long prayer which he maketh for all that do beleue, in the 17. of Iohn, he repeateth this often times, that God his father had giuen them vnto him: that Iohn. 6. 37. we by so many instructiōs, might be taught humi­litie, that in vs, that is in our flesh, there dwelleth no goodnes: but y he chose vs, he did it of his free grace and mercie, which he would shew vnto vs. And as Iohn. 10. 29 [Page 185] we knowe, that thus God hath once freely giuen vs to his sonne Christe, to inherite with him eternall life: so we knowe our election standeth sute, bee­cause it is according to this purpose, who hath loued vs, and is not changed for euer. But the time is past. Now let vs pray &c.

¶The eleuenth Lecture, vpon the 14. 15. 16. 17. and 18. verses.

14 For as much then, as the children are partakers of flesh and bloud he also him self likewise tooke part with them, that he might destroy, through death, him that had the power of death, that is, the diuel.

15 And that he might deliuer all them, which for feare of death were all their life time subiect to bondage.

16 For he in no sorte tooke on him the Angels nature, but he tooke on him the seede of Abraham.

17 Wherefore in all things it behoueth him to be made like vnto his brethren, that he might be merciful, and a faith­ful high Priest in things concerning God, that he might make reconciliation for the sinnes of the people.

18 For in that he suffered, & was tempted, he is able to suc­cour them that are tempted.

NOw, after that the Apostle hath proued y our Sauiour Christ was perfect man, and dyed for our sin­nes: he maketh in the 14. and 15. verses his conclusion, in plaine woordes, shewing how hee was [Page 186] man, and wherefore he dyed.

Touching his humanitie, according to the wor­des last alledged out of the Prophet: Beholde mee and my children: so he concludeth of it: If then other chil­dren be partakers of flesh and bloud: euen he also in like sorte is partaker of the same. This is therfore our faith, and thus we beleeue: as wee are, so is our Sauiour Christ, his nature like to ours, a resonable soule, & humane flesh in him, as wel as in vs: he differeth in nothing except sinne, but all is alike in him, and vs. Euen as other children, so he hath taken his parte of flesh and bloud: a cleare and manifest place for the humanitie of Christe, and suche a one, as hath con­founded all the aduersaries of it.

So it pleased the liuing God, he that in his mer­uaylous prouidence hath mercie ouer al his works, euen he who sometime in these earthly thinges to shewe his power, makethe the flowers to springe, and fruites to growe, where they were neither so­wen nor planted: hee (I say) in his great mercie and goodwill to man, did bring it to passe, that our Sauiour Christe should bee made man, and by the woorke of the holie Ghoste should bee conceiued and fourmed in the wombe of the virgine Marie: euen as all other Children, as the Apostle heere sayeth afterwarde: Like vs in all thinges, onely excep [...]e sinne. Cap. 4. 15.

Heere (dearely beloued) wee must not onely reiect the foule and rotten thoughts of such Here­tiques, as haue denyed the humanitie of our Sa­uiour Christe, but manie other vaine fancyes [Page 187] of men: who graunt in deede, a naturall bodie to our Sauiour Christe: but they giue it suche qualities, as no bodie in the worlde hathe [...] had.

Some saye, it may be euerie where: whome God will teache better in his good time. Others say: it may bee made with fiue wordes, spoken with one breath: Hoc est enim corpus m [...]m: For this is my bodie: a foolishe people, and of no vnderstan­dinge: and yet they are more vaine then this, they thinke it may be made of a peece of breade, without fourme or figure, and into breade they thinke it may returne againe, if the wicked doe eate it, or, if it beginne to digest in the good mans stomache.

Is this to make him like vnto vs, sinne onely excepted? Nay (dearely beloued) it is to be drun­ken, or else to bee madde in dallying with the bodie of Christe, we cannot tell howe. But they alledge Scripture for this, and saye: Christe hathe shewed suche miracles in his naturall bodie: as he walked on the Sea: He came in, when the doores were shutte: he became inuisible to the men that would haue throwen him downe the hill.

Therefore notwithstanding his likenesse with vs, yet he may be in euerie Church in the pixe ouer the Altar.

In deede, if wee sawe him in the pixe, as wee sawe him walke vppon the Sea, there were some reason in their foolish & vaine talke: but [Page 188] of things done bodily by Christ, in visible & plaine fourme, to imagine another thing quite contrarie to our eyes & eares, what force is in such an argumēt, or what reason is in such wordes? Besides this, in all these things, Christ did nothing; but he hath made man do the like, that euē in this also, he might shew his likenesse with vs: Christ walked vppon the sea, so did Peter [...] he was conueyed away soudenly out of his place, so was Elias: he entred when the dores were shutt, so did all the Apostles, (if maister Har­ding say true) and came into the Chappel, to helpe Basil to masse. If all this may proue Transubstantia­tion, then Peter and Elias, & all the Apostles might be transubstantiate with him: But the follie of this confuteth it selfe, and let vs leaue it.

Now it followeth in the Apostle, wherefore this man Iesus Christ dyed, & he saith: That by death he might abolish him who had the power of death, that is, the deuil. And that he might deliuer all thē, which for feare of death, were al their life long subiect to bondage. Two spe­cial vertues of y death of Christ are here set out: one y he might vanquish the diuel an other, y he might set his people at libertie: which both thinges, howe they were wrought in Christ, in the wordes them­selues, we shal more plainely see. Of the vanquish­ing of the diuel, he sayth thus: That by death he might abolish him who had the power of death. The diuel hath the power of death, that is, he is ye authour of it: by his malicious nature he brought it into the wotlde: for god made it no [...], nor hath any delite in it, neither [Page 189] it is good in his eyes, nor was euer mentioned a­mong the workes of his handes, but from the diuell and of the diuell, & in the diuel, it began, and is, and abydeth: & therefore in the Apocalypse his name is giuen him, Abaddon, that is, the destroyer: and as death is of him, so for this cause also he is sayde to haue the power of it, because through his manifold tentations, he maketh men sinne, by whiche death reigneth: for so S. Paule sayth of Adam, beeing se­duced by the diuell: By one man sinne entered into the world, and death by sinne, and so death went ouer al men, be­cause all haue sinned: this is it then that is said, Christe vanquished him that had the power of death, that is, Rom. 5. 1 [...]. he abolished sinne, and the condemnation of sinne, which was the kingdome of the diuel, and thereby triumphed ouer him. So Saint Iohn sayth: for this cause the sonne of God appeared, that he might lose the workes of the diuel, that is, sinne & death, which are both of the diuel: for sinne God condemneth, & of death he hath said: I wil be thy destruction: protes­ting he is author of neither of both. And how hath our sauiour Christ done this? Euen by death. A mer 1. Ioh. 3. 8. uelous wisedome, & an vnspeakable mysterie, such as could neuer haue bene foūd or done, but by God alone, for what els is death, but the power of the di­uel, and the verie miserie of the worlde? To make this the vanquishing of the diuel, and the meanes to bring all happinesse vnto man, what was it else but his excellent vertue, who (as Saint Paule sayth) cal­leth things that are no [...], a [...] though they were: and can raise vp light out of darknes. And sure if al men [Page 190] should haue laide their heades together, to wishe a plague to haue fallen vppon the diuel, they coulde not all haue deuised such another, that his glorie should be his shame: his power should be his ouer­throwe: his kingdome, his vndooing? What could the Prophet Dauid, in all his zeale of GOD, wishe more againste reprobate men, traytours to Christ, and to his Gospell, then thus to wishe? Let their deinti [...] tables be snares to take them, and let their prosperitie be their ruine. Euen thus Christe hath vanquished the diuell: and yet it is true, that he go­eth about like a roaring Lion, seeking whome hee [...]. Pet 5. 8. may deuoure: and it is true that Iohn saith, that he hath great wrath, and maketh cruell warre againste Apoc. 12. 17 the Church of Christ: but it is as true, his strength is all weakened, and his power is broken, that it can not hurte vs: for Christe hath nowe ouer­come him. And as Saincte Iohn sayth: The time is come, in whiche, the Prince of the worlde is Iohn. 12. 31. cast out, and Christe hath spoyled all principali­ties Col. 2. 15. and powers, and triumphed ouer them, vppon his crosse.

But how is it then, thou wilt saye, that his as­saultes are so fearefully described, that he is sayd, to be Prince of this worlde, ruler of this darcknesse, Ephe. 6. 12. full of power and authoritie ouer fleash and bloud? Because we should knowe, no fleash is able to with­stand him: neither was it according to the power of mortall man, that he was vanquished: but onely Iesus Christe of the tribe of Iudah, was the Lion to [Page 191] crushe him in peeces.

Wilt thou knowe then, where and to whome, the diuell is abolished? Before Christ our heade, and to all the faithfull, that are members of his bodie.

Wilt thou knowe, where, and to whome, the diuel is in ful power, and ouercome? Before the naturall man, and to all those whiche in their owne strength, seeke to resist him: and therefore Sainct Paule, when he had described him in all his greatnesse, hee biddeth streight, caste away the strength of fleshe and bloude, and put on all the ar­mour of God: for onely by it, we should stande vp­right in the day of euill.

So the diuel is abolished to all those that haue the shield of faith, to quenche his firie dartes, that is, to all those which beleeue onely in Christ to be partakers of his victorie.

The diuel is in full force to those that are [...], trusting in their owne woorkes, or in the li­bertie of their owne will.

In that the diuel is saide, to haue the power of death, as in other places, where he is called, the God of the worlde: the Prince of this darkenesse: the Author of sinne, wee must note this: if we rest in sinne, liue in errour and ignoraunce, followe the lustes of the worlde, or walke in all the wayes of death, then let me feare: for here is the kingdome of Sathan, and my perill is nigh, that I should be holden in it.

[Page 192] But if I be at couenaunt with my selfe, to haue no pleasure, but vtterly to hate these things: if I like not to go in the pathes of death: if I loue not the world nor the things of the worlde: if I haue my delight in the word of God, to vnderstand the mysterie of Christe, and to be lightned with it: if I hate sinne and all the enticements of it: then may I hope, I walke in the likenesse of our Sauiour Christ, and all the power of Sathan is broken before me.

Where it is further said: that Christe hath done this by his death: that by death he ouercame him that had the power of death, we see a cleare and ma­nifest testimonie, what maner of death Christe suf­fered, euen that, ouer which the diuell had his po­wer: the same death, which is the rewarde of sinne: by bearing it, he ouercame it: and he conquered no more then he submitted himselfe vnto: for by death he ouercame death: if he suffered no more but a bo­dily death, he ouercame also but a bodilie death: we shall all rise againe, but in the condemnation of the sinne of our soule: or if he haue ouercome death and the power of it, both in our bodie and soule, then Christ hath suffered the paines of it, both bodie & soule, yt we might rise again frō ye bands of death, and liue with him for euer. For this is true, by death he hath ouercome death, and he hath broken ye force of it, no further, then he hath felt the sting of it in him selfe. Therefore, this let vs holde, and let vs so beleeue. Christ, bodie and soule, was made a sacri­fice for our sinnes: so he saide himselfe: My soule is Matt. 26. 58 exceeding sorrowful, euen vnto death: & at the entr [...]e in­to [Page 193] it. Saint Marke saith: He beganne to be astonished Mat. 14. 33. Luke. 22. 44 at his griefe, & was ouerwhelmed with his sorrow: in which agonies Saint Luke saith, his sweat was as drops of bloud falling from him: and God sent an Angel from heauen to strengthen him. And can we thinke al this came vnto our sauiour Christ, for feare of the death of the bodie? His seruants that receiue of his fulnesse, do they so easily despise this death, that either they wish for it, to be with Christ, or they reioyce in the middes of it before ye persecu­ter: and did our sauiour Christ himself, in whom is the fulnesse of the spirite, so feare and tremble at the remembrance of it? Did the Apostles sing in prison, and went away reioycing, when they were whip­ped & scourged? Did Paul glorie in so manie tribu­lations which he reckoneth vp? and did our Sauiour Christ, in the like paine, crie with a fainting heart? My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? No (dearly beloued) it is not so: but that which made Christ to tremble, would haue crushed his Apostles in peeces: and that which made him to sweat bloud so plenti­fully, would haue made them sink into the bottom of hell: and that which made him crie, would haue holden both men and Angels vnder euerlasting wo and lamentation. If then our Sauiour Christ were Psal. 22. 14 (as the prophet saith) like water powred out, and all his bones out of [...]oynt, if his hart were like wax mol ten in the midds of his bowell, if his strength were dried vp like a potsherd, and his toung cleaued vnto his iawes, if he were brought with his sorowes into the dust of death: fie vpon their blasphemous spea­ches [Page 194] & cursed words, which say he suffered nothing but bodily paine. I would those which are Papistes among vs, and in their simplicitie are deceiued with the errour of many, I would (I say) they knewe the wickednes of this one point of their doctrine, that they say ye soule of Christ suffered nothing but one­ly for the bodies sake, as our soules suffer when our bodies are weake, or are sicke, or die. If God impute this their ignorance vnto them, howe shal they be saued from the death of sinne and condemnation? Do they not know what the scripture saith? He bare our sinnes in his bodie, he submitted himselfe to the death of them, and by the wounds of his stripes we be healed. Did our sinnes deserue only a bodily 2. Pet. [...]. 14. death? or did they not deserue ye second death, which is the wrath of God, holding bodie and soule in an euerlasting fire? And how shall they escape it, if they know not this death in the bodie of Christ, by whose stripes they may see themselues healed? Let them pray, and let vs pray for them, that if it be the will of God, they may soone be conuerted, & know the vnspeakable loue of our Sauiour Christe, who was accursed for our sakes, & suffered for vs, not on­lie ye torments of his bodie, but the anguishe of his soule, and the wrath of his Father▪ which wounded his flesh and spirit vnto death, and would haue hol­den him in that condemnation for euer, if he had beene no stronger then we that deserued it. But be­cause he was also the Sonne of God, in whome the fullnesse of the Godhead dwelt bodily, the eternall spirite that was within him did lose the chaines of [Page 195] death and hel, and mightily arose vp from the pow­er of Sathan, of whiche it was impossible that hee should be holden: and he hath left those his enimies the diuel, death, & hel, in ignominie and darcknesse, and hath abolished them for euer and euer: not to hurt vs any more, worlde without end. In this hope (dearlie beloued) is our delight and dwelling place, and they that knowe not these sufferings of Christ, our soules shall haue no pleasure in their counsels. And thus farre of the firste benefite mentioned of the deathe of Christe, that he hath abolished the di­uel.

The second benefite is, that we be set at libertie from the bondage of the feare of death: For so the apostle sayth: And should set them free, as many a [...] with the feare of death, all their l [...]fe long, were hold [...]n i [...] bōdage: In these wordes, let vs now consider what bondage we were in, without Christe▪ and what libertie wee haue obteyned through him. Without Christe, all our life is a miserable bondage: in feare and terrour of eternall condemnation to come vpon vs, for our sinne, in the day of death: through Christe wee see our sinnes purged, the diuell vanquished, death and condemnation abolished, and our selues in the li­bertie of the childrē of God, to say: Our father whiche art in heauen. This is the difference of estate betwene the children of God, and the children of this world. And what miserie (trow we) then do the wicked of the world liue in? There is in deede no peace vnto the wicked, as the Lord hath said, when in all their life is feare and terrour: when they carrie in their [Page 196] breastes tormenting furies, to holde them day and night in feare of endlesse destruction. God hath don it, and no doubt they feele it, there is giuen vnto thē a spirit of bondage, and of feare, in which they trem­ble Ro [...]. 15. [...]. Tim. 17. at their owne estate: they are the children of the handemayde Agar, borne in the bondage of her Gal. 4. 25. wombe, and dwell in the deserte, and are in mount Sinaie, where is the burning fire, and blacknesse, and Heb 12. 18. darknesse, and tempest, and sounde of trumpet at which they tremble: for they are without Christ, and therfore must needes be in bondage, and in the feare of death all their life. But thou wilt say: The wicked prosper & reioyce in their dayes, they are bound in no such bondage, nor feare no such feare. Thou canst not tell, nor thou knowest not the heart of a wicked man, howsoeuer hee boast in his sub­stance, and hath peace in his riches: peraduenture there is a bitter remembrance of death▪ within him. When Pharaoh the proud tyrant had hardened his heart, & boasted exceedingly against ye people of Is­rael: Exod. 12. 31 yet he sawe no sooner, the death of the first borne, but he feared & trembled, as the leaues in the wildernes: and I remember Solomon sayth: There is in deede a way that a man thincketh streight and pleasant, when the issues of it leade vnto death. But what pleasure is that, and what delight? Solomo [...] addeth, euen in that laughing ye heart is sorrowfull: and that mirth doth end in heauinesse: they doe in­deede Pro. [...]4. 13. strengthen them selues, & striue mer [...]eilous­ly to cast out feare, sometime with one pastime somtime with an other: but if they could cast it out [Page 197] as out of a cannon, yet would it euermore returne againe and vexe their heart, that so flieth from it. Balaam would faine haue comforted himselfe, with riches and honor, which he loued so much: yet was he not without feare, but at the last it brake out and he spake: Let my soule die the death of the righteous, and Num. [...]. [...] let my latter end be like vnto theirs. So I beleeue it is with all these men, of reprobate mindes, that stoare vp violence and robberie in their palaces, that fill their tables with drunkennesse, their bodies with vncleannesse, their mouthes with blasphemie: they know it, I think, and euen as Iosua saide, with all Ios. 23 14▪ their hearts, and with all their soules they knowe it, yt the righteous mans life is better then theirs: they know that a groat wel gotten, is better then a pound stolen: that sobrietie is better then righteousnesse: that the chaste bodie is more blessed then the adul­terous fleshe: that the mouth that praiseth God gi­ueth a sweeter sounde then all their wicked talke: and if they do know this, would they neuer so faine [...]eare off their conseiēce as with a glowing y [...]on, yet sometime it awaketh them as out of a slepe, & they see a fearefull sight of death and bondage: so that, let vs not frett our selues, because of the wicked, nor be enuious at their prosperitie: for neither their house, nor lande, nor hidden treasure, can either take from their bodies their quartan agues, nor this care from their minde, that they should not feare at the re­membrance of their sinne. And if there be any that feareth least, in whome the stronge man so pos­sesseth al, that the things he hath, seme to be in peace: [Page 198] yet for all that he is neuer the better, no more then the stalled oxe is the better, because he knoweth not that he is taken out to go to the slaughter-house: but a souden death shal haue the greater feare: and ther­fore (dearly beloued) seeing their condition, though we make the best of it, is yet extreme euil: let not our lott be with theirs, but with the righteous, of whom the Apostle saith, that they are seit free from the bō ­dage of the feare of death. But you wil say, where is this fredome? for the righteous man is yet affeard to die: not euerie one: for Paule saide, I desire to be dis­solued and to be with Christ: & no doubt God hathe so Phil. 1. 23. reuealed this hope to many sainctes, that they des­pise the graue and death: how be it, I graunt this is rare: and it is natural to all, to be loath to lay downe this earthly tabernacle, notwithstanding we are free from this bondage to feare at it, as thoughe wee had no hope. And though we die in bodie, yet we are free from eternall death, and no feare of it shal ouer­come vs so this is our blessing, not that we shal not die: but that we shal not be holden in death, and not that we shall not feare, but that we shal not be ouer­come with feare: & he is a true christiā man that ne­ther refuseth to die, nor yet sainteth for any feare of death: for why should I repine to giue this bodie to death? I must needes die, because my bodie is full of sinne: and I wil willingly die, that I may be deliue­red from this bodie subiecte vnto sinne: I muste needes die, because I am full of corruption whiche Rom. 7. 24. must be chaunged: and I will willingly die, because I would put on incorruption, that I might see God: [Page 199] I must needes dye, because I beare the image of an earthlie man: and I will willinglie die, that I may bee like the heauenlie man Iesus Christe: I must needs die, because so is Gods ordinance: and I will willingly die, that I may shewe mine obedience to his wil: for these causes I submit my selfe to the de: Heb. 9. 27. cree of God, who hath appointed for al men once to die, and I am either not at all afraid of it, or the feare 1. Cor. 15. 36. of it is not much: for I know the sting of it is gone, the victorie of it is lost, the curse of it is taken away, Gal. 3. 13. that which remaineth is onelie profitable for vs: for 1. Cor. 3. [...]. Ro. 14. 7. it shall bring an end of all our labours, and giue vs vp into the hands of Iesu Christ. Thus it is now ac­complished, that heere is spoken: that Christe hath set vs free from the bondage of the feare of death: which (dearely beloued) if we wil learne & knowe, assuredly it wil worke great increase of grace, it will chaunge our mindes more then wee are ware of, & when we are wise hearted to see in deede, no doubt we shal be as bolde as Paul, and say vnfeignedly: We desire tobe dissolued, and to be with Christe.

It followeth now in the 16, verse: For he tooke not at all vpon him the Angels, but he tooke vpon him the seede of Abraham. These woordes are a further declaration of that he said: He tooke parte of fleshe and bloud, euen as other children. This he maketh plaine thus: He tooke not (I say) any nature of Angels, but hee tooke the nature of Abraham, and was of his seede: naming Abraham, bothe in respect of the promises which were first made personally to him: and be­cause by his name, there was more weight to per­suade [Page 200] the Iewes that hee was their Messias, and by example the doctrine is more plaine, and in dede it is verie plaine: as other children tooke fleash, so did he, flesh I say, not the nature of Angels, but the seede of Abraham. And if the Apostle conclude all this, of these wordes of the Prophet, Beholde me and my chil­dren, what may wee conclude, and how boldely of the wordes of Matthew? Abraham begat Isaak, Isaak begat Iacob, Iacob begat Iudas, and so foorth, till hee came to the virgin Marie, of whome Christe was borne. How faithfully may we beleeue it, that hee was borne a man as other children were? And how boldely may wee detest all the madnesse of Mar­tion, Maniche, Nestorius, Eutichus, Apelles, Apolli­naris, Ennomius, Cerdo, Valentinus, the Pope him self: and all their disciples, who haue so many way es denied the true humanitie of Christe?

It followeth in the seuenteenth verse: Wherefore in all things it became him to be made like vnto his bre­thren, that he might be a mercifull and faithful high Priest in things concerning God, that he might make reconciliati­on for the sinnes of the people. In these words the Apos­tle sheweth an other necessarie cause why our Sa­uiour Christ was man: that by experience of our infirmities, hee might be mercifull, and faithfull to worke the reconciliation betweene God and vs: and so concludeth this disputation of his humanitie, ap­plying it now vnto his priesthood, as before parti­cularly he had done to his kingdome, and prophe­fie.

These words: He ought in all things to be like vnto [Page 201] his brethren: which are repeated againe Cap. 4. 15. they are to be marked of vs, that wee see how ex­preslie still the Apostle vrgeth, that Christ is a verie naturall man, altogether as we be, except sinne: like nature, the same flesh, like affections, the same soule, like properties of bodie, the same hunger, thirst, and other desires.

And as he is now, so we shalbe, our bodyes glo­rified Phil. 3. [...]. [...]. as his: nor his no more infinite or in manie places then ours shalbe: and thus it was necessarie it should be, that he might be a faithfull high Priest, to reconcile vs, euen vs bodie and soule vnto God his Father.

It followeth in the 18. verse: For in that he suffered, when him selfe was tempted, he is able to succour those that are also tempted. These wordes shew the cause of the former saying, why our Sauiour beeing made man was so much the more meete to be a faithful medi­atour vnto vs towarde God: for beeing man, and him self tempted, he felt our infirmities, and had the more compassion towarde vs. Other thinges wee haue to note in the 17 and 18. verse, which the next time we will more speake of. Now let vs pray. &c.

The twelth Lecture, more vpon the two last verses, and vpon the first verse of the third Chapter.

17 Wherefore in all things, it behoued him to be made likè vnto his brethrē, that he might be mercifull, & a faith­full high Priest in things concerning God, that he might make reconciliation for the sinnes of the people.

18 For in that he suffered, and was tempted, bee is able to succour them that are tempted.


1 THerfore, holie brethren, partakers of the heauenly vo­cation, consider the Apostle and high priest of our pro­fession, Christe Iesus

THe Apostle (as I saide) shewed in these last verses, what profite is vn­to vs, in that Christ became man: for so he was made a merciful and faithfull high Priest. The meanes of this faithfulnes was, for that he hauing experience of our tempta­tion, had the more compassion on vs, to deliuer vs. How dan­gerous a thing it is to denie that Christe hath a na­tural body like vnto ours.

Heere we are first taught, that Christe became a faithfull high Priest for vs, because he was man like vnto vs: so that, who soeuer denyeth our Sauiour Christe to haue a naturall bodie like vnto ours, he also denyeth that he is either a mercifull, or faithfull [Page 203] mediatour for vs; for so it pleased God to instructe him according to his manhood, that by experience and feeling, he should learne to haue pitie on others: he calleth him mercifull, in respect of the affection of his minde, which was full of compassion toward vs: hee is called faithfull, in respecte of his constan­cie, who would neuer leaue vs, till he had brought vs into eternall life. In all this we must learne how to do good vnto our brother in affliction: and these two things in our Sauiour Christe, we must care­fully keepe, if we will be righteous after his simili­tude: We must ioyne vnto all our doing, a loue and compassion to our brother in his want, and a con­stancie in well deseruing, that our loue be not wea­ried with paine and labour: for without loue, what soeuer I do, it is nothing no, not though I gaue, (as Sainct Paule saith) all the goods I haue vnto the 1. Cor. 13. 4 poore. And, I pray you, is not this the law of God? Loue thy brother as thy selfe: wherein all our due­ [...]e is taught vs betweene man & man. What then though I do no murther, or steale not, or speake not euil, though I helpe the safetie of my brothers life, though I mainteine his estate, thoughe I bring him increase of goods, though I care for the puritie of his bodie; though I mainteine his good name? Except I haue in all this an inwarde loue and affectiō to do it to him with such a hart as I would haue another do the like to mee, and to be grieued with all his hurt, as though I my selfe susteined it: except (I say) some measure of this loue and com­passiō be in my doing, my doing hath none accoūt [Page 204] in the fight of God. Marke this (dearely beloued) and teache it your children: and I would our fathers knew it well, that boast so much of the good works of the old world. There is no good work vnder the sunne, but that whiche is done in loue and compas­sion of minde: and were their workes such whereof they brag, when they gaue the riche altar clothes, & vestimentes, the costlie hanginges for their chan­cels, their bels, their gilded crosses: when they car­ued curious images, and clothed thē with goldsmi­thes woorke: when they builded chapels and chan­teries: when they went farre on their knees, gaue riche gifts vnto shrines? In all these works so much magnified, where was mercie? what loue, what cōpas sion was there in thē? They pitied not (I am sure) the pouertie of lime & stones, to cloth thē so gorgeous­ly: nor they pitied not y priest in his furred gowne, to put vpon him a cope of great price: & for all men in y world, let him speak y euer was the better for it: whose bodie was y warmer for y costly clothing of y church walls? whose house was ye lighter for ye tor­ches & candels about ye altar? whole head aked y lesse for ye goodly garland of an image? or if there were in all this, no profite to my brother, no loue, no cōpas­sion of the thing to which I gaue a gift, how could these be good works y had no goodnes in thē? For I thinke there is no man so vaine y will thinke he did these things vnto god: y were vnspekable blindnes, to thinke y with the gifts of golde and siluer I could please god: he gaue no gold nor siluer for our raūsō, nor he wil take none for recompence of our sinnes.

[Page 205] The Prophet plainely sayth: Al my goods can bring no­thing vnto thee, O Lord. And how doth the Lord him Psal. 16. 2. selfe reiect such vaine thoughts of our hearts, when he saith? If I be hungrie I will not tell thee: and such o­ther like speaches in the fiftie psalme, commaunding expresly, if we will doe good with meate, drinke, cloath, golde, siluer, &c. bestowe it vpon the needie brethren: for God taketh no such gifts at our hands. And therfore (dearely beloued) al these good works of which you haue heard such boasting, before God they are as nothing, & there is no goodnes in them: for neither is there any mercie in such doings, and without it, it is impossible to please God in thy doe­ing. And thus we see their workes, euen their grea­test workes, and of supererogation, when you haue weighed thē wel, they are found lighter then straw. And their woorkes of dignitie next vnto these, they are of the same sort, of no value, as light as vanitie it selfe. Such are their penie or groate doles, when the man is dead, that his executours vse to giue for his soule. Was there euer folie like vnto this? No work is good without loue & compassion of mine owne flesh: yet then is the worke done for me, when my flesh is without sense, and when there is no compas­sion or feeling left within mee. But God is iust, and for so fruitelesse a work he gaue a helplesse reward [...] they bestowed a verie ydle liberalitie, and GOD recompenced it with verie ydle thankes, that for their benefite the foolish people should say, Lorde haue mercie on his soule: for whome I thinke they prayed not al the dayes of his life, when the accept­ble 2. Cor. 6. 2. [Page 206] time was, and the day of health (as Sainct Paule saith) in which they might haue ben heard. But god at the last hath visited vs, & this vanitie is scattered away: I would y remēbrance of it were gon with it.

An other propertie is here attributed to Christ, that he was faythfull, that is, constant, and vnmoue­able in his loue, til he had finished our reconciliati­on: a lesson vnto vs, y loue should not faint within vs, nor we be wearie with the labour and trauell of it: for true it is, loue is not an idle affection, to say, I would hee were well, Or, God helpe him: but loue is painefull to helpe in time of neede, and well wil­ling, that no paine can wearie it. So S. Paul saith: E­ternall life is giuen to thē which looke for it, in con­tinuāce Rom. 2. 7. of wel doing. And in another place he bid­eth vs not to be wery of wel doing: for we shal reape Gal. 6. 9. the fruit of it, & not be wearie: a thing (dearely belo­ued) cōfessed of al men, yea, the verie Gentiles knew it, y all my well doing is nothing worth, if at last I would leaue my brother in miserie, & not help him stil. But it is a thing practised of verie few, when I haue once or twise traueled in my brothers cause, not to be wearie, but to helpe him stil: this corrup­tion of y world, let vs take heede of it, & correct the frowardnes of our own nature. Tell me, I pray, if I saw a man like to drowne in y mids of the Thames, what if I came vnto him, and brought him nigh to the shore, and then lest him drowning by the banck side, what good did I to him? Sure, no more then he that looked on, and let him alone in the middes: on­ly I made him languish with a vaine hope, whereby [Page 207] his death was the bitterer. And tell me thou fainting wearie friende: if Christ should haue done so with thee, how great had beene thy miserie? If he had en­dured for thee the paine of his birth, the trauel of his life, the affliction of his flesh, the reproches of men, ye tentatiōs of the diuel, & then had left thee in bon­dage of death whiche thou couldst not escape, what hadst thou beene the better? Let vs learne then to be faithfull as he was faithfull, & endure to the ende in well doing. I speake this with griefe, to see y world, how euerie man is left in his righteous cause: faire words & goodly countenances are not hard to gett, but a faithfull heart to deliuer the iust out of trouble, I haue seene it in Christ: I haue not else found it in one. Yet this I am sure of, he that is faithful in this behalfe, he is like vnto Christ, and Christe liueth in him. And thus farre of the last verses of this second Chapter.

Now let vs come to ye third. Therfore holie brethren partakers of the heauenly calling, cōsider the Apostle & high Priest of our professiō Christ Iesus: Now y Apostle lea­ueth to make any further description of the persō of Christ, wherof we haue heard, & beginneth a more particular declaration of his offices: & first, how hee is our Prophet, to the 14. verse of the next chapter. And now let vs learne to be fruitefull hearers: and this exhortatiō, let it make vs wise, that carefully & diligently we may hearken, and learne the my sterie of y Lord Iesu, in which we be saued: that we may haue the testimonie in our selues, that we be y chil­dren of the Newe testament.

[Page 208] Therefore holy brethren, &c. Let vs marke diligent­ly euerie woorde, in this excellent exhortation: for they are not onely a wise persuasion to moue vs to care and diligence in learning: but the exhortation is so gathered out of the former doctrine, that this one sentence is a plaine expositiō of all the doctrine taught before from the eleuenth verse, to the end of the Chapter. He saith first: Therefore, Or, for this cause: as if he would say: Seeing it is so with vs, seeing God hath receiued vs into this grace, seeing such an excellēt prophet is giuē vnto vs, let vs heare him. So in the first worde he sheweth, that this ex­hortation is according to his former doctrine.

Then he calleth them, Holie, alluding to that he spake in the eleuenth verse: He that sanctifieth, & they that are sanctified are one: to teach vs that we be holie, that we are one with Christ, and y by his spirit san­ctifying vs, we be receiued into his felowship. He calleth them Brethren, repeating that he taught in the 11. & 12. verse, that Christ hath taken our nature, & we are euen as his brethren, fellow-heires with him in the kingdome of his Father: and that this is the meaning of, Brethren, the words following declare. Partakers of the heauenly calling: these wordes shewe what brotherhood he speaketh of: that is, a heauen­ly brotherhood which we haue with Christe: for Christ the sonne of God, who hath brought downe heauenlie giftes, hath imparted himselfe vnto vs, & made vs fellowes with him in these heauenly bles­sings: first reuealing his fathers wil, then defending vs from our enimies: and at last presenting vs fault­lesse [Page 209] before God, abolishing the diuel and the feare of death, of whiche heauenlie giftes he spake in the 12. 13. 14. & 15. verses. After he addeth: The Apostle and high priest of our profession: In these words he teacheth, what offices he had before attributed to Christ, in y texts alledged: first y he is our prophet, calling him by the name of Apostle, that is, the messinger of God, to teach vs our profession, verse 12: then y he is our priest, to present vs before God, as verse. 13. And although, as I haue often tolde you, his kingdome is also manifestly proued by that is saide afore: yet by this place I gather, that the Apostle hath especi­ally and of purpose, onely taught this, that Iesus Christ, God and man, is only our Prophet & priest, to declare and worke our saluation, exhorting vs now to learne carefully so great a mysterie.

Now let vs consider further this exhortation, to see what profitable thinges we haue to learne in it: where we are first called Holie Brethren, we may see in these wordes a good image of the Churche of Christe: Brethren (as is said) noteth our vnitie with Christ our head, by the participation of his spirit, so the church is a people graffed into Christ, y is, made members of Christ, and sanctified with his spirite. This is our knowledge of the church, which is true and catholique: it is not in any obseruation of time, of place, of person, but where this brotherhood is a people ioyned to the Lord Iesus, and sanctified by him, there is the church: to talke of any places, it is great follie, Christ will not haue his Churche to be known by countrie or kinred, or respect of persons, [Page 210] but only by this, that they are graffed in him, and made a holy brotherhod. And here let vs learn what is true holinesse, euen to be made partakers of the holinesse that is in Christ: for he hath sāctified him selfe for vs, and is made vnto vs our sanctification of God, without whome we are fleshe & bloud, the cogitations of our heart bent to euil, & all our righ­teousnes as a defiled cloath. For if the Angels that are greater then wee in all power & excellencie, can not iustifie themselues in his sight: what can we do, (as Eliphas saith) yt dwell in houses of clay, whose Iob. 4. 19. foundation is in the dust, & who shalbe destroyed before the moth? The Lord hath no neede of our workes, nor they shall euer come in account before him: for if one man could do all that all fleshe hathe euer done, yet stil he might say, he were vnprofita­ble. The great iustice, fortitude, temperance, libera­litie, and all other vertues, whiche so abounded in some of the Gentiles, what haue they to glorie in them? Nothing at all before God: except they say, as Paule witnesseth of them: When we thought our selues wise, we were verie fooles. And why was all their doing nothing worth? Because they sought their righteousnes in them selues, and were not of y brotherhood of Christ, to seeke all their holinesse in his person. Euen thus (dearely beloued) and none otherwise, it is with all Iusticiaries in the worlde, whether they be Gentiles, or whether they be Pa­pists, in their righteousnesse they are defiled, and in their wisdome they are made foolishe: if they seeke their holinesse in them selues, or iustifie the worke [Page 211] which their hands haue brought foorth. And let no mā, be he neuer so holie, if he were as good as Paul, exempt him self: for Paule him selfe confesseth this with vs, that what soeuer he could do, he would ac­compt it but as doung, that he might haue the righ­teousnes, not which was of him selfe, but that which was by faith in Iesus Christ, that he might be of this brotherhood, & as he sayth, that he might be found Phil. 3. 9. in him. This is the true rule of holinesse, otherwise to talke of our grandfathers and fathers, what good works they haue done: it is to shew forth our owne ignorance in the faith of Christ. For what haue our fathers done: but Socrates, Aristides, Scipio, Fabri­cius, and a thousande among the Gentiles did as much? Or, if they had done neuer so much, if they had giuen all their goods to the poore, and their bo­die to the fire, what then? Except they had bene bre­thren with Iesu Christ, one with him, & sought for their righteousnesse by fayth in him, they had no holinesse in them. And I merueile how this beeing so plaine, so many yet can bee deceiued, to loue still that idolatrous nation, whiche teacheth them to glorie in their owne workes: and let no man thinke we slander them, or that they giue not this glorie to their owne workes: for their owne wordes testifie against them: they haue named it distinctly, Opus operatum, A worke wrought of it selfe, without grace, with­out Christ, without fayth, Opus operatum, The thing done it is meritorious. Did euer Pagane attribute more to them selues? Then we may boldly conclude against them, and our Sauiour Christ shall be our warrant. [Page 212] They are not of God, because they seke their owne glorie: and let vs giue glorie vnto God, to acknow­ledge all our holinesse to be in this brotherhood, as we be one with Christ, and Christ with vs, whome God hath giuen a sanctification vnto vs.

In that we are saide, to be Partakers of the heauenly calling: we must consider what is the honour offered vnto vs: and that we be not dull of hearing, when such a blessed sound is brought vnto our eares. If we were called to vile things, wee might stop our eares, but hauing a heauenly calling, they be, and let them be excuselesse that despise it. It was a vsuall persuasion with Saint Paule, to put the Churches in minde of their calling they had of God, to stir them vp the more willingly to follow it. I beseech you bre­thren Ephe 4. 1. (saith he to the Ephesians) walke worthy of your calling, in which you are called. And of him self he testi­fieth to the Philippians, that his continuall traue [...]le was to be carried to the price of his high calling of God, which was in Christ Iesu: so let vs also be in­flamed Phil. 3. 14. with the loue of our calling, to followe it, lest it come vpon vs also, which was spoken in the Prophets: See you despisers, & maruell and vanishe away: for I will woorke a woorke in your dayes, a Act. 13. 40. worke which you will not beleeue, though a man should tell it you. We haue not to deale, as our fa­thers had, with men that preache lies, and are lear­ned to tell tales, and happie had they beene, if they had reiected them: but the sonne of God is come vn­to vs, and hath called vs with a heauenly calling, and yet againe his voice hath shaken, not the earth only, [Page 213] but also Heauen. And how muche thinke you were it better for vs, that we were againe in the darke dayes, and blacknesse of our olde superstition, then thus openly to heare the Gospell, and litle or no­thing to giue heede vnto it? But this is a case almoste desperate, and when we speake, we are almost with­out hope. We haue so many yeres despised this heauenly calling: and lewde men, lewde I may wel call them, though some be riche, and some be high, who take suche libertie, by reason of their riches & titles, that they dare openly blaspheme the Gospell, and contemne our churche and congregations, and no man is to controll them: for this cause, (for my part) I am nighe persuaded, that God will cut off this generation, whome he hath loued, and raise vp another, which yet he will blesse more, and they shall bring a discipline into his Church, which shall stoppe the mouthes of these mightie grants, whiche thinke by their strength, to do what they will. But I leaue this to the Lord, who doth regarde it.

Where Christ is said here, to be The Apostle and highe priest of our profession: we must learne this, that we that be Christians professe no other teacher, nor no other Sauiour: but this is all we beleeue, and all we speake, that Christ is bothe our wisedome & our iustification: his worde is ours, his doctrine is ours, his wisedome is ours, we professe not one iot, or one title wherof he hath not bene an Apostle vn­to vs: and whoso euer he be, that teacheth vs other things, then what Christ hath taught vs al, he is not of our profession, nor of our brotherhood: and more [Page 214] then this, we are sure he teacheth nothing but vaine illusions and imaginations of men: for all treasures of wisdome and true knowledge are hid in Christ. And seeing it hath pleased him to be our Apostle, who is the sonne of God, ye brightnes of his glorie, y ingrauen forme of his substance, ye heire of al things the maker of heauen & earth, farre greater then An­gels: how vnthankfull be we, if his doctrine be not our profession? Nay, how madd be we, if we will change him either for any other, or els for al other? What so euer glorious names they bring of Fa­thers, Doctours, Counsels, and suche like boasting words, we neither knowe them, nor their names: if they be ministers of Christ vnto vs, their feete are beautifull, and their names are honorable: if they be their owne ministers, wee know them not, nor all their glorie: if they say, they be Doctours, we may well say againe, they are but Phariscies that will be called Rabbie. We haue no Doctour but one, and that is Christ, & he is The Apostle of our profession.

Now, where the Apostle calleth Christe the highe Priest of our profession, as we haue learned before, if he be our Apostle, we haue no other teacher: so we learne here, if he bee the Priest of our profession, no part nor parcell of the office of his priesthoode wee may giue to another, but professe it clearly, that he is our Priest alone. And as the Priest is ordeined to make sacrifice for sinne, and to be a mediatour be­tweene God and man: so all this worke wee must leaue wholy vnto him, know no other, receiue no other, professe no other, vpon whome we will lay this reconciliation, to purge our sinnes, and to bring [Page 215] vs vnto God, but Christe alone: for he is The Priest of our profession, he hath washed vs from our sinnes, he hath ioyned vs vnto God, let him haue all the praise of this saluation. Let vs call all the worlde in­to a reckoning, who soeuer they be, Popes, prelates, abbats, monks, friers, heremites, ankers, their indul­gences, their pardons, their blessinges, their orders, their garments, their vowes, accōpt all their works, prayers, fastings, meditations, pouertie, nakednesse, and al the chastisings of their bodies: if in al this laid on a heape, thou seekest to counterpeise but the least iot of thy sinne, thou makest thy selfe thy priest, and art an hypocrite or an hypocrits disciple & hast de­nied Christ to be the Priest of thy profession: for if he be thy Priest, he is thy Priest alone, purging al & euery one of thy sinnes, & hath neither fellowe, nor helper in his worke: but as he hath saide, so he hath done: and hee hath troaden alone the wine-presse of the wrath of God. Beware therefore (dearely be­loued) of such doctours, & of such doctrine, which in the question of forgiuenesse of sinnes, carrie a­way your senses to any man, or woorke of mans hand: for it is but subtiltie to make you blinde, that Christe should not be the Prieste of your professi­on. And as it is thus in the purging of our sinnes, so in beeing mediatour betweene God and vs, to offer vp our workes, our prayers, and vs our selues faultlesse before his father, there is no other but hee alone: for if all Angels would present our prayers, yet they could not, our thoughts are so euil and our wordes so vncleane, that the Angels of God can not make them righteous in his sight.

[Page 216] But if Christe giue vnto vs his spirite, to minister sighes in our-heartes: and in his owne righteousnes in whose mouth was no deceite, will sanctifie our prayers, which are of polluted lipps: then wee haue a fre enterance vnto the throne of grace: for he hath sanctified him selfe for vs, and what so euer we aske in his name, we shall obteine: for thus neither our prayers are of vs, but they are of the spirite of God, niether are they presented from vs, but from him who is our Mediatour, and giueth them his owne righteousnesse to make them accepted: and thus in his holie and vnsearchable wisedome, findeing a meanes to sanctifie with his holines all that is ours, euen vs our selues also hee hath sanctified in him selfe, and giuen vs the righteousnes of his humani­tie, to be righteousnesse vnto our fleshe, and so pre­senteth vs vnblamable vnto his father. Thus Christ is the Priest of our profession, and in all Christiani­tie there is no other. It greeueth me heere, to see the subtiltie of some, who with colored words deceiue the heartes of many that are not euill. When they would pull this profession out of our mouth, they speake not in plaine wordes, to byd vs denie that Christ is our Priest, for then we would hate them: therfore to kepe their credit, and yet to worketheir mischefe, they stammer in their tongs, that the sim­ple should not perceiue them, and they say, a Medi­atour (which is one part of his priesthood) is of two sortes, one of redemption, and so is Christe alone: another of intercession, and so are all the Saints and Angels. Thus they stop the mouthes of ignoraunt [Page 217] men, & then with a harlots forehead, boast in their lies. But when you meet these Rabbines, and Apos­tles of their owne profession, aske of them what they meane by a Mediatour of intercession: they may as well say, an intercessour of mediation, for both are one: & it is (as ye Logicians call it) a meere nugation: For where there is one Mediatour bee­tweene God and man, the man Iesus Christ, it is his office to redeeme vs from sinne, and to make in­tercession to God for vs. And they rob him of this last parte of his honour, who make you beleue it is a seuerall thing belonging to an other: as by example we may make this more plaine. It is the office of a king to rule ouer bodie and goods, in whiche cause God commaundeth our obedience: now a froward person, that would denie to pay his tribute, shall say, a King is of two sortes, one ouer the bodie, ano­ther ouer goods: my bodie I graunt to any lawfull seruice, as due to our King: but our Kinge is not onely the King of our goodes, and I will bestowe mine otherwise. Doe you not see what follie is in this? because God hath submitted to Kinges, two thinges, bodie and goods, therfore, to say, there bee two sortes of Kinges? Euen so, God hath made a Mediatour, bothe to redeeme vs, and to present vs vnto God: and they blinde your eyes, and tell you there be two sortes of Mediatours. Surely, euen with as good reason they might say: because a man hath bodie & soule, there be two sortes of men, one of a bodie, another of a soule: but to let suche decei­uers go, let vs confesse a better fayth, and acknow­ledge [Page 218] that Christe is the one and whole Prieste of our profession.

And heere let vs not forget this, that our religi­on, our sayth, our hope, is called our profession: so he calleth it againe in the fourth chapter, verse 14. Our pro­fession. and againe in the tenth Chapter, the confessiou of our hope: whereby we learne, except wee professe it, it is no religion, no hope, no fayth.

The Prophet sayth: I haue beleeued, therfore I haue spoken: and S. Paule maketh this common to vs all: [...]. Cor. 4. 13. we haue also beleued and therfore haue we spoken: and Saint Paul sayth to the Romanes: As in hart we Ro. 10. 10. beleue vnto righteousnesse, so in mouth we confesse 1. Ioh. 4. 15. vnto saluation: and Sainct Iohn sayth, who soeuer shall openly professe that Iesus is the sonne of God, God dwelleth in him and he in God. And who soe­uer he be, that for any seare of man, or for any cause maketh it not knowen that thus he beleueth, or wil not professe his fayth, the scripture testifieth against the thoughts of his heart, and sayth plainlie: He lo­ueth the glorie of man more thē the glorie of God. Let vs not be guiltie of so great sinne: for this cause the calling of the Gentiles was so greatly magnified, because the name of God should be greate from one end of the earth to the other. Howe doe we holde our peace, if wee be called in this couenant: and not onelie so, but what creature is there whiche is his dumbe nature, sheweth not out the prayse of his Creatour? The Heauens declare the glorie of GOD, and the firmament sheweth his hand [...]e woorke: howe should then man, of whome GOD hath bene es­specially [Page 219] mindful, ty his toung, so excellent a mem­ber of his bodie, & not with it speake forth y praise of God, and make the world his witnes what faith he hathe in Christe? But of this I spake before in the eleuenth lecture, and vpon the twelfth verse. Nowe let vs pray, &c.

The thirteenth Lecture vpon the 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. verses, to these wordes: whose house, &c.

2 Who was faithful to him that hath ppointed him, euen as Moses was in all his house.

3 For this man is counted worthie of more glorie thē Mo­ses, in as much as he which hath builded the house, hath more honour then the house.

4 For euerie house is builded of some man, & he that hath built al things, is God.

5 Now Moses verily was faithful in al his house, as a seruant, for a witnesse of the things which should be spo­ken after.

6 But Christ is as the Sonne, ouer his owne house, &c.

I Tolde you, the Apostle in this Chapter, beginneth a speciall dis­course of the prophesie of Christ: first (as you haue heard) making an earnest exhortation for vs to hearken vnto him.

[Page 220] Nowe, he goeth forwarde, and teacheth what maner of Prophet Christ is, and howe we ought to account him. First, that he was ordeined of God: next, that he was faithfull in his calling, for he saith: He was faithful to him that appointed him: for in that the sonne of god was (as we haue hard) thus made man, this was gods appointment, to make him our Pro­phet: and in that he was appointed of God, he is set forth with his warrant, that he did not glorifie him selfe to be our prophet, but his father gaue him this honour by his glorious voice sounding out of the cloude: This is my beloued sonne in whome I am wel plea­sed, Christ or­deyned of God to bee our Pro­phet. heare him: and let vs take heede, not to refuse, or despise him, that is thus sent of God, and speaketh from Heauen, least we should be found to striue a­gainst God. And here, that it is saide: God appointed him: wee see the roote and founteine of this loue, that Christ should come a sauiour among vs. It was not onely in the person of the Sonne, who gaue his life for his sheepe: but it was also in the person of the Father, who so loued the worlde, that Hee gaue his onely begotten Sonne, that euerie one which belee­ueth should not perish but haue life euerlasting. So that we know, as the worke & instrument of our saluation is in Iesu Christ, God and man, who was crucified for our sinnes: so the first cause is in God the Father, who according to his owne purpose and will, hath predestinated vs in Christ, before the foundations of the worlde were laide, that we should be ves­sels of honour, to set foorth the praise of his glo­rie, who had mercie vpon vs.

[Page 221] And as we must giue vnto our Sauiour Christe, the glorie of our redemption, in the sacrifice of his bo­die, or else we denie him to be the Sonne of God: so we must giue vnto the Father, the praise of his mer­cie, that hath freelie loued vs, and predestinated vs e­ternallie vnto life, or else we denie that he is the Fa­ther of our Lord Iesu Christ: for as this is our pro­fession, that Christ hath done the deede: so this is our profession, that God the Father hath appointed him vnto it. And as the Apostle speaketh here, that God appointed him to be our Prophet: so our Saui­our Christ euer acknowledgeth, that he was sent of his Father.

The second thing here witnessed of Christ, and in which we are assured he is our onelie prophet, & we are prouoked to hearkē vnto him, is: that He was faithful in all the house of God: This faithfulnes is truth and integritie in discharge of this office committed to him, wherein he set all his care and industrie, that he might be found faultlesse, that like as he was sent of God to be a Prophet to reueale his will: so he did faithfully perfourme it, teaching only ye doctrine & ordinances of his Father: as in many places Christ testifieth this faith in his doing: My doctrine (saith he) is not mine, but his that sent me. Againe, I doe nothing of Ioh. 7. 16. my selfe, but as my father hath taught me so I speake. And Ioh. 8. 18. again: The words that thou hast giuē me, I haue giuen thē. How diligently then ought we to heare such a Pro­phet, Ioh. 17. 8. as hath so faithfully spoken? And here we haue all a verie good lesson taught vs, in the person of Christ, to what calling so euer we be called of God, [Page 222] in the same let vs be faithfull: if wee be preachers, faithfull preachers: if we be princes, faithful princes: if we be iudges, faithfull iudges: if we be treasurers, faithful treasurers: if we be merchants, faithful mer­chants: what soeuer we bee, faithfulnesse must bee our praise: for as Saint Paule requireth of all: Hee that hath an office, let him be diligent in his office: so hee giueth this as ye prayse of all diligence. It is required Rom. 13. 1. Cor. 4. 2. of euerie dispenser, that he be found faithfull: and euerie vnfaithfull seruant shalbe condemned in his worke, in the day that his accompt is called for: for he that hath bene vnfaithful in things of this life, which are fraile and fewe: how can he thinke there shall euer be committed vnto him eternallthings, and infinite in number.

And we must heere also marke, that it is say de of An ac­compt of our offi­ces is to be made to God. Christe, He was faithfull to him that called him: that is, to God: for vnto God wee must make our accompt of euery worke.

It is true, that Kinges make their vnder offi­cers, but the offices are all of God: Kinges serue to appoint the persons in this ministerie of man: but God alone appointeth them their work, which 1. Peter. is the ministerie of his iustice, and the safetie of his people, of which he also will aske an accompte, and before him we doe all that we doe. When Iosa­phat King of Iudah appointed his iudges and offi­cers, he giueth them this charge: Remember that now you execute not the iudgemēts of man but of the lord. Ther fore in euery office, thou bearest the image of God, 2. Cro. 19. 6 & nothing must make thee breake the righteousnes [Page 223] of it: not thy profite, not thy pleasure, not thy kins­man, not thy friend, not thy Father, not thy King: for if thou do, thou hast sinned, and thy sinne will finde thee out in the day in which shalbe saide: Come giue account of thy stewardshippe. The Prince may sette thee in the seate of iustice, but the prince must not make thee pe [...]uert iustice: he may giue thee an office, but he cannot giue thee thy Quietus est, for the vnfaithfulnesse of thine office: if magistrates & officers knew this, they would not so ambitious­lie sue, as they doe, & when they had obteined they would bee more faithfull then they are: but this is a desperate disease, and for me let it grow til it be rot­tennesse in their bones: I speake not in hope of any amendment, but I beare witnes of their sinne against the day of vengeance. Further I say nothing, they haue made their gaine their God, and with the idol to which they are ioyned, let them alone. In this matter of faithfulnesse, which we haue in hande, let vs learne this: that as it is necessarie in all, so it is es­pecially necessarie in the minister. And to the ende that we may all learne what is the faithfulnesse of a minister, let vs see what was in Christ, whose faith is the example for all to followe.

It followeth: He was faithful as Moses in all his house: What was the faithfulnes commended in Moses? Exod. 39. 42 Num. 30. [...] That he did in euerie point, acording to that which God had commaunded, and pretermitted no­thing of all that the Lord had saide. This was The faith fulnesse of a true mi­nister. then the faithfulnesse of Christe, to doe nothing but at the will of his Father: and this Saint Iohn [Page 224] witnesseth expresly in many places, that Christe did and saide all things, according to the word and will of his Father.

And thus Sainct Paule, when he would shewe the faithfulnesse of him selfe and his fellowes, he saith: He maketh no merchandize of the worde of [...]. Co. 2. 17 God, nor mingleth it, as vinteners doe their wine, but speaketh as from God himselfe. And in another place, he saith: He doth not mingle deceipt with the word of God. Now, the worde it selfe is called by 2. Cor. 4. 2. Sainct Peter, the milke that is without all deceipt, shewing, whatsoeuer is else of man, it is falshod, and no sweete nourishment of life in it: therefore he that is faithfull, speaketh onely the wordes of Christ, as S. Paule saith, in cleare and manifest declaration of trueth. And expressely in plaine woordes this is taught vs by Paule, in the first Epistle to the Thessa­lonians, saying: Our exhortation was not by crafti­nesse, nor by deceipt, nor by vncleanesse: but as God allowed of vs to commit his Gospel vnto vs, so wee spake: not as studying to please men, but to please God, who tryeth our heartes: neither euer did wee either flatter you (as you know) nor sought subtile meanes to winne ought vnto our selues (as God is our witnesse.) Here is the image of this faithfull minister, like vnto Christe, one that preacheth no­thing but the worde of God, nor for any cause but for Gods glorie. How many ministers know this, the Lorde alone can tell: but howe fewe followe it, all we this day are witnesses. And I may almoste say heere, as I saide afore of officers: I speake not [Page 225] for any hope I see of amends: for I assure you, it is almost with vs in the ministerie as it was in Esaies time with y people of Israel: The whole head is sick and the whole heart is heauie, from the sole of the foote, to the Esal. 1. 6. crown of the head, there is nothing whole therein, but woūds & swellinges and sores full of corruption: from the priests of the highest chaires, to the beggerly curates of the countrie, a generall neglecte is of this faithful teach­ing of Gods people.

The other & greatest part of vnfaithfulnesse, is, when we corrupt and defile the word of God com­mitted vnto vs, to mingle it with our owne deuices, & bring it into small account, that we might mag­nifie our owne traditiōs: this vnfaithfulnes we pray day and night, that the Lord would keepe it from vs, and we exhort you, in the name of the Lorde, receiue the worde ingraffed in you, whiche can saue your soules, and receiue the immortall seale which is the word of the liuing God by which you may be regenerate, & where in you haue the power of God to saluation, through a pure faith: and haue no trust in man, for euerie man is a liar. This faithfulnes, by the grace of God, we bring vnto you, and beseech Iere. 1. 2 [...]. you to abide vpon the foundation of the Apostles 1. Pet. 1. 23. and Prophets: but of this faith, what one [...]ot or title is left vnto our aduersaries? Zimrie was as faithful vnto Elahor, or Hazael to Benhadad, as they haue Rom. 1. 16. Ephe. 2. 20. ben faithfull to the Lord Iesu, in this behalfe: for what is it else but to be guiltie of y death of Christ, 1. Re. 16. 10. to pollute as they haue done, his Testament, which was confirmed in his bloud? What is it but to bring [Page 226] him downe againe from heauen, or to raise him vp againe from the dead, to take away from vs the word of faith printed in our hearts, by the preach­ing of his Gospell, and to sende vs to Rome to in­quire of our religion? Surely (dearely beloued) I tell Deut. 30. 12 Rom. 10. 6. you true, and yet not I but Paule, nor Paule but Christ, y he that sendeth vs beyond the seas, to learn our faith, when we haue the word of God at home, he is an vnfaithfull creature, adulterating the word of God, and as one that would pull Christe againe downe from heauen: and all the Decrees, and De­cretalles, and Constitutions of the church of Rome, which they haue ioyned to Gods word, and tel you, you must needes beleeue them, they are the verie fornications of the whore of Babylon, and haue no thing but filthinesse in them: and if any doubt of it, let him consider what hath ben said. This was the faithfulnes of our Sauiour Christe, to speake onely the woordes whiche his Father had commaunded him to speak. This was the faithfulnesse of Christs Apostles, to preache only what our Sauiour Christ had taught them. This is our faithfulnes, to beleeue according to the preachinge of the Apostles, and to be built vpon their foundation: not the Pope, who hath exalted him selfe, and cōmeth with his dispen­satious against God the Father, againste his Sonne Christ, against his Apostles, and maketh Lawes of his owne, what a periured and faithlesse creature is he? And thus farre of the ministers faithfulnesse.

Now, more touching this comparison here made betwene Christ and Moses, there is no doubt but ye [Page 227] Apostle vseth it the more to ioyne the Hebrues vn­to Christe: for howe they accompted of Moses he knewe well, and what soeuer was spoken of him, they did willingly applie them selues to marke it, & learne it, & his praise did winne their affections to be more equally bent to learne Christ. Taking this occasion, he beginneth his comparison, making this as common both to Christ & Moses: that either of them ruled in the house of God, and either of them was faithful in his charge: but yet so, as Christ was much more honourable, & therefore to be of vs ac­knowledged our onely Prophet. The place heere al­ledged that Moses was faithful, is written in the 12. of Numbers, where GOD giueth him this testi­monie, and therefore maketh it a warrant, that God had chosen him aboue all other Prophets, to whom he would more clearely and fully reueale his will: and therefore, none in all the children of Israel, not Aaron, not Myriam, not any to presume against him.

A notable place and very fit for the Apostles pur­pose: for directly it teacheth, that likewise Christe, who of all other was moste faithfull, was also most glorified of his Father, to be a Prophet aboue al pro­phets: & where he saith, That Moses was faithful in all his house: that is, in all the people of Israel, whiche was his Church, called in the Scripture manie times The house of GOD, to shewe in how nighe a bonde God had taken them: & that he addeth (All) it sheweth, that to euery one, Moses was ordeyned of God a Prophet to reueale all the will of God, [Page 228] neither any part of it was concealed from him that he knew it not, neither kept secret by him that hee woulde not declare it, but faithfull in all his house, whome in all things euery one should followe: and in this was an image of Christ to come, who in al ye house of God should be absolutely faithful aboue all other that euer were before or after. Heere we haue two especial things to learne. Christ was faithful in Christe is perfect in his worke of the Churche, and wee can not adde any thing to better it. Eph. 5. 17, al his house: if in all his house, then is there no peece of the house of God which Christ hath not built vp vnto perfection: for if any little parte or parcel of it, be least by Christe imperfect, then in it he was not faithfull, to finishe the worke that God had giuen him. Our Sauiour Christ then if we wil receiue him with all his praise, and giue him the glorie of all his work, we must confesse he hath built a perset house, and made full all the holinesse of his Saincts, that they might be washed from all vncleannesse, and at the last be presented by him, vnto his father a glo­rious church, not haueing spott, or wrinckle, or any like: for he is faithfull in all the house of God, our faith, our hope, our loue, our wisedome, our woor­shipping of God, our order, our gouernment, Christ hath taught vs all, and he is vnto vs all, and him a­lone we must set to leade vs in all our wayes. If we shoulde attribute vnto him the greate and highest mysteries, our predestination, our redemption, our iustification, our sanctification, &c, and say, in such hard pointes he hath instructed vs, but other thinges he hath leaft to be done by man: what were this but to say, Christ was faythfull in building the stately [Page 229] roomes of his Fathers house, to make the parlour, or hall, or great chamber, but nothing else: so, manifestly robbing Christe of his glorie, that he was not faithfull in all his house? And how are we blinded, if we do beleeue it: he that abased himselfe so lowe, that he refused not the shame and curse of the crosse, what meane we to think, he did not abase him selfe to be with vs in our owne likenesse, and reueale vnto vs & teach vs all the wil of God, what soeuer we ought to know or do? Let them go, them selues alone, and let not vs walke in their counsell, who dare require more then Christ hath taught, or to presume to speake more then they haue learned of him: which is, to make him vnfaithfull in some part of the house.

An other thing in this, is to be marked: if Christ were faithful in al his house, then are they no part of this house, whiche are not built vp by him: he hath not only made all perfecte, but he hath also done it alone, and not onely he buildeth the house, but they alone are the house who are built by him: so that we if we wilbe this house, we must knowe and feele his workmanship in vs: and who soeuer knoweth him not, he hath no place in the house of God: for the faithfullnesse of Christ is in euerie part of it, which faithfulnesse, if it haue not wrought in vs, we belong not vnto it. And thus farre of this comparison with Moses, in whiche first the Apostle giueth them both their praise, that they were faithful in all the house of God.

Now least the comparison should seeme equal, [Page 230] or Moses shoulde be accounted as great as Christe: euen as before he hath giuen Moses his due praise, to testifie how he honoured so great a Prophete of God: so nowe he sheweth the greate excellen­cie of Christ aboue Moses, that the Iewes may al­so learne to honour their Messias, as it beecom­meth them.

It followeth: Now, this man is counted worthie of more glorie then Moses, euen as much as he whiche buil­deth the house, hath more honour then the house: for euerie house is builded of some man, but he that hath built all thin­ges, is God.

Here, in one especial point the Apostle reser­ueth vnto Christe a singular honour aboue all o­ther, and aboue Moses: that is, that Moses was so faithfull a ruler of the house of God, that yet hee was himselfe a part of it: But Christe is so a ruler of it, that he hath also built it himselfe. Now then, seeing the workeman is more honourable then the house, & euerie parte of it. Christ is so much more honourable then Moses.

This reason, we see, is taken of the similitude of a house, a thing vsuall in our life, and vnderstood of all: and seeing it pleaseth God, to teach vs wise­dome by so base similitudes, we are so much more excuselesse if we will not learne.

Will you see the difference betweene Christe and Moses? Looke vpon a house, & him that made it. When you see a faire house, who hathe the praise? The stone and timber, and other matter: or else the workeman that built them vp together? So [Page 231] is it with Christ and Moses: Moses was faythfull, it is true: and so is the stone and timber good, and sound, and verie apt to abide the hewing, til you can frame it together. But what is this to compare it with the workman▪ Be it neuer so good, it is a lump without fashion, and neuer wil haue beautie in it, except the workeman set to his hand: euen so Mo­ses, because hee is fleshe and bloud, whiche nature our Sauiour Christ hath sanctified to be a vessell of the grace of God, hee was an apt matter to be made euen a beautiful portion of this house: but what is this to Christe, without whome Moses had peri­shed in his owne corruption, and his nature had bene lost, no peece of it to come into the house of God?

Seeing then Moses is as a parte of a house, and Christe as the buylder, who hath set it vp: Moses may haue the praise, that he was set in an honoura­ble place: but the praise is not his owne, but the workmans that set him in: if we make a compari­son betweene them.

In this similitude of the Apostle, that it might be a sul persuasion to the Iewes, they must knowe cer­teinly, bothe that Moses is but a parte of the house, and that Christ is the buylder of it.

The first is a thinge without controuersie, that Moses was a parte of the house: for how was hee else one of Gods Saints? or what comforte could he haue had of all the promises made to Israel: if his owne portion had not bene in them, by beeing one of Israel? [Page 223] The other, that Christe hath built this house, the A­postle proueth it thus. It must needes be, that euerie house must be built of some bodie, and therfore the house of Israel, in which Moses was so faythfull, was also built by some man: it grewe not alone, no more then timber and stones can ioyne together a­lone to make a house: who was it then hath built [...] or who made it? who? but euen hee that made all things, and that is God him selfe: if then, as we haue taught, Christ be God & the wisdome of his father, by whome all thinges were made, in heauen and in earth: and if he hath taken our nature, that in one person God and man, hee might be a faithfull ruier in this house of god: then he ruleth as the builder, as the maker, so much more glorious then all other, as the builder of the house is more glorious then the house it selfe: this is the plaine meaning of the A­postle in these thirde and fourth verses. Now if it be here obiected: Onely God is the builder, therefore Christ beeing man, is also a part of the house: We graunt it, he is a part, because he is as one of vs, hath part with vs, and we with him, he our head, and we his bodie: but as he is a part, as he is man: so he is the builder, as he is God: & therfore taking mans na­ture into the person of the Deitie, to glorifie it with his owne glorie, he in this person God and man, is now also the builder of the house: and therefore, al other must giue him the preeminence of honour. If it be againe obiected, that Moses was also a builder, as S. Paul calleth him self a builder & a wise builder, 1. Cor. 3 10. it is true, that this name is giuen them, but only im­properly, Rom. 15. 20 [Page 233] as vnto the instrumentes by whiche God buildeth: for otherwise Paule may plant and Apol­lo may water: but there is no growing into ye house of God, except Christ, who is God him selfe; giue increase: for he is onely the effectual builder. He (as the prophet Dauid saith) euen the most high, hath Psal. 87. 5. stablished her: & by him all the bodie being coupled and knit together by euerie ioint for furniture ther­of Eph. 4. receiueth the increase of a perfect bodie, and is made a glorious house of God.

It followeth now in the fifte verse. And Moses was faithfull in all his house, as a seruaunt for the testimonie of the things which should be spoken, but Christ as the sonne is ruler of his house.

Here is an other difference, in which our sauiour Christ farre exceedeth Moses, and that is: that Mo­ses was in the house of god as a seruant, but Christ as the sonne. Nowe, howe muche more honour the sonne hath in his Fathers house, then he that is a seruant, so farre Christe is aboue Moses, and a­boue all.

And in this, the Apostle needed not vse many wordes: for the trueth in all was cleare, that Moses was a seruant: all confessed, & God calleth him oft his seruant Moses. And that Christ was the sonne, no man doubted, and the Scripture giueth him plainely the title of the Sonne of God.

This was vnto the Iewes a verie plaine, and a ve­ry strong persuasion: for though they had beene a­lieuated from this Sonne of Dauid, whome the A­postle preacheth vnto them, neuer so much: yet they [Page 234] must needes confesse it, Moses was but a seruaunt, the Messias must bee the Sonne: therefore hee to rule in the house for euer, and Moses to giue him place.

So now, this high honour of the Sonne of God, beeing giuen to this Christ crucified among them, they could not be offended at the wordes, but were wisely to consider, whether this was he they loo­ked for or no: which by tryall and searching of the Scriptures, when they shoulde finde true, then Christe should haue the glorie of our redemption, which thinge, the Apostle nowe so carefully goeth about.

Heere, we haue all taught vs a lesson of good hu­militie, and howe to knowe our selues, and what place we haue in the church of God. Who is there among vs, dare aduaunce him selfe aboue Moses? yet Moses was but a seruaunt. Whiche of vs is so great as an Apostle? Yet Paule sayth, We confesse [...]. Cor. 4. 5. our selues to be seruants of the Church.

To the ende there should bee no mo maisters but Christe, it was necessarie all other should bee seruaunts: and to the ende he might bee Lorde a­lone, so GOD ordeined it, that all his ministers The mini­sters are fellowes, & Christ is onely our mai­ster and Lord. should bee fellowes: so they are all fellowe ser­uaunts that are appointed of God, for the ordering of his house.

Moses, in singlenesse of heart, was, and was cal­led a seruaunt: Paule a seruaunt: Peter a seruaunt: all seruaunts for the woorke of the ministerie, to buylde vpp the bodie of the Sainctes of God: this [Page 235] is Gods ordinance from the beginning. But of late, one is risen vp, a beast full of hypocrisie, more lowely in name then any Apostle, or Prophet, and calleth him selfe a seruaunt of seruauntes: but as proude in spirite as the whoore of Babylon, which maketh her selfe Ladie ouer Kinges and Empe­rours.

And this deceiuer hathe thus, as wee see, pro­phaned the Lords Sanctuarie, and exercised ty­rannie in his Churche: hee hathe driuen out the seruants which laboured in paine and lowlinesse to gather together, by preaching, all the people of God, and hath set maisters in their steede, after his owne likenesse, who too too long haue nowe kept the Churche of Christ in bondage, and ceasse not to striue to keepe it in bondage still.

And therefore, we ought the more earnestly to praye, that God would giue vnto the nource▪ fathers, and nources of his Churche, that is, to Kinges and Princes, wisedome to see it: and then we shoulde haue hope, that they shoulde also finde grace to amende it. But let vs returne to the A­postle.

When he hath thus shewed, that Moses was but a seruaunt, he telleth after, wherein his seruice was, and what was his faithfulnesse in it.

I [...] followeth: For a testimonie of the things which should after be spoken. For this purpose, Moses was a ser­u [...]unt, and in the perfourmaunce of this duetie, Moses was faithfull: he was a seruaunt, to beare witnesse vnto the people of all the woordes [Page 236] which God should speake vnto them, that is, a ser­uant faithfully declaring all the lawe of God: for these wordes. The thinges which should after be spoken [...] though they be truely vnderstoode of the Gospell of Christ, because in the figures of the lawe, it was shadowed: and Moses also himselfe did beare wit­nesse of Christe: yet beecause here is comparison made betweene Christ and Moses, distinctly spea­king of both their callinges: therefore I rather take these words of the Apostle here, onely to be spoken of the lawe giuen by Moses: so, Moses was a seruāt to beare witnesse of all the thinges which should be spoken of the Lorde. Here is the full office and whole authoritie of a true seruant, faithfully to doe his maisters message.

And Moses, the most renouned of all Prophets and greatest among the people of Israel, what was he? A seruant, to declare vnto the people all that the Lorde had spoken. Who is he now will presume aboue Moses, to speake of his owne head, ordinan­ces, and lawes which the Lord hath not made? who wil establish decrees of his own in the house of God? Whosoeuer he be, he shal carrie his iudgement: he is not a seruaunt, as Moses was: because he beareth not witnesse only to the wordes that God hath spo­ken: but he exalteth him selfe to be a maister, and hath a mouth that speaketh proude things, because he presumeth in the house of God, to giue lawes & orders of his own: for if he were a seruant, he would do the worke of a seruant, and beare witnesse what his maister had saide.

[Page 237] And here by this place, we may wel expound it that the Apostle Paule, Iames, Peter, write thē selues the seruants of Iesu Christ. The word it self is manifest proof, they speak nothing but the words of Christ, no decree, no cōstitutiō, no order was of their own, they were but seruants: but al was of the Lord Iesu Christ, who was their onelie maister: and as their name giueth this testimonie vnto them, so Paule o­penly affirmeth it in plaine wordes before king A­grippa, that euen to that day, he neuer witnessed any Acte. 26. [...]. thing, neither to great nor little but only that which Moses before, & all the prophets had said, should cōe to passe. Then let not ye papists heereafter say, when we speak against all their vaine deuises, that they are traditions left by the Apostles: for as they haue not the Apostles places, but in stead of seruauntes are made Lordes: so they hold no whit of the Apostles doctrine: or if they wil still auouche it, that the A­postles haue deliuered all such things as they teach, then they must shew where Moses or the prophets Rom. 12. haue foretolde it: for the Apostles were seruauntes to beare witnesse onely of such things, as God had spoken by his seruants before them, that is, by Mo­ses & the prophets, without whose warrāt whatsoe­uer cōmeth, we may boldly say, we vtterly refuse it.

It followeth: But Christ as the sonne is ouer his house. In this name (Sonne) hee doeth not onely giue pree­minence to rule in ye house, but a perpetuity to dwel in that house, and to reigne (as the scripture sayth) in the house of Iacob for euer: So that, beeing the sonne of God, who is heire of al things, he ruleth in [Page 238] this house as Lord & gouernour, whose commaun­dement alone doeth stand. And againe, beeing the Sonne of God, eternallie begotten of his Father, hee euer did and shall do to the end, rule and haue the so­uereigntie in this house: and who soeuer he bee, in this house, shal presume against ye Sonne, as a rebel­lious seruant, he shalbe cast out of the house, and an other shall haue his roome. Therfore, euen as before the Apostle made his exhortation, that they would consider this Apostle & high Priest of their proses­sion: euen so let vs, & humble our selues vnder this high Lord in the house of God: let vs obey his voice and (as Solomon sayth) be more redie to heare, then to offer the sacrifice of fooles: and let vs be all faith­ful in our callinge, that before him we may haue a good accompt: especially the minister, that he will be a faithfull seruant, keeping his fellowshipp in the church of God, and bearing witnesse of all that the Lord hath spoken. And now let vs pray &c.

¶The fourteenth Lecture, vpon the residue of the sixte verse.

‘6 But Christe is at the Sonne, ouer his owne house, whose house we are, if we holde fast that confidence and that reioycing of that hope vnto the end.’

AS the Apostle hath generally before ex­horted them, to hearken vnto Christe: the high Prieste and Apostle of our pro­fession, shewing the necessitie of our [Page 239] so doing, because of the excellencie of Christ aboue all other, who were sent of God vnto vs: yea, aboue Moses himselfe: so now more particularly, he ap­plieth this vnto them, and sheweth that by necessity of their condition and calling, they are bound espe­cially to this duetie: because they, euen they them­selues are this house of God, whereof he speaketh, of which, Christ is the builder, and in whiche hee ruleth aboue all: so that they may be sure, it was all one to denie Christe to be their onely Prophete, and to denie themselues to be the house of God. To this our purpose are these first wordes: Whose house we bee.

Another purpose of this speach, is, for their bet­ter instruction in the trueth of the gospel of Christ: that they should not, as their fathers did, holde their faith toward God with respect of the Temple, then commonly called the house of God: nor with any religion of all the ceremonies vsed in it: for all these things had an ende. God was nowe gone out of the sanctuarie, & dwelt no more betweene the Cheru­bims, but had made him a newe tabernacle to dwell in, which was the bodie of man: which tabernacle onely we must haue care of, to keepe it pure from ye concupiscence of the fleshe, and to keepe it holie frō the vaine inuentions of our heart, & then the Lorde should be always with vs, as with the people whom he had chosen, to make them an habitation for him selfe, and a tabernacle of his glorie.

To this end also the Apostle saith, Whose house we are: this wee must learne in all like places of [Page 240] scripture, where we are called by like name. Sainct Paule saith: Do you not know that you are the temple of God, & that the spirit of God dwelleth in you? And againe: Do you not know, that your bodie is the temple of the holie 1. Cor. 3. 16. ghost which is in you, and which you haue of God? And a­gaine, 1. Cor. 6. 16. You are the temple of the liuing God, as God hathe said: I wil dwel in them, and I will walke in them, and they 2. Cor. 6. 16. shalbe my people, & I wilbe their God. And againe: We be no more straungers and forreiners, but fellow citizens with Ephe. 2. 19. the Saints, & of the familie of God. In these and all such places, we be taught, that ye temple which was once the house of God, is nowe taken away: and all the religiō of the temple, which was once the seruice of god, is now finished & hath his end: frō henceforth, there is neither circumcision nor vncircūcision, ne­ther Iewe nor Gentile, but Christ is al in all: ye pure & chaste bodie is his holie tabernacle, & spirit and truth is his heauenly worship: thus much directlie ye apostle teacheth them in these words: whose house be we: & therfore called the house of God, because his holie spirite dwelleth in vs, as appeareth in all the places before alledged out of Paule.

It followeth now: If we holde fast the confidence & reioycing of our hope vnto the ende: these wordes he ad­deth, to teach them manifestly to know themselues, whether they be this house or no: for if they be, they do hold and shall holde the reioycing of their hope, constantly and faithfully vnto the ende. These wordes (dearely beloued) let vs marke them well, and learne them euerie iott and title, with a wise hart: for they conteine a blessed instruction, & most [Page 241] necessarie for our time. There is not this day any o­ther thing, that holdeth backe a great number from the gospel of Christ, but only the ignorance of this one sentence: for what say al our aduersaries against vs, but onely this? Shal we leaue the Catholique Church, to beleeue a few new sproung vp? Shal we leaue the Church, & followe Luther or Zuinglius! The Church hath beleeued as we beleeue, ye Church hath taught as we teach, & in the Church we abide: thus, vnder the name of the church, the churche, the world is mocked, & as Paule saith, the hearts of ma­nie men whiche are nor enill are seduced, so that though they haue no thing to blame in vs, yet they dare not come vnto vs, least they should forsake the brotherhod in the Church of Christ. This generall plague is easily cured, and al the euil of it is soone re­medied, if we can but holde our peace, and heare the Apostle speake for vs all. This same verie question is here handled: the Iewes were now affeard to re­ceiue Christ, they thought him a new doctour, they had Moses, the temple, the ceremonies, things ful of excellent glorie: and they were sure the church was heere, and these things were in the Church, to leaue them all soudenly, and cleaue to Christ alone, were to leaue the Church, and follow new doctrine. The Apostle to stop this offence, he setteth downe first this plaine doctrine without question, or cōtrouer­sie, that the church of God, or (to vse his own word) the house of God, is not any building of woode or stones, not any citie, or any material Temple, but man is ye house of God. Here first we learne one ne­cessarie [Page 242] lesson. Wilt thou know the house of God, that is, his Church? Looke not at Ierusalem, nor at Mount Sion: for neither the Citie, nor the Temple in it, are nowe the house in whiche God dwelleth.

It thou doubtest know it for a truth, that Ierusalō long since is troaden downe of the Gentiles: the Turke and Infidels haue defiled all the stones of i [...] & for ye temple, there are manie hundred yeres since the vncircumcised haue entred into it, and the abho­mination of desolation hathe stoode in the holie place, that it might be fulfilled that was spoken by the Prophet Daniel.

This therefore learne for a trueth: The Church of God is not in any materiall Temple, not it is not knowen by any Citie or Countrie, Ierusa­lem, that for this cause, once was the glorie of the worlde, and the beautie of the whole earth, hathe no more this dignitie: neither shall it be giuen to any place for euer: but to finde the Church of God, seeke in the heart of man: for the Apostles haue all spoken plainely: We are his house. Now, let Rome goe and boast her selfe, and pronounce her proude decrees, that in her palaces the Churche of Christe doeth dwell: let all her louers striue for her, prayses, that shee is our mother: her we must serue, vppon her we must wayte, she cannot erre: against all these children of pride, we dare set out selues.

The house of God is neither in Rome, nor in the Capitol of Rome, no more then it is in Ae­gypt, [Page 243] or the high pinacled Churches in Aegypt: but in euery nation and in euerie countrie, the men that feare God, and woorke righteousnesse, they are the church, and the house in which God doth dwel.

And as the Lord hath done to Ierusalem, and to the ruines thereof, that the place should not boast of the Oracles of God: so God hath done to Rome, to the idols thereof, that their boasting should bee in vaine of the church of God: for what was Rome, e­uen from her birth, but a Citie builte in parricide, then strengthened with robberie, and made a sanc­tuarie for murderers of all nations? What was it after, but a slaughter-house of the martyrs of God? And what is it in oures and our fathers dayes, but the Queene of pride, the nurse of idolatries, the mo­ther of whoredomes, the sincke of iniquitie, out of which sorceries, witchcrafts, poysonings, adulteries, rebellions, and bloudie warres, haue ouerflowed the whole earth.

I lye not on them (dearely beloued,) neither they them selues can accuse mee, if any of them heare what I say.

A thousand testimonies I haue of this, out of their owne stories, and ten thousand ryming verses Citatur. Ca al test. ve [...]. to 535. haue beene made against them, for their greate ini­quitie: by example of one, learne the residue.

A hundred and fourtie yeeres past, one sayth of Rome, and of the Pope thus:

Imatenet Iupiter, c [...]lum habet Pluto:
Et accedit dignitas animali bruto:
Tanquam gemma stercort aut pictura Iuto.

[Page 244] We haue brought GOD into Hell, and the diuel into heauen, dignitie is now added to a brute beast, as a pearle to a dounghil, or a faire picture to a peece of dyrt. Euen such as these are, and no better, a thousande testimonies are of the Church of Rome, all which, if we coulde not beleeue, yet let vs beleeue our owne eyes: we haue seene his wicked dispensations, the brother to marrie his brothers wife, & the sister to marrie her sisters husbande, the vncle to marrie his neece, and the nephue to marrie his aunt. Wee haue seene his bulles to make the subiects rebell against their prin­ces: we haue seene his stues in open & knowen pla­ces. The Turke hath no more defiled Ierusalem, then the Pope hath defiled Rome: and all the altars of Mahomet are not so vncleane, as the Popes reue­rend altars, whiche serue for Sodomites: and as the Popes honourable churches, in which they nourish vp amorous boyes. Nulla hie arcana ro [...]elo, Mantuan saith: I speak no secrets, the world knoweth this wel enough. And yet, if they will boaste, The Church of Rome, the Church of Rome, shall wee still beleeue them? or shall we rather beleeue the Apostle: that ye church of God is not neither Rome, nor not Rome: but in Rome and out of Rome, the men that feare God are the Church of Christ.

And let this be our first lesson, heere taught vs by the apostle, The church of God is not found by pla­ces and countries: it is but a foolish thing to say, Here is Christ, or there is Christ: he is in the desert, or he is in the towne: but as where the carcase is, there are the Eagles: so where are men that beleeue [Page 245] in Christ, there is his Church. This is the Apostles meaning, when he saith: Whose house are we.

Now as we haue learned to seeke the church, not in places, but in the harts of men, so in the words fo­lowing, the men are also described, that by their marks we may know them from other men of the world, which are not of the house of God, but an as­semblie of ye wicked. It followeth: If we hold stedfast the confidence and reioycing of our hope, vntill the end.

Here the Apostle setteth downe three especiall marks and properties, by which the Churche and children of God are knowne: the first is the ioy of their hope, the seconde the assurance of it, the third the constancie and perseuerance vnto the end. The ioy of our hope is, a present feelinge of immorta­litie and the glorie of God, which the holie Ghost kindleth in our hearts, & filleth vs with all heauenly gladnes, according to the promises preached in the worde of trueth, which is his Gospel.

And let vs not thinke, but that God hathe done thus with vs, whom he hath chosen to eternall life. He hath prepared our hearts to know and feele his vnspeakable gifte, which he hath giuen vs: for if we should bestow any gifte vpon men, we are not so vnwise to giue a precious thing vnto him yt knows not what it is: we would not giue him a Diamond that would thinke it to be a piece of glasse: nor wee would not giue him a pearle, that would thinke it to be a graine of salt: for so we should leese both our labour and our thankes. And shal we thinke the Lord wil so bestow his heauenly blessings? will he [Page 246] giue his gifts to those that know them not, who can not giue him againe the praise of his goodnes? no, he will neuer do it, but as Peter sayth, he hath taken vs for his owne people, to the ende we should shewe 1. Pet. 2. 9 forth his vertues, that hath called vs out of darknes into his maruelous light: & therefore, if we bee in the couenant of his grace, appointed to the inheri­tance of his glorie, it is impossible wee should not feele the comfort of it, and know the height & brea­dthe of his great mercie and grace. If there be a bar­ren and fruitlesse man, that knoweth nothing of all this, in whose eares the sound of the name of God hath neither feare nor reuerence, and in whose heart his knowledge hath neither ioy nor gladnes, he is yet a straunger from the church of God, and cannot challenge anie part or fellowship of the Gospell of Christe: for while he can feele no greater pleasure then of bodily delite, his eye to see, his eare to heare, his mouth to taste, his skin to touch, why is not the oxe as good as he? for these thinges are vnto the oxe as well as vnto him: or if honour, riches, authoritie credite, fauour, be the things he loue moste, and in which he hath greatest comfort: what is he better then the Paganes & infidels that were before him, in whome this desire was as much, and this delight muche more abounding then vnto vs? for we, in re­specte of them are beggerly tenants: and they in re­specte of vs were monarches of the whole worlde. If these things coulde make the house of God: the house of God were among the beastes of the field, or among sauage people worse then beastes, whose [Page 247] desires, if they be our desires, and their delightes, if they be our delights, we shalbe of them, and they of vs: but the house of God shalbe of neither of both: for in the house of God is this hope yt we speak of: a feeling (I say) of Gods glorie, in whiche we haue pleasure more then in all the worlde. Let vs take an example of Paule in steede of manie, he protesteth thus: I accompt all the world to be losse vnto mee: Phil. 3. 8. yea, I accompt it but as doung, to the ende I may winne Christe: haue thou this heart, and thou hast peace, and thou hast sealed it, that thou art of the house of God: and this is it that the Apostle tea­cheth vs heere in these wordes: if we holde this re­ioycing of our hope stedfast vnto the end.

Another thinge heere to be learned, if wee will knowe our selues to be this house and Churche of God, is that as we holde this hope, so we must hold it stedfast, and without wauering, vnto the end: for so the Apostle sayth: We must haue stedfast assu­raunce of our hope: he calleth it in the sixt chapter, A full persuasion of hope. Sainct Paule calleth it, His in­tentiue hope, a hope, in which he shall neuer bee frus­trate. Ca. 6. 12. Phil. 1. 20. So that this assurance, and ful persuasion, is in a true and liuing hope, and it casteth out mistruste and wauering, euen as fayth doth: for fayth & hope cannot be separate, neither in nature nor propertie: but if you haue fayth, you haue hope: and as your faith is, so is your hope: a sure faith, a liuely hope: a wauering faith, a blinde hope: for our faith is a per­suasion of ye loue of God in Christ, & our hope is an apprehēsiō of ye glory which by yt loue is giuē to vs.

[Page 248] It can not be that we should knowe the loue and grace of God, which is our faith, but we must know the fruit of his loue, that is, his glorie, & eternal life, which is our hope: if therfore we be sure, God doth loue vs in Iesu Christe, wee are also sure that God will glorifie vs through Iesu Christe: and as our fayth reioyceth in Gods fauour, so our hope reioy­ceth in Gods glorie: and as our faith is sure that no­thing shall separate the loue of God from vs, so our hope: longeth after the incorruptible inheritaunce which we feele and knowe is laide vpp in heauen. So this constancie and boldenes of our hope, with­out wauering, laid vp in our breastes, and crying stil within vs, Come Lorde Iesu, this hope is our warrant we be the house of God. And all this I speake more plainely & in mo words, because there are so many which either cannot or will not vnderstande it: for they conceiue no other thinge when wee speake of hope, but a desire to haue a thing wherof we doubt, & if we aske of thē, whether they be sure to be sa­ued through Christ, they will answer they can haue no assurance, for thē how could they hope? thus they make them a hope of their owne, a new hope which the Church of God knoweth not, a doubtfull desire of a thing they wishe, in steade of a present feelinge of the thing they long for. But let vs be wise hear­ted, and knowe before the Lord (as the Apostle here plainely teacheth vs) that we be the house of God, if wee holde the reioycing of our hope stedfast, and sure vnto the ende: and if there bee an other people which haue cast their hope from them, and taken in [Page 249] stead of it a new fancie, worldly minded mē, which bring our worldly speeche to measure the trueth of God, because in worldly things, we say we hope of that which we can not surely tell whether we shall haue or no: therefore to make also the hope of sal­uation, a desire in vs, whereof we are vncerteine: if (I say) there be any such people, let them boast they are the church, yet we know they are not ye church, but an absurde people: for let them aunswere mee but this one question. I aske of them whether they be sure they are the church of God or no? if they be not, sure they be blinde leaders of the blind: & shall we follow them who knowe not whether they go? If they be sure, doe they thinke the Church of God can perish? if it cannot, the hope of it is sure, and no man can come into it, but he must haue his portion in this assurance of hope. And al this I speake not as though Gods children are euerie one, and alwayes in this assurance, for sometime their faith is weake, and their hope is shadowed, that they might hum­ble them selues vnder the hand of God, till they doe acknowledge their owne vnworthines: and hunger and thirst after the righteousnes of Christ: but in all their weakenesse, they wil confesse their sinne, and say, they ought more assuredly to holde their hope: onlie this I say, and this the Apostle sayth, this is the doctrine of the house of God, that they ought to holde the reioycing of their hope stedfast, and sure vnto the ende: and this doctrine, that our hope is doubtfull, and can not haue anie assuraunce of the thing we hope for, this (I say) is not the doctrine of [Page 250] Christ, nor of the house yt he hath built, but of some other, an Idols house, & house of idolaters, y either knowe not whether their God be faithful & iust, or but a deceiuer: or whether thēselues should beleeue his promises, or rather mistrust them. And thus farr of the church as here the Apostle hath described it.

Now, the third thing which we must here marke for our instruction, is perseuerance: for so he sayth: We m [...]st holde our reioycing continuall vnto the ende. A most necessarie thing, and such as without which all our labour is lost: but a thing hard to atteine vnto, & ful of difficultie: know it by the experience of it: for scarce one of a great many doth grow vp into seruēcie of zeale, & so cōtinueth vnto the end. And ther­fore the more daunger is vnto vs in this behalfe, the more watchful we must be to auoyd the perill. Let vs first know it, & persuade our selues in it, there is no pleasing of God, but in this perseuerāce vnto the end: for euen as the prophet sayth, so we shal find it true: If ye righteous man of an hundred yere old shal forsake his righteousnes, ye Lord wil also forget al y righteousnes y he hath done: and a most iust cause why our sinnes should be imputed, if at any time we should faint & fall away: for he y can measure his o­bedience to God by dayes & yeeres, & accompteth times how long he wil walke before the Lord, he is not worthie to be reckoned amonge his seruantes, nor to be one of Gods children: for God is not as men are, nor his rewardes are as the rewardes of princes: hee measureth not his giftes, by such skant accomptes of yeeres, and moneths, and times past, as though at last he could be enuious at our prospe­ritie, [Page 251] but he filleth his hande with blessing, and his loue with immortalitie, neither is there any ende of his mercie: and if we shall come to such cold rec­koning, to score vp our yeares and number our do­ings, like prentices or hired mē, let vs go serue some God that againe scoreth vp his benefites, and with an euil eye loketh vppon his louers: let vs worshippe with the papists al their abhominations: Saint Cor­nellis, who can only keepe vs from the falling sick­nes: S. Apolline, who wil helpe vs of the toothache: or some other Gods of the mounteines, or Gods of the vallies: if thou haue suche a God, that can do so litle good, make thy bargeine therafter, and serue him, by times & moments. But if thou serue y Lord God of hostes, whose mercie is ouer all his workes, and whose infinite goodnesse doth endure for euer, thou seruest a bountifull Lord, who giueth thee all things, & vpbraideth none: & thou maiest not be a nigardly seruant, to giue vnto him either thy hand or thy foot, but all is of him, & withal y must serue him. Thou seruest a louing lord, who wil not cha [...]g his fauour towards thee for euermore: & thou maist not serue him by account of days, but to ye last houre thou must euer be faithfull. A perfect God, a perfect seruant: an euerlasting God, a perpetuall seruant: if thou fall at the last, thou art fallen from him, and not he from thee: & thy condēnation is of thy self. Therfore our sauiour Christ hath giuen vs a cleare warning: that He that setteth his hand [...] to the plowe Luke. and looketh backward, he is not meete for the kingdome of heauē: but thus his promise is vnto vs: He that perse­nereth Matth. 24. vnto the ende, he shalbe safe: and in this assurance [Page 252] Sainct Paule helde the reioycing of his hope: I haue 1. Tim. strouen a good strise. I haue finished my course. I haue kept my faith. Now the crowne of righteousnes onely is behinde, which he will giue mee, who is the righ­teous iudge. Euen [...]o (dearely beloued) let vs be constant, let vs cast away the burthen that presseth vs downe, and this sinne which so easily compas­seth vs about, and let vs runne with patience all out the race which is set before vs: so we shalbe like vn­to our sauiour Christ, who for the ioye that was set before him, did despise the crosse, and is nowe the authour and finisher of our faith.

The greatest enimie we haue to make vs slum­ble and fall, that we should not holde this constan­cie, and perseuerance vnto the ende, is, our owne fleshe. And if it may haue any rule in this worke, or if we consult with it in these heauenlie thinges, wee are vndone, and all our labour is lost: for our fleshe will like of nothing long. All delightes must haue their change, and the greater the pleasure is, the nee­rer is safetie, in any thing what so euer apperteineth vnto the bodie. Wouldest thou neuer so faine sell thy selfe to serue any thing, thou shalt finde no­thing that will giue thee a perpetual pleasure, to buy thy seruice: hunger & thirst are soone satisfied, the heauie cyclid is easily filled with sleepe, labour hath wearinesse, and rest is soone tedious: all play and pastim [...], whiche so many make the crowne and garland of their life, this also is dullnesse in a lit­tle while, and this garlande is as withered hay: an other thinge must come to take this vp, or [Page 253] rather then this should be still, we would neuer play while we liued.

Thus, as the night doeth ouertake the day, and the day doth driue away the night; so our worldly pleasures runne one after an other, and the best of them all do not endure long. Euen as Solomō sayth, The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor ye eare with Eccle. 1. [...]. hearing: but be the tune neuer so sweete, at last wee desire another. This flesh and fleshly minde, if wee shall bring to our religion, can we (think you) per­seuere in the profession of it? We cannot: no more then the Cat of the mounteine can change her spots, or the black Moore can change his colour. If there­fore we will holde this excellent vertue of perseue­rance vnto the ende, let vs make a good beginning: euen that God (who chaungeth not) with his holie spirite which neuer forsaketh vs, may kindle our heartes with the loue of his trueth, which shall nor be quenched for euermore.

This it is I say: let this be our comming vnto the Gospel, in this preparation of our heart, that our heauenlie Father, the God of all grace, may giue vs his spirite, that we may loue his trueth vnto eter­nall life, This beginning shall haue stil increase, and haue at the last a perfect worke: but if this bee not it, if the loue of God be not all wee looke for, if am­bition, authoritie, riches, prayse of men: if any fleshly affection be with vs, when we haue our pur­pose, our woorke is at an ende. Or, if by occasion the Gospel shall hinder this purpose, our religion is at an ende, fare well the Gospel, Booke and all: wee [Page 254] beginne to sing, a new maister, a newe. But ô man blind and folish! What is thy glorie but in shame? and what is thy song but lamentations and mour­ning and woe? Thou hast gotten, in deede, a newe maister: for thou haste forsaken God, who is from the beginning: and seruest the croked serpent, who was an Apostata afore thee: and yet thou haste no newe maister, but whome before tho [...] seruedst in hypocrisie, him now thou seruest in vanitie, and he holdeth thee bound, euen as he will him selfe.

Let vs take heede (dearely beloued) and neuer be ouertaken of such a shame. Let vs feele our hope, reioyce in it, loue the glorie that is set before vs, in­large our heartes to comprehend immortalitie, and with all our soule serue the God of glorie. Let vs de­light in his statutes, & iudgementes, and make them our songes in the night season: so we shall knowe we be the house of God: we shall haue this perseue­raunce, whereof I haue spoken, and we shall not be confounded for euer. Now, let vs pray &c.

The fifteenth Lecture vpon the 7, 8, 9, 10. & 11. verses.

7 Wherfore, as the holie Ghost saith, To day▪ if y [...] shal [...] his voice.

8 Harden not your hearts, as in the prouocation, accor­ding to the day of the t [...]tion in the wildernesse.

9 Where your fathers tempted me, proued me, and saw my workes fourtie yeares long.

10 Wherefore I was grieued with that generation, & saide, They err [...] [...]uer in their heart▪ neither haue they [...] my wayes.

11 Therefore I snare in my wrath, if they shal enter into my rest.

WE haue hearde hitherto in this thirde chapiter, howe the Apo­stle hath taught, that our Sauiour Christe is our onelie Prophet, faithfull in his worke, euen as Moses was faithfull; [...] muche more honourable then Moses, as the workeman is aboue the house or the sonne aboue the seruant: & this house which Christ hath built, and in whiche he reigneth, are euen we our selues: if we hold fast what he hath taught, & reioyce in the hope of it vn­to the end.

Now, he addeth another reason, take [...] of y Pro­phet Dauid, who in spi [...] [...] this of Christ: To day▪ if you heare his [...] [...]y [...]ll circumstances of y time & words doth manifestly apeare, & therfore [Page 256] let vs open our eares & heare this excellent prophet, and neuer suffer his doctrine to fall vnto ye ground: to this purpose, he alledgeth this long sentence of the prophet Dauid, and beginneth thus: Wherefore, as the holie Ghost doth say: he had before exhorted in his owne wordes, he addeth now more weight by the authoritie of the Prophet Dauid, to pricke them the more that were dull to learne: for howsoeuer they woulde otherwise haue made light account of the Apostles words: yet to haue despised the admoniti­on of so high a Prophet, it had bene intollerable, e­uen among them selues. And to the end he might feare them yet more with their sinne, if they would not heare, he nameth not the prophet Dauid, whose words they knew well enoughe, but he nameth the holie Ghost, who spake in the Prophet, that they might know, to refuse it were not to refuse a man, but God, who spake by man vnto them: for this purpose he begineth thus: Wherfore the holy Ghost doth say: and let vs here learne, euen as the Hebrues ought to haue learned, with reuerence to heare and to obey the worde, (for it is not the w [...]orde of man but of God, no [...] spoken by man but by the holie Ghost.) So saint Paule speaking of the scripture, he giueth it this title of speciall honour aboue all writinges, that it is inspired from God: and Saint Peter sayth, 2. Tim. 3. that prophesie is not of man or mans wisedome, but the holie men of God spake as they were carried of [...]. Peter. 1. 21 the holy ghost. This must breed in vs a singular re­gard of the worde of the Prophets, except we bee exceeding blinde: for if I do beleue in my heart, as [Page 257] I confesse in my tongue, that God onely is wise, God onely is holie, God onely is our Lord: then I must needes acknowledge, that his worde onely is my wisedome, and my vnderstandinge before all people: his word is my warrant, of all pure, hollie and blamelesse religion. If I doe confesse that God onely hath immortalitie, and is in light that shineth for euermore, then must I needs also saye, as Peter sayth All flesh is grasse: & the glorie of man is as the floure 1. Pet. 1. 23. of the feelde, the grasse withereth, and the floure vadeth: but the woorde of the Lorde indureth for euer: To be short, if this be a commaundement vnto me, Thou shalt haue none other Gods but me: let me holde this as a commaundement from him, that I haue no worde of life but his, yea whatsoeuer I owe vnto him, in the thoughts of my minde, in the woordes of my mouth, in the workes of my handes, in all my life: If this be his worde, this must be my teacher, and in obedience of it, I must doe all that I doe, make this accompt of the word of God, or you make no ac­compt of it at all: and make not this accompt of any other thing, or else thou worshippest God and an idoll too. And consider (I beseech you) but this one thing, and marke it well, that the Scripture is thus called, the The worde of God. There is no doubt, but Psal. 113. 3. the name of God is great ouer al ye earth & his name is praysed from the rysing of the sunne to the going downe of the same, neither is there any creature, but it sheweth foorth his glorie, yet hath not God re­serued the [...]ound of his name to be called vpon [...] y name of any creature, but he hath giuen this only to [Page 258] his woorde. We do not say, The heauen of God, nor the earth of God, nor any thing in them vnder the name of God is noted notwithstanding they shew forth his glorie: but ye writings of the Apostles & prophets, by this name we know them. The word of God: why else? but that his wisdome, his power, his glorie, his mercie, especially, and aboue al things shineth in his worde: and therefore let vs persuade our selues, that his maiestie can not be so highly of­fended in any abuse of all his creatures, as when his woord is despised. When man sawe not his eter­nall power and Godhead, which was manifest and might haue ben knowen, in the workes of the crea­tion of the worlde, yet God did ouersee all their ig­norances, and had pitie on them, he gaue them a better testimonie of his presence, & made his worde knowen in the middes of them, that they might be­leeue it, and be saued: which word whosoeuer shal despise, he hath despised ye power of God by which he should be saued, & is more guiltie before god, thē paganes & infidels which neuer knew him: neither can there be any other meane of saluatiō vnto him. To this effecte (no doubt the apostle giueth this re­uerende speach to the prophesie. The holie ghost hath [...] saide.

Thus hauing prepared ye people to heare & regard, he setteth downe ye words of the prophet, as follow­eth: To day if you wil heare his voice, hardē not your harts, as in the bitter murmuring in the day of tentatiō in the wil­dernes, where your fathers, &c. To vnderstand this ex­hortatiō well, we must see the whole purpose of the [Page 259] psalme. The prophet maketh this psalme, no doubt, as a preparation for the people in all their holie con­uocation, how to present them selues before the Lord: after the same manner, in a good and lauda­ble custome, we vse it now in the church in our ser­uice vnto God, beginning with this Psalme, to stirre vs vp into feare and reuerence, & an earnest desire of the praise of God. O come let vs sing vnto the Lord &c. and because our zeale toward God is faint, and hy­pocrisie hath infected the heartes of manie: there­fore the Prophet toucheth them neerer, that if they will stand acceptable before God; delay not, nor bee faint hearted, but euen speedily & with a good cou­rage: Today if you will heare his voice harden not your heartes &c. And he rehearseth the examples of their fathers who tempted God, and fel in the wildernes, the feare of whose examples should make vs wise.

This beeing now the plaine meaning of the pro­phet, you see how fitly this Scripture is alledged by the Apostle: as then the Prophet cryed vnto them in their assemblies. Today if you will hear his voice &c: that they might keepe holie their Sabbaoth dayes, and bee holie in their assemblyes before their God, to heare his woorde with humilitie, and offer them selues in a holie obedience vnto it: So here the Apostle, applying it vnto Christe, who then spake by his Prophetes, that his woorde now might haue also the reuerence of his owne person, he sayth also to them: Today, if you wil heare his voice, harden not your heartes. &c.

[Page 260] Now, touching the words that he sayth, Today: Today. he meaneth all the time in which the gospel is prea­ched, teaching vs heerby, that so long as the word is preached, so long saluation is offered. In like sense Saint Paul exhorting the Corinthiās not to receiue 2. Co. 6. 2. the grace of God in vaine, alledgeth this saying out of Esaic: I haue hearde thee in an acceptable time, and in the day of saluation haue I succoured thee: wherevnto he Esa. 1. addeth: Behold, now is the acceptable time, beholde now is the day of saluation: plainely expounding this time & this day to be so long as the gospell is preached: by which we learne, how great a benefite it is to heare. Christ preached: for then God offereth him self vn­to vs, then he stretcheth out his handes (as the pro­phet sayth) to imbrace vs, then he calleth vs to come vnto him, then he wil accept vs, then is ye time of sal­uation for vs: all his fauour, loue, mercie, goodnes, al his graces are laid out vnto vs: he hath opened the heauens y we might see, and shewed forth his glorie, that we might vnderstand, and be no more vnbelee­uing, but beleeuing. And what excuse (trow we) can we take vp, to bringe before him, if this Gospell of grace, of peace, of life, be preached vnto vs, and not regarded? Therfore, euen as the Apostle sayth after­ward, so let vs learne. While the Gospel is preached it is stil called, Today: harden not our hartes against it, through the deceites of sinne.

And this (I beseech you) once againe to remem­ber, that when the Gospell is preached vnto vs, then it is Today.

Take away this word preached, which is ye power [Page 261] of God to thy saluation, and what time art thou in? Sure in the night in whiche no man can woorke: for this is the day, when his voice is heard. Euen as the dayes of our life, they arise with the sunne, and go downe againe with it: so the day of our saluati­on it springeth in the preaching of the Gospell, and it is shut vpp againe with the ceasing of that voice: and therfore the holie ghost saith, when our sauiour Christ doth come to Capernaum in the borders of Zabulon and Nephtalim: The people that sat in dark­nesse Matt. 4. 16. sawe a great light, and to them that sat in the region and in the shadowe of death, light arose vp vnto them: this light is the light of the sonne of righteousnesse: how long so euer it shineth, so long shineth the accepta­ble time and the day of health: nowe would I faine know, what auaile prayers for ye dead: what helpeth sacrifices for them in purgatorie: is not this Sonne gone downe vpon them? is it not night with them, and they all haue made their beds in the dark? Haue they any more eares to heare: or are they not as men dead long agoe? Howe then can yet their state bee changeable? How can they obtein grace, mercie, & peace, by our intercession? If they can, the Apostle sayth not true: that it is no longer, Today, then while the Gospell is preached: Sainct Paule saith not true, that now onely is the Acceptable time: our Sauiour Christ deceiued vs, when he said, The night commeth in which no man can work: but this was the enuie of the diuell, to bring vs in a fooles paradise of prayer when we bee gone, that we might not regarde the God of glorie while he offered eternall life vnto vs. [Page 262] And for the Saincts that are dissolued, and be with Christ, they shalbe witnesses against vs, of our mad­nes, which esteemed them as tormented soules of purgatorie: and other whom God hath taken away in his anger, to make them dye in their sinnes, when we fill their handes with our foolishe prayers, wee ioyne with them in rebellion against God: but their torments can not be healed with medicines, and therefore as an vnprofitable and euill thing, so let it goe: let the darke fansies of dead men alone, and let vs do our duetie one to another, in all prayers & workes and loue, nowe in this time, while we may do good, and while the day is yet vpon vs.

Now further, where it is saide: If you will heare his voice. we learn by warrant of the holie Apostle, that our sauiour Christ was euer y prophet of his church in vertue and power of his spirite, euen from the be­ginning, as well as in nature and substance of man­hood, after he was borne of the virgin Marie: So the Apostle afterward againe saith of y prophets times, that The voice of Christ did shake the earth then: & in all Cap. 12. 26. the disobedience of the people of Israel, in the wil­dernesse.

Sainct Paule saith: They tempted Christ: as noting him to bee their guide and leader in their deserte 1. Cor. 10. wayes. And this is the true acknowledgment of our Sauiour Christ, to be the lambe killed from the be­ginning of the worlde: to confesse that he is, and e­uer was, the mediatour and redeemer of his church, and the welbeloued sonne of his father, and the pro­phet for euer, whom he had ordeiued for his people: [Page 263] all whiche when wee shall beleeue, then wee shall boldely say, as this Apostle sayth: Iesus Christ to day, and yesterday, he is the same: and the same abideth for euer­more: Cap. 13. [...]. the same Prophet, the same fayth, the same hope, the same God, euen as we confesse one, and the same catholike church. As our fathers were sa­ued, so are wee: and at this day we beleeue, not on­ly as Paule and Peter did beleeue: but wee walke in the steppes of that sayth: which was first in our father Abraham: yea, and in all Patriarches bee­fore him, as wee haue all had but one heauenlie maister.

And whatsoeuer outward ceremonies God hath ordeined, according to the diuersitie of times, they were euer appointed to be schoolemaisters to leade men vnto Christe, in whome onely GOD was wel pleased, and without whome there is no salua­tion.

And herein the singular loue of God to vs hath appeared: and these dayes of the Gospell preached, are aboue all other blessed dayes: because this Saui­our hath shewed him selfe vnto vs, and hath beene in the middes of vs, flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bones, and we haue seene his glorie as the glorie of the onelie begotten sonne of God: and hee hath reuealed vnto vs the cleare and shining way of this saluation more openly then euer before: and there­fore let vs heare the admonition: To day if you will heare his voice, harden not your heartes.

And here that he saith: Harden not your heartes: we see how great a sinne we cōmitt, in not hearkening [Page 264] to the voice of God, we harden our hearts and co­uer thē as with a couering of brawne, that they may not be mollified with y grace of God: for the word of God is liuing, and more sharpe then a two edged sword, and entereth to the diuision of the soule and the spirite: neither is it possible to keepe it out, but as a sword, so it wil pearce our heart, except we haue made it hard as flint. And as he sayth: Do not you har­den your owne hearts: so let vs persuade our selues, our sinne is our owne, and we haue done it, we may not excuse our selues, as the manner of some is, and say our heartes are hardened whether we wil or no: and who can doe withall? True it is, and the Prophet sayth it: We haue of our selues stonie hearts, and all the i­maginations Ezec. 11 19. &. 36. [...]6. Gen. 8. 21. of them are euil, euen from our youth: so that all men, father & children, may say a like: we know that in vs (y is in our flesh) there dwelleth no good­nes, but what so euer the corruption of our nature is, be it neuer so greate, yet our fault is neuer the lesse, no more then if we had an Angels nature, whiche willingly and wittingly we would peruert: for vn­to our corrupt nature, we bring of our selues a per­uerse wil, which did corrupt the Angels nature, and made them fall from God: so lay no more thy fault on thy nature, for thy will is set to worke iniquitie, with all delight to doe euil. We wish to bring our ill purposes to passe, we reioyce, wee are glad, it is the thinge we would haue: we will not heare a­nie other call: wee bid farewell to all, what so euer would turne vs from our sinne.

The corruption which we haue, our pleasure is in [Page 265] it: and all the goodnes which we want, we care not for it: but our wil is after our worke, and as we are, so wee like our selues best: if there bee any wicked and dissolute man, that denieth this: either he hath taught his tong to lie, or a seduced heart hath decei­ued him: for let him speake that can, the theefe that stealeth, the adulterer that defileth his bodie, the en­uious man that speaketh euil, the beastlie man that murdereth another, the blasphemous toung, the rebellious hand: whiche of these is not thruste fore­warde of his owne will? or who euer that mourned and wept, that fasted and prayed not to be lead into tentation, hath ben giuen ouer to so shamefull sinns? No, no, if God make vs once mourne vnder the bo­die of sinne, the grace of Christ is offered to the bro­ken and contrite heart, and sinne reigneth not in vs, but because we delight in it: let vs hearken therefore to this admonition: To day if you will heare his voice harden not your heartes.

It followeth: As in the bitter murmuring, as in the day of tentatiō in the wildernes, where your fathers tempted me, proued me and saw my workes fourtie yeeres. This exam­ple of their fathers rebellion, is wel alledged, both to moue them the more to take heede by their fathers example, & because they were a people exceeding­ly holden with an opinion of their fathers, that they shoulde yet remember their fathers were but men, and they should not followe them in their sinne and wickednesse.

The storie which the prophet especially meaneth, is written in the 17. of Exodus, where Moses [Page 266] sheweth how the people murmured in Rephidim, for want of water: for then Moses gaue these verie names to the place, and called it, Bitter murmuring, be­cause they stroue bitterly, and contended againste Moses: and he called it tentation, because they ceas­sed to put their trust in God, and rebelled for want of water.

So by the names it is plaine, what storie is ment: and we haue in it to learne. first how great a crime it is to resist the minister of God: for the name of that sinne, God hath giuen vnto the place for a per­petuall remēbrance, what the punishment of it hath beene: and againe, what it is to fall from our hope that we haue in Gods prouidence, to mistrust him, to feare that he wil faile vs: for this is to tempt God: with which sinne how highly he is displeased, the name of the place to this day beareth witnes▪ which Moses for that cause called tentation. And heere a­gaine, let vs learne, howe, and in what case, we may giue names vnto places, and that is, when the re­membrance of the name, is a putting vs in minde of some speciall worke of God towarde vs: as in re­membrance of the excellent vision that God gaue Iacob, he caled the place Bethel. When God gaue to Abraham the life of Isaak his sonne, and saued him Gen. 28. 19. from sacrificing, Abraham called the place Ieho­uah Gen. 22. 14. Iireh.

Likewise, in remembrance of GODS punish­ments, when he diuided the peoples tongues, hee called the name of the place Babel. When God Gen. 11. Num. 11. 4. destroyed from heauen, the hoast of Israel with fire, [Page 267] for remembraunce of the punishment, they named the place Taberah.

Manie suche examples are in the Scripture, good and profitable for vs to followe, if we had hearts that feared God, and had comfort in the re­membraunce of all his workes: but we haue leaf [...] that good worke of our forefathers, and as time corrupteth all things, so it hath here corrupted our manners.

In deede, we giue names still vnto places, but not now for any conscience toward God, the bet­ter to remember his goodnesse towardes vs: but we erecte thereby monumentes to our fleshe, and make shrines of pride. We do (I am affraid) as the prophet Dauid saith: the wicked do think their houses & Psal. 49. 12. their habitations shal continue for euer, and cal their landes by their names. We swell with vanitie, and are puf­fed vp with pride: & in this hautinesse of heart, wee giue names vnto our houses: this boasting is not good: and of suche high minded men the prophet saith: They shal lie like sheepe in their graues, & death shal deuour them. yea, & al their pompe with them: of this let vs beware, for it is a sinne that cleaueth fast vnto vs, & we are easily ledd with it: otherwise, if God giue vs humble heartes, and mindes, in the naming of our houses after our owne names, or after other, there is no hutt at all.

Now, where it is saide: They tempted God, and pro­ued him in the wildernesse, where they saw his works fourty yeeres: we must knowe, the wildernesse was a ter­rible and fearefull place, full of temptations, [Page 268] where the people alwayes wanted, sometime meat, somtime drinke, in feare of enimies, in feare of serpentes, in muche affliction: but what of this? yet if they tempt God, they are rebellious against God. For he that made the wildernesse, and all the ter­rour of it, is not his power ouer it, to saue his sain­ct [...]s? No place, no man, no terrour, must ouer­throwe our hope in Gods prouidence: or, if it do, wee tempt God, and prouoke him against vs: there­fore Dauid saide: Though I walked through the vallie of the shadowe of death, yet I would not feare, because thou art Psal. 23. 4. with mee.

And let vs neuer deceiue our selues: for if wee be not, as Dauid was, to trust still in God, yea, though he seemed to kill vs: Surely, let our dayes be neuer so peaceable, yet euerie occasion will make vs fall from God.

Solomon saith: if we faint in the day of aduersitie, our strength was neuer great: and if with the Israelites we Prou. 24. 10 would murmur in the wildernesse, with the Israe­lites we would also rebell euen in the lande of Ca­naan: for they were no more obedient when they had peace, when their lande flowed with milke and honie, then when they were in the solitarie de­sert.

And let vs not looke vpon our fathers example, but loke vpō our selues this day: doth this peace of ye Gospel make vs more thankful, or more desirously to giue vs our selues to be seruants of the Lord, then we were before, whē we felt y prison houses & hoat fires of idolatric? the Lord knoweth, & he iudgeth: [Page 269] and we are wise, if our hearts be settled, for no cause at all to leaue our obedience to God: then we may be bolde and say with Iob: If he wil kill vs, let him not spare: for we haue not denied the wordes of the Iob. 6. [...]. holie one, let it come that he sendeth. Neither the wildernes, nor fierie serpents, nor yet y fruitful vines and pleasant springs of the land of Canaan, shall se­parate betweene God and vs.

And heere, that God sayth, he did xl. yeres shew his woorkes vnto them, he meaneth bothe Manna, with which he [...]ed them from heauen, & their con­tinuall leading with the pillour of cloude, and pil­lour of fire, and all other miracles whiche he did be­fore them: wherein appeareth the long suffering of God, and as Paule sayth: The riches of his bountifulnes & great patience, whiche is not ouercome with our Rom. 2. 4. sinnes: but he once promised it vnto Abraham, to giue a land vnto them: and all the rebellion of his childrē, could neuer falsifie his promise. This ought to strengthen our faith to the forgiuenes of our sin­nes: we haue a couenant of God, greater and better they y made with Abraham: euen a couenant made in his only begotten Sonne, through whom he hath said, he is well pleased with vs, and will remember out sinnes nor our iniquities any more. And let vs not feare, neither the greatnesse of our sinne, nor the craf [...]nes of our enimie, but in a repenting and faith­ful heart, trust vnto his promise that can not change his grace, nor repent him of his mercie for euer. And yet, that wee should not be here secure, and commit sinne without regarde, as men that carrie away the [Page 270] grace of God to wantonnesse, thinking any outward calling to be warrant enough of our election. To take away the grosse opinion, and make vs serch bet­ter, whether we be the children of the couenaunt, or no, therfore he addeth, that he was angrie with this generation, and said: It is a people that doe erre in their heartes for they haue not knowen my wayes &c. testify­ing by this threatening, that his promises were not to them onely in their birth, that they were the children of Israel, but much more in this: if they walked in the steppes of the fayth of Abraham. So all we this day saluation is promised vnto vs in Ie­su Christe, in a holie couenaunt, whiche shall ne­uer be broken: but God will make all our enimies our footestoole, and will surely take vs into his glorie. But let vs be wise, to see whether the co­uenaunt is made with vs or no: for as not all that were borne of Abraham, were the children of Abra­ham: so, not all that professe the Gospell, shall haue the saluation of the Gospell: for there are ma­ny drunkards, gluttons, adulterers, couetous men, blasphemers, lyers, contentious persons, and suche other, whiche shall neuer into the kingdome of of Heauen: yet will they boast of the gospell of Christ: but he that dyeth with Christ, and is buried with him, touching the olde man, and as Christe is risen from the dead: so by the spirite of Christe, he that ryseth vp into newenesse of life, with him this couenaunt is mad, and with none other: and he shal­be iustified by his fayth, when the sinnes of the wic­ked shall fall vpon them.

[Page 271] Further, in this threatening, wee haue to marke first the cause, euen ye peoples sinne, which the pro­phet setteth out thus: It is a people that do erre in their hearts, for they haue not knowen my ways. This is the be­ginnig of all euil, to leaue the ordinances of God, and walke in our owne imaginations: and this is onely follie, to forsake the word of God, the foun­teine of all wisedome, and to followe our owne in­uentions, whiche are vaine and fruitlesse. So Moses vpbraideth the people, when they obeyed no longer Gods ordinances, to do them: but made new lawes vnto themselues, to liue by. They are (sayth he) a nation voide of counsel, neither is there any vn­derstanding Deut. 32. 2 [...] in them: by this we know what they are, what wisedome and counsell is in them, that take away the worke of God, and teache their owne traditions. It is a plaine sentence, They erre in their hartes, for they haue not knowen my wayes: So we may boldly say, It is a foolishe people, an ignoraunt peo­ple, a people full of blindnesse and sinne, whosoeuer walke in their owne imaginations: for they haue forsaken the wayes of God, and nowe, what wise­dome can there be in them? And mark that he saith, They erre in their hearts: noting what studie is in thē, and howe full they are of thoughtes and cogitati­ons what to deuise, euer m [...]sing, euer inuenting, and neuer the better, no quietnesse is within vs. So that we are sure, our owne traditions, the more wee followe them, our owne foolishnesse doeth the more vexe and disquiet vs: and wee doe nothing else, but waste pensiue dayes, and [Page 272] heauie nightes, studying with our selues how we may perish. If thou doubt of this, whosoeuer thou art, heare the worde of the Lorde: They erre in their heart, for they haue not knowen my wayes: if thou hearest it, and knowest it, leaue off their wofull wayes, who seeke tradition, and erre in their heartes, and haue no peace: and followe the worde of God, whiche onely giueth light and securitie vnto vs.

An other thing, in this threatning is: that God sweareth They shal not enter into his rest. This oth is to persuade vs, that with a constant purpose, God is iust, euen as he is merciful: and let vs not flatter our selues in vaine hope to escape his anger, while wee will needes walke still in our sinnes, for in iustice & iudgement the glorie of God shineth: and no more then he can breake his promise of loue and mercie, made with his Sainctes: no more will he defile his couenant, in whiche he hath threatened the rebelli­ous people: but hee will surely recompence their sinnes into their bosome, and his anger shall con­sume them. Therfore to these also hath he sworne, and he wil not repent him: They that haue not knowen his wayes, they shall neuer enter into his rest: of this rest we shall haue occasion to speake hereafter. Now let vs pray, that God for his sonnes sake woulde pre­pare our hearts to the hearing of his voice, that wee may not be despisers, as our forefathers haue beene, whom God threatned in his heauie displeasure, and hath shewed his iudgements toward them, euen as he would: but let vs be as his sheepe, that doe heare his voice, that his worde may he in our heartes, a [Page 273] seede of regeneration, by whiche we may be borne a newe, into holinesse and righteousnesse, to glorifie him that is our God for euer, &c.

¶ The sixteenth Lecture, vpon the 12. 13. 14. verses.

12 Take heede, brethren, lest at any time there be in any of you an euil heart, and vnfaithfull, to depart away from the liuing God.

13 But exhort one another dayly, while it is called, To day: lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulnesse of sinne.

14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we keepe sure vnto the end, that beginning, wherwith we are vpholden.

IN these words, the Apostle begin­neth more particularly to handle y former words of the Prophet, and so to amplifie his exhortation, that in no wise the Hebrues should for­get to heare & to obey christ their only prophet: & first of all, in this that the Prophet sayth: To day▪ by which the Apostle gathereth, that we must not neglecte this time of our calling, but whē the voice of the Lord is heard, then we must shew our obedience: for it is not meet that he should speak, and we should be deafe, nor he should call to day, and we to make answer we will come to morrowe: such loose regard of the worde of the liuing God, becommeth not those that are his [Page 274] Saincts: neither doth our sauiour Christ so teach vs himselfe, when he saith so many times: He that hath eares to heare let him heare: therfore, when the Lord o­peneth his mouth, let vs erecte our eares: and in the day that he doth teache, let vs learne in the same, & glorifie god in his goodnes: this is y plain meaning of the Apostle in these words of the twelfth & thir­teenth verse: Take heed, brethren, lest at any time there be in any of you an euil heart & vnfaithful, to depart frō the li­uing God, but exhort one another daily, while it is yet called To day, lest any of you be hardened with the deceitfulnesse of sinne. Beside this generall doctrine in the wordes of the Apostle, we haue manie thinges profitable to note.

First, that heere againe he calleth them by the name of Brethren, he sheweth a great affection of brotherlie loue toward them: for there is no doubt but he was free from flattering woordes, and of the aboundance of his heart his mouth did speake, so that this testimonie of his good will, had greate weight to allure the Hebrues the more willingly to heare him.

And we must learne a verie good lesson, with what care, and loue, & earnest desire wee must do all things to our neighbour. We must not, as in other things, where wee care not greatly whether they come to passe or no, so vse our exhortations and admonitions to our bret [...]en, but what we ad­uise them or speake vnto them touching the feare of God, we must haue all our heart bent to doe them good: no care, nor desire ought to be greater in vs, [Page 275] then this, that by some meanes we might doe them good.

This affection the Apostle sheweth, when hee calleth them Brethren: and we that this day preach vnto you when we say, dearely beloued, or louing brethren, or vse such like names by which wee call, you, either we haue this earnest affection to winne you vnto Christ: or else, in the pulpit also we haue learned to dissemble. I note this now bothe to sti [...]re vp my selfe, and to admonish other: for I heare dai­ly such louing names of the people in the preachers mouthes, and I pray God, as much louing affecti­on may be in their heartes vnto them.

An other thing in these woordes of the Apostle taught vs, is this: what the cause is why all the day long the Lord speaketh, vnto vs, and few regard it: and the cause is an vnbeleeuing heart, therefore the Apostle saith: Take hede there be not in anie of you an e­uil and vnbeleeuing heart to fall away from the liuing God: which wordes he addeth as a declaration of the for­mer wordes of the prophet, where he saith: It is a peo­ple that doe erre in their heartes, for they haue not knowen my wayes: heere we must first see where is the roote and founteine of our sinne, whiche is not farre off from euery one of vs, in the East or West, or ends of the world, but it springeth vp and is nourished in our owne hearts, and what soeuer is euill in vs, here it hath his founteine: in which wee knowe first our sinne is our owne, and of our selues it riseth: accuse not, neither this nor that, but humble thy selfe, and confesse thy sinne which is bredd within thee.

[Page 276] It is true, we haue many tentations, but we could not be ouercome of them, if the corruption of sinne were not within vs: for our Sauiour Christ was al­so tempted: yet he sinned not, & the cause was whē the prince of this world came vnto him, he founde nothing in him: if it were so in vs, all temptations should be in vaine: but we, because we are borne in sinne, and no goodnesse dwelleth in our flesh, there­fore we are streight carried as we moste desire, and our owne concupiscence giueth strength to our ten­tations. And againe, here we see, as our hart is a root of sinne: so there is no sinne but commeth from the heart: if thy heart accuse thee not, be of good com­fort, thy sinnes are abolished: if thy heart condemne thee, mock not thy selfe: for thy sinne abideth. Our Sauiour Christ sayth: The things come not from with­out which do defile a man, but they do proceede frō the heart Matt. 15. that is within: for out of the heart come euill thoughtes, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witnesse, slaun­ders, & all such things as defile a man. A notable sen­tence, and ful of godlie comforte in all our life: for when I see so many men vexed in minde, this way or that way: some vowe pilgrimages, some obser­uation of dayes, some absteine from meates, some one thing, some an other: in this wauering of many my hope is stedfast, I fear not meat, drink, day, time place, person: for all this serueth mee, and I serue the Lord, before whom whē my heart is fetled in loue and obedience, al the world beside cannot defile me. Let vs therfore take good heede of this, and we take good heede to the safest tower of defence that wee [Page 277] haue in all our life: take heede of thy heart, for if it accuse thee, it will kill thee: if it be on thy side, let the heauens fall, yet the ruines of it shall not make thee affraide: let thy aduersaries be who they will, let their counsell be neuer so subtile, and thy de­struction that is conspired neuer so cruell: yet if thy heart shalbe faithful, thine enimies shall feare more then thou, & they shalbe ashamed more then thou: for innocencie assisteth thee, which is strengthened with the arme of God, and is not vanquished of a vaine man. Let vs followe then the calling of the Apostle, and let vs regarde well our heartes.

Now, as this is the safetie of thy life, to haue thy heart cleane: so marke these wordes of the Apostle, and he wil teach thee how to haue thy hart cleane: Let there not be in any (saith he) an euil hart of infidelitie. Infidelitie is it whiche maketh thy heart abound in Infidelitie the cause of all euill. euill, and if by any meanes it can get roome to lodge within thee, thy heart is taken, and imagineth from henceforth al mischiefe. When our Sauiour Christ so manie times reproueth sundrie sorts of men, he maketh this as a generall fault of all, that They are vnfaithfull, and slowe to beleeue. When Saint Paul condemneth them as reprobate men, which do ne­uer see the light of the Gospell, he maketh this the cause of their sin, that The God of this world hath blinded the eyes of their vnbeleeuing heart. And if we will be free from so great a plague, let vs follow 2. Cor. [...]. this counsell of the Apostle, that there be not in vs vnbeleeuing hearts. Let vs be, as our Sauiour Christ teacheth Thomas to be, not vnfaithfull but faithful. [Page 278] Whatsoeuer is spoken in the worde of trueth, let it haue within vs a sure persuasion. If God say, hee wil be our defence, and our exceeding great re­warde: let vs beleeue the assuraunce of his promise, and knowe he will not leaue his Sainctes, neither yet forsake them. If God haue promised eternall life to those that walke faithfully before him, let vs beleeue his word: that a thousande thousande, and ten thousand thousand yeres before him haue none account: neither yet any time, which can be expi­red at the last: but aboue all time, in immortalitie he hath established a dwelling for his Sainctes. If God haue threatened eternall fire, to consume and deuour his enimies: let neuer our heartes doubt or wauer through the temptations of the diuell, but let vs acknowledge it in a certeine trueth, and be­leeue it, as if wee hearde, euen nowe, the fearefull voice to sound: Go y [...] cursed into eternall fire. With such a beleeuing hearte, let mee foresee the latter ende, and I shall not sinne for euer. But take nowe this feare awaye of those last iudgementes, and bring a wauering heart to Gods promises, and the sentence is pronounced ouer thee: because thou hast not beleeued trueth, thou shalt erre in thine hearte, and beleeue lyes, till vanitie waste away thy yeres, and thou fall into the destruction whiche thou shalt feele, before thou canst beleeue that it is prepa­red.

And let vs not onely beleeue these last thinges, of which last of all, men must haue experience: but in all thinges nowe incident into our life. Let vs [Page 279] not be hard hearted, but beleeue the trueth, what it speaketh vnto vs.

If Paule say: The glorie of the wicked is to their Phil. 3. 19. shame: let vs yet while we haue time, beleeue it: and cast out suche ambitious desires, as moste assuredly shall bring confusion.

If Paule say: They that wish to be rich, they fall into te [...]tations, and into snares, and into many foolish and hurt­full 1. Tim. 6. 9. desires, which drowne [...] perdition and distruction: why do we not beleeue it? and why make wee not our affections as straunge from couetousnesse, as we wishe to be farre off from death; and from the graue?

If our Sauiour Christe say: If you loue mee keepe my commaundements: who hath bewitched vs, that we Ioh. 14. 15. should not beleeue the trueth? what meane wee to liue in all excesse of sinne, and poure out our selues into riot, and yet stil say we loue the Lord? Surely (dearely beloued) one cause is of all: an vnbelee­uing heart hath seduced vs. Wee think wee eate of the secret Manna, when in deede wee seede of as­shes. We can not see, that God resisteth the proude, his iudgements are high aboue our reach: and there­fore we will set vp our owne praise, and striue for honour, euen vnto death, & we feare not the shame that we cannot see.

We knowe not what the kingdome of heauen is, neither can we knowe: for our eye cannot see it, our eare cannot heare it, our heart cannot compre­hend it, neither hath the spirit of God reuealed it vn­to vs. [Page 280] and when infidelitie hath thus couered vs, it is no maruel, though we heare in vaine: It is easier for a Ca­mel to creep [...] through a needels eye, then for a rich man to enter into the kingdome of heauen: for we cannot feare, where we thinke there is no daunger: we can not hope, where we loke for no goodnes: promises and threatenings are but blastes of wind, where infideli­tie hath taken away our wisdome: let vs now looke into our selues, & search our heart and reines, whe­ther we stand in faith or no: for behold, this know, and the spirite witnesseth it: there is no ambitious minde aspiring to honour, no vncleane and fil­thie concupiscence of adulterie, no couetous desi­res of Gold and Siluer, no sinful delights of world­ly minded men, no falling from God, for these corruptible and vaine thinges, but infidelitie is both roote and braunche, the beginning and ending: an vnfaithfull heart causeth all in all: and let faith but dwell within thee, to beleeue the word of trueth: know there is glorie, and honour, and immortali­tie, and eternall life to those that patiently seeke the Lorde: and indignation, & wrath, and tribulation, and anguish vpon the soule of euerie man that do­eth euill.

Knowe that the worlde is vanitie, and all fleshe is grasse: that righteousnesse is perfect bles­sing, and the feare of God is happinesse: beleeue this, as thou beleeuest thine eyes to see the light of the Sunne, or to discerne the darkenes of the night, and thou shalt neuer fall: were thy [...]ntations ne­uer so many, thou shalt ouercome them, till the [Page 281] diuell himselfe doe flie from thee: let vs therefore pray, and pray continually, euen as the Apostles prayed: O Lord increase our faith.

The woordes following heete: In falling away from the liuing God: they shewe bothe what it is to be vnfaithfull, and what worke it hath in vs. For to doubt when the Lord hathe spoken, or mistrust what hee hathe promised, it is to fall away from him: and when we beginne in heart to wauer, and call into question, whether his worde shalbe per­fourmed, or no: we lay our selues open to the as­saultes of sinne, and soone fall away from the liuing God, to our owne vanitie. And this generall rule, that infidelitie maketh vs fall from God, wee must particularly applie to all the workes of our life, that wee be not hardened (as the Apostle saith) with the deceipt of sinne. If I fall into daunger, and mis­trust Gods prouidence, and seeke worldly meanes and vnlawfull helpe of man for my deliuerance, the prophet Ieremie curseth this infidelitie, and sayth: Iere. 17. 5. we withdraw our hearts from the Lord. If in main­tenance of our common wealth, we seeke only po­licies, and doe that whiche is wisest with naturall men: the Prophet Esay cryeth wo vnto suche, for Esai. 31 [...] they fall away from God, they looke not (sayth he) vnto the holie one of Israel, nor seeke vnto the Lord. If I vse lying woordes, or any deceipte, in buying and selling, thinking so to wax rich: I am a lying merchaunt that am fallen from God: and as Solomon saith: The bread of deceit shalbe sweete but for Prou. 20. 19. a while, and then my mouth shalbe filled with gra [...]ell: and [Page 282] therfore that we may not at last be ashamed, and be guiltie of this great sinne, to forsake the liuing God, let vs take heede there bee not in anie of vs an euill heart of infidelitie.

It followeth now: But exhort one an other daily while it is yet called to day. As before the Apostle taught vs to beware of the sinne: so like a wise teacher he telleth vs heere, how wee shall doe it, that is, by daily ex­horting one another.

So Sainct Paule, when hee would persuade the Thessalonians to walke as children of the light, and [...]. The. 5. 11. as in the day time: he setteth out this rule vnto them, Exhort one an other, edifie one another: and this is the discharge of that great commaundement: Loue thy neighbour as thy selfe: as appeareth by the lawe that is Leui. 19. 17. written: Thou shalt not hate thy brother from thine heart, but thou shalt reproue him, & suffer him not to sinne: Thus the Lord hath ordeyned, and this duetie he wil aske at our hands, in which he wil iustifie vs, or else con­demne vs. Sainct Iames sayth: He that conuerteth a Iam. 5. 20. sinner from going astray, let him know it he shal saue a soule from death, & shall couer a multitude of sinnes. Solomon sayth: The fruite of the righteous is as a tree of life, and Pro. 11. 30. he that winneth soules, is wise. And the Prophet Daniel in cleare and absolute words speaketh plainly: They that be wise shall shine as the brightnesse of the firmament, Dan. 12. 3. and they that turne manie to righteousnesse shall shine as the starres for euer and euer.

This duetie, I confesse, is chiefly the ministers, then the magistrates, then the fathers and maisters, who are all accordinge to their calling guiltie of [Page 283] bloud, if men perish in their gouernement for want of instruction: but yet, this duetie is also cōmon to all and none excepted: we ought all to edifie and ex­hort one another.

There is no excuse of ignorance: there is none so simple, but hath learned the royal law: Thou shalt loue the Lord thy God with all thy heart, & with all thy soule, & thou shalt loue thy neighbour as thy selfe. In breach of this duetie, who is so simple, but he can sometime espie the sinne of his brother? In this, let him exhorte him after his skill: for though hee haue receiued but one talent, yet must hee occupie that, else hee shalbe condemned for a wicked and a faithlesse ser­uaunt.

Looke therefore vnto this, and watch euerie one ouer his brother, that he may confirme him in the grace of Christ.

We haue often meetings for the comfort of our life, and many brotherly feastinges are amoung vs: Take heede we drinke not our wines in carued bolles, and haue sweete musicke at our tables, and none of vs (as the Prophet sayeth) remember the af­fliction of Ioseph, that is (I meane) and none of Amos. 6. [...] vs care for the adulterie, drunkennesse, glutto­nie, blasphemie of his brethren: for if our mee­tinges be suche, our comforte of our meeting wil soone be at an end, and our last mirthe wilbe in hea­uinesse.

And here we must marke, when this duetie of mutuall exhortation is required: the Apostle addeth, While it is yet called to day: this is (as I told you before) [Page 284] while yet life & forgiuenes is offered vnto vs tho­roughe the preaching of the gospel: this is to stirr vs vp, not to neglect the time of our calling: so the pro­phet Esay, Seke (saith he) the Lord while he may be foūd, cal ye vpon him, while he is neere. We haue al our times in which we are called to repentance: if we neglect them, we shall not haue them againe, thoughe wee sought them with teares. The day was past with the riche man to call vnto Abraham, for Lazarus to helpe him, when they were both dead: the day was, when Lazarus lay at his gate despised of him. The day was past with Pharaoh, when he was in the redd Sea: the day was, while Moses and Aaron wrought suche miracles in his sight. The day was past with Iudas, when the diuell was nowe entered into him: the day was before, when Christe repro­ued him of his wicked purpose. The day is with vs, while yet we feele our hearts flexible, and our con­science is touched with the feare of God: the day is past when at the last, our heartes sinke downe into infidelitie, and we can no more be soarie for sinne: therefore while time is, and we be yet sure it is the day of health, let vs regarde it, and take hold of it, as it cōmeth: for when it is gone, it is past recouerie: & behind there is no handfast to pull it back againe.

It followeth: Lest any of you be hardened with the de­ceit of sinne: we see here how we be caried into euil, y is, by craftinesse, & by deceit of sinne. Sinne neuer appeareth in her own coūtenāce, no more then y di­uel sheweth himself in his owne shape: but as he is a lyer from the beginning, so all his dooinges are [Page 285] deceiuable errour as him selfe is false, so are all his doings in falshoode. Sainct Paule calleth it, Iugling craftinesse, to deceiue cunningly. Now then, if wee this day confesse that sinne is of the diuel, why doe Ephe. 4. 14: we not beleeue as the holie Apostle beleeueth, that the sinner is holden in deceit and errour, to doe the things he knoweth not? And if in sinning we doe we knowe not what, and as we woulde neuer doe if we knewe what we did: what meane we so wil­lingly to be deceiued? Where is the glorie of our gray haires, or the reioycing of a manlie counte­naunce, when so childishly wee will be led into the pit and snares. Wee knowe it is ill, we knowe it is of the diuel, we hate the name of it, we are ashamed of the lighte of the sunne when wee doe committ it, we knowe the end of it is death, and it bringeth foorth nothinge but our destruction: and what heartes haue we yet within vs, of fleshe, or of stone, of wisedome, or of madnesse, that we be still decei­ued with such a monster? Where be now our po­litique heads, and wise counsels, of which wee boast so much, that we be ware men, circumspect in all thinges, foreseeing harmes, preuenting eni­mies practises: and I wot not what idle prayses of vaine men? For, where is their witt, where is their counsell, where is their sound aduice, and depe con­sideratiōs, whē their greatest & dedliest enimies, am bitiō, pride, reuenge, iniustice, couetousnes, adulterie lodge in their priuie chambers, & lye betwene their brestes? Alas (dearelie beloued) what gaine should be vnto vs, if we with you, & you with vs, should both [Page 286] perish together. How much were it better, that wee should admonish one another, and liue together to eternall life? Let vs not then be mocked with the deceit of sinne. And at one worde to all those wise men of which I spake, and to all you y be present of that number, this I say: and yet not I, but the Pro­phet Ieremie, that you may be sure I say the trueth. When all your vaine prayses shalbe scattered into the winde: when the Lord shall cut off all flattering lippes, and make perpetuall silence of these emptie idle blastes, that haue puffed you vp: an other and a truer, and a more enduring testimonie shalbe pro­nounced of you: that except you turne, while it is yet called to day, and be not hardned with this de­ceitfulnesse of sinne, you are vnwise, & shalbe asha­med of your grosse ignoraunce: for you haue re­fused the lawe of the Lord, and what wisedome can Iere. 8. 9. be in you? This testimonie I am sure is true, and the liuing God hath spoken it of the children of men: and how blessed are we if we doe beleeue it? & how much more happinesse is in one day of our honour, in which we are wise to escape the deceipt of sinne, then in ten thousand dayes, in which we should fall from the Lord of life? This is wisedome, and hee that hath vnderstanding, let him marke where, and how many are his footesteps, that he bee not ouer­taken with the sleightes of sinne.

It followeth now in the wordes of the Apostle: for we be made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our substance stedfast vnto the latter end: he amplified before the exhortation of the Prophet, by ponde­ring [Page 287] of this woorde, Today: willing vs not to preter­mit the time, but diligently to stirre vp one another while this day of health abideth. Nowe, he conti­nueth the same exhortation, by waying of the resi­due of the words: If you heare his voice, harden not your harts, a [...] in the bitter murmuring: shewing, that our fore­fathers example should be our instruction, and wee ought to take heede by their punishmentes: for, if God spared not them, how should he spare vs? but they, when they heard his voice, yet they sinned: & though he spake vnto them, yet they beleeued not, and therefore his anger fell vpon them: euen so, if now the voice of Christ shalbe heard of vs, and we beleeue it not, or else little regarde it, as wee fall in­to the same example of disobedience, it standeth with the iustice of our God, that we shoulde be par­takers of like punishmente. To this purpose are the wordes of the Apostle, to the ende of this chapter.

Touching this 14. verse: the more to persuade vs, the Apostle sheweth what great benefite is vnto vs, if we will be faithful to heare his voice, and abide constant in obedience of it: for so wee shal be par­takers of Christ. We knowe, this is our hope, and all the assurance we haue with God, that wee bee made members of Iesu Christe: wee must be graf­fed into him, and be made members of his bodie.

Euen as the vine-braunche, can haue no life, nor bring forth any fruite, except it abide in the bodie of the vine: no more haue wee either life or righte­ousnesse, except we be, and abide in Christe. This is the mysticall vniting, and spirituall ioyning wee [Page 288] haue with Christe, he is our substance & being in y inheritance of Glorie: so his righteousnesse is our righteousnes, his loue is our loue, his life is our life his spirit is our spirit, of his fulnesse we receiue all: this is a great mysterie which neither our eye seeth, nor our hearte can vnderstand: but yet it is a reall ioyning of vs with him, which our faith doeth easi­ly comprehend: & when we shal see that wisedome which could vnite in one person, God and man, we shall see the wisedome which hath made all vs the bodie of that head, and members one of another. This great benefite is here set out vnto vs, in a sure promise: We be partakers of Christ: that we should (as I said e) be more moued with so great a blessing. And here we haue al to learne a good lesson, that is, how we are all set free from sinne, & presented faultlesse before the presence of gods glorie, and that is, by be­ing made one with Christe, and appearing in his countenance: for of him only it is true: This is my be­loued sonne in whome I am well pleased: if vnto him wee be giuen, and with him be ioyned: then in him Matth. 3. we are also beloued, and throughe him we be accep­ted. This is y saluation we haue by him, to be graf­fed in him, and made partakers of his life. Euen A­braham our father, & before Abraham, Noe, Enoch, Abel, or whosoeuer since haue had highest praise, Iob, Daniel, Samuel, Iohn Baptist, the virgin Marie, all are one before God, not one in himself excepted, but all were vnited to Iesus Christ, in whome they were righteous. Were we neuer so full of good works, our wel doing extendeth not vnto the Lord: [Page 289] nor they can possibly either deserue his fauour, or once come in his sight: but we muste leaue all our workes in the earth, where they are done, and they must die with the corruptible hands and feete with whiche they are wrought: we must goe naked and bare, & offer nothing but that which is Christes, yea our selues we must present in his bodie: for in our owne persons we can not possibly be accepted: haue therefore a wise and vnderstanding faith: knowe how you are made one with Iesu Christe, and there lay the anchorhold of thy hope: for in him it is im­possible thou shouldest perishe.

It followeth: If we hold the beginning of our substance sure & stedfast vnto the end: this is the condition vnder which we shalbe partakers of Christ: perseuerance and constancie vntill the end. Our Substance as the Apostle calleth it, that is our beeing, our vpholding, our settled standing, this our estate of vniting vnto Christ, the beginning of this, nowe wrought in vs, we must hold it, and strēgthen it vnto the end, then we knowe we be partakers of Christe: this begin­ning of our Substance is faith by the preachinge of the gospell, by which we be nowe spiritually vnited vnto Christ: this faith by hearing y voice of Christ through which we are one with him, by the same worde wee must nourishe it, and keepe it stedfaste vnto the ende, this is the same thing whiche Paule teacheth to the Colossians that Christ hath recon­ciled vs in his bodie, if we abide in saith grounded Col. 23. and settled, and be not moued from the hope of the Gospel, whiche we haue hearde preached vnto vs: [Page 290] touching this, I saide muche in the exposition of the sixt verse, now this I will adde: if you will knowe the churche of Christe, know it by this marke, it holdeth the beginning of her substance stedfast vn­to the end: the beginning of our substance, he called before in the sixte verse, the assuraunce and reioy­cing of our hope. Saint Paul (as I told you) in plaine words expoundeth it thus: a sure faith in the gospel preached. Now you know the marke of the church of Christ, a sure faith by the preching of the gospel: take away assuraunce, you take away the faith of Gods electe, for it must bee sure, stedfast, settled, vn­moueable vnto the end: if hunger, thirst, nakednes: if the sword of the Tyrant, if the stormie seas, if fear­full visions of euil spirites, if any of these make thee feare, in all these thus Christ reprooueth thee: O thou of litle faith: for if he that made all, be stronger then al, if in him thou trust, thou must feare at nothing, but knowe for trueth, that neither height nor depth, nor death nor life, nor Angel nor power, shall euer separate thee from the loue of God this therfore: (I say) first marke: take away suretie, and take away the faithe of Gods Churche: Againe, take away the preaching of the Gospell, and you take away faith: for so Paul saith: Our faith is groūded in the gospel prea­ched vnto vs: as in another place he speaketh expresly: faith is by hea [...]ing of the word of God: therfore the gospel Rom 10 17 Rom. [...]0. [...] G [...]l. [...]. [...]. Rom. [...]. [...]. hath this name, to [...] called the worde of faith, the hea­ring of faith, the preaching of faith: and our receiuing of the gospel, is called the obedience of faith: neither is it possible to haue faith, where thou hast no woorde [Page 291] which thou caust beleeue. Now consider (I bese [...]ch you) what Church is the church of Rome? their fayth they conceale it not, but thus reach, & preach, that it hath no certeintie: and for the gospel to war­rant their faith, they seeke it not, but say: ignorance wil stirre vp deuotion: and wil not suffer the people to knowe the Scripture, nay, they say they neede it not, but onely beleeue as the Church beleeueth: are these the people to whom the Apostle writeth, that they should surely beleeue the Gospel vnto the end? if light be darcknesse, if good be euill, if holinesse be sinne, then are these men the Church of Christ: but the time is past. Nowe let vs pray, that it would please God to strengthen in vs a true and liuely faith. &. c.

The seuenteenth Lecture, vpon the the residue of the chapter.

15 So long as it is said, To day if you heare his voice, harden not your heartes, as in the prouocation.

16 For some when they heard, prouoked him to anger: how­beit, not all that came out of Aegypt by Moses.

17 But with whome was he displeased fourtie yeeres? Was he not displeased with them that sinned, whose carcases fell in the wildernesse?

18 And to whome sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that obeyed not.

19 So we see that they could not enter in, because of vnbe­liefe.

HEre the Apostle proceedeth to am­plifie this exhortatiō of ye prophet, in these words. If you heare his voice, harden not your hearts as in the bitter murmuring: touching these wordes, you haue heard thē before expoun­ded vnto you, therefore we now wil let them passe, only noting this vnto you: the Apostle saith: while it is yet called to day: that the prophet had said to day: the apostle saith: yet that exhortatiō is, & yet it is called to day wherby we learn the prophesies were not for ye pre­sent time only, but daily we & our children after vs, are admonished instructed, and taught in their prea­ching: so when ye prophet Esaie reproueth the people for vsing their owne counsel, & seeking helpe of the Aegyptians whē they were inaduersitie, y we should know it was not only then Gods will, that his peo­ple should trust in him, & not make thē vaine [...] of men: but that alwayes he should be our onely re­fuge, [Page 293] the prophet saith: Now go and write it before them Esai. 30. [...] in a table, & note it in a book that it may be for the last day, for euer & euer. So the Prophet Ieremie mentioneth Iere. 45. 1. howe Baruche wrote all his wordes, making them an instruction vnto the posteritie that should reade then. This our sauiour Christ ment, whē he said: one Iohn. 4. 3 [...]. soweth, & another reapeth: meaning, ye prophets labou­red and we eate the fruite of their labour: and so Pe­ter 1. Pet. [...]. 12. saith: that Not to them selues but to vs they ministred those things which nowe are preached vnto vs, not onely meaning that they are witnesses of our faith vnto vs but our hope, our loue, & all is grounded vpon that foūdatiō. A lessō (derely beloued) wel to be marked: for there be many, now a days, which make to small account of Gods prophets: their boldnesse in their ministerie, their sharpe condemning of mans foolish policie, their rules of iustice and iudgement, a great many cast them off as things of another worlde, or another people: but we shal see that God is vnchang able, and his righteousnesse is one for euer: and he hath made his prophets our scholemaisters, and the same worde indureth for euer. I speake not of figu­res, and suche outward lawes as the Iewes had, for an appointed time, but Gods iustice, & gouernment which is eternal, is contemned of vs, if we cast away the instructions of rule and of righteousnesse wher­of the Prophets preache: but we, because we wil not bringe our neckes vnder the yoke of the Lord, therefore wee make light account of their prophe­sies, though as the prophet saith: they be writtē for euer Esa 30. 8. and [...]uer: and thus farre of this.

[Page 294] Nowe let vs see, howe in these woordes follow ing the Apostle applieth this exhortatiō, he saith: For certein [...]hen they had heard prouoked hi [...] to anger: howbeit not al that came out of Aegypt, &c. [...]s if he should also adde: but let it not be so with vs, let not vs walke in the way of these sinners, whiche thus prouoked the Lorde, and he was angrie with them: but let vs followe better aduice, and wiser guides: they did not all murmur that came out of Aegypt: nor all prouoked God: let vs followe those that obeyed, and if they were fewe in number, yet let vs striue to walke with those fewe, for their way is better then the way of the multitude: this is the exhortati­on heere made, and it ought to be often conside­red of vs.

Many times in the scripture, we be taught, to set out y examples of good men vnto vs, but especially suche examples as are in the scripture we ought still to remember them: for, for the same purpose they are written vnto vs: and if we set them not before vs to follow, we regarde not the voice of God whiche we heare: this verie example whiche the Apostle biddeth vs now consider, S. Paul saith: It was written to teach and admonish vs, vpon whom the latter ends of the worlde are come: and in the eleuenth chapter of this E­pistle, [...]. Co. 10. 11. the Apostle reciteth a greate number of god­lie and faithfull men, by their example prouok­ing vs, that seeing we haue suche a cloude of wit­nesses, we should cast off sinne that wrappeth vs a­bout, and ioyfully runne in the fellowshipp of so manie sainctes. This is written to moue vs, and this [Page 295] oughte to moue vs, and this wil moue vs: if wee quench not the grace of God that is giuen vs: for who of vs this day would not be as Paule or Peter, as Abraham or Isaake, as Iosias or Dauid? Who (I say) that is wise in hearte would not walke in their wayes, liue their liues, and leaue their memories behinde them? Or who had leuer be as Simon Ma­gus or Iudas, as the Scribes or Phariseis, as Ierobo­am or Achab? And why then be we yet foolishe? If our owne heartes doe sufficiently instruct vs, and the voice of the Apostle doe so earnestly exhort vs: why doe we not learne not to tempt God, as many haue tempted him, and are destroyed: but to obey and heare his voice, as many haue obeyed, and their remembraunce is in blessing? let vs heare therefore this exhortation. It followeth: But not al that went out of Aegypt: this is added of the Apostle to comfort a­ny y were weke harted: for some would think hath God so destroyed our fore fathers, and made their carcases to fall in the wildernesse? they that were Num. 1. 55. in multitude as the sand of the sea, did he make them so few in number? of sixe hundred thousand mē and more were there so few left that dyed not in their sinnes? what hope can I haue? o [...] how shall I stand before the face of God? thus I say, if any man should feare, the Apostle addeth a notable comfort: they did not all prouoke God, that came out of Ae­gypt: but with whome was he angrie fourtie yeres? was it not with those that were disobedient? Heere we learne wisely to trie and examine our selues, whether we be in the fauour of God, or no, [Page 296] and that is by searching our owne heartes, whether we would obey his voice or no: it skilleth nothing what other men are before vs, or what come vnto them, but all is in this, what our owne hearts are be­fore God, and how we obey him: if when any na­tion haue filled vpp their iniquities and God roote them out, yet let not the faithful of that nation feare, for God is their God vnto saluation: put thy trust in the liuing God, and though a thousand fall on thy left hand, and tenne thousande on thy right, yet shall no hurt approch vnto thee: denie not the words of the holie one, and though the earth be moued, yet thou shalt be in peace: for God regardeth thee not by thy father or mother, or by thy countrie: but if thou wert borne among the moste barbarous peo­ple, yet by thy faith thou shalt liue. A notable exam­ple we haue in Paule, who shewing the great sinnes of his people, & the vengeance that God had execu­ted against them, he maketh streight this obiection: hath God then cast away his owne people? and an­swereth: God forbid, for I am an Israelite: he held the as­surance Rom. [...]. 1. of his Election, not by his countrie or bre­thren, but by testimonie of his owne spirit, whiche feared not at ye fall of other, but stood in the assurāce of his owne predestination. Thus here the Apostle comforteth the weake: it is true, God destroyed an infinite multitude of his people, yet feare not thou, if thou abide in his obedience: for whom destroyed he but those whose hearts condemned them selues, those y were disobedient? He destroyed not Caleb and Iosua, that were of an other spirit: he destroyed [Page 297] not Moses that was faithful in all his house: and if our hearts condemne vs not, we haue boldenes with God, he wil not impute our sinnes vnto vs, but hee wil geaunt all our request, & fulfil all our desires: this reioycing let vs haue in our selues, and how so euer the world be moued, no man shall take our ioy from vs. It is not so with them which put their trust in o­ther things, whether it be in the Pope, or in the Ci­tie of Rome, or in the multitude of their fathers, or what soeuer, in all these, is no suretie at all: for if God shall destroy Rome, and all the buildings of it, what will they then say? or what if the Papacie bee troaden downe, so that none be after found in that seate, is not then all their reioycing done? and what a miserable faith is it, whiche is no stronger then a mortall man, whose spirit is in his nostrels: or, then a walled towne, whiche is easily battered: is this the rock which Christe commendeth, whiche neither storme nor tempest shall euer shake? nay, this is the blinde confidence whiche the people of Israel had in the temple and in mount Sion, whiche vanished as smoke when the people were led into Babylon, and left the temple naked behinde them: So these men, when we shall see such thinges come to passe, they shalbe ashamed of the Pope their expectation, & of Rome which was their glorie: but we wil dwell in the defence of our God, with a true faith, commit­ting our selues vnto him: and neither Rome, nor Babylon, nor our forefathers, nor our posteritie shall euer turne away his loue from vs: this comforte is here taught vs by the apostle, in this example of our [Page 298] forefathers, whiche kepte their faith in the wilder­nesse, and were not seduced with the multitude.

Now where he saith: With whome was he angrie four­tie yeere: we haue here to learne what is the long suf­fering of the Lord, who doeth not streight punishe the sinner, but as he endured the māners of the peo­ple of Israel fourtie yeeres, so he beareth with vs in all our transgressions: and so the prophet Dauid set­teth out vnto vs this example, that God made his ways knowen vnto Moses, and his workes vnto the children of Is­rael, Psal. 103. that we might see, The Lord is ful of compassion, and verie stowe to anger, and of great kindnes: & againe in the hundreth and seuenth Psalme, reckoning vpp the works which God did for his people in the wilder­nesse, making this an instruction vnto vs of his long patience & goodnesse, he addeth streight: O that men would therfore confesse before the Lord his louing kindnes, Psal. 107. 8. & his wonderful workes before the sonnes of men: if thus we consider this example & such like, we are no idle hearers, but profitably exercise ourselues in his iudg ments: and as we ought to giue him this praise, that he is long suffering, patient, and of much mercie: so let vs knowe what duetie wee ought againe to ren­der vnto God, for all his goodnesse: for a greate ma­nie of vs, we cry with loude voyces, The Lord is mercifull: but we be dum be & deafe, and haue no hearts, when we should learne what his mercie re­quireth of vs. Be wise then, and learne of the blessed Apostle Paule, who thus teacheth the Romanes: The bountifulnesse of God must prouoke thee to repentance: Rom. [...]. 4. for else thou despisest the bountifulnesse, & patience [Page 299] and long suffering of the Lorde. Marke this well (derely beloued) & be not mocked: if we say God is good, & the Lord is gratious, & full of patience to the children of men: know, that our owne hearts do then answer vs: render againe praises & obedience to him, that is so good vnto thee: for, tell me, what wouldst thou think of such a child, who, because his father is louing & kinde, would therefore be rebel­lious & riotous? what wouldest y think of a seruāt, that because his maister is gētle & courteous, would therefore be carelesse in his worke, and not regarde him? what subiect (thinke we) were he, that because his prince is good and fauourable, woulde there­fore be trayterous, and conspire against him? would we not giue speedie sentēce against such monstrous & vnnaturall men? and what heartes then haue wee that be here this day, if we will confesse this greate goodnes of God, our king & father, and yet walke in our sinnes before him? we know it to be true, and we cānot deny it: if sinne should carrie vs still away, all the day long to be defiled in it, our consciences would aunswer vs at night, euen as Paul saith: This hardnesse of ours, and harts that cannot repent, they Rom. 2. 5. heape vp vnto vs wrath against the daye of wrath: when this merciful father will shewe himselfe, that he is also a righteous and a iust God: and if we do not in time beleue it, & foresee it now while it is yet called to day, experience, which is the scholemistres of fooles, shall make vs cōfesse at y last, that god for­getteth it not which he long leaueth vnpunished. I remember this was once the fault of Israel, why [Page 300] they lied vnto the Lorde, and set not their mindes on him, because (as the Prophet saith:) God helde his peace, and that of long time. But why should this faulte Esal. 27. [...]. be ours, who by their example should learne wise­dome: nay, let vs rather leaue them in their wayes, and followe the spouse of the bridegrome Christe, who in the day of he [...] calling, though shee sleepe, yet her heart waketh, and when the head of her be­loued Cant. 5. [...]. is ful of deawe, and his lockes with the drops of the night, shee despiseth not his long patience, but aunswereth in the ioy of her heart? I haue put off my coate, how shall I put it on? I haue washed my feete, how shal I file them againc: as the Church saith in the Canticles. Thus let vs answere the long suffering of our God: and how so euer he be angrie with many, as with the Israelites in the wildernesse, he wilbe pleased with vs, as with Caleb, or Moses, and we shall enter into his rest.

Againe, where it is here set out, howe God was angrie: let vs remember the commaundemente of our sauiour Christ to vs: Be perfect, as your heauenly fa­ther Matth. 5. 48 is perfect. The prophet Dauid being greatly pro­uoked against his enimies, yet would he not hurte Psal. 26. 3. them, because (saith he) thy louing kindenesse was before mine eyes, and therefore I walked in thy trueth: So wee, if Gods image and likenesse shine in our dooinges, we are sure wee walke in peace: therefore, where the scripture biddeth: Be angrie, but sinne not: how can we Psal. 5. 4. haue a better rule, then to see in the worde, howe God is saide to be angrie with his people?

He is angrie here, because they refused wisdome, & [Page 301] imbraced follie, because they forsooke the word of trueth, and followed vaine deuices, because they would not enter into the rest promised them, but had more desire to returne to the heauie laboure and bondage of Aegypt. This madnes of the people, the Lorde is angrie with, as a louing Father that had care ouer them. So if we wil haue holie anger, let it be free from all hatred and reuenge, and arise on­lie for the profite and well doing of our brethren. Thus we read our sauiour Christ was angrie, when he sawe the frowardnesse of the Iewes, who by no admonitions would be made wiser. Thus Paul pro­uoketh Matth. [...]. 5. Timothie to anger, when he saith: Reproue and sharplie rebuke men, that they do not turne away from 2. Tim. 4. 4 the trueth. So S. Iude biddeth vs all, if we fall into Iud. 23. companie with froward men: To saue them with feare as if we would soudenly pluck them out of fier. Thus if wee can haue our affections moued, we are holily angrie: for the end of our doing is the profite of our brother. Thus, you that be maisters may be angrie with your seruants: God requireth of them faithful labour, no eye seruice, as seeking to please men, but in singlenes of heart, to doe their dutie to him, vnder whome God hath placed them: and in this account euery seruant must appere before God. If thou seeing thy seruant disobedient or slouthfull, hast this respect to be grieued with him, because hee offended God: thine anger is a blessed anger: and if thou chyde sharply with thy seruaunt, thy loue is more acceptable before God: but if all thy anger bee for thine owne cause, for thy meate, thy drink, thine [Page 302] apparell, thy hawke, thy [...]ound, if thou haue none other respect, thy seruant hath done very [...]l, in being carelesse for his maisters busines, and thou hast done much woors [...]e, who for a trifle canst be angrie with thy brother: but if the other be thy greatest care, that thy seruant should knowe God, and doe the duetie which he requireth at his hand, then art thou blessed in thine anger, and thy [...]luding woordes, are as a sweete oyntment (as Dauid saith) that shall not breake his head. Psal. 141. 5.

In the wordes following: Was it not with those that sinned, whose bodies fel in the wildernesse? The Apostle here sheweth, first, why God was angrie with them, then what punishment he laid vpon them: the cause of his anger was their sinne: wherin we see, there is no calamitie commeth to the wicked but for their sinne, and all the chasticements of God, which come vpon them, are to admonish them of their euill, that they might turne vnto the Lord: so when the sinnes of Israel were high desperate, and past hope of a­mendment, the Lord sayth: He wil melt them, & trie them: for what should he do else for the daughter of my peo­ple: Iere. 9. 7. noting this to be the extreme remedie, by which if wee be not healed, wee must dye in our euill diseases.

So, long before when their fathers were as [...]uil, & had all fallen away from God, & were not amend­ed by punishment, the Lord sayth by his prophet: Wherfore should you be smitten any more: seeing you fall Esai. 1. 5. away more and more: shewing expresly this cause of their plagues, that they should haue turned from [Page 303] their sinnes: Let this be a greate comforte vnto euerie one, whose sinnes accuse him, that he is not smitten of the Lorde, but for his amendement: let him not faint, because the hand of God is heauie vp on him, but let him reioyce, because the mercie of God is offered largely vnto him: for therefore he is punished, that he should repent. A singular example we haue of this, in Man uses, y king of Iudah, who had set vp al abhominations, and multiplied offences without number, but when he was bowed downe with many yron bands, and the king of Ashur [...]aid him in painefull imprisonment, where he could not lift vp his head, then he remembred the Lorde God of his fathers, who saued not onely Abraham, and Isaake, and Iacob, and their righteous seede, but in his greate mercies receiued sinners into fauour a­gaine: and therefore in his tribulation, he humbled him selfe exceedingly, and came before God to aske forgiuenesse for all his sinnes, whiche were more in number then the sandes of the sea, and the Lord was intreated of him, and forgaue all his of­fences.

So Saint Paule in al his hatred and enuious per­secutions, Acts. [...]. when he was strucken downe, he despai­red not, but with a good heart which God gaue vn­to him, he cryed with trembling and with feare, Lord what wilt thou that I should die?

These examples are set out vnto vs, which be so great sinners, that we should not despaire in our af­flictions, but turne vnto the lord, who offereth mer­cie vnto vs: & for our sinnes, be they neuer so great, [Page 304] yet the righteousnes of our sauiour Christ is grea­ter: let vs onely beleeue, and they are abolished.

Nowe, as we knowe, the afflictions of the wic­ked are for their sinnes, and that when they be cha­sticed, they be called to repentance: so also, we must remember, that many occasions are, why God som­time chasticeth his sainctes, though their sinnes are all forgiuen and forgotten: for besides this, that we should turne vnto the Lorde, many other bene­fites are also in our troubles: for in them our faith is tried, that it is accepted of God: and therefore Pe­ter calleth affliction, y triall of our faith: for though we ought all to haue a ful purpose, in wealth & wo, to cleaue vnto the Lorde: yet experience bringeth boldnesse, that our faith in deede is strong, and fay­leth not. We trust that we would not forgett God, in the day of prosperitie: but the prince and noble man, who are full of peace, they knowe whether their heartes be knitt vnto God in loue and obedi­ence, which all honour and glorie cannot shake.

We trust we would not murmur in aduersitie, but Iob and Lazarus, and men so farre oppressed with miserie, they know how strong their hope is to en­dure the crosse. We may reioyce in the persuasion of our minde, and our faith that feareth not, at the remembrance of the euill day, is wel pleasing before God: but they may glorie more in the triall of their worke, who haue had experience of euil, and fainted not: and, they may more boldely sing the song of victorie, that they glorie in affliction, knowing that affliction hath wrought patience, & patience experience, & Rom. 5. 3. [Page 305] experience hope, and their hope shal neuer be confoun­ded. This I adde, that we might knowe, though af­flictions be to the amendement of our sinnes, yet al­wayes the Lord respecteth not this, but by afflicti­ons doth giue vs greater glorie, and therefore let vs not faint in them, nor be discouraged.

The second thing I saide we shoulde marke in this verse, is, what punishment God brought vpon them, that is, that their bodies fel in the wildernesse: this punishment Sainct Paule also expressly noteth in the tenth of the first to the Corinthians, & there­fore is well to be wayed of vs▪ whiche so oft is set 1. Cor. 10. 15. ou [...] vnto vs in the scripture▪ their destruction there­fore is our example to beware, and to feare before the angrie iudgementes of God: for their deathes were no common deaths, but (as Paule noteth) sou­den and greate destructions, as in one day, when 23000, were slaine, for their fornications, & againe; a great multitude destroyed by fierie serpentes, for murmuring against God: and at other times the an­gel of God brought many plagues vppon them, in which they perished: the [...] lieau [...] iudgements were not executed of God, nor written for vs, that wee should forget them. The prophet Dauid in the hun­dred and sixt psalme, reherseth these and many o­ther Psal. 106. punishmentes of that people: in consideration of all which, he finally maketh this exhortation to vs al: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for euer and euer, and let all people say Amen: praise ye the Lord. If Sainct Paule applie this, to make it our instruction, that we shoulde feare, and flee farre from the like [Page 306] sinnes: if the propher Dauid in the remembrance of these so many, and so righteous iudgements, do so earnestly prouoke vs, to prayse the Lorde in all his noble actes, and to shewe foorth his praises, and to runne vnder the protection of his hand, to be saued from our enimies: why should wee lightly let goe these admonitions, and not rather, with faithfull hearts, see what great things the Lord hath done, and consecrate our selues, to do his will, who is the God of glorie: if we doe not, what hope can wee haue to escape his iudgements? He that spared not his owne people, the children of Abraham, the na­turall plants, which he had planted: howe should he spare vs, that were straungers from his couenant, and wilde oliue braunches, which contrarie to our nature, are by his loue graffed into the naturall oliue tree? Let vs therefore beware by their harmes: and the great iudgements, which God hath executed in our eyes, let them make vs feare before him, and walke with reuerence in his ordinaunces and wayes.

It followeth nowe in the Apostle: Towhom sware he, that they should not enter into his rest: was it not to those that obeyed not? This is but a repetition of the other wordes of the prophet, all to one purpose, that by a double testimonie, as it were, wee might haue sure hope, that the punishments of God shall not come, if our rebellion do not pull it downe vppon vs: for the promises of God are for euer true, that at what Ezech. time so euer a sinner do repent him of his sione, the Lorde will also repent of all punishmentes, whiche [Page 307] he threatned to bring vppon him: neither can wee possiblie stumble and fall downe in our wayes, ex­cept we be solde vnder our sinne, to worke wicked­nes in his sight without repentance. And thus farre the Apostle hauing clearely taught, that sinne is all the cause of Gods anger.

Now in the latter end he saith further: And we see that they could not enter for their [...]liefe: in these wor­des concluding what is the roote and founteine of all disobedience in vs, and that is vnbeliefe, infide­litie, a heart that can not giue full credite to all the threatnings and promises of God: of this by occasi­on of the Apostles woordes I spake vnto you in the former Lecture, now that the Apostle repeateth it, we may be sure as Paule sayth: as it was not grie­uous vnto him to tell vs the same thinge often: so it is for our saftie often to heare it: and therfore I say vnto you as I sayd before: let there bee in none of you an euil heart of vnbeliefe, for hence is the pro­uocation to all euill.

Bring a faithful heart which with an assured as­sent, shall receiue the woord that is preached vnto thee, and thou art armed with a stronge shielde which shall quench all the fierie dar [...]es of the diuel. Ephe. 6. No man can beleue what things God hath reserued for his Saincts, but hee must needes accompt all the worlde to be but dung, to the ende hee may winne Christe.

No man can see what are the threateninges of Hell fire, whiche is not quenched, but hee will abhorre his sinnes more then hee abhorreth anie [Page 308] death, and flee from them, least they should bringe him to so great condemnation: let vs then be armed that the darts of infidelitie do not wound vs, and all the sho [...] of other temptations they shal scarce strike through our eyelids: true it is, that our flesh is weak, but an armour of proofe bringes it strong defence: so we may be easily [...]educed with y [...] dec [...]it of sinne, but a liuely faith wil sone lighten our eyes, that we shall not sleape in death. Though the world be full of all euil concupiscence: yet, This is the victorie that euer commeth the world, euen our [...]th. And see I bee­seech thee, iudge of the first sinne of our first parents 1. Ioh. 5. 4. Adam and Eue, and by one offence iudge all: was not Eue ouercome by infidelitie? and first did shee not dout of Gods threatnings, before she eate of the Apple when God had saide yee shall dye the death, did she not fall to halting and began with p [...]aduen­ture? shee could not tell well whether it were so or no? and from this staggering fell shee not away to sinne, and turned not till she fell into the wrath of God for euer▪ did not Adam also follow her exam­ple? and this corruption let vs be sure we haue taken from his loines, and sucked from her breasts: by it the diuel is strong against vs, but let vs beware of it, and be faithfull, and his strength is broken. The Li­on of the tribe of Iudah hath ouercome the croo­ked serpent, and by fayth in him wee shall surely liue.

This (dearely beloued) the Apostle heere doeth teach vs, a blessed lesson if we can happily learne it, and in which we shalbe saued foreuer more, and all [Page 309] our enimies shalbe our footestoole. And the Lorde graunt for his Christes sake, that we may be made riche in all knowledge of his will, and abounde in a great measure of faith, that we may cleaue vnsepa­rablie vnto God, and vnremouablie to be ioyned as chaste virgines, with a pure faith, vnto his Sonne Christe. And let vs pray, &c.

The eyghteenth Lecture vpon the 1. & 2. verses of the fourth Chapter.

1 LET vs feare therfore, least at any time by forsaking the promise of entering into his rest, any of you shoulde seeme to be depriued.

2 For vnto vs was the Gospel preached, as also vnto them, but the word that they heard, profited not thē, because it was not mixed with faith in those that hearde it.

YOV haue hearde two especiall poinctes, in whiche the Apostle doth amplifie this exhortation al­ledged out of the prophet: To d [...]r, if you heare his voice harden not your heartes, &c. The first was, that he saith: To day: therefore we ought not to foreslowe the time of our calling, but take the occasion & op­portunitie, while it is offered.

Say not vnto the Lorde, when he knocketh: [...] [Page 310] and come againe another time: for thou knowest not whether he will returne or not. Seeke him therfore where he may be found, and call vnto him while he is neere at hand.

The seconde pointe, the Apostle stoode vp on: was, that, If we heare his voice, we should not harden our hearts: teaching vs, that onely by faith wee shoulde bee fruitefull hearers. And if infideli­tie beare rule in our heartes, all preaching and tea­ching is in vaine, and the voyce of Christe can bee vnto vs, but a sauour of death, vnto deathe: therefore, when wee heare him speake, let vs faithfully receiue the Gospell of saluation at his mouth, or at the mouth of his minister, knowing he is our onely prophet, giuen of God vnto vs: of this the apostle now concludeth in the first of this chap­ter: Let vs feare therefore least at any time this promise of entring into his rest, being forsaken, any of you may seeme to be depriued: by this conclusion yet once againe exhor­ting them, that they would not neglect their onely prophet calling them, & so at last be frustrate of their vaine hope. Let vs heere lay together these sayings of the Apostle: in the beginning of the second chap­ter, when he had proued our sauiour Christe to bee God, he saith: Wherefore my brethren, we must careful­ly hearken to the things we heare, least we fall away as water.

In the beginning of the thirde chapter, when hee proued him to be mā also, like vnto vs, except sinne, he addeth: Therfore my brethren, partakers of the heauēly [Page 311] calling, consider the Apostle and highe Priest of our profes­sion Iesus Christ: After againe, when hee had proued our sauiour Christ to be our only and faithful Pro­phet, he confirmeth his doctrine by the woorde of the prophet, alledging this exhortation out of him: To day if you wil heare his voice, harden not your harts, &c. Againe, applying these woordes of the Prophet, he saith: See my brethren that there be not in any of you an euill heart of vnbeliefe.

Now, heere againe, as a conclusion: Let vs feare lest this promise of entring into his rest, beeing forsaken, we should seeme to be depriued: And as though all this were not inough, in the eleuenth verse after, he sayth: Let vs therfore be diligent to enter into that rest, that no man fall into the euil example of disobedience.

And yet againe in the end of this chapter: Seeing wee haue a greate highe Priest that hath pearced the hea­uens, euen Iesus Christ the sonne of God, let vs hold fast our profession, &c.

What shall wee thinke of all this? what meane these often exhortations? surely (dearelie belo­ued) nothing else, but that wee bee dull of hearing, and exceeding harde to learne: for tell mee, not­withstanding this exhortation so often made, are there not ( [...]rowe you) many among vs, which yet regarde it not? yea, and yet if againe, and againe hee should crie vnto vs, would wee all obey his voice? wee would, if wee were wise: but foolish­nesse is so wrapped vp in our heartes, that I am af­fraide, all the exhortations, not onelie here made by the Apostle, but all other that haue bene made vnto [Page 312] vs thirtie, fourtie, fiftie, threescore yeeres, haue not yet taught vs all that be heere this day, with single­nesse of heart and with synceritie to loue the Lord: and is it then any maruell though the Apostle ha­uing compassion on his brethrens ignoraunce, doe this often exhorte them in one thing? and if wee be weake, subiect to the same infirmities y they were, let vs think it is necessarie for vs. Only I beseeche you take heede, that seeing God hath this mercie vppon vs, which he had vppon our fathers, that his word is thus vnto vs: Precept vpon precept, precept vp­on precept: let not vs be againe as they were, that not­withstanding Es [...]. [...]8. 10. all these often and earnest exhortati­ons, so plaine to vnderstand, yet that ye Lord speake vnto vs, as with a stammering and a straunge lan­guage, that we vnderstand nothing: for alas (deare­ly beloued) how vnprofitable were that for vs? and how much better were it, wee had neuer heard at all, then so often to refuse the Lordes calling? let this therfore be our wise vnderstanding in this case, and that whiche so often is tolde vs, let vs at the last truelie learne it.

Now touching these wordes of the Apostle, that he saith: let vs feare, that wee lose not this rest pro­mised vs, we must not take it, as though the: Apos­tle taught that the elect should feare, as though they might fall from their hope: or that their election were not sure: for you haue heard before, howe hee saide, We must hold the reioycing of our hope, with all assu­rance and constancie vnto the end: but heere wee muste consider to whome the Apostle speaketh, that is, to [Page 313] such as are farre off from a true fayth, which haue shewed no great regarde to the voice of the Lorde Iesu, whiche are yet in many tentations of sinne, doubtful to be carried away with the deceites of it. As if at this day the apostle should preach, when we see so many worldly minded men, so few hunge­ring and thrusting for heauenlie things, in this case, and to suche people (considering their outwarde woorkes) the Apostle sayth let vs feare, as in deede there is iust cause of feare: for when there is scarce in vs anie zeale of God, scarce any loue of righte­ousnes, but all our thoughts doe wander in worldlie vanitie: if in this case we should boast of our faith, were it not good to byd vs feare, to take heede that we be not deceiued? and what is this against the as­suraunce of the faythful, that the Apostle biddeth them which are not yet called in holinesse, to feare, lest they be deceiued in their vaine hope?

If it be heere sayd: the Apostle includeth also him selfe, and therefore this feare is also in the most god­lie: I deny not, but in other places of scripture, feare is commended vnto the most godlie: but the cause The fear [...] that is cō ­mended to the godlie, what [...] i [...]. of this is, because we be all weake, full of infirmitie, readie to sinne, as we see in Dauid, in Ezechias, in Peter, in all the Sainctes of God: and therefore this feare is commended in them, which is, a good care and regarde of their weakenes, that they fall not: a care that may driue ou [...] securitie, not a feare to take away the boldenes of faith.

So when we are bid to feare, it is as when wee are byd to watch, to be sober, to stand with our loynes [Page 314] gyrded, to haue before vs the wayes of God with reuerence and obedience, it forbiddeth presumptu­ous and vaine boasting of saluation, when the glo­rious and fearefull name, The Lord thy God, is not re­garded of thee.

So, when Saint Paule commendeth our faith, he addeth: Be not yet high minded but feare: and Iob sayth: If I haue done righteously, I will not lift vp my head. Rom. 11. 20. Iob. 10. 15. This feare is a feare of falling into sinne, least wee should offend so mercifull a Father: it is not a feare of falling from his grace, least hee should take his mercie from vs. A plaine rule of this, Saint Paule commendeth vnto vs all, writing to the Philippians, With feare (saith he) and trembling make an end of your owne saluation: commending lowlinesse, and hum­blenesse Phil. 2. 12. of minde, but yet ioyning it fast to the hope of eternall life. And this counsell hee fol­lowed him selfe, as he sayth to the Corinthians, I was among you in weakenesse, and in feare, and in muche [...]. Cor. 2. 3. trembling: Yet hee helde fast his fayth, that Ney­ther Rom. 8. 38. death▪ nor any creature should separate him from the loue of God.

And this the Apostle, euen in this place, tea­cheth, when hee addeth: Leaste anie of you seeme [...] depriued. For (in deede) he is not depriued, or [...]rustrate of any hope, who neuer had hope: but it seemeth so to some, because he would talke of hope. No more can any man fall, who neuer stoode: yet because it appeareth so, Sainct Paule sayth: He that seemeth to stande, let him take heede hee [...]. Cor. 10. 12 fall not.

[Page 315] It is moste certeine, Hope maketh not ashamed: but Rom. [...]5 we deceiue our selues, in thinking we haue hope: for true hope, as is saide here, is in the promises, and Rom. 4. 1 [...]. they are apprehended with faith: and faith hathe feare of sinne. Where these thinges are, no man is depriued of his hope: where these things are not, he hopeth foolishly, who had in deede no hope at all. And he is saide to fall out, who at the last is founde to haue no inheritance with the Sainctes, who yet neuer fell out: for in deede, he neuer was within the couenaunt: according to that, which Sainct Iohn saith: They went out from vs, but they were not of 1. Ioh. 2. 1 [...]. vs: for, if they had beene of vs, they should haue [...]arried with vs.

This I say, that you may know how to answere the enimies of oure fayth, who▪ woulde haue vs still to doubt, and neuer to be sure of Gods pro­mises: when they obiecte vnto vs these places of feare, we may aunswer them, that our feare is our humilitie and casting away of pride: our feare is our reuerende care to walke in the wayes of God: if they feare any other feare, wee will not feare with them▪ For God hath not giuen vnto vs the spirite of 2. Tim. 1. 7. Rom. [...]. 16. feare againe vnto bondage, but he hath giuen vs the spirit of adoption, by which we crie, Abba, Father.

This is oure blessinge, whiche wee haue of GOD, and in whiche, wee shoulde alwayes re­ioyce. I graunt, wee do not here obey God, as wee shoulde: for who is hee that sinneth not? Wee feare many times, and Gods dearest children are [Page 316] most tempted: so that they are brought sometime euen to hell gates: but this we confesse, is our infir­mitie, the trueth of Gods promises ought to haue greater faith within vs: but it is necessarie we should feele our sinnes, that we might be humbled, and we must die in our selues, that we may reigne throughe the victorie which Christ hath gotten: and in al our weakenesse we will still confesse, that we may not, nor ought not thus to feare, but muche rather to re­ioyce in the Lorde, and alwayes reioyce.

Nowe, it followeth in the Apostle: For vnto vs hath the Gospel bene preached, as wel as vnto them, but the word that they heard profited not them, because it was not mixed with faith, in those that heard it.

In these wordes the Apostle sheweth the cause, why he hathe thus applied the prophets exhortati­on vnto vs: because vnto vs nowe the same Gospell is preached, which was preached vnto them: and if we be vnfaithfull, howe should wee escape, but bee partakers of the same punishmentes?

This place is well to be marked, which teacheth vs, that the same saluation is now preached, whiche was preached before to all Patriarches and Pro­phets: in whiche wee knowe there hathe beene but one way of saluation, from the beginning of the worlde: for then this was promised, whiche is nowe perfourmed: The seede of the woman shoulde breake the head of the serpent: from whiche promise made, there was neuer but one faith of Gods e­lecte, Gen. 3. 15. and one way of life, which was Iesu Christe: [Page 317] euen as our Apostle sayth, Iesus Christ yesterday and to day: he is the same, world without-end. And this doctrine is not new, but the Prophets and Pat [...]ar­ches knew it with vs, and they all beleeued the Ca­tholique church and communion of Sainctes, euen as this day we do▪ Saint Peter saith: That it was reuea­led 1. Pet. 1. 12. vnto the prophets, that not vnto them selues, but vnto vs they ministred those things, which now are preched vnto vs. And the Prophet Esay, in the 14. chapter, shew­eth, howe God called out all nations, as it were to dis­pute Esa. 41. 4. with him, whether there were any saluation in the world, but by his free grace: and first hee as­keth, who called Abraham in that couenant of mer­cie which was giuen him? who hath done it? euen he that called the generations from the beginning: I the Lord, I am the first, and with the l [...]ste, I am the same: expressely teaching; that his people of Israel had the sa [...]e saluation, whiche Abraham had: and Abra­ham the same which all nations and countries euer shall haue: one sauing health of all, euen as God is for ever vnchaungeable. So Sainct Paule, making comparison betweene vs, and the people of Israel, of whome, here the Apostle speaketh, he saith: They 1. Cor. 10. 4. eate all the same spirituall meat, & drank all the same spiri­tuall drink: for they did drinke of the rock which followed them, and the rock was Christe. And not onely this one saluation is vnto all: but this also, onely Christ hath beene euer the Prophet and minister to declare that Ca. 12. 26. saluation: for so the Apostle teacheth, then, and nowe, his voice was heard: and as it is saide after▪ his voice did then shake the earth: yea, before then, [Page 318] ih the dayes of Noe he was preached vnto the disobe­dient 1. Pet. 3. 19. people, who were drowned in the floude, and are now holden in the prison of their sinne. So that this we know, in Christ are saued all his saints, and by Christ they haue ben taught all that euer did be­leeue. Wherby we learne all ye sacrifices of ye patri­arches, and all sacrifices and ceremonies of the law, they purged no part of their sinns, neither was there anie redemption in them: for the Israelites had not the Fathers sacrifices, nor the fathers had their ceremonies, nor we haue now, either sacrifices, or ceremonies, which were in honour among them, yet one saluation is vnto vs all: and therefore, as we may boldly say vnto them, all their ordinaunces in worldly elementes, they did not purge their con­sciences, Heb. 9. 9. meates and drinks did not helpe them, who were dailye exercised in suche obseruations: so a­gaiue Heb. [...]3. 6. they may say vnto vs, neither our sacraments doe giue grace vnto vs, no more then theirs vnto them: they seale vnto vs the grace that is in Christ, and assure vs of the saluation that is in him: but in them selues there is no health at all. And if we may say thus, euen of the sacramentes instituted of God, in so much, that if they should bee made causes of our lustification, and the glorie of Christe should be so giuen vnto them, wee might iustly call them the beggerlie elements of the world, and vnprofita­ble things.

What shall wee say or thinke, of so manie childishe toyes, and foolishe fancies, as wee haue seene of late, when men will attribute saluation [Page 319] vnto them? When our owne woorkes haue this honour giuen them? When Holie water, Belles, Candles, Crosses, Palme bowes, Ag [...]us deies, the beginning of Saint Iohns Gospel hanging aboute your necke: when to these thinges we attribute power against the diuel, whom Christe vanquished onely vppon his crosse, what name shal wee giue these beggerly thinges? When pilgrimages, fa­stinges, visiting of mens tumbes, kissing of reliques, purchasing of Masses: when these things are exalted and said to purge our sinnes, what shal we cal them? what drunkennes, what witchings, what madnesse, what brutish astonishment hath couered our spirits, that we should beleue such things (what strange illu­sions and sleights of Satan, haue hid our vnderstan­dings, that we should know nothing? The ceremo­nies ordeined of God himselfe, the sacramentes of his eternall testament, they are but helpes of our in­firmities, to leade vs vnto Chr [...]ste: from whom whē you shal separate them, they are no more Gods holie sacramentes, but beggerly elementes, and our owne fansies, and fonde immaginations, which are contrarie to Christe, euen from our cradle, to exalt them thus, what is it, but a proude liking of our owne presumption. This is a cleare proofe, that in nothinge is saluation but in Christe a­lone: and that one saluation hath beene from euer, whyle these outwarde thinges haue had manye chaunges

And againe, in that Christe was then the pro­phet, we are sure the patriarches and forefathers did [Page 320] not worship God after their owne will and deuice, but onely as the spirite of Christe did teache them: from which testimonie of spirite, when they fell a­way, all their religion was reiected: for onely in Christ, God was also well pleased: so that, thoughe they had no lawe written, yet were they taught of God, and his sonne was their scholemaister, to lead them in al trueth, reuealing his will vnto them, euer by such meanes as best pleased him: and after, when God wrote his lawe, he wrote this also as a decree for them to holde euer, that they should neuer adde nor take away, but do onely what they were com­maunded: and much more now in these last dayes, in which our Sauiour Christe hath appeared vnto vs in our owne nature, man like vnto vs, vppon whome we sawe the holie Ghost to come downe, and God him selfe hath sealed him, in making ma­nifest the owne glorie, speaking out of his cloude: This is my beloued sonne: heare him: much more (I say) we ought now only to heare his voice, because now more clearly thē euer before, he hath reuealed all the counsell of God vnto vs: but nowe, the diuel hath beene no lesse enuious against the saluation of man, then he hath beene before: now also he hath made some to set forth the imaginations of their owne hearts, and hath bewitched many to followe their damnable wayes, by whom the way of truth is blas phemed, and for their owne traditions sake, he hath made the woorde of the Lorde Iesu of none effecte.

This worke hath he wrought in all ye Papacie, yet [Page 321] we cānot or wil not se his rebellious doings: Christ Iohn. 1 [...]. 3. 6 saith his kingdom is not of this world: yet hath he taught them to make their Bishops Princes, and hathe gi­uen them power ouer life and goods: Christ saith, Matt. 20. 16. The princes of the nations beare rule ouer thē: but it shal not be so among you: yet hath he made his firste begotten sonne to weare a triple crowne, and al the kinges of the nations to come kisse his feete. So Christe hath Ioh. 4. 23. Matt. 26. 27. 1. Cor. 14. 19. 1. Cor. 10. 27 Hebr. 13. 3. taught vs to worship in spirite and trueth, to drinke the wine in the sacrament of his bodie and bloude, to praye in a knowne toung, to eate of any meates without scruple of conscience, to vse holie matri­monie in all estates, as a remedie against sinne: but as though Christ were no prophet vnto vs, we haue abrogated these his lawes, and made other con [...]ratie of our owne. This our eyes haue seene, & our eares haue hearde, and whether we will or no, wee must needes confesse it: yet, some flatter them selues in a maruelous madnesse, and doing all things contrarie to the Lorde Iesu, they say still, they cannot erre: but they shall one day see and knowe, that Christ is the onely prophet of the new Testament: and bles­sed be the Lorde God, who hath made vs this day to beleeue it: and while yet the day of health and ac­ceptable time is, to hearken onely vnto him, and re­fuse all the vaine inuentions of men.

It followeth now in the Apostle: But the worde that they heard prof [...]ed thē not▪ because it was not mingled with faith to those that heard it. As before the Apostle concluded, repeating againe his exhortation: so in this verse, he repeateth the cause, why they profited [Page 322] not by the word of exhortation, that wee againe hearing the cause of our sinne, should be made more wise, to take heede of it: & the cause was their infi­delitie, because saith he: The word was not mingled vnto them with faith: the word of God preached, is as a cup offered vnto vs, of which we must drinke whether we wil or no: & one way, it is made vnto vs, a cup of the water of life: another way, a cup of destructiō, and such a liquor, as is of death vnto death: euen as saith or infidelitie is brought vnto it, so it is a cup of life or death. In this similitude, the Apostle speaketh thus: The word was not mingled to them with faith.

As men that loue to sit at the tauerne, do mingle their drink with spices, or their wine with sugre: so we in that most blessed tauerne, in which the worde of God is offered vs to drinke, we must mingle it with the sweete spice of faith, and it is a cup of eter­nall life vnto vs: otherwise, if we be vnsaithfull, we haue lost our blessing, and are fallen from the hope of life. Christ, who is the head corner stone, in whō the building doth stande, he is nowe to vs a stone of offence, at which we haue stumbled & are fallen downe, because we haue not receiued his worde, with faith.

It is true, the gospel is ye power of God, to saue man, but yet to saue the man yt doth beleue, whether he be Iewe or Gentile: & here we see, how God hath ioy­ned vnseparablie, his word & our faith: wherfore it is also called: the word of faith: neither is it possible to be faithful without the knowledge of the word: nei­ther [Page 323] is any knowledge of the worde profitable, but beeing mingled with faith. This (dearly beloued) is no obscure doctrine, that you should not vnderstād it: neither is it taught vs in ambiguous wordes, that ye can doubt of it, but it is plaine & plainely taught: that if we wil be saued by Iesu Christe, his worde must be mingled to vs with fayth: if wee be of the newe testament, & belong vnto this couenāt which is made in Christ, to the forgiuenesse of our sinnes, then we beleeue the word that is preached, and the lawes of God are written in our heartes. And this S. Paule set­teth t. Cor. 1 21. Hebr. 10. 16 out so cleare vnto vs, that it is impossible, im­possible I say, for any to knowe the Gospel, and to be ignorant of it: for this is the gospel, as Paul saith: The power of God to saue all that do beleue, do you heare this? and do you vnderstand it? tell me then, what think you of that religion, where this preaching of Rom. 1. [...]6. the gospel is holden back: nay where they haue bene so enuious vnto it, that they haue not suffered the woorde to be in such a language as the people might once reade and vnderstand it? The Priestes them selues, vpon whome they laied the worke to sacrifice for their sinnes, and to whome they confes­sed their sinnes, to haue forgiuenesse of them.

And what (I say) will you think of suche a peo­ple? or what religion haue they? doeth not the A­postle say true: there is no saluation but by beleuing the worde, as it is preached vnto vs? and doe they say true, that the Masse purgeth our sinnes▪ ye prieste forgiueth them? & the masse is in latine, the priestes ignorāt, ye people are led with vaine imaginations: [Page 324] no faith, no worde is in all their doeing? but it is no maruel though some men be robbed of their harts, and beleeue all the illusions of Sathan: for how can a man beleeue the trueth, except the spirit of God be in him? Pharaoh was not taught by all the woon­ders y Moses wrought in Aegypt. The Iewes were not the wiser for all the miracles whiche Christe wrought before them. If such thinges haue happe­ned in the daies before vs, though now the Apostles and prophets do all cry. Without faith in the Gos­pel preached, you can neuer be saued: Ignoraunce is abhomination before God: and yet the Pope who taketh the word from vs, teacheth vs no faithe, co­uereth vs with blindnes, prayseth ignorance in our hearing: if we embrace him, follow him, loue him, honour him, as Pharaoh did Iannes and Iambres, or as the Iewes did Annas and Caiphas, let vs not maruel, no new thing hath happened in our dayes. The Lord hath not lightened their mindes, & what wisdome can be in them? but we will leaue them to him, who is iust and mercifull: and let vs pray, that his woorde may be alwayes mingled vnto vs with fayth, that in this greate darknesse of the worlde, we may see light.

One thing else wee may heere marke, that it is said: the word did not proofit thē, because it was not [...]ngled with faith: wherby we know it is only faith that com mendeth vs vnto God, without which the woorde is in vaine, the presence of Christ is in vaine, to be his brother, sister, mother, al is in vaine: nothing but faith carrieth vs with boldnes into his presence. Ma­nie [Page 325] singular proofes of this our Sauiour, Christ she­weth in many places, when a woman crieth vnto him: Blessed is the wombe that bare thee, & the pappes that Luke. 11. 27. gaue thee suck. Our sauiour Christ answereth: nay ra­ther, blessed are they that heare the word of God, & kepe it. When some saide vnto him: Beholde thy mother and thy brethren would speake vnto thee: he answered again: Matth. [...]2. 50 He that doth the wil of my heauēly father, he is my brother & my mother. In another place, when cōtrouersie was, how we should haue life & saluation through him, he saith to his disciples: The fleshe profiteth nothing, it is the spirit that quickeneth: noting in al this, that not his Iohn. 6. bodily presence, not his kinred, not y trauell of his mother, nor any thing is imputed vnto vs for right ousnesse, but only faith, in which we beleeue, accor­ding to his gospel preached vnto vs: y in his death al our sinnes are purged, & in his resurrection wee are iustified.

This maketh vs acceptable, & without this it is vnpossible to please him: this the Apostle teacheth vs here, when he saith: For this cause, the word profited them not, because it was not mingled vnto them with faith: for only faith doth all, apprehendeth all, ouercom­meth all, and the gates of hell shall not in the ende preuaile against it: and the Lorde increase this faith in vs. And let vs pray, &c.

The nineteenth Lecture, vppon the 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. & 10. verses.

3 For we whiche haue beleeued, do enter into rest, as he said to the other. As I haue sworne in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

4 For he spake in a certein place of the seuenth day on this wise: And God did rest the seuenth day frō all his works.

5 And in this place againe▪ if they shall enter into my rest.

6 Seeing therfore it remaineth, that some must enter ther­into, and they to whom it was first preached, entered not therein for vnbeleefes sake.

7 Againe, he appointed in Dauid a certein day, by To day, after so long a time▪ saying, as it is said: this day, if ye heare his voice, harden not your heartes.

8 For if Iesus had giuen them rest, then woulde he not after this haue spoken of another day.

9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

10 For he that is entred into his rest, hath also c [...]assed from his owne workes, as God did from his.

THIS Scripture, whiche nowe I haue read vnto you, I must needes confesse, to mee it seemeth yet somewhat obscure, neither hathe God so reuealed it vnto mee, that I dare boldly pronounce, this it is: but, submitting my selfe to any better interpretati­on, which shalbe shewed of other, according to that [Page 327] whiche God hath giuen me: so I will shewe you what I think moste likely, and so muche the more boldely I will shew you mine opinion, because, by the grace of God, I wil speake nothing, but agreea­ble to all which the Apostle before hath most plain­ly taught vs. You knowe, howe earnestly hee hath exhorted vs to harken vnto Christ: what fault es­pecially shal make vs neglect it, and that is infidels­tie: what great peril we haue in this sinne, & that it: We shall not enter into his rest. Nowe, he teacheth and addeth sure arguments to his doctrine, howe wee shall auoide so great punishment, and so great sinne, and how we shalbe obedient vnto Christ: and that is, by faith, an humble acknowledgement of him to be our Prophet, and a constant beleeuing of all his trueth.

This doctrine firste hee setteth downe, in these woordes: For we enter into his rest that doe beleeue. This he proueth first, by the manifest text afore alledged: for it was said: To whom I sware in mine anger, that they should not enter into my rest: meaning the vnbelee­uing and vnfaithful: therfore wee that are beleeuing and faithfull, wee shall inherite that reste. This I think to be the meaning of these words folowing: As it is said: to whom I sware in my wrath, that they should not enter into my reste. Nowe, because the Apostle hath reasoned long and much, out of this place of the Prophet, and will yet reason longer, he wise­ly foreseeth, what might bee heere aunswered of the Iewes▪ that this place is of the people of Is­rael, meant of their entraunce into the lande of [Page 328] Canaan, vnder condition of obedience of the law of Moses, and therefore rather teacheth them to keepe stil those ordinances, then to change them for new, & follow this Iesus, of whomethey haue not heard before. This cogitation might easilie arise, and they might soone be so persuaded, that the prophet spake of the present time: now therfore, in the words fol­lowing, the Apostle taketh away this offence and doubt, teaching, that not vnto them onelie, but to vs also it was spoken, and with this caution proueth with other arguments the former doctrine: that by faith grounded in our prophet Iesu Christ, we shall enter into his rest.

And he saith thus: Especially seeing his woorkes were finished from the foundation of the worlde. The woorde which is heere commonly translated, although I english it thus: Especially seeing: which I doe because the sence wel agreeth, and I knowe nothing to the contrarie but the word may well beare it: so nowe touching the obiection before made, the Apostle aunswereth thus: Neither can this bee ment of the rest of the land of Canaan, in obeying the lawe of Moses: for when neither the law was yet giuen, nei­ther the land once promised, yet then was this reste of the Lord, into which his people did enter: for the scripture saith, euen at the beginning: The Lord res­ted the seuenth day from all his workes.

Now this obiection thus beeing confuted, there is also in these woordes, the seconde reason for proofe of this doctrine before taught, that they en­ter into the Lords rest which doe beleeue: and the [Page 329] reason is this. Seeing God finished his woorkes, streight from the foundation of the worlde, so that then he was said to rest the seuenth day, men entred not into that rest, by the obseruation of the lawe of Moses, which was not giuen, nor by any woorkes of fleshe, whiche were euer vnprofitable: but it is cleare then wee entred by fayth: according to this which is written: To day if you heare his voice, harden not your harts: this argument is plaine in these words: Especially seeing his works were finished from the foundati­on of the world for he saith in a certeine place of the seuenth day thus: and God rested in the seuenth day from al his wor­kes: but of this argument, we wil speake again in the ninth verse. Heere the Apostle may seeme to some of vs, to reason not verie stronglie: for how proueth he that it is one rest of which it is saide, ye shall not enter into my rest: and againe, the Lord rested the seuenth day: for the one semeth to be of God alone, the other a figuratiue promise set out vnto vs: but this doubt is soone taken away: for when it was sayd God rested the seuenth day: was it not also said: he blessed the seuenth day and h [...]lowed it: whiche is, he ap­pointed it to this holy exercise, that mā should leaue off his other thoughts, and consider the power and wisdome and goodnesse of God in all his creatures, wheron after he gaue his law writen: Remember thou keepe holie the sabboth day, six daies shalt thou labour but the seuenth. & c, by which it was plaine, that this reste was the same, vnto whiche they were after called: and thus we see the Apostles words, how apte they be to his purpose: [Page 330] It followeth now: And in this place againe, if they shall enter into my rest. In these words the Apostle teacheth, that this is also ye same rest which ye first was: where we see that the rest of the land of Canaan, was, that they should there enioy peace, and in his holie place praise God day & night, who had deliuered thē out of the cruel bondage of Aegypt, & from all hurt of the great & terrible wildernesse: in steade of which, he had giuen them a moste pleasaunt countrie, that flowed with milke and honie. Now vpon the war­rant of all this trueth, that one rest hath bene from the beginning, though the name may bee often na­med in sundrie respects, as first, it was so called, be­cause God rested from his workes: againe, because the people entred into a peaceable land, in stede of a perilous desert: so vpon other occasions, this name of rest is named, but all in one spirituall sense, that is now a ceassing from our owne works, to do the workes of God, and after this to dwell in the peace and rest of his glorie for euer: therfore, where pro­mise of entrance into his rest is, it is a promise made vnto all, and of all ages: vpon this (I say) the Apos­tle saith further: Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therinto, & they to whome it was first preached entred not because of their vnbelief, againe, he appointed in Dauid a certeine day, by to day, saying after so long time, as it is alredy alledged to day if you if you wil heare his voice, harden not your harts: in all these words, he cōcludeth as he taught before, that seing this rest hath ben euer set out, to our first fathers, to the people of Israel, yet they entred not for vnbelief seeing it can not be, but [Page 331] some must needes enter, for the graces of God must needes be enioyed, therefore in Dauid it is againe said: To day if you wil heare his voice, that it might be kno­wen, y we which do beleeue shall enter into his rest. So in these two verses, is the conclusion of the two former arguments: to proue, that only by fayth, we shall enter in to his rest. And this I take to be the na­turall meaning of these wordes in the 3. 4. 5. 6. and 7. verse.

It followeth in the 8. verse: For if Iesus had giuen them rest he would not haue spoken of any other rest after. These woordes proue by an other reason, that the former prophecie is not ment of the land of Cana­an, according to the obiection before spoken of: & his reason is this. Iosua led them into the lande of Canaan, a great many yeares before the Prophete Dauid made this exhortatiō: if therefore it had bene ment of that land, to what purpose did Dauid speak thus so long after? could it be threatned vnto them, they should not enter into that rest, into which they had alreadie entred, and dwelt there foure hundreth yeares? Vppon this reason he concludeth in the ninth verse: Therfore, there remaineth yet a rest vnto the people of God.

In the tenth verse, he sheweth at the last, what this rest is: that wee should no longer walke in our will, but resigne our selues ouer to the obedience of the will of God, euen as wee looke to enter at the last, into that rest and dwelling place, which is in heauen, not in earth, & which God had pitched and not man, in these words: for he that hath entred into his [Page 323] himselfe hath also rested frō his owne woorkes, euen as God rested also from his. Thus I haue plainely as I coulde, shewed you the whole meaning of all these wordes whiche I haue read together vnto you: and I haue the fewer thinges seuerally to note vnto you in them, because, as you haue heard the wordes were most of them mentioned before: & as occasion was, then I spake of them more at large vnto you: one­ly of the other thinges, whiche before the Apo­stle spake not of, I will note vnto you what I think necessarie. In the thirde verse, I tolde you howe the Apostle taught vs, that this rest, to whiche we bee called, was the rest of God from the beginning: be­cause from the beginning, it was saide, God rested the seuenth day: what we should learne in this, we may plainely see the commaundement: Kepe holie the Sabboth day: For that day was instituted for this cause: because then God rested from his woorkes, and in that day a rest is commaunded vnto vs, that in it we should do no manner of worke: and why (dearely beloued) shall we rest? God is not pleased with idlenesse, he wil not haue vs like the idle men that at the ix. houre of the day, stande still idle in the market: but God commaundeth vs to keepe that day holie vnto him, which is to serue him in it, and not our selues.

Nowe, seeinge in this daye wee muste glorifie God, and rest from our owne woor­kes, to consider his woorkes, from which in this What is a Sabboth days work. day he rested, it is plaine and euident, that it is a Sabbaoth dayes worke, wisely to meditate [Page 333] in all the workes of God: for as Paule saith: They are the wisdome of God, in which we should knowe God, and in them the inuisible thinges of God, that is, his eter­nall power & Godhead that we should knowe him and glorifie him, and giue thankes vnto him. So we read in the booke of Iob: when Eliphas would per­suade Iob to the feare and reuerence of Gods ma­iestie, he biddeth him beholde the starres, how high they are. The prophet Esay, when he will assure the Esal. 40. 12. church of the mercie of God, that he will according to his mightie power fulfill all his promises, hee sayth thus: Who hath measured the waters in his fist, and counted heauen with his spanne, and com­prehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weyed the mounteines in a weight, and the hilles in a balance? In meditation of these greate workes of God, the Prophet would teache them, to feare no man, but put their only trust and confidence in God. So the Prophet Ieremie, setteth out the constant course of the day and night, for vs to consider, and in it to know how vnchaungeable the loue of God is to all his Sainctes. So our Sauiour Christ, by the Matth. 6. 30 goodlie colours of the flowers of the field, he would haue vs learne, what a fatherly prouidence God hath ouer his childrē to couer their nakednesse, who clo­theth so gloriously the vading flower. The prophet Dauid in many places, and specially Psal. 104. doth make a goodlie rehersal of the prouidence of God, Psal. 104. 35 in ruling the whole world: thereby exhorting vs to obey God, to hate iniquitie, and concludeth with this excellent sentence: Let the sinners be consumed out [Page 334] of the earth: & the wicked till there be no more. O my soule praise thou the Lord praise ye the Lord: If wee by these Psa. 104. 35. exhortations and instructions can teach all our sen­ses, our eyes to see, and our eares to heare, so that in the creatures of God, we can see his glorie, loue his goodnesse, feare his maiestie, expresse his image in all our conuersation: then are we sure wee keepe holie his Sabbothes, and we inioy the good begin­nings of that blessed rest, into which we shall enter for euer: but if we bee vnprofitable creatures in the world, if we haue eyes and see not, and eares and heare not, and the sight and vse of so excellent werkes, can stirre vs vp, neither to loue nor feare, not once to knowe so excellent a workman, we are holden in the bondage of a spirituall Aegypt, and wander in straunge & vnknowen wayes of a spiri­tuall wildernesse, where we haue neither any water of life, nor any secret Manna, to satiate and fill our faint and hungrie soules. we walke in the world, as subiects of the world, and dwell on the earth as ser­uants of the earth: the oxe & the horse do as we do, they eate, and drinke, and see the sunne, and vse at their will the day and night, and neuer consider him who made all these thinges. Let vs not be like vnto them, but as we haue hearts able to cōprehend better things, so let vs vse them, that we may fil our wayes with perfect peace. If God haue giuen vs the meane estate of life, in which neither wee want not yet abound, but our meat, our drink, our cloathing is suficient vnto vs, let vs acknowledge the greate goodnes of god, who hath set in vs an example of y [Page 335] estate of life, which him selfe hath testified to bee good for vs, in y prayer which he hath taught vs all: Giue vs this day our daily bread. If God haue giuen vs pouertie, colde, nakednes, & much affliction, let vs think with our selues: How good is God vnto vs e­uen in these days of calamitie? for hath he not made vs like his only begotten sonne, a man despised in ye world, & of smal account, who had experience of all our sorrowe & griefe, that we againe carrying his image, might die with him, y we might also reigne with him in the due time which he hath appointed: againe, let me see this also in my pouertie & afflicti­on: God hath by this meanes prepared me so, that whatsoeuer is done vnto me, God will impute it as done vnto himselfe: whosoeuer shal mocke or dis­pise my life, he reprocheth god y thus hath made me Prouerb. whosoeuer shal cloth, feede, harborough me, Christ accepteth it as his owne, as if he were hungrie, & re­ceiued Matt. 25. meate: he were naked, and receiued raiment: what a marke & print of y loue of god is this in me, & how blessed is this estate, which of so manie is thought most miserable? if God hath giuen vs high & excellent honour, if in y middes of my pleasure, with a wise hart can thinke thus: This is yet ye place of my banishmēt, my bodi is a prisohouse in which my soule is in bondage, my life is a pilgrimage in which I wander, as in a coūtrie y is not mine owne: and yet: if God haue here filled my senses with so many delights, if such be the glorie of these king­domes and this nobilitie? If the honour & riches of these dayes, haue so greate gladnesse of hearte: O Lorde, what are the Heauens of Heauens, [Page 336] where we are citizens, which is our countrie, where our bodie is glorious, and crowned with life, where thy maiestie shal shine in perfect beautie before vs, where all thinges shalbe our owne, and we shalbee thine. A happie lordship, a happie Earledome, a hap pie man, whose honour teacheth him thus to know the Lord, who hath had mercie vppon him. These and such like meditations & thoughts, which carrie vp our mindes from the Creatures to the Creatour, and from our worldly calling to him that hath cal­led vs, these doe leade vs into the rest of the Lorde: these are our holie woorkes on the sabbaoth dayes, and this is our wisedome in enioying all the bene­fites of God. But of this meditation I spake before vnto you, in the exposition of the sixt verse of the se­cond chapter.

Nowe, touching this woorde whereof we haue heard so much, that is, the rest of God: we must marke how the scripture vseth it: sometime for the trueth, which is euer one: somtime for the figures, whiche haue beene diuerse. The true and perfecte rest is that which is now begonne in vs, the resting from our owne workes, that is, our dyinge vnto sinne, & the crucifying of ye olde man, that wee may giue ouer our bodies vnto the Lord, to be seruants of righteousnesse, and that onely his spirite may reigne in vs, that as Paule saith, it be not nowe we Gal. 2. 20 that liue: but that it be Christ that liueth in vs: and this rest shalbe made perfecte in the resurrection of the iust, when we shalbe ioyned vnto Christe our head, and God shalbe vnto vs all in all.

[Page 337] The figures of this rest (as I saide) haue beene di­uerse. The first figure was the rest of ye sabboth day, called our rest, because wee were without bodily la­bour, only in spirituall exercise, to consider ye works of God, his greatnesse, and power, and goodnesse, & therby to learne with al our harts to serue him, & to glorifie him as our only god: so y al the seuenth day longe, while the sunne shined, it preached vnto the people, that they should ceasse from sinne, and serue God, die vnto the world and liue in him. An other figure of this spirituall rest, was the lande of Ca­naan, called their rest, because they ceassed from the fearefull trauell of the solitarie wildernesse, and from feare of enimies which alwayes rose againste them: & from their bondage before in Egypt, now inhabiting a quiet countrie full of all fruit and plea­sure: and their spirituall exercise in this rest, was, to see from what miseries God had deliuered them, what blessings he had giuen them, howe mightilie he saued them from al hurt of man and beast, and e­uerie creature: and therfore now, in a holy rest and quietnesse, to be thankful vnto him, to serue him, to trust in him, to rest vnder the shadow of his wings. An other figure of this rest, was also y tēple, of whi­che it was said: This is my rest for euer: here wil I dwel, Psal. 132. 14 for I haue a delight therin: called also ye rest in respect that before, the tabernacle and the Arke was carried from place to place, but nowe it was settled for euer in mount Sion: the spirituall exercise of this rest, was, that God had now made knowen vnto them his statutes and ordinaunces, in which they should [Page 338] liue, his couenauntes and promises were sure vnto them, and that they shoulde not immagine vaine thoughts, or followe their own deuises, but abide in the waies of God, acknowledging them alone, to be the wayes of life, and so giue ouer them selues to walke in them. These were the figures of this spiri­tuall rest which abideth for euer: and vnto vs nowe to whō figures haue ceassed, this rest is set out clear­lie in it self, that we should liue in it, ceasse from our owne workes, doe the woorkes of our God, and worship him in spirit and trueth, hauing according to this exhortation of our Apostle, our Sauiour Christ our onely prophet, to rest in his woorde: our onely priest, to rest in his sacrifice for sinne: our only king, to rest in his defence: our only head, to rest in his nourishment, who only with his blessed spirite feedeth vs to eternall life, and worketh in vs all in all. This is that kingdome of God, whiche we are taught to pray, that it may come and prosper: and this is that the prophet Esay sayth of the roote of Ishaie, that in those dayes his rest should be glorious: this is Esai. 11. 10. the trueth sigured in all the former restes of the Sab­boath, of the lande of Canaan, of the temple, as Za­charias ful of ye holie ghost, doth most plainly shew. This is (saith he) the othe which he sware to our father A brahā. that he would graunt, vnto vs: that we beeing deliue­red Luke. 1. 74. out of the handes of our enimies, might serue him with­out feare, in holines & righteousnes, al the dayes of our life: and this rest hath in it, as Paul saith, a pure heart, that is, vn [...]ed & cōstant loue: a sincere saith, that is, ho­ly and true religion and, a good corscience: that is, peace toward God through Iesus Christ: and these [Page 339] properties of our rest (deerely beloued) mark them wel, that we may knowe the place, where we dwell in peace: and lest we thinke foolishly, that we are at rest, when yet we are tossed in the tempestuous sea: our religion must be pure and vntouched, from the curious and entising fancies of Philosophie, from traditions and decrees of men, from superstition of Col. 2. [...]. the elements of the worlde: as meate, drinke, daies, times, and such other: to be short, pure from al thin­ges, which Christ our only prophet hath not taught vs. And how can we thinke then, that we are yet in this rest, if we be holden with decrees: Touch not, tast not &c. if counsels, and fathers, whiche are diuerse, and daily renued, do lead vs with their sūdrie indg­ments: what rest is in my religion, if thus I muste walke vncerteinly? It was said of the first rest: What Deu. 5. I commaund thee, do that onely: this rest is nowe abun­dantly confirmed vnto vs, more amplie thē before, as Christe is greater then Moses: and how then do we seeke after any instruction, but onely after the word of Christe alone. Againe, seeing in our rest is vnfeigned loue, contention and strife, & quarels are cast out: how do we say, we are entred into our rest, when this dissention is amōg vs, one with another: let vs looke vnto it wel, to whom it belongeth. It is a greuous thing to trouble the peace of the church: so is it a greuous thing to see trueth lye hidden, or des­pised: therfore iudge not you rashly, nor condemne any mans worke before it be tried. We are called vnto a rest, and let vs nourish our peace: who soeuer fall out with vs, let vs not fall out with them, but let vs seeke the truethe in loue, and so shall be [Page 340] built vp the decayed places of Sion: and to our selues euery one of vs this I say, yet not I, but Saint Iohn, That He that loueth his brother he hath no offence in him whereat another should fall: & therfore, in any contro­uersies 1. Ioh. 2. that can arise in the church, if we feare God, let vs follow this rule: let vs not doe any thing for vaine glory, for honour, for riches, for pleasing men: for if we do, we may be assured, offēces wil arise, & we shall be guiltie of thē: but if only Gods glory & the loue of our brethren do constraine vs, God will giue vs the spirit of wildome & peace, and we shall not be offences vnto any: but this let you & me cō ­mit vnto the Lord with our hartie praires, & he wil bring to passe a good worke in our eyes. Againe, our rest must bee in all trueth: and howe doe suche men seeke the glorie of this rest, which fil the world with lying and flattering, which call good euil, and euil good, light darknesse, and darknesse light? The Prophet Amos complayneth of the Iudges of his Amos. 8. 6. time, that they were so corrupte through brybes, that they were redie to sell ye people for old shooes: if he were aliue now, he would add to this another complaint, that some preachers are also so cor­rupt, that they wil sell the trueth for a mounrning gowne. Let a man be now neuer so blinde, that hee walke as at midnight when it is noone dayes, yet you shall finde some Preacher will commende his sight: if a man were as black as ye black horse spoken of in the Apocalypse, that nothing were in him but Apoca. 4. 1 shadowe & darknesse, yet he shall finde a black pro­phet, with a black mouth, and a headlong tongue, [Page 341] to make him as white as the white woll, or as white as the white snowe: and if a false tounge coulde co­lour him more then that, it is set to sale, and it is ea­sily bought. But haue such men care of our blessed rest? or do they delight in the glorie of it? Do they thinke that in the church of Christ it wilbe euer suf­fered, that the sweete and costly garments of Gods sainctes shalbe taken from them, and made a spoyle for straungers? or he that goeth about this, shall hee not disquiet our peace? Leaue off then you that feare the Lorde, leaue off to sell the praises of faith and of religion to those which neuer sought and inqui­red after them. Remember Elihu saith: If I shoulde giue titles, my maker woulde destroy mee: Do not therefore iustifie the sinner while thou liuest. Thou Iob. 32. 22. foolish praiser, & thou folish praised, what substance is there in you, but a blast of winde? Let vs then leaue off lying, and speake euerie man the trueth frō our hearts, and so let vs enter into our rest, & dwell in the peace of Gods Church together.

Nowe, one worde more touching this rest: the seuenth day is called the Lordes rest: the land of Canaan, is called his rest: the temple, his rest: the Gospell, his rest: yet were not all these his rest, but figures and presentations of it: as times, places, me­anes, by whiche we should rest in him: yet had they the name of the rest, as things liuely presenting the rest vnto vs, & in whiche we enioyed the spirituall rest: & thus it is in all sacraments, because they pre­sent vnto vs Gods graces, and his holy spirite wor­keth in the ministerie of them, the more to assure [Page 342] our faith: they are also named by the thinges which they presēt vnto vs. Now touching the sabboth day which is here mentioned, you see, from the begin­ninge it was a figure of our spirituall rest in Christ: so that as al figures in him haue ceassed & are com­plete: so the obseruation of that seuenth day hath al­so ceassed, and the trueth of it must shewe it selfe, which is, that not the seuenth day, but all the days of our life, our thoughtes should be with God, and our workes to his glorie: and thus the olde Sabboth was ceremoniall, and is now abrogate, euen as you see: for that Sabboth, is now our saturday, in which we lawfully occupie our selues, in all honest labour of our calling. An other end of that Sabboth was ac­cording to the manners of men, necessarie for them then, and now necessarie for vs: and that was, that thei might haue a time, to meet together, to worship God in ye cōgregatiō, to make publique prayers, vse his sacramentes for strengthening their faith, heare his law, and his prophets, that they might learne his iudgments, and edifie one another in the knowledg of God: this end of the Sabboth must needs be per­petuall, as long as our weaknesse needeth mutuall helpe, and as long as it is meete we should openlie serue the Lord: to this end the commaundement is stil read vnto vs, Remember thou keepe holie the Sabboth day: which now is our sunday ordeined by ye apostls exāples, that the superstition of the Iewish Sabboth should be taken away, and kept holie, that thus we should occupie our selues in that day: otherwise the olde Sabboth can possiblie be kepte of vs, no other [Page 343] way, but as the Apostle here teacheth vs in the tenth verse, that as we see God rested in it, from all his works: so we in all our life must rest from our own woorkes, that is, wee must rest from our care or re­garde of the flesh, to accomplish the desires of it: but as we are bought with a price, so wee muste yeelde our selues seruants vnto our Lord, and offer vp our selues a holie & liuely sacrifice to doe his will: and thus farre of this text. Now, let vs pray &c.

¶ The xx. Lecture, vpon the 11. 12. and 13. verses.

11 Let vs studie therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of disobedience.

12 For the word of God is liuely and mightie in operation, & sharper thē any two edged sword, & entreth through, euen vnto the diuiding a sunder of the soule & the spirit, and of the ioyntes and the marrowe, and is a discerner of the thoughtes and the intents of the heart.

13 Neither is there any creature, which is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and open vnto his eyes with whome he hath to doe.

IN this eleuenth verse, the Apostle maketh his last proofe of Christe to be our prophet, because y [...]ce of this word of God agreed [...]t but with the maiestie of his per­son, and so entreth into [...] description of the vertue & power [Page 344] of this word, making earnest exhortation, that wee would vse the great benefite of it, and therefore hee saith first: Let vs therfore studie to enter: that is, let vs la­bour, let vs be careful, let vs giue all indeuour, let vs care & trauell that we may enter: thus shaking off al sluggish dulnesse, & quickening them frō heauinesse of spirite, as vnto a thing of great weight, he calleth vs with great care and studie to giue our selues vnto it. And heere, in this word, Let vs studie, we haue a plain interpretation of that he said in the first verse: let vs feare: for the whole verses, that and this, as you may see, haue one and the same meaning: there hee saith: Let vs feare, lest forsaking the promised rest, we seme to be fr [...]strate. that is, lest by such vnfaithfulnes as was in them, wee also make the promise to vs in vaine: here he saith: Let vs studie to enter into this rest, least wee fall into their example of vnfaithfulnesse: thus the exhor­tation beeing all one, it is manifest, that this worde, Let vs feare, which he vsed first, hath the meaning of this word Let vs studie, which he vseth now: so that this is (as I told you then) y feare of gods children, a careful studie & in deuour to walk faithfully before God. And an other good lesson we may here learne: sith the Apostle saith, let vs studie: it is plain we ought not to nourish in vs (as the manner of the world is) a carelesse securitie, to speake and think of our hope in God with a secure mind, as if we cared not great­lie for it, or longed not much after it: such a care­lesse minde is altogether vnmeete for the profession of the gospel of Christ: and it is a thing that we do all vnderstand, none can excuse him selfe by igno­rance: [Page 345] we know the fault by the tryall of our owne hart, when we think of God and his heauenly king­dome, what parte and fellowship we haue in it, wee can tel how our heartes are then affected: if it bee our ioy, our comforte, our consolation: if it drawe our delight and studie after it, then are we children of that kingdome, then we obey this calling of the Apostle which is here: Let vs studie to enter into this rest: but if we can think or speake of the kingdome of heauen, as wee would speake of farre countries, for talke sake, to heare what is sayde of them, but without any care whether we see them or no: then we are seduced with the deceit of sinne, and this ex­hortation of the Apostle is made in vaine vnto vs. And let vs not here deceiue our selues to think, wee haue our cares for the life to come, when wee haue no care at all for it: our nature is here verie blind, & beleeueth easilie her owne vaine fancie: not onely Scribes and Phariseis, and suche frowarde sinners, doe presume much of their owne righteousnesse, & glorie in them selues, but euē Gods good people are soone beguiled with selfe-loue: the Corinthians talked much that they were wise, that they were spi­rituall 1. Cor. 3. [...]. & holy men, but Saint Paule saith vnto them: Seeing such contentions, emulations, sectes, are a­mong you, you are yet children and you are carnall. So we (dearly beloued) if we wil say we feare before God, our care, our study, our hart is in the kingdom of God, & yet we laugh when we talke of his iudg­mentes, make our ieastes and rymes with his holie woorde: or if we be nothing moued in spirite when [Page 346] wee speake of it, then are we not studious, but care­lesse, secure, negligent, & we heare not this exhorta­tion of the Apostle, Let vs studie to enter into his rest: and thus is this exhortation ended, made out of the woordes of the Prophet: To day if you will heare his voice, harden not your hearts, &c.

It followeth now. For the word of God is liuely & migh­tie in operation, and sharper then any two edged swoord, and entreth through, euē to the diuiding asunder of the soule & the spirit, and of the ioynts & of the marrow, and is a discer­ner of the thoughtes and the intents of the heart, neither is there any creature which is not manifest in his sight, but all things are naked & open vnto his eyes, with whom we haue to doe. In these wordes, the Apostle setteth out the nature of the worde of God vnto vs, vppon what occasion, wee may easily see: he hath taught that Christe is our onely Prophet, and we haue no other schoolemaister to teach vs, and instruct vs in the wayes of God: he hath also earnestly exhorted vs to heare his voice, and faithfully to harken vnto him, lest we fall into the condemnation of others, who haue bene despisers afore vs, and whose iudgement we should not escape: for the word of God wound­eth, euen into the soule of the sinner: thus hee com­meth to this description of the strength and force of Gods word, as may appeare by his owne woordes going before, lest we fall into the same example of disobe­dience: thus prouing it y we cannot escape, because the word is so strong and mightie. And this doctrine of the Apostle, let it this day be our instruction, if we do beleeue: or if we think the Apostle saith true, [Page 347] that the word of God hathe so greate power in it, let vs regarde it, let vs giue our feare, our reuerence, our obedience vnto it: for how great a sinne must it needes bee, to despise a thing that is so precious? and howe great peril is there in it, to prouoke a thing against vs whiche is so strong? If it were but the roaring of a beare or Lion, it would make any of vs affraid, yet could it but only pearce into our eares: if it be but the voice of thunder, it seemeth to make ye verie earth to shake, yet is it but a bodily sound, and the spirite heareth it not a whitt: what then? When he speaketh whome the marrow within our bones doth heare, how truly saith the prophete of him, his voice shaketh not only the sea, and the drie land, but the verie heauens also? and can we haue yet any ex­cuse, Agg. [...]. [...] if we heare not him that speaketh so lowde? If we beleue not him, to whom our own hearts beare witne [...]e of his trueth? or if we heare not his word, whose voice shaketh both heauen and earth? or are we born of God, if so great vertue & power of god haue no feeling in vs? No, no, be not deceiued, God is not mocked, his sheepe heare his voice, we are not borne of him, but we are born of hard rocky moun­teins, a stonie generation, nourished and sed of cruel Tygres: if such instruction, such teaching, preuaile not with vs. Heare then (dearely beloued) heare & learne, that we may be edified: let our harts be sof­tened, that we may haue the wordes of God writ­ten in them. And seeing wee haue so excellent a prophet, let vs be thankfull scholers, and growe vppe in the knowledge of his doctrine, if at it [Page 348] neuer be imputed vnto vs, that wee haue hardened our hearts and would not knowe his wayes. And to the end we may take the more heede, let vs marke these words of the Apostle, in which he setteth out vnto vs, the great force of the woorde of God: The woord of God (saith he) is liuely, and sharper then any two edged sworde, &c. This place is well to be weighed of vs: for of purpose the Apostle speaketh to teache vs what the worde of God is, and what power it hath, both to quicken the faithfull, and wounde the disobedient vnto death: wherevnto so euer the Lorde doeth sende it, it shall do his will: no time, no place, no person, can possiblie chaunge it: no creature can breake the force of it: the worke that is appointed for it to do, it wil assuredly bring to passe. Let soule & spirit, ioynts & marow, heart and thoughtes, striue still against it, it will wound all and pearce through as a sharpe sworde: euen as al things are naked, and bare before the eyes of the lord who speaketh: neither let any man euer thinke, whosoeuer he be, that heareth or readeth this worde of God, but that it worketh in him the will of God. Euen all we here present this day, when af­ter this sermō ended, we shal returne to our calings, know it assuredly & think on it, as you are in your way, y the word spokē is entred into you: if it haue quickned your faith, it is ye word of life: if it haue kil led your old affectiōs, it is ye seed of your new birth: if it haue don you no good, it hath detected your cor ruption, & accuseth you in your own cōscience: for change it you shal not, make it fruitlesse you cannot: [Page 349] there is no defence against the strokes of it, but it pearceth through to the place to which it is sent: if it light in faithful places, it bringeth the power of God vnto saluation: if it fall where infidelitie is, or disobedience, it maketh the hart as flint, or as an A­damant stone. This is the effecte of the Apostles meaning in these wordes, whiche you haue hearde. The prophet Esaie to the same purpose, vseth an apt similitude, who speaketh thus in the name of the Esai. 55. 10. Lord. Surely, as the rayne commeth downe, and the snowe from Heauen, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it to bring forth and budde, that it may giue seede to the sower, and bread to him that eateth: so shall my worde be, that goeth out of my mouth: it shal not returne vnto me in vaine, but it shall accomplish that which I wil, & it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. This Iohn Baptist taught vs, going before Christ to pre­pare his way, when hee cryed to the people: Euery Luk. 3. 5. vallie shalbe filled, and euery Mounteine and hill shall bee brought lowe: crooked things shalbe made streight, & the rough wayes shalbe made smoothe, and all flesh shall see the saluation of God: meaning hereby that all offences and stumbling blockes should bee taken away: no power in the worlde should be so greate, which should not giue place to this word, whiche is the power of God to saue all that doe beleeue.

The scriptures are ful of suche testimonies of the nature and strength of Gods worde, to teache vs bothe to feare before it, and to humble our selues, for it wil preuaile: and also to try our heartes, that it [Page 350] may haue in vs, a good and profitable work, rather to renue vs in the spirit, then to harden vs in the de­ceits of sinne: but let vs now come to ye words of the Apostle, & examine thē in all their proper meaning.

It is said first, The word of God is liuing, which pro­pertie may be atttributed to the worde of God, in diuerse respects: first in respect of vs, because it quikneth vs into a spirituall life, and without it we are in darknesse & in the shadow of death: therfore it is a liuing word, and the seede of our new birth. So Sainct 1. Pet. 1. 23. Paul saith to the Corinthians, In Christ Iesu I haue be­gotten you through the gospel. And S. Iohn sayth: Of his 1. Cor. 4. 15. owne wil hath he begotten vs with the word of life: expres­lie calling it the liuing worde, or the worde of life, Iacob. 1. 1 [...]. because it quickneth vs (as I saide) into a spiritu­all life, wherin without all doubting we are taught assuredlie to know, that if euer we will become the children of GOD, that we shall no more liue our selues, but what Christ may liue in vs: thus we must be borne and thus we must be made a new: in take­ing into vs the seede of the worde of God, and then as new borne babes desire the sincere milke of it, that 1. Peter. 2. 1 we may grow thereby in the fulnesse of our agee in Christe. If the Papistes did well vnderstande this, they should also vnderstand with it, that them selues were bastards & no children, as being borne of mor­tall seede of fathers, of counsels, of decrees, of Popes, not of the immortall seede whiche is the woorde of God. Another cause why the word is called liuing, is in respect of it selfe, because it is eternall and abi­deth euer, according to the nature of the liuing God, whose word it is: so Sainct Peter expresly calleth [Page 351] it, where he saith, we be borne of a newe immortall seede, by the word of the liuing God, and abiding for euer: therefore attributing life and immortalitie, vnto the worde, because it is of the liuing and im­mortal God: of which we ought to learn, that there is no wisedome, no instruction, no discipline, by whiche we can apprehend eternall life, but only the wisdome and instruction of the worde of God: for what an absurd thing is it, that the wisdom of man, which is vaine, as man is vaine, which is transitorie, earthly, & is abolished, should leade mee into that life which fadeth not, but is eternall in heauen? yea, what an absurd thing (I say) is it, seing we ourselues and all that is in vs, before the presence of the Lord must needes be changed, so that no man possible cā see him and liue, yet to think, that our wisdome can leade vs vnto him, or our reason can approche vnto the places where his glorie dwelleth. Surely (dearly beloued) this is much more folie, then to seeke to gather grapes of thornes, or figges of brambles: for it is to seeke for light in darkenesse, and for life in death: for out of a corrupt minde & a froward heart we seeke for holie obedience and immortalitie, as many as say, that without the word of God they can please him: the papists do not yet vnderstād this, and therefore they wearie them selues with their owne inuentions, and multiplie ceremonies in their churches, which God will cast out as he hath begon, til their madnesse be made manifest to all nations.

An other cause yet there is, why the worde of God is called, Liuing: and this cause moste agree­able to this place: That is, because it enteret [...] [Page 352] with power into euerie part of vs: so that, as our life is dispersed into euerie parte, and we feele it, both in griefe and pleasure: euen so, the vertue of the woord of God pearceth into euerie member, to bruise (as the prophet saith) the verie bones, or to fill them with marrow and fatnesse: this sense is plaine, and a­greeable to al the words following, and in this same meaning Solomon calleth it also: A liuing worde: as his words are plaine: The light of the Lord is the breath of man, & it sercheth al the bowels of the bellie: where al­so Prou. 20. 27 he calleth the word, light: because it shineth in mās heart as in a darke place, and trieth out all the secrets of his thoughtes: in this meaning heere, the word is called liuelie, as I tolde you before, the more to stir them vp, not to neglect so high a prophet as the sonne of God, whose worde came with maiestie and power vnto them.

The second title heere attributed to the worde is, that It is mightie in operation: meaning that it hathe in it, force and vertue able to subdue all enimes, and bringe vs in obedience vnto Christe: this vertue of the woorde, Sainct Paule notablie setteth out to the Corinthians, magnifying his Apostleshippe by this means: Our weapons (saith he) are stronge by the power of God, [...] cast downe holds, wherwith we ouerthrow imagina­tions, 2. Cor. 10. 4. & euerie high thing that is exalted against the know­ledge of God, & bring into captiuitie, euery thought to the o­bedience of Christ, & haue readie vengeāce against al diso­bedience: howsoeuer a man magnifie him selfe, or a man exalt himselfe, in whiche arrogancie of spirite he seemeth (as it were) buried in sinne, and his heart [Page 369] hardened against the grace of God, yet let him heare this word, and let it oft fall into his eares, for it is as Iere. 3. 29. the prophet saith, a hammer, which breaketh ye stone in peeces, and is able in the power of God to molli­fie his heart: or, if the sinner be suncken downe so deepe, that he will not rise, it will crushe him down deeper, that he may perishe in his sinne: and so God saith to his Prophet Ieremie: I will put my wordes into Iere. 5. 14. thy mouth, and it shalbe as fire, & this people shalbe as wood, and it shal deuour them. And this is it Saint Paule ex­pressely witnesseth, to be the onely meanes to glori­fie God, to preache the trueth of his word vnto all: for so (saith he) we are alwayes a sweete smelling 2. Cor. 2. 16. sauour of Christ vnto God, as wel in those that pe­rishe, as in those that be saued, to the one a sauour of life vnto life, to the other, of death vnto death. I would we that are preachers, could learne and be­leeue this, it would make vs leaue our vain babling & much talke of philosophie and prophane things, and fill our mouthes onely with the worde of the Lorde: for this only is mightie in operation, the o­ther hath at all no strength, no strength at all in this behalfe to glorifie God, or to conuert a sinner: but strong to delude the people with idlo sounds, strong to tickle our eares with fond delight, strong to puffe vs vp with pride of our wittes, but more weak then water to teach vs true repentance: for proofe I say, let the sinner come forth, that hath beene conuerted by hearing stories or fables of poets, I am sure there is none: for faith is onely by the worde of God: of let the preacher come forth that vseth such thinges, [Page 370] and doeth it not either to please men, or to boast of his learning: for this he knoweth that the word on­ly, not prophane things, conuerteth the people: and why then doeth he vse them? The Lord saith, by his prophet Ieremie: If they had stand in my counsell, Iere, 23. 22. and had declared my wordes to my people: then they should haue turned them from their euill way, & from the wicked­nesse of their owne inuentions: a plaine testimonie why our preachings are vnprofitable to the people, euen because we speake in our owne fansies, and vse ex­hortations of our owne heade. And againe, in the prophet Malachie, the Lord declareth what coue­nant he made with Leuie, and how he promised to blesse his labours in the teaching of his people: The Lawe of truth (saith he) was in his mouth, and there was no iniquitie founde in his lipps: he walked with mee in Mal. 2. 6. peace and equitie, and did turne manie away from their sinnes.

Can any thinge be spoken playner? Hold fast the word of God, committe the fruite of thy work to the strength of it, and thou shalt finde it as is here said, mightie in operation: and thou shalt conuert ma­nie sinners. Let them tell me nowe, all that haue eares to heare, what madnesse is it, to fil the peoples eares with vnknowen tales, and sweete wordes, in which is nothing but a deceitfull sound, & leaue the word of God, mightie in working, to conuert their soules?

And, you (dearely beloued) who delight in such vanitie, and make the preacher transgresse for your fansies sake, let me but reason with you, as S. [Page 371] Paule reasoned with the Galathians.

Tel me whether by such tales, or by hearing the word of God, haue you receiued the spirite? that is, wherby were you conuerted from your vanitie vn­to the liuing God? was it the worde of truethe, or else Gentile stories that wrought this vertue in you? and are you so foolish, that when you haue begun in the spirit, you wil now go forwarde in the flesh? Let vs leaue then this greate abuse: bothe you, to turne away your eyes to follie, and the preacher to vse the pulpit like a Philosophers chaire. We may alledge sometime a storie or prophane sentēce, I de­nie it not, but then it is good doing it, when the re­membring of the saying bringeth necessarilie into memorie the worde of God also, for which it was alledged, and giueth light vnto it, for a more cleare declaration of the truth: yet, when the story is told and remembred by it selfe, there is then but a foolish delight of a vaine man, to helpe him in his talke, to multiplie idle woordes: there is no edifying in it at all.

The third title of the word, now following, is this, That It is more sharpe then a two edged sword: and this similitude is often made in the Scripture. The prophet Esaie, preaching the promises of God, hee Esa. 49. [...]. saith: His mouth is made like a sharp sworde. And Sainct Paule giueing armour to a Christian souldiour, by which he may kil his enimies, he biddeth him Take Ephe. 6. 17. the sworde of the spirit, which is the word of God.

So, in the firste and nineteenth Chapters of the Apocalypse, the sonne of GOD is described Apoca. 1. 16 & 19. 15. [Page 372] with a two edged swoorde proceding out of his mouthe: meaning by these speeches, no other thing, but that by the preaching of y gospel, Christ should get the victorie, and bring all enemies in subiection vnto him, euen as the Prophet Esai saith: He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lippes shall he kill the vngodly: by which we doe learne, that the more wee pray: Thy kingdome come: and the more we wishe the prosperitie of the Churche, the more we must striue to make ye word of God kno­wen vnto all: for that is the swoorde and scepter of his kingdome.

The next title heere attributed to the worde, is, That it entreth into the diuisiō of the soule & the spirit, & of the ioynts and the marrow. By soule, heere he meaneth that parte of vs, in which our affections are, as ioy, sorrowe, loue, hatred, anger, mildenesse, or any such motion of vs of good or euill. By spirit, he meaneth, the moste excellent parte of vs, in which is reason, wisedome, vnderstanding, to consider and meditate of all ye works of God. By ioynts and marrow, he mea­ [...]ieth all the members of our body: and thus Sainct Paule vseth these wordes of soule, and spirite, and bodie, where he saith to the Thessalonians, as it is in ye fifth chapter: The God of peace sanctifie you wholie: that your spirit, and soule, and bodie, may be kept blamelesse 1. Thes. 1. 23 vntil the comming of Christ: teaching vs, what is a true Christian, when his minde thinketh, his soule desi­reth, his body executeth nothing, but what is fault­lesse before God and man.

So, when the worde is saide to diuide betweene [Page 373] the soule and the spirit, it noteth the mightie worke of it in the reprobate, to wound all their thoughtes and desires with feare and terrour, and with asto­nishment of heart: contrarie in the electe, it crucifi­eth the olde man with al the concupiscences and the desires of it. When it is said to diuide betweene the ioynts and the marrow: it sheweth the worke in all the members of our bodie, to sell them vnder sinne, to worke vncleannesse with greedines being harde­ned: or to sanctifie them in the power of God, that they may be seruaunts of righteousnesse vnto him, being mollified. To be short, in soule, spirite, ioynts, marrowe, the Apostle meaneth, that the word once heard, the whole man is touched, and al that is with in him, feeleth streight a chaunge: except a heauier iudgement be vpon him, that he haue eares & heare not: wherein yet the worde hath a worke, and ma­keth him fall deeper in the sleepe of sinne: if we will learne examples are before vs of good & euil, what to leaue, or what to choose.

The prophet Abacuche, foreseeing the state of Christes church, what daunger should be vnto it, e­uen then to be oppressed again, when it was not yet halfe growen vp, he saith: When I heard it, my belly trē ­bled, Aba. 3. 16. my lippes shooke at the voice: rottennesse entred into my bowels, and I trembled in my selfe that I might rest in the day of trouble: heere we see the worde diuiding be­tweene the ioynts and the marrow, how it distem­pered the prophets whole bodie, because of the hea­uie threatning of the Lorde, and an excellent bles­sing was vnto him, for this feare and trembling at [Page 374] the voice of the Lord, in the day of trouble hee had rest. So the Prophet Esay, at Gods threatening a­gainst his church, that euen in the dayes of Christe, her peace should be broken off, & her flourishing glo rie shoulde againe be shadowed, hee crieth: my lea­nesse, my leanesse, wo is me: as if he had said: it consumed Esai. 24. 16. his flesh, and wore away his beautie, to heare the voice of the Lord against his people: if thus wee feare in deede at Gods thretenings, & as his saincts do vnfeignedly reioyce at all his promises, a good worke of his mightie woord is in vs, and it is his power to our saluation: but if we be despisers, and regarde not the woord that is brought vnto vs, a while we may seeme to be in peace, as the sick man in his sleepe feeleth not his paine, but the word will wounde at the last the spirite, and wee shal feele it in our flesh, what we haue despised. We reade in Da­niel, of Belshazzar, a proud king, in the mids of his Dan. 5. 6. princes and all his roaltie, he sawe a hand writing, and the woorde of the Lorde was before his eyes: streight his countenance was chaunged, and his thoughtes troubled him, so that the ioyntes of his loines were loosed, and his knees smote one against another, such feare and terrour came vpō him, whē the voice of the lord did pronounce his iudgment. And not onely thus, but we see it further, the wic­ked not onely wounded, but also slaine with the word of God.

When many of the rulers of the people of Israel, led the people to moste shamefull idolatrie, the prophet Ezechiel was sent to preache vnto [Page 375] them, and when hee prophecied before them, Pe­latiah Eze. 11. 13. the Sonne of Benaiah, one of the Princes which seduced the people, he dyed in his presence? A like example is, of Ananias and Sapphira, who at the voice of Peter, did bothe fall downe dead: Acte 5. 1. so true it is that the word is forceable, to deuide and enter betwene our reines, that is, to sley the wicked and to quicken the godlie. Last of all, it is here said, that the word discerneth betwene the thoughts and intents of the heart, meaning, that how so euer the heart of man is prepared, the woord of God direc­teth it, either more to be hardened with the deceites of sinne, or wholie to bee renewed to the loue of righteousnesse.

It followeth nowe: Neither is thereany creature which is not manifest in his sight, but all thinges are naked and open vnto his eyes, with whome we haue to doe. These words shewe an excellent proofe, of all the former things spoken of the word: for seeing it is the word of God, how should it not haue the power of God: if among men, as euery one hath moste power: so his word is moste feared. how should it not be, but God, who is the searcher of our hearts and reines, and is almightie ouer all, but that his worde should haue of his nature, vertue, and power, to make the proude to feare, and to comfort the humbled.

Let vs therefore now bee wise in time, and let the worde of the Lorde fashion all our heartes: if it doe not, yet it worketh still, and wee shall one day knowe what voice wee haue despised: for as it is heere, that all thinges are open vnto his [Page 376] eyes: so we shall heare his voice, when in all thinges it shall shew his power. It shall speake vnto all crea­tures, and they shall heare it: the earth and sea shall bring the bodies which they haue consumed: the fire shall yeld againe his ashes, and the ayre her dead; the elementes shall mealt away, and the Heauens shall vanish: the Lorde shall speake, and the deade shall all arise: then shal we too late bewail our mad­nesse, which haue heard before, this voice & regar­ded it not. And this let vs learne with it, if such bee the strength of Gods woorde, of it selfe, when yet hee shall multiplie this power, and make it also e­ternall which is infinite, what shall we say then: but, O Lorde who shall abide it: when hee shall pro­nounce: Go you cursed into eternall fire: what condem­nation shalbe vppon the wicked: surelie (dearelie beloued) as it is greater then our heartes can imma­gine, so yet in this similitude, we may see, as it were an image of it: for as his worde diuideth betweene soule and spirit marrow & bones, cogitations and intentes: so we knowe that in euery parte of them, the wicked shall feele Gods anger: head and arme, hande and foote, back and side, shall haue experi­ence of his anger: all the thoughts of their harts shal­be wounded with death, and so much the more vn­speakable, because their bodyes shall feele and their minde knowe the immortalitie of death, and euer­lasting destruction, that is vppon them: whiche ex­treeme wretchednesse, no horrour of darcknesse, no weeping and gnashinge of teeth, no gnawinge of conscience, no eternall fire, doth fully and inough [Page 377] set out vnto vs.

But this we leaue to the reprobate men, who e­uen to this day haue sould their heartes to conceiue mischiefe, and it repenteth them not. Let vs feare now in the day of health, and better thinges are ap­pointed for vs. We shall heare an other voice: Come ye blessed into eternall life, possesse the kingdome prepared for you from the beginning, which voice shal enter depe, and into all our members, bring a sensible feeling of the loue of God, and his greate glorie, when with heart and minde wee shall see and knowe our inhe­ritaunce with God in eternall glorie: wherevnto, if nowe we be raysed vp, and the promises of God beginne with vs, this vnspeakable and glorious hope, (so that our heartes be fast holden in the loue of it, neuer to chaunge for worldly vanitie or rather shame, woorse then vanitie: for with what name shall we name it, that is exalted against the Lorde) if, I say, thus the woorde of God bee vnto vs, wee haue sealed it, that his word is liuing, and entreth into the diuision of the soule, and the spirite: and we haue beene fruitfull hearers of all this longe ex­hortation, which the Apostle hath made, and ended, to stirre vp his brethren, faithfully to heare this pro­phet of God, his sonne Iesus Christe, and our saui­our, who hath reuealed all his wil vnto vs. And thus farre of this former parte of the Epistle, in which we are taught, that Christe is our only prophet: but the time is paste. Now let vs pray. &c.

The xxj. Lecture, vpon the residue of the chapter, the 14. 15. & 16. verses.

14 Seeing then that we haue a geat high priest, which is en­tred into Heauen, euen Iesus the sonne of God, let vs holdefast our profession.

15 For we haue not an hye Priest, which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all thinges temped in like sorte, yet without sinne.

16 Let vs therfore go boldely vnto the throne of grace, that we may receiue mercie and finde grace to help in time of neede.

WE haue heard (dearely beloued) howe the Apostle hath taught, that Christe is nowe our onely Prophet, & what care we should haue, diligently and faithfully to harken vnto him, if we will not be guiltie before God, of great condemnation and iudgement. The reasons are of the Apostle to proue him our onely Prophet: first, because God sending his onely begotten sonne into the worlde, made man like vnto vs and reuealing the will of his fa­ther vnto vs, the excellencie of his person inforceth vs to confesse, that God ordeyneth him alone to be our Prophet.

Againe, he was faithful in the house of God, and then what nedeth any other prophet vnto vs? third­ly, he was more honourable then Moses in this of­fice, & many wayes to be preferred afore him: ther­fore no other Prophet is to bee ioyned with him. Fourthly the Prophet Dauid said: To day if you hear [Page 379] his voice, &c. which we must needes vnderstand, to be a perpetuall prophesie, and therefore accompli­shed in Christ, whome we must heare, if we wil be­leeue, and be saued. Last of all, the force & strength of the word of God, is such, as it must needes war­rant the maiestie of God in Christ the author of it: and as n one other hath that glory, so none to be our prophet but he alone; vnto all those reasons he hath added, as you haue heard, ernest exhortatiōs, to giue more weight vnto them, for the better persuasion of his brethren, to whome he writeth,

Nowe, he beginneth the other principall point of this first part of the Epistle, that is, to proue that Christ is our only priest, which disputation he con­tinueth to the eleuenth chapter, as we shal (god wil­ling) heare. He beginneth it firste with an exhorta­tion, as he vsed the like often before, and, as I saide: to make vs more carefully regarde his woordes. Sith thē, we haue a great high priest, who hath entred into heauen, Iesus the sonne of God: let vs hold this professiō: the force of this exhortation, is in the excellencie of the priesthood of Christe, secretely compared with the priesthood of Aaron, who was in nature their bro­ther, in person weake as other men, in office, earthly, entring into a tabernacle made with hangs, in vertue, a figure of a better sacrificer, himselfe not profiting at all: but Christ is another highe priest in nature the sonne of GOD: in qualitie, great and full of glorie: in office heauenly, entering before God to be our mediatour: in vertue, holie and perfect himselfe, to purge our sinnes. This [Page 380] the Apostle noteth, calling him, high priest, greate, entring into heauen, and the sonne of God: and so much the more we are guiltie before him, if we shal not holde fast, and professe all his instruction and doctrine. Now, least we should thinke the Apostles exhortation is weake, and that he taketh it for graū ­ted, which is in controuersie (for he calleth our saui­our Christ high priest, which yet it seemeth he hath not proued) we must consider what hath beene spo­ken before, and so we shall see good argumentes in this exhortation for the proof of his cause. He hath taught him to be the sonne of God, made man, re­uealinge vnto vs the counsell of his father, purcha­sing a most glorious inheritance for vs, and setting vs free from the bondage of the diuel, in which wee were holden vnder the feare of death, which things before witnessed of our Sauiour Christ, and neces­sarily prouing him, for the same cause, to be our priest, according to that trueth, in the beginning of this disputation: he calleth him, our great highe priest. So he beganne before the thirde chapter: Con­sider holie brethren, the Apostle and high priest of our pro­fession: not yet hauing particularly spoken of those offices, but calling him by those names: because, ac­cording to ye description of his person before made, it must needes followe, that he was both our priest and Prophet.

Another argument of his priesthood, is, that hee was here in earth, afflicted as we be, submitting him selfe to death, from which he is risen, and nowe as­cended into heauen: therefore he is our priest, cru­cified [Page 381] for our sinnes, risen for our iustification, and making now Intercession for vs before God his fa­ther. Thus we see vpon howe good warrant the A­postle in the beginning exhorteth them to acknow­ledge Christ their priest: and thus muche touching this entraunce of the Apostle, into this disputation, and why he vseth such wordes.

Now, touching the matter. To teach that our sa­uiour Christ is our onely priest, he first sheweth by the workes of Christ, what is the office of the true priest, and that is: that hee be greate and stronge to beare all our infirmities: then, that hee make an en­trance for vs vnto God induing vs now with saith & boldenesse of his spirit: and finally, giuing vs his grace and saluation: which things, as they were ne­uer in Aaron, nor in all the sonnes of Leuie, so they haue clearely appeared in Christe, and therfore with boldnesse let vs cleaue vnto him: to this effecte is this exhortation. Now, where he saith: Sith therfore we haue a great high priest, who hath entred into the hea­uens, Iesus the sonne of God, let vs holde this profession: I would we could heere learne of the Apostle, to bee wise. The excellencie of our sauiour Christ, both of his person, and of his doings, was a strong persua­sion vnto him to giue glorie vnto Christ alone. Se­ing Christe was the sonne of God, full of power to doe all he would, who had entred into the presence of his liuing father: what man is he shall ioyne him selfe vnto him, to claime a parte and fellowshipp in that worke, which Christe hath taken vppon him selfe? or, who that may haue his hope and reioycing [Page 382] in Christ, wil cast it off, to glorie in a mortall man [...] this madnesse was so greate in the Apostles eyes, that as a thing which it grieued him to remember, so he besecheth his brethren neuer to let it sink into them: but rather, seeing Christ was vnto them such a one, let them abide in him, & hold fast his profes­sion. Thus we at this day, let vs strengthē our faith, and aunswer all our aduersaries: if the question be, whether iustification bee in our owne woorkes, let vs say: seing Christ the sonne of the liuing God, hath beene conceiued of the holie Ghost, and borne of a virgine, and sanctified himselfe for vs, fulfilling all righteousnesse in his flesh, and offering vs freely of his fulnesse to be made holie before God, we will holde this profession: and wee that are but dust, and full of euill, wee will not ioyne our selues with so excellent a sauiour: we renounce our righteousnesse and the righteousnesse of our fathers, the righteous­nesse of Abraham, of Paule, of Peter, of the virgin Marie: and the righteousnesse of Christe shalbe our righteousnesse alone. If wee be asked, whether the Masse be a sacrifice for our sinne, let vs aunswer: see­ing Christ the immaculate lambe of God, by his e­ternall spirit, hath offered vp once his owne bodie vppon the crosse, and giuen eternall redemption to those that doe beleeue: if an impure priest of pollu­ted members, will presume to bee one in this busi­nesse: let his sinnes be imputed vnto him, who with vnchaste handes, will needes crucifie againe the sonne of God: we will none of his cursed workes, but will holde our profession. Christ is our sacrifice [Page 383] and sacrificer alone: & he is the pro pitiation for our sinnes. So in all other poinctes: if Christ who came downe from heauen, and is in the bosome of his fa­ther, hathe taken vpon him to be our prophet, let vs holde this profession, and not care what fleshe and bloud can say vnto vs. If Christ, to whom all pow­er is giuen in Heauen and in Earth, who is King of glorie, and sitteth on the right hand of maiestie in the highest places, if he haue taken vpon him to lose the workes of the diuel, and set vs free from his bondage, why holde we not this profession? or why runne we to holie water, belles, candels, cros­ses, and such vanities: as though they holped Christ in his worke? Or if all our enimies thinke they can connute this, that here we say, let them aun­swer vs: howe is the reason of the Apostle good a­gainst the priesthod of Aaron, that it is abolished, & no other sacrifices are, but Christ? because he is so excellent a priest, the sonne of God, the greate high priest, and hath entred the heauens. If this digni­tie of his person, proue the priesthod onely to bee his, why doth not the same proue all these thinges we speake of, to be done & wrought by him alone? or how is it possible, that his priesthood, for the ex­cellencie of it, cannot stand with the priesthood of Aaron, which yet was glorious: and that it shoulde stande with the filthy stinking priesthood of a grea­sie handed pope, which is loathsome to see & heare▪ or how can his glorie beare no fellowe in his priest­hod, & yet beare the fellowship or any partenership with other, in the office of a Kinge and pro­phet? Seeing then it is thus withvs, that wee be [Page 384] glorified to haue such a priest, so high, so greate, let vs holde (as the Apostle saith) his profession, and ac­knowledge no helpers vnto him. Thus the Apostle hauing shewed the dignitie and glorie of Christ our priest in the 15. verse following, he sheweth also his mercie and compassion, that we may knowe him a perfect priest: and for this cause he addeth this, least the weake Iewes should otherwise be offended, and fall at the knowledge of his glorie: for hearing our Sauiour Christe exalted as God, they would easily thinke: and shall the Lord againe speake vnto vs? do we not remember the dayes of mount Sinai, when he spake vnto them, and they were all afraide? yea, Moses himselfe, did he not tremble, and the people pray, that they might heare him no more? shal it be so agiane with vs? or, hath the Lord spoken, and we haue not seene his maiestie? to stop this, or like of­fence, the Apostle addeth this, of his compassion & loue: for we haue not a high priest: which cānot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all things tem­pted in like sorte▪ yet without sinne: the summe of which words are, that as we acknowledge Christe to bee the sonne of God: so we also beleeue that he was made man like vnto vs: and in this participation of nature, hath taken also vpon him, al our infirmities, accounting them as his owne: so that we may be bolde to come vnto him, who is no more fearfull in the glorie of his maiestie, but louing, in y similitude of our nature. And that it is said here, he suffereth with vs, is tempted as we, made like vs in all things: we must vnderstand it, by reason of that spirituall [Page 385] and vnspeakable coniunction which we haue with him, in that he is our head, and we are his members, a vnitie not knowen of fleshe and bloud: for it is not made of ioynts and sinewes, but seene onely with the eyes of faith, according as it standeth by parti­cipation of the same spirite: and when we shal know what the spirite is, we shall see the band in whiche we are knitt together, and be able to speake it, howe Christ now suffereth with vs, and howe the afflic­tions of his sainctes are suche vnto him, as if they were in his own bodie, euen as he saith: Saule, Saule, why persecutest thou me? by which experience, the apo­stle Paule also, calleth his afflictions the afflicti­ons of Christ: in which we are to learne: if God haue so loued vs, we ought also to loue our brethrē, to remember them that are oppressed, as if we also were oppressed in bodie: and to reioyce with those that do reioyce, as if our owne hearts were filled with gladnesse: & a iust iudgement is vnto them all, who hauing Christ such an example of loue, cā yet notwithstanding hate their brethren.

And here we also learne, whatsoeuer afflictions are, yet are they lesse then the strength giuen vnto Our a [...]c­tions lesse then the stren [...]h th [...] [...]. vs: neither shall they euer turne the loue of God from vs: for all afflictions, without exception, Christ suffereth with vs. We see by Paule: howe many, howe greate, howe aboue measure were his troubles by sea, by lande, of friendes, of enimies, in bodie, in spirite: yet calleth he them al the afflic­tions of Christe, and his suffering. Lazarus, in all his pouertie, sicknesse, sores, suffered nothing, wher­in [Page 386] Christ was not partaker of his griefe: if ye paines and miseries of patient Iob, were nowe vppon any man, euen Iob fealt nothing which Christ fealt not with him: for while this mysterie is, which is for e­uer, yt Christ is the head & we the body, how shuld the bodie be hurt, and the head not touched with the paine of it? Let vs not then care what crosses we beare, for as there is none more shamefull then the crosse of Christe, so all ours are accounted as his. If we be poore, sicke, contemned, imprisoned, or whatsoeuer is the fruite of sinne, God is not as man, to turne his face from such children, but we are the dearer in his sight, & cucric crosle sealeth the loue of 2. Coi. 5. 21. Christ, that he suffereth this with vs, to the ende hee might neuer caste vs away: euen as he was made sinne for vs, who knewe no sinne, that we might be made the righteousnesse of God in him. Who nowe can be discouraged with the afflictions of his life? or be enuious against the wicked man, if wee see his dayes full of peace and prosperitie? No, no, these be but broken weapons, and can not enter to the hurt of our soule: only let vs take heede of sinne, that it reigne not, nor haue any kingdome in vs: for therein, Christ hath taken no part, and by it onely we are separate from him, as by that with which he will haue no felowshippe.

And where it is heere saide, that our Sauiour Christ was like vnto vs in all things, except sinne, it is a cleare place to teache vs, what to beleeue of the What wee must bee leeue of true humanitie of our sauiour Christ: leaue off foo­lish and vaine questions, in which there is no edifi­cation: [Page 387] dispute not of particular things, this or that, wherin thy foolishe minde may fall into heresie, the true humanity of Christ. and thy foolish heart may take offence, but beleeue it stedfastly that thou haste learned truely, that in all things Christ was like vnto thee (sinne only excep­ted:) if any thing bee spoken of his humanitie, not agreeing with this, it is false, and to bee refu­sed.

It foloweth now in the last verse: Let vs therfore go with boldnesse vnto the throne of grace, that we may ob­teine mercie, & finde grace to help in time of nede: In these wordes the Apostle concludeth, wherefore hee hath thus magnified the priesthood of Christe, and what benefite we haue by it, that is: to go with boldnesse vnto the throne of God, and knowe our selues assu­redlie reconciled vnto him: in consideration of which excellent & vnspeakable benefite, he maketh his conclusion by way of exhortation, that wee might neuer bee slacke and slouthfull to receiue so great a blessing, nor by any vnthankfulnesse shewe our vnworthnesse of it. Now, in these wordes are manie especiall good lessons for vs to learne: firste, were hee saith: Let vs goe: which exhortation hee groundeth vpon the former wordes, that Christ (as hee said) is entred into the Heauens: we must here learne to applie it to our selues, all that Christe hath done, as in deede he did it not for his owne cause, but for ours: and we learne how it belongeth vnto vs, euen as it is wrought by Christe in our nature, whose members we are.

And thus, what so euer we can see in Christ that [Page 388] he hath done, and what soeuer glorious promises are made vnto him: let vs knowe our vnitie that we haue with him, & all blessings, that they are ours. If he haue ouercome sinne, we haue also ouercome it. If he haue vanquished death, we haue vanquished it also. If he haue risen from the dead, wee shall rise al­so. If hee haue ascended into Heauen, we shall as­cende. If he sitt on the right hand of maiestie, wee shall also be glorified, and see God as he is: for wee be ioyned all vnseparably vnto him, as the head is ioyned vnto the bodie, by the wonderfull mysterie of Gods wisdome, who hath made him of our na­ture and giuen vnto vs of his spirite: and in this fe­lowship with him which he hath giuen vs, there is nothing so greate, but hee hath giuen vs with him: the righteousnesse of all his woorkes, and glorie of all his inheritaunce, with him is ours, and wee are also Lordes ouer all: whether it be Paule, or whe­ther Appollo, or whether it bee Cephas: whether the world, whether it be life, or whether it be death: whether things present, or whether things to come: all things are ours, and we are Christes, and Christe is Gods.

Thus we must apple it, and make it ours, whiche Christ hath giuen vs: euen as the Apostle saith of this, that Christ is our high preist & mediatour: let vs therefore go vnto the throne of grace.

An other thinge wee must heere note, that the Apostle exhorteth vs, to goe with boldenesse, tea­ching vs, that a constant persuasion, and good as­suraunce of Gods fauour, doe highly commende [Page 389] our prayers vnto God: and without it, we are like vnto the flouds and waues of the sea, which are rou­led Iac. 1. 6. vp and downe with the winde: and our hope with God is frustrate. Now, this boldnesse which is thus necessarie for vs, we must learne likewise, both how we haue it, and what it bringeth vnto vs: how we haue it, we canne no way better learne, then by the Apostle him selfe, who making a­gaine this selfe same exhortation, in the tenth chap­ter following, saith thus. Seeing we haue this great high priest, the ruler ouer the house of God, let vs go vnto him, with a true hart & ful persuasion of faith, hauing our harts sprinkled frō an euil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water: this is then the boldnesse with which we approche vnto God, stedfastly to beleeue, that with the bloud of Christ, our mindes are washed frō im­pure thoughtes, and our bodies from sinne. This S. Paule also teacheth in plaine and manifest wordes: in Christ (saith he) we haue this freedome and entrance Ephe. 3. 12. with boldnesse, through faith in him: and in another place he saith, this must needes be thus, that by faith one­ly we should haue this accesse vnto God, else (saith hee) the promise of God, coulde not be sure and good vnto all the seede of Abraham: for he was a father of manie nations, euen of such as were vn­circumcised, & to whom the lawe was not written, Rom. 1. 16. therefore to the ende that Iewe and Gentile might both inherit this blessing, it must needes be by faith & not by workes. So then, thus farre we are taught by the Apostle, that if we receiue Iesus Christ to be our high priest, our only way to enter with him in­to [Page 390] the heauens, is by faith: & our faith hath boldnes and full persuasion, in which it is accepted accor­ding to that which is written: God hath not giuen Rom. [...]. 15. vs the spirite of feare againe vnto bondage: but God hath giuen vs the spirite of adoption, by which 2. Tim. 1. 7. we crie, Abba, Father. Here (dearly beloued) let vs learne to discerne spirits, & to trie whether they be of God, or no: Euerie spirit that confesseth Christ to be our only mediatour, is of God: for by him wee haue libertie through faith, to go with boldnes vn­to the throne of grace. And euerie spirite that de­nieth Christ to be our onely mediatour, is not of God, but it is the spirit of Antichrist, of whome we haue heard, that he is entred into the world: for god 1. Tim. 6. 19. dwelleth in light which no creature can approch vn to, neither hath any man seene him, nor cā see him, Ephe. 2. 18. but only by Christ, through one spirite we haue all entrance vnto him. These (dearly beloued) they are y words of the scripture, they are not the wordes of man: & whē you are in place, obiect them vnto the papists, see what one word they are able to answer, who in times past, haue told you yet of a great number of mediatours, confessours, martyrs, Saints, An­gels, Archangels, euerie one in his degree, they haue made them mediatours, and besought them to leade vs vnto God. I beelie them not, tenne thousand of their bookes are yet to see, & tenne thousand pray­ers in them, in which they haue done this wicked­nesse. Aske them, & bid them speake plaine, what one woord haue they of defence for this dooinge? surely (dearly beloued) I tel you the trueth, not one [Page 391] worde they can speake, which is a word of trueth, a word of righteousnesse, a worde of life, a worde (I meane) of God, to which you may trust: a fonde fansie they haue found of their owne, as hee that dreameth doth tell a dreame: and they say there are two mediatours, one of intercession, an other of re­demption: beside the foolishnesse of this speache, a mediatour of intercession, which you may as wel call an intercessour of mediation: for intercessour and mediatour, are both one: beside this (I say) ma­nifest follie, let them name any Apostle, prophet, or Euangelist, vpon whome we must build and stand, that euer mentioned any such thinge: let them tell of whome they learned it: sure they wil not, they are starke dumbe: they knowe they haue no Scripture, no not a word, & of their schoolemaisters, in deede, they are ashamed: but I wil tel you who they be, and they shall not denie it, except they bee as shamelesse as they of whome they are learned. The Gods of the Gentiles, which are diuels, they had this woor­shipp amongst them: these diuels amonge them selues, they which were reputed of the lower sorte were made, as meanes to come vnto the higher, whereof also they were called Dij medioximi, that is Gods only for intercession: and Gentiles bookes are ful of examples, how these thinges were practised: as if Neptune would speake to Iupiter, hee made Mercurie his meanes and intercessour, and such like toyes, which shall bee abolished, and tholo­uers of them. And wee may see, howe GOD hath recompenced this their euill vnto them: [Page 392] for, where this is the comforte of a Christian man, to haue peace towarde God, and which is giuen vs, by hauing Christe our only mediatour, they who haue made so manie coulde neuer finde it, but still they are in suspense and doubt, wauering & vncon­stant in all their wayes, and this doubtfulnesse they begett and nourishe vnto them selues, while they seeke so many mediatours: and what else doe they but teach all their posteritie in choosing many me­diatours, to haue confidence in none? Euen as the rebellious people of Israel, wearied them selues, running (as the prophet saith) like Dromedaries, to euery high hill, and euery greene tree, till they were weake and wearie, and their soules fainted in them, seeking peace and could finde none: and in deede, howe should they finde it? for though they follow­ed a thousand Gods, yet was there but one, the God of peace, whome they had forsaken: so, though the Papists seeke a thousand mediatours, yet haue they no boldenesse to goe vnto God: for there is but one mediatour betwene God and vs, euen Iesus Christ, whome they for their Sainctes haue forsaken: for Christ wil be ioyned with no fellowes. And what a miserable brotherhood must they then needes be, which haue no peace, but feare and trembling is in their wayes?

Againe, wee haue heere to marke, that the pre­sence of God, to which Christe leadeth vs, is called heere the Throne of grace: noting heereby, that by the merites of Christ we be brought vnto God, as before a iudge, who from his iudgement seate doth [Page 393] acquite vs for euer, from al guiltinesse of our sinnes, and therefore called the throne of grace, because we be quit onely by grace and Gods free mercie: a monument of which loue he setteth before vs, in the name of the seate on which hee sitteth, and cal­leth it the throne of grace: neither shall euer man be iustified before it, who bringeth with him bolde­nesse of his owne woorkes, nature, kinred, or any thing, and looketh not only for his pardon by grace and mercie: neither can the Lord any more shewe mercie vnto him, that is proude of his owne selfe, then he can chaunge the propertie of his iudgement seate, to make it no more the throne of grace.

Now, it foloweth: That we may obteine mercie and finde grace to help: these wordes teache vs, what the throne of grace is, & what it offereth vnto vs: euen as we saide before, boldenesse and constancie, that we should not feare to goe vnto it. For, if it bee a throne of grace, that is, of fauour, of mercie, of loue, of forgiuenesse, of life: then can there not be in it, anger, guiltinesse, affliction of spirit, bondage, and feare of death: but as the Apostle saith here: it giueth vnto vs mercie, grace, and helpe, in the time of neede. Let vs not then say, as the Papistes say, that we ought to feare and doubt of Gods fauour, and fil our mouthes with blasphemie, as they haue done: to say, It is presumption, to come with boldenesse vnto the throne of grace: but let vs rather acknow­ledge all the goodnesse of God, and confesse, that he hath set vp vnto vs a throne of grace, before whiche wee shall finde nothing but mercie, but pardon, but [Page 394] forgiuenesse, but helpe: neither wil we euer despise his grace, to bring doutfulnesse or mistrust vnto it. If the Pope, who is a seruaunt of seruants, will sett vp an other throne of miserable bondage, of igno­minie, of anger, of cruel death: let them feare before it, who list to go vnto it: for our parte, we haue once accurssed both the Pope & his throne, and we will neuer more endanger our selues vnto the censure of it. That which the Apostle here addeth last: In time of neede: he applieth to that which he spake so much of before, To day, noting (as I tolde you thē) that euen now while yet the Gospell is preached, the oppor­tunitie of time is, in which we must be faithfull, and inherit, as it were, the firste fruites of eternall life, which time neglected cannot be called back againe, though we should wish it with teares: and therefore let vs regarde it, now while it is offered, knowinge this, that God hath not ordeyned a throne of grace, but for those which finde their helpe and comforte in due time. And let vs pray, that God would lightē our mindes, that wee may be wise, to knowe the time of our calling, &c.

The 22. Lecture, vpon the 1. 2. and 3. verses of the fifte Chapter.

1 FOr euerie high priest is taken from among men, and is ordeined for men, in things perteining to God, that he may offer both giftes and sacrifices for sinnes.

2 Which is able sufficiently to haue cōpassion on them that are ignorant, and that are out of the way, because that he also is compassed with infirmitie.

3 And for the sames sake he is bound to offer for sinnes, as wel for his owne part, as for the peoples,

YOV haue heard before, how the Apostle hath taught, that our Sa­uiour Christ is our greate highe priest, and what maner of priest­hood he hath: euen such a priest­hod, by which him selfe is entred into the heauens, and hath giuen grace vnto vs that do beleeue, that through his vertue and power, wee might also with boldnesse approche vnto God.

This excellencie of Christ and his high priesthood, the Apostle beginneth nowe to proue, by compa­ring together Christ and Aaron. For, like as when he spake of his prophesie, because there was no pro­phet in Israel so great as Moses, and to whome God so familiarly appeared as vnto Moses: there­fore, to proue the excellencie of Christe, hee com­pared him with Moses. So nowe, in this matter of his priesthoode, because there was no prieste [Page 396] comparable with Aaron, ordeined of God as hee was, with so singular honour, so great promises, so much reuerence of his people: therefore hee com­pareth Christ with Aaron, that by the difference, it might more clearely appeare, that Christ both must needes be an high priest, and in honour alone farre aboue all other. He beginneth his comparison thus: For euerie high priest is takē from among men, and is ordei­ned for men in things perteining to God: yt is, those which are priests after the order of Aaron, first, in nature are their brethren, men like vnto them selues, sub­iect to all infirmities, whiche the people are subiect vnto, hauing nothing in them selues wherein es­pecially to reioyce, but is like vnto other men: a­gaine, they execute their office, and doe the worke appointed them, not for themselues alone, as men hauing a priuate businesse, but in the name, and for the benefite of the whole people, that the fruite of their labour might redounde vnto manie, and they serue the people in things apperteining to God. A third propertie of that high priest was, that hee came not before god in his own vertue, but brought gifts and sacrifices with him, for reconciliation: by gifts, he meaneth all oblations of thinges without life, which apperteined to the sacrifices: by sacrifi­ces, all beasts which were killed and offered, accor­ding to the lawe.

An other thing required in the priestes of the old law, which were after the order of Aaron, the Apostle addeth in the second verse, in these words: Which is able sufficiently to haue compassion on thē which [Page 397] are ignorant and out of the way. This propertie here spo ken of, is compassion, in feeling the sinnes, and er­rours of the people, as if they were his owne: and hauing a continuall care, howe to instruct them and teach them in the right way, that they might caste from them all this corruption, and bee reconciled vnto God. After this, hee sheweth the cause why this compassion was in him, and how he was made so louing: because that he also is compassed with infirmity, that is had experience in his owne flesh, how proue they were to sinne, howe subiect to tentation, how soone seduced from good to euil, and how readie to fall from life to death: of which infirmities, he was so partaker, that the smart and stinge of them was in his owne flesh, and dayly he was wounded with his owne concupisence, to doe the thinges that hee would not: and therefore greeued with him selfe, and hauing pitie on his brethren, hee willinglie ex­ecuted his Priestes office, and did it gladly, which he found by experience must be done of necessitie, or no flesh should be saued, and offered sacrifice in signe of the purging of their sinnes, and reconcili­ation vnto God, as the Apostle addeth in the thirde verse: And for the sames sake he is boūd to offer for sinnes, aswel for his owne parte as for the peoples: and thus farre, of this beginning of comparison betweene Christe and the priestes of the lawe, setting nowe downe these properties of the Priest, and after shewinge the greate excellencie that is in Christe, aboue them.

Now, in this we haue to learne manie profitable [Page 398] instructions.

First, where he saith: Euery high prieste is taken of men, and appointed for men, in things apperteyning to God: we learne, that no man can haue accesie or entrance vnto God, but by a mediatour: the Lorde woulde not then receiue the peoples gyftes, their offeringes, their vowes, their prayers, their thankes giuing, what so euer it were: no man in Israel, were he ne­uer so holie, had his accesse vnto God, but by a me­diatour: nor he offered any thing vnto God, but by the priest. This was then their schoolemaister, to leade them to the Messias, without whome they knewe, there was no agreement betweene God and them: so that wee knowe, they were taught in the same faith that wee be taught, that man through sinne was once cast out from the presence of God: and from thencefoorth for euer, to dwell in his shame, except some other woorke reconciliation for him: for man had loste all his owne power, and as Adam was, so were all the Children of Adam.

All were gone out of the way, they were all corrupte, there was none that did good, no not one. Psa. 14. 3.

An vnpossible thinge for all fleshe, eueragaine to come into the presence of God, without a medi­atour, in whome GOD would be againe recon­ciled.

This doctrine the Iewes were taught in their high prieste, who onely entred before the Arke, where was the signes of Gods presence, and all [Page 399] people else forbidden to approche neere. And as thus they confessed the necessitie of a mediatour, so further in the person of the high priest, in that he was taken from among men, that is, was a man, like vnto his brethren, they learned also yt this me­diatour should be a perfect man.

For, when God who wrought daily amonge them, by the ministerie of Angels, glorious and fearefull woorkes, yet neuer appointed Angel, nor other creature to make the peoples sacrifice, and offer vp their vowes and prayers vnto him, to come vnto him in the peoples name, to craue par­don and forgiuenesse of sinnes: but in an vn­chaungeable counsell, euer reserued his woorke vnto the priest, one of their brethren, a man like to them selues, hee taught them: plainely, that hee shoulde bee a perfecte man, of their owne nature and substance, who so euer shoulde reconcile them vnto God.

Againe, in that the priest came not with emptie hands before God, neither yet might do except him selfe would be destroyed, but he had with him al­wayes his sacrifice, to acknowledge all men endeb­ted vnto God, in payment whereof, he would be reconciled: they learned herein, that their medi­atour must also offer vpa sacrifice for them, in whiche God would be pleased, and accept it as a sufficient payment of all our debtes vnto him: which sacrifice they knew well, should not be the bloud of Calues, & Goates: for it is to vile a thing [Page 400] to appease the anger of God, but another sacrifice, holie & righteous, without spott of sinne, vnblame­able before God, with suche a one God would be pleased. Thus the Israelites beeing instructed, of necessitie, to seeke a mediatour, and that mediatour to be a man, and that man to offer vp a sacrifice of his owne, without spot or blemishe, a satisfaction for our sinnes, and a reconciliation to God: in this they were instructed, to confesse as we confesse, and to beleeue as we beleeue: that as there is but one God, so there is but one mediatour betwene man & God, euen the man Iesus Christ: who gaue himselfe to be the price of the redemption of mankind: this is ye fayth 1. Tim. 2. 5. of Gods elect, holden of Abraham, Isaake, & Iacob, as well as of vs: the faith of the Saints from the be­ginning: and we to whom now it is most clearely reuealed, let vs be thankfull for so great a benefite, in more constancie of our faith, neuer to be remo­ued from this holie trueth. As oft as we speake of a mediatour, let vs confesse, there can be none among angels, for they are no men: nor among ye Saintes; for they were all sinners: neither among all other creatures, for they are all corruptible: so that wee wil not giue neither gold nor siluer for the redemp­tion of our soules, nor trust in the merites of saints and Angels, who al want vertue for this worke: but when wee thinke of any mediatour, we will con­fesse Iesus Christ the sonne of God, the sonne of Dauid, the onely mediatour, and purger of our sinnes.

And here further let vs learne, seeing a priest is [Page 401] to doe our thinges before God, and to offer for our sinnes, let vs knowe these two things bothe to be done by Christe for vs, that is, bothe to make intercession, and to purge our sinnes, in neither of which workes, let vs attribute any thing to a­ny other, except we will robbe Christ of the glorie of his priesthood: wherein we may see what the Papistes haue done: for if wee bee wise to iudge rightly, and will see that whiche God setteth bee­fore our eyes, wee cannot choose, but wee muste needes see howe they haue taken bothe these things of the priesthood of Christe, and giuen them vnto other.

First, for the oblation of Christe to purge our sinnes, if wee will acknowledge it, wee must con­fesse, that it was done but once, and must neuer be repeated the seconde time, bothe as the Apos­tle after in plaine woordes teacheth vs, and as the nature of Christes priesthood doeth necessari­lie proue: for hee hathe his priesthood abidinge e­uer, euen as he liueth euer, neither can it be carried Chap. 7. 24. ouer to another: but as the sacrifice is his owne, so hee is prieste alone to offer it, whiche hee did once vpon the crosse.

Therefore their Masses are aboue all sacri­lege accursed, in which they say, that the Prieste thoughe vnbloudily, yet he offereth in a pro­pitiatorie sacrifice the naturall and royall! bodie of Christe, and not onely thus they tran [...]erre the purgation of our sinnes from the Altar of the Crosse, where it was made by Christe, to the [Page 402] Altar of an idoll, where they woulde doe it by a prieste, but they doe not so muche as confesse, that it was once perfecte and full vppon the crosse, but finde wantes in it there offered. I slaunder them nor for it is their owne doctrine, neither, am I sure, will they denie: them selues write, that Christe satis­fied for sinns before baptisme, both for the giltinesse and punishment of them: but as for sinnes after bap­tisme, he tooke only away the guiltinesse of the fault, but le [...]t the punishment for our selues to beare, so much as by afflictions of our life, and by purgatorie after our life, we could possibly endure.

Thus lame they leaue vnto Christe the purgeing of our sinnes, the highest part of his priesthood. The other part of his intercession, they handle it no bet­ter: for do they not pray vnto all saints and Angels▪ doe they not call the virgine Marie, the Queene of heauen, the gate of Paradise, the treasuresse of grace, the refuge of sinners, the mediatresse of men, our life, our delite, our hope? & what after this cā they leaue vnto Christ? And this (dearely beloued) I alledge not vnto you, out of priuate mens writings, whiche they might denie, but in their sacred holy Masse booke, these things are written. In their masse of the annunciation, they sing this song:

Salue virgo virginum,
Mediatrix hominum.

All haile, virgin of virgins, the mediatresse of men. In the masse of the conception, they sing this:

Tuspes certa miscrorum,
Vere mater orphanorum,
[Page 403] Tu lauemen oppressorum,
Medicamen infirmorum,
Omnibus es omnia.

Thou art the vndoubted hope of the miserable, the mother in deed of Orphanes, the refreshment of the oppressed, the healing medicine of all the disea­sed, and thou art all things to all men.

You heare the rime of all this I am sure, and for the matter, it is not worth englishing. Now, ioyne vnto this, more out of the masse booke.

O foelix puerpera,
Nostra pians scelera.

O happie bringer foorth of children, cleansing our wickednesse &c. and out of the Portesse:

Tu per Thom [...] sanguinem &c.

O Christ, make vs to ascend vnto heauen, whether Thomas is ascended, and by the bloud of Thomas &c. And tel me nowe, what is left vnto Christ to be our mediatour? Surely (dearely beloued) the trueth is, euen as the Lord hath persuaded vs this day: he that bosted so long to be the vicar of Christ, we haue tryed him, and founde him to be the verie Antichrist, who denyeth in deed Christ to be come in flesh, while thus hee denyeth him to bee our one­ly mediatour.

Nowe, let vs returne further, to heare what the Apostle teacheth. The fourth propertie here menti­oned, requisite in a priest, is, that he haue cōpassion on his brethren, according to that feeling which is in his owne flesh, of his owne infirmities▪ this com­passion is, to reioyce with his brethren, in all well [Page 404] doing: and to be greued for them, in their sinnes & errours: whiche propertie the Apostle saith was in the priest of the lawe, in a certeine measure, as hee was helpe by experience of him selfe, and so muche as God accepted in him, who was for a time the priest of his people.

This ought to bee nowe a speciall instruction vnto vs all, because wee are all made a spirituall Priesthood vnto GOD, to offer vp our spirituall sacrifices, that we should haue this compassion one toward another, to delight in the well doing of our brethren, as hauing receiued the same spirit of faith, and to be greeued with their offences, euen as men subiect to the same infirmities. This reioycing was in Paule, when he writeth to the Philippians, that if he might procure their faith & constancie of god­linesse, Phil. 2. 18. though it were with the losse of his life, yet he would reioyce with them for the greate blessing: and this holie sorrowe for our brothers fallings, the same Paule expressely cōmaundeth vnto vs all, wri­ting to the Galathians: brethren, if a mā be fallen by occasion into any fault, ye whiche are spirituall, re­store Gal. 6. 1. such a one with the spirit of meekenesse, con­sidering thy selfe, leaste thou also be tempted: if this thē be in vs, & our brotherly loue be measured with this line, wee are all this day Priestes vnto our God, offering vp a moste sweete smelling sacrifice, euerie one his brother, to be a seruaunt of righteous­nesse vnto God. And as this is the duetie in euery one of vs, so especiallie the minister ought to bee full of this compassion, to declare still vnto his [Page 405] people all the counsell of God, that they might bee confirmed who are called, and conuerted who goe yet astray, that with one hart and voice, at last they might glorifie god together, this it is y ought to be: but, O Lorde! how farre is this from beeing done? where may we finde a man, that reioyceth in his brothers godlinesse, or pitieth him in his sinne? who can boaste of his friendes, of all his acquaintance, of all his kinred, that him he hath brought vnto the Lord? how many are the ministers in number, that are able to teach, and haue their dwelling with their parishioners, to teach thē to know god? surely these things are so farre out of order, & iniquitie hath so preuailed & gotten y vpper hand, that we may take vp againe the prophets cōplaint, Like priest like people: the people are so dulled with carnall concupiscence, that all their companie is, for cardes, or dice, or daū ­sing, or banquetting, or some riot of life: the name of the Lord is not remembred, but when it is blas­phemed: this is the fellowship of the world: the mi­nisterie hath not so altogether cast off shame, but yet the faults of it are somwhat too great and grieuous: for many of them are hirelings, non residēts, dumb dogges, going a whoringe (not after many wo­men, which the worlde would detest) but after ma­nie benefices, which the Lord God of Israel doeth as much abhorre: would to God this cōplaint were false, and it shal be false when god shal giue his feare into our harts, and giue vs eares to heare that good promise of Christ: blessed are those seruaūts, whom the Lorde, when he commeth, shall finde wakinge. Luk. 12. 37. [Page 406] In the meane while, if admonitions may stirre vs vp to be wise in time, let vs heare what the Apostle saith more in this place.

It followeth: because that he is compassed about with infirmitie: this is the cause why the high priest had such compassion on his brethren, because him­selfe fealt all their infirmities: thus the Apostle testi­fied of Christ before, that because he was tempted, he was made able to helpe those that were tempted: and Saint Paule saith, for this cause be we comfor­ted Hebr. 2. 13. in our tribulation, that we might be able to com­fort other in their afflictions: so our owne sense and feeling must needes be a prouocation vnto vs to pi­tie [...]. Cor. 1. 4. other: and in deede, it is a thing vtterly impossi­ble, that whatsoeuer I suffer my selfe, I shoulde not haue a compassion of it in another: If I be hungrie, I pitie all whom I heare crie for meate: If I be in pain, I pitie all which crie out in their griefe: euen so it is also with vs, and muche more in the afflictions of spirite: I beare the burthen of mine owne sinnes, if I see their loathsome appearance, and feele their heauy iudgement, that I mourne vnder them, it is vtterly impossible but I should hate them in my selfe and in all men, and I will seeke diligently howe to keepe men free from suche a deadly sicknesse. Thus we see what is the cause why we be not careful one to edify another: that is, because we haue no true feelinge of our own ignorances, nor perceiue any weightie bur­then of our owne sinnes, whē we pray thus, the remē brance of them is grieuous vnto vs, the burthen of them is intollerable, we speake with feigned and de­ceitefull lippes, the sighes of our hearts they goe not [Page 407] with our woords: or if they doe, I appeale to your owne harts: how careful you are for your brethren: for I am sure, the words of the Apostle must needes be true, if I say you feele your owne sinnes, you bee carefull for your brethren, wishing and procuring as any occasion serueth, that they also may finde grace to turne from their sinnes, & come out (as Paule sai­eth) out of the snares of the diuel, who hath entrap­ped them after his owne will: and if this great mise­rie 2. Tim. 2. 16. of thy brother moue thee not, thoufeelest not the miserie that is in thine owne ioyntes and bowels, which astonishment of sense, is barbarous & brutish dishonoring both the hart & coūtenance of a man.

Another thing here to be marked is, that the Apo­stle calleth al sinnes, by the name of errours & igno­rances: teaching vs first, that al errour and innorance before God is condemned as sin, & whatsoeuer man doth with all his good intentes, if he be ignoraunt in his work, he oflereth but the sacrifice of a foole, nei­ther doth God regarde it. Wherin we may se what their church is, whose whole religion is blindenesse, and whose deuotiō (as them selues confesse,) is bred and nourished by ignorance: & another cause why our sinnes are named ignoraunces, is, because the sin­ners knowe not their owne way, they thinke they haue peace & reioycing. When danger and woe is neerest vnto them: they think their sinne is sweete and ful of pleasure, when indede it is nothing els but anguish & affliction of spirit: for they see only with their eyes & haue regarde after the present time, not knowing yt the time passeth, & the cōcupiscēce is en­ded in it, & that yt lord after wil call thē to iudgmēt. [Page 408] Thus the Prophet Daniel nameth the sinnes of Na­buchadnezar, his errours: and Abacuch making his Dan. 4. 24. prayer for all the sinnes of Israel, hee nameth them Hab. 3. 1. their ignorances: let vs therefore as this Apostle be­fore warned vs, beware lest we be hardned with the deceites of sinne, but knowe for a suretie when wee be delighted with euil, it is our errour: & if we were wise we would neuer be deceiued with so hurtfull enticements.

It followeth now in the third verse: And for the same cause he must, as for the people, so for him selfe, offer sacrifice for sinne: In these words the Apostle beareth witnesse, of want & imperfection of the priesthood of Aaron: that though he appeared as a mediatour betweene God and his people: yet he was not per­fecte for suche a woorke, but acknowledging his owne sinnes, hee sett him selfe in their number which looked for a better mediatour, who was on­ly figured, could not be exhibited in his person: to this end he offered sacrifice, both for the people, and for him selfe, according as hee was expresly com­maunded in the lawe of Moses, as wee reade in the ninth Chapter of Leuiticus, and againe after is here mentioned in the seuenth Chapter following. And Leuit. 9. 7. here we see the propertie required in a mediatour, & that is, that he be absolute & holie, without spot, to whome it can not bee said, Physician cure thy selfe, for then could he be profitable to none: but who so­euer shall take vpon him this worke, to pacific God and to conquer Satan; he must haue a body prepared of God to all obedience, & he must be armed with [Page 409] the power of God, to beate and vanquish sinne, hell, and condemnation, & so to abolish the Diuel: they neuer knewe this, neither the righteousnesse, nor yet the power of a mediatour, who so easily haue giuen this glorie vnto weake men: for this streight condition, the iustice of GOD requireth of him, that shal reconcile man vnto God, that he bring in him selfe all the righteousnesse whiche his holie lawe requireth, by it first to sanctifie him selfe, to be accepted, and in that innocencie to beare the punish­ment of the sinnes of his people, that hee might sett them free: then in the power of his spirite to ouer­come that punishment, & rise from it, that it might be abolished, and all with him might haue entrance into glorie and eternall life. Now this comparison of the Apostle, somwhat more plainly appeareth, in which we see the dignitie of Christe. Aaron was in nature a perfect man, and so was Christe, and more excellent in propertie, beeing without sinne. Aaron ministred for the peoples sake, and for his own also beeing a sinner: Christ for his people only, himselfe needing nothing. Aaron offered sacrifice, but of o­ther things, none of his owne: Christe offered his sacrifice his owne and him selfe.

Aaron had compassion on his brethren, but in a certeine measure, and the greatest parte of it for him selfe, and sorrowe of his owne infirmities: but Christe, wholie was grieued for vs, and for our sakes onely he bare infirmities, of all which the do­ctrine is plaine vnto ye people of Israel, that not Aa­ron, but Christ, was the great high priest to recon­cile [Page 410] them vnto God: And here we see touching that that is said, the high priest offered for his own sinnes and for the sinnes of the people, that is not ment that his sacrifices were in deed a cleansing of their sinnes: for neither can the bloud of Calues & Goates wash away that infection, neither can a sinnful man offer a sacrifice of such price: onely the Lord Iesu offering his body, could do so excellent a woorke: but that the sacrifices of the lawe, and that high Prieste, were said to purge sinnes: it was onely in figure, as being signes and tokens of Christ, and of his bodie, to be sacrificed vppon the crosse, which redemption, they confessed and beleeued, in their oblations, and God sealed it vnto them, by fire from heauen, consuming their burnt offerings, that their faith was precious in his sight, and he would perfourme his promises vnto them, according to their hope, and giue them a sacrifice for their sinn, euen his only begotten sonne that euery one which beleeued in him should not perishe but haue life euerlasting: and in wittnesse of this constant trueth, because their sacrifices were as figures of it, he giueth them the name of that which they figured, and calleth them sinne offeringes, and propitiatorie sacrifices, and reconciliations betwene God and them. And this is cōmon to all sacraments of the olde and newe Testament, that they might be vnto vs sure & vndoubted pledges of Gods promi­ses, that he perfourmeth them all: therefore the name and title of the thing, is giuen to the figure: so these sacrifices were called sinne offeringes, and peace of­ferings: circumcisiō was called Gods conenant, the [Page 411] Lambe his passeouer, the Arke his glorie, the temple his rest, Baptisme the washing of our new birth: and what madnes is in men, I can not tel, why they stum ble and fall, and are broken an this phrase: this is my bodie. Could the name of reconciliation be giuen to the bloud of an Oxe, the name of Gods benefites be giuen to the cutting off of a litle skin, and to a white lambe: his glorie, his blessednesse, his rightcousnesse, to golde, to stones, to water: and can not the name of the body of Christ be giuen vnto bread? or could not the name of forgiuenesse, of mercie, of couenant, of glory, of presēce, of righteousnesse, change the nature of golde, stones, fleshe, water, and such like: and must needes the name of bodie streight change bread into fleshe? or is not the sacrament of Christes bodie and bloud, as glorious a mysterie, as full of trueth as other sacraments were: & why should it not haue a greater honour, named by the thing whiche it representeth: but this as occasion is offered, and in a worde, for the thing is plaine to those that will vnderstand, & they that with affection haue robbed themselues of iudg­mente, let vs pray for them: and they that do belong vnto the couenant, shal one day with vs confesse the true doctrine of the sacrament in which it is sealed. Now Let vs pray, &c.

The 23. Lecture, vppon the 4. 5. & 6. verses.

4 And no man taketh this honour vnto himselfe, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

5 So likewise Christ tooke not to him selfe this honour, to be made the high priest, but he that said vnto him: Thou are my Sonne, this day begat I thee gaue it him.

6 As he also in another place speaketh, Thou art a priest for euer after the order of Melchisedech.

Tolde you, the Apostle here ma­keth comparison betweene the priesthood of Aaron & of Christ: that so by conference, the dignitie of Christ might more appeare.

The comparison hitherto hathe beene in this, that the priest of the olde lawe, must necessarily be a naturall man: then, that he must do the worke of the people, in thinges apperteining to God: thirdly, that he must doe it with some sacri­fice: fourthly, with compassion for the peoples er­rours: in all which Christ onely is excellent aboue all other.

Now, the Apostle goeth forward, and yet she­weth a fifte propertie of the high priest afore, and that is, that he was called of God, and thrust not himselfe into that roome & function. To this pur­pose now it followeth: And no man taketh vnto him selfe this honour, but he that is called of God as was Aarō: then in the two verses following, sheweth howe in [Page 413] this also Christe excelled Aaron, and had a more glorious calling then he: first, because an high de­cree of God was pronounced by the Prophete in which, vnder the name of a soone, God ordeyned him priest, saying: Thou art my sonne, this day haue I begotten thee: Againe, he called him not vnto a priest­hood of signes and shadowes, which endured but for a while, but he called him to the true priesthood it selfe, which chaunged not, but made him a priest for euer, after the order of Melchisedech. So, as the sonne is higher then a seruant, the trueth better then the figure of it, and that which abydeth euer, better then that which in time is abolished: so much, this calling of Christ exceedeth Aarons calling, and all the priestes of the lawe. Heere let vs first learne, sith the Apostle speaketh plainely: No man taketh honour to him selfe, but he that is called of God as Aaron was: that bothe it is vnlawfull for any man without a calling to take vppon him the ministerie, neither yet any calling ought to be, which is not according to the will of God: for seeing ye ministerie is honourable, and hee is iustly honoured that executeth it faith­fully: how can I exalt my selfe, but of right I ought againe to be brought lowe, and in steede of glorie, haue shame? for what doe I in this, but rob Christe of his glorie, who is head of his Churche, and ap­pointeth ministers whom hee will, who ruleth in the house of Iacob, and ordeyneth officers at his owne pleasure? If in an earthlie kingdome, subiectes would presume to take offices at their owne choice, were it not extreme confusion, vtter [Page 414] reproche and shame vnto the prince? howe muche more to bring this confusion into the Churche of Christ? Therfore, both our Sauiour Christ himselfe did openly ordeine his own apostles, & neuer any of them executed that office, but with protestation, that they had this calling of God: & therfore their Epi­stles beginne (as you reade) Paule an Apostle of Iesus Christ. Peter the seruant of Iesus Christ. And y same frō the beginning hath beene a perpetuall lawe in the church of God. Moses, Dauid, Esay, Ieremie, and all the residue, they tooke not this honour to them sel­ues, but were called of God, & in the name of God they declared vnto the people, his visions and his wordes, from which if they declyned to the righte hand or to the leste, they made them selues sinners: and not onely thus it is in the ministerie, but for as much as the Apostle giueth it a generall terme: No man taketh honour vnto him selfe: euen in the common wealth, in matters of this vaine life, not onely the God of peace wil not haue his people to liue in con­fusion, euery man to exalte himselfe: but also limit­teth to euery one, the bounds of his calling, in which God hath giuen him honour, and without which, bothe hee sinneth against God, and offendeth his Prince that hath appointed him. The Iustice muste deale with those thinges whiche apperteine vnto a Iustice, & a iudge with the things of a iudge: and as it is rebellion for the priuate man to resist the magi­strate: so is it presumptiō in a magistrate, to take vpō him aboue his calling. We haue gotten amōg vs I know not what prouerb, which cōmonly we call, A [Page 415] cast off our office: if this bee to cast off the lawe of our calling, and take more honour then is giuen of the higher power, we deserue it right wel, if for such pre­ty castes, our selues should be cast quite out of our places: for in matters aboue vs, we be all priuate men and must goe vnto them, to whom God hath giuen the iudgemente: where we our selu [...]s haue the place of honour: there let vs be faithful as before the Lord.

The second thing to be learned in these wordes, is, that we haue all, such a calling, as we may be sure it is of God: for we must be called of God, as Aa­ron was.

Heere (dearely beloued) I woulde wee had no cause to complaine: or, seeing thinges are so ill as they are, I would we had the spirite of the prophete Ieremie, to wishe that our handes were full of wa­ter, or in our eyes were a founteine of teares, that we might weepe day and night for the sinnes of our nation: then the Lorde in due time would hearken vnto vs, and the highest from his holy seate woulde regarde vs, that our eyes might see all our ruines restored. But nowe, touching this calling in magi­strates and officers of our common wealth, I will say no more, but in one worde, as the scripture spea­keth. God calleth him vnto his dignitie, who is or­derly appointed, and is a man of courage, fearinge God, dealing truely, hauing no respecte of persons, and hating couetousnesse: otherwise, if by bribing, by ambition, or by any vnlawfull meanes, he come to his preferment, the more he knoweth himselfe; the more he wil feare least his calling be not of God: [Page 416] but this they will regarde, to whome it belongeth: our speciall doctrine here, is in the callinge of the ministers, wherof (by the grace of god) I wil tel you the trueth: but because this, and other thinges are nowe in bitter controuersie betweene our selues, so that the vncharitable wordes of our mouthes are witnesses against vs of the euill affections of our hearts, and our hurtfull doings one toward another do shew abundantly, that euil will hath taken deepe root within vs, I protest y I haue neither part nor fe lowship in this diuisiō, but in loue & vnitie. I beare him witnesse who speaketh trueth, and beare with his errour who is deceiued, acknowledging my self more vnworthie then either both. And that you (dearly beloued) may hold fast the bonde of peace, and not be broken off with euerie temptation, I be­feeche you consider but this with me: hath not God giuen his gifts diuersly, to one more, to one lesse, to one ten pounds, as it is in the parable, to another but one, and can we thē all know a like? must we not of necessity one know more, another lesse, one be more wise, another lesse, one vnderstand this truth, ano­ther that, euen as God reuealeth it: and euerie one of vs haue our wantes, in which wee may bee better taught: and shall it not be euer so, as long as our knowledge is in part, & we see not the fulnes of all trueth? and hath not God giuen this diuersitie vnto vs for a good purpose, y thus standing in neede one of another, wee should all more effectually loue and helpe one another: looke not for it therefore wee all agree in euerie thing, for it shall neuer be till wee [Page 417] do all see the Lorde Iesu, who onely is perfecte wisedome and trueth. But looke for this, and pray that you may see it, that seeing wee agree in the faith of Gods elect, and in the hope of saluation, that is, in the Lorde Iesu, that we may walke toge­ther in it in loue, and kepe this vnitie of the spirite, in the bande of peace. And to those who are aduer­saries in this case against vs, if they vouchsafe to heare, moste humbly I beseeche them to consider, howe precious all trueth of the Lord is, and to se­perate all affections from them, so that their heartes may beare them witnesse in the night, bothe vnsei­nedly they seeke it, and faithfully they will im­brace it, all that the Lord shall reueale vnto them: which mind the Lord graunt vnto vs with them, that his truth may be of all embraced, & his churche may haue holy peace.

Now, let vs returne to our text: No man taketh honour vnto himselfe, but he that is called of God, as Aaron was: a very flat and plaine sentence.

No minister ought to be called in the Churche, but he whose calling may be knowen to be of God. Suche persons, such qualities, suche places, as may be knowen, y Lord hath ordeined, onely suche e­lections ought to be in the Churche: and this all men must needes graunt. Hereof I may first con­clude, touching the person of the minister: that because in all places, by the prophets, by the Apo­stles, by our sauiour Christe, God alway requi­reth that his ministers bee of good reporte, well grounded in faith, able to teache his people: there­fore, [Page 418] if ruffians, if Papistes, or men of an vnknowen religion: if ignorant men, and not able to teach, be chosen vnto this office, I dare boldely affirme it, their calling is not allowed of God, and therefore not accusing any of ruffianrie, or poperie, I leaue that vnto the Lorde: yet I thinke it not amisse, to adde a worde or two of their popishe orders, and priestes of their calling.

You knowe first this certeine principle: No man ought to take honour, but he that is called of God, as Aaron was. Now would I faine knowe, of all those or­ders which the Papistes had, what one of them was of God? either touching the woorke whereto they are appointed, or else the qualities required in them, of which they be examined? For first, touching the qualities of Gods ministers, of whiche the churche examineth them, wee all know this day, that these they are: they must bee blamelesse, watchfull, sober, modest, herberous, wise, gentle, apt to teache, able to conuince the aduersarie, such as gouern wel their whole families, no drunkardes, no quarellers, no couetous men: these be the qualities that God requireth. But the Pope, how doth hee examine his priestes? the Bishop, or else the Archdeacon, with some other priestes, they call the parties, and exa­mine them: first, whether they be xxv. yeare olde: then, whether he vnderstand any latine: then, whe­ther his father and mother were honest, or whether he be a bastarde: fourthly, they must marke & han­dle euerie member of his bodie, whether they be sounde, and number his eyes, his eares, his nostrels, [Page 419] his hands, his fingers, his feete! and if they mistrust, hee must put off his shooes, to see whether his feete bee of wood, or no. Fiftely, whether he haue chast flesh: that is, whether he haue married two wiues, or else a widowe. Sixtely, how long he hath bene in orders, and what, when, and of whome hee had his orders. Seuenthly, what liuing hee hath to mainteine him, either by patrimonie, or by be­nefice, These thinges by streight examination bee­ing well knowen, then the Bishop telleth them that there be xiiii. especiall thinges, which Sainct Paule to Timothie, requireth in a minister, and wisheth them to consider of them. Was there euer darke night so contrarie to a shining day, as these bables of Antichrist, are contrarie to the ordinaunce of God?

Now, touching the office, wherevnto God ap­pointeth the ministers of his Gospel, is it not this: to preache his worde, and minister sacramentes? o­ther gouernours of his Church, are they not for the peoples obedience vnto this worde, and, for prouisi­on of the poore? But the Popes officers from the highest to the lowest, what similitude haue they with these? the first officer in their churche is a por­ter, and he hath this authoritie giuen him, to ringe The Pa­pisticall offices & offiicers. the bell, [...]o vnlocke the Church and vestrie doores to open his booke, if any man preache: and this hee is charged to doe sincerly, euen as he will make his accompt to God.

Their second officer is a lesson reader: and he must reade, or sing the lessons, and hallow breade, and all [Page 420] greene fruite, and studie the booke in whiche their lessons are, and all this he must do faithfully, and to the full. The third office they haue, is, to coniure: and the exorcist or coniurer, he hath charge with a certeine charme to cast out diuels: to bid them that doe not communicate, departe: and to powre water into the chalice at communion: and this hee muste doe verie diligentlie. The fourth office, is of Aco­lites: and they must carie the candlestickes, light the tapers, and prepare bread and wine, when there is a communion: and of this they must haue greate consideration. Their fist order or office, is of grea­ter accompt, and is of Subdeacons: and they muste prouide water against masse, washe the palles, and corporasse clothes, giue the Chalice and couer vn­to the Deacon: and this they must do verie cleanly and diligently: beside, they muste vowe chastitie, serue at the Altar, and haue authoritie to reade the Epistle for the quick and the dead. The sixte order is, of Deacons; and he may sometime for want of a better, baptise and preache, but his especiall charge and authoritie is, to serue at the altar and reade the Gospel for the quick and the deade: and hee must greatly bethinke him, what an high degree he hath taken. The seuenth order is, of priesthood: and it is tolde him that he must preach, baptise, blesse, and rule: but his principall & sole authoritie giuen him in consecration is, to say masse, offer sacrifice for the quick and the dead, and to forgiue sinnes. This authoritie hath also the Byshop, when he will: and specially, he must beare a crosyre staffe, weare a ring, [Page 421] and rule ouer other. The Pope him selfe, he may do the like, but especially he may weare a crowne and a pall, and hath fulnesse of power to doe all things, for the glorie of God, and the blessed virgine, and the holy Apostles, Peter and Paule, and for the church of Rome. These (dearely beloued) are the order sof the Popish church, not one worde feigned of me, but euerie whit set out in their owne Pon­tificall, as you may plainly see it. Now iudge your selues, and I appeale to the conscience of euerie man y hath an vnderstanding heart, whether suche crea­tures haue their calling of God, or no? I might like­wise alledge that fourme and manner of ordeining, as contrarie to Christes institution as these former are: for, where Christes ordinaunce is, that his mi­nisters should be made with prayer and fasting, and with laying on of handes: they, as men thinking basely of suche simple dealing, and a great deale more to making of their priestes: they must haue oyle, candels, basens, towels, amices, albes, stoales, gyrdles, maniples, myters, bookes, crosses, linnen bandes, chalices, pattens, singing cakes, wine and water, flowre, and such other things, trifled and toyed with all, with so many foolishe gestures, as I am persuaded, that any wise man, this day, rea­ding it in their owne bookes, woulde abhorre it, ei­ther as intollerable pride, or vnspeakeable foolishe­nesse: but wisedome is the Lords, and he giueth it to whome he will: and let vs praise him for his goodnesse, to whome he hath giuen eyes to see. [Page 422] If any will here obiecte, notwithstanding all these abuses: yet the priest had that whiche was princi­pall, libertie to preache and minister sacramentes: therefore their ministerie not to be reiected.

I answer: In this, on one side was the greate goodnesse of God, that in time to come, his chil­dren might assuredly knowe, he reserued to him selfe a church, euen in the middes of all desolation: and that he called them by his woorde, and confir­med by his sacramentes, euen as at this day: for seeing there can be no sinne so greate, but faith in Iesu Christ scattereth it all away, it was impossi­ble that the man of sinne shoulde so muche adulte­rate either the word of God, but that it should be to the faithfull a gospel of saluation: or else the sa­cramentes of God, but that they should be pled­ges of eternall life to those that did beleeue.

Againe, on the other side, in that they kept this authoritie to their priestes, to preache & to baptise: it was the pestilent sleight and subtiltie of the di­uell, the more easily by suche a colour to deceiue them: for if he had vtterly dented preaching of the Gospel, and vse of sacramentes, who woulde then haue beene seduced? these be his wayes to destroy Pagans and Infidels: but to corrupt the churche of God, he putteth on an Angels cloathing, that vnder pretence of holinesse he might deceiue. And in deede he did deceiue: for he hath so farre propha­ned the preaching of the Gospell, and the sacra­mentes of Christe, that we ought, according to [Page 423] the word of God, to separate our selues, and to say, accurssed, to all their doings, although God of his infinite goodnesse, who calleth things that are not, as though they were, euen in that ministerie gaue grace vnto his Saincts.

I say therefore againe, as I sayde before, that in the Popish church, from the crowne of the head to the soule of the foote, not one order is of God, nor any peece of their priesthood is honour giuen of God: wherein I appeale vnto their owne con­sciences, whose wisedome is without affection in them: and thus farre of this 4. verse.

Touching the two nexte verses, I haue before shewed the meaning of them, that by testimonie of the Prophet, the Apostle proueth that Christ also had his calling of God, euen as Christ him self often witnesseth, that he was sent of his father: touching this text: Thou art my sonne, this day haue I begotten thee: it meaneth, that openly and plainely, God made it manifest, that Christ was his only sonne, by many signes and miracles, in which, as Paule sayth, God was made manifest in flesh: but of this I spake more vnto you in the exposition of the fifte verse of the first chapter. The other text heere alledged, is out of y 110. Psalme: Thou art a priest for euer, after the order of Melchisc. lcch: of which text we shal also haue occasiō to speake more largely hereafter: this now we haue to learne, y this Psalme is ment of Christ, and this sentence is his caling to y priesthod: of this y apostle is a plaine witnesse, & our sauiour Christ in the 22. of Math. teacheth yt this psalme could not be meant [Page 424] of Dauid, because it is said in it, The Lord saide vnto my Lord, sit thou on my right hand, vntil I make thine eni­mies thy footestoole: and reason teacheth it plainely: for seeing, as is heere alledged, it is to the praise of an high priest, how could it be of King Dauid, to whome the priesthood in no case belonged? or how could it be of any Priest of the lawe, who had their proper calling of God, where this was an other, after the order of Melchisedech, who was bothe a King and a priest: and therfore it is plaine to bee ment of Christe who was figured in Melchisdech. The conclusion then of the Apostle in all this, is, that Christe had his calling of God, as Aaron had, and a more glorious & excellent calling, therfore a grea­ter high priest then any before him: but the time is past. Let vs pray &c.

¶ The xxiiij. Lecture, vpon the 7. 8. and 9. verses.

7 Who in the dayes of his fleshe did offer vp prayers and supplications, with strong crying and teares vnto him, that was able to saue him frō death, & was also heard in that which he feared.

8 And though he were the Sonne, yet learned he obedience by the thinges which he suffered.

9 And beeing consecrate, was made the authour of eternal saluation vnto all them that obey him.

THE Apostle, in this Chapiter, beginneth to proue our Sauiour Christ to be the only high Prieste of the newe Testament: and be­cause the people of Israel, had so great affiance in the priesthood of Aaron, that they could hardly be drawen away from the deteyning of it, thinking assuredly, that vnto that Priesthood, the lawe and testimonies of God had beene tyed for euer: and not knowing that all ceremonies of y the law were ordeyned vntill the time of reformation, in whiche Christ should appeare & chaunge that Priesthood, to become him selfe vnto vs a Priest of a better tes­tament: therefore the Apostle firste setteth foorth the properties of the Priesthood, according vnto the lawe, and after by comparison applieth them vnto Christe, in whome they all shine in a muche more excellent sorte, then before in Aaron: and ther­fore it can not be, neither breach nor dishonour vn­dishonour [Page 426] vnto the law of God, nor the priesthood of it, if the shadowe and the figure, which was Aa­ron, should now be taken away: and the bodie and the trueth, which is Iesu Christe, should be establi­shed for euer.

The properties whiche the Apostle speaketh of, necessarilie apperteining vnto euery priest, as vnto one that must be a Mediatour, are these: that first he should be man as we are, as Aaron and his posteritie were. For neither Angell nor Archangell, nor prin­cipalities, nor powers, can doe this woorke, to pre­sent fleshe and bloud vnto the Maiestie of GOD, when them selues are but spirites: and therefore Christ, that he might be highe Priest, tooke not an Angels nature, but was made of the seede of Abra­ham, like vs: that as there is but one God, so there might bee but one Mediatour betweene God and man, euen the man Christe Iesus, in this respect as able to bee high Priest as Aaron him selfe, beeing as naturally and as truely cloathed with our flesh, as Aaron was.

The second propertie of the Prieste, is, that hee should be ordeyned, not onlie for him selfe to make his owne atonement, but also for other men to ac­complish whatsoeuer was betwene God and them: that where they were before enimies and straun­gers, they might by him be reconciled, and haue free accesse vnto the throne of grace, to finde mercie and succour in due time: and for this cause Christe a­lone is a perfect Priest, more excellent then Aaron, who was incumbred with his owne sinnes, to make [Page 427] first reconciliation for them, and therefore could not profit other. And as this was the Priests office, to be a mediatour for other: so the meanes he must vse, and the mediation to bee wrought in this woorke, was to offer vp gifts and sacrifices of sinnes: that is, to present vnto God the sacrifice of righte­ousnesse, pure and holy in his sight, in whiche hee might be pleased, & the sinnes of the people might be taken awaye: the whiche sacrifice, because it must be so pure, that in it, they for whom it was made, must be sanctified, and so precious, that it must be a sufficient purchase to redeeme man from all transgression: therefore it coulde not bee made with the bloud of Calues or Goates whiche can not take away sinne, nor with golde nor siluer whiche can not redeeme our soules, nor with meates and drinkes which profited not thē that were exercised therein, nor in any suche carnall rites, for whiche ye priesthood of Aaron was ordeined: and therefore, as an other priest must make this sacrifice, whiche can not be any other then Iesus Christe, who beeing made high Priest of the good things to come, by a greater tabernacle, and a more precious sacrifice, e­uen by his owne bloude hath obteined for vs an e­uerlasting redemption, and therefore is nowe to be acknowledged our onely Priest: the first Priest­hood, and the first lawe, beeing altogether abroga­ted.

One other propertie of the priesthood, is, y none thrust in himselfe, beeing not appointed, nor take vnto himselfe this honour, being not called vnto it: [Page 428] And God euer shewed himselfe a readie reuenger against all such as should defile his Priesthood, to take to themselues the dignitie to which they were not appointed. But this calling also was giuen vnto Christ from God his father, as before vnto Aaron, both by word and by othe, that no flesh shoulde re­sist it, euen as it is written: The Lord hath sworne, and will not repente, thou art a priest for euer, after the order of Melchisedech: so that in this behalfe, our faith must be euer strong, that the callinge of Christ is of the Lord, euen as the calling of Aaron was: and with so much the greater iudgment it shal be reiected, because it was confirmed with an othe.

The last propertie in this comparison is, that the highe priest of the law should haue an inwar com­passion to ward them that were ignorant, and were deceiued: in which perfect knot of vnfeigned loue, his ministerie was accepted of God, and his sacri­fices receiued & accounted holy: and lest he should cast from him this brotherly aflection, God printed deepe in his owne bodie the infirmities of his bre­thren, that according to the measure of grace which he had receiued, he might in deede be moued with his brothers harmes, as with his owne: so that he did not withdrawe him selfe from the seruice of the Sanctuarie, but put on the holy garmentes, was an­noynted with the holie oyle, bare the names of his brethren before the Lorde, presented their sacrisi­ces, absteined from wine and strong drinke, mour­ned not for his friendes that were departed, taught [Page 429] diligently the people, prayed for their transgres­sions, and bare the burthen of his people, as God had laid it vpon him.

But yet this propertie exceeded more in Christe, then in all the tribe of Leuie: and the bowels of all compassion were more large within him, then the vtmoste braunches of it in any other creature. And this the Apostle noteth in this place, which now we haue in hand, in which we may see (as in a moste liuelie glasse) the perfect beautie of all excellent loue. The thinges, they were not light, nor the sorrowes small, nor the sighings few in number, nor the pray­ers faint, nor the anguish of spirite little, nor the death easie, by which hee hath sealed it vnto vs, that he had compassion on his people: but as the Apostle saith: in the dayes of his flesh: (while hee was heere clothed in mortalitie, like vnto one of vs, to the end he might be faithfull for our sakes) hee did offer vp prayers and supplications, with strong cryings and teares vnto him that was able to saue him from death, and was al­so heard in things which he feared: and beeing him selfe the Sonne, yet hee learned obedience by the thinges which he susuffered: and being consecrate, was made the authour of eternall saluation to them that obey him.

These wordes, my deare brethren, we haue now in hande, to search and examine what the spirite teacheth vs, so much y more carefully to be harke­ned vnto of vs, how much the more plainly it set­teth foorth vnto vs, the greate loue and compassion that Christ beareth towardes vs. Two things espe­ciallie here the Apostle testifyeth: First, the suffe­rings [Page 430] of our Sauiour Christe, and then the benefite that wee enioy by the same, according as his sufle­ringes were onely for our sake. His sufferinges what they were, and howe great sorrow oppressed him, hee sheweth by those effectes whiche his sor­rowes brought forth: that is, prayers, supplications, cryings, teares, feare and anguish of spirite, whiche things waited euer vppon him, euen to the accom­plishing of all his passions, which was the death of his crosse The fruite that we doe reape of these af­flictions which hee suffered, is the saluation of our soules, and eternall life, if we will obey him.

In this description of his sufferinges, though the things are set forth which were common and vsu­all vnto him all his life: yet it appeareth especiallie the Apostle meaneth that greatest conflicte of sor­rowe, which hee had a little before his passion, des­cribed by the Euangelistes, in all s [...]ilitude like vnto this which the Apostle heere declareth. For as it is here said, He made prayers, noting by the worde that they were many in number: so it appeareth in the Gospell, that beside other prayers, three times he tepeated this one: Father, if it be possible, let this cup passe from mee: and as it is said: hee made supplications, hum­bling Matt. 26. 4 [...]. him selfe lowe vnder the hand of his Father: so it is said in the Gospel, that then he kneeled downe, Luk. 22. 41. fell vppon his face, and so prayed vnto God.

And as the cause of his prayers is here mentioned, To be deliuered from death: so the wordes of his pray­er in the Gospel are like: Father, if it be possible, let this cup passe from me: meaning the death of his crosse, to [Page 431] which he was condemned. And as heere is men­cioned his great and lowde crying: so there the E­uangelist saith: he cried out with a lowde voyce: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken mee: and like as heere is said, He prayed with weeping teares: so there is witnessed that he was sorrowfull and greeuous­lie troubled, that his soule was heauie euen vnto deathe, and that in a great agonie, his sweate was like vnto drops of bloud: a wofull kinde of wee­ping, but suche was his compassion, that we might haue sure hope: and as heere is said, he was deliuered from his feare: so at that time when all his spirites were troubled, the Angell came from heauen to bring him comfort. These similitudes, they are all so agreeable, that it is euident the Apostle respected especially aboue other, this part of his passion, in which his perfecte loue and vnchaungeable affecti­on toward vs, shined in most fulnesse of beautie, in that it was so seruent and so deepely rooted, that neither feare nor trembling, nor any anguishe of spirite, could make him shake: nor the force of death, nor any bloudie sweates, coulde pull it out of his bowels.

In this one sentence (dearely beloued) there is more for vs to learne, then either eye hath seene, or eare hath heard, or all flesh in this life shal atteine vnto: it is the depth of the glorious Gospell whiche the Angels doe desire to beholde. But to note vn­to you some thinges, in which our faith may be strēthened, we haue to learne by y example of our sauiour Christ in this place, that in all temptations, [Page 432] wee should approch vnto our God, and make our complaints vnto him, who is onely able and readier for to helpe vs. He hath not forgot his promise that he hath made of old, Cal vpon me in the day of thy trou­ble, and I wil deliuer thee: he is a place of refuge and of Psal. 50. 15. sure defence, a strong tower against all assaults: the righteous man that shall hasten vnto him, hee shall be surely saued: the author & finisher of our fayth, he is gone before vs, we shal be surely partakers of y same mercie. It skilleth not how great our temp­tations are, into which we are fallen, nor how ma­nie in number: the Lord will deliuer vs out of all. It skilleth not how many our sinnes are, nor howe great in our eyes, that haue procured our troubles: the Lord will scatter them as the cloudes from the heauens, and they shall not turne away his louing countenance from vs. Let vs looke on this patterne Iesus Christ, that is set before vs: it woulde crushe our fleshe in peeces to beare with him the weight of his afflictions, from which he was deliuered: and it would make our teares to be as drops of bloud, to be partakers of so great anguishe of spirite as he sus­teyned, and yet it was not so great, but the comfort of the Angell sent from his father, was much grea­ter: so that by prayer hee obteined a most excellent victorie, and hath brused the serpents head, and bro­ken all his force: and why should we then be dis­couraged? If our sinnes be as crimson, or if they bee red like skarlet, yet they are the sinnes of our owne bodies: but not ours only, but also the sinnes of the world: they rested all vpon Christ our Sauiour, and [Page 433] yet he prayed for deliuerance, and hath obteined and therfore we may say with boldnesse, forgiue vs our trespasses. If the loue of Christ were so greate, to beare the sinnes of vs all, & of them euerie one hath gotten forgiuenesse, how should not we that are la­den but with our owne sinnes, lift vp our heades in­to great assurance of hope, and heare with ioyful­nesse the worde of promise: I will be merciful to their Heb. [...]. 12. vnrighteousnesse, & I will remember their sinnes and their iniquities no more.

And what though our afflictions are exceeding many, that the whole head be sicke, and the whole heart be heauie, that from the sole of the foote vnto our heads, there be nothing whole in our bodies, but all wounds and swellings, and sores full of cor­ruption? yet all this is nothing vnto his passions, by whose stripes we are healed. And these troubles are nothing vnto his mightie cryinges, who was com­passed about for our sakes with feares and horrors: till his sweate was as drops of bloud, and his bones bruised in his fleshe. Then let the whips and scour­ges of our chasticement be grieuous, & let vs yet be beaten (if the will of God so be) with scorpions: Christ, in great compassion, suffering with our in­firmities, hath borne yet a more heauie weight of iniquities, and hath been deliuered: So that if we o­bey, we are partakers of his mercies, & we haue full persuasiō, that neither death nor life, nor Angels, nor prin cipalities, nor powers, nor things prefét, nor things to come, Ro. 8. 38. 39. nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shalbe able to separate vs frō the loue of God which is in Christ Iesus our [Page 434] Lord. Yea and greater boldnes then this if it be pos­sible to dwell within vs, the Apostle here hath offe­red it in Christ Iesu.

If all the sinnes were vppon him, and all sor­rowes in his fleshe, and yet from them all God hathe hearde his prayers: why should we not be sure that our sinnes and sorrowes shalbe done awaye: why should we not be sure that God him selfe hath ap­pointed vnto all that mourne in Sion (as the Pro­phet saith) to giue vnto them beautie for ashes, the oyle of ioy for mourning, the garment of gladnesse, for the spirite of Esai. 61. 3. heauinesse?

Let vs therefore behold (dearly beloued) for he was woūded for our transgressiōs, & brokē for our iniquities, the chasticement of our peace was vpon him: these praiers Esa. 53. 5. are ours, these supplicatiōs for vs, auailable for moe sinnes, then we are able to commit: this is our victorie that shal ouercome the world, euē our faith: in al miseries, and multitudes of woe, we are not sunken so deepe Iaohn. 5. 4. in sorrow, as he that for our sakes made prayers and supplications, with strong cryings and with teares, and was deliuered from his feare.

The second point that we haue here to learne in this example of our Sauiour Christe, is, to knowe vnto whome we should make our prayers in the day of trouble, which the Apostle testifieth in these wordes: that Christ made his prayers vnto him that was able to deliuer him from death: a rule to bee kept of vs in al manner of our petitions, and suppli­cations whatsoeuer, to make thē knowen vnto him [Page 435] that can graunt our request, that is, vnto God: this rule was kept of the Church of God, from the be­ginning,

When men were once turned from their Idols, then in all their prayers, they began to call vpon the Gen. 4. 26. name of the Lorde: and God him selfe, at no time, doth more sharpely reproue his people, then when they woulde aske of those that had no power to helpe them. This lesson, that poore Leper so defi­led in flesh, had yet humbly learned, and with a pure heart he prayed accordingly: Lorde if thou wilt thou Mar. 1. 41. canst make me whole: vpon this foūdation, our sauiour Christ hath built vp all the prayers of the true disci­ples, adding it as a speciall clause vnto the prayer that he taught them: For thine is the kingdōe, the power, Mat. 6. 10. and glorie for euer and euer, Amen: then let vs learne it, somany as wil pray in spirite, to make our prayers vnto him alone, who is able to saue vs. It is the sa­crifice of the newe Testament, that he hath appoin­ted vs, that we should offer vp vnto him (and not vnto other) the fruite of our lippes, which may con­fesse his name: and because this doctrine hath beene troden downe vnder feere, and defiled by the man of sinne withall spirituall vncleanesse, I besech you adde vnto this one reason or two more, that you may answere the aduersarie, and be able to stand in the day of euil.

When our Sauiour Christe was purposed to teach his disciples a true forme of prayer & a perfect patterne vnto which they must frame their petitiōs, (or it is vnpossible thei shuld be accepted) he techeth [Page 436] them, that their beginning must be from hence: Our father whiche art in Heauen. What blessing so euer we would haue, or from what plague so euer wee would be deliuered, he alone must be the person of whome we craue, to whome this name and callinge doeth belong: Our father which art in Heauen. If this name be none of his, he is no patrone to be called vp on: or if we wil needes call vpon him, we giue him this nāe, whether it be his or no. Christ is our good warrant, who hath made this the beginning of all christian prayer, Our father which art in heauen: there­fore the Idolaters of all ages, that haue made them selues Saintes to pray vnto, according to the num­ber of their prayers, so they haue multiplyed their Idols: & the children of God to whome they haue sacrificed, they shal witnesse against them in the day of Christ. And you my deare brethren, againste all your enimies, defende thus the holinesse of your prayer, that you knowe no other way of speaking, then as you are taught, Our father. Ad yet vnto this, one reason more, which you learne of Saint Paule, and I doubt not, but you shall be well established in this present trueth.

We knowe all, and doe confesse, that we are able to do no good thing of our selues, but all our suffici­encie Rom. 7. 18. is of God, we are not able so much as to think a good thought: Yea, the very wisedome of the fleshe is enimitie vnto all righteousnesse, so true it is that the Prophet sayth: Euerie man is a beaste in his owne vnderstanding. And how much lesse then are we Iere. 10. 14. able to offer vp vnto God, that most precious sacri­fice [Page 473] of prayer, & thanksgiuing, to make it acceptable in his sight, if wee consult with our owne fleshe and bloude, and alter the will of man, so make our Rom. 8. 5. verse. 16. 27 prayers vnto God? We must needes acknowledge our owne infirmities, and confesse with saint Paule that we know not what to pray as we ought, but it is the spirite of God that maketh request for the Saints, according to the wil of God: and in this ho­ly spirite alone we must praye, if we looke for the mercie of our Lorde Iesu Christe, to eternall life. The spirite that beareth rule in our heart, he must teache vs all things, or else can we do nothing that God alloweth. Now the voice of this spirit that al­wayes soundeth within vs, it speaketh not thus, ei­ther Sancta Maria, or Sancta dei genitrix, neither saint Paule pray for vs: nor saint Peter pray for vs.

These are but the spicinges of the drunken cups of Rome, the soundes of wordes which the spirits of errours haue blowen. But the holie spirit of God that teacheth vs how to pray, it crieth thus in our hearts: Abba, Pater, Our father which art in heauen. As Christ himselfe hath been our scholemaister of no other prayer, so the spirit that he hath giuen vs, it knoweth no other sound, but Abba, Father: these are y beginnings of our praiers. If we speake not vnto him, to whom doe we bowe our knees? If we wil make the spirite subiecte to any other, let vs take heede that we grieue not the holie spirit of God, by which we be sealed against the day of redemption.

Thus much I haue added to the example of our sauiour Christ, who made his prayers to his father, [Page 438] who alone could deliuer him, that we might the more assuredly be bolde to abide in his steppes.

It followeth in the text. With great crying and with teares. Here we haue to note, in what measure our Sauiour Christ was afflicted, euen so farre, that he cryed out in this bitternesse of his soule.

This the Euangelistes do expresse in mo words, testifying of him, [...], that he was greatly affraide, altoge­ther astonished, euen fainting for great anguishe of minde, and full of pensiue sorrowes. For his Fa­ther had broken him, with one breaking vppon an other: so he kindled his wrath againste him, and accounted him as one of his enimies. The heauie hande of God was so grieuous vppon him, that it brused his verie bones, and rent his reines a sunder, hee coulde finde no health in his fleshe, but was wounded to death, as without recouerie.

The Euangeliste himselfe beareth witnesse of this miserie, adding vnto his lowde crying, this sounde of wordes: My God, my God, why hast thou for­saken mee?

This sorrowe, because it was not assuaged with wordes, hee cryed out alowde, and because in silence hee could finde no ease, his face was wrinck­led with weeping and the shadowe of deathe was vpon his eyes. For what griefe could be like vnto this? Or what condemnation could be so heauie? When there was no wickednesse in his handes, and when his prayer was pure: when he was the brightnesse of glorie, and the Sonne of righteous­nesse [Page 439] that shined in the worlde: yet as it were to see his dayes at an ende, and his enterprises broken, his carefull thoughts, to be so deepe grauen in his breast, that they chaunged euen the day into night vnto him, and all light that approched into darck­nesse: this was a sorrowe aboue all sorowes.

When his excellencie was such aboue all crea­tures, that the worlde was not worthy to giue him breath, yet he to be made a worme, and not a man, a shame of men, and the contempt of the people, all that sawe him to haue him in derision, and to shutt vp his life in shame and reproches, so vnwoorthy a rewarde of so precious a seruaunt: howe coulde it but shake all his bones out of ioynt, and make his heart to melt in the middest of his bowels? howe could his strength not be dryed vp like a potsharde, and his tounge not cleaue vnto the iawes of his mouth? Who hath beene euer so full of wo, and who hath beene brought so lowe into the duste of death? His vertues were vnspeakable, and righte­ous aboue all measure: yet was hee accompted a­mong the wicked. His temperauncie in perfecte beautie, and his appetites bridled with all holie mo­deration: yet they said of him, behold a glutton, & a drinker of wine. His behauiour honest without all reproofe, and his couersation vnspotted: yet they slaundered him as a friend of Publicans and sinners, and reported him as a companion of theeues. He lo­ued the lawe of his father, with such fulnesse of de­sire, that he would not suffer one Io [...]e, not one title vnaccomplyshed: and yet they accused him as an [Page 440] enemie vnto Moses, a breaker of the lawe, a subuer­ter of the Temple, and a teacher of newe doctrines, such as were not of God. He harkened vnto his fa­ther in al humilitie, and loued him with all his hart, and with all his soule, so y he was obediēt vnto him, vnto death, yea euen y death of y crosse: yet they said of him presumptuously, that hee blasphemed, and robbed God of his honour. He was an enimie of sa­tan euen vnto death, & by death ouercame him that brought death into the world, he hated him with so perfect hatred, and held stedfast y enimitie that was betwene them, vntil he had spoiled his principalities and powers, and triumphed ouer them in an euer­lasting victorie: yet horibly they reproched him by the name of Belzebub, said he had a diuel, and by the power of satā he wrought al his miracles. O ye depth of al abhominations, & the bottomles pit of all vn­cleanesse: who could once haue thought so lothsōe a sinke to haue bene couered in the hart of man? O God, righteous in iudgement, and true in worde, is this it that the Prophet hath tolde before, that the thoughtes of many heartes should be made open? then create (we beseech thee) new heartes within vs, Luke. 1. 38. and take not thy holy spirite for euer from vs.

And you (dearely beloued) if these were the cau­ses that Christ had to complaine, then think not that his cryings were aboue his sorrowe: to see so neere vnto his hart, euen in his owne person, innocēcy bla med, vertue defaced, righteousnesse troden downe, holines prophaned, loue despised, glorie cōtemned, honour reuiled, all goodnesse ashamed, faith oppug­ned, [Page 441] and life wounded to death: how coulde he yet absteine from stronge crying and teares, when the malice of Satan had gotten so greate a conqueste? If iust Lot dwelling among the Sodomites, and se­ing and hearing such a wicked people, vexed from 2. Pet. 2. 7. day to day his righteous soule with their vngodly deedes: what shall we think of Christ, liuing in such a generation? But (O my brethren, beloued of the Lord) open the eyes of your faith, and you shall see these things, they were but ye beginnings of sorow. What, shall we thinke, was his griefe of minde for the Iewes his brethren, that were thus powred out vnto wickednesse: howe did his greate loue boyle in sorrowes of hart to see their destruction. If Mo­ses, Exod. 32. 35. when he beheld y anger of God against his peo­ple: in greate compassion of their miseryes, prayed earnestly vnto ye Lord: Forgiue them O God, or raze me out of the booke that thou hast written. If Ieremie in fore Iere 9. 2. seeing ye captiuitie of Hierusalem, had so great grief that he cryed out: O that my head were ful of waters, & mine eyes a founteine of teares, that I might weepe day and night for the stayne of the daughter of my people. If Esay in Esai. 22. 4. like aboundance of loue bewailed his brethren that would needes perishe, with these wordes of com­plaint: Turne away from me, I wil wepe bitterly, labour not to comfort me because my people perish. If Paul, that most excellent Apostle, haueing receiued but his portion Rom. 9. [...]. of the great loue of Christe, called God to witnesse that hee spake the trueth, howe he had great heaui­ne [...]se, and continuall sorrow of hart for his brethren, and that for their sakes, him selfe wished to be sepa­rate [Page 442] from Iesu Christ: what manner of teares shall wee thinke were those which Christe him selfe poured out, when he wept ouer Ierusalem? what sorrow of Luke. 21. 41 minde, whiche then interrupted his spceeches, and made them vnperfect? howe deepe was that angrie griefe printed in his bowels, when hee behelde the blindenesse of the people, and was sorrowfull for Mar. 3. 5. them? what manner of affection was it that in the middest of so great reproches and mocks, could ne­uer be chaunged, but prayed stil: Father forgiue them, they knowe not what they doe. Luk. 23. 34.

If it be grieuous vnto vs to lose the thinge that is moste deare vnto vs in this earthly Tabernacle: howe muche more did this sorrowe pearce euen through the bowels of our sauiour Christe, to see man taken from him vnto destruction, for whose sake he would so willingly sacrifice vp his life? this is an other spectacle in which wee may beholde his greate dolour and anguishe, to knowe the paines hee endured, and the causes of his mightie cry­inges.

But this also (dearely beloued) though it were exceeding, yet it was not all, no it was but a taste of griefe in comparison of the rest. Beholde, if you can, his person here, and see the residue, and so you shall knowe the loue of God. His griefe was exceding, to see all vertue and godlynesse so troaden vnder feete: and it was yet more infinite to beholde Sa­tan to preuaile against man, to his euerlasting con­demnation. No creature could euer beare such a per­fect image of a man of sorrowe. But the height and [Page 443] depth of all miseries was yet behinde: the sinne that he hated, he must take it vpon his owne bodie, and beare the wrath of his father that was powred out against it. This is the fullnesse of al paine that com­passed him round about, which no toung is able to vtter, and no heart can conceiue. This anger of his father, it burned in him, euen vnto the bottome of hell, of the which anger, the prophet speaketh: Who can stand before his wrath? or who can abide the fearcenes Nahum. 1. 6 of his wrath? His wrath is powred out like fire: & the rocks are broken before him.

When the Prophet was not able to conceiue the weight of his anger, and his voice cleaued vnto his mouth when he went about to vtter it, the har­dest of all creatures he tooke for example, that the harde rocke did cleaue asunder at the sounde of his wordes. And as is saide in an other place, suche a voice, as maketh the forlorne wildernesse to tremble. A voice so ful of terrour in the eares and hearts of the Psal. 29. 8. wicked, that the sonne shalbe darkened at the sound of it, and the Moone shall not giue her light, the Starres of heauen shall fall away, and the powers of heauen shalbe shaken. No creature at all shal yelde his seruice vnto them, the elememtes of the worlde shall seeme to melt away.

This state of miserie Christe entred into, and sunke downe deepe in this confusion, and who can expresse his sorrow? Beeing full of goodnesse he had the reward of euil: full of obedience, he was pu­nished as wicked: full of faith, yet had ye reward of a [Page 444] sinner: inheritour of all things, and Lord of all: yet nothing at al to doe him duetie: the King of Kings, and Lord of lordes: yet made an outcast and ab­iect of the people: the ruler of all, and God of glo­rie: yet compassed with shame and great confusion: the authour of life, yet wrapped in the chaynes of eternall death: the onely begotten of his father, and his best beloued, yet cast off as a straunger, and cha­sticed as an enimie: the brightnesse of glorie, and the beautie of the highest heauens, yet crucified in dishonour, and throwne downe into hell. O pic­ture of perfect wretchednesse, and image of mise­rie, howe iust cause founde he to crie out alowde, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken mee? his whole bodie and nature like vnto vs, altogether broken with the rewarde of sinne: his soule powred out in­to all calamitie: the wrath of his father, and con­demnation resting vpon him. How truely may we here say, and confesse the article of our faith: He descended into hell? How liuely do we see it per­fourmed that the Prophet speaketh of? The snares of death compassed me, and the paines of hell tooke holde vpon me: I found trouble and sorrow. This was the cōpassi­on Psal. 119. 3 that he had towardes vs, by whiche he suffered with our infirmities, more then Aaron, or all the priestes of the lawe coulde possibly haue done for vs. If we could possiblie consider (dearely beloued) as we should, we would gladly imbrace him as the high priest for euer of ye new testament: & when we shalbe made of one fashion with him, throughe some measure of his afflictiō to feele the weight of [Page 445] our sinnes, then we shall confesse what cause he had of complayning, and how dearely hee hath bought the honour of the high Priest and Mediatour. The Lord lighten the eyes of our minde, that with open countenāce we may behold him, who for our sakes endured such a death of the crosse: wee shoulde not then need many exhortations, the remembrance of the latter end would keepe vs safe from sinne. But let vs now see what the Apostle further teacheth vs, and while our sauiour Christe is in these greate ex­tremities, what fruite of well doing he hath learned by it.

It followeth. And although he were the sonne, yet lear­ned he obedience by the things he suffored. Lo, (dearly be loued) this was no little profit of all his troubles: he learned thereby, how and what it was to obey his father, that when these things rested all vpon him, & yet he could say in meekenesse of spirit, Not my will my father, but thy wil be done, he might haue great bold­nesse that his obedience was perfect. The shame of the worlde, the afflictions of the flesh, the vexations of the minde, the paines of Hell, when these coulde make him vtter no other wordes, but, Father as [...] wilt, so let it be done: what hope, what faith did he sure­ly build on, that his obedience was precious in the sight of his father? this example is our instruction. We knowe then best how we loue the Lord, when wee feele by experience what we wil suffer for his sake. It is an easie thing to be valiant before the com­bate, or to dreame of a good courage before ye hart be tryed: but in dede to be vnshaken in the midst of the [Page 446] tempest, and to stand vpright when the ground vn­der thee doth trēble: this is to knowe assuredly thou art strong in deede, and to say with boldenesse, thou shalt neuer be moued: this our Sauiour Christe might throughly glorie of. The heauen, earth, and elementes, they were all his enimies: his Father in whome he trusted, shewed him an angrie counte­naunce: he that fainted not, but cryed stil, Thy wil be done O Father, he may be bold of his obedience: there is no creature can make him falsifie his faith. If this be the fruite of our afflictions, the Apostle speaketh not without great occasion: Account it for an exceding ioy, when ye fall into sundrie troubles. For what can bee more ioyful vnto the soule that is oppressed, then to [...]. Pet. 4. 3. giue this in experience, that neither hight nor deapth shall remoue him from the Lord. The glory of Abraham was exceeding great, when he had sea­led it with practise, that he would forsake his coun­trie & his kinred, and his fathers house, at the com­maundemēt Gen. [...]. 8. of God to go whether he would shew him: then he knew by good proofe, hee was made worthy of Christe, when he could forsake Father, mother, house, lande, and all thinges to come vnto him.

The patience of Iob, was not thoroughly kno­wen, till all his goods were spoyled, and he left ex­ceedinge bare, in that case, when he spake so bolde­ly. Naked came I out of my moothers womb, and naked shal I returne again: the Lord hath giuen, the Lord hath taken away, as the Lord wil, so is it done, the name of the Lord be Iob. 1. 2 [...]. praysed for euer.

[Page 447] Nowe might Iob be sure of the strong patience which should bring foorth hope, that neuer should be confounded. Our brethren before vs, whiche so constantly haue holden the professiō of their faith, that y flames of fire could not make it wauer, they had a good witnesse, that their election was sure, when they might speake by experience, that nei­ther life, nor death, coulde remoue them from the loue of God.

Thus the good grounde is knowen what it is, when the heate can not scorche it: nor bryers and thornes turne the good corne into weedes: but thoroughe all stormes, it will giue nourishment to the seede, til it giue greater increase to Gods ho­nour and glorie. The best of vs all, let vs thanke God for this profitable experience, for before it come vnto vs, we knowe not howe great the re­bellion of the fleshe will be.

The Apostles of Christ, they bragged not a lit­tle, that they woulde neuer forsake their maister Christ: he alone had the wordes of eternal life, and they would not chaunge him for another: they be­leeued him, they knewe him to be Christ the fonne of the liuing God: and there was no other sauiour. But when they sawe the swordes and staues, the rulers offended, the people in an vprore, & the crosse at hande: their courage fell downe, they forsooke him all, and fled away. Peter was not a litle stoute, as himselfe was persuaded: he would neuer forsake Christe, though he should die for his name: and for proofe of his courage, he drewe his sword, & stroke [Page 448] so venterously, that he had almoste slaine one: he seemed to be at a point, and fully resolued, that he would not leaue his maister, till the sworde shoulde diuide them: but alas, this boldnesse was but a blast of woordes. When there was no remedie, but Christ must be had to Caiphas, Peter began to faint and to drawe behinde. When the perill was more increased, and they began to crie, Crucifige, Peter was more affraid, and began to swaere, he knewe him not: so great infirmitie is in mortall flesh: ex­perience is the greatest warrant to knowe what it can beare. It is our bounden duetie, and the Lorde requireth it, that we should determine with our selues in all things, to approue ourselues the wit­nesses of his Gospell in patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in stripes, in tumults, in labours, in wat­chinges, in fastinges, in honour, in dishonour, in good report, in shame, in life, in death: and our comfort is greate, when we be persuaded of these thinges, that we woulde contemne them. But howe violently the fleshe will fight against vs, wee cannot well declare, till we haue made the triall.

We therefore (dearely beloued) whom it hathe pleased God to keepe in heauinesse thorough ma­ny temptations, wee haue here a salue against the woundes of sorrowe. Our afflictions doe teach vs, how farre we can obey the Lord. If in all griefe of bodie I can say with patiēce: I haue held my peace, O Lord, because thou hast done it: then I knowe y in all sorrowes of fleshe, I haue glorified God, and my heart reioyceth. If my minde be ful of anguishe [Page 449] And sorrow, so that all hope be faint within mee: if I can say yet vnto my soule, I will waite pati­ently for the Lordes leasure, then I know assuredly God hath made mee obedient, and he will heare my prayer: so that this experience hath bred in mee the hope that shall neuer be confounded: I may speake the woordes whiche the heauens shall seale vnto, with euerlasting truth, neither fire, not sword, not principalities, nor power, shall remoue mee from the loue wherewith God hathe loued mee: a sure token of this saluation I haue found in mine afflictions: when I trauelled in sorrowe, both of the body and minde, I found the grace to say: O Lord do thy will: this is no small cause why we should reioyce, when God doth make vs worthie to feele the triall of our faith. So dearly beloued, faint not in your mournings, but endure patientlye: you know not the happinesse of that which seemeth your miserie: let this be the first cause why we should be glad of temptations. And to the end wee may helpe our common infirmities, let vs learne yet more, why it is good for vs to be brought low: a most notable commoditie the Apostle reherseth, where he writeth to the Romanes: Those whom God hath foreknowen, he hath also predestinate, to be made lik­vnto Rom. [...]. 39. the image of his sonne: Loe (my deare brethren) these are the healthful counsels of the Lord toward vs, that we shoulde be made like vnto his sonne Christ in many afflictions, y at the last wee might be also like him in eternall glorie. These are the ri­ches of Gods vnsearcheable wisdome. Death once [Page 450] reigned through sinne, and he hath found a way to rise from it agaiue into greater glorie: this victorie, because it was too great for saint or angel to obtein, he hath appointed it to be the worke of his onely begotten sonne, who made it perfect in a most ex­cellent conquest: he hath taken vpon him our na­ture to make it strong, and in his owne person he hath filled it with the fulnesse of miseries, with all sorrowes of flesh, with all anguish of minde, with persecution, with death, with sinne, with hell, with condemnation: and from all these, by the mightie power of his godhead he is risen againe in our flesh, ascended vp into glorie, and sitteth on the right hand of Maiestie and of power, beeing a mightie Sauiour vnto euerie one that shall follow him. So that this is our glorie in all afflictions, we are fa­shioned by them into the similitude of Christe, and we are made like vnto him. So it pleased God, whē hee would bring many children into glorie, to con­secrate the Prince of their saluation through afflic­tions, and to make both him that sanctifieth, and those that are sanctified, all one: that they that suf­fer with him, should also reigne with him: and they that die with him, should also liue with him. So wee, when we feele many troubles to rest vpon vs, we may say now we are like vnto Christ, espe­cially, when we feele that greatest trouble, fullest of bytter sorrow, that is, the minde oppressed: it ma­keth vs specially like vnto him, that we may say with Paul: now we supplie in our flesh the remnaunt of the afflictions of Christ. Let me looke into y whole course [Page 451] of my life, & what so euer pleaseth me best, health, honour, riches, fauour, authoritie, friendship, wife, children, in all these things I cannot yet beholde the liuely image of Christe. Affliction and trouble, a minde broken with remembraunce of sinne, a trou­bled spirite, these are the beginninges of greate re­ioycings: with the horrours of death, and a consci­ence burthened with the wrath of God: heere light shineth out of darcknesse, and hope out of des­paite.

As I think my selfe furthest off from the Lord, so in deede, I am neerest vnto him: and when I thinke my self fullest of confusion, they y image of Christ is moste liuely within me. The Lord may hide his face for a while for a moment in his anger, as he did from Christe, but he must needes returne vnto mee with euerlasting mercies: for the image of his sonne is cleare within me. A blessed sorrowe, and woe ful of happinesse, that fashioneth these dayes of my va­nitie into the similitude of the age of Christ, that with him at last I might reigne for euer. A preci­ous countenance it is, in the sight of GOD, that seemeth without beautie in the eyes of man: and an vnspeakable treasure of ioy and gladnesse, in­grauen in these vesselles that are but earth and a­shes. When Christe is the patterne, whose simi­litude wee doe beare, who can bee discouraged vnder the Crosse? Wee are afflicted on euerie side, but not in suche a straite that we are shut from 2. Cor. 4. 8. hope, we are in pouertie, but not ouercome of po­uertie: we are persecuted, but not forsaken: we are [Page 452] cast downe, but we perish not. We are troubled in all things, fightings without, and terrours within: but God that comforteth the abiects, he will com­fort vs. Vnto this hee hath predestinate vs, that wee should be like vnto his sonne in all afflictions, and so be glorified with him in the day of honour.

Thus farre we haue heard two speciall causes why we ought to reioyce in all temptations: the one, that so we learne true obedience: the other, that by them we be made like vnto Christe. Adde yet vnto these, one third cause out of the Scripture, whiche when you shall haue learned, be bolde (dearelie beloued) in all the fire of the enimies. For beholde, in the trueth of Iesus Christe I dare be your warrant, the greater are your afflictions, the liker you are vnto Christe: yea if it should happen you to fall downe into hell, Christe hath descended also: you should then be moste like him in his agonies and bloudie sweates.

The third cause at this time which I will touch, is this: God sendeth vs sundry chasticementes, and especiallie that which is moste grieuous of al other, the anguish of spirite, and affliction of the soule: for this purpose, that we should be warned in time, how to turne vnto him, & be free from the plague when it commeth: for the iudgements of God that are dayly preached vnto vs, they pearce deepe into the heartes of the true beleeuers, and the worde that they heare, it woorketh mightilie in them, more sharp in their eares then a two edged swoord, it en­treth thorough them, euen to the diuiding a sunder [Page 453] of the soule, and of the spirite, and of the ioyntes, and of the marrowe, and examine all the thoughts and the intentes of the heart, so that it is vnpossible that any part of them should be hidde, but they are all open vnto iudgement, and heare the voice of the Lorde. Then their sinne is reuiued in the midst of their bowels, their cōscience hath no rest, they feele death working in their hearts, and hel is before thē: they see sinne on their right hande, and Satan on their left, shame vnder their feete, and an angrie Iudge aboue them, y world ful of destructiō with­out, and a worme gnawing the heart within: the poore sinner knoweth not what to do, to hide him selfe it is impossible, and to appeare it is intollera­ble: then, hee breaketh out into lowde cryinges: O wretched man that I am, who shall deliuer me from the bodie of this death: he giueth no rest vnto his eyes, nor sleepe vnto his eyelids, vntill hee finde him that is able to saue him from this wrath: in his bedde by night he seeketh him whome his soule loueth: in the streetes and open places he inquireth after him, and after many dayes in whiche he cannot finde him, Christ sheweth him selfe at the last, a perpetu­al deliuerer, a victorious Lion of the tribe of Iuda, in whome he hath strong saluation: when hee hath mourned, because of y plague that was before him, Christ will approch neere, and wipe away the teares from his eyes. This y Prophet Abacuch set­teth forth in his own person: Whē I heard (saith he) Abac. 3. 16. the word of God, my bellie trembled, my lips shooke at the voice, ro [...]nnesse entred into my bones, & I trembled in my [Page 454] selfe, that I might haue rest in the day of trouble. Euen so (dearely beloued) it is with vs all. The plagues of God, because they are pronounced against iniqui­tie, it maketh the childe of God to feare and trem­ble, that so foreseeing the harme, he might prepare him helpe: and because of the destroyer, seeke with­out wearines vnto the sauiour: though he hide him selfe at the first, the wounded spirite, and troubled hart must nedes finde him-out. A great cause of vn­speakeable gladnesse, though wee seeme swalowed vp of pensiue sorrowe. We are full of griefe, but we are chastised of the Lord, because we should not, be cōdemned with the world: we die with Christ, but because we should liue with him: wee lament and weepe, but because that Christe might wipe a­way all teares from our eyes: we are deliuered vnto death for Iesus sake, but because the life of Ie­sus should be made manifest in our flesh: we beare about in our bodies the mortification of the Lord Iesus, but because the life of Iesus might be mani­fest also in our bodies: we haue anguishe of spirite and vexation of minde, such as hath not bene from the beginning, but for this cause: that when souden destruction shall come vpon the carelesse world, we might lift vp our heades, and beholde our redemp­tion at hande.

Let vs then be bolde, and in patience pos­sesse our soules: for these causes we are nowe affli­cted, that wee might receiue mercie, and finde grace to helpe in the time of neede: & for this cause we tremble and are affraide, that after many praiers [Page 455] and supplications, we might be deliuered from the things which we haue feared.

It followeth in the Apostle. And beeing consecrate he was made the authour of saluation to all them that obey him. In these wordes wee ate taught, what [...] and cōmoditie we haue through these bitter sufferinges of our Sauiour Christ, and also by what meanes we are made partakers of it: the fruite is eternall salua­tion, the meanes to go vnto it is obedience: in the first we learne, that all promise and hope of life is in Christe alone: hee hath alone the wordes of li [...]e, he is alone the breade of life, the water of life, the au­thour of life, the word of life, the tree of life, the on­lie life: hee that beleeueth in him, hee hath euerlas­ting life: and he that dwelleth not in him shall see no life: but the wrath of God abideth on him. Take holde of Christ, and take holde of life: reach foorth thine hand to any other thinge, and thou reachest vnto vanitie, which cannot helpe. Looke not for life, but where it dwelleth: in the flesh of Christe a­lone there it resteth. Death hath reigned in all the world beside, and led euery creature into bondage. If thou looke vnto the heauens, there is but vexati­on and anguishe: if thou looke vnto the earth, there is but darknesse and sorrow: if thou call vnto Abra­ham, he knoweth thee not: if thou cry vpon Angels, they can not helpe thee: if thou looke vnto thy workes, they are all vncleane: if thou truste in thy prayers, the Lorde hath no pleasure in them: call for ye helpe of al creatures, they are subiect to vani­tie: there is no life but in Christ alone The elders, ye [Page 456] Angels, the baestes, and all creatures, they giue this honour vnto Christe: Saluation is of him that sit­teth vppon the throne, and of the Lambe, and alto­gether they cry, Amen. And if all the creatures which yet are excellent good, are not of power to giue anie peece of this life: then what shall we think of those people, enimies to God, and murderers of his Saincts, which so long haue made vs beleeue, that they haue life in them selues? that they can for­giue vs our sinnes for yeares, euen as they will, ma­nie or fewe: that they can make sacrifices propitia­torie for vs: y they can purge vs by purgatorie fiers, that their Pilgrimages, their pardons, their vowes, their holie orders, and such other spiritual drunken­nesse of their sicke braines, that these be auailable to purchase life. If they will not be reclaimed, let vs rest in the counsels of our God, and say with Iohn: He that hurteth, let him hurt still, and hee that is filthy, let him be filthy still. It is inough for vs, that Christ is our Col. 3. 3. 4. life, that our life is hid with Christe in God: when Christ which is our life shall appeare, then shall we also appeare with him in glorie. Now while we are in the dayes of our pilgrimage, the way that wee must walke vnto this life in Christe, is to bee obedi­ent vnto his will. What so euer be the way that hee will shewe vs and bid vs walke in it: let vs neither decline to the right hande, nor to the lefte, but goe forwarde in the same. We are not to loke into the worlde, how our fathers before vs haue walked. Our iniquities, & the iniquities of our fathers shall be bound together. If wee be partakers of their [Page 457] euil doings. If we go after Baalims, which our fa­thers haue taught vs, we shalbe fed with the worm­wood which our fathers haue eaten. The gouerne­ment of the church is vpon the shoulders of Christ: he giueth vs the lawes, by which we liue: he ruleth alone in the house of Iacob: his voice must be fol­lowed. We may not now euery one say, wee haue a vision, we haue a dreame: God hath spoken by his sonne, and charged all to heare him. We may not boast our selues of Sainct or Angel, to hearken to new doctrines which we haue not learned: for God hath not put in subiection vnto Angels, these dayes of the Gospell, in which we are: but vnto Christe, who is made the head of his people, and all thinges are in subiection vnder his feete: so that this is the way we haue to walke: Christe is our Lord, let vs receiue his lawes: he is our mayster, let vs followe his rules: he is our Apostle, let vs heare his Gospell. Let vs obey in all things, and we shalbe established. This is the glorie that GOD hath giuen vnto his sonne: he is our lawgiuer, we haue no other. If we will leaue the stubbernnesse of our owne heartes, and obey him: as life is in him, so wee shall surely liue: for the Lorde hath not as greate pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as when the voice of the Lorde is obeyed. It is an euerlastinge truethe, That to obey, is better then sacrifice: and to hearken, is bet­ter then the fat of Rams: for to disobey, is as the sinne of witchcrase: and to chaunge the law that is set be­fore vs this is wickednesse and idolatrie. Let vs not be wise in our owne conceites, to frame God a re­ligion, [Page 458] such as we will. This is to drawe iniquitie with cordes of vanitie, and to pull sinne after vs, as with car tropes. A iust recompence of such wearye labours, when God shall say vnto vs: who hath requi­red these things at your hands? Let vs then followe so as wee be called, and bringe into captinitie euerie thought of man to the obedience of Christe. And the Lord our God for his Christes sake, giue vnto vs, heartes ful of humilitie, that we may think him wisest, and rest in his decrees: that we be neuer spoi­led through vaine Philosophie, and the traditions of men, but harken vnto him, who is onely wise, that at the last we may liue with him, who hath a­lone immortalitie, and shall fil vs with his glorie for euermore.

Whiche times, the Lorde God bring speedily vpon vs, and finishe the dayes of sinne, for his mer­cies sake, that we may enter into the heauens, whe­ther Christe is gone before vs, and reigne with him for euer, who is our onely Sauiour: to whome with the Father and the holie Ghost, three persons and one God, be all honour and glorie, worlde without ende.


The xxv. Lecture, vpon the 10. verse, and so forth the residue of the Chapter.

10 And is called of God an highe priest after the order of Melchisedech.

11 Of whom we haue many thinges to say, which are hard to be vttered, because ye are dull of hearing.

12 For, when as concerning the time, ye ought to be tea­chers, yet haue ye nede again that we teach you what are the first principles of the word of God: & are become such as haue neede of milke, and not of strong meate.

13 For euerie one that vseth milke, is inexpert in the word of righteousnesse: for he i [...] a childe.

14 But strong meate belongeth to them that are of age, which through long custome haue their wittes exercised, to discerne both good and euill.

WE haue heard before, what com­parison the Apostle hath made betweene Christ and Aaron: and how the excellencie of Christ is incomparable aboue him in all workes of the priesthood, & our benefite by him vnspeakablie greater, as of whome alone is all saluation. The conclusion of the same disputation, is added now in the tenth verse: And he is called of God, an highe priest after the order of Melchi­sedech: which words do conclude in shorte summe, all y hath been spoken▪ first, that Christ is our priest, & hath therfore ye name of ye high priest giuen him.

[Page 460] Secondly, what kinde of priesthod he hath: not Aarons, for, for it Aaron himselfe was sufficient & appointed of God: but another spiritual priesthod, after the order of Melchisedech. Thirdly, that vnto this priesthod he was called of God: to this sense and meaning, the wordes are plainly set downe in this tenth verse, as you haue heard, of all which we haue spoken alreadie. Nowe, because this priesthod of Christ, after the order of Melchisedech, was not well vnderstood, what kinde of priesthod it should be, of what vertue and grace: therefore the Apostle meaneth more at large to speake of this, that they might vnderstand it, as his maner is often to make exhortation to stirre vp their dull spirits, least they should heare in vaine: so here in the eleuenth verse, and after following, he maketh a long digression vnto the beginning of the vii. chapter, both to per­suade them to holde a good vnderstanding of all that hath been spoken, and to prepare them more diligently to other things, that should be taught, that so they might all glorifie God, in good wise­dom [...] and knowledge of the mysterie of his wil. And this exhortation he beginneth thus: Of whome we haue many things to say, which are hard to be declared, because you be dull of hearing. Here, first the Apostle, ye more to stirre them vp diligently to learn this my­sterie of Melchisedech, how he was a figure of our Sauiour Christ, and the priesthood of Christe was represented in him: he saith, first, that the matter is harde and difficult to be declared, and therefore re­quireth great heede and d [...]ligence.

[Page 461] This place (dearely beloued) let vs learne well, for it hath many good instructions in it: it is harde, saith the Apostle, and therfore you must adde more diligence to it.

Heere firste wee learne a good cause, why it pleased God to leaue places in Scripture harde to vnderstand, like as other places are easie, for as the easinesse is because none should bee discouraged, but all learne: so the hardnesse is, because none should be negligent and carelesse: and heerein, the Lord hath delt also mercifully with vs: for seeing all carelesnesse in reading his worde, in whiche his wisdome is reuealed, is the taking of his name in vaine: our own [...] profite doeth now make vs take more heede of this finne: for we cannot vnderstand or be edified by it, but with our care and diligence, for so the Apostle heere exhorteth his brethren: the thing is hard and difficult whereof we speake, there fore marke it more carefully and giue greater heede to vnderstanding: this then is a good cause why the scripture is hard, euen that we should put farre from vs, all idle sluggish thoughts, and prepare our selues with a good conscience, and greate diligence, as oft as either we heare or read the same: and why should it not be so? is there any knowledge & wise­dome learned, but by labour and diligence? to plowe thy fielde, to dresse thy vineyard, to keepe thy cattel, to buy lde thy house, to euery worke hath not God appointed care and trauell? no otherwise hath God dealt with his worde. The Papistes not knowing this, or else dissembling it, they haue tolde vs an [Page 462] other cause why the Scripture is hard, and that is, that either we should not at al presume to read it, or if we doe read it, yet we should not presume of any vnderstanding of it, otherwise then the Church of Rome hath taught vs. I doe not speake one worde vntruely of them, not one of them: but this day they will confesse it. This they teache. The scrip­ture is harde, therfore euery man must not read it: and if any do read it, yet he must vnderstand it after the interpretation of the Church of Rome. Heere (I beseech you) consider it diligently, and tel me whe­ther in such doctrine there be any reason, trueth, or godlinesse: we haue a controuersie with these men, whether the Churche of Rome be the Churche of Christe or of Antichrist: the cause must be tryed by the Scriptures: is it any reason nowe for them to challenge, that we must beleeue the scripture, accor­ding to their interpretations? is not this to make them Iudges of their owne cause? when the Apo­stle bad vs Try the spirites, whether they be of God or no: 1. Ioh. 4. 1. meant hee (trowe you) we should trie them accor­ding to ye testimonie of the church of Rome? when the men of Thessalonica tried the apostles doctrine, whether it were true or no: asked they the iudge­ment Acte. 17. 11. of the church of Rome? Surely (dearely belo­ued) all this is but childish follic: whiche of vs euer heard of any men, who would bee Iudges in their owne cause, except those of whome it is saide: aske my fellowe if I be a theefe: and beside this their vn­reasonable talke, haue they any truth in their words? was there euer true and iust man that claymed this manner of try all? is it not confessed and agreed vp­on [Page 463] among all men, that trueth seeketh no corners? & why runne they for defence to their owne darke hoame, and feare the open iudgement of all men? Learne of our sauiour Christ, who is trueth it selfe, saith he not? If I should beare witnesse of my selfe, my wit­nesse Iohn [...]. 3 [...]. Iohn. 1. 54. were not true: and againe: If I honour my selfe, mine honour is nothing worth: then, if beside the wordes of his owne mouth, who was the sonne of Dauid, he had had no testimonie, he could haue beene no true prophet: but therefore he was true, because his heauenly Father bare witnesse to him, bothe in his glorious voice, and in the assured testimonie of the lawe and the prophets, and in al his miracles, which made it manifest that he was the sonne of God. If thus our sauiour Christ confirmed his credite vnto men, and offered himselfe to be tried by the scrip­tures: what proude people are these, and what proude wordes are in their mouthes, that woulde haue no triall of their dooings, but the censure and iudgement of their owne mouthes? Againe, this vn­reasonable & vnture speach, ye the church of Rome onely must expound the scriptures, because they be hard: is there any godlinesse at all in so saying? is it not taught vs many times, that if we loue, feare, ho­nour, serue God, we must obey his worde, kepe his ordinances, make all his lawes the rule of our life? how then doe they loue God, or what godlinesse is in thē, that giue not gods worde credit in it selfe, but make ye truth of it, to stand vpon their owne vnder­standing? This nowe we knowe: the hardnesse of scripture is not, that we shoulde absteine from rea­ding and hearing it, nor because we should trust the [Page 464] interpretation of the Church of Rome, but because we should with great and earnest affection, applie our studie, & pray vnto God to lighten our minds, that we may be taught of his spirit.

Now further let vs consider yet these woordes of the Apostle. Because you be euil of hearing: not only (as I haue saide) they teache vs, because of ye harde­nesse of the scripture, to take more heede vnto it: but also verie plainly and manifestly they teach vs, by what meanes the scripture becommeth harde vnto vs: that is, through our dull hearinge. And who so euer he be, to whome the scripture is hard, let him accuse his owne dulnesse: and whosoeuer blameth the Scripture in this behalfe, hee bla­meth him selfe, bothe of slowe eares, and of a faithlesse heart: for, is there any thing thing more plaine then these woordes? therefore it is harde, be­cause you be dull of hearing. Take away from the man a deafe eare and a carelesse minde, and thou hast taken from the scripture all obscuritie and darknesse: leaue the man in his negligent minde, & thou makest the scriptures, as hard as any darke speeche, or riddle: and I beseech you, the more to confirme your faith in this persuasion, marke how oftē in the scriptures this is taught vs: that nothing maketh the scripture hard, but our infirmitie: our Apostle heere once taught it before, The worde (saith he) did not profit them, because it was not mingled to them Ca. 4. 2. with faith. Saint Peter, when he had said of Paules Epistles, that many thinges in them were harde to vnderstand, he addeth: which the vnlearned & the vn­stable Pe [...]. 3. 13. [Page 465] do peruert, euen as they doe all other scripture: heere you see again ye scripture is hard, but you se to whō, and why: to the wicked, because they are waue­ring minded, and will learne nothing, be it neuer so plaine. Saint Paule also speaking of the vnder­standing 1. Cor. 1. 14. of the mysterie of the Gospell, sayth plainely, it is the carnall man that perceiueth not the thinges of God, and in deede he can neuer vnderstande them, because they be discerned spi­ritually. Our sauiour Christ himselfe, being asked Mar. 13. 10. Mar. 4. 11. this question, why he spake so darkly and in para­bles, he answereth thus: To you it is giuen to knowe the mysterie of the kingdome of God, but to those that are without, all thinges are done in parables: coulde he speake more plainely? his worde is not hard vnto his children, but to straungers, to Infidels, to men without God in the worlde, to those hee speaketh darkly: then (dearly beloued) this case being so clere, let vs be bolde to say to all that accuse the worde of God of hardnesse, as Sainct Paule hath say de before vs. If the Gospel be yet hid, then is it hid to those that perish, 2. Cor. 4. 4. in whō the God of this world hath blinded their vnbeleuing mindes, that the light of the glorious Gospell of Christ should not shine vpon them: for otherwise, ye secret of the Lord is reuealed to those that feare him, and his woorde is a lanthorne vnto their feete, and a light vnto their steps: it is not harde, but as Salomon saith, It is easie Prouer. 14. 6 to him that wil vnderstand: he is a scorner that seeketh it and can not finde it. Moses sayth: This commaundement Deut. [...]0. 10. which I command thee this day, it is not hid from thee, nor sarre of, it is very nere vnto thee euen in thy mouth and in [Page 466] thy hart to do it. The prophet Ose saith of the iudge­mentes of God vnto his people, that they were as the morning light. And the Lorde saith by the pro­phet Esay: I haue not s [...]okē in secret, nor in a place of dark Ose. 6. 5. nesse in the earth: I said not in vaine to the house of Iacob: Esai. 45. 19. Seeke ye me. And if thus the doctrine of saluation were preached, while yet the people were taught by signes & figures: how clere is it now since the sonne of righteousnes hath shined in perfect light? what wrong is it to say still, the scriptures are hard, and to make them to be Sphynx his ridles, or the winding oracles of Apollo, whiche are the cleare wordes of ye liuing God? I appeale to your owne consciences, all that haue experience, whether haue you found such hardnesse in scripture: or whether do you easily see how we are saued in Iesus Christ, & what obediēce we owe againe vnto God. I am sure, there is none of you, that with a single heart haue come to read ye scripture, that were euer driuen back with any hard­nesse of it. How is it then, & why do the papists stil cry out of the hardnesse of the worde? why see they not this easinesse as wel as we? sure, I will tel you, & the Lorde is witnesse, howe I tell you true. Those men, they haue come neere vnto God with their mouth, & honored them with their lips: but their harts haue been farre from him▪ & they haue worshipped God in vaine, tea­ching Esa. 19. 10. Mat. 15. 8. doctrines which were precepts of men: and for this cause God hath couered them with a spirit of slum­ber, & hath shut vp their eyes: & the gospell is vnto them, as ye words of a booke that is sealed: so that, whether they be learned or vnlearned, they can read nothing. This is the great & hiddē cause: their sinns [Page 467] haue found them out, & gods iudgemēts haue blin­ded them. Another cause, & that I tolde you before, is, because they would leade vs blindfolde after the church of Rome: & this cause I make not of mine owne head, thē selues (as I said) wil confesse it. For this is a solemne decree in their late generall counsel of Trident, the 4. session, the 2. canon: that it be­longeth to their holy motherchurch, to iudge of the sence, & interpretation of the scripture: nether must we presume to leaue those interpretations, although they were such as were neuer meete to bee openly taught & published. And their greate doctour Hos­sius saith thus: if we haue the interpretation of the church of Rome, although wee see not howe it can agree with the wordes of the texte, yet we must be­leeue it. But are not these (think you) vnreasonable wordes? if they be not, examine mo of their witnes­ses, & at last you shall finde it & confesse it, that they are not onely vnreasonable, but exceeding shameles men, while they hold this: that the scripture is hard, and to be vnderstood after the church of Rome: for thus they haue termed the scripture, dead y [...]ke, a thing Illirieus in normaron­cilii. Sleyd▪ li 23. Kemp in exam. con­cil, Trident. [...]ess 4. c [...]n, [...] without life, a dumbe iudge, a nose of waxe, a black gospell, ynken diuinitie: these & such other words are witnesses against them to all the world: & their owne bookes are extant: and with what spirite then haue these men spoken? surely, not with the spirit of the father Dauid, or of his sonne Salomon, who say: The lawe of the Lord is perfect, and conuerteth soules: it giueth to the simple sharpnesse of witt, and to the children knowledge and Psal. 19. 7. Pro. 1. 4. discretion: nor with the spirite of Paule, that say­eth: All scripture is inspired of God, and is profitable to re­proue, 1. Tim. 1. 16. [Page 468] correct, instruct, and to make a godly man perfect to e­uery good worke: this is not to call the scripture a wax­en nose, or ynken diuinitie, but these speeches are much more agreeable to the spirit of the olde here­tiques, which said, the prophecies were dremes. But to let their vncomely speeches go, & to come againe to our purpose. They cry out still, that the inter­pretations of the churche of Rome are the sense of the scripture. And would you not now thinke, that these interpretations of the Romaine church, were merueilous wise, graue, mysticall, seing they would haue all the worlde thus to reuerence them? See therfore what they are, and iudge: I wil alledge vn­to you some of them, in the weightiest matters of faith. You are wise, iudge what I say: these are their most learned expositions of all other, in which they boast not a litile. Christ saith: Thou art Peter, and vpon this rocke will I build my church: ergo, the Pope is head of the church? how groweth this conclusion? for­sooth thus: if vpon this rocke Christ will build his church, then vppon Peter, for Peter signifieth that rocke. If vpon Peter, then vpon Peters successour: Cusan ad. Boaemos. Epist. 2. Disti. 40. Non nos, in glosa. for the trueth doth cleaue vnto the chaire, and Peter maketh his success our inheritour of all his goodnes. If to Peters success our, then to the Pope, for Peter was bishop of Rome. And if the church be built vp­on Peter, then Peter was chiefe of all other, and so ye Pope is head of the church: if these collectiōs be not theirs, let me be reproued as a slaunderer: if they bee theirs, then bee you wise to vnderstand what their religion is: for all these collectiōs are vtterly vntrue,

[Page 469] It is vntrue that Peter is that rocke vpon which ye church is built: for our Sauiour Christ himselfe Math. 7. 24. saith, he that heareth my wordes and perfourmeth them, he buildeth vpon the rocke. It is vntrue, that what faith Peter had, the same must be left to Peters successours: for Scribes & Phariseis, buyers and sellers, succeeded Moses & Aaron. It is vntrue, that Peter was Bishop of Rome: for he was the A­postle of circumcision, therefore it was vtterly vn­lawfull for him, to bee a Bishop among the Gen­tiles. Againe, they reason thus. The Apostles say to Christ: Lord behold, here are two swordes: therefore the pope hath both ciuil & ecclesiasticall gouernement: might they not better haue reasoned, when Peter would haue vsed one sworde, Christe cōmaunded him to put it vp, therefore no such swoord at all be­longeth to him. Again, they say: Christ promiseth to his Apostles, the comforter which shall teach thē all trueth, therfore the church of Rome cannot erre: howe bring they all the Apostles to the Pope of Rome? howe doe they drawe it that was spoken in Hierusalem, two thousand mile out of Italie, yt it was ment only of the Citie of Rome? Againe, they say, the sinne against the holie ghost, shall ne­uer be pardoned, neither in this world, nor in the world to come: Ergo, there is a purgatorie: such are their proofes in their greatest mysteries. And is not this (trow you) a miserable doctrine, which hath no plaine and directe scripture, but by suche wrested and straunge expositions can onely be proued? and this I speak of their best expositions, which to this [Page 470] day they hold and reuerence: but infinite other ex­positions they haue, and in times past of greatest account, for they are written in their masse bookes, their portesses, their pontificalls, their legends, their decrees, their councels, their lawes, that you may be sure they were expositions of generall consent and greatest force, howe so euer now some woud dis­semble them: and these are suche expositions, as I assure you, and I beseech you to beleeue it: for be­fore the liuing God, you shall finde it one day true: the mad men in bedlem can not speake more foo­lishly: they reason thus. Peter drewe his sword and cut off Malchus eare, therfore ye Pope is head of the Church. The world was finished in seuen dayes, therfore none must marrie within seuen degrees of Vide pet. Cr [...] [...]o. 1. conc. [...]o [...]o. kinred. God made two great lightes, the Sunne and the Moone, therfore as much as the Sunne is brigh­ter then the Moone, so much the Pope is greater Ant on in sum. then the Emperour. The Prophet saith, behold the Par▪ 3. tit. 21. Cap. 5. face of thine anointed: thus, saith the pontifical, is a Bishops prayer ouer the popes legat, when he knee­leth before the Altar. Behold I sende my messin­ger 33. q. 3. to prepare thy way before thy face, saith God by his prophet Esaie: the pontificall vseth this as a prophesie fulfilled, when the Popes legate meeteth the Emperour, to receiue him into any citie. I haue found Dauid my seruant, and annointed him with holie oyle. My loue is beautifull among the daugh­ters of Hierusalem. This they applie to kings and Queenes when the cleargie receiue thē personally into their churches. The prophet saith: sprinkle mee Lord with ysop & I shalbe cleane: that they applie [Page 471] to the priest sprinkling with holie water. Lifte vp your head, O ye gates: and ye euerlasting dores lifte vp your selues: that is, when the Clarke openeth the churche doore for the Prieste to come in with the crosse on Palme sunday. Tenne thousand such ap­plications and expositions are in their bookes, suche (I say) as I thinke no bedlem man coulde deuise more vaine and foolish. Now, if any of thē be asha­med of these doings, I pray God that shame may be the triall of their countenance, which testifieth a­gainst them, and so be in them a good colour of re­pentance: if they wil not be ashamed then the wrath of ye Lord is not turned away, but his hand is stret­ched out still, [...]il hee make their madnesse knowen vnto all the world, & make them a hissing amonge his people, who haue so prophaned his word of life. And thus much touching the hardnesse of the scrip­ture, which ye Apostle heere speaketh of. It foloweth in ye Apostle: For wheras considering the time you ought to be teachers, yet haue you neede again that we teach you the first principles of the word of God, and are become suche as haue needs of milke and not strong meat: this is the cause why the Apostle said, they were slowe of hearing, because they had profited no more in knowledge: a great while the gospel preached & professed among them, yet they stil so ignorant, that they knowe not the principles of their Christiā faith. We haue had a great while the Gospell preached, we might haue beene by this time doctours, if we would haue lear­ned, I say not euery day, or weeke, or moneth, but e­uery yeere a little: and what a shame is it fos vs, if yet we be ignoraunt in the principles of fayth. [Page 472] howe many sermons haue wee heard, or reade in vaine? how many times haue wee made the sower to sowe his seede in the high wayes, or among the thornes, and stones? If in xv. yeeres, we bee scarce past our A. b. c. when doe we hope that the secretes of the word shalbe reuealed vnto vs? Are so many yeares so small a portion of our life, that wee may giue them to vanitie and learne nothing? the Lord graunt that wee may better looke vnto our selues: and seeing euery day taketh away parte of our life, & maketh this earth lie tabernacle more to corrupt, let euery day bringe increase of knowledge, and adde to our life, that when our course is runne, our faith may be kept, and we may finde the crowne of righteousnesse, whiche God hath laid vp for those that be wise of heart. Or, if this counsel of the Apo­stle wil not persuade vs, but by leasure in xv. yeeres to come we will learne hereafter, I assure you, our graues wil meete many of vs in our wayes, while wee are yet dull in learning: and when then shalbe the time in which we wil enioy our knowledge.

Let vs looke therefore to our selues, for I am afraid this sharpe rebuke of the Apostle, is as iust against vs, as it was against them: and it must needes make vs at last ashamed, except it make vs in time repent our sluggishnesse. And heere by the way, I beseeche you to marke well this place, to see the difference of the spirit of trueth, and the spirit of errour. The A­postle checketh the people, because they be so dull of hearing, that the woorde of God is harde vnto them, which ought to be moste familiar and easie. [Page 473] He rebuketh them of ignoraunce, that in so long time they haue not learned to be doctours in Chri­stianitie, able to teach others. He threateneth them, that if this greate sinne bee not amended, let them looke for no other, but that vengeaunce and wrath shalbe a recompence vnto them. Thus the Apostle sayth: but what saith the false apostolicall man, the pope of Rome? forsooth, he pray seth them of greate modestie, that wil not presume to read the scripture as those which are darke and obscure writings: he alloweth well of learning nothing, and after many yeares, to be neuer the wiser: for ignorance (saith he) is the mother of deuotion. He blesseth the men that haue no wisedome in them, & though they knowe not how to giue accompt of their faith: yet he bid­deth them beleue as the church beleeueth, and they shalbe saued. Can any thinge be more contrarie to other, then the apostles doctrine is contrarie to this? why then do we not yet cast him off for shame, and bid, sye vpon the beaste, that speaketh so presump­tuously against the worde of God? let him and his foolishnesse perishe together: but let vs learne the knowledge of the Lorde.

It followeth. For euery one that vseth milke, is inex­pert of the word of righteousnesse, for he is a babe. The A­postle before, prouoked them to diligence: first, be­cause otherwise the scripture would bee hard vnto them. Againe, because it was ashame, after so longe time to haue profited so little. Nowe, he exhorteth them by shewing the great hurte which shalbe vnto them by their ignorance and rudenesse▪ and sayth, [Page 474] that while they are such, they can neuer knowe the pretious, and hid treasure of righteousnesse, whiche Christ hath giuen onely to those that are wise, and haue learned his blessed Gospel. For better vnder­standing of this, you muste knowe this figuratiue speeche of the Apostle, of milke and strong meate: by milke, he meaneth the generall principles of do­ctrine, as him selfe after declareth, as of repentance, of faith in Christ, of baptisme, of the resurrection, and suche like, set out breifely in generall tearmes, and according to the capacitie of Children, with whiche they are prepared to the kingdome of hea­uen, and must still growe vp in more vnderstan­ding, till they doe see with all the saincts, the higth, the deapth, the length, the bredth, of Gods vnsear­chable goodnesse in Iesu Christ, which the Apostle calleth here the word of righteousnes. Now, if we wil abyde stil in our first instruction, & when gray hayres shalbe mingled with our black, yet then still we will be children in vnderstanding, the Apostles wordes shalbe iustified in vs, we are not meete dis­ciples of the excellent knowledge of the Gospel: for he that is still at his milke, hath not yet tasted of the worde of righteousnesse, which is strong meate.

And it foloweth in the Apostle. For strong meate belongeth to thē that are of perfect age, which through long custome haue their wits exercised to discerne good & euill. In these words the Apostle maketh it more plaine, what is milke, and what is strong meate, and why they are so called: that is milke, which agreeth to beginners, and such as haue little experience: that is [Page 475] strong meat, which is for olde practitioners, & such as haue wisdome to iudge betwene truth & falshod. And thus much briefly of the sense of the woordes: out of which, what instructions we haue to gather for our owne edifying, I will speake more at large, God willing, the next time. Now let vs praye, &c.

The 26. Lecture, vpon the 13. & 14. verses, before mentioned, & so forth vpon the 1. & 2. verse of the sixth Chapter.

13 For euerie one that vseth milke, is inexpert in the word of righteousnesse: for he is a childe.

14 But strong meate belongeth to them that are of age, which through long custome haue their wits exercised, to to discerne both good and euill.


1 THerefore, leauing the doctrine of the beginning of Christ, let vs be led forwarde vnto perfection, not lay­ing againe the foūdation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.

2 Of the doctrine of baptisme, and laying on of handes, & of the resurrection from the dead, and of eternall iudgment.

WE haue heard alreadie, what re­prehension the Apostle hathe he­therto made, of the slackenesse of the people, in learninge the mysteries of Gods word.

First, because they haue beene so [Page 476] carelesse, that they haue made the word hard vnto them, that they cannot vnderstand it: where I tolde you, y who soeuer he be that accuseth the scripture of hardnesse, the Apostle concludeth against him, that he hath a hard & dul hart. Secondarily, he rebu­keth them in respect of the time, which hath beene so long, that they might nowe haue taught other, yet they neede to bee taught them selues, yea euen the beginnings. And heere I wishe vs to looke well vnto our selues: for all men knowe how longe the time hath beene, in whiche the Gospell hath beene preached vnto vs. and howe little we haue profited, God knoweth. Thirdly, hee blameth them for their slacknesse, because by it they spoile themselues of a great treasure: for while they be thus rude and ignoraunt, the worde of righteousnesse, that is, per­fect knowledge can neuer be taught vnto them, nei­ther can they bee partakers of the excellent knowe­ledge of the gospel of Christe: but it is vtterlie im­possible, euen as it is for children to eate stronge meate. Then he sheweth who be strong, euen those that haue their wisedome perfect, so that they can iudge betweene good and euill.

To this purpose are these laste wordes of the A­postle: Euery one that vseth milke, is inexpert of the word of righteousnesse, for he is a childe: but strong meate, is for the perfect, whiche through long custome haue their wittes exercised to discerne good and euill.

Firste, wee haue heere to learne this principle of Christianitie: he that is rude and ignoraunt, can not apprehend the excellent knowledge of the Gospell [Page 477] of Christe: that is, he that can say no more but this: I beleeue in one God: wee muste repent vs of sinne: we are saued by faith: we must worship God in spirite and trueth: we are baptised in the name of the father, the sonne, and the holy ghost: we beleeue the resurrection of our bodyes: we looke for eternal life: and suche like confessions in generall wordes: though, where this is confessed with a single heart, and a minde willing to learne more: God may and will, for his Christes sake, accept it vnto saluation: yet we that haue receiued of the Lorde, bothe time, and abilitie, ought more exactly to vnderstand: if we wil not bee despisers of the manifolde graces of God: as for example, the childe is taught, that there is but one God aboue al, and to worship him alone, whome he confesseth in three distinct persons, the father, the sonne, and the holy Ghoste. Surely, a young Christian man, which with this faith shoud humble him selfe before God, and crye: Our father, which art in heauen: no doubt, God would heare his prayer: yet notwithstanding, seeing this mysterie is not onely taught in generall termes, but is set out also in more particular pointes, in knowledge of al, we must looke for the fulnesse of our comforte, and reioycing that now we haue in God. Thou sayest, I beleeue in God the father almightie: thou sayest well, and it is a holy confession, if thou haue hearde no more: but if thou hast also learned, that God is a spirit, not of the nature of man, not like vnto the idols of the Gentiles, not like vnto any creature that thou hast heard or seene: but a nature of maiestie & [Page 478] glorie, incomprehensible and aboue the thoughts of man: then thou oughtest heere to exercise thy sen­ses with wise meditations, howe greate and glori­ous the Lord is, whome thine eye cannot see, thine heart can not conceiue, no creature in Heauen or earth can resemble vnto thee: so thou shalt learne o­bedience: to say vnto thy senses, and vnto thy na­turall heart, what haue I to doe with you? All carnal cogitations and thoughts of man, be they neuer so high, of Kinges and Emperours, of golde and pre­cious stones, they are vile & filthy to cary into hea­uen: if thine imaginatiōs will resemble them to the God of glory, thou doest but fill thy soule with corruption and rottennesse: thy fleshly thoughtes shall breede an vnbeleeuing hart, & thou shalt be the foole which searcheth the maiestie, till he be ouer­whelmed of the glorie: for thy God is a spirite, and in spirit and faith thou canst only see him. Thou shalt nowe hate and detest the Idoll and idoll ma­ker, which haue fashioned thy God like vnto an old man, with a gray beard, which haue made him sit as in a chaire of estate, and giuen him Angelles in golde and siluer and flaming fire to sit about him: this is shame aboue al shames. To say vnto the king, thou art a slaue: and vnto the nobles of the earth, ye are villaines: they be words of honour in compa­rison of this vnspeakable sacrilege, to say vnto God, thou art like a man. Againe, when thou saiest, thou beleuest in the father, the sonne, and the holie ghost, y sayest wel, & acknowledging in thine hart, three persons & one God, in a mysterie which thou canst [Page 479] not expresse, thy faith is accepted. But when y hea­rest, the father to be called ye God of all grace, the au­thour of life, beeing, & mouing: when thou hearest the sonne called the shining brightnesse, and ingra­uen fourme of the father, of whose fulnesse we re­ceiue al increase of grace: when thou hearest ye holie ghost called the comforter, the spirit of sanctificati­on, ye pledge of thine election: when thou hearest y the father hath eternally begotten his sonne: the sonne eternally begottē of the father: the holie ghost eternally proceeding from them both: in al this, shal we learne nothing for more cleare knowlege of our faith? shal we not here confesse, the person of the fa­ther to be the beginning & founteine of al goodnes, glorie, life, and immortalitie, that we our selues & whatsoeuer is vnto vs happie and blessed, all is on­ly of his free grace and mercie? shal wee not confesse that truely and naturally, he is ye father: and because, he hath eternally begotten his sonne; that his sonne is one God with him without beginning? and shall we not humble our soules, faithfully to beleeue this, and neuer to search or inquire of, how it is? for our vaine and corruptible harts, how can they see eternal and euerlasting things? And because ye sonne is the image of his father, shall wee not learne that we knowe nothing of God, nothing at al of his na­ture, godhead, maiestie, working, will, power, ho­nour, life, and continuance for euer? nothing (I say) but what we haue seene & heard in Christe his sonne: for he is the shining brightnesse of his glorie. What haue I to do with men, or with the chil­dren of men? what counsell can mine owne heart [Page 480] minister vnto me, I must robbe the sonne of God of his honour: or I must confesse I knowe nothing of God, but in him only. Againe, if of his fulnesse we receiue, we haue no felowship with god: but in him, all gace, mercie, life, [...] immortalitie: to him it bee­longeth, of him we haue it, and for his sake it is giuen vnto vs. So likewise, when the spirite is sayd to be our comforter, to proceede from the father & ye sonne: we confesse he is one in nature & godhead with the father and the sonne, in personal substance, proceeding eternally from them both: and because eternally, therefore incomprehensibly, whiche we beleeue in faith, and will not searche by reason: only we waite and reioyce in hope, till God strengthen our eyes to see his maiestie: and then our harts shal­be wise to cōprehend this distinctiō of the persons. Now, this spirit being our comforter, we acknow­ledge that it is the person of the holy Ghost, which putteth his grace into our harts, to make vs wise, faithfull, holie, and so sealeth vnto vs in full assu­rance, our inheritance that is in Iesu Christ, accor­ding to the free purpose, and good will of God his father. Besides all this, to confesse the humanitie of our sauiour Christ, howe in his owne person he hath borne the punishmente of our sinnes, and o­uercome the diuell, who helde vs in bondage: howe he hath sanctified our nature in himselfe, and made it meete to stand before the presence of God, only by faith, freely giuing vs his blessings. These and many other things taught vs in the scripture, to our exceeding comfort, shal we neglecte them, & learne [Page 481] only the confession of Children. I beleeue in God the father, God the sonne, & God the holy Ghoste, three persons & one God: Sure if we wil do thus, I see no other, but that the little children through gods infinite mercie, shal be saued, in y litle know­ledge that they haue learned: and we by his iust iudgments worthy to be condemned, for his mani­folde wisedome which wee haue despised. Then (dearly beloued) if we wil not alwayes be childrē, neuer learned in the word of righteousnesse, let vs not only hold the generall principles of our faith, but so farre also as particular points are taught and mentioned, let vs wisely learne them, till we may feele in our selues good increase of Gods spirite, to loue him, to feare him, to walke before him, with al our heart & in all the wayes which he hath appoin­ted for vs.

Now in the wordes following. But strong meate is for the perfect, whiche through long custome haue their witts exercised to discerne betweene good & euil. Here ap­peareth, as I said, who are childrē & who are strong: they are children which haue not yet had triall and experience wherby they might bee rooted in faith, and confirmed by knowledge against al falshod & errour: which kind of childhod, Saint Paule telleth the Ephesians, at the last we ought all to leaue of, & Ephe. 4. 14. grow vp in the vnitie of faith, and of the knowledge of the sonne of God, into a perfect mā, & to the full measure of our age in Christ: that we be not alwayes children, wauering & carried about with euerie blast of doctrine by the deceipt of men with craftinesse, which lie in waite to deceiue. And as [Page 482] this is a plaine description of Children: so, as plainly here the Apostle sheweth who are perfecte men: euen those that are able, with wise senses, to iudge betweene good & euill, y is, who haue their mindes lightned with ye word of God, so that they are able to trie what is acceptable & well pleasing vnto god. Nowe (dearly beloued) if these wordes be plaine e­nough, giue me leaue to beseeche you in this plaine case, as Paul beseeched ye Corinthians in y like: My brethren, be not children i [...] vnderstanding: be childrē in ma 2. Cor. 14. 20 lice, but in vnderstanding be of perfect age: and if you see the plaine and manifest meaning of the scripture, what it is, be wise, and beleeue it: and confesse this, that we ought to be learned in Gods worde, so that we haue good ground of our saith, and be able to consute falshod. As now in our owne dayes, we see the Pope claimeth authoritie, that he can despense against the word of God: but if our witts be exer­cised in the knowledge of the word of truth, we do see where the sixe tribes of Israel do curse such pre­sumption.

In the xxvi. of Deuter. vppon Mouut Eball, Ruben, Gad, Asher, Zebulon, Dan, and Nepthtalim, they pronounce a decree: Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this booke, and all the people shal say, A men. If to confirme and ratifie, be not to repeale or giue contrarie dispensation, then all ye Israel of the Lord must accurse his blasphemie, that wildispense against the word of God. We see, the Pope vseth a triple crowne, and challengeth honour aboue Em­perours [Page 483] and kings: but if we haue learned the com­maundement of Christe, and are lightened by it, to iudge betweene good and euill: when Christ saith, Kings of the nations reigne ouer them: and their rulers are called gratious Lords: but it shall not be so among you: we Luke. 22. 25 Anti­christian pride. muste needes knowe the Popes pride is intollera­ble, which taketh such honour vnto him selfe.

We see how they cry against vs: The Church, the church: & make vs beleeue that they are the church, and they cannot erre: but if we be exercised in the scripture, to discerne betweene trueth and salshod, we knowe that Christ hath built his church vppon the rocke, which rocke is not Peter and his succes­sours in Rome (as the Pope expoundeth it) but our Sauiour Christe sayth, He that heareth his woorde and M [...]tt. 7. [...]4. M [...]tt. 16. 18. obeyeth it, he is the wise man that buildeth vpon the rocke, and neither stormes, nor tempestes, nor the gates of Hell shall preuaile against that buyldinge: and Sainct Paule Ephe. 2. 20. saith, The foundation or rocke vppon which we be buylte, is the doctrine of the Apostles and Prophets. And who so euer commeth vnto vs, and bringeth vs that doc­trine, though they say they bee Apostles, yet they belyers: and though they say they be the church, yet they are an assembly of theeues and murthe­rers.

Let vs then bee wise at the laste: it is not igno­raunce, it is perfect knowledge: it is not infancie, it is ripe vnderstanding: that must commend vs vnto God.

And mark it wel, that you may knowe what God [Page 484] requireth of vs. That which is here translated, long custome, the Apostle calleth it [...], that is, a knowe­ledge with long studie and practise learned, as lawe in the Iudge or counseller, as physick in the learned expert Physician: so must diuinitie be in vs.

Againe, he sayth: we must haue our senses exer­cised: it is not enough to know, nor to know much, but wee muste bring the practise of it in our life, neither concealing our knowledge, nor withhol­ding our obedience, but with minde and bodie te­stifying our faith, til experience teach vs, that Gods spirit hath the victorie in vs. Lastly, he sayth: wee must be able to iudge betweene good and euill, or as S. Paule termeth it, able to trie the difference of things one from other: that is, that we may know Rom. 2. 18. how to discerne between [...] Gods wisedome, and mans vaine inuentions: betweene trueth and false­hoode: betweene vertue and vice: not as the man­ner of some is, that stil be babes, and worse then babes, with whom if you wil reason of their religi­on, to persuade them by the worde of trueth, they will say, I am not booke learned, I can not dispute with you, let me alone with my faith, other men haue bene as well learned as they be now, I am sure they beleeued otherwise: are not these miserable people? and are not they more miserable, whiche thus haue seduced them? and shall not wee thanke God this day, who hath saued vs from suche vn­speakable madnesse, both of the cursed teacher, and of the wretched disciple? yes (dearly beloued) let vs thanke God, and let vs leaue the blinde leaders of [Page 485] the blinde and let vs pray, that God would giue vn­to vs according to his glorious riches, the strength of his spirite in the inner man, that by faith Christ may dwel in our heartes, and wee may apprehende with all the saints, the heigth, the breadth, ye length, the depth, and knowe the loue of Christ, whiche i [...] aboue all knowledge, and be filled with the fulnesse of God.

Nowe it followeth in the sixte Chapter. There­fore, leuing the doctrine of the beginning of Christ, let vs be led forward vnto perfection, not laying again the foūdatiō of repentāce from dead works, & of faith towards God, &c. In these words, the Apostle first maketh the conclu sion of his exhortation, therfore let vs leaue the be­ginnings, and go foreward vnto perfection. In the wordes following, he sheweth by particular pointes what is this beginning beyond which we must go, that we may be perfecte, and hee numbereth foure points, repentance from dead works, faith towardes God, the resurrection of the bodie, & eternall iudg­ment, whiche principles were learned and confes­sed of Christian mens children, in the day of their confirmation, of Gentiles that came to the faith of Christ in the day of their baptisme: in this meaning some thinke he calleth these forenamed points, the doctrine of baptismes and laying on of hands: mea­ning thereby, that seeing this confession and know­ledge is in vs then, when first we are receiued into the felowship of the church, to be partakers of their mysteries, howe ought wee of all duetie to growe vnto greater knowledge and wisedome, when now [Page 486] many yeares we haue bene of the Church, & daily taught all the counsels of God? or, it may bee, that the Apostle here reciteth the manner of catechising, vsed them in Churches, for instruction of chil­dren: in which they were taught especially, these sixe principles of religion, what they are, and howe they should learne them: that is, Repentance, Faith, Baptisme, Laying on of handes, the Resurrection, and eternall iudgement: whiche things being first learned of them, and giuen vnto them in bookes, such as our Catechismes are, the Apostle may seme to speake thus. Let vs not alwayes be beginners: when we were yet children, we learned this: since so long time hearing the word preached, and religion more perfectly taught vs, howe shal we be blame­lesse, if we learne no more? By which wordes, the meaning of the apostle is, to giue vs no time of rest, when we should thinke we were wise enough, wee neede learne no more: but as long as God continu­eth our life, so long we should continue our studie, still to knowe more of his vnsearcheable wisedome and goodnesse.

Touching the learning of these thinges, to bee milke and meate of children, I tolde you before by some examples, howe we might vnderstand it: it is milke, to know these things in the simplicitie of the wordes: it is strong meate, to bee able to distribute them into euerie part, and applie it to our selues in our life. Repentance, whereof he first speaketh, hath here a sorrowe and purpose of amendment, as these affections can be in children, which is, to be grieued, [Page 487] or wepe, for a thing done, and to beware afterward for feare of the like: but the wise and graue man, that hath profited in the schole of Christe, his sor­rowe sinketh much deeper: he remembreth by good accompts, what things the Lord hath done for him, how he hath blessed him, from what present perils he hath saued him, & how againe him self hath bene euer vnthankfull, vnworthy of the least of al Gods mercies: yea, by many speciall crimes, deseruing wrath and anger: which thoughtes doe worke in him a troubled spirite, and pensiue soule: so that, not onely teares, but the state of the whole bodie, sheweth the griefe of his minde: and not the bodie onely, but in all his life it worketh great care, much praying, anger with our selues, feare, desire, zeale, punishment also, that by iudging our selues we may preuent the iudgement of God: it maketh vs detest our sinne, and the remembrance of our sinne, as in the Acts of the Apostles, they burne their bookes of sorceries, which were of great price & value: and as Saint Iude sayth, They hate euen the coate spotted with the flesh: and according to this is the amendement of their life, with all loue and desire. If they haue beene extortioners, they will make restitution: if they haue beene vsurers, they will giue back increase: if they haue giuen their handes, and knees, and mem­bers of their bodyes, to the Popish Masse, with all their strength now againe they will deteste it, and make it knowen, they hate their firste sinne: this manner of repentance, is stronge meate of perfect men.

[Page 486] The second point heere spoken of, is faith toward God, of which, so much as may be apprehended of children, is called milke: as to beleeue that God the father of his greate loue, gaue his onely begotten sonne Iesu Christe, to be made man, who in his bo­die might fulfil all righteousnesse, and beare the pu­nishment of sinne, which also by the power of his spirit he ourcame, and hath gotten eternall redemp­tion, for all that shall beleeue. But so to examine this faith wisely, and according to Scripture, that when we finde the beginning in God the father, the work in God the sonne, the applying and bestowing of it in the holie Ghoste: and when we be wise, so to di­stinguish these graces in euery person, that yet wee diuide them not, as taking away from the one vtter­ly, what soeuer especially wee giue vnto the other: this I say, when we haue so learned, that wee see all the glorie of sauing health is in God, no merit or de­sert in man, but that without the law, the righteous­nesse of God is laid open vnto vs, witnessed by the law and by the prophets, then we be perfect to fede of this strong meate, that faith alone iustifieth. A­gaine, when we knowe that this is the gifte of God, with whome there is no chaunge, nor shadowe of chaunge, but he is constant in his loue for euer: whē faith hereof taketh boldnesse, that nether heigth, nor deapth, nor life, nor death, nor Angels, nor princi­palities, nor powers, nor any creature shall euer be a­ble to remoue me from the loue with whiche God hath looued mee: this assured boldenesse is the meat of the man of God, who is perfect in faith.

[Page 487] Likewise Baptisme, the thirde thing here menti­oned, the milke of it is to knowe, that by it they be sealed into the couenant of Gods grace and mercy, which he hath to the fathers and their children: but to knowe by this, how to be baptised into the death of Christ, that as he is rysen againe from the deade, so wee should walke in newnesse of life, that is, to knowe that our Baptisme presenteth vnto vs, the free forgiuenesse of our sinnes, washed away with the bloud of Christe. While as hee dyed and was buried for our sinnes: so wee also should dye vnto sinne, that it haue no more rule in our mortal body: and as he rose againe from the deade, so that death hath no more rule ouer him: so we should after liue in newnesse of life, offering vp vnto God, our bo­dies and our soules, who hath redeemed them, and purchased them vnto him selfe. To knowe all this according to the scripture, is the perfect knowledge of our Baptisme.

Imposition of handes, that was a solemne cere­monie vsed with prayer, in whiche it was declared, that the parties were accepted of GOD into his Church, according to the faith of Christe, whiche then they professed: this was the milke which chil­dren had fead on. But to see in it a free and bolde profession of faith, before all men to be holden, and a holy vowe, or promise, in whiche they bounde them selues to perpetuall holinesse, by the laying on of handes, as by a solemne othe, to haue it witnessed of the Lord they were his children, and to witnesse it in them selues, they woulde abide the temples of [Page 490] the holie Ghoste: to be short, to promise a persour­maunce of all, what so euer was hoped for in vs, in the day of our baptisme: this is the strong meate. And this which this day ought to be practised, as a thing verie profitable in the Churche of God, it is miserably defaced by the Papistes: for where it was in the Churche of God an vse, that Christian chil­dren should be taught the principles of fayth, which when they had wel learned, and could giue a good accompt of their faith, then in y open congregati­on, with prayer and laying on of handes on their heades, they were declared to be receiued as parta­kers of the graces and sacramentes of the church: this good order the Papistes haue chaunged, and made them a sacrament of confirmation, onely by the Bishop to be ministred, and by him to little chil­dren of no knwledge, to whome hee giueth a newe Godfather or godmother, which should speake for them when they cannot speak for them selues. And whereas in the scripture, this hath beene euer a cere­monie, in solemne blessinges, in sacrifices, in admit­ting ministers, in giuing spirituall giftes, and no where vsed but onelie with prayer, this order see­med base to them, that knewe no end of their owne inuentions, and they would needes haue crosses, ta­pers, oyle, miters, surplices &c. without which there was with them no confirmation: thus in this as in all thinges, prophaning the holie ordinaunce of God.

The resurrection of the bodie, another poynte here mentioned, was for Children, that they might [Page 491] knowe their bodies should not die. as the bodies of beastes, to consume in earthe and not returne: but that they shoulde rise againe at the latter daye, and their owne bodies should be made immortall: but in this also, to see the glorie, what a bodie it is whiche shall liue for euer, which shal be made like to the body of Christ, which shalbe made able to stand in the presence and behold the glorie God, of which shalbe set free, from sorrow, care, sicknesse, death, & al aduersitie. This mysterie which ye Angels of God desire to behold, when we can wisely see it, & know therefore we are here but pilgrimes and straungers: another countrie is our owne, whiche God hath made and not man, in which we set our heart, with all the delight and pleasure of it, in this to reioyce: this the strong meate with whiche the hope of the resurrection feedeth perfect men. Last of all, heere is mention made of eternal iudgement, which was taught to children, that they might knowe, when all bodies should arise againe, then the Lorde woulde set a day of his iudgemente, in whiche he would iustifie and crowne with immortall glorie, al his children, and cast out into darknesse and endlesse condemnation, al the wicked and reprobate. But, so to haue knowledge of this iudgement, that we now behold in faith, how the son of man shal come with maiestie, and all his holy Angels with him: how he shal come with a great crie, with the voice of an Ar­changel, & with y blast of y trumpet of God, that all creatures may heate his voice, to restore again ye bo­dies y they had consumed, so y al nations & kinreds [Page 490] of men, should stande at once before him, of which he shall make separation on his right hande, and on his left, to fill the one with life and glorie, and put songs into their mouthes of euerlasting ioy: and to condemne ye other in hell and death, with shamefull crying and gnashing of teeth. To knowe this with vnspeakable comfort, & long looking for of all the promises of God, and with feare and trembling at all his heauie threatenings: this is thy strong meate of eternall iudgement, which the Lord God of spi­rites graunt vnto vs, for his sonnes sake, who must needes be vnto vs a mercifull iudge, if we do rest in him as in our only sauiour. The time is past. Now let vs praye. &c.

¶ The xxvij. Lecture, vpon the 3. 4. 5. and 6. verses.

3 And this will we doe if God permit.

4 For it is impossible that they, which were once lightned, and haue tasted of the heauenly gift, and were made partakers of the holy Ghoste,

5 And haue tasted of the good worde of God, and of the powers of the worlde to come,

6 If they fal away, should be renued againe by repentance: seeing they crucifie againe to them selues the Sonne of God, and make a mocke of him.

WE haue heard before, the Apostles exhortation that we should goe forward, and what pointes of re­ligion hee set downe meete for children, beyond which we must goe, to knowe all the mysterie of God and Christ. And in these pointes here men­tioned I tolde you, as the generall knowledge of thē was milke: so yet exactly out of the scripture, to vn­derstand them as wee are taught, euen that also it is strong meate. The Apostle now goeth forward, and sayth: And this also we wil doe, if God permit, that is, by the grace of God, we wil goe forewarde, wee will not be alwayes dul of hearing, and children of vnderstanding. These wordes are an encourage­ment vnto them, that they should not be discomfor­ted: for God would no doubt haue mercie vppon them, to giue them vnderstanding hearts, & learned mindes, to apprehend and see the great saluation of [Page 494] the Lorde. Then, to the end that they should not receiue the graces of God in vaine, but vse in deede all these good giftes to their owne good benefite, he addeth, (because of the greate rebellion of some, and hard harts that are not easily led) another reason vn­to his wordes, which is full of feare and terrour, as­suring thē, that the Gospel cannot be preached vnto them in vaine, but of force it must needes haue his fruite, and be a sweete sauour vnto God in Christe, either of life vnto life, if they wil beleue & hearken: or else of death vnto death, if they wil be despisers. To this purpose, he saith: For it is vnpossible to those which are once lightned, and haue tasted the heauenly gift, and haue beene partakers of the holy ghost, and haue tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come: if they fall away, that they should againe be renued by re­pentanuce: crucifying againe vnto them selues, the sonne of God, and making a mock of him. With these wordes, no doubt, he would shake off from them, all carelesnesse and fleshly securitie, whiche were sunken deepe in some, and whose sluggish dulnesse was not healed without sharp medicines: and therfore, he vseth these woordes very forceable, and sharper in deede then any two edged swoord, to prick the conscience that was nigh seared vp.

Now (dearely beloued) that wee may vnder­stande this scripture, and make it vnto vs a good comfort, whiche might seeme otherwise a heauie threatening: let vs consider in it, these two thinges: firste, the purpose of the Apostle for which he spea­keth it: then, them selues what they signifie.

[Page 495] The apostles purpose, is, to stirre vs vp, desirously to heare, diligently to learne, wisely to increase in knowledge, and obediently to practise that we haue learned: for this purpose it was first spoken, to this ende it is nowe written: if then it haue in vs this worke, and bring foorth this fruite, we haue bene profitable hearers, and it is vnto vs, the Gospell of health, and the worde of life. Let vs then, not be as our forefathers were, slowe of hearing: let the worde preached be mingled vnto vs with faith: let vs vse it to the glorie of God, that knowledge may increase, and righteousnesse may abound in our life: and for our partes it skilleth not at all, what this great and heinous sinne should be, of which the A­postle saith, mā can neuer repent him: for be it what it will, it is none of ours. This sinne is the sinne of those, that haue despised knowledge: but we are de­sirous to learne more. This sinne is of the contem­ners of the crosse of Christe: but the delight of our life is in it. This sinne is of men, that haue made the world their God: but God, whome we serue, hath had mercie vpon vs, that we account all the worlde but doung, to the end we may winne Christ: and therefore, whatsoeuer this sinne be, God himselfe beareth vs witnesse, it is none of the sinns which we haue committed: and where so euer they dwell, that are in this condemnation, their tentes and ta­bernacles are not neare vs. And is not this a greate comforte, and a singular light rising (as it were) out of darkenesse: that where there are suche sinnes, as euen the remembraunce of them might make [Page 496] our bones to tremble, by their description we know them, that they are farre from vs, as the East is from the West, so that we neede not feare. Nei­ther speake I this of mine owne heade, but by good warrant of the Apostle himselfe, and by the worde of the holy Ghost: for after this heauie threatning, saith not the Apostle to them immediately, & saith he it not to vs this day, that by cause we haue loued Gods saints, & haue reioyced to glorifie his name, our state is faster knit vnto saluation, and these hea­uie things shall neuer come neare vs? In this persua­sion of perfect hope, we may stand boldly vnto the later end, the scorners and despisers of whome, you shall heare more hereafter, let them looke, and be­ware of vnrepentaunt sinne. And thus farre of the purpose of the Apostle, by which we beeing confir­med, that though we should fall through many in­firmities, yet we can neuer fall away.

We may now more boldly examine the words, to learne as God shall instruct vs, what this sinne is: let vs therefore come vnto the wordes. For it is vn­possible, that they which are once lightened, &c. We see here how the apostle setteth out the sinne against y holy Ghost, shewing who they are which cōmit it, what the sinne is, and what end it bringeth. But be­fore we further examine it, I must admonish you of two contrarie faultes, which are common vnto vs, in speaking of this matter. The one is too muche carelesnesse, the other is too much feare. Some of vs scarse hauing any conscience at al, or any reuerence of Gods secrete iudgements, being altogether chil­dren, [Page 497] & more ignorant then children. If at any time talke be of diuinitie, streight with carelesse hearts, & venturous toungs, they are vp with predestination, or with sinne against the holie ghost. To these men I say: it were better for them, that they had neither tongues in their heads, nor hearts in their breastes, then that they should cōtinue in this vnreuerend & most vngodly vsage: for what do they else but blas­pheme the eternall wisdome of god. At al his words we should feare & tremble: yet at his greatest myste­ries, we are carelesse & mockers. The knowledge of his predestination should cast down our proud rea­son, euen to the ground, to confesse before him, that all his iudgements are vnsearchable, and al his ways are past finding out: yet we like fooles, who though we were braide in a morter, yet would not our foo­lishnesse depart from vs: so foolishly wee examine y high iudgments of God, to make them agreeable to our blockish reason. Likewise, the sinne against the holie Ghost, which is mentioned to make vs feare, that we be not despisers of the graces of God: but y we would loue him, & learne all his iudgmentes, whereby we might assure our selues of his fauour, y we cānot possibly sinne against his spirit: but whe­ther soeuer we fall, he would raise vs againe: as though this pleased vs not, we make no ende of questioning, whether it be this sinne, or that sinne: when in deede, at all sinnes we make but a mocke. This fault (deatly beloued) I beseech you take heede of: praye, that you may cast it from you: then no doubt, in this our matter, the trueth which we seeke [Page 498] for, in feare & reuerence God wil reueale it vnto vs. The other faulte I spake of, and of which we must take heed, is to much feare: for some of vs, and they of the best of vs, on whom God hath shewed sin­gular mercie, greatly to humble them so that they couer their faces, and hang downe their heades at the remembrance of their sinnes, and hunger and thirst after the righteousnesse of Christ, they would not haue this spoken of at all, and euerie sounde of the sinne against the holy Ghost doth wounde thē as it were to death, for feare least themselues should be holden in the transgression. To these men what should I say? nay, what can I say? for y sūme of all Christe hath saide, and spoken truely vnto thē: feare not my litle flock, for it hath pleased your father to giue vnto you a kingdome: and if he haue giuen vnto Luke. 2. 32. them a kingdome, purchased with the bloud of his only sonne, how should he not giue also vnto thē y victorie ouer sinne and death? And nowe my good brethren and sisterne, who so euer you be, sith you haue a spirite that desireth knowledge, deligh­teth in obedience, loueth God, hateth iniquitie, re­ioyce in this pledge of your saluation: for as the Lord doth liue, neither this sinne, nor the shadowe of this sinne, shal come nere vnto you: only because it is a saluinge medicine to many of your brethren, when they be sunken deepe in rebellion: and be­cause it is the mightie word of the Lorde, to crushe in peeces the reprobate before him: therefore I be­seech you with glad & faithful eares, abide the hea­ring of it, & feare not the smoke, when the fire can [Page 499] not hurt you. Now, to cōe to our purpose. In these words of y Apostle, I wil shew vnto you first: what maner of men they must needs be, y do fall into this sinne. Secondly, what māner of sinne it is. Thirdly, with what manner of mind it is committed: wher­vnto at last I wil add some examples, that you may see more clearly what it is. Touching the persons which sinne against the holy ghost, they are descri­bed thus by their qualities: first, they haue bene once lightened: secōdly, they haue tasted of the heauenly gift: thirdly, they haue beene made partakers of the holy Ghost: fourthly, they haue tasted of the good word of God, & of the powers of y world to come. Vnto these qualities, we may add more out of other partes of scripture: in the 12. of Matt. our sauiour Christ speaketh of such men thus, that the vncleane spirite is gone out from them, that they are swept & garnished: in the 2. Epistle of Peter the 2. chapter, it is sayd of them, that they haue escaped from the filthinesse of the world, through the knowledge of the Lord, & of our sauiour Iesu Christ. By these & such like places we may cōclude that God hath ma­ny wayes made himselfe knowen vnto them, y hee hath giuen them true vnderstanding. y he hath quic­kened their spirits to receiue gladly his gospel, that they had a feeling of y kingdome of heauen, y they haue knowen sinne to be ful of miserie & vexation of spirit, y they haue cōfessed, there is no ioy but in Christ. This is y state of knowledge to which they were called, & these are the graces which they were indued with: wherby we may first cōclude, y Turks [Page 500] and infidels, that all Atheists & Epicures, they haue not yet sinned against the holy ghost: not Pharaoh a vessel of Gods wrath, not Sodome & Gomorha withal their filthinesse, not Rabsaketh, or any such who would make them selues Gods, they haue not sinned against the holy Ghoste: they are accursed creatures, and their sinnes are abhominable, they are bondslaues of Satan, & straungers from the God of Israell: but yet, we may say truely: it shalbe easier for all those of Sodome & Gomorha, for Tyre and Si­don in the day of iudgement, then for these wicked blasphemers of the holy spirite, which not only ful­filled the full measure of these Pagans sinnes, but haue also contemned the graces, which were giuen vnto them, and despised the spirite of whiche the Pagans were neuer made partakers. Thus briefly I haue set foorth, what manner men they be, whiche may fall away to so great confusion.

And that it may yet be made more plaine: let vs consider the wordes, by which the Apostle descri­beth them. The first marke of them is, that they bee lightened: that is, indued with the knowledge of God: not onely by the heauens, which declare his glorie: nor by the firmament, whiche sheweth his work: nor by any of Gods creatures, in which his eternall power and Godhead doth appeare, & shine: and of which light, all nations are made partakers: but they are also lightened with his holye woorde, which is a lanthorne to their feete, and a light vnto their steppes, and haue hearde his Gospell preached vnto them, vnto the which they haue agreed, that [Page 501] it is the word of life. The second note of them, is, y they haue tasted of the heauenly gift: the heauenly gift is the life and great saluation that is in Christe Iesu, by whom we are reconciled, which likewise our Sauiour Christ calleth the gift of god, speaking Iohn. 4. to the woman of Samaria: and this is that know­ledge, into which they are lightened by the gospel, and this they do not only knowe, but of this gifte they haue also tasted, whiche is, they haue gladly sometime receiued it, and reioyced in it, like as our Sauiour Christe describeth them by the parable of the stonie ground, that incontinently with ioye, they receiue the seede: and which also he noteth in Mat. 13. the Phariseis, speaking of Iohn Baptist whiche was a shining lampe among them, and they for a sea­son did reioyce in his light. The thirde note of these men, is, that they haue beene partakers of the holie ghost: which, is that many graces of the spirite of God haue beene giuen vnto them, as these two a­boue named, y they are lightned with knowledge, & reioyce in their vnderstanding, which is neither of flesh nor bloud, nor of the will of man, but of the holie ghost: vnto these we may adde also others, as y gift of miracles, the gifts of toungs, or any such that God hath distributed vnto these, euen as he wil: these things or any of them, when they haue recei­ued to the praise of God, & glorie of his holie name, they are made partakers of the holie ghost, and they are blessed with heauenly blessing. The fourth note is, that they haue tasted the good word of God, not much differing from that he first spake of, that they [Page 502] were lightened, that is, that they had knowledge of God, not onely by his creatures, but muche more by his worde.

But heere naming, the good word of God, hee no­teth especially the Gospell, by comparison with the lawe: as if he shoulde saye: they haue kno­wen God, not onely by his lawe, which is fearefull to the sinner: but by a more sweete vnderstandinge of the Gospel, which saith: Come vnto mee all you that labour and are laden, so calling it the good worde, as that which is glad tydinges of saluation: and therefore also good, because they haue tasted it good and ioy­full, and haue seene the glorie of it, as the greatest treasure that is giuen vnto man.

The fifte and laste note, heere set foorth, is, that they knowe and confesse, that this Go­spell hathe the ende eternall life: and Christe is a mightie Sauiour, who will keepe for euer those whome he hath purchased: and hee nameth the worlde to come, because the spirite hathe lightened them, to see the latter ende of this corruptible worlde, and to knowe assuredly, that here they haue no dwelling citie: but another ha­bitation is made for Gods chosen, not with mor­tall handes, but euerlasting in Heauen: and cal­ling it the powers, because it is made so strong in Christe Iesu, that it can neuer be assaulted: for all power is giuen vnto him, in Heauen and in Earthe: and hee hathe made that heauenlye Citie glorious for his Sainctes throughout all worldes.

[Page 503] Thus hath the Apostle described those per­sons, whome he biddeth beware that these fall not backe to chaunge so greate glorie into endlesse shame: for if they will turne these thinges vpside downe, and the graces that they had receiued to Gods glorie, abuse them to the reproche of his ho­ly name, it is vnpossible they should rise againe by repentance.

And thus farre, of the persons, what giftes they haue receiued: wherein yet let vs vnderstand a great difference betweene these men which fall away, and the giftes which are in Gods elect, that cannot perishe, nor euer sinne against the holye Ghoste.

First in the measure of grace, that they haue re­ceiued, there is great difference or rather no compa­rison: then, their obedience, according to this grace, is nothing like.

The wicked, are but lyghtened with the be­ginninges of the Gospell, the electe are more in­structed in the mysterie of Godlynesse. The wicked haue but tasted of the life that is in Christe, the Electe liue not them selues, but Christe ly­ueth in them. The wicked are but a little made partakers of the spirite by some giftes of grace that are within them: the electe are watered so farre with the spirit, that they to be baptised in the death of Christe, to dye vnto sinne, to liue vnto righte­ousnesse, so that sinne shall not reigne in the mor­tall bodye.

[Page 405] The wicked haue but tasted the Gospell of Christe, and his sauing health: the electe are fedde with his mercyes, and still they hunger and thirst after his righteousnesse, & see with exceeding [...]oy ye height, the bredth, the length, the depth, of the mysterie of their redemption. The wicked haue felt ye world to come, and haue for a little while delighted in it: the elect haue their conuersation altogether, and with great gladnesse loke from thence for a sauiour, that this life is not deare vnto them, but they will holde it foorth in their hands to all persecutions, to finish the short course that they haue here with [...]oy. These are great differences, but the greatest is yet behinde: the wicked, they are straungers, euen from y womb, not ingraffed into the body of Christ, nor haue any feeling of election in them selues: but the godly are indued with faith and assured hope, that if this earthly tabernacle be dissolued, they haue a dwel­ling place with GOD himselfe, who hath loued them: this hope they delight in, in this they liue, in this they rest: while this is assaulted, they des­pise the worlde: when this is vnshaken, then is their sorrow: but the wicked, it is not so with them: their hope is not this, for their ioy is onely heere: when they haue examined the secrets of their owne harts, they shall rather finde that their bellie is their God: for, notwithstanding, all the gifs of God that they haue receiued: yet they want this measure of fayth, by which they are persuaded that God is their God, and their delight is all in the Lord alone. And againe, the obedience that they shewe in their life, [Page 505] it is not to the true obedience that God requireth, as their faith is no true faith: for God requireth this a­lone, that we loue him with all our hearte, with all our soule, with all our strength, with all our vnder­standing: and that we loue our neighbour as our selfe: but this loue is not in them, nor they haue not this end of all their works, that they may glo­rifie god in al their life: the ioyes of heauen do som­what moue them, and the paines of hell, do muche astonishe them: they see and know what gods ma­iestie is vnspeakable, and his glorie infinite, his fa­uour is better then life: and his displeasure is vntol­lerable: the glorie of his presence, the fiercenesse of his wrath: these thinges do touche them, because they would escape his iudgement: so still it is them selues that they loue. If there were, neither heauen nor hell, they would not care for God, nor Christe: so (as I said) this is all their obedience, because they loue them selues: but the godly, they obey for the loue of God: their owne soule is not so deare vnto them, as the name of the Lord, to see it glotified: nor their owne life is precious vnto them, if the powring of it out, may be to the praise of his holie name. Thus muche of the difference, betweene the good and euil, as touching the graces of God, which they haue both receiued: whereby we see plaine, that faith and loue are two especiall properties, by which the good and euill are distinguished, and by which we may trie our selues, if we be lightened, as the wicked, or as the elect of God. Nowe let vs see the manner of rebellion, howe farre they fall away: [Page 506] first, we must obserue what points the Apostle hath before named: in the beginning of y chapter he mē ­tioneth repentāce frō dead works, faith toward god, the doctrine of baptisme, & laying on of hands, and resurrectiō frō the dead, & eternall iudgmēt, which here he calleth y beginning & foundatiō of christian amitie: then, he speaketh of an apostacie or falling away frō all these pointes heere named, euen from the foundation & firste beginnings of the christian faith, so y all the former light is quite put out, & the first vnderstāding is al takē away: they laugh now at repentance, & the first faith they accōpt it folishnes: they esteme not of our baptisme, no more then of y washing of their hands: & for any confirmation or solemne receiuing thē into the church of God, they care not for it: the resurrection of the dead doth but feede them with mery conceits, they think pleasant­ly with them selues, what maner of bodies they shal haue the eternal iudgment though it make thē som­time affraid, yet they incourage thē selues againe, & say, tush, it is a great way off: thus they haue turned light into darknes, knowledge into ignorance, hope into errour, faith into infidelitie, glory into shame, & life into death. Speake to thē of the sonne of God, they make a iest with the man of Galilie: tel them of the sauiour of y world, they wil call him y Car­pentars sonne: such a generall apostacie the Apostle speaketh of, and this he calleth the fall from which man can not rise againe by repentance: for how can they repent, when the Apostle noteth them by this mark among other, that they are fallen from repen­tance: [Page 507] they are now (as S. Paul saith) past sorow for their sinnes, & as it is in the 2. to the Romanes, they haue a hart y cannot repēt: so saith s. Peter, that they haue such eyes as can not ceasse from sinning. Whē they haue done al things y are abhominable, yet thei will say, wherin haue we sinned? so they contemne, because they are in y deapth, & they cannot returne, because they shal finde no grace: they haue sinned a­gainst the holie ghost, & cōdemnation is their por­tion: they shall neuer repent, but fal into iudgement: and thus farre of their sinne, howe greate it is.

The thirde thing we haue here to consider, is, with what minde they doe committe this greate sinne which heere the apostle setteth out, with these wordes: they crucifie againe vnto them selues the sonne of God, and make a mocke of him: whiche, what can it be else, but euen with the spirite of the diuell (as saint Paule saith) to say that Christe is ac­cursed: for was not he made vpon his crosse, a curse for vs, y we might be made righteousnesse to God through him? they y crucifie him againe, say they not againe, y he hath a diuel, y by Belzebub y prince of y diuels he casteth out diuels? doth not their hart loade him againe with all opprobrie and shame? & where it is said, they do this vnto thēselues, it no­teth how desirously & willingly, & with what cō ­sent of mind they doe it, euen so as they would a­gaine haue the crosse of Christ a mocking stocke in the world: thus their owne conscience is their accu­ser of most wicked rebellion against God. This also appeareth plaine in the 12. Chapter of Saint Ma­thew, where when our sauiour Christ wil accuse y [Page 508] Phariseis of this great sinne, it is saide, that he sawe their thoughtes. So, in the Actes of the Apostles, where the graces of God are magnified, by the prea­ching Act 13. 45. of Paule and Barnabas, it is said of the Iewes, that when they sawe it, they were full of enuie, ray­ling, and gainesaying all that Paule and Barnabas had taught. So againe, Paule saith to Elymas: O Act [...] 13. 10. thou that art full of all subtiltie and mischiefe. And it is written of Saule king of Israel, who so highly hated and persecuted Dauid, yet he saide: Beholde, 1. Sa. 27. 21. I knowe that thou shalt be king, and that the king­dome of Israell shall be established in thy hande: by these places it is cleare, that their conscience and heart, filled with enuie and malice, doe make them, with all greedinesse, to committe abhomination. And according as they haue thus caste off God, so God againe hath cast off them, and giuen them vp to their owne vile affections: so that it is come vnto them, according to the true prouerbe: The dogge is returned to his vomit: and the swine that is washed to the wallowing in the mire: their hearts are fatte as brawne, that they can not repent: and their faces as brasse, that they can not be ashamed: and therfore their sinne is written with an yron penne, & grauen with the point of a Diamond, that it may be kept in remembraunce before the Lorde.

And here againe we see: the weake consciences that tremble for feare of their transgressions, and mourne all the day for feare of their sinnes: they are so farre off, from the sinne against the spirite of God, that the spirite cryeth in their behalfe: [Page 509] Comforte ye, comfort ye my people (sayth your God) speake comfortably to Hierusalem, and crye Esai. 40. 1. vnto her, that her warrfare is accomplished, and her iniquitie is pardoned: for she hath receiued of the Lord double for all her sinne. Their godly sorowe hath brought forth their repentance, which is vnto saluation: and wherof againe, they shall neuer repēt them. Neither let thē here be discouraged with the exāples of Esau, Iudas, or any such, who may seeme to haue beene sorrowfull: for they were not sorro­ful for their sinnes, as it is plainely testified of Esau, that he contemned his birthright, but they lamented their ruine and condemnation: neither did they loue God, but hated their owne punishment: neither did they striue against sinne, but gaue vnto it a king­dome, with power and wil to serue it. But wee that feele the lawe of the spirite, striuing against the lawe of the flesh, and in all our sinnes can say with Sainct Paul, that which we would not do, that we do: sure­ly, we knowe no sinne against the holy ghoste: we are sinners, but as Paule was, though our sinnes bee moe in number, and greater in weight: yet God our father, through his sonne Iesu Christ, doth pardon vs, and forgiue vs all our transgressions. Nowe, be­side all this that wee haue hetherto spoken, to con­clude, let vs see the word it selfe by which this sinne is named: it is named the sin against the holy ghost, not against the Godhead of the holy Ghost, for the same God is also father and sonne, nor against the person of y holy ghost, for it is no greater then the person of the father, & of the sonne: but it is to sinne [Page 510] against the graces of the spirit within vs, and so to sinne against them, that we contemne & despise thē, treade them vnder fete, accompt them prophane, & malitiously carry them awaye to all wantonnesle. This then is sinne against the holy ghost: in a conti­nuall apostacie, & generall falling from God, to sinn against thine owne conscience, so y thou despise the graces of God which he had giuen thee to y setting out of his praise, and tur [...]e them to the contempt of his maiestie and glory. Nowe, a woord or two, to shew this sinne by examples, & so we will make an end. Our first example let it be Satan him selfe, and the Angels which did fall with him: howe could they be but lightened which dwelt in the presence of the father of light? & what outward temptation could they possibly haue, which neuer had enimie beside them selues? nothing could possibly be in these, but an apostacie or falling from God: after which, tho malice of their owne minde did seeke to rob God of his glory, despising his goodnesse, and withholding y honour which they knew to be due vnto him for their creation; thus sinning against the spirite of God, they were cast downe into horrible death: neither did euer God giue vnto them a rede­mer, by whome they arise againe through repen­tance. Other examples are not easily sound, which are cleare & manifest before vs: yet in many, some appearances are, by whiche wee may iudge, and not lightly be deceiued. Caine slue his brother Abel, & wherefore did hee slaye him? because his brothers woorkes were good, and his were euill. A horible [Page 511] sinne, to hate not the man, but the vertue of the mā, and hate it so deadly, that the bonde of brother­hod could not pacifie it: neither did he this of ig­norance, for god instructed him, bad him leaue off his anger, and lift vp his countenance: why should he be malitious to his good brother? neither was he prouoked by any outward thing vnto it: for Abel was obedient to him, as his elder brother: neither did Abels vertue hurte him, but that in well doing he might be also accepted: but the author of sinne, who wrought in his malitious heart, made him haue no regarde of al this: one purpose he had, and that he held, except his brother would be wicked, he would haue no peace with him.

Another example we haue in the Scribes & Pha­riseis: they knewe Christ came from God, and that his miracles were wrought by the spirite of God: and as Pilate iustly accuseth them, of enuie and malice they sought to put him to death: their conscience accused them in all their dooinges: they corrupted Iudas with monie, to betray him: they hyred against him false witnesses: they bri­bed the souldiours, after his glorious resurrection, that yet they should saye, his disciples stole him a­way by night.

This great, wilful, malitious working against the sonne of God, of men vtterly fallen away from the liuing God, our sauiour Christe calleth it sinne a­gainst the holie Ghost. To these (I thinke) we may adde Iulianus the Emperour, who for his moste wilfull renouncing of the Lord Iesu, is called to [Page 512] this day the Apostata, who was accoūted at the first, as Hilarius calleth him, a gratious and religious Emperour, but after being spoiled by philosophie and vaine deceite, he beganne to account y worde of God to be but foolishnesse, persecuted the profes­sours of it with many mockes and taunts, that they must do good for euill, and blesse where they were cursed: and all his life made a mocke of Christ, cal­ling him in reproche the Carpenters sonne, and the man of Galilie, for no occasion but only for this, be­cause he woulde maliciously striue against Christe, as plainely appeareth in his last wordes, nowe euen dying, when he lifted his face vp to the heauens and saide: O man of Galilie, nowe thou hast got the victorie. Thus by examples I haue shewed that, which before we heard in the worde, that the sinne against the Holie Ghoste, is a generall apostacie from God, with wilfull malice and an vnrepentaunt heart to persecute his trueth vnto y end: from which sinne (dearely beloued) as we are bounde daily to pray that God of his mercie would keepe vs farre from it: so in the name of God I dare promise vnto you, that as many of you as feare at the remem­brance of it, you are as farre frō it, as the East is from the West: for this sinne is a mocking and scoffing at the sonne of God: it is not a weeping & mour­ning, least you should fall into it. Nowe let vs pray, &c.

To the Reader.

Gentle reader I thought good in this vacāt place to set down an excellent speech vttered by the Authour of this book a litle before his death: whereby thou maist clearely see and learne, that there is a sweete peace in death, to all suche as painefully serue the Lord in life. For he being raised vp in bed, and his friend requesting him to speake, the Sunne shone on his face, & thereby tooke occasion thus to say:

THere is but one Sunne that giueth light to the world: there is but one righteousnesse: there is but one Communion of Saints. If I were the excellen­test creature in the world: If I were as righteous as Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob (for they were excellent men in the world) yet we must all confesse that we are great sinners, and that there is no saluation but in the righteousnesse of Iesus Christ. And we haue all neede of the grace of God. And for my part, as con­cerning death, I feele such ioy of spirite, that if I should haue the sentence of life on the one side, and the sentence of death on the other side, I had rather chuse a thousand times (seeing God hath appointed the separation) the sentence of death, than the sen­tence of life.

The prayer which M. Deering vsed before his Lectures.

O Lorde God, whiche hast lest vn­to vs thy holie worde to be a lan­terne vnto our feete, and a light vnto our steppes, giue vnto vs all, thy holie spirite: that out of the same worde we may learne what is thy eternall will, and frame our liues in all holie obedience to the same, to thy honour and glorie, and increase of our faith, through Iesus Christe our Lorde, Amen.

DEring, in earthly life thy heauenly voice did teache
The ruth of sinnes, the trueth of endlesse grace:
And with thy voyce thy life conspired to preache
The praise of God with longing to embrace
The sweete delights wherin his Sainctes abound.
O blessed Organ of so noble sound.
When thou didst cry repentant griefe for sinne,
When with inspired breath from ghost diuine
Thy mouth powrde forth what hart did feele within,
Thy deepe desire to drawe men to incline
Their listening soules vnto the healthful word:
O happie they that turnd vnto the Lord.
And when thou didst his mercie sweete proclame,
And dist with thankfull and deliteful voyce
Set foorth the honour of his sauing name,
To quench dispaire and make the heart reioyce:
O happie hearers of so ioyful newes,
Vnhappie wretches that such ioyes refuse.
O happie thou, and all that shall with thee
Wel followe Him that ledde and is the way:
They followe well whome He hath blest to see
The path and trust, the guide that cannot stray.
Oh well, he liued whom God did so apply:
Oh well he dyed that liues eternally.
Wee thank our God for thee and for thy life,
And for the good that he by thee hath wrought,
Thy speech thy traua [...]le in his seruice rise,
Thy writings left wherby we stil be taught.
And in thy death Gods holy name be blest:
O blessed dead that in the Lord doe rest.

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