A sermon of blessed Cipriane touching mortalitie, exhor­ting mē to the loue of forsating this lyfe: and shewing that notwithstan­ding the iuste and vniuste dye wyth out difference, yet no man ought to thynke, that the good & euell come bothe to one destructiō: Foras­muche as the iuste are cal­led hence to refreshing, and thoususte are caught awaye vnto punishment.

ALthoughe ther be many of you most dearely beloued brethrē, which haue a soūde mynde, a stedfast fayth, and a deuoute soule, which is not moued at this great mortalitie, but as a strong and stable rocke dothe rather break the troblesom assaultes, the violent and raging wafes of this worlde, it selfe beyng neither broken nor ouercome with temtacions, but only tried: Neuertheles because I perceiue that ther are certayne among ye [Page]people,The cau­ses of incō stancy and departing from true religion▪ which eyther thorow the weaknes of mynde, or litelnes of faythe, or swetenes of wordly lyfe, or tēdernesse of kynde, or (which is worse) thorowe thignoraunce of the truthe, stande not stedfastly, nor do put furth the heauē ­ly and the inuincible strenght of their harte, this thing ought neither to be dissembled nor to be kept in silēce, but that we (to the vttermost of our po­wer) should with full force, and wor­des taken of the holy scripture, sup­presse and kepe downe ye cowardnes, of the deintie mynde, & that he which is now begonne to be the mā of God and of Christ, myght also be counted worthy of Christ. For he that is a soul diour to God most dearly beloued brethren, and beyng put in the celestiall tentes do now hope for heauenlye re­wardes, ought to knowe him selfe: so that we should in no wise either feare, or staye for the stormes and whirle wyndes of the worlde: forasmuche as the Lorde hathe tolde aforehande that these should come, instructing and teaching with thexhortacion of his for se­ing voice, and preparing & strenght­nyng the people of his churche, to all maner of suffering of thīges to come, [Page]hathe aforehande shewed and taught, that warres, and hongers,Mat. 24. and earth­quakes, & pestilences should spring vp & arise euery where. And that no so­dayne and newe feare of hurtful thinges should violently shake vs, he hath beforehande warned that aduersities and troubles shall growe vp thic­ker and thicker,The las [...] tymes artroblesum. more and more in the last tymes. They do nowe happen loo, that were aforehande tolde: and forasmuche as ye thinges do now hap­pen which were tolde aforehande, all thinges that are promised, shal also fo­lowe after, by the promise of the Lord hymselfe, which sayeth: but whan ye shall see these thinges come to passe,Luc. 21. knowe ye that the kingdome of God is at hande.The king­dome of God & e [...] ­ternal life are at hand. The kingdome of God dearely beloued brethrē beginneth to be at hande: the worlde passing away, the reward of lyfe, and ioye of eternal healthe, and the continuall gladnesse and possession of paradise lately loste are euē now come: Euē now do heauē ly thinges succede earthy, great thin­ges: lytell, and euerlasting transitory and fading away. What place is here left for troble and carefulnes? Who amōg these thinges cā be fearful and [Page]sorowful, except he wante both faith & hope?who feare deathe. It is his ꝑt to fear death, which wil not go to Christ: it is his part to refuse to go to Christ, which beleueth not yt he shal begin to reigne wt Christ.Abac. 2. For it is written that the rightful mā lyueth by faythe. Yf thou be rightfull and lyuest thorow faythe, yf thou be­leuest truly in God, why doest thou not embrace and reioyce of this, that thou shalt be with Christ, & be by the Lordes promise in saffetie, inasmuche as thou art called to Christ, and dely­uered frō the deuell?Luce. 2. To be shorte that iuste man Symeon that was a right­full man in dede,Thorowe faithe goddes com­maunde­mentes are obserued. which thorow a per­fecte faith obserued goddes cōmaundementes, whā he had receyued answer of God, that he should not dye before he had sen Christ: And whan the babe Christ wt his mother was come into ye Temple, he knewe thorowe the spi­rite, that Christ of whome he was tolde before was nowe borne: whome after that he had sene, he knewe that he should shortly dye. He therfore being gladde of deathe that was now at hand, and fearing nothing his cal­ling hence that was hardby, toke, the childe in his handes, and praisid God and cried out, saing: O Lord now [Page]let thy seruant departe in peace ac­cording to thy worde: For myne eyes haue sene thy sauyng healthe. In which wordes he proueth and testify­eth, that than the seruauntes of God haue peace,when and wheare we maye trust to haue sure rest and that than they haue free and quiet rest, whan we beyng drawen out of the boistous tempestes of this worlde, attayne the hauen of eternall reste and saffetie: whā this deathe beyng remoued, we come to immortalitie. For this is our pea­ce, this is the reste that a man maye truste to, this is the stable, the sure,we haue here a contynuall battaile against vices. and perpetuall saffetye. Furthermore in the worlde what is ther elles, but a dayly fyght against the deuell? Howe hard, daungerous, and continuall, is this fyght against his dartes and ar­rowes? We must fyght against coue­tousnes, against vnclennes, against wrathe, against ambicion, against carnall vices: our wrastlyng with the flic­kering intisementes of the worlde is laborious, continuall, and paynfull. The mynde of man beyng besieged & compassed in on euery syde with the assaultes of the deuel, dothe hardly resiste any temptation. Yf couetousnes be throwen downe, luste ryseth vp. [Page]Yf lust be suppressed, ambicion folo­weth, Yf ambicion be despised, wrathe bothe vexe, pride is puffed vp, dronke­nesse calleth in, enuye breaketh con­corde, zele cutteth of frendship. Thou arte compelled to curse, which goddes lawe forbiddeth: thou art constrayned to sweare, which is vnlawful. So many persecutiōs dothe the mynde day­ly suffer, with so many daungers is the harte dayly vexed, and dothe it de­lyte vs to stande here long among the deuelles swerdes: whan we ought ra­ther to desire and wishe by the meanes of a swift deathe, to make hast to Christ? According as he instructed vs saieng: verely verely I saie vnto you, ye shall wepe and lament, but ye world shal reioyce: you shall be sorowful, but your sorowe shal be turned in to ioye. Who maketh not hast to com vnto myrthe?Ioan. 18. Frō hence we go to mirthe & ioye. Who desireth not to be wcout sorwe? but whan our heuynes shall be turned in to ioye, the Lord him self declareth, saieng: I wil se you againe, and your harte shall reioice, and your ioye shall no mā take from you. For­asmuche than as the sight of Christ is our ioie, neither can we haue any ioie, but whan we haue seen Christ: What [Page]blindnesse or rather madnes of mynd is this, to loue ye troubles and paines and teares of the worlde, and not to make haste to that ioye, that cā neuer be taken from vs? This thing happeneth dearely beloued brethrē,whi [...]e loue this▪ liffe so moche. bycause faythe is wanting, because no mā beleueth the thinges to come, which God (that is true) hath promised, whose worde vnto them that beleue is euer­lasting, and stable. Yf a sage man and worthy prayse dyd promise thee any thyng, thou woldest verely beleue his promyse, neither woldest thou thynke to be deceyued and begyled of him, of whom thou art persuaded, that he wil abyde by his wordes and dedes: but nowe God speaketh vnto thee, & doest thou vnfaythfull man wauer with an vnbeleuyng mynde? God doeth ꝓmise vnto the departing this worlde im­mortalitie and eternal lyfe, and doest thou doubt? This is euen to be vt­terly ignorāt of God,Howe p [...] fitable a thing ye y [...] to depart oute of this world this is thorowe the sinne of vnbeleaue toffende Christ the mastre of beleauing people: This is to be in the church and in the house of faithe, & to be witout faithe: Howe profitable a thing it is to departe out of this worlde, Christ him selfe the [Page]maistre of our saluacion and profit sheweth, which whā his disciples war sorowful bicause he said that he should now departe from them, spake unto them saieng:Ioan. 14. Yf you loued me, ye wold reioyce, bicause I go to the father: Wherby he dothe teache and declare, that we ought rather to reioyce than to be sorowfull, whan they whome we dearely loue departe this worlde. Of the which thing the blessed apostle Paule being mindeful, writeth in his epistle and saieth: Christ is liffe vnto me,Phi. 1. and deathe auātage: He rekened it the chefest gaine to be now no more tyed with the snares of the worlde, to be now no more in daunger of any synnes and vices of the fleshe, to be ridde of vexing trobles, and deliuered from the venemouse iawes of the de­uell, and to go furthe at the calling of Christ vnto the ioye of eternal salua­cion. But som ar troubled, bicause the disease of this sickenes do indifferēt­ly come vpon our men, aswell as vpō the heathen: as though the christean had beleaued to this ende, yt he might bothe be fre from ye fealing of euelles, & inioye ye pleasures of the worlde, & not rather suffering here al maner of [Page]aduersitie be reserued and kept vnto the ioye to come. Some men ar trou­bled bicause this mortalitie & deathe is common to vs also with other.Trobles, sicknesses, & deathe ar cōmon to all men But what thing in this worlde haue not we common with other, so long as yet (according to thordenaunce of our furst birthe) this cōmon fleshe remay­neth? So long as we abide here in the worlde, in the equalite of fleshe we ar ioyned together with mankinde, but in the spirite we ar seperated. Therfor vntil this corruptible maye put on in corruption,1. Cor. 15. and this mortal maye re­ceaue unmortalitie, & the spirite bring vs vnto God the father, we haue our parte in all maner of incommodities and displeasures of the fleshe common vnto mankinde. Thus whā ye groūde is barrē thorowe an vnfruteful blast, hunger spareth no man. Thus whan any city is possessed throwe the inrode of thennemy, captiuite wasteth all mē together: And whan the stonyrocks burst ye shipe in peces, ye shipwracke is cōmon to al ye saiie in ye shipe wtout ex­ceptiō. And the payne of thies, & ye raging agwes, & the disease of al partes of the body ar common to vs with o­thers, so long as we cary about this [Page]common fleshe in the worlde. Yea ra­ther yf the christian man knewe vn­der what condicion and what lawe he beleued,The true christian hathe most troble in this world he should knowe that he must be trobled in this world aboue other, which aboue other must wrestle with thassaultes of the deuel. The scripture teacheth and warneth vs aforehande, sayeng: My sonne whan thou becom­mest goddes seruaūt, stande in right­fulnesse and feare,Eccle. 2. and prepare thy soule to temptacion. And agayne: In­dure in sorowe and in feare, & thorow hūblenes haue thou pacience, for both golde and siluer are tryed by the fyre. Iob after the losse of his goodes, after the death of his children,Iob. 1. being thus greuously afflicted bothe with woun­des, and with vermine, was not ouer­come, but tried: which in the selfe gre­fes and sorowes that he suffered, did declare the pacience of a godly minde, sayeng: Naked came I out of my mo­thers wombe, naked also shal I go vnder thearthe, the Lorde gaue, and the Lorde hathe taken awaye: as it plea­sed the Lorde, euen so hathe it happe­ned, The Lordes name be blessed. And whan his wyfe wolde haue enforced him, that he being thorowe great so­rowe [Page]impacient, should with a com­playning and malicious voice haue spoken somthing against God, he an­swered her and sayd: Thou hast spokē as one of the folishe womē.Iob. 2. For yf we haue receyued prosperitie at the Lor­des hāde, why should we not suffer ad­uersitie? In all these thinges that happened vnto Iob, he synned nothing with his lippes in the presence of the Lorde. Therfore the Lord beareth him witnesse, sayng: hast thou marked my seruaūt Iob, ther is not one lyke him vpon thearthe, a man without faute, a true worshipper of God.Tobi. 1. Tobias also after his noble workes, after the ma­nifolde and glorious commēdacions of his mercie, did suffre the blindnes of eyes, and he fearing and praysing God in aduersitie, grewe vp to prayse by the selfe plage of his body: whome his owne wyfe also assayed to corrupt saing: Where are thy rightfulnesses become? loo what thou suffrest. But he being stedfaste and stable in the feare of God, and armed with a godly faith to suffre all maner of passions, gaue no place in his sorowe, to the tempta­cion of his weake wyfe, but did tho­the greater pacience procure the fur­ther [Page]fauoure of God: whom after­wardes the angel Raphael praised & said: Yt is an henorable thing to de­clare and praise the workes of God: For whan thou and thy daughter in lawe Sara did praie, I offred vp the remembraūce of your praier, in the presence of the glory of God: and whan thou didist simply burye the deade, and bicause thou delayedst not to arise and to leaue thine owne dy­nar, and wenst furthe and didest bu­rye the deade, I am sent to trie thee. And againe he saieth: I am sent to heale the,Tobi. 12. & thy daughter in lawe Sa­ra: For I am Raphael one of the .vij. holy angels, which doo stande and haue our conuersacion before the glo­ry of God. This sufferance the iust mē haue alwaies had, this discipline tha­postles according to ye Lordes ordinā ­ce kept: not to murmur in aduersitie, but paciently and māfully to receaue what so euer do happē in this worlde. Wheras the Iuishe people hathe in this pointe alwaies offended, bicause they did often murmur against God, as the Lord God doeth witnesse in the boke of nombres saieng:Num. 20. let thē cease to murmur against me, & thei shal not [Page]dye. Wee maye not most deare bre­thren grudge in aduersites, but quietly and strōgly suffer what so euer shal happen, seing it is written: that a tro­bled spirite is a sacrifice to God,Psal. 50. and that God despiseth not a contrite and an hūble hart. In the Deuteronomy also the holy goost doeth warne vs by Moses, and saieth:Deu. 8. The Lord thy God shall vexe the, and shall throwe hun­ger vpon the, and thine hart shall be knowē, whether thou wilt truly kepe his cōmaundementes or not. And a­gaine he saieth: The Lord your God doeth tempte you, yt he maie knowe, whether you loue ye Lord your God wt al your harte, & wt al your sowle. Thus did Abrahā please God:Gene. 22. & yt he might so do, he neither feared to forgo his sonne nor refused to kill him. Thou yt canst not be content, to forgo thy sōne by the lawe and lotte of mortalitie & deathe, what woldest thou do, if thou war cōmaunded to kill thy sōne? The feare of God & faithe ought to make the redye to al thīges. Be it that thou hast lost thy goodes, be it that partes of thy body ar cōtinually and gre­uously vexed with deadly diseases, be it that thy wiffe, thy children & deare [Page]frendes ar most dolefully and heaue­ly pluct from the by deathe, lette not these thinges be stumbling blockes vnto the, but batailes: neither let thē weaken or ouerthrowe the faithe of a christian, but let them rather declare strenght in the wrastling: Forasmu­che as all suffering of these present euelles ought to be dispised in hope of the good thinges to come. Except ther shall furst be a battayle, ther can be no victory, but whan a man in the ioy­ning of the battaile getteth the victo­ry, than is ther a crowne also geuen to them that ouercom: For in a tem­pest the gouernour of a shipe is knowen, & a sowdear is tried in ye battaile. The bragge is but wanton, whā ther is no daunger: The conflicte and fight in aduersite is the triall of the truthe. The tre that is depely roted is not moued with the blustering windes: and a shippe that hathe strong ribbes wel ioyned, is beaten of the wawes and receaued no leake, and whā the corne is thressed on to barne store, the good & weghty corne regardeth not the win­des, but the light chaffe ar blowen quite awaie. Euē thus thapostle Paule after shipwracke, after scorges, after [Page]many & bitter tormentes of the fleshe and the body, he sayeth not that he is greued with these aduersities but a­mended: so that the more greuously he is afficted, the more truly he is tried: Ther is geuen me (sayeth he) the prick of my fleshe,2. Cor. 11. the messenger of Satan that dothe buffet me, that I should not be exalted: For the which I haue bese­ched the Lord .iii. tymes that it might departe frō me: and he sayd vnto me, my grace is sufficient for thee, for po­wer thorowe weakenes is made per­fite. Whan therfore either sicknes, ey­ther weaknes, or any destructiō dothe violētly assaile vs, thā is our strengt made perfect, than is faithe crowned, yf she indure stedfaste in temptacion:Eccle. 27. according as it is written: The fur­nace trieth the potters vessell, and the temptacion of troble trieth iuste men. Furthermore this difference is be­twene vs and other that knowe not God: They complayne and grudge in their trobles: but as for vs, aduersities do not call vs awaye from the truthe, vertue, and faythe, but do strenghten vs in sorowes. For wher as nowe the bloody flixe dothe scrape the guttes, & taketh quite awaye the strenght of the [Page]body, wheras nowe a fire inwardly cōceaued in woūdes & sores doth rage & burne, wheras now the intralles do shake & pant with continuall vomite, wheras the eyes are set on fire wt the violence of blood, wheras some mens fete or other ꝑtes of the body ar cut of that they should not corrupte the rest, wheras thorow damages & hurtes of the body (after the disease once burste out) either the goyng is weakened, or the hearing stopped, or the sight blin­ded, al & euery of those profiteth vnto the instruction & teaching of fayth. To fight against so many violēt assaultes of destructiō & death wt a stable mīde, what a noble courage is it? & how worthy auauncemēt is it for a mā to stāde right vp, among the myseries & destructions of mākinde, & not to lye groue­ling on thearth with them that haue no hope in the Lord? We ought rather to reioyce, and embrace the gyft of ty­me, yt whiles we stedfastly declare our faythe, and by suffering of paynes go by the narowe waye of Christ vnto Christ, we may (he beīg iudge) receiue the rewarde of lyfe & faythe. Let hym feare to die: but he which being not renewed of the water & the spirite, is de­lyuered [Page]in bōdage to hel fire. Let him feare to dye,who be they that feare dea­the. which is not inrolled in ye crosse & passion of Christ: Let him fear to die, which frō this death shall passe to the seconde deathe: let him feare to dye, whome after ye departure frō this worlde, an euerlasting flame shal tor­ment wt cōtinual punishemēt: let him fear to dye, which by his long carieng here haue only this benefite, that his sorowe & torment is for the while dif­ferred. Many of our brethren dye in this mortalitie, that is to say, many of our brethren are delyuered from this world. As this mortalitie is a pestilēce to the Iewes & gentiles yt are Christes enemies, euen so to goddes seruaūtes it is an holsome departure. Where as without difference of mankinde ye iust die wt thoniuste, ye maye not thinke yt both good & euel are destroyed alyke.

The iuste are called hēce to refreshing, thoniuste are caught awaye to punishment: Defence is quickly geuen to thē that beleue: but to thōbeleuers paine. We are moste dearely beloued bre­thren vncircūspecte, and vnthankful to Goddes benefites, neither do we knowe what is geuen vnto vs. The virgins being in safetie, lo depte hēce [Page]in peace with their glory, fearing no­thing the threateninges, deflowrin­ges & brothel houses of Antichrist now cōming. The childrē escape the daun­gers of their slippery age, & do luckely attayne the rewarde of cōtinēcy & in­nocency. The tender matrone feareth now no more tormentes, which tho­rowe a swift deathe is escaped ye feare of persecutyon, and the handes and tormentes of the hang man. Tho­rowe thextreme feare of mortalitie & tyme, the luke warme are made hote, the dissolute are hard wrongen, the slothefull ar reised vp, the shrinkers are compelled to returne, the heathē are constrained to beleue, the true faithfull people are called to rest, and a newe & a great arinye ys gathered together with a mightier force to the battayle, to fight when the filde shall beginne without any feare of deathe, which in the tyme of mortalitie came in to the warfare. Furthermore what thing ys this most dearely beloued brethren, how muche apperteining to the purpose, how necessary, yt this pe­stilence & morren, which semeth to be horrible & cruel dothe trie the rightfulnes of euery mā, & examineth ye myn­des [Page]of mākynde, whether the hole do seruice vnto the sicke? whether neigh­boures & kinsfolke do godly loue together? whether the masters haue any pitie vpon their sicke seruaūtes? whe­ther the phisiciōs forsake the sicke that hūbly requireth their coūcel? whether the [...]ruel wil cease frō tyrāny & wrōge doyng? whether thextorcioners (at ye least wyse for feare of deathe) will quenche their insaciable & continuall burning of raging couetousnes? whether ye proud wil stoupe & bow downe their neckes? whether the wicked wil­moderate his folehardines? whether the riche (whā their deare frendes are dead) wil yet thā geue to the poore, se­ing themselues shal dye wtout heire? Certeinly althoughe this mortalitie shal bring with it none other profite, yet in this point it hathe muche profi­ted christians & goddes seruaūtes, be­cause we beginne now gladly to wishe for martirdom, whiles we learne not to feare death. Vnto vs these are no buriales but execises. They geue a glorious strengtht vnto ye mynde, tho­rowe the contempt of deathe they pre­pare to the crowne. But paraduēture some man maye obiecte & saye: This [Page]thā in this present mortalitie maketh me heauy, that where as I was pre­pared to confesse the fayth, & had with my hole harte & full streinght addicte my selfe to suffre passion, I am nowe being preuented with death, depriued of my martirdome. For answere to this, we must first consider, that mar­tirdome standeth not in our power, but in thestimacion of God, neither canst thou saye yt thou hast lost ought, which knowest not whether thou did­dest deserue to receyue. Besides this, God which is the searcher of the rey­nes and harte, and ye beholder & kno­wer of theyes seeth the, prayseth and alloweth the, and he that perceyueth the to be prepared to vertue, will for vertue rēder rewarde. Had Cain now killed his brother whan he offered sa­crifice to God? and neuer theles God that forseeth thinges old beforehande condēne ye murthering of his brother, which he had conceyued in his minde. As ther the wicked thought & mische­nous cōceit was manifest vnto God, yt forseeth thinges: euē so among the seruaūts of God, which thinke to cōfesse the truthe, & are ful purposed to suffer martirdome, the mynde bent to good­nesse (God being iudge) is crowned.

For it is one thing to wante a will to martirdome, & on other to wāte mar­tirdome to a ready wil. Loke what maner of one God fyndeth thee when he talleth thee hence, suche a one dothe he also iudge thee, according as him selfe witnesseth saing: & al cōgregaciōs shal knowe, ye I am ye searcher of ye reynes & of the harte. For God seketh not the effusion of your blood, but faith. For neither wer Abrahā, I saat, nor Iacod slayne, and yet thorowe the merites of faith and rightfulnes they were honorable, & obteyned to be chief amōg the Patriarkes. Vnto whose feast all that are foūde faithfull, iuste, & prayse wor­thy are gathered together. We ought to remēber that we should do the wyll of God & not our owne, according as God hath cōmaūded vs daily to pray. How arsewarde & peuishe a mater is it for vs to desire the will of God to be done, Seing we do not immediatly o­bey the cōmaūdemēt of God his will, whē he calleth vs out of this world? A­gainst this we striue & wrestle, & ar wt heumes & sorow after ye maner of stub burne seruātes brought vnto ye lordes presence, departing hence cōpelled by necessitie, & not by willing obediēce: & wil we wc heauēly rewardes be honored [Page]of him, to whō we com vnwillingly? For what purpose than do we de­sire & praye for the cōming of the kingdome of heauen, yf we haue our delec­tacion in earthy captiuitie? why do we praye & beseche wt often repeted prai­ers, that the day of ye kingdome might come quickly, yf our desires be grea­ter & earnester to serue the deuil here, than to reigne wt Christ ther? Further that the tokens of goddes prouidence maye more manifestly appere, that the Lorde (which knoweth aforehand thinges to cum) doeth prouide for the true healthe of his, when a certeine companion in office and felowe priest with vs being now wearied with sicknes, and trobled with deathe euen at hand, desired a sauecondute to be geuē him, ther stode by him as he praied and being now at deathes dore, a yōg man in honour and maiesty worship­full, of stature tall, of countenaunce so cleare and bright, that the carnall eye of man could scante abide to behold suche a one standing by him, but only because he ye should go out of ye worlde might now abide to loke vpō such a one. And he not wt oute a certeyne an­gre of minde and voice groned & said: you are afraid to suffer, departe hence [Page]ye will not, what shall I do to you? this ys a voice of one rebuking and warning, who will not consent to the present desire of suche as be carefull for persecucyon, and careles for their calling hence, but referreth the hole matter vnto the tyme to come.

Our brother and felowe in office heard that which he might declare to other. For he ye was now redy to die, hearde these wordes to that ende ye he might tel them to others, he heard thē not for himself but for vs. For what should he learne being now ready to departe? He lerned somwhat, but that was for vs that here remayned, that whiles we parceaue that the priest ye desired saueconducte was rebuked, we might knowe what was expediēt for euery one of vs. How often hath it ben also reueled vnto vs that are the lest & out castes? How often hath God vouchsaued manifestly to cōmaunde vs, that we should diligētly witnesse & opēly preach, ye we ought not to mourne for our brethrē, which by ye. Lordes calling are deliuered frō the world? forasmuche as I knowe, ye they ar not lost but sent before, ye they departing hence go before vs, & ought to be wis­shed for as men ye are gone furth on a [Page]torney or sailing, and not to be la­mented: neither that we here should put on black gownes,Morning for the deade in blacke gownes. seing they haue receiued ther white garmentes, that we should giue non occasion to the gē tiles that they might worthely & iuste­ly rebuke vs because we mourne for them, as thoughe they wer destroyed and lost, which we saie doo liue with God, and should with the witnesse of our harte and conscience reproue that faithe which we professe wt our mouth and doice. We ar trāsgressours of our hope and faithe, the thinges that we speake seme to be coūterfaite, fayned, paited. yt profiteth nothing to professe vertue in wordes, & to destroy ye truth in dedes. Thapostle paule also doth rebuke and blame suche as are sorowe­full in the departing of their frendes. [...]. Thes. 4. We will not (saieth he) haue you to be ignozaūt brethrē touching them that are aflepe, that you should not be so­rowefull as suche that haue no hope. For if we beleue that Iesus died & rose againe, euē so God shall also brig with him thē that haue slept in Christ. He saieth, ye they are sorowefull in the departīg of theirs that haue no hope. But we which liue in hope, & beleue [Page]in God, & truste in Christ that suffred for vs and rose againe, abiding in Christ, & thorowe him rising againe in him, why do we our selues either refuse to departe hēce, or mourne & soro­we for our frēdes departing hence as thoughe they wer lost? Seing yt Christ him selfe the Lord and our God doeth warne vs saieng: I am ye resurrectiō, he that beleueth in me althoughe he die, yet he shall liue:Ioan. 11▪ & euery on that li­ueth & beleueth in me shall not die for euer. yf we beleue in Christ let vs geue credite to his wordes & promi­ses, and we shal not die euerlastingly, but we shall come to Christ with a ioy­full safety, with whome we shall liue & reigne alwaies. But wher as in the meane tyme we die, we doo but passe by deathe vnto immortalitie, neither can a man attayne eternal life, except he happē to go out from hēce: it is no end but a passage, & after this tēporal iorney is finished, a going ouer vnto euerlasting lyfe. Who wil not make hast to go to better thinges? Who wil not desire to be chaunged and fashio­ned a newe after thymage of Christ, & to cō spedely vnto ye dignite of ye heauē ly grace? accordīg as Paule thapostle [Page]preached safeng, our conuersacion is in heauen, from whence we also loke for the Lord Iesus Christ,Phi. 3. which shall transforme our vile bodye, & make it like vnto his gloriouse body. The Lorde Christ also him selfe doeth pro­mise, that we shall be such, whan he praieth the father that we maye be wt him, and liue with him in theuerla­sting seates; and reioyce in the celesti­all kingdomes: father (saith he) I wil that where I shall be those whiche thou hast geuen me maye be with me also,Ioan. 17. and maye see the glory which thou hast geuen me before the worlde was made. He that shall com to the seate of Christ, and to the glory of the heauenly kingdomes, ought neither to mourne nor tament, but rather according to the Lordes promise and the beleaue of the truthe, to reioyce in his translation and ior­ney. Thus do we finde that Enoch which pleased God, was translated. For thus in the boke of Genesis Goddes worde testifieth and saieth. And Enoch pleased God, and was not af­terwardes founde, bicause God had translated him. This was the reward of pleasing God, to obteyne to be cari­ed [Page]out from the infectyon of this worlde. This the holy Goost teacheth also by Salomon, that they which please God ar plucked quickly hence & spedily deliuered,Sapi. 4. least that they tarieng long in this worlde, might be defiled with the handelinges of the same: He was caught awaie (saithe he) lest thorowe malice his vnderstāding should chaunge. For his sowle pleased the Lord▪ therfore he made hast to brīg him out from the myddes of wicked­nes: Thus the sowle it self being ad­dicte vnto God, maketh hast in the psalmes also vnto the Lord thorowe spiritual faith, as it is writtē:Psal. 83. O Lord of hostes how louing at thy dwelling places, my sowle desireth and maketh hast vnto the courtes of God. yf is his parte to desire to dwelle long in the worlde, whose delectacion is in the worlde, whome the flattering and de­ceitful worlde doth allure wt enticemē tes of earthy pleasures. Furthermore forasmuche as the world hateth the christian, why louest thou him that hateth the, and doest not rather folo­we Christ, which hathe redemed the, and loueth the? Iohn in his epistle crieth, speaketh and exhorteth, that [Page]we shuld not (folowīg carnal desires) loue the world, [...]. Ioan. 2. saieng: loue not the world, neither the thinges that ar in the world. Yf any man shall loue the worlde, the charitie of the father is not in him, bicause all that is in the world, is the lust of the fleshe, the lust of theyes, & the pride of ye worlde, which is not of the father, but of the lust of the world, and the worlde shall passe awaye with his lust: but he that shall do the wil of God, shall abide for euer, euen as God abideth for euer. Furthermore let vs most dearely be­loued brethren be ready with a ꝑfecte mynde, a stedfast faithe, & strōg power to obey all the will of God: let vs ba­nishe the feare of deathe, and thinke vpō immortalitie that foloweth. Let vs shewe our selues to be that yt we beleaue: So that we neither mourne for the departure of our deare frēdes, and whan the daie shall come of our owne calling hence, we may without delaye and gladly go at the Lordes call. This thing forasmuche as it should be done of Goddes seruaūtes alwaies, muche more at this present it ought to be obserued, Seing the world is now in decayeing, and be­seged [Page]with the blonsterīg tēpestes of deadly euilles: that we which doo see greuous thinges to be already be­gōne, and knowe that more greuous hang ouer our heades, should counte it the greatest gaine if we maye de­parte hence quickly. Yf the walles of thine house were so olde yt they shoke, and the roofe ouer the did trēble, the house being now weried, being now tired, & the buildinges falling downe for age, did threatē an ouerthrowe to be at hande, woldest thou not with all spede get thee out? Yf a troblesome & stormye tēpest, and the waues being lift vp with a violent winde, did a­forehande shewe the a shippewracke comming, woldest thou not saile in to some hauen with out delaye? Beholde the worlde shaketh and decaieth, and doeth declare her owne downe falle, not now with the age, but with thēde of thinges: and doest not thou giue thankes to God; and reioyce on thine owne behalfe yt thou art quickely takē hence and deliuered from the daun­gers, shippewrackes & plages that are houerīg ouer vs? We ought to cōsidre most derely beloued brethren, and of­ten tymes to thinke, that we haue for­saken [Page]the worlde, & ye we liue here but for a tyme as straungers and pilgri­mes. Let vs embrase that daye which may appoīte euery one of vs his dwelling place, which doeth restore vs to paradise and to the kingdome of hea­uen, after that we ar taken hence, and deliuered frō the snares of the world: Who being farre out of his owne coū trey, maketh not haste to returne home? Who making haste to sayle to his frendes and kinsfolke, wolde not earnestly desire a prosperous winde, that he might the rather imbrace his dearely beloued? We reken that para­dise is our countre, we beginne now to haue the patriarches for our parentes, why do we not make hast & rūne, that we maye se our countrey, hat we maye salute our parentes? A great number of our parentes, brethrē and sonnes do ther abide vs, a great com­pany do wishe for vs, which are now sure of their owne immortalitie, and carefull for our safetye. To come to the sight and imbrasing of these, how great ioye shall it be bothe to vs and them? what maner of pleasure is this of the heauenly kingdomes, to be wt out ye feare of dieing and to lyue with [Page]euerlastyngnes? How excellent and perpetuall happines is this? Ther is the glorious cōpany of the Apostles: Ther are the numbre of the reioysing prophetes. Ther are an infinite com­panye of martyrs, that are crowned for the victory of their fight and suffe­ring. The triumphing virgins are there, which thorow the strenght of cō ­tinency, haue subdued the luste of the fleshe and bodye: Ther are the mercy­full rewarded, which haue done the workes of ryghtfulnesse, by geuyng almes, & fedyng the poore: which ob­seruing the Lordes cōmaūdementes, haue chaunged their earthly patrimo­nies for heauenly treasures. Let vs most dearly beloued brethren wt ear­nest desire make haste vnto these, le [...] vs wishe that we maye quickely be wt them, that it maye be our fortune spe­dely to come to Christ. Let God se this cogitacion and thought of oures, let the Lorde Christ beholde this purpose of our mynde and faythe, which shall gyue the greater rewardes of his glory to them, whose desyres are more earnest to be with him. Amen.

A boke of the holy martir G. Chpriane, conicining an exhortation to martyrdome, diuided into, xii. chapters, wherin the sūme of the hole mater is more fully knowen. written vnto Fortunatus.

FOrasmuche as O most deare Fortunatus the heuy burden of trobles and persecutiōs do lye vpon the churche, & nowe in thende of ye world the ma­liciouse tyme of Antichrist beginneth to approche, thou hast desired me to prepare & strenghtē the mindes of the brethren with exhortacions of the ho­ly scriptures, wherby Christes souldi­ers myght be encorraged vnto the spiritual & heauenly fight. It behoued me to obey this thy most necessary de­sire, that (to the vttermost of our lytle power, by the helpe of goddes inspiracion) we might bring furth out of goddes worde, as it were certeine armo­res and defences for the brethren that shall fight. For it is but a smale mater for vs, to raise vp goddes people with [Page]the trompe of our voice, excepte we strenghten by the holy scriptures the faithe of suche as beleue, and the de­uoute vertue that is consecrate vnto God. For what thing agreeth better and more with our pastorall cure and charge, then to prepare and furnishe the people committed vnto vs of God, and the armey standing in the heauē ­ly tentes, against ye arrowes and dar­tes of the deuell? For he can not be a mete souldear for the battaile, which haue not ben before exercised in the felde. Or who seking a victorious crowne shall in the course or rūnyng place be crowned, except beforehande he do consyder the experience of his strenght and cōnyng? The aduersary & enemy with whom we fight, is auncient & of long experiēce. For six thou­sande yeres are fully complete, sence the deuel began to fight against man. Therfore he hath now learned euē by aūcient exercise, al kindes of tētaciōs, al sottelties & deceytes to cast vs dow­ne. Yf he shal fynde Christes souldear vnprepared, yf he shal fynd him ygnoraūt, negligent, & not diligently wat­ching: he encloseth in the ignoraunt, [Page]he deceaueth the negligent, he begy­seth the folishe. But yf any man kea­ping the Lordes commaūdementes, and stycking manfully vnto Christ, shall stand vp against him: he must nedes be ouercom, bicause Christ whom man confesseth is inuincible. But to make a shorte tale, lest with long wri­ting I should wery ye most deare bro­ther being occupied either in hearing or in reading, I haue knit vp the ma­ter in a fewe wordes, that vnto the tit­les that at set abrode (which euery mā ought bothe to knowe and remēber) I might adde the Lordes wordes, & by authorire of ye diuine scriptures cō ­firme ye which I had set before mens eies: so that I maye not so muche seame to haue sent vnto the this trea­tise of myne owne writig, as to haue geuen occasion to other to write trea­tesis: which thing being vsed of eue­ry one, is profitable for many. For if I should now geue vnto the a garmēt ready made, the garment should be myne, which an other should we are, & paraduenture a thing made for an o­ther, wold not serue for the proportiō and stature of his body. But now I haue sent vnto the the selfe wolle and [Page]purple of the lanibe, by whom we are redempre & made aliue, which whan thou hast rereaued, thou shalt make for thy selfe a coate at thine owne pleasure, wherin thou shalt more reioyce, than in thy accustomed and proper garmētes: and thou shalt deliuer this that we haue sent vnto others, that they maye also according to their owne will make for them selues gar­mentes, that al men (the old nakednes being couered) maye put on the gar­mentes of Christ, being clothed word we the sanctificacion of the heauenly grace. Furthermore in this most ne­cessarye exhortaciō, which maye stire vp men to suffer martyrdome, I haue perceaued this coūcel also most deare brother to be bothe profitable & hol­some, to cut of the lettes and hinde­raunces of our owne wordes, and to take awaye the goinges about the bushe of mans talke: and to allege suche thynges only as God him selfe speaketh, wherby Christ prouoketh his seruautes to martyrdome. For the selfe commaundemeetes of the Lord as armors and weapons ought to be put in to the myndes of them yt fight. [Page]Let them be the exhortacions of the warlike trompet, let them be the peale of trompettes that maye prouoke to fyght. Thorowe them let the eares be lifte vp, thorowe them let the mindes be instructed & taught, thorowe them let the strenght boche of the mynde & body be cōfirmed, to suffer all maner of afflictions and tormentes. Wher­fore let vs (which by the sufferaūce of God haue geuen the first baptisme vn to them that beleue) prepare euery mā to another baptisme also, putting them in mynde and teaching, yt this baptisme is in grace greater, in po­wer myghtier, in honour more preci­ous: a baptisme wherin Angels bap­tise, and wherin God and his Christ reioyse: a baptisme after the receyte wherof no man synneth any more: a baptisme that maketh perfecte the encrease of our fayth, a baptisme that do immediatly couple vs vnto God, when we departe this worlde.

In the baptisme of water is receyued the remission of synnes, in the bap­tisme of blood the crowne of vertues. This thing ought to be embrased and wyshed for, and to be desyred by the seruent prayers of vs all, that we [Page]which are the seruaūtes of God, may be also his frendes.

The first Chapter.

In exhorting therfore & preparing our brethren,The con­tentes of the. 12. chapters. thorowe the stedfastnesse of faythe & vertue, to attayne the glorye of confessing the Lorde, and to arme them to the bataile of persecutiō and suffering, we must first of al declare, that the ydolles which mā mateth for himselfe are no goddes for the thinges that are made, are not grea­ter than their mater: neither can these ydolles defende and saue any man, which wolde them selues peryshe from their temples, except they were [...] of man. Neither ought thelementes to be worshipped, which according to thordenaunce and commaūdement of God do serue man.

The ydolles being ouerthrowē and the maner of the lemonies declared,The. 2. chap. we must shewe that the Lorde onlye ought to be worshipped.

To these then must we adde, what is the threatning of God against them, 3 that do sacrifice to ydolles.

4 We must teache furthermore that God wil not easely pardon Idolarers.

5 And that God is so greued with I­dolatrie, that he hathe also cōmaunded them to be slayne, which haue en [...]ysed men to sacrifice and serue ydolles.

6 To these muste be added, that the whiche are redemed and made aly [...]e thorow the blood of Christ, ought to [...]e ferre nothing before Christ: because he preserred nothing before vs, but for our sales he preferred aduersitie before pro­speritie, pouertie before ryches, bōdage, before lordship, death before immortali­tie. Cōtrarywyse we in our sufferinges preferre the ryches and pleasures of pa­radise before worldlye pouertie, the do­minion and euerlasting kingdome be­fore temporall bondage, immortalitie before deathe, God and Christ before the deuell and Antichrist.

7 We ought also to bring to remem­braunce that none that are escaped out of the deuelles clouches, and delyuered from the snares of the worlde, shoulde desire (yf they happen to fall into afflic­cions and troubles) to go forthe againe vnto the worlde, and so lose that they had escaped.

8 But rather that they ought to en­dure [Page]& continue in faythe, inthe truthe, and in the perfectyon of the heuenly, and spirituall grace, that they maye ar­tayne the victory and crowne.

9 We must also shewe that afflictions and persecutions doo therfore happen that we maye be tryed:

10 And that the sufferinges of wronge and batailes of persecution ought not to be feared: because the Loide is more myghty to defende, than the deuel is to fight against vs.

11 And to the intent no man should be afrayde and trobled thorowe afflictiōs and persecutions which we suffer in this worlde, we must proue that it was toloe beforehāde, that the worlde should hate vs, and that it should stire vp per­secutions against vs, that the truthe of Goddes promise in rewardes that shal hereafter folowe, myght manifestly ap­peare by this self thīg in that these persecutions do happē. Neither dothe any newe thing happen nowe vnto christi­ans, for asmuche as good mē from the beginning of the world haue ben perse­cuted, & the rightful haue ben oppressed and Filled of the vnrightfull.

12 Last of all we must declare, what hope and what rewarde abydeth the [Page]rightfull men and martyrs after the afflictions and passyons of this liffe, and that we shall receiue more in rewarde of our suffering, than we suffer here in the self afflictyons.

The first chapter.

THat ydolles are no goddes, and that none of thelemēs should he worshipped in goddes stede is manifest in the .Cxiij. psalme. The ydolles of ye gētiles ar gold & siluer,Psal. 113. ye wor­kes of mens handes. Mowthes haue they, but they speake not, they haue eyes and see not. They haue eares & heare not, neither is ther any breath in theyr mowthe. Let them be like vn­to them that make them. In likema­ner in the boke of the wisdome of Sa­lamon it is writen:Sap. 15. They haue este­med as Goddes all thidolles of the nacions, which haue neither eyes to see, neither nostrels to drawe brethe, nei­ther eares to heare, nor fingars on theyr handes to feale: Their fete also are vnhapte and sloo to walke. For man made them, and he that hathe a borowed spirite fashtoned them. But no man can make a God like vnto him selfe: For Seing he ys mortal, yt [Page]is also but a deade thing, which he fa­shioneth with vngodlye handes: For he that maketh them, is more excellēt than ye thinges which he worshippeth.

We reade also in the boke of Exo­dus:Exod. 2 [...] Thou shall not make for thy selfe any grauen ymage, neither the like­nes of any thing. Further as touchīg thelementes Salamon saith: Neither toke they so muche regarde of ye wor­kes that ar made,Sapi. 1 [...]. as to knowe who was the craftesman of them: but some toke the fire, some the aire, some the winde, some the course of the starres, some the great water, some the Sūne & Mone for goddes. But thoughe they had suche pleasure in their veauty, that they thought them to haue ben Goddes: yet sholde they haue knowe, howe muche more fairer ys he that made them. Or yf they marueled at the power and workes of them, they might haue perceiued therby, that he that made these mighty thinges, is mightyer then they.

The .ij. chapter.

THat god only ought to be worshipped we reade in Deuterono,Deu. [...]. Exo. [...] Thou shalt worshippe thy Lord God and him only shalt thou serue. Also in Exo [Page]dus. Thou shalt haue non other gods besides me. In like maner in ye same boke of Deuteronomy: Se now how ye I, I am he, and that ther is no God besides me:Deu. 32. I can kil and make aliue, I strike and heale againe: neither is ther any, that can deliuer any man out of my handes.Apo. 14. Iohan also in the reuelacion saithe: And I sawo an Angel flie in the myddes of heauē, hauing an euerlstaing gospel to prae­the vnto them that litte and dwelle on thearthe, and to all nacions, kinreds & tonges and people, saing with a loude voice: Feare God rather, and giue ho­nour to him, for the howre of his iu­gement is com: and worshippe him that made heauen and earthe, the sed and all that in them ys. In like ma­ner also the Lord maketh mentyon in the gospell of the first and second co­maūdement saing: He are Israel, The Lord thy God ys one Lord: And thou shalt loue the Lord thy God with all thy harte,Math. 22. and with al thy sowle, and with al thy strenght. This ys the first commaundement: and the second ys like vnto this, Thou shalt loue thy neyghboure as thy selfe. In these two cōmaundementes-consisteth the host [Page]lawe & ꝑphetes. And againe: This is eternall liffe,Ioan. 17. that they should knowe the alone the true God, & Iesus Christ whome thou hast sent.

The .iij. chapter.

VVhat God threatneth to thē ye do sacrifice to ydols, we maye reade in Exodus thus:Exod. 22. He ye offereth vnto any goddes saue to ye Lord only shal be roted out. Also in the Deu teronomye.Deu. 32. They offered vnto druels and not vnto God.Esa. 2. In like maner in Esay: They worshipped the Idolles which their owne fingars had made: Ther kneleth the man, ther falleth the man downe before them, so that thou canst not bring him awaye frō thēce: And againe, To them you haue pow­red out your drinke offeringes, and to thē you haue offered your sacrifices: shal not I be angry wt these thīges saieth the Lord? In like maner Hieremy saith: walke not after straūge goddes to serue them, & worshippe thē not,Hiere. 7. neither prouoke me thorowe ye workes of your hādes to scatter you abrode. Io. also in ye reuelaciō saithe:Apo. 14. If any doo [Page]worshippe the best and his ymage, & shall receue his marke in his fore­head or in his hād, he also shal drin ke of ye wine of Goddes wrathe myng­led in ye cuppe of his wrathe: & he shal be punished with fire & brymstone in the presence of the holy angels, & in the presence of the lambe. And the smoke of their tormentes shal ascēde vp euermore. Neither shal they haue any rest daye or night, who so euer they be that shall worshipe the best & his ymage.

The .iiij. chapter

THat God wil not easely iꝑ­don ydolaters, it appeareth by Moses in Exodus, ye praieth for the people, and yet obteyned not: Oh Lorde (saithe he) this people haue synned a great synne,Exod. 32. and made for them sel­ues Goddes of gold: yet forgeue them their sinne I beseche the: yf not, wipe me out of the boke which thou hast writē. And the Lord said vnto Moses? I will put him out of my boke, that hathe synned against me. In like ma­ner whan Ieremy praied for the peo­ple, [Page]the Lord spake vnto him saieng:Iere. 7. Thou shalt not praie for this people, thou shalt neither geue thankes, nor byd praier for thē, for I wil not heare them in the tyme that they shall call vpon me, in the tyme of theyr troble.Ezech. 14. Ezechiell also threateneth the same wrathe of God against them, ye synne against God saieng: and the worde of the Lord came vnto me saieng: Thou sonne of man, whan the land sinneth against me, and goeth furthe in wic­kednes: I shall stretche out myne hād vpon it, and destroy all the prouision of their bread, and I will send hūger among them, to destroye man & best in the land. And thoughe Noah, Da­niel, & Iob these .iii. mē war amōg thē, yet shall they deliuer neither sonnes nor daughters but shall them selues only be saffe. In likemaner in ye furst boke of kings it is writē: yf one man synne agaist an other,1. Reg. 2. they shal make intercession vnto ye Lord for him, but if a man synne against the Lord, who shall praiē for him?

The .v. chapter.

THat God is soangrey wt ydolatry, that he hathe also cōmaunded thē to be slayne which haue entised [Page]others to offer to ydolles and to serue them we reade in the Deuteronomy:Deu. 13. Yf thy brother, or thyne owne sonne, or thy daughter or thy wiffe ye lieth in thy bosome, or thy frende which is as thine owne sowle vnto ye entise the se­cretly saiēg, let vs go & serue straūge goddes, ye Goddes of ye gētiles: yu shalt not cōsent vnto him, nor herken vnto him, neither shal thine eye spare him, nor kepe him secrete, but shalt vtter him. Thine hande shall be first vpon him to kill him, and than the handes of all the people. To be short they shal stone him and he shall dye, because he went about to turne thee awaye frō ye Lorde thy God. And agayne the Lord speaketh and sayeth, that a cytie ought not to be spared, althou the hole tytie shall cōsent to Idolatrie: Yf thou shalt heare saye (of one of thy cyties which the Lorde thy God shall geue thee to dwel in) that they saye: Let vs go and serue straunge Goddes, whiche thou haste not knowen: Thou shalt smyte & kill with thedge of the sworde all that are in that cytie, and thou shalt burne the cytie wt fire, & it shall neuer more be inhabited: Yea it shall neuer be buylt againe, that God may turne frō [Page]his fearce wrathe. And the Lorde shal shewe the mercy, and haue compassiō on the, and multiply the, yf thou shalt heare the voice of the Lorde thy God, and keape his cōmaūde mentes. Ma­thathias beyng myndfull of the force of this cōmaūdement slewe him that came to thaltar to do sacrifice.1. Mac. 2. But yf before the comming of Christ these cō maūdemētes touching the worshipīg of God, and despising of ydolles, war obscrued & keapt: How muche more ought they to be keapt after the com­ming of Christ? Forasmuche as he at his comming did not exhorte vs with wordes only, but also with deades: which after he had suffred al maner of iniure is and reuiling wordes, was also crucified, to teache vs by his ex­ample, bothe to suffer and die: that who so euer he be that will not suffer for his sake, should be vtterly wtout excuse, forasmuche as he hathe suffred for vs. And seing ye he hathe suffred for other mens synnes, muche more ought euery mā to suffer for his owne synnes. And therfore in the gospel he treatneth and saithe: who so euer shal confesse me before men,Math. 10. him wil I al­so confesse before my father which is [Page]in heauē: but who so euer shall denye me before men, him wil I also denye before my father which is in heauē. In like maner thapostle paule saithe: Yf we die together with him we shall also liue together with him:2. Tim. 2. Yf we suf­fer with him we shall also raygne together with him: Yf we denye him he shall also denye vs. Iohan also saieth: [...]. Ioan. 2. he that denieth the sonne hathe not ye father, he that confesseth the sonne, hathe bothe the sonne and the father. Wherfore the Lord dothe exhorte and strenghten vs to despise deathe:Math. 10. sai­eng: Feare ye not them that kil the body, but can not kill the sowle: but ra­ther feare him, which can kille bothe sowle and body in to hell fire.Ioan. 12. And a­gaine he saieth, he that loueth his life shall lose it, and he that hateth his liffe in this worlde, shall preserue it vnto eternal liffe.

The .vi. chapter.

THat we which ar redēpte & made aliue thorowe ye blode of Christ, ought to preferre no thing before Christ, the Lord speaketh in the gospel and saithe: he that loueth father or [Page]mother aboue me, is not worthy of me.Math. 10. And he yt taketh not vp his crosse & folowe me, is not worthy of me. In ye Deuteronomy it is also writē in like maner:Deu. 33. They that saie to father or mother I knowe ye not, & ye parents yt ha­ue not knowē their owne sōnes, these haue keapt thy commaundementes, and obserued thy testament.Rom. 8. In like maner saieth thapostle Paule: Who shall separate vs from the charite of Christ? shall tribulacion, or anguishe, either persecution or hungar, either nakednes, or daunger, or the sword? as it is writen: For thy sake are we killed al the daie long,Psal. 43 and are cown­ted as shepe appointed to be slayne. Neuertheles in all these thinges we ouercome, thorowe his helpe that lo­ued vs. And againe he saithe: ye are not your owne, for ye are bought with a great price.1. Cor. 6. Therfore glorifie and beare god in your body. And againe: he died for all that they which liue, should not now liue to them selues,2. Cor. 5. but to him which died for them, and rose againe.

The .vij. chapter.

THat they which are plucte out of the deuelles Iawes, and deliuered from the sna­res of the world, ought not to returne agayne to the worlde lest they should lose that they war escaped, The people of the Iues before figured after the shadowe and image of vs, whan they hade escaped thorowe the healpe and deliueraunce of God the most cruel bōdage of Pha­rao & Egipte, that is to saye, of the de­uell: They being vnfaithfull and vn­thankfull to God, did murmur agaist Moses: They cōsidering the daūgers of the wildernes and labor, and vnder standing not Goddes benefites of li­berty and saluacion, sought to retur­ne againe in to Egipte, that ys to the bondage of this world from which they were deliuered. Whan as they ought rather to haue trusted and be­leaued in God: bicause that he which hathe deliuerde his people from the deuell & the world, shal defēd thē yt are deliuered.Exo. 14. Why hast thou (sayd they) serued vs thus, for to cary vs out of Egipte? it had ben better for vs to haue serued ye Egiptyans, thā to die in this wildernes. And Moses said vnto ye people. [Page]Stande vp boldly, and behold the saluacion that cōmeth from the Lord, which the lord wil do for vs this daie. The Lord him selfe shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace. Of this thing the Lord doeth also in his gospel warne vs & teache vs, that we should not returne againe to the deuel and the world whome we haue forsakē, & from whome we haue escaped, saiēg:Luce. 9. and. 17. No man putting his hande to the ploughe and loking backe ys mete for the kingdome of God. And againe he saieth: he that is in the felde, let him not returne backe: Remember Lottes wiffe. And lestany might be hindered in the folowing of Christ, either tho­rowe any worldly lust, or thorowe thaffectyon and loue to his kinsfolke and frendes, he added, and saieth: He that doeth not forsake al that he hathe can not be my disciple.

The .viij. chapter.

VVe must endure & cōtinue in faith & vertue, & in ye ꝑfectyō of spiritual grace, yt we maye attayne ye victory & crowne. In the .ij. boke of Cronicles we reade thus:2. Pard. 15. The Lord abbideth wt you, as lōg as ye abide wt [Page]him: but yf ye shal forsake him, he shal also forsake you. In like maner sai­eth Ezechiei.Eze. 33. In what so euer daye ye rightouse mē shal wander oute of the waie, his rightfulnes shal not deliuer him.Math. 10. Ioan. 8. The Lord also in the gospel spea­keth & saieth: He that shall contynue to thēde the same shal be saffe: & againe he saieth: if you shal abide in my wor­de, ye shal verely be my disciples, and shall knowe the truthe, & ye truthe shall make you fre. He also beforehād war­ning vs to be alwaies prepared, and to stād māfully in a redynes, he added and saieth: Let your loynes be girte about,Luc. 12. and your lightes burning, and ye your selues like vnto men yt waite for their master, whan he wil returne frō a wedding, that assone as he shall cō & knocke, they may opē vnto him. Happye are those seruauntes which ye Lord whā he cōmeth, shal finde wat­ching. In likemaner ye blessed Apostle exhorteth vs to go forwarde & encrease in faithe, vntil it cōme to perfectyō saieng: knowe ye not that they which runne in a corse, runne al, yet but one receiueth the crowne. So runne that ye maye obtayne.1. Cor. 9. And they do yt to obtayne [Page]a corruptible crowne, but we to obtayne an incorruptible crowne. And againe he saieth, No man that warreth vnto God,2. Tim. 2. entangleth him selfe with worldly cares: that he maye please him of whome he is allowed to be a sowldier. And thoughe a man striue for a mastery, yet is he not crowned, except he striue laufully. The same Apostle saithe also:Rom. 12. I bese­che you brethren by the merciful­nes of God, that you make your bo­dies a quicke sacrifice, holy, and plesāt to God: and fashion not your selues like vnto this world, but be ye chaun­ged in your shape, by the renewieng of your spirite, that ye maye proue, what thing that good, and pleasing, & perfecte will of God is. And againe he saieth:Rom. 8. We are the sonnes of God: But and if we be sonnes, we are also heires: the heyres I meane of God, and heires annexed with Christ: Yf so be that we suffer toge­ther, that we maye be glorified toge­ther. The exhortacion of the dy­uine preaching speaketh the same thinges in the reuelacion saieng:Apo. 5. [Page]holdefast hat thou hast, that another taketh not thy crowne. An ensample of this enduring and continuing vn­to thende, is set forth in Exodus, wher as Moses in the signe and sacrament of the crosse, lyfteth vp his heauy handes to ouercome Amalech, which bea­reth the figure of the deuell: Neither could he ouercome thaduersary, vntyl he continued stable in the signe, with his handes continually lifted vp. And it happened (saieth he) that Israel had the better, when Moses helde vp his hande:Exod. 17. And when he let his hande downe, Amalech had the better. And they toke a stone, & put it vnder him, & he sat downe theron. And Aaron and Hur stayed vp his handes, the one on the one syde and the other on thother syde, and his handes were stedy vntyl ye Sunne was downe. And Iesus put Amalech to flight & al his people. And ye Lorde said to Moses: write this for a remembraūce in a boke, and tel it vn­to Iesu. For I wil put out the remembraucne of Amalech from vnder hea­uen.

The .ix. Chapter.

THat troubles and persecu­cions do therfore happen yt we maye be tried we reade in the Deuteronomy:Deu. 25. The Lorde your God doth tēpte or proue you, that he may knowe whether yt you loue him wt your hole hert and with all your soule, and wyth all your strenght. Againe it is written in Salomon: The furnace proueth the potters vessell,Eccle. 27. and temtacion of troble trieth rightfull men. In lyke maner Paule testifieth and speaketh the same, sayeng: We reioyce in hope of the glory that shalbe geuen of God: Neyther do we so only,Rom. 5. but also we reioyce in trobles, knowing that tribu­lacion bringeth pacience, but pacience bringeth triall, trial hope, and hope is not cōfoūded, because the loue God is spreade abrode in our hertes, by ye ho­ly goost which is geuē vnto vs. Peter also in his epistle writeth and sayeth: Dearely beloued maruell not at this heate that is come among you to trye you (that ye fall not awaye) as tho any newe thing should happen vnto you:1. Pet. 4. but as ofte as ye are made partakers of Christes passions, reioyce in al thinges, that ye maye at thappearing of [Page]his glory reioyce with gladnesse. Yf ye be rayled vpō for ye name of Christ, happye are ye: For the name of ye ma­iestie & power of God resteth in you: the which name verely is blasphemed of them, but by vs it is glorifyed.

The .x. Chapter.

THat iniuries and the pay­nes of persecution ought not to be feared, & that no man should be amased at troubles and persecutions, which he suffereth in this worlde, for-because the Lorde is more myghtye to defende, than the deuell is to fight a­gainst vs: Iohn in his epistell writeth and sayeth:1. Ioan. 4. He that is in you is grea­ter, than he that is in the worlde. In lyke maner in the psalme: The Lorde is my helper, I wil not fear what mā can do vnto me. And agayne in an o­ther psalme: These boast them selues in their horses, but we will boast our selues in the name of the Lorde our God.Psal. 117. and. 19. They are boūde & are fallē dow­ne, but we are rysen & stande vpright. And yet further the holy Goost (tea­ching and declaring that the armyes [Page]of the deuell ought not to be feared, al thoo he shoulde proclaime battaile a­gainst vs, but rather that we should haue our trust in the selfe same battel, & yt the ryghtfull by fighting against the deuell, may attayne to the reward of Goddes seate and eternal lyfe) speaketh in the spalme & sayeth:Psal. 26. Thoughe an hoost of men were layde against me, yet shall not my harte be afrayed, and thoughe ther arose vp warre a­gainst me, yet wil I put my truste in him. One thing haue I desired of the Lord which I wil require, that I may dwell in the house of the Lorde all the dayes of my life. In lyke maner the holy scripture in Exodus doth declare that we do exceadingly multiplye and encrease thorowe afflictions and troubles sayeng:Exod. 1. And the more they oppressed them, the more they multiplyed & grewe. And in the Reuelacion god­des protection is promysed vnto vs in our sufferinges, where he sayeth:Apo. 2. fear thou none of these thīges, which thou shalt suffre. Neither is it any other that promyseth vnto vs saffetie & de­fence, but euen very he yt by the ꝓphet Esay speaketh & sayeth: Feare yu not,Esaie. 41. [Page]For I haue redemed the: I haue cal­lee the by thy name, thou arte myne owne. And yf thou shalte go thorowe the water I am with the, and the flod­des shall not ouerwhelme the. And yf thou shalt passe thorowe the fire, the fire shall not burne the. For I am the Lorde thy God which do kepe thee in safetie. Which in the Gospel also doth promise, that the helpe of God shall not faile goddes seruauntes in theyr persecutions saieng:Math. 10. but whā they de­lyuer you vp, take no thought how or what ye shall speake. For it shalbe ge­uen you in that same houre, what ye shall saye. For it is not ye that speake, but the spirite of your father that speaketh in you. And againe he sayeth: put in your heartes not to studye before, what ye shall answere:Mar. 13. Luc. 21. for I wil gyue you a mouthe & wisdome wher vnto your aduersaries ar not able to resist. Thus doeth God speake also to moses in exodus, which delaied to do his cō ­maundement and feared the people, saieng:Exo. 4. Who hath made mās mouth? or who hathe made the domme or the deafe, the seyng or ye blynde, haue not I the Lorde God? Go nowe therfore, and I will open thy mouthe, & I wyll [Page]teache the what thou shalt speake.

Neither is it any harde mater for God to open the godly mans mouth, and to enspire constancy and holdnes of speche vnto his confessor:Nu. 22. which (as we reade in the boke of Numbres) did make the very Asse to speake against Balaam the prophet. Therfore let no man in persecution thinke into what daunger the deuel dothe bring, but let hym rather consider what helpe God dothe geue: Neither let vs be discorraged thorowe mans malice, but let vs strenghten our fayth with goddes protection: for asmuche as euery man ac­cordyng to the Lordes promyses, and the merites of his owne faythe, shall receyue asmuche helpe of God, as he beleueth to receyue. Neither is ther a ny thyng which the almighty can not bring to passe, except the fayth of hym that should receyue dothe decaye and fayle.

The .xi. Chapter.

THat it was told aforehand, that the worlde should hate vs, and that it should stere vp persecuciōs against vs: & that no newe thing hap­peneth [Page]peneth nowe vnto christianes, for as­muche as good men haue ben trobled from the beginning of the world, and the ryghtfull haue ben oppressed and slayne of the vnrightfull: The Lorde in the Gospell doeth afore warne and afore shewe saieng:Loan. 15. yf the worlde hate you, knowe ye that it hated me furst. yf you were of the worlde, the worlde worlde loue that were his owne. But because ye are not of the worlde, but I haue chosen you out of the worlde, therfore the worlde hate you. Remember the worde whyche I haue spoken vnto you: ther is no seruaunt greater than his Lorde. yf they haue persecu­ted me, they shall also persecute you. And agayne he sayeth:Loan. 16. The houre shal come, that euery one that shal kil you, shall thinke him selfe to do God ser­uice. But they shall do this, because they haue not knowen the father nor yet me. These thinges haue I spoken vnto you, that whē the houre of them shal come, ye maye remēber ye I tolde you. And againe he saieth: verely ve­rely I saie vnto you, ye shal wepe and lament, but the worlde shall reioyce: ye shall sorowe, but your sorowe shall be turned in to ioye. And againe he [Page]sayeth: These thinges haue [...] spo­ken vnto you, that ye maye haue peace in me: in the worlde ye shall haue trouble, but be of good cheare, for I haue ouercome the worlde. And agayne whan he was demaunded of his disci­ples, what should be the token of hys comming, and of thende of the world,Luc. 21. he answered and sayd:Mar. 13. Take hede that noman deceyue you,Math. 24. for many shall come in my name saing: I am Christ, and shall deceyue many. ye shal heare of warres, and of the rumours of warres, take ye hede, and be not troubled: for these thinges must come to passe, but thende is not yet. Nacion shall a­ryse against nacion, and kingdome a­gainst kyngdome, and there shalbe honger and earthquakes, and pesti­lences thorowe all places. All these are the beginninges of sorowes.

Then shal they put you to trouble and shal kill you, and ye shall be hated of all people for my name sake: And thā shall many be offended, & shal betraye one an other, and shall hate one an o­ther. And many false prophetes shal a­rise, and deceiue many: and bicause of the abundaunce of wickednes, the charite of many shall ware cold, but he ye [Page]shall endure vnto thende, the same shal be saffe. And this gladde tydinges of the kingdome, shall be preached thorowe all ye worlde for a witnesse vnto all nacyons: and than shall the ende come. Whā therfore ye shall see thabo minacion of desolatyon spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place:Daniel. 9. let him that reade it, vn­derstande it: Than let them that be in Iury flee in to the mountaines: And him which is on the house toppe, not com downe to fet any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the felde, returne backe to fetche his clo­thes. Wo be in those daies to women with childe, and to them that geue sucke, but praie ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sa­both daie. For than shall be great tri­bulacion, suche as was not from the beginning of the world to thys tyme, nor shalbe: And excepte those dayes should be shortned, ther should no flesh be saued: but for the chosen sake, those dayes shall be shortned. Then yf any man shall saye vnto you, Lo here is Christ, or ther is Christ, beleue it not. For ther shall aryse false Christes, and false prophetes, and shal do great mi­racles [Page]and wonders, In somuche that yf it were possible, euē the chosen per­sons should be deceyued. But take you hede, loo I haue tolde you all thynges before. Wherfore yf they shal saye vn­to you, behold he is in the wyldernes, go not forthe. Beholde in the serrete places, beleue not. For as the lyght­ning commeth out of the east, and syneth into the west: So shall ye cōming of the sone of mā be. For whersoeuer a deade carcase is, thether wil ye Egles be gathered together. Forthwith after the tribulatiōs of those dayes the sune shall be darkened, and the Wone shall not geue her lyght, & the starres shall fall from heauen, and the powers of heauen shall moue. And then shall ap­peare the signe of the Sonne of man in heauen. And then shall al the kin­reddes of the earthe lament them sel­ues, and they shall se the sonne of man commyng in the cloudes wyth great power and glory. And he shall sende his Angels with great power & glory & with a great trompet. And they shall gather together his chosen frō the iiij. wyndes, & frō the one ende of heauen to the other. Neither are these thinges which nowe happē to christeans, new [Page]or sodeine: for asmuche as good & iust mē, & such as be thorowly bent to kepe the lawe of God, & are afraid to staine the innocency of lyfe & true religion, do alwayes walke the harde & straite waye thorowe trobles & iniuries, and thorowe the greuous & manifolde pu­nishementes of deadly & malicious emnities. Thus is ye ryghtfull Abel first killed of his brother,Gen. 4. in the very be­ginning of the worlde,1. Reg. 14. & Iacob is co­pelled to flye,3. Reg. 19. & Ioseph is solde: & king Saul persecuteth the merciful Dauid, & king Achab endeuoureth to oppresse Helias, which did constantly & man­fully defende the maiestie of God. ʒa charias the priest is killed betwene the temple & the aulter,Math. 23. that he myght there be made a sacrifice him selfe, where he had offred sacrifices. To be shorte, ther are very many martirdo­mes of the rightfull, which are often­tymes celebrate. Ther are very many ensamples of faithe & godlines left for them that shal come after. The .iii. children Ananias, Ararias, Misahel, in a­ge equal, in loue of one mynde, in faithe stabell, in godlynes constaunt, and stronger then the flāmyng fire, and the paynes wherwith they were tormented, openly proclaymed that [Page]they serued God alone and only, that they knewe hym alone,Dani 3. that they worshipped him alone, saieng: O king Na buchodonosor, we haue no nede to make the any answer in this mater. For God whome we serue, is able to deliuer vs frō the hote burning ouen O king, and to ridde vs out of thy handes: but yf he will not, yet shalt thou knowe that we wil not serue thy god­des, nor do reuerēce to ye ymage which thou hast set vp.Dani. 14. And the godlye man Daniel full of ye holy Goost cryeth out & sayeth: I worship nothing but only my Lorde, which hath made heauen & earth. Tobias also althoughe he was vnder a kingly & tyrānous bōdage, yet being fre in vnderstāding & spirite cō ­fesseth God, & do excellētly cōmēd god his power and maiestie saieng:Tobi. 13. I wil praise him in ye lande of my captiuitie, & wil shewe his power amōges the sinful nacion. But what should I speake of ye seuē brethrē in ye Machabees whiche do fulfill the nūbre of .vii. for a sa­crament of absolute ꝑfectnes.2. Mat. 7. These seuen brethren are so lincked together in martirdome, as in the disposicion & ordinaūce of God, the first seuē dayes do couteyne seuen thousande yeres: [Page]As the seuen spirites and seuen An­gels ar assistant and present before ye face of the Lord, And the seuen fasho­ned cādelstickes in the tabernacle of witnesse, And the seuen golden can­delstickes in the reuelacion, And the seuē pillars in Salomon, vpō whome wisdome doeth builde her howse: E­uen so the number also ther of seuen brethren, doeth comprehēde in them the number of seuen churches: Accor­ding as we reade in the first boke of kinges, that the barrē brought furthe seuen: And in Esay seuen womē take holde vpō one mā, after whose name they require to benamed: And Paule thapostle being myndefull of this laufull and certaine number, writeth vnto seuen churches: And in the reuela­tion the Lord doeth directe his diuine commaundementes, and heuenly preceptes, to seuē churches, and their an­gels: The which nēber is now foūde in these brethren, that laufull perfec­cyon might be fulfilled. With the se­uen sonnes the mother also their be­ginning and rote is certeinly copled, which afterwardes brought furthe seuen churches, herselfe being tho­rowe goddes voice first and alone foū ded [Page]vpon the rocke. Neither is wc out mistery, ye in the martyrdomes ye mo­ther is founde alone with her sōnes. For the martyrs which in their suffe­ringes did testefie them selues to be the sonnes of God, ar now cownted to haue none other father but God. As the Lorde in the gospel teacheth say­eng: call no man your father vpon ye earth,Math. 23. for ther is but one your father, which is in heauen. O how glorious confessions did they make? Howe no­ble, howe excellent lessons of faithe haue they geuē? The king Antiochus being angery (yea rather Antichrist re presented by Antiochus) went about to defile with the filth of swines fleshe the gloriouse mouthes of ye martyrs, which thorowe the spirite of cōfession war inuincible: And when he had greuously beaten them with scorges, and yet neuer the neare his purpose, he commaunded the frieng pannes or cauldrons to be made hote, in to the which (after they war made hote, and set on fire) he commaunded that he which had furst spoken, and had most prouoked the king to anger thorowe the constancy of godlines and faithe, should be throwen in the fried. But [Page]they furste plucked out hys tonge, whiche had confessed God, and cut it of. What martyrdome hathe ther ben more glorious? For the tonge whiche had confessed the name of God, ought it selfe first to go to God. Afterwar­des they inuented more bitter punish­mentes for the seconde. For before they tormented his other membres. They of a purposed hatred againste God plucte of the skinne of his heade with the heares and all. For seyng Christe is the heade of man, and the heade of Christ is God: he that dyd so bocherly teare the martyrs heade, did persecute in the head God and Christ. But the martir hoping in his martir­dome, and assuring him selfe of the rewarde of the resurrection thoro­we the gifte of God, cryed out and sayde: Thou thorowe thy power de­stroyest vs from this present lyfe: but the kyng of the worlde shall rayse vs vp (that are deade for his lawes) in to the eternall resurrection of lyfe. The thirde beyng demaunded to put forthe his tonge, did it quickely: For he had nowe learned of his brother, to contempne the payne of cutting of [Page]the tonge: He did also constauntlye stretche forthe his handes, that they myght be cutte of, and was very hap­pye in suffering this kynde of punish­ment: For asmuche as it was his fortune wyth stretched out handes, to be made like vnto the Lordes passion in this suffering▪ The fourth also with like corrage dispising the tormen­tes and answering with an heauenly voice to the kinges confusion, cryed out and sayde: It is beste for vs be­yng put to deathe of men, to haue our hope and truste in God, to be rai­sed agayne of him vnto eternall lyfe. As for thee, thou shalt haue no resur­rection to lyfe. The fyfthe besydes that thorowe the strenght of faythe he trode vnder the fote the bocherly tor­mentes of the king, and many cru­el paynes: he was also strenghtened thorow Goddes spirite to a foreknowlege of thinges to come, and propheci­ed vnto the kynge, that bothe the indig nacion of God, and also his venge­aunce wolde shortlye folowe vpon him. Thou (sayeth he) hauynge power amonge men (for thou arte a mortall man also thy selfe) doest what [Page]thou wilt. But thinke thou not that Bod hathe forsaken our generacion. Abide the, & behold the great power of God, after what maner he wil tor­ment the and thy seade. O what an easement was this of martyrdome, howe great, howe excellent was this comforte? In his sufferinges not to thinke vpon his owne torments, but to tell furthe the punishememtes of his tormentor? In the .vi. not only godlines but humilite also ought to be commēded in that the martyr cha­lenged no thing to him selfe,The hu­milite of Martyrs. neither did he with proude wordes bost of the honour of his confession: but did ra­ther impute vnto his owne synnes, that he suffred persecutiō of the king, and as touching vengaunce yt should folowe, he committed that vnto God. He taught martyrs to be shamefast, to hope in God for reuengement, and to bragge no thing in their sufferin­ges. Be not vainely deceiued O king (saieth he) For we suffer here for our owne sakes, bicause we haue synned against our God: But thinke not thou to escape vnpunished, scing yu hast attē pted to fight against God. The wōder full mother also which was neither [Page]discorraged thorowe the weakenes of the kinde, nor trobled with the mani­folde lacke of children, behelde gladly her sonnes dieing: neither did she on­ly consider their paines, but also their glories, and thorow the vertue of her eies, she offered vnto God, as great martyrdome, as did her sonnes in the sufferinges & tormētes of their mem­bres. After the six war tormented and slayne, ther remayned yet one of the brethren, vnto whome the king pro­mised riches, Lordeshipe, and many thinges: that at the lest by ouercom­mīg of one, his fearce crueltye might be cōforted: & he desired that ye mother together wt him,The xāple of a godly mother. wolde be a meane to ouerthrowe her sōne. She intreated her sonne: But after suche sorte as be­came a mother of martyrs, as it beca­me one myndeful of ye lawe, & of God: As it became one yt loued her sonnes, not wantonly but strongly. She in­treated him in dede, but that was to confesse God: She intreated him that he being a brother, shoulde not be se­parate from his brethren in the fe­lowshipe of praise and glory: Than reconning her selfe to be a mother of seuen sonnes, yf it might be her for­tune [Page]to bring furthe seuen to God, and not to the world. She therfore arming and strenghtning him, & bea­ring thā againe her sonne wc a more happey birthe, saied vnto him: O my sonne haue pitye vpon me that bare the .ix. monethes in my wombe, and gaue the sucke thre yeres, and nori­shed & brought the vp vnto this age: I beseche the my sonne loke vpō hea­uen and earthe, & whan thou hast considered all thinges that are in them, vnderstande that God made them and mans generacion of nothing. Therfore my sōne feare not this hāg­man, but suffer deathe stedfastly, like as thy brethren haue done: that I maye receiue the againe in the same mercy with thy brethren.

Great is the praise of this mother in exhorting to godlynes, but greater was her praise in the feare of God, & in the truthe of faithe, bicause she warranted neither her selfe, nor her sōne any parte in the honour of the .vi. martyrs: neither did she beleaue that the praier of the brethren, should pro­fite to the saluacion of him that de­nied. She rather persuaded him [Page]to be partaker with them in suffe­ring, that in the daye of iudgement he myght be founde among his bre­thren. After these thinges the mother dyed also together with her children. For this was nowe most cumbely for ber, to be ioyned vnto them in the fe­lowship of glory, whom she had borne and fashioned to martirdome, and yt her selfe myght also folowe them, whō she had before hande sent vnto God. And that no man should by any deceitfull occasion offered him, either to re­cante, or any other waye embrace the wicked gyft or rewarde of deceyuers: Let vs also speake of Eleazarus,Eleazarus 2. Mac▪ 6. who hauyng libertie geuen him by the kinges seruauntes, to take suche fleshe as was lawful for him to eate, should but fayne himselfe to eate of the sacrifices & vnlawful meates that were brought in, and so deceiue the king. He wolde in no wyse consent to this deceyte, sayeng: that it became neither his age, nor his noble stocke, to fayne himselfe to do that, wherin many myght be of­fended and brought into error: Thin­king that Eleazarus being nynety yeres olde, had forsaken and betrayed the lawe of God, and were gone to the [Page]maners of straungers: Neither dyd he thinke it any worthy matter by of­fendyng God,What they gaine that denye God. and runnyng into the daunger of eternall punishement, to gaine the short momentes of this lyfe. And he beyng ther long tormented, & nowe at the point of death, sighed and sayd as he dyed amōg stripes and tor­mentes: O Lorde which hast the holy knowlege, thou knowest openly, that where as I myght be delyuered from deathe, I suffer these sore paynes of my body: but in my mynde I am wel content to suffer them, because I fear thee. Certeinly his fayth was sincere, & true, & his godlynes perfecte & pure ynoughe: which consydered not the kyng Antiochꝰ but God that is Iuge: and knewe ryght well that it shoulde nothyng profyte him to saluacion, yf he should mocke and deceyue man, se­yng ye God (which is the iuge of our conscience, & ought only to be feared) cā not be mocked nor deceyued by any meanes. Yf therfore we do lyue as godly mē, and suche as be dedicate vn to God, yf we do walke in the selfe sa­me auncient, and holy fote steppes of the iuste: Let vs go thorowe the same ensamples of paynes & sufferinges, [Page]thorowe the same martirdomes and passions: And let vs reken the glorye of our tyme in this point more excel­lent, that wher as the olde ensamples of martirs are numbred: Now after the plenteouse abundaunce of godli­nes and faithe, the christian martyrs can not be numbred. As Iohan wit­nesseth in the reuelacion, saieng:Apo. 7. Af­ter this I behelde a great multytude which no man could number, of al nacyons & kinredes, people and tonges standing before the seate, and before the lambe, and they war clothed with long white garmentes, and they had palmes in their handes, and cried wc a loude voice saieng: Health vnto our God sitting vpon the seate, and vnto the lambe: And one of thelders answered, saieng vnto me: what are these which are arayed in long white gar­mentes, and whence came they? and I saied vnto him: Lord thou wotest. And he saied vnto me: These are they which came out of great trybulacion, & they haue wasshed their garments, and made them white in the blodde of the lambe: Therfore are they in the p̄sence of the seate of God, & serue him daye & night in his tēple. But if it be [Page]shewed & prowed that the people of ye christiā martyrs are so many, no mā should thinke it an hard thing, to be a martyr, seing he may ꝑceiue, ye ye mul­titude of martyrs cā not be numbred.

The .xij. chaptre.

VVhat hope & rewarde abi­deth for the iuste and mar­tyrs after the fight and passions of this life, the holy gost hathe shewed and folde aforhand by Salomō saing: And thoughe they suffer tormentes before men,Sapi. 3. yet is their hope full of Immor­talite. And although they be punished in fewe thinges, yet in many thinges shal they be well rewarded. For God hathe proued them and founde them mete for him selfe. Yea as the gold in the fornace he doeth trie them, and receiueth them as a burnte offering, and whan the tyme cōmeth, they shal be loked vpon. They shal Iuge the nacions and haue dominion ouer the people, and their Lord shal reigne for euer. In likemaner the same Salamō doeth describe the vengaunce ye God shall take for our cause, and setteth [Page]forthe the penaunce or sorowe of our persecutours and enemyes saieng: Then shall the righteouse stande in great stedfastnesse, against suche as haue dealt extremely with them,Sapi. 5. The late repentaūce of them that be in hell. and taken awaye their labours. When they se it, they shalbe vexed with hor­rible feare, and shal wonder at the ha­stines of the sodayne healthe, groning for very distres of mynde, and shal say within them selues hauyng inwarde sorowes, and mournyng for very an­guishe of mynde. These are they whō we somtyme had in derision, and ies­ced vpon. We fooles thought their life very madnes, and their ende to be wt out honour. Howe then are they coū ­ted among the childrē of God, & their porcion among the saintes: Therfore we haue erred frō the waye of truthe, and the lyght of ryghtfulnes hath not shyned ouer vs, and the Sunne of vnderstanding rose not vp vpon vs. We haue weried our selues in the waye of wyckednes and destruction. Tedi­ouse wayes haue we gone: but ye waye of the Lorde we haue not knowen. What good hathe our pryde done vn­to vs? Or what ꝓfite hath the pompe of ryches brought vs? all those thin­ges [Page]are passed awaye like a shadowe. In likemaner in .115. psalme the re­warde of martyrdome is declared,Psal. 115. wheare he saieth: preciouse is ye deathe of his saintes in the sight of the Lord.Psal. 125. Likewise also in. 125. is expressed bothe our sorowfull affliction and also our ioyeful rewarde, wher he saieth: They that sowe in teares, shal reape wc ioye. They went furthe, wandering and so­wing their seades with weping: But they shal com againe with ioye, takig vp their lappes. And againe in the 118. psalme, he saieth, blessed are those that be vndefiled in the waie,Psal. 118. which walke in the lawe of the Lord: Blessed are those that searche out his witnesses, & and seke him with their hole hart. Fur thermore the Lord which is the selfe reuengar of our persecucion, and the rewarder of our sufferinge, saieth in the gospell: happye shall they be which shall suffer persecutyon for rightous­nes sake,Math. 5. bicause the kingdome of heauen is theirs: And againe he saieth: blessed shall ye be, whan mē shall hate you, and shall seperate and throwe you out, and shal curse your name as wicked for the sonne of mans sake, be gladde in that daie and reioyce, For [Page]lo your rewarde is great in heauen. And agayne: he that loseth his liffe for me shall saue it. Neither are ye rewar­des of Goddes promise laid vp only for suche as be tormented and sayne: For although the faithful be not sub­iecte to the very suffering, yet if faithe abide perfecre & not ouercome, if the thristian (despising and forsaking all thinges that at his owne) shall shewe him self to folow Christ, he also is ho­nored of Christ among the martyrs by his owne promise, wher he saieth: ther is no mā that forsaketh house or fielde, or father and mother, or breth­ren, or wiffe, or sonnes, for the king­dome of God, which do not receiue seuen tymes as muche in this world, and in the world to come eternal liffe. In likemaner in the reuelacion he speaketh the same thing saiēg:Apo. [...]0. and I sawe the sowles of them that wer kil­led for the name of Iesu & the worde of God: And whan he had made men­cyon first of them that war slayne, he added saieng: & who so euer haue not worshipped the Image of the best, neither receiued his marke vpō their forhedes, or on their handes: Al which being sen of him at once in one place, [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page]he coppleth together sayeng: And they liued and reigned with Christ. He sayeth, that they all do lyue and reigne with Christ: not only they that were slayne, but all suche also as standing manfully in the stedfastnesse of their faythe, and in the feare of God, haue not worshipped the ymage of ye beast, neither haue consented vnto them in their haynous and cruell proclamaci­ons & lawes. That we shall receyue more in rewarde of our suffeting, thā are the paynes and afflictions whiche we nowe endure, the blessed Apostle Paule dothe proue (which beyng tho­rowe goddes fauour taken vp into the thirde heauen & into paradise,2. Cor. 12. witnesseth that he herde wordes that can not be vttered, which glorieth, that he had (thorowe secrete faythe) sene Ie­sus Christ: which hauyng certeine knowlege of the truth, professeth that which he had bothe learned, & seen) sayeng: The afflictiōs of this lyfe are not worthy yt glorye, which shalbe shewed vpon vs.Rous. 8. Who is it nowe that will not labour with all his strenght to at­tayne so great glory, that he maye be made the frende of God, and immedi­atly reioyce with Christ: That after [Page]these worldly tormentes and paynes, he may come to the diuine and heauē ­ly rewardes? Yf the souldears of this worlde thinke it a glorious matter, (after they haue oucrcome thennemy) to returne into their coūtrey with tri­umphe: howe muche more noble and excellent a thing is it, after we haue ouercome the deuel, to returne into paradise triumphing? And (he beyng subdued, which before deceyued) to beare with vs the tokens of victorye into that place, from the which fynful Adam was cast out? To offer vnto God a most acceptable sacerfice, that is an vndefiled faythe, the sounde vertue of the mynde, the bright prayse of godlines? To folowe him,A descripcion of the glori of eternall liffe. whē he shal come to take vengeaunce of his eune­myes? To syt on his syde, when he shall syt to iuge? To be made an heire an nexed with Christ? To be made equall vnto the Angels? To reiuyse together with the patriarkes, Apost­les and prophetes in the possession of the heauenly kyngdome? What per­fecucion can ouercome, what tor­mentes can ouerthrowe these cogita­cions and thoughtes?

The mynde that is grownded vpon godly meditacions, abideth strong & stable: And he whose hart is strenghtned with a certeine and sounde faithe of thinges to come, standeth immo­ueable against al the terrors of the deuell, and threatninges of the worlde. The eyes ar shutte vp in the persecu­tions of the world, neuertheles heauē is opened: Antichrist doeth threaten, but yet the Lord Christ doeth defende: deathe is brought in, notwithstāding immortalite doeth folowe after: The world is violētly pluct from him that is slayne: Neuerthles paradise is ge­uen to him that is restored. The tem­porall life is destroied, but yet the­ternall is repaired. O how great is the dignue, how great is the saffety to departe hence Ioyfully, to departe hence gloryously among afflictyons and tormentes? In a moment to close vp theyes, wherwith men and the world war seen: and immediatly to open againe the same to beholde god and Christ? O how swift is this departure, to be conueied frō thearthe sodenly, and to be situate and placed in the celestical & heuēly kingdome? These thinges ought to be considered [Page]in our hartes and myndes, vpon the­se thinges ought we to study & muse bothe night and daie. yf the daie of the persecuting of Christ shall finde suche a sowldear: the vertue which is redy for the rewarde can not be ouer come. Or if he shal be preuented & cal­led hence before: the faithe which was redy vnto martyrdome, shall not be wtout rewarde. Rewarde is geuē (God being iudge) wtout hinderance of tyme. In ꝑ­secution the sowldear­fare, in peace the cō ­sciēce is crowned (God being iuge) Amen.

Thende of thebofe of ex­hortacion to marur­dome.

Thargument of the Epistle folowing.
By this Epistle S. Cipriane ex­horteth the people that dwelt at Thibaris to fepe and endure in the cōfessiō of Christ with a pure mynde, perfit fayth, and Godlye deuocion.

Cipriā vnto the people of Thibaris. &c.

THad decreed, and was fully pur­posed most dearely beloued brethren (yf the state of thynges, & cō uenient tyme wolde haue geuen lyberty) to haue come my selfe vnto you (according as you haue oftē de­syred) & (beyng present) to haue ther strenghtned the brotherhed with our exhortacion to the vtter most of our power.The Ima­ge of a true bi­shope. But forasmuche as thorough vr­gent & great busynes we are thus wt ­holden & letted, that we haue no lybertye to go farre frō hence, & to be long absent from the people, which thorowe goddes mercy is cōmitted to our go­uernemēt: I haue in the meane tyme sent you these letters in my stede and [Page]rowme. For it is our deutye (seyng ye Lorde dothe vouche saue often tymes to pricke vs forewarde & to admonish vs) to extende forth the care of our in­struction & warning vnto your cōsci­ence also. For ye ought to knowe, & for a certeintie to beleue & holde, that the day of troble beginneth to houer ouer ouer heades, & that thende of the world & ye tyme of Antichrist draweth neare, that we al may stande ready to the bat taile,1. Ioan. 2. & that we thinke vpon nothing but only of the glory of eteruall lyfe, & the crowne ye shalbe geuē to thē ye cō ­fesse the Lorde: Neither let vs thinke, that ye thinges cōming are suche as ar alredy passed. A more daūgerus & crueller fight houereth now ouer vs, vn­to ye which Christ his souldiers ought to prepare thēselues wt an vncorrup­ted faith, & strong vertue:the laye peo­ple dranke the cuppe of Chri­stes bloode in Cipriae­nes tyme [...] Tō sidering ye they do therfore daily drinke ye cup of the blodde of Christ, ye they maye also shede their blodde for Christ his sake. For this is to desire to be foūde wyth Christ, to folowe ye which Christ bothe taught and dyd, according to the say­eng of Iohn̄ thapostle: he that sayeth ye he abydeth in Christe, ought also to walk after ye same maner ye he walked [Page]In like maner exhorteth & teacheth ye blessed apostle Paule saieng,Rom. 8. we ar the sōnes of God: but it we be sōnes, than are we also heires, ye heires I meane of God, and heires annexed wt Christ: yf we suffer together wt him, that we may be also glorified together wt him. Al these thinges ought to be cōsidered of vs at this presēt, that no mā should desire any thing of the worlde, which is now in dyeng: but might folowe Christ, which bothe liueth him selfe e­uerlastingly, & also maketh aliue his seruauntes that abide in the faithe of his name. For ye tyme is come most dearely beloued brethren, which our Lord long sins warned vs of, & tolde vs aforehand that it wold com saieng: The howre shall com,Ioan. 16. that whosoeuer shall kill you, will thinke ye he doeth God seruice. But these thiges wil they do, bicause they haue not knowen the father neither yet me. These thinges haue & tolde you, that whan ye howre of them is come, ye might remember ye I tolde you. Let no mā therfore mar­uel, that we are exceadingly trobled wt cōtinual ꝑsecutiōs, & oftētymes vexed wt paineful trobles, seing that ye Lord tolde aforehāde, ye these should happen [Page]in ye last daies & wc ye doctrine & exhortation of his worde instructed & prepa­red our fight & warrefare. Peter also his apostle taught, that persecutions do therfore happen, that we maye betried, and that we thorowe deathe and sufferinges myght also be ioyned and knitte to the loue of God, after then­sample of the iuste men that went be­fore vs: For in his epistle he wryteth thus, sayeng: Dearely beloued won­der not at this heate that is happened vnto you:1. Pet. 4. which is come among you to trie you. Neither fall ye awaye as thoughe a newe thing had chaunced vnto you: but as ofte as ye are parta­kers of Christes passions reioyce in althinges, that when his glorye appea­reth, ye may also be mery and gladde. yf ye be rayled vpon for the name of Christ, happie are ye: For the name of the maiestye and power of God dothe reste in you. Which verely is blasphe­med of them, but is glorifyed of you. Thapostles haue also taught vs suche thinges, as they thēselues did learne of the Lordes preceptes and heauenly commaundementes, the Lorde hymselfe strenghtning vs and sayeng:Luce. 18. Math. 1 [...]. Ther is no mā (sayeth he) that leaueth house, or felde, other father and mo­ther [Page]other betherne, or susters, other wife or children for the kingdome of goddes sake, which shall not receiue seuen tymes as muche in this world, and in the world to cum life euerlas­ting. And againe, blessed shal ye be (saith he) when men shal hate you, and shal excommunicate and bānishe you,Mat. 5. and shall curse your name as wicked for the sonne of mans sake: reioyce and be gladde in that daie, for your rewarde is great in heauen. The Lorde wold haue vs to be mery and ioyeful in persecutions: For in the tyme of persecution the crownes of faithe are distributed and geuen: than are God­des sowldears tried. Than do heauēs open vnto the martyrs. For we haue not after suche maner professed soul­dearfare, that we should thinke vpon peace only, and should refuse and for­sake the fight: Forasmuche as the Lord, the mastre of humilite, patience and sufferaunce hathe himselfe wal­ked in the selfe same souldearfare, ye he might first do that thing himselfe, which he taught to be obserued of o­thers, and might himselfe first suffer for vs that, which he exhorted vs to suffer. Set allwaies before your eies [Page]dearely beloued, that he (which alone hathe receiued al iugement of the fa­ther, & whichshal com to iuge all mē) hathe euennow aforehand pronounced the sentence of his Ingement and knowlage to come,Math. 10 shewing aforehād & witnessing, ye he will confesse thē be­fore his father, that cōfesse him, & will denye thē ye denye him. Yf we might auoide & escape death,No man can escape death. we might iuste­ly feare to die: but seing that of neces­site ye mortall must die, let vs embrace thoccasion which God by his promise hathe vouchesaued to offer vs: And let vs so ende our life that we maye receiue the rewarde of immortalite: Neither let vs be afraide to be slaine, seing yt ys manifest that we are then crowned, when we are slaine and kil­led. Neither let any mā most dearely beloued brethren betrobled,Flight for feare of persecutiō whan he shall se our people driuen awaie & scatered thorowe the feare of persecu­tyon and shall not see the brotherhede gathered together, nor heare the bi­shoppes preache and declare the scrip­tures.S. Cipria­ne vseth, this worde brother heads We vnto whom it is not lauful to kill, but must of necessite be killed, can not than be al gathered together. [Page]Whersoeuer any of the brethren shall in those dayes be for a season seperate from the flocke in body and not in spi­rite thorow the necessitie of the tyme, let him not be troubled thorowe the terriblenesse of that fleing: neither let him be afrayd, when he departeth to hyde himselfe in the wilsome wilder­nes: For he is not alone, which hathe Christ to his companion in fleing: He is not alone, which keping the temple of God, is not without God, wherso­euer he shall happen to be. And yf the these and murtherer shal destroye the, as thou arte fleyng into the wilder­nes and mountaynes, yf the wilde best shall assaile the, yf hunger, thurst, or colde shall pinche the, or yf the tem­pest or storme shall drowne the, when thou doest by see hastely flee awaye, Christ abydeth and loketh for his soul dear whersoeuer he fyghteth: And he geueth vnto him (that dyeth for the honour of his name in the tyme of per­secution) that rewarde,A com­fort for suche as are preue­ly pined & murdered in presons which he hath promised to gyue in the resurrection. Neither is the glory of martirdome any whit the lesse, thoughe a man dye not openly amōg many, when Christ his cause was thoccasion of his death. [Page]For he is a sufficient witnesse of his martirdome, that tryeth martirs and crowneth them.Abel. Let vs most dearely beloued brethren folowe the ryghtful Abel, which beganne and consecrated martirdomes, when he was the first that was slayne for ryghtfulnes sake. Let vs folowe Abraham the frende of God,Abraham which delaied not to offer vp his sonne in sacrifice with his owne han­des, when thorowe a deuouce fayth he obeyed God. Let vs folowe the thre children Ananias, Azarias, and Misa­hel, which being nether feared thorow their tender age, nor discorraged tho­row captiuitie (whē Iury & Ierusalē were ouercome & takē) ouercame by the power of faythe the kyng in his owne kingdome. Which beyng com­maunded to worship the ymage that Nabuchodonosor hade made, ouer­came bothe the kynges threatninges and the flamyng fyre, Crieng out and testefieng their faith wc these wordes:Dani. 3. We haue no nede O king Nabucho­donosor to make the any aunswer touching this mater. For ther is a God whome we serue able to delyuer vs from the fornace of the burnyng fire, and he shall delyuer vs O king from [Page]thy handes: but if he do not, let it be knowen vnto the, ye we will not serue thy goddes, neither wil we worshippe the golden ymage, which thou hast set vp. They beleaued that thorowe faith they might escape, neuertheles they added (but if he do not) that the king might be certefied, that they war also able to die for Goddes sake, whome they worshipped. For this is ye power of faithe and vertue, to beleaue and knowe, that God is able to deliuer frō present deathe: & yet neither to feare nor giue place to deathe, that faithe maie be tried the better. Out of theyr mouth brake furth the vndefiled & in uincible strenght of the holy goost, ye the wordes which ye Lord spake in his gospel, might appeare to be true: whā they shall laie hādes on you (saithe he) be not carefull what ye shall speake. For it shal be geuē you in that howre, what ye shall speake.Math. 10 For it is not you which do speake, but the spirite of the father that speaketh in you. He hathe promised, ye yt shal be geuē & offerd vs of God in that houre, what we maye speake: And yt it is not we yt thā speake, but ye spirite of ye father: which (foras­muche as he neither departeth, nor is [Page]separated from them ye confesse) doeth bothe speake, & ys crowned in vs. In likemaner Daniel whan he was com­pelled to worship ye Idol Bel (whome bothe the king & people did than wor­shippe) in ye defence of the honour of his God,Dani. 14. be brake out with the full li­berte of faithe, saiēg: I worshippeno thing but only ye Lord my God, which hathe made heauē and earthe.The ma [...] ­chabeis. What should I speake of the bitter tormētes of the blessed martyrs in the Macha­beis, & of ye manifolde paines of ye vn. brethren, & of ye mother that did bothe 01 comforte her children in ye tormētes, & died also hereself with them? Are not ther doctrines of great vertue & faithe witnessed? And do they not exhorte vs also thorowe their passions vnto ye triumphe of martirdome?The pre­phetes Thapos­tels. what we ought to learne at the death of good men. Mat. 2. What shal I speake of the prophetes, whome the spirite hathe incorraged vnto ye afore­know [...]age of thinges to come? What shall I saie of thapostles, whome the Lord hathe chosen? Haue not ye inste, (whā they are slaine for rightfulnes sake) taught vs also to dye? The birthe of Christ beganne straite waies with the martyrdome of infantes and ba­bes: that so many as war two yeares [Page]olde and vnder, were slayne for his na­me sake. The age that was not yet a­ble for the bataile, was neuertheles mete to receiue the crowne: & that they might appear * to be innocētes,Or, it might ap­peare. which are slayne for Christ, the innocent in­fancye & childhode was killed for his name sake. It is nowe declared that no man is free from the daunger of persecuciō, seyng that suche lytleones haue suffered martirdome. What reasonable cause can any christian man haue, [...] haue no excuse. that wil not (beyng a seruaunt) suffer, seyng the Lorde himselfe hathe first suffered: And that we wyl not suffer for our owne synnes, when he (ha­uyng no synne of his owne) hath suf­fered for vs? The sonne of God hathe suffered, to make vs goddes sonnes: And wyl not the sonne of man suffer. that he maie contynue ye sōne of God? Yf we be hated of the worlde, the ha­tered of the world christ suffered first. Yf we suffer reuiling wordes in this worlde, if we be driuen to flee, yf we indure tormentes, the maker & Lorde of the worlde haue tasted of more gre­nouse paines: who also warneth vs saing: Yf the worlde (saith he) hate you,Ioan. 15. remember that yt hated me first. [Page]Yf you war of the world, the worlde wolde loue that which war his owne.Ioan. 15. But bicause ye are not of the worlde, but I haue chosen you out of ye world, therfore doeth the world hate you. Remēber the worde which I haue spo­ken vnto you: ther is no seruaūt grea­ter thā his Lorde. Yf they haue persecu­ted me, they shall also persecute you. The Lord and our God hathe perfor­med and done whatsoeuer he taught: and can the disciple and scollar be ex­cused that learneth, & yet doeth not ac­cordingly? Let none of you dearely beloued brethren be so feared with the feare of persecutyon to come, or with the comming of Antichrist that houe­reth ouer our heades, that he should not be founde armed at all pointes wt thexortacions of the gospel, and with the heauenly cōmaundemēts & war­ninges. Antichrist is come, but Christ wil also sodēly come vpō him. The en­nemy murdereth and is very cruell, but the Lord doeth by and by folowe to reuenge our afflictions & woūdes. The enemy is āgry & threatneth, but ther is one that can deliuer vs out of his handes. He ought to be feared, whose yre & vēgaūce no mā cā escape, [Page]according as he him selfe warneth & sayeth: Feare ye not them that kill the body, but the sowle they can not kill.Mat. 10. But feare him rather, that is able to destroie bothe sowle and body in to hell.Ioan. 12. And againe he saithe: he that lo­ueth his life, shal lose it, & he that ha­teth his life in this worlde, shal keape yt vnto eternall life. And in the reue­lacion he instructeth and warneth vs saing:Apo. 14. yf any man worshipe the best and his image, and taketh his marke in his forehed and in his hād, he shall also drinke of the wine of the wrathe of God, mingeled in the cuppe of his wrathe: and he shal be punnished with fire and brymstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the lambe: And the smoke of their tor­mētes goeth vp world withoute ende: Neither shall any of them that wor­shippe the best, and his image, haue any rest either daie or night. Vnto a temporal and world [...] and [...]ight, men at bothe [...] and pre­pared, and they counte it great glory & honoure, yf it maie be their chaūce to be crowned in the presence of the people, & in the presēce of themperor. Beholde the highe and noble fight, [Page]which ys beutified with an heauenly crowne, wher as god maye loke vpon vs fighting: and that he casting his eyes vpō thē whome he hathe vouche saued to make his childrē, maye haue a plesaunt beholding and spectacle of of our battaile. Whan we warre and fight with the armor of faithe, God loketh vpon vs, his angels do beholde vs, & Christ doeth approue vs. What worthye glory is it, howe great felici­te and happines, to fight ther whear­as God is the defēdar, and to be crowned ther whearas Christ is iuge? Let vs arme our selues most dearely belo­ued brethren with all our strenght, & let vs be prepared and made redy to ye battaile with an vncorrupted mynde, with a perfecte faithe, and with de­uoute vertue. Let the armyes of God marche on and go forewarde vnto ye bataille, that is [...]tched against them. Let the perfecte man be armed, that the perfecte lose not his late consrācy. Let the fallen be also armed, that the fallē maye receuie againe that which be had lou. Let honour prouoke the perfecte, let sorowe prouoke the fallen vnto the fight and battaile. The bles­sed Apostle doeth arme and prepare [Page]vs to the fight saieng: we wrastle not against fleshe and blodde,Ephe. 6. but against powres, & against the rulars of this darkenes of this worlde, against spi­ritual wickednes in heauēly thinges. Put you on therfore all the armor of God, yt ye may be able to resiste in the most wicked daye, that whan ye haue performed al thinges, ye may stande, hauing your loynes girded with the truthe,The ar­mor and weapons of Christi­ans. & clothed with the brest plate of rightfulnes, and shodde, that ye maye be redy to the gospel of peace: taking vp the shilde of faithe, wherby ye maye quenche all the firy dartes of the deuel, and take the helmet of healthe, and the sworde of the spirite, which is the worde of God. Let vs put on these armowres, let vs fortifie our selues with these spiritual and heauē ­ly defences, that we maye be able in the most wicked daie to resiste, and beate backe the deuels threatninges. Let vs put on the brest plate of right­fulnes, that our brest maye be defen­ded and saued against the dartes of ye ennemye. Let vs be shodde thorowe the doctrine of the Gospell, and haue our fete armed, that when we shal be­ginne to treade and thurst downe the [Page]serpent, he maye not be able to byte & ouerthrowe vs. Let vs manfully bear the shylde of faythe, by whose defence, what soeuer the ennemye throweth a­gainst vs may be quenched. Let vs al­so take the helmet of saluacion to co­uer our heades,How eue­ry member and parte of the body must be armed▪ that our eares may be defended, that they maye not heare nor geue hede vnto cruell proclama­tions and lawes. Let our eyes be for­tiyed, that they beholde not the dete­stable and abhominable ymages. Let our forehed be fensed, that the marke of God may be kept safe. Let ye mouth be armed, that the myghtye conque­ring tonge may acknowlege and confesse her Lord Christ. Let vs also arme the ryght hande wt a spiritual sworde,In Cipriaenes tyme the people receiued the sacra­ment in their right handes. that it maye manfully contemne and despise the vncleane and wicked sacri­fices, that that which hathe receyued the Lordes body, being mindful of the thankes geuing, maye in the same embrace her Lord, which shal after of the same her Lorde receyue the rewarde of an heauenly crowne. O howe excel­lent and great a daye is that, that is comming moste dearely beloued bre­thren, when the Lorde shal beginne to numbre his people, and by his diuine [Page]knowlege to examine the workes of euery one, to sende the gylty into hell, and to condēne our persecutours vn­to a perpetuall burning in the payne­full flame: but vnto vs to rēder the re­warde of faythe and godlynes. What maner of glorye shal that be, and how great gladnes, to be admitted to see goddes honour, ye thou maist receaue with Christ the Lord thy God the ioye of euerlasting healthe and lyght? To salute Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob, all the Patriarkes and Prophetes, the A­postles, & Martyrs? To reioyce in the delectaciō of the gyft of immortalitie, with the iuste men and frēdes of God in the kingdome of heauē? To receiue that ther, which neither eye hath seen neyther eare hath herde, [...]. Cor. 2. nor hath en­tered into the harte of man? For tha­postle teacheth that we shall receyue greater rewarde, then either our workes or afflictions here can deserue, sayeng: The afflictiōs of this lyfe are not worthy of the glory,Rom. 8. which shalbe she­wed vpon vs. When the shewyng of this glorye shall come, when the chari­tie of God shal shyne ouer vs, thā shal we be happy & mery, being in honour thorow the goodnes of the Lorde. But alas


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