A PRE­SERVA­TIVE A­gaynste deth

Londini [...] AN.M.D.XLV.


THOMAS ELYOT KNYGHT TO HIS VVOR­shypfull frende, syr Edwarde North knight chancellour of the court of the augmentacions of the reuenues of the kinges croune, desireth well to doo.

THe lyttell boke whyche I sent to you at the begynnynge of lent last passed, a smal requitall of your gen­tyll benefites, I haue caused nowe to be printed: as well for a testimonie of the herty loue, whiche I doo beare toward you, and that be­inge printed it maie the lengar endure with you and others, as also that my priuate gyft maie be beneficiall to ma­ny men, whiche without disdaine or en­uy will oftentymes reade it. I knowe well, some men will thinke, and saie al­so perchaunce, that I spende my witte vainely. for it is the office of priestes for to preache, and that it dothe not per­teine to a knyght, muche lesse to a she­riffe, to write, specially of suche holy [Page] mattiers. Also that in writyng to you, whiche are continually occupied about the kynges maiesties busynesse, I lose all my labour: considering that beside the tymes of meale and of slepe (whi­che also be littell and scarse, as I well haue perceyued) there remaineth with you none oportunitie to reade any bo­kes of englyshe or latin. Truely I con­fesse, that priestes ought to preache, and that it is their propre office. And yet no christen man is excluded to gyue good counsaile in that whiche pertayneth to the lawes and commandementes of al­mighty god. And he that can do it, and will not (though he be no priest) I dout not but he shall make a straite reknyng for hydynge his talent. A knyght hath receiued that honour not onely to de­fende with the swerde Christis faithe and his propre countrey, agaynst them, whiche impugneth the one or inuadeth the other: but also, and that most chief­ly, by the meane of his dignitie (if that be imploied where it shuld be, and este­med as it ought to be) he shuld more ef­fectually with his learnyng and witte assayle vice and errour, moste pernici­ous ennemies to christen men, hauinge [Page] thervnto for his sworde and speare his tunge and his penne. And where for the more reuerēce due to the order of priest­hode, it is most congruent and sittyng, that preaching in commune assembles, be reserued onely to that ministracion, yet where a knyght or other man, not being of a lite estimacion, hath lernyng ioyned with moderate discrecion, yf he being zelouse of vertue, and meued on­ly by charitie, wolde fayne haue other men to remembre their state and condi­cion, and according to their dueties, to loue god, and to feare his terrible sen­tence, what lawe or raison should lette hym, with an humble spirite and vncorrupted intent, to set furth in writing or print, that whiche shalbe commodious to many men? And if he be a knight, or in other authoritie (for the rarenesse of learnynge founden in suche men) the warke shal be muche the better imbra­ced, and of the moo men desyred. Also for asmuche as I am a sheriffe, I think my selfe the more bounden to bee thus occupied. For sens it pertaineth to myn office, and also the lawes of this re­alme doo compell me to punishe trans­gressours: Howe muche more is it my [Page] duetie, to doo the best that I can, by all studye and meanes to withdrawe men from transgressing the lawes and com­maundementes of god, whiche beinge diligently and truely obserued, the oc­casions of transgressyng of temporall lawes should be clerely excluded? Moreouer as often as I doo consyder the temporall punyshementes, and doo abhorre the sharpenesse of theim, I do reuolue in my mynde, what horrible peynes are prepared for theim, whome the sonne of god shall condemne at his generall iugement, to the whiche, tem­porall tormentes being compared, doo seme but a shadow: here begynne I to feare, not for my selfe onely, but alsoo for other, which either in transgressing goddis lawes, or neglectynge our due­ties do prouoke his wrath daily by dis­plesyng hym. Wherfore aswel for myn owne erudicion, as for the remembrāce of other men, I haue gathered togither out of holy scripture this litle treatise: whiche often tymes radde and kept in remembraunce, shall be a preseruatiue against death euerlasting. And as tou­ching your oportunitie in the receiuyng it, althoughe your ministraciou be ne­cessary, [Page] yet remembre the wordes, whi­che our sauiour Christ spake vnto Martha. What I meane therby, by redyng and digestyng that place, whiche is in the tenthe chapitre of Luke, ye shal ea­sily perceiue, without an expositour. At the least waie either by day or by night Martha shall finde oportunitie to sitte downe by her sister, if not, she shall find but litle thanke for all her good house­wyfery. If Martha ministrynge vnto Christ temporally, had no more thanke for hir labor, what thanke shal we loke fore, whiche alwaie bee occupied about thynges that be worldly? thereby see­kyng onely our temporall commoditie. But yet in our dayly exercise we maie oftentymes ioyne the two systers togi­ther, as well by secrete thankes gyuen to god for his sundry benefittes, as by frequent meditacion of our laste daie. Whervnto we shall fynde occasion, as often as we do here the bell ryng at the death or terrement of any man, or here reported of pestilence or warre, thyn­kyng theim than to be the trumpettes of death, whiche do call vs to reknyng. And as touchynge the readyng of this litle woorke, if ye do rede it in the masse [Page] while, for lacke of tyme more conue­nient, I dare vndertake, god will bee therwith nothyng offended: but ye be­ing therwith stered the more deuoutly to serue hym, he shall receyue it of you as a good praier, sens that meditacion and praier be but one thing in their na­ture. And yet meditacion is the more constant. For in praier the mynde is of­tentimes wandring, and thinketh least on that, whiche by the tunge is expres­sed. In this wise dooinge, ye shall not lacke oportunitie to reade ouer this boke, whiche shall not seme longe vnto suche as I thinke that ye be, that is to saie, in whome witte ouerfloweth not grace, but gyueth place to her. Finally by readyng therof I trust vnto god we bothe shall receyue eche comforte of o­ther, as well in this present worlde, as in the worlde to come: whiche is the perfection of amitie, whiche many mo men haue writen of, than haue truely vsed as they should doo. Thus I com­mitte you to god, whom I moste herti­ly praie, to keepe you alwaie in his fa­uour long to continue.

THe hygh God commandeth, the aun­gell calleth, the trum­pet from heauen most terribly soundeth: A­rise ye that be dead, and come to the iugement: Whither I dooe eate or drynke (saieth saynt Hierom) or what so euer els that I doo, alwaye this voyce ryngeth in myne eares:Hierony­mus super Matth. Aryse ye that be dead, and come to the iudgement. As often as the daie of iugement cometh to my minde, my hert and all my whole body trem­bleth and quaketh. This is spoken by the blessed man Hierom, who not only in his childhode and youthe spente his tyme vertuously, but also beinge come to the state of a man, excluded him self from all worldly busynesse, and lyuing to the age of .lxxxx. yeres, was euer continually occupied in spirituall exercise. Conferre his lyfe with our lyues, and lette vs beholde, yf we ought any lesse to remembre this sounde of the trum­pette: Aryse ye that be dead, and come to the iudgement. O good lorde, howe should men here that be dead, and lac­kyng lyfe? howe can a man ryse on his [Page] feete, and if he can not goo? howe maie he than come to the iudgement? yes well enough, if thou consyderest what thynge that deathe is. Truely death is none other thing, than the priuacion of corporall sensis, with the departyng of the soule from the body. For whan we here not, neither see, neither smell, nor taste, nor yet feele, than truely we bee in dyeuge, or elles dead in deede. Christe calleth oftentimes to vs: Kepe (saieth he) the commaundementes:Matt. 19. Luc. 3. Do workes of repentance: watche and pray: Geue in my name, and ye shall receyue an hundred tymes as muche as ye geue, and haue lyfe euerlastynge. Leat vs nowe consydre, if we dooe heare hym: or yf we would seme to here hym. The man that is deafe will make a countenance as he dyd heare: also he that is pur­blynde will seme to see perfitely, be­cause thei would not haue their impe­diment knowen. And therfore both the one and the other maie soone be decey­ued. Somme there be, that will saie, that thei see a thyng, whan thei looke not vppon it: And that thei heare one man speake, whan thei talke to an o­ther. We in dede doo delite in thynges [Page] that be carnall and worldly. And yet whan men speake of thynges which be spirituall and heauenly, we with our mouthes doo commende it, fynally in our hertes we do nothyng regarde it. We leat Christ speake what he listeth, but yet we ceasse not to talke with his ennemies, the diuell, the fleshe, and the worlde. Call ye that heryng? no true­ly. To heare is proprely in latine Au­dire, whiche comprehendeth two actes, that is to saie, to heare and also to o­beye and do the thyng that is hearde: And therfore whan the latines would signifie, that the souldiours or seruan­tes did that whiche their maister or ca­pitayne commaunded theim, thei vsed to saie in this wyse: Fuerunt eius dicto audientes, Thei obeyed hym and did as he bade them.Deut. 6. Here Israel (saied Moy­ses) Thou shalt loue thy lorde god with all thy herte, with all thy soule, and with all thy myght. In that he saied Heare, did he not also beade them to loue god, ye also theim, whiche lyued thre thou­sande yeres afterwarde, although thei hearde not hym speake from the moun­tayn, nor yet sawe his maiestie. Nowe leat vs examine our selues, if we dooe [Page] here hym. He will haue vs to loue him with all our herte, with all our soule, and with all our myght. Where all is, no parte can be lackyng: consequently where any parte fayleth, there is not the whole, if I geue all, than can I kepe nothyng. Where one muste haue all,Io. 1. Iaco. 4. there can be no parture. The world hateth god, wherfore there is no frend­shyp nor agrement betwene them. God and richesse be so farre at discorde, that they bothe can not haue oone man to serue theim, for nedes must he hate the one, whiles he loueth the other. Thus saieth Trueth, whyche neuer fayneth nor lieth. we wold haue richesse, great possessions, muche rule and authoritie, we would not haue theim, except that we loued theim. No man is so madde, that he woulde haue the thyng that he hateth. All this is the worlde. for of the worlde it cometh, and to the world shall it be lefte. And therefore the loue that we beare toward it, we do wrong­fully take frome God, whoo oonely shuld haue it. Wherby we haue lost the more parte of our hearynge. Yet maie we happe eftsoones to recouer it, if we do receyue the medicines that Christe [Page] doeth teache vs, that is to saie, if we dooe workes of repentaunce. those be thei whiche the wise man declareth in the boke named Ecclesiasticus, sayinge:Ecclesia­stic. 17. Be conuerted to the Lorde, and forsake thy synnes: Praie in the lordes presence, and ministre thyne offences: Returne to the Lorde, and leaue thyne vniustice: Abhorre cursynge, and knowe rightous­nesse and the iugementes of God: Per­seuere and be constante in thy good pur­pose and praier to almighty God. In o­ther medicine is, to watch and to pray.Matt. 26. Marc. 14. Luc. xxii. Christe findyng his disciples sleaping, bade theim wake and praie, leste they mought enter into temptacion. For he that is on sleape, lacketh vnderstan­dynge and reason, and all that whyle maie discerne nothynge, his ennemies maie kyll hym ere he be ware: if any yll thyng come to him, he doth not per­ceiue it. Finally he neglecteth al thing, sleape onely lyketh hym, vntyll peyne constreineth hym to wake. But he that is perfitely wakyng, knoweth his ene­mie ere he come to hym, & by one meane or other auoydeth hym, orels putteth on his armour and weapon, and man­ly resisteth hym. If any other annoy­aunce [Page] cometh towarde hym, he eyther repelleth it, or fleeth awaie from it.

The diuel.

1. Pet. [...]THe dyuell, moste greattest enemy vnto man, lyke a roring lion goth about continually sekyng whom he mai deuoure: He goeth on the right hande, the lefte hande, before and be­hynde, and leaueth no part of man vu­tasted to set on his clawes, and to hold hym fast whiles he doeth deuoure him. Whan goth he on the right hand? truly whan he persuadeth the thing, whiche is good in deede, not to be good: or to omitte to doo that thyng, wherby thou shuldest please almighty god, and kepe the from the perill of eternall damna­cion. Praier (saith he) is nothing but lyppe labour, or vayne occupacion. Fastyng is a consumer and distroyer of nature. Aulmes deede kepeth men and women in ydelnesse, whyche trustynge thervppon, care not to laboure. Here vnto he wresteth holye scripture, and putteth in thy braynes false and coun­terfaite reasons. If thou be thorough waked, thou shalte shortely espie hym, only by remembryng, that God by his holye prophete, and Christe hym selfe [Page] oftentymes beadeth vs to praye. And Christe taught vs to praie: as the chief bulwarke against temptacion. And he hym selfe prayed not onely often, but also a great while togyther. dothe not Christe saye in the .xviii. chapytre of Luke:Luc. xviii. It is expedient to praie alwaie, and neuer to cesse.August. super psal. 65. The vertue of a pure and cleane praier (saieth saint Augu­stine) is great and lyke a faithful mes­sanger, he doth his erande, and entreth into the place, where to, the fleshe may not come. Howe muche the diuell ly­eth (as he is alwaie a lyar, and the fa­ther of leasynge) whan he persuadeth fastyng to bee the destroyer of nature, reason declareth, if scripture lacketh. For fastyng discretely vsed, preserueth nature, which superfluous eatyng cor­rupteth, and bringeth in sycknesse, whi­che only abstinence oftentymes cureth. And lyke as replecion oppresseth the spirites, and maketh grosse and styn­kyng vapours to ryse, wherby not on­ly the wittes be made dull, and reason is couered as it were with a cloude: so by fastyng and moderate abstinence, be made pure and swete vapours, wherof pure witte is ingendred, the spirites being [Page] quickened,Marc. 9. and raison set at hir li­bertie. whan the apostles coulde by no meanes expel a deuil that was dumbe, and demanded of Christ the cause why, he aunswered: This sort of deuilles in no wise issueth out of a man but by prayer and fastyng. Here what the holy and great doctour saynt Augustine saieth: Fastyng purgeth the mynde, lyfteth vp the witte,August in sermo. de [...]eiunio. subdueth the fleshe to the spirite, bringeth contricion and humilitie into the hert, putteth awaie the myste of inordinate desires, quencheth the feruent heate of lechery, and stereth vp the faire lyght of chastitie. And almighty god by the prophete Ioel cryeth vnto synners:Ioelis. 2. Returne to me with all youre whole hert in fastynge, lamentacion, and wepyng. Bee not these sufficient wyt­nesses, ioyned also with naturall ray­son, ynough to proue, that fastynge is good and not ylle. Than maiest thou perceiue well, that it is the deuill, that persuadeth the, that fasting is nothing but a destroyer of nature.

¶Nowe touchyng almes dede. we see oftentymes that some men and women in trustyng to receyue almesse, do cesse from labour, lyuyng in a beastly ydel­nesse. [Page] yet almesse, whiche is an acte of compassion toward theim, whiche bee in necessitee, done only for goddis sake, can not be yll.Psal. 40. Blessed is he (saieth the prophete) that considereth the poore and nedy person: In the soore and greuouse daie our lorde shall delyuer hym: Christe hym selfe saieth,Matt. 25. that in the generall iudgement, whan he shall sytte in the throne of his maiestie, he shall reherse to theim, whiche shall be on his ryght hande, howe thei gaue hym meate and drynke, howe thei lodged him, clothed hym, and whan he was sicke dyd visite him, whan he was in prison, came and refreshed hym. And they demaundyng of hym, whan they dydde so: he shall make them this aunswere. Uerily I say vnto you, As longe as ye dydde it to one of the poorest of these my bretherne, ye dyd it to me. Semblably he shall recite to theim. whiche shall bee than on his lefte hande, that thei dyd none of the saide mercyfull actes vnto hym. And they shall in lyke wyse aske of hym, whan they sawe hym in suche condici­on, and dyd not extende theyr charitie towarde hym. He shall saie: Truely howe often so euer ye dyd it not to one of [Page] these poore men, neyther ye than dyd it to me. And than shal thei go vnto euer­lastyng tourment: the good men to the lyfe, whyche shall neuer haue ende. It is therfore he, for whome aulmes is gi­uen, and not the person, to whome it is gyuen, that maketh the acte thankfull to god. And excepte it be done for god­dis sake, it oughte not to bee called al­messe dede,Ecclesi. 3. but it is rather to be named a benefite. Water (saith the wise man) doeth extinguishe the hote burnyng fyre: and almesse deede doeth resiste agaynste synne,Luc. 11. and god is the beholder thereof, whiche rendreth the thanke. Geue ye al­mes (saieth Christ) and all thynges shall be cleane vnto you. Almesse dede (saith sainct Augustine) pourgeth synne,August. in sermo. de diuite. and maketh intercession for vs vnto god. I haue redde (saieth sainct Hierom) and radde again,Hieron. ad Nepori­anum. and ouer radde scripture: yet dyd I neuer see a pitiefull man dye an yll death. If the persone, whyche receyueth thyne almesse, will spende it yll, or will therfore lyue ydelly: it shal nothyng mynishe thy thanke, soo that thou knowe it not, and dooest not wil­lingely minystre vnto hym the occasi­on of ylle. But yf thou knowe, that [Page] thyne almesse will be an occasion of y­delnesse or synne: if thou onely there­fore doest withdrawe it, to the intent thou wilt better bestowe it: thou losest not thy thanke. but warnynge the per­son of his yll lyuyng, and that therfore thou withdrawest thyn almesse: thyne almes styll continueth. So almes dede neuer hurteth the gyuer, nor is at any tyme yll: but alway retaineth hir esti­macion.

¶Remembrynge these thynges thou shalt put of the deuill, whan he cometh on thy righte hande. Yet than will he come on thy left hande, and there will he as sharply assault the, as he dyd be­fore: extollynge the thynges, whyche maie bee noyous vnto thy soule, and brynge the out of the fauour of god, so that he mai the more easily deuour the.

¶Fyrst where he is not onely subtyll and crafty, but also (as saint Augustine affirmeth) of his propre nature,Augus. de natura dae monum. Aug. re­tract. 2. by the sense that he hath of an ayry body, he doth excede the sense of erthly bodies. Moreouer hauyng a secrete knowlage of mens disposicions, wherevnto they be chiefly inclined. According thervnto he presenteth to man or womā his two [Page] fayre sisters, the fleshe and the worlde, to some both at ones, to some one, some an other, as he perceyueth their natu­res moste aptly disposed.

The flesshe.

THe fleshe with a pleasant counte­naunce approcheth and saieth vnto man: Wherefore takest thou peyne in labour or study, hauing muche or sufficient to lyue with? Lye downe and sleape, or otherwyse rest the, that thou make not nature feble and vnable to lyue. We haue but a tyme, leat vs eate and drynke, for to morowe we die. If thou be lusty, and thy fleshe full of courage:Esaiae. 22. 1. Cor. 15. thou man, why takest thou not a woman: or thou woman why ta­kest thou not a man to quenche thyn appetite? Perdie thou arte neyther of stocke nor of stone, but the chiefe of all creatures.Sapien. 2. Wherfore sens al other cre­atures were made for the, why doest thou not vse theim? Beholde I offre theim to the: satisfie nowe thy selfe with theim, in takynge thy pleasure. But take hede, and thou shalt perceiue hir a harlot. Bate of these spices, whi­che I wille reherse, and blowe in hir face: and all hir paynted beaultie will [Page] vanysshe awaie, and there shall onely appiere a lothesome visage. But firste thou shalt proue hir a lyar. for naturall reason and experience teacheth vs, that continuall rest and lacke of exercise, ex­tincteth naturall heate, and letteth di­gestion: muche ingurgitacion of mea­tes and drynkes burdeyneth nature. And although for the tyme it stereth vp lecherie, yet by lacke of sufficient con­coction, it not onely maketh the seade vnapte to generacion, but also is the o­riginall cause of horrible sycknesse and hastenyng of deathe. Ne we be ordey­ned to lyue alwaie in idelnesse, sens for the transgression of Adam, mankynde was deputed to lyue in this worlde, to whom almighty god gaue this straite iniunction:Genes. 3. In the sweatte of thy visage shalt thou eate breade, vntyll thou be tur­ned agayne into earthe. And Iob saieth: Man is borne to labour. And the saying of Genesis sainct Paule in the spirite of god doth confirme, saying:Thess. 3. Ad Cori. ep. c. 3. Lucae. He that wyll not labour shall not eate. And in an other place: Euery man shall receiue his wages after his labour. Also CHRISTS saieth, The worke man is woorthy his wages. It is therefore false, that na­ture [Page] is generally made feble by labor: for competent laboure doeth supporte and nourishe nature. And also we be of god commanded to labour. More ouer euery man (as the philosophier sayth) naturally desireth to know. And knowlage without diuine inspiracion, maie not be had without studye. Wherfore it is not agaynste nature to studye. But what a mischeuous persuasion is this, that we shoulde eate and drynke, for to morowe we dye? If deathe be soone or certayne, howe muche lesse should we eate and drinke, that we maie haue our myndes cleane, our wittes quicke, and our remembrance more redy to prepare for our recknyng? that whan the lorde shall saie to vs: Make a rekenynge of your ministracion, we breathe not in his face, the lothesome sauour of wyne or ale, or of stynkyng meate, not fully digested: but the fragraunt and swete o­dour of a cleane conscience, lyke the o­doriferous baulme and cinamome, and the chosen out myrte that geueth the sauour of swetenesse. To knowe car­nally a woman out of lefull matrimo­nie, shal not so much quenche thy fleshly appetite, as it shal kendle the wrath [Page] of god towarde the. Hereof is aboun­dant witnesse of scripture so well kno­wen, that it nedeth not to be rehersed. And because we bee neither stockes nor stones, but the chiefe of all other crea­tures, and made to the image and simi­litude of god: we should therfore kepe our bodies and soules pure and cleane to reteyne styll that similitude, and vse all other creatures onely to the glorye of his diuine maiestie, and none other­wyse to take pleasure in theim, but as we maie honestly reioyce. And he also maie therwith be pleased. Nowe blow thou on that peyncted strumpette the Flesshe, that tempteth the: and thou shalte se nothynge but a mattier lothe­some, corrupted and stynkynge, a mor­tall carrayne and bankette for euettes, todes, serpentes, and other vile wour­mes: who being than asshamed to be­holde the, will slyde a waie from the.

The worlde.

BUt yet the diuell is redy with his other syster the worlde, who is muche more daūgerous, and wars to be vanquished. for where the flesshe is abated & subdued oftentymes with many remedies, as fasting, watche, and [Page] other correction: also by labour, muche study, absence from women, age, sycke­nesse, vexacion and trouble of mynde: By none of these thynges onely, maie the assaultes of the world be sufficient­ly resysted and cleerely expelled. She cometh agaynste the with hir pappes open, fulle of serpentyne poyson: and with hir handes decked with ringes of golde and riche stones, the proffereth to imbrace the: And with a loude voyce and a dilectable, the saieth:Prouer. 7. Lo, I am come for to mete the, And nowe haue I found the, I haue decked my bedde with clothes of Aegypte, my bedde haue I made to smelle of myrre, aloes, and cyna­mome, leat vs lye together and take our pleasure. And therwith she offereth to the hir pappes. But beware of theim: the one of theim is Auarice, the other Ambicion. If thou sucke muche of theim, they will make the drunke, and take thy wyttes frome the, and than will that false harlot take the awaie with her, and lay the in hir bed, where thou shalt lye either in the softe fether bedde of Presumpcion, or the harde mattrasse of desperacion, hauynge on the, the kouerlyd of Aegypte, that is to [Page] saie, the burden of synne: wherin thou shalte slepe a dead sleape, whiche shall seeme to the a smete slepe, richesse and honour seemynge so delectable vntyll extreme sickenesse and deathe shall at­tache the, and than shalt thou perceiue of howe smalle estimacion they be of, whan thou woldest leaue theim bothe gladdely to escape those terrible mini­sters. The pappe, called Auarice, is an inordinate desire and loue of world­ly gooddes and possessions: the mylke or rather poyson therein conteyned is errour, whiche is the relinquishyng of the true pathe of iustice. Marke well what saincte Paule saieth:1. Tim. 6. Hauynge meate and sustenaunce for our bodies and clothyng, leat vs holde vs therwith con­tent. For they that desire to be riche, fall sodaynely into temptacion, and into the trappe of the diuell, also into many desi­res vnprofitable and noyfull: whiche do drowne men in deathe and perdicion. The roote of all mischiues is Coueityse, whiche some men imbracyng, haue erred from the feithe, and entāgled them selfes in many sorowes. But the worlde offe­ring to the this faire pappe, wil in this wise prouoke the to sucke, whan thou [Page] (saieth she) shall behold other men ha­uyng fayre and wel decked houses, and about theim great pastures and medo­wes, and other cōmodities, some great flockes of shepe, or other cattell, some hauyng plate, and other maner of ry­chesse, than thynkest thou in thyn hert: O what fortune hath this man? yf I had the one halfe that he hath, howe meryly coulde I lyue? Beware nowe, take heede, for thou arte in ieopardie. Loke vpwarde, and thou shalt perceiue God calleth vnto the frome heauen: Man, thou shalt not coueite thy neygh­bours house. &c.Exodi. 27. Aug. de interpellati­one. lob. Prouerb. Auarice saieth saynt Augustine hath no measure, it is neuer saciate in taking, but more vehemently styrred: the more that it getteth, the more it nedeth. Beware therefore, and touche not that pappe: for it will cleue to the, like to pitche, and pollute the. And although thou thynkest thou canst moderate thyne appetite, and hold the contente, whan thou haste enough: yet for all that, whan thou haste the neple in thy mouthe, thou shalte neuer be sa­tisfied:Augus. de uerbis dn̄i If thou wilt not beleue me, yet beleue the holy man and great doctour sainct Augustine, whiche in the sermon [Page] that he made of the woordes of oure lorde, saieth in this wise: The couai­tous desyre of riche men is euer vnsa­ciable. It alwaye raueneth and neuer is satisfied. It doth neither feare god, nor hath man in reuerence. It spareth not the father, it knoweth not the mo­ther, it agreeth not with the brother, & with the frend he neuer kepeth touche. He oppresseth the wydowe, on the fa­therlesse chylde he entreth, he reduceth free men vnto seruitude, and bryngeth in false witnesse, therby the goodes of deade men are vniustly possessed. Wherfore they shall surely die. What a mad­nesse is this of mens soules, to lose the lyfe, seke for perpetuall deathe, to geat treasure, and to lose heauen and ioye euerlastyng? And sainct Gregory con­firmeth the same,Greg. mo ralium. 15. with a notable sen­tence. Coueityse (saieth he) is neuer quenched with the thynges, whiche be desyred. for lyke to the fyre, after that it hath consumed the woode, whiche is layde in it, it is more increaced. And where the flame semeth to be kepte in, there it appeereth soone after to braste out more feruently. Nowe to prepare vs to resiste against this assault of the [Page] worlde, let vs fyrst reuolue in our myn­des the fruites and cōmodities, whiche ar therby receiued. Of Auarice (saieth saint Augustine) spryngeth al mischief,Augus. de liber. arb and therof the brembles or thornes of all synne are brought furth: A detesta­ble soyle, wherin suche mischiefe dothe growe: A barayne ground, that hath nothynge but brembles, whyche shall rente thy soule with most horrible tor­mentes. And as pleasant as this pappe seemeth to bee, yet it bryngeth also in this worlde some incommodities, whi­che is wounderfully well declared by saincte Gregory.Greg. mo ral. 20. If the herte (saieth he) gapeth, desyring thynges worldly, it maie in no maner of wyse be q [...]iete and out of vexacion. for either it desy­reth that, which it hath not, to thintent it mought haue it: or els feareth that, whiche it hath, leste he shall lose it. And where in aduersitie he hopeth of prosperitie, in prosperitie he feareth aduersitie. And so is he tossed hyther and thyther, as yf he weere amonge troublous waters, and is tourned into many sundry facions through the mu­tabilitie of thynges, chaungynge this waie and that maie. But if the mynde [Page] be ones fixed with a sure constantnesse in the feruente desyre of the heauenly cuntreie, it is the lesse vexed with trou­ble of thynges that be worldly. True­ly if men wolde alwaie haue in remem­brance this saying of Christ in the go­spell of Marc:Marc. 10. It is more easy for a ca­mell to passe thorough the eie of a nedle, than the riche man or woman to enter in­to the kyngdome of heauen: truely (I saie) he wolde rather feare to be riche, than to desyre abundaunce of richesse. And the wyse man saieth:Eccles. 31. He that lo­ueth golde, shall not be iustified. But this is to be diligently noted: All riche menne be not excluded out of heauen, though thei with more difficultie maie attayn to it, than the camel maie passe through the eie of a nedle. for it is pos­sible, that God maye make hym suche one as Salomon speaketh of, where he saieth:Ibidem. Blessed is the riche man, that is found without wemme, and hath not gon after golde, nor put his truste in moneye and treasure. who is he (saieth the wise man) and we wyll commende hym? For in this lyfe he hath done wounders. And it foloweth immediately after: who so is tried and found perfette in those thyn­ges, [Page] he shalbe praysed. He might offend, and hath not offended: He mighte haue done yll, and hath not done it: Therfore his good shalbe stablished: And the Congregacion shall declare his good deedes. This is the riche man, whiche shall go through the straite passage, whom god hath disburdeyned of that thyng, whi­che should be an impediment to hym: But yet herest thou not, that he which loueth money, I meane the man that is coueitouse, is in any wyse iustified as longe as that affection remaineth.Abacuc. 2 Wo be to hym (saieth the prophete Abacuc) that doeth multiplie gooddes, whiche be not his. Agayne he saieth: Wo be to hym, whiche doth gather vnto his house mischeuous auarice, to thintent his neste maie be sette in a veraie high place: thyn­kyng that he shall therby escape the po­wer of an yll man. Here is wo and woo agayne, beware the thirde wo, which is rehersed by Esaias, saying: Wo be to the, that doest robbe: that is to saie, takest by violence or crafte other mens goodes. These thre woes shall most la­mentably by sungen of theim, whyche beinge in horrible darkenesse and fyre, shall crye, Alas, alas, alas, what abun­daunce [Page] is there of darkenesse? Conferre this with the plesure of worldly good­des and possessions, whiche wilte thou or no, thou knowest not howe shortely shall by deathe or other wyse be taken awaie frome the. And consyder there­with the saying of our sauiour Christe: Make not youre treasure (saieth he) in this worlde,Matth. 6. where the mothe and the ruste dooe destroye it, and theues dooe picke it awaie, and do steale it. Prepare you a treasure in heauen, where neither ruste nor mothe maie eate or consume it: nor theues dygge for it, nor steale it. Nowe marke well, that here bee twoo treasures, whyche been also distincte in their nature and qualities. The one is sure, and maie not be corrupted: the other vnsure, and sone is perished. The one treasure Christe byddeth vs to ga­ther: the other in generall woordes he dothe prohibite vs to laye vp: the one purchaseth for vs ioye and lyfe euerla­styng, the other death and peyne with­out ceassynge. CHRISTE saied to the yonge man, whiche frome his infancie had kepte the commaundementes: If thou wilte be perfect, go sell all that thou hast, and geue it to poore men, and than [Page] come and folowe me. He alsoo called sainct Mathew, sittyng in the custome house, about the emperours reuenues, and bade hym to folowe hym.Luc. 16. The ry­che man, whiche was euery daie appa­railed in purple, and fared very sump­tuously, at the laste died, and was bu­ried in hell: yet we reade not, that he dyd any other thyng yll, but for asmu­che as he delyted in thynges superflu­ous: it was afterwarde saied to his soule, lying in horrible peynes: Sonne contente the, thou receyuedst in thy lyfe thynges that were pleasant. He receiued it, but bycause he gaue not therefore thankes vnto God, and disposed not his goodes in warkes of charitie, he final­ly receiued a terrible sentence, Content the with peynes. O m [...]cyfull Iesu, is rychesse so perillous? Be ryche menne good lorde in thy syght so displeasant? Heare nowe howe he aunswereth.Luc. 6. Wo be to you ryche menne, for ye haue here your consolacion. These woordes bee wonderfull terrible.Iacob. 5. And therof saint Iames speaketh to suche men in this wyse: Goe to ye ryche men, weepe and houle on your wretchednesse, whiche shal come on you, your richesse is corrupted, [Page] your clothes be mothe eaten: your golde and syluer is cankred, the ruste of theim shall be your wytnesse, and lyke the fyre shall eate your fleshe. Howe lyke ye this sentence? adde thervnto the saying of Salomon:Prouer. 11 Rychesse in the daie of ven­geaunce shall nothyng auayle the. This mundane rychesse, this cankered and mothe eaten rychesse: but the true ry­chesse, which (as saint Bernard saith) be the vertues,Bernard serm. 4. whyche thy conscience bringeth with hir, that thou maiest e­uer be ryche, that rychesse shall boldly speake for the, and make all the court of heauen to be thy friendes, and also to haue a mercyfulle iudge. But leste these terrible sentences agaynst ryches & ryche men, maie cause you to thynke, that I generally disprayse and con­demne all theim that be ryche, I wyll brefely declare, that I doo not so.

¶The philosophier putteth rychesse a­monge thynges, whiche be indifferent to good and to ylle. Wherfore he that hath rychesse, hauynge for him selfe no more than is necessary for his lyuynge, and disposeth the residu where as most nede is,Hiero. in ep ad Sal­uiam. he that so hath it, shall take no blame for the hauyng, if he come iustly [Page] by theim, for the mysvsynge he shall make a straite rekenyng. For as saynt Ambrose saieth:Ambrosi­us super Lucam. Leat ryche men lerne, that the offence is not in the gooddes, but in persones that dooe not well vse theim. for rychesse to yll men is an im­pediment, but vnto good men an ayde vnto vertue. And Christe hym selfe bid­deth vs to make frendes in heuen with our rychesse, whiche he nameth the I­doll of iniquitie. But for as muche as couaitise for the more part bringeth in rychesse,Aug. ser. 29. and abundaunce bryngeth in detestable synnes, pride, crueltie, enuy, lechery, and gluttony, with neglecting of the commaundementes of god: ther­fore holy scripture doeth iustly reproue it. Sainct Augustine (in myn opinion) mooste excellentely wryteth, where he saieth: The syknes of richesse is pride, it is a noble courage, that is nothynge touched with this syckenesse, where there is abundance of rychesse: yet is it a more noble herte that subduyng his owne rychesse, doeth also contemne it. Therfore that riche man is noble, whi­che thynketh not hym selfe noble, by­cause he is ryche. Haue these thynges alwaie in remembrance: and either ye [Page] shall not seeke muche for rychesse, or at the leste waie, although ye haue it, este­myng it to the pourpose, wherfore it is ordeyned, ye shall keepe you frome the saied pappe, whyche the worlde doeth offre you.

¶But she is furthwith ready to prof­fre the pap of Ambicion, which is sem­blably an inordinate desyre of worldly promocion. I calle that an inordinate desyre, wherin is not had respect of or­dre, as they whiche desyre and laboure to haue rule or authoritie, they beinge without vertue: and dooe it rather for their owne estimacion and glory, than to augment any thyng to the glorye of god, or for the publike weale of theyr cuntreie, or to be more able to do dedes of charitie. for the whiche causes one­ly, authorities and great dignities wer fyrst begunne. The worlde I say prof­freth to vs the pap of Ambicion. sucke hereof (saith she) And thou shalt know howe to attayne to the fauour and esti­macion of men that be worldly. Thou shalte haue the pleasaunt eloquence of assentacion and flattery, to praise that whiche dooeth best please them: and to dispraise that, whiche dooeth myslyke [Page] theim: to affirme that to bee in theim, that neuer approched theim: to speake fayre vnto theim, and thynke shrewdly of theim: to vse that thynge that they seeme to delyte in. And not that waye onely, but also how to fynde oportuni­tie to gyue pleasures for the optayning thy purpose. Than shall men haue the in reuerence, and be aferde to displease the: than what thou wilte require, no man will deny the: many men shal be­holde the, many shal folowe the. Hap­pye shall he be reputed, whiche shall seeme to be familiare with the, or mu­che in thy company. Thou shalte be a­ble to aduaunce thy kynnesfolke and friendes to authoritee, and keepe hym alwaie backe, whiche dooeth not lyke the. Thou shalte therby come to great possessions, goodly manours, wel dec­ked houses, to haue many tall men a­boute the, and to lyue pleasauntly.

This persuasion of the worlde is wonderfull vehement. wherfore fewe men, and that with muche difficultie, maie well escape it. For it is a vile courage, that is not attached with Auarice. A gentyll herte for the more parte couey­teth honoure, whiche is supposed to be [Page] in authoritee: but in deede it maie be in nothynge, but in vertue onely. For honoure is nothynge but honestee, al­though it hath ben vsurped for the esti­macion, that is in authoritee. And so is it takē of Aristotle, to be the rewarde of Uertue. But Chrysostomus saieth: Ueraie honoure is the Uertue of the mynde,Uerie ho­nour. whiche is neither geuen by em­perours, nor gotten by flaterers, nor boughte with substaunce. In that no­thyng is countrefaite, nothynge is fei­gned, nothyng maie be hydde. Al be it for this purpose that we go aboute, let vs take honour accordynge to the com­mune opinion, whiche comprehendeth in that woorde Honour, authoritee, di­gnitee, estimacion, and fame: what is it els but wordly vanitee? It is some tyme fresshe in the mornynge, lyke a floure in sprynge tyme: and (as we haue seene in experience) by nyght it is faded and comen to nothyng. Beholde what fruite cometh of it, & thou shalte not be muche desyrous to haue it: But that shalt thou learne of a muche more wisar man than I am or shall be, who also had thereof more experience, and coulde better declare it than any man [Page] lyuynge.Cicer pro L. Flacco. Tullie in an oracion crieth out in this wyse:

O the miserable condicions peo­ple, whiche be vnder gouernaunce, a­monge whom diligence is ful of secrete displeasures, negligence full of repro­ches, where sharpenesse is dangerous, gentylnesse vnthankefull, communica­cion deceitfull, all mens coūtenaunces familiare, many mens myndes discon­tented, conspiracies secrete, flatteryn­ges apparant, whiles great officers be comynge, thei attende on theim, whan they be presente, they be redy to serue them, whan thei departe from their of­fices, thei cleane doe forsake theim.

I suppose no man will thynke, that Tully lieth, we haue seen the same ma­tier so often tymes proued. And at this present tyme maie be made the lyke ex­clamacion. Wherfore such honor maie be wel called a vanitee or fantasy, take whiche ye lyst. Yet let vs seke out more of the fruit that procedeth therof. who attayneth to honour without labour of bodye or mynde, or bothe for the more parte? who remayneth in honour free from the one or the other? Who depar­teth from honoure without deathe, or [Page] herty sorow, muche warse than dethe? Before that honour is had, what thing is spared to haue it? whan honoure is had, what thynge is vndone to reteyne it? It is not necessarie to write al thynges, whiche might be declared. Finally for as muche as they, whiche be ad­uaunced to honoure, ought by their ex­ample and dignitee, to instructe or compell other to lyue in the ordre of iustice. If thei omitte it, or doe it negligently: lyke as they be puissaunt, so shall their tormentes be mighty, as it is spoken of the holy goste, by the mouthe of the wyse man. Perchaunce hope of lyfe maie cause vs to passe light of this les­son. But if we consyder daiely, howe many men we haue knowen, beynge of yeres lusty stronge and couragious, a­boundynge in the giftes of nature and fortune, howe sodaynely aboue mens expectacion and also their owne, haue ben attached with deathe, either natu­rall or violente, that is to saie, beynge either slayne or put to execucion by la­wes. Remembryng also, that deathe is indifferente to euery estate, as well the highest as the lowest: sauyng that it is more peynefull and troublouse to [Page] them, whiche be in authoritee, whan they consyder, that they can not take their authoritie with theim: But be­yng in the pytte, the poore cartar or co­blar, whyche perchaunce was layde there before hym, shall than be felowe and equall with hym: but the coblar or carters soule in muche better condi­cion, whan thei come bothe to their re­kenyng. Thei shal saie: Thou diddest call vs, good lorde, vnto a poore liuing, wherwith we helde vs contented. The great man shall saie: I couayted, and had, good lorde, muche honour and substance, wherwith I might neuer be sa­tisfied. Thei shal saie: we thanke the good lorde, we had no more to care for, but our selfe, our wyues, and our chil­dren, and all we haue kepte thy com­maūdementes. But he shal saie: I had wyfe and children also, and more ouer a great numbre vnder my rule and au­thoritee: but neither I nor thei dydde truely our duetie. They shall speake boldly with comforte: he tremblynge and quakyng al in discōforte. On them shal al the blessed companie of heauen smyle, and reioysynge saie with one voyce:Psalm. 119 Blessed are thei, whiche be vn­defiled [Page] in their viage, whiche do walke in the law of our lord.Psal. 94. Com your wai, let vs to gyther reioyce & be glad in our lorde. Let vs merily synge vnto god, who hath preserued vs. But vpon the great man shall they caste a disdeignefull counte­naunce, and saie one to an other:Psal. 52. Lo, this is the man, that toke not God for his strengthe, but trusted in the multi­tude of his great substaunce, and made hym selfe stronge in his wickednesse. And than shal thei tourne their heades from hym, and looke towarde god, to heare his iudgementes. O with how sweete a voyce, with how pleasaunt a countenaunce shall he beade the poore carter and coblar come into that hea­uenly companie, where they shall lyue euer in lyght incomprehensible, and in pleasures vnspeakeable? O with how angrie and displeasant a countenance, with howe terrible & grieuous a voyce shall he beade the great man, go with the diuell and his angels into perpetu­al darkenesse and peynes inestimable?

Compare these thynges to gither, and than take if thou wilte bothe breastes in thy handes, that the worlde dooeth offre the, and souke thy bealy ful of the [Page] indignacion of god. Yet shall not men thynke, that in the disprayse of Ambi­cion, I seeme to haue al worldly digni­tees in muche detestacion. For I know well, that almighty God from the be­gynnynge ordayned Authoritee, as a thyng in earthe representyng his Ma­iestee. And as he sayeth by the holy goste, in the booke called wysedome: Authoritee is geuen of our lorde and po­wer of hym that is highest.Sapien. 6. And Christe submitted hym selfe to the powers of the worlde.ad Ro. 13. Greg. in Iob. 35. Semblably sainct Paule commaundeth the same vnto all men. More ouer sainct Gregorie saieth, that temporal authoritee is of great estima­cion, and with God hath his rewarde for his good ministracion and gouer­naunce. And veraily I dooe suppose, that no man maie geare more thanke of god, than he, whiche truely and vertuously cometh to authoritee, and doth ministre it charitably and vncorruptly. For by hym Iustice is nourished, neces­sitee is relieued, and the publike weale maynteyned, true religion stablished, vice repressed, and Uertue increaced: whiche without Authoritee maie not be brought vnto passe. Wherfore he [Page] that for those causes onely is contente to be in authoritie, displeaseth not god. And he that for his vertue onely is cal­led to honour, he it is that is called of God, lyke as Aaron was called. [...] Heb. 5. And perseueryng therin, and ministryng for the weale of his countray, and not for his propre commoditie: he nedeth not to feare the terrible sounde of the trumpette, although he heareth it with the eares of his soule: but beynge armed with feithe, puttyng his truste in gods woorde, shall prepare hym to receyue his noble maister with ioye, who shall for the well imploying of his treasure, saie vnto hym:Matth. 25. Luc. 19. Well mote thou fare good and feithfull seruaunt, sens in a few thynges thou haste ben so trusty, I shall therfore sette the in Authoritee ouer a great many thynges: enter into the ioye that thy Lorde hath prepared. Yet leat not euery man, whiche is in authoritee flatter hym selfe with this declaraci­on: but hauing (as I haue saied often tymes) in his eares the sowne of the trumpette: than foorth with examine hym selfe, howe he hath atteyned au­thoritee, whiche waie he entred, by the fore doore, the backe doore, or the wyn­dow, [Page] that he be not called a thiefe, but a true shepeherde, that he go right in his garmētes, lest it be saied vnto hym: My friende, how camest thou in not ha­uyng vpon the thy weddyng apparayle?Matth. 22. If he came in by gieuyng great giftes or by flatterie, or to the intent onely to gather great substance: than maie he be well assured, that he came not in at the fore doore, nor can not shewe his face for a true shepeherde. If he ap­pere before Christe laded with possessi­ons and richesse, beyng not withstan­dyng naked of vertue and of benefittes emploied on the publike weale of his countray, he hath on a wronge garmēt. And than shall he here the kyng saie to his officers: whan ye haue boūd his handes and his feete, throwe hym into ex­treme darkenesse: there shall be waylyn­ges, and gnashyng of teeth. He therfore ought to be aferde of the trumpet. And put awaie his mouthe from the pappe of the worlde, and takynge quyekely a draught of repentaunce, to vomite vp the milke of Ambicion, wherof he hath souked. Also with contricion, confes­sion, and satisfaction, whiche three do make an holsome electuarie, to clense [Page] the veynes of the soule, of that vene­mous iuyce of damnable synne, whiche the saied mylke hath in hym engen­dred. But nowe if he doeth refuse this pappe of Ambicion, and putteth from hym this flatteryng worlde, as I will counsaile hym: Than wille she trans­forme her self into an other figure, and shew her selfe like a ꝑsonage pyned for hūger, with a ragged garment all styn­king: How lykest thou me? wil she saie. I am named Penurie. If thou loke not better to thy thrifte, thou shalt shortly come to my seruice. Seest thou not how many charges be nowe in the worlde? And if thy substaunce decaie, thou lo­sest foorthewith thy friendes: and fy­nally no man shall greatly esteme the. Knowest thou not, that suche one and suche one, were but late poore men, mu­che inferiours vnto the? And they by their industrie be come to promocion, thou shalt se theim be taken aboue the, and to be hadde in more estimacion. Thou haste as muche witte as any of theim hath, and also better acqueyn­tance than they hadde: applye there­fore thy witte to worldly policye, and acqueynte the with dissimulacion and [Page] flatery, pleasaunt children whiche can dooe well theyr message. Leat priuate aduantage be chief aboute the. Awaie with Simplicitee and Scrupulositee, leat them in noo wyse come nygh the, nor loke not vpon theim. Leat Mala­pertnesse be thyne Huishar, he will get the a place where so euer thou comest. And thus shalt thou shortly come vnto welth and authoritie. And if thou wilt not do thus, thou shalt to late repente the in pouertie.

¶ O cursed and vengeable serpente, howe wylily and craftily she layeth in waite for to take vs. But let vs wype cleane the eies of oure conscience, and see by the lyght of holy scripture, and we shall playnly perceyue her deuises, and escape from hir hookes. The pro­phete king Dauid spake this in spirite:Psal. 37. I haue ben yonge, and nowe am I olde: and yet I neuer sawe the iuste man forsa­ken, nor them that came of hym beggyng their breadde. Truely he that feedeth the byrdes of the ayre, and lilies of the fielde, will not see vs that are made to his lykenesse lacke that whyche is ne­cessary vnto our lyuyng, yf we put our truste holly in hym.Psalm. 37. Better is a litle vn­to [Page] the iuste man (saieth the prophete) than the excedyng great richesse of syn­ners.Pro. 15. Better is a litle (saith Salomon) with the feare of god, than great and vn­saciable treasours.Mat [...] Blessed be they that are poore in spirite (saieth Christ) for to theim belongeth the kyngedome of hea­uen. Mans wytte was gyuen to hym to glorifie god, and to learne to knowe god, and to kepe his commaundemen­tes. The earthe is the Lordes,Psal. 23. and all thyng that is therein conteyned, the cir­cuite of the worlde, and al creatures that dooe inhabite therein. what so euer he will, he doeth in heauen, in earthe, in the sea, and in the deepe botomlesse places. His wysedome and bountie exceedeth all praises. For neither angel nor man is sufficient to tell theim. wherfore he knoweth me that am his owne handy worke, and the depenesse of my herte: he loketh vnto it. he knoweth the met­tall that I am made of, and whervnto it is moste aptly disposed, either to his glorye, or to my perpetuall confusion. He is moste merciful. For his mercies bee without noumbre. wherefore if I loue hym, and serue hym with a true feithe: he will vndoubtedly geue me [Page] that thynge, whiche to hym shall seme most expedient for me, either richesse or pouertie. Semblably will he doo, yf I breake his commandementes, and doo not my duetie, he will sende me richesse and great authoritie, that by the mys­ordryng of theim, I shall accumulate the yre of god in the daye of his venge­ance. wherfore I will not enuy theim that be prosperous. for if they be iuste men, and do ministre faithfully, I will reioyce that vertue hathe the rewarde that is due vnto her, aud hope that therby vertue shall increase by theyr myni­stracion:Psal. 37. yf they be yl men, I will con­syder that they shall soone wither lyke vnto hey, and shall shortly fall downe like the greene herbe (as the prophete writeth.) And I will not dissemble nor flatter, consyderyng that it is vnexcu­sable before god, who is all truthe, and hateth lyinge.Exod. 23. Prouer. 7. ye shall not (saieth he) lye, nor any of you deceiue his neighbor. Sixe thynges there be, whiche our lorde hateth, and the seuēth his hert detesteth. A proude countenance, A lying tungue, Handes shedyng innocentes bloude, An herte imagenynge mischeuous deuyses, swift feete runnyng to dooe an yll deede, [Page] hym that inuenteth and bryngeth foorthe lyes: and suche one as soweth variaunce betwene bretherne or friendes. I re­membre, that, sainct Augustine dooeth saie: Who so euer for feare of any n [...]a [...] in authoritie hydeth the trueth, prouoketh the wrath of God to fall on hym. For as muche as he dredeth man more than he feareth God.De confli­ctu uitio­rsi & uirt. The same holy man saieth: Neither with crafty lea­synge, nor playne communicacion one ought to deceyne any man. For thereby he kylleth his soule. Flatery and Assentacion, whiche is onely the main­teynance of a false opinion or sentence, thei be the messagers of gyle or deceipt whiche God vtterly hateth: The gyle­full woorde God shall abhorre, sayeth the prophete.Orige. suꝑ ep. ad Ro. Gyle. Gyle (as Origene saieth) is where a man speaketh one thyng with his toung, and in his herte thynketh an other thynge.Flaterie. Assenta­cion. Flatery and Assentacion in the iudgemente of God, is wars than the sweorde of the murderer. For firste the flaterer kyl­leth his soule that he flatereth, if he receyue the stroke willyngly: and in kyllynge hym, he kylleth hym selfe. Therfore wyll I not flater, and su­stayne [Page] the indignacion of God for ri­chesse or honoure, whiche be lyke vnto shadowes, durynge no longer than fa­uoure or princes dooeth shyne, and of­ten tymes not so longe, deathe preuen­tynge our purposes, who bryngeth our bodies naked to the earthe, to be gna­wen with woormes, and our soules al­so naked before the presence of God, who shall iudge euery man after his warkes. wherfore I will couayte nei­ther richesse nor pouertie: but to that, whiche God shall sende me, I will ap­plie my witte onely to exercise the one or the other vnto his glorie.

Although the diuell be herewith con­founded, yet some tyme he will not so ceasse, but returneth agayne in a more terrible figure, lyke a great gyaunte with an horrible visage, and as if he had a great clubbe in his hande, and with a proude voyce he speketh in this wyse. Presumest thou ingnorant foole, to atteyne to the kyngdome of heauen by thy warkes? Thynkest thou that almes dede, fastyng, or prayer, or that foolishenesse, whiche thou callest Uer­tue, have power to brynge the to any other estate than God hath ordeyned [Page] the? Accordynge as he hath predesti­nate the, so shalte thou be: He neuer chaungeth his purpose: his iudgement is constaunte, lyke as his knowlage is from the begynnynge. If he hath ordeyned the to be saued, dooe all thyng that thyne appetite lykethe the, and thou shalte be cleane in his sight. If he hath predestinate the to be damned: take all the peynes that thou canste i­magine, and all shall not helpe the.

A sore assaulte, and an horrible enne­mie. werfore we neede to call vnto god for better helpe than our witte can pro­uide vs. well, God is redy for theim, that in perfette feith call or knocke, as he hym selfe promised.Psal. 74. O God mayn­teine thyne owne cause, remembre how the foole dooeth blaspheme the daiely. Tourne not thy face from me: for I am troubled, but quickely heare me good lorde. foolishe is he that will seke for thy mysteries, or will aske of the, why thou dooest this thyng or that thyng. I am the vessell that thou thy selfe madest, dooe with me as it shall lyke thy diuine maiestee: yet shall I not ceasse to put my trust in thy woorde, not that I will compell the to saue me: but that [Page] I beleue, that thou hast all redy saued me by thyne onely sonne Iesu Christe, accordynge vnto his saiynge. He that beleueth (saieth he) hath lyfe euerla­styng. Also He that heareth my worde, and beleueth hym that hath sent me,Ioan. c. 3. Ioan. 5. hath life euerlasting, and cometh not vnto iud­gement, but shall passe from deathe vnto lyfe.1. Ioan. 5. Euery man (saieth sainct Iohn) that beleueth, that Iesus is Christe, he is borne of God, I therefore firmely and stedfastly beleuynge good Lorde, that I am borne of the: and thou wilt not suffre that, which is borne of the, for the perishe. More ouer, lyke as thou art all good, and the chiefe of all good­nesse, so loueste thou all that is good, and hateste all that is yll. wherfore who so euer is borne of the, dooeth the semblable: and by that it is knowen, who is of the, whiche doeth good war­kes, not presumynge to haue thereby the kyngdome of heauen, but that by the dooynge he warkes of our father, our father maie knowe vs, that we be his owne sonnes:ad Ro. S. whome he hath pre­destinate and also called: and beynge called, hath also iustified: and beynge iustified, hath also magnified, makyng [Page] vs the inheritours of the kyngdome of heauen. And although the carter dry­ueth the horse to go faster or slower, as it lyketh hym, yet he neuer dryueth theim out of the right waie: So does our lorde meue vs to go faster or slower in his pathes, as it lyketh hym to dis­pose his grace. But yet frome the be­gynnyng that he ordeyned mankynde,Ecclesia­stic. 15. he lefte hym in the power of his owne counsaile, whiche is his Free will. Al be it of his infinite mercie, where it pleaseth hym to shewe it, if we drawe out of the true pathe, with his whippe of grace, he some tyme easily, some tyme sharply, with trouble, sickenesse, or pouertie assaieth to tourne vs into the right waie. He neuer dryueth vs out thereof: but aideth reason, whiche in our Free will is some tyme corrup­ted. wherfore I feare not his predesti­nacion in me, sens I seke not to knowe suche thynges as be aboue that I can reache, leste I be oppressed with his maiestee. But I feare his wrathe, whiche I haue deserued. And yet will I not ceasse to truste in his mercie.

Thus maie we fortifie our selfes a­gaynst this horrible geaunt. But than [Page] some tyme wil he inforce hym to strike vs with his great and heauy clubbe, whiche is wilfull opinion: wherwith if he happen to hitte vs, he striketh out the eies of our soule, and maketh it blynde in the vnderstandyng of scrip­ture: or taketh awaie our sauoure and taste, that the hearynge or readynge thereof becometh vnpleasant vnto vs. But agaynst that stroke leat vs in this wyse prepare vs. Firste leat vs heare or reade with an humble spirite, exclu­dyng all arrogance.Ecclesia­stic. 3. How great so euer thou be (saieth the wise man) humble thy selfe in all thynge: and thou shalte fynde fauour in the sight of god. Lyke as wilfull opinion cometh of presump­cion, or to muche curiositee: so is it best resisted by humilitee and simplici­tee, whiche be their contraries. Sa­lomon saieth:Pro. 11. The Simplicitee of the iuste men shall condute theim: that is to saie, shall leade theim the right waie. I take Simplicitee here, not for the lacke of discrecion, but for the pure­nesse of the mynde, without mixture of fraude or worldly policie. And there­fore sainct Augustine saieth:Augu. suꝑ Io. hom. 2 Thou art simple, if thou dooest not wrappe thy [Page] selfe in the worlde, but vnwrappest thy selfe. By vnwrappynge thy selfe from the worlde, thou art simple: by wrap­pyng thy selfe in it, nedes shalt thou be double. Humbly therfore and simply reade and heare holy scripture, not presumyng, that thou vnderstandest euery thyng that thou doest reade, whiche to other seemeth darke: but often tymes, if thou maiest, consulte with theim, whiche be syncerely exercised therein, or with the bokes of moste aunciente and catholike doctours. Or if thou maiest not easily or shortly come by the one or the other, ceasse to be curiouse, and committe all to god, vntyl it shall lyke hym, by some meanes to reuele it vnto the. Beware, drawe not the vn­derstandynge of scripture to thyne af­fection: but slake thine affection before thou appliest thy witte to make expo­sicion. And alwaie thynke, that if any place of scripture seemeth to fauoure any carnall or worldely affection, or withdraweth the from charitee, thinke than surely, that thou doest misvnder­stande it, remembrynge what saincte Paule saieth:ad Timo. ep. 2. ca. 3. All scripture geuen by the inspiracion of God, is profitable to [Page] teache or reproue, to correct and instruct in iustice, that the man of God maie be perfette, prepared and ready to dooe all good warkes. More ouer we shal make scripture pleasaunte vnto vs, by often readynge or hearyng thereof: so that wee dooe vnderstande it, by the mea­nes whiche I before haue declared. If we dooe not vnderstande it, we shall thynke it very vnsauery. If we wolde applie it vnto our phantasy or priuate commoditee, and than thynke that we doe vnderstande it: we than be striken with the clubbe of wilful opinion, and our taste and sauoure is altered vnto a false tast and a false smell. And the di­lectacion that we than haue in hearing or readynge, is the more to our perpe­tuall confusion, the truethe of the scri­pture of God beyng witnesse agaynste vs. wherfore seus saint Peter in his se­counde epistle saieth,2. Pet. 3. that Paule accor­dyng to the wysedome geuen vnto hym, hath written of thinges, amonge the whi­che are many thynges harde to be vnder­stande, whiche they that be vnlerned and not constaunt, dooe peruert, as they doe the residue of scripture, vnto their owne perdicion. This was spoken of the [Page] prince of the apostles, which is a suffi­cient testimonie, that there be sundrie places in scripture, whiche doe require bothe learnyng and a constaunt feith­to be wel vnderstande. And that the [...] whiche dooe lacke bothe the one and the other, dooe often tymes peruert it. wherfore lorde God, geue vnto vs an humble spirite with simplicitie, a good instructour, and a constaunte feithe, whereby we maie be directed to enter boldely into thy tabernacle, whiche is holy Scripture, wherin resteth thy di­uine maiestee. without those leaders we ought reuerendly and fearefully to approche,2. Reg. 6. leste we be striken as Ozah was for settynge his hande to the arke of God, presumynge on the power of our propre wittes.

Thus maie we resiste the assaultes of our olde subtile ennemie, so that nei­ther on the right, nor on the lefte hand, nor comyng before vs, he shall haue a­ny great aduantage to slea vs. Than sometyme lyke a false thief he wil pri­uely come behynde vs, and ere we be ware, ioyne hym selfe with our natu­ral passions, Feare and wrathe, and so vehemently stereth theim, that if we [Page] dooe not preuent it by wisedome, they shall expulse from vs bothe iustice and reason. Beware (saieth he) what thou dooest or saiest in that mattier: take [...]ede that thou losest not thy friende. Suche one is in authoritee, he maie do the a shrewde tourne: thou wer better haue hym thy friende than thyne enne­mie. Beware what thou saiest, trueth is not alwaie to be tolde: those woor­des be vaynely bestowed, whiche dooe not profitte the hearer, but hurteth the speaker. It were better be spechelesse, than to geue counsaile thankelesse.

Leat vs preuent this false persuader, Firste with deuoute prayer vnto almi­ghty God, saiyng the woordes of the wyse man: Geue me (good Lord) wisedome, whiche standeth by thy Throne:Sapien. 9. sende hir from thy holy kyngdome of heauen, and from the throne of thy maiestee, that she maie be with me, and trauayle with me, to the intente I maie knowe, what vnto the maie be acceptable. I am willyng, good Lorde, to dooe my due­tie. My duetie is to dooe iustice, whi­che is more accepted of God,Prouer. 4 than to offre sacrifice. wysedome telleth me, that They whiche obserue iustice,Sapien. 6. shall [Page] iustly be iudged: and they that do learne thynges whiche be iuste, shal fynde what to aunswere. The trumpet soundeth in myne eare, and byddeth me to come. I wote not howe litle leysoure I shal haue, to prepare for myne aunswere. If I haue done wronge, or omitted to ministre iustice, for feare of displeasyng my frende, or one in authoritee, whiche be mortall as I am: how shal I fynde out an aunswere, sens I haue not iu­stice by me to teache me. Shall I saie, that I was aferde to dooe iustice, or to speake truethe for feare of losynge my friende, or displeasynge my better? Nay nay, that aunswere will not be iudged sufficient: and therevpon shall I be shortly condemned.Luc. 10. Was it not tolde me from myne infancie, that I shulde loue my lorde God with al myn herte, with all my soule, with all my myght, and with all my mynde: and my neighboure as my selfe? I muste loue god aboue all men, and more than my self. Christe saieth:Matth. 10. He that loueth his father and mother more than me, is not woorthy of me. And he that loueth sonne or daughter more than me, is not woorthy of me. Theophilactus,Theophi­lactus. in ex­poundyng [Page] this place, saieth: Beholde, that we muste hate our parentes and children, whan they will plucke vs a­waie from Christe. And what worldly loue is to be compared to the loue that a man ought to haue to those persons, whom to loue nature hath ordeyned, & god hath cōmanded? Wherfore euery frende is inferiour to theim. And than no friendeshippe maie plucke vs from CHRISTE. He that plucketh vs from truthe, iustice, and charitee, plucketh vs from Christe. More ouer, whome shulde we feare more than god? Doeth not he saie to vs in his gospel? Be not ye aferde of theim that do kyll the body,Luc. 12. and after that thei haue no more that thei can doe. I will shewe you whome ye shall feare. Feare ye hym, who after he hath slayne, he hath power to throwe into e­uerlastyng fire. Truely I beade you be aferde of hym. And it foloweth in the same place: He that denyeth me before men, shall be denyed before the angels of God. He that denyeth truthe, that is to saie speaketh agaynste truthe, spea­keth not he agaynst Christe? whiche is truthe it selfe? who shall excuse hym, where truthe, that is Christe, shall be [Page] bothe his accusat and iudge? O lorde god, if I doe iustice, I lose my friende, whiche death maie take from me: but I wynne the, good lorde, whiche haste vaynquisshed deathe, and shall eu [...] lyue with the. If I dooe not iustice, [...]please my friende, whiche bothe tyme and occasion maie alter: but I make the myne ennemie, whom if I did kepe wolde neuer forsake me. If my christi­ane brother dooeth yll, and I dooe not tell hym, I dooe not obserue the rules of charitee, whiche is god:Ioan. 4. and he that dwelleth in it, dwelleth in God, and God in hym. For I dooe not loue my brother as my selfe, if I dooe knowe hym disposed to dooe that thyng, whi­che I wolde not dooe, and is yll: and will not dissuade hym, or exhorte hym to dooe that thynge, whiche I my selfe wolde doe, and is good. Doe not thou thynke (saieth saincte Augustine) that thou louest thy seruaunte,Augu. suꝑ epist. 10. whan thou dooest not correcte hym: Or doest than loue thy childe, whan thou geuest hym not discipline: or than louest thy neighboure, whan thou dooest not rebuke hym. This is not charitee, but slouth­fulnesse. Leat thy charitee be feruente [Page] to amende and correct. If the maners be good, delite in them: but if they be yll, spare not to amende theim. wher­fore sainct Iohn be adeth vs: [...] My chil­dren (saieth he) leate vs not loue with woorde and toung, but with deede and trouthe.Pro. 27. Better is the woundynges of hym that doeth loue (saieth Salomon) than the sweete kysses of hym that doeth flater. Sens it is so, set a porter, good lorde,Psal. 140. at my mouthe, and a doore of circumstaunce vnto my lyppes. Neuer take the woorde of truethe frome my mouthe.Psal. 118. For I haue alwaie hoped in thy iudgementes.Psal. 117. Our lord is my hel­per. I shall not feare, what man shall doo to me. But nowe what haue we to saie vnto wrathe, whiche is mixt with the bloudde in oure bodies, and lyeth therein priuyly wrapped lyke a sparke of wilde fier, hidde vnder ashes, vntyl some mattier be mynistred, that offen­deth our myndes, than brasteth it out, with a violēt flame, & setteth the house on a fier, burnyng the pillars of raison, and doune falleth the rouse of charitie, and is therewith consumed. Wrathe (saith Salamon) hath no mercy,Proue. 27 nor the brastyng out furye. And who maie suffre [Page] the violence of the spirite, whiche is ex­cedingly meued? But two meanes there be for to resist it. One by the often re­membraunce of hir and hir contrarye byfore she inuadeth. He that somty [...] beholdeth a persone, whyche is vehe­mently angry, how his face changeth, how his lyppes trembleth, his mouthe perchaunce fometh, and his voyce is altered, his wordes disordred, his wit­tes dispersed, his reasone subuerted, a man in nature, a brute beast in figure, a diuell in coniecture: leat hym haue this fourme in remembrance, and con­sider his nature transformed. As sone as we bee prouoked to wrathe, leat vs immediately thinke, that they whiche beholde vs, will detest the same thing in vs, that we abhorred before in an o­ther. If we be subiectes, or seruauntes, we shoulde refraine angre for our obe­dience, remembring that saynte Paule saieth:Eph. 6. Seruauntes be obedient to your carnall maisters with feare and dreade in simplicitie of your hartes, as vnto Christ. If we be masters or rulers, leat vs con­sider, what our exaumple shall bee to them that be vnder vs, if it shal be yll, we sustayne double bourdeyne, theyrs [Page] and our owne. Of suche importaunce is wrathe, that where it is feruente, bothe reason and iustice be drowned.Iacob. 1. The wrathe of a man (saieth sainct Ia­mes) doethe not exercise the iustice of God. And therfore it hath ben thought of some wyse men, that it is not expe­dient to put in authoritee men, whiche of their nature are excedyngly angry for euery occasion, leste they beyng ste­red with their naturall fiersenesse, and prouoked by their owne wilfull appe­tites, lyke to wylde beastes, in their rage dooe brynge thynges out of ordre, and punishe the innocent with the of­fendour, and doe other thynges, wher­of they to late doe repent theim. wher­of the worlde is full in daiely experi­ence.Seneca de ira. lib. 3. An other meane (whiche Seneke dooeth call the chiefe remedie) is the deferryng of wrath: that first the fer­uentnes maie be abated, and the darke myste, whiche anoyeth the mynde, may either fall, or not be so thicke. It is a good doctrine to vs, though we be chri­sten men, the lesson that Appollodorus the philosophier lefte to the emperour Augustus. Whan any occasion hap­peneth (saieth he) whiche maie pro­uoke [Page] the to angre: before that thou dooest or saiest any thynge, remembre to reherce all the letters in the greke alphabete: In remembring this lesson, and folowynge it, Augusius euer after refrained his angre, wherevnto before he was of his nature disposed.

¶why shuld we disdayn to dooe that, whiche so great an emperour didde? vnto whom in greatnesse of rule neuer any other myght be compared? Or by cause we be christen men, in the stede of the .xxiiii. letters of greke, we maie re­herse distinctly the Pater noster, either in latine or englishe. where in we shall haue this aduauntage, that in the reci­ting these wordes, Forgeue vs our tres­passes, as we forgeue them that doo tres­passe against vs: We shalbe muche more stirred to remitte our displeasure, or at the leste waie to forbeare to be than an­gry. Finally the forbearing shall make the angre more moderate. The inclina­cion to wrath maie be well tempred by the remembraunce of pacience, howe beaultyfull she is, and how well belo­ued, not of man onely, but also of god. The pacient person loketh longe yong, indueth wel his meate, and is seldome [Page] greued with siknesse. for cholere is not stered, whiche being in a rage, bringeth moste terryble feuers, and other disea­ses more peinfull than death. The pa­cient man euery man preiseth, and wor­thily. for he is lyke vnto Christ, whose whole lyfe was the true paterne of pa­cience. The angry man, all men dooe dispraise, though they saie nothynge: for he resembleth the deuill, whiche is euer raging, and is the fountaine of an­gre. Pacience in scripture is in al pla­ces extolled, desired, and wisshed. con­trary wise impacience abhorred.Iacob. 1. Bles­sed is he (saieth saynt Iames) that suf­freth temptacion. for whan he is proued, he shall receiue the crowne of lyfe, whi­che god hath promised to them that doo loue hym. Many mo spyces maie bee founde in holy scripture, to make a pre­seruatiue, more holsome for mans soule than tryakle is for the body, and will lengar preserue it: but suche as this is, being often tymes vsed, shall preserue the senses of the soule frome corrupti­on, and than shall she not die. but whan the trumpet bloweth, although the bo­dy be deade, yet shall she go surely and saufly to the throne of god, and claime [Page] his mercye, whiche he hathe promised to theym that beleue in hym, and kepe his lawes. But if we dooe neglect it, and suffre the deuill to preuaile against vs, with his subtyll persuasions: the senses of the soule shall be taken from her, and she shall be spiritually deade: actually she shall with her bodye, to whome she consented, arise aud come to the iugement, trembling and quakyng: beholdyng aboue her Christ, who hath redemed her, excedyngely angrye, de­uilles on euery syde of her, abydynge her sentence, and all redye to swalowe her. Under her hell, casting out flames of euerlastyng fire, ready to take her: none there of her acquayntaunce: whi­che shall bee than hable to helpe her. Princis being in equall ieoperdie, with her, and rychesse being tourned to poul­der. These thynges be no fables, but mattier true, and confyrmed by scrip­ture. And who that hathe any other suggestion or trust vppon any excuses, he is not onely deceiued, but his opini­on is also erronious. wherfore leat vs haue the sound of the trumpette in our eares, at the least in the mornynge and euenynge, thinkynge that the sonne of [Page] god cometh to the iugement, we know not what houre. Blessed (saith Christ) is the seruaunte,Luc. xii. whom the lorde at his comyng fyndeth waking: hym shall he set in authoritee ouer his householde. This authoritee shall neuer be taken awaie, therein shall bee perpetuall quietnesse, and ioy neuer ceassing. This hous hold is of the companie of moste blessed spi­rites, abundyng in charitee, knowlage, and gladnesse, in beholdynge continu­ally in the most beaultifull presence of god, the wounderfull and inspeakable warkes of his maiestee, in heuen, erthe, and in hell. whereon if we truely dooe thinke, we shall passe littell on the de­uill and his systers, nor yet feare the sounde of the terrible trumpet: but de­sire with saincte Paule, to be separate and dissolued from this mortall body, and to bee with Christ oure lorde, who tenderly and most cōstantly loueth vs, and fayne woulde haue vs, yf we dooe well oure dueties. who for that he suf­fred deth for vs, is worthy to receyue, power, diuinitee, sapience, fortitude, honour, glory, and blessing in worldes euerlasting. Amen.


IMPRINTED at London in Fletestrete by Thomas Ber­theset, printer to the kyn­ges highnes, the seconde of Iuly, the yere of our lorde .M. DXLV.

Cum priuilegio ad impri­mendum solum.



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