¶ Certayne Sermons appoynted by the Quenes Maiestie, to be declared and read, by all Persones, Vycars, and Curates, euery Sonday and holy daye, in theyr Churches: And by her Graces aduyse perused & ouersene, for the better vnderstan­dyng of the simple people.

Newly Imprynted in partes, accordyng as is menci­oned in the booke of Commune prayers.

Anno. M.D.L .ix.

Cum priuilegio Regiae Maiestatis.



¶ A ta [...]e of the Ser­mons conteyned in this present volume

  • i A Fruitefull exhortacion to the readyng of holy scripture.
  • ii Of the misery of al mankynd
  • iii Of the saluacion of all mankynde.
  • iiii Of the true and lyuely fayth.
  • v Of good workes.
  • vi Of Christian loue and charitie.
  • vii Agaynst swearyng and periury.
  • viii Of the declynyng from god.
  • ix An exhortacion agaynst the feare of death.
  • x An exhortacion to obedience.
  • xi Agaynst whordome and adulterye.
  • xii Agaynst strife and contention.
Finis tabulae.

COnsydering howe necessary it is, that the worde of GOD, which is the one­ly foode of the soule, and that moste excellent lyght that we muste walke by, in this our moste daungerous pil­grimage, should at all conuenient tymes be prea­ched vnto the people, that therby they may bothe learne theyr duetie towardes God, theyr Prynce, and theyr neighbours, accordyng to the mynde of the holy ghoste, expressed in the scriptures: And also to auoyde the manifolde enormities, whiche hearetofore by false doctrine, haue crepte into the Churche of God: and howe that all they whiche are appoynted ministers, haue not the gyft of pre­chyng, sufficiently to instruct the people, which is commytted vnto them, whereof great inconueni­ences myght ryse, and ignoraunce styll be mayn­tayned, yf some honeste remedye be not speedely founde and prouyded. The Quenes moste excel­lent. Maiestie, tenderynge the foule health of her louyng subiectes, and the quietynge of theyr con­sciences, in the chiefe and pryncypall poyntes of Christian Religion, and wyllyng also by the true settyng foorth, and pure declaryng of Gods word, which is the principall guyde and leader vnto all godlynesse and vertue, to expell and dryue aware, aswell all corrupt, vicious, and vngodly lyuyn [...], as also erronious and poysoned doctrines, t [...] ­dyng to superfficion and Idolatry: hath by th [...] ­uyse of her moste honourable comis [...] [...] her discharge in this behalfe, caused a [...] [...] melies, which heretofore was sette [...] [Page]moste louynge Brother, a Prince of moste worthy memorye Edward the syxt, to be prynted a newe, wherein are conteyned certaine wholsome and godly exhortacions, to moue the people to honour and worshyppe almyghty God, and diligently to serue hym, euery one accordynge to theyr degree, state, and vocation. All whiche Homelies her Maiestie commaundeth and strayghtly chargeth all persons, vycars, curates, and all other hauyng spirituall cure, euery Sonday and holy day in the yere, at the ministryng of the holy communion, or if there be no Communion ministred that day, yet after the Gospell and Crede, in suche order and place as is appoynted in the booke of Common prayers, to reade and declare to theyr paryshyo­ners playnely and distinctly one of the sayde Ho­melies in such order as they stande in the booke, except there be a Sermon according as it is inioy­ned in the boke of her hyghnesse Iniunctions, and then for that cause onely, and for none other, the readyng of the sayde Homelye to be differred vnto the next Sonday or holy day folowyng. And whē the foresayde booke of Homelies is read ouer, her Maiesties pleasure is, that the same be repeated and read agayne, in such lyke sort, as was before prescrybed. Furthermore, her hyghnesse cōmaun­deth, that notwithstandynge this order, the sayde Ecclesiasticall persons shall reade her Maiesties Iniunctions at such tymes and in suche order as is in the booke thereof appoynted. And that the Lordes prayer, the Articles of the fayth, and the ten commaundementes, be openly readde vnto the people, as in the sayde Iniunctions is specified, [Page]that all her people of what degree or condicion so euer they be, maye learne howe to Inuocate and call vpon the name of Godde, knowe what duetie they owe both to God & man: So that they maye pray, belieue, and worke accordyng to know­ledge whyle they shall lyue heare, and after this lyfe be with him that with his bloud hath bought vs all. To whom with the Father and the holy ghost, be al honor and glory for euer. AMEN.

[...] the [...]ea­dyng and knowledge of holy Scripture.

The prais of holye scripture. VNto a Christian man there can be nothyng eyther more necessary or profitable, then the knowledge of holy scripture: forasmuch as in it is conteyned Gods true word, set­ting foorth his glory, & also mans duetie. And there is no trueth nor doctrine necessary for our iustification,The per­fiction of holy scrip­ture. and euer­lastyng saluation but that is (or may be) drawen out of that fountaine and wel of trueth. Therfore as manye as be desyrous to enter into the ryght and perfect way vnto God,The kno­wledge of holy scripture is necessary. must apply theyr myn­des to knowe holy scripture, without the whiche: they can neyther sufficiently knowe God and his wyll,To whom the know­ledge of holy scripture is swete and pleasaunt Who be enemies to holy scripture. neyther theyr office & duetie. And as drynke is pleasaunt to them that be drye, and meate to them that be hungry: so is the readyng, hearyng, searchyng, and studying of holy scripture, to them that be desirous to knowe God, or them selues, & to do his wyll. And theyr stomackes onely, do loth and abhorre the heauenly knowledge and foode of Gods worde, that be so drowned in worldly vani­ties, that they neyther fauour God, nor any god­lynesse: For that is the cause why they desyre such vanities,In apt si­militude, declarin [...], of whom the scrip­ture is o [...] horrid. rather then the true knowledge of God. As they that are sicke of an ague, whatsoeuer thei eate or drynke (though it be neuer so pleasaunte) yet it is as bytter to them as wormewood, not for the bytternesse of the meate, but for the corrupte [...] [...]ytter humour that is in theyr owne tongue [...]nduth than so is the swetenesse of Gods worde, [Page]bitter not of it selfe, but onely vnto thē that haue theyr myndes corrupted with longe custome of sinne, and loue of this worlde. Therfore,An [...] ­tucion vn­to the dili­gent red [...] ­dyng and sc [...]rch [...]ng [...]f the holy [...]. forsaking the corrupt iudgement of fleshely men, which care not but for theyr carhasse, let vs reuerently heare and reade holye scriptures, whiche is the foode of the soule. Let vs diligently search for the well of lyfe, in the bokes of the newe and olde Testament, and not runne to the stynkyng puddels of mennes tradicions, deuysed by mans imaginacion, for our iustification and saluacion.The holy scripture is a suffi [...] ent doctr [...] ­ne for ou [...] saluation. What thynges we may learne [...] the holy script [...]. For in holy scripture is fully conteined, what we ought to do, and what to eschewe, what to beleue, what to loue, & what to loke for at Goddes handes at length. In those bookes we shall fynde the father from whom, the sonne, by whom, and the holy ghost, in whom, all thynges haue theyr beynge and kepynge vp, and these thre persons to be but one God, and one sub­staunce. In these bokes we may learne to knowe our selues, howe byle and miserable we be, and al­so to knowe God, how good he is of him selfe, and howe he maketh vs and all creatures parttakers of his goodnes. We may learne also in these bokes to knowe Gods wyll and pleasure, asmuch as (for this present tyme) is conuenient for vs to knowe: And (as the great clerke and godly preacher sainct Iohn Chrisostome sayth) what so euer is required to saluaciō of man, is fully conteyned in the scrip­ture of God. He that is ignorant may there learne and haue knowledge: he that is harde hearted. [...] an obstinate synner, shall there fynde euer [...] tormentes (prepared of Gods iustice) to make [...] [...] afrayde, and to molyfye or soften hym. He that [...] [Page]oppressed with miserie in this worlde, shall there fynde reliefe in the promises of euerlasting lyfe, to his great consolacion & comfort. He that is woun­ded by the deuyll) vnto death, shal fynde there me­dicine, whereby he maye be restored agayne vnto health. If it shall require to teache any trueth, or reproue false doctrine, to rebuke any vice, to com­mend any vertue, to geue good counsaile, to com­fort or to exhort, or to do any other thing requisite for our saluacion, al those thynges (saith S. Chri­sostome) we may learne plētifully of the scripture. There is (saith Fulgentius) aboundantly inough, both for men to eate, & children to sucke. There is, whatsoeuer is mete for all ages,Holi scripture mini­streth suf­ficient doctrine for all degres and ages. Math. iiii Luke .iii. Iohn. xvii Psal .xix. & for all degrees and sortes of men. These bokes therefore ought to be much in our handes, in our eyes, in our eares, in our mouthes, but most of al in our heartes. For the scripture of God is the heauenly, meate of our soules, the hearyng & keping of it, maketh vs bles­sed, sanctifieth vs, and maketh vs holy, it turneth our soules, it is a lyght lantarne to our feete, it is a sure, stedfast, and euerlastyng instrument of sal­uacion: it geueth wisedome to the humble & lowe­ly hartes:What cō ­modities and pro­fites, the knowle [...]e of holye scripture bryngeth. it comforteth, maketh glad, chereth, and cherisheth our conscience: it is a more excellent ie­well or treasure, then any golde or precious stone it is more swete then hony or hony combe, it is called the best parte, whiche Marye dyd chose, for it hath in it euerlastyng comfort.Luke .x. The wordes of ho­ly scripture be called woordes of euerlastyng lyfe:Iohn .vi. for they be Goddes instrument, ordeyned for the same purpose.Colloss. vi They haue power to tourne tho­rough Gods promise, & they be effectuall, through [Page]Goddes [...] & (beyng receyued in [...] a fayth [...] heart) they haue euer an heauenly spiritual wor­king in them: they are liuely, quicke, [...]bre. [...] & myghty in operation, & sharper then any two edged sworde, and entreth through, euen vnto the deuydyng a sonder of the soule, and the spirite, of the ioyntes, and the mary, Christ calleth hym a wyse buylder,Math. v [...] Iohn .xii. that buildeth vpon his worde, vpon his sure and substanciall foundacion. By this worde of God, we shalbe iudged: for the woorde that I speake, (saith Christ) is it, that shall iudge in the last day.Ioh .xiiii. He that kepeth the worde of Christe, is promised the loue and fauour of God, & that he shalbe the dwellyng place or temple of the blessed Trinitie. This woorde, whosoeuer is diligent to reade, and in his heart to print that he readeth, the great af­fection to the transitorye thynges of this worlde, shalbe minished in him, & the great desyre of hea­uenly thynges (that be therein promised of God) shall increase in hym. And there is nothyng that so much strengtheneth our faith, & truste in God, that so much kepeth vp innocencye, and purenes of the heart, and also of outward godly lyfe & con­uersation, as continual reading and recordyng of Gods worde. For that thing, which (by continual vse of reading of holy scripture, and diligent sear­chyng of the same) is depely printed, and grauen in the hart, at length turneth almost into nature. And moreouer, the effects & vertue of Gods worde is, to illuminate the ignoraunt, and to geue more lyght vnto them, that faythfully and diligently reade it, to comfort theyr heartes, and to [...] age them to perfourme that, whiche of God [...] com­maunded. [Page]It teacheth patienc [...] [...] aduersi [...] in prosperitie humblenes: what [...]onoure is due vnto God, what mercy and charitie to our neigh­bour. It geueth good counsell in all doubtfull thynges.i. Re. xiiii. ii. Par. x [...] 1, Cor. xv. 1. Iohn. v. It sheweth of whom we shall looke for ayde and helpe in all perilles, and that God is the onely geuer of victory, in all battayles, and temp­tacions of our enemies,Who pro­fit most in readyng goddes worde. bodely and ghostely. And in reading of Gods word, he most profiteth not al­wayes, that is most ready in turning of the boke, or in saying of it without the booke, but he that is moste turned into it, that is most inspired with the holy ghost, most in his heart & life altred and chāged into that thing, which he readeth: he that is dayly lesse and lesse proude, lesse wrathfull, lesse couetous, & lesse desirous of worldely and vayne pleasures: he that daily (forsaking his old vicious lyfe) increaseth in vertue more and more. And to be short, there is nothyng that more maintaineth godlynes of the mynde, & driueth away vngodly­nes, then doth the continuall readyng or hearing of Gods worde, if it be ioyned with a godly mynd, and a good affection, to knowe and folowe Gods wyll. For without a single eye, pure entent, and good mynde, nothyng is allowed for good before God.Esai. v. Mat. xxii. 1. Cor. xiiii What in­commo­dities, the ignorance of goddes word b [...]in [...]eth. And on the other syde, nothing more dar­keneth Christe and the glorye of God, nor bryngeth in more blyndenesse and all kyndes of vyces, then doth the ignoraunce of Gods worde.

¶ The seconde par [...] of the [...] of the holy Scripture.

IN the firste part of this Sermon, which exhorteth to the knowledge of holy scriptur, was declared wherfore the knoweledge of the same is necessary and profitable to al men. And that by the true knowledge & vnderstanding of scripture, the moste necessarye poyntes of our duetie towardes God & our neigh­bours, are also knowen. Nowe as concerning the same matter, you shall heare what foloweth. It we professe Christe: why be we not ashamed to be ignorant in his doctrine? Seing that euery man is ash [...]med to be ignorant in that lerning, which he professeth. That man is ashamed to be called a Philosopher, which readeth not the bokes of Philosophie: & to be called a lawyer, and Astronomer, or a phisitiō, that is ignorant in the bokes of law. Astronomie and Phisicke. How can any man thē say that he professeth Christ and his religion, The wyl not applye him selfe (as far forth as he can or may conueniently) to reade & heare, & so to know the bokes of Christes gospel & doctrine. Although other sciences be good, & to be learned,gods [...] excelleth [...] sciences. yet no man can deny, but this is the chiefe, & passeth all other incōparably. What excuse shall we therfore make (at the last day before Christ) that delight to reade or heare mens phantasies and inuen [...]ions, more then his moste holy ghospell: & wyl fynde no time to do that, which chiefely (aboue all [...]ges) we shoulde do, & wyl rather reade other [...] their that, for the which we ought rather [...] [...] ­ding [Page]of all other thinges. Let vs therefore applye our selues, as farre fourth as we can haue time & leisure, to knowe Gods word, [...]aine ex­enses dis­s [...]abynge [...]rom the knowledge of goddes word [...]. The first. by diligent hearing and readyng therof, as many as professe God and haue faith & trust in him. But they that haue no good affection to Gods worde (to colour this there fault) alleage cōmonly, two vayne & sayned excu­ses. Some go about to excuse them by their owne frailenes & fearefulnes, saying that they dare not reade holy scripture▪ leaft through their ignorasice they should fal into any error.The soe [...] Other pretend that the difficultie to vnderstand it, & the hardnes ther­of is so great, that it is meete to be read onely of clerkes & learned men. As touching the first: igno­raunce of Gods word, is the cause of all error; as Christ him selfe affirmed to the Saduceis, saying that they erred, because they knewe not the scrip­ture. [...] xxii. How should they then eschue error that wil be styl ignoraunt? And how should they come out of ignoraunce, that wyll not reade nor heare that thyng, which should geue thē knowledge? He that now hath most knowledge, was at the first igno­raūt, yet he forbare not to reade, for feare he shuld sal into error: but he diligently read, least he shuld remaine in ignoraunce, & through ignoraunce, in error. And if you wil not know the trueth of God (a thing most necessary for you) least you fall into error: by the same reason you may then lye styll, & neuer goe, least (if you go) you fall in the mire: nor eate any good meate, least you take a surfeit, nor sowe your come, nor labour in your occupacion, nor vse your merchaūdize, for feare you lose your sede, your labour, your sto [...]ke, & so by that reason, [Page]it shoulde be best for you to lyue [...]oe [...]y, & neuer to take in hand to do any maner of good thing, least ꝑeraduenture some euyl thing may chaunce ther­of. And yt you be afrayde to fal into error, by rea­dyng of holy scripture: [...] c [...] [...]usty [...] without [...] peryll, the holy scripe­ture is [...] be read▪ I shall she we you how you may reade it without daunger of error. Reade it humbly with a meke & a lowly heart, to thintent you may gloryfye God, & not your selfe, with the knowledge of it: & reade it not without daily praging to God, that he would direct your readyng to good effect: & take vpon you to expounde it no further, then you can plainely vnderstand it. For (as S. Augustine saith) the knowledge of holy scrip­ture, is a great, large & a high palace, but the dore is very low: so that the high & arrogant man, can not run in but he must stowpe lowe, and humble him selfe, that shall enter into it. Presumption & arrogancy, is the mother of all error: & humilitie nedeth to feare no error. For humilitie wyl onely search to know the truth, it wyl search, and wyll bryng together one place with an other: & where it cā not find out the meaning, it wyl pray, it wil aske of other that know, & wyl not prestriupteous­ly & rashely define any thing, whiche it knoweth not. Therefore the humble man may searche any trueth boldly in the scripture, without any daun­ger of error. And if he be ignoraunt, he ought the more to reade & to search holy scripture, to bryng hym out of ignoraunce. I say not nay, but a man may prosper with only hearing, but he mai [...] more prosper, with both hearing, & reading. This haue I saide, as touching the feare to [...]ade, th [...] ­ [...]ough ignoraunce of the person. And [...]onu [...] [Page]the hardenesse of Scripture, [...]r [...]yture in some [...]laces is [...]asy, and [...] some [...]laces [...] to be [...]der [...]ād he that is so weake that he is not able to broke stronge meate: yet he may sucke the swete and tender mil [...]e, and di [...]erre the rest, vntyl he waxe stronger, and come to more knowledge. For god receaueth the learned and vnlearned, and casteth away none, but is indifferent vnto all. And the scripture is full, aswell of lowe valleyes, plaine wayes, and easy for euery man to vse, & to walke in: as also of high hylles & moun­taynes,god leueth no mā vn­taught yt hath a good wyll to kno [...]e his worde. which fewe men can clymbe vnto. And whosoeuer geueth his mynde to holy scriptures, with diligent studye & burnynge desire, it can not be (saith S. Iohn Chrisostom) that he shoulde be left without helpe. For eyther God almighty wyl sende him some godly doctor, to teache him, as he dyd to instructe Eunuchus, a noble man of Eth [...] ­ope, and treasorer vnto Quene Candace, who ha­uinge a greate affection to reade the scripture (al­though he vnderstode it not) yet for the desire that he had vnto Gods word, God sent his Apostle Philip to declare vnto him the true sence of the scrip­ture, that he read: or els, it we lacke a learned mā to instruct & teache vs, yet God him selfe from a­boue, wyl giue light vnto our wyndes, & teach vs those thinges which are necessary for vs, & wher­in we be ignoraunt. [...]ow [...] the knowledge of scriptur may be at­ [...]ed vn­ [...]. And in an other place, Chri­sostome saith, that mans humaine & worldly wis­dome, or science, nedeth not to the vnderstandyng of scripture, but the reuelacion of the holy ghost, who inspireth the true meaning vnto them, that with humilitie & diligence do searche therfore. He that asketh shal haue,Math. vii. & he that seketh shan fynd, & he that knocketh, shall haue the doore open. If [Page]we reade once, twise, or thrise, & vnderstande not, let vs not sease so, but styll continue readynge, praying, askyng of other, & so by styl knockyng (at the last) the doore shalbe opened (as S. Augustine sayth.a good rule for ye vnderst [...] ­dyng of scripture▪) Although many thynges in the scripture be spokē in obscure misteries, yet there is nothing spoken vnder dark misteries in one place, but the selfe same thyng in other places, is spoken more familiarely and playnely, to the capacitie both of learned and vnl [...]ned. And those thynges in the scripture that be playne to vnderstande,No [...] excepted from the knowledge of godd [...] w [...]ll. and ne­cessary for saluaciō, euery mans duerie is to learn them, to prynt them in memory, and effectuallye to exercise them. And as for the darke misteries, to be contented to be ignoraunt in them, vntyll such tyme as it shall please God to open those thynges vnto hym. In the meane season, yf he lacke ey­ther aptnes or oportunitie. God wyll not impute it to his folly: but yet it behoueth not, that such as be apt, shoulde set asyde readyng, because some other be vnapt to reade: neuerthelesse▪ for the hardenes of such places,What persons wold haue ignorance to continue. the reading of the whole ought not to be set aparte. And briefely to con­clude, (as S. Augustine saith) by the scripture, all men be amended, weake men be strengthened, and stronge men be comforted. So that surelye, none be enemies to the readynge of Gods worde, but such as either be so ignoraūt, that they know not how wholsome a thing it is: or els be so sicke.The holye Scripture is one of [...]od [...] chief benefit [...]. that they hate the most cōfortable medicine, that should heale them: or so vngodly, that they would wishe the people, styll to continue in blyndenesse and ignoraunce of God.

Thus we [...]aue briefly [...]ded s [...]me part of the commoditie [...] of Gods ho [...]y worde, w [...]ch is one of Gods chiefe, and principall benefites, [...]euen [...] declared to mankind, here in earth. Let vs th [...]n [...]e God heartely, for this his great and speciall [...], beneficiall [...]auour, and fatherly prouidence. Let vs be glad to reuiue this precious gyft of our hea­uenly father. Let vs heare, reade, and know, these holy rules,The right re [...]dynge, vse, & fruit full studi­ [...]ng in ho­lye scryp­ture. Psal. 1. iniunctions, and st [...]utes of our Chri­sten religion, & vpon that we haue made professi­on to God at our baptisme. Let vs with feare & reuerence lay vp (in the chest of our heartes) these necessary and fruitfull l [...]ssons. Let vs night & day muse, & haue meditacion, and contemplacion in them. Let vs ruminate, and (as it were) chew the [...]udde, that we may haue the [...]wete [...]e [...]se, spiritu­all effect, mary, hony, kyrnell, taste, comfort, & con­solation of them. Let vs stay, quiete, and certifie our consciences, with the most infallyble certain­tie, trueth, and perpetual assuraunce of them. Let vs pray to God (the only a [...]cthour of these heauē ­ly studies) that we may speake, thinke, beleue, liue and depart hence, according to the wholsome doc­trine, & verities of them. And by that meanes, in this worlde we shall haue Gods defence, fauour, & grace, with the vnspeakeable solace of peace, and [...]u [...]etnes of conscience▪ & after this miserable lif [...] we shall enioye the endles blisse, and glory of he [...] ­uen▪ which he graunt vs all, that dyed for, vs all Iesus Christ▪ to whom with the father, and the holy ghost be all honour and glory, [...]th nowe and euerlastyngly. Ame [...].

[...] kynde, and of his conde [...]t [...] to death euerlastyng, by his owne synne.

THe holy Ghost, in writyng the holy scrip­ture, is in nothinge more dilygent, then to put down mans vaine glory and pride whiche of all vyces is moste vniuersally grafted in all mankind, euen frō the first infectiō of our firste father Adam. And therfore we reade in many places of scripture, many notable lessons against this olde roted vice, to teache vs the moste commendable vertue of humilitie, how to knowe our selues, & to remembre what we be of our sel­ues. In the boke of Genesis,Gene. [...] almighty god geueth vs all a title & name in our great graunde father Adam, whiche ought to warne vs all, to consyder what we be, wherof we be, from whence we came & whether we shal, sayinge thus: in the sweate of thy face, shalt thou eate thy bread, til thou be tur­ned again into the ground, for out of it wast thou taken, in asmuch as thou art dust, & into dust shalt thou be turned again. Here (as it were in a glasse) we maye learne to knowe oure selues, to bee but grossd, yearth & asshes, & that to earth and asshes, we shall returne.

Also the holy patriarche Abraham, dyd wel re­member this name & title, dust, earth, and asshes appoynted and assigned by God, to all [...] and therfore he calleth hymselfe by tha [...] [...] when he maketh his earnest prayer for [...] [...]om [...]re. And we reade, [...]. that Iudith [...] Hie [...]is with other holy [...], did vse sacke [...] and [...] vppon theyr [...] [Page]led their sinfull lyuyng. They called and tryed to God for help and mercy, with such a ceremonie of sacke cloth, dust, & asshes, that thereby they might declare to the whole world, what an humble and lowely estimacion they had of them selues, & how well they remembred theyr name and tylle afore­sayde, theyr vyle corrupt frayle nature, dust, earth, and asshes. The boke of wisdome also wylling to pull downe our proude stomakes, [...]ay. vii. moueth vs dili­gently to remember our mortal and earthly gene­racion, which we haue all of hym that was fyrste made: & that all men, aswell kynges as subiectes come into this worlde, and go out of the same in lyke sort: that is, as of our selues ful miserable, as we may dayly see. And almighty God cōmaunded his Prophet Esai,Esai. xl. to make a proclamacion, & crye to the whole worlde: and Esai asking, what shal I crye? The Lorde aunswered: crye, that all fleshe is grasse, & that all the glorye thereof, is but as the floure of the field: when the grasse is withered, the floure falleth away, when the wynd of the Lorde bloweth vpō it. The people surely is grasse, ye whi­che drieth vy, & the floure fadeth away. And the holy Prophet Iob, hauing in him selfe great experience of the miserable & sinfull estate of man, do­eth open the same to the worlde, in these wordes: Man (saith he) that is borne of a woman, lyuyng but a short tyme,Iob. xiiii. is full of manifolde miseries: he springeth vp lyke a floure, & fadeth agayne, vany­shyng away as it were a shadow, & neuer continu­ [...] [...] one state. And doest thou iudge it meete (O [...] thine eyes vpō such a one, & to bryng [...] [...]ment with the? Who can make hym [Page]cleane, that is conceiued o [...]n vncleane [...] & [...] men of theyr euilnes & naturall prones be so vni­uersally geuē to sinne, that (as the scripture saith) God repeted that euer he made man.Ge. v. v [...] And by sinne his indignac [...] was so much prouoked against the world, that he drowned all the worlde with Noes flud (except Noe him selfe & his little houshold.) It is not without greate cause, that the scripture of God, doth so many tymes call all men here in this world by this word, earth. O thou earth, earth, earth, saith Ieremy, heare the word of the Lorde,Iere. xiiii. This our right name, callyng, & title, earth, earth, earth, pronounced by the Prophet, sheweth what we be in dede, by whatsoeuer other style, tytle or dignitie, men do call vs. Thus he plainely named vs, who knoweth beste, both what we be, & what we ought of right to be called. And thus he setteth vs forth, speking by his faithful Apostle S. Paul:Rom. ii [...]. al men, Iewes and Gentiles, are vnder sinne: ther is none righteous, no not one: there is none that vnderstandeth, ther is none that seketh after god, they are al gone out of the way, they are all vnprofitable: there is none that doth good, no, not one: their throte is an open sepulchre, with their tōges they haue vsed craft & deceit, the poyson of serpen­tes is vnder their lyppes, theyr mouth is ful of cursyng & bytternes, their fete are swift to shed blud, destruction & wretchednes are in their wayes, and the way of peace, haue they not knowē: their is no fere of god before their eyes. And in another place S. Paule writeth thus: God hath wray [...] [...] ­ciōs in vnbeliefe, [...] that he might haue [...] The scripture shutteth vp al [...] [Page]promise by the faith of Iesus Christ, Would be ge­uen vnto thē that beleue. S. Paule in many pla­ces painteth vs out in our colours, callyng vs the children of the wrath of god, whē we be borne: sai­yng also that we cannot thinke a good thought of our selues, much lesse can we say wel, or do wel of our selues. And the wise man saith in the boke of Prouerbes,Pro. xxiiii the iust man falleth seuē times a day. The most tried & approued man Iob, feared al his workes.Luke. i. S. Iohn ye Baptist, being sanctified in his mothers wōbe, & praysed before he was borne, be­yng called an Aungell, & great before ye lord, fylled euen from his birth with the holy gost, ye preparer of the way for our sauior Chryst, & commended of our sauior Christ, to be more then a prophet, & the greatest that euer was borne of a woman: yet he plainely graunteth that he had nede to be washed of Christ, he worthely extolleth and glorifieth his lord and master Christ, & humbleth himself, as vn­worthy to vnbuckle his shoes, & geueth al honor & glory to god. So doth. S. Paule both oft & euidēt­ly cōfesse himself,Math. iii. what he was of himself, euer ge­uing (as a most faithful seruaunt) al praise to hys master & sauior. So doth blessed. S. Iohn the Euā ­gelist,1. Iohn .i. [...]ud. ii. in ye name of himself, & of al other holy men (be thei neuer so iust) make this open confession: if we say we haue no sinne, we deceiue our selues, & the truth is not in vs: If we knowlege our sinnes God is faythfull & iust, to forgeue vs our synnes, and to clense vs from all vnrighteousnes: yf wee say, we haue not synned, we make him a lyer, and his word is not in vs. Wherfore the wise man in ye boke,Eccle. vii. called Ecclesiastes, maketh this true & gene­rall [Page] [...] There is [...] earth: that doth good, & sinneth not. And. S. Da­uid is ashamed of his sinne,Psalm .ii. but not to confesse his sinne. How oft, how earnestly, & lamentably both he desire gods great mercy, for his great offences, & that god should not enter into iudgement with him? And againe,Psal. cx [...] how wel weigheth this holy mā his sinnes, when he confesseth that they he so ma­ny in numbre, & so hid, & harde to vnderstand, that it is in maner vnpossible to knowe, vtter, or num­bre them? Wherfore he hauing a true, earnest, and depe contemplacion & consideracion of his sinnes & yet not comming to the bottome of them,Psal. xix. he ma­keth supplicacion to God, to forgeue him his prie­uy, secret, hid sinnes: to the knowledge of yt which he cannot attaine vnto. He weigheth ryghtly hys sinnes from the original roote, & spring head, per­ceiuing inclinacions, prouocaciōs, stirringes, stin­ginges, buddes, braūces, dregges, infectiōs, tastes, felynges, & sentes of them, to continue in him stil. Wherfore he saith: marke and beholde,Psalm .ii. I was con­ceiued in sinnes: he saith not sinne, but in the plu­rall number, sinnes, forasmuch as out of one (as fountayne) springeth all the reste. Oure sauioure Christ saieth: there is none good, but god:Mark [...]. x. Luk. xvii [...] Iohn .xv. Luke. xvi [...] and that we can do nothing that is good, without him, nor no man can come to the father but by him. He cō ­maundeth vs all to saye, that we be vnprofytable seruauntes, when we haue don al that we can do. He preferreth the penytent Publycan, before the proude, holy, & glorious Pharisey.Luk. xvii [...] Math. i [...]. He calleth him­selfe a phisicyon, but not to them that be whole, but to them that be sicke, & haue nede of his s [...]ue [Page] [...] prayer [...], [...] knowledge our selues sinners, and to aske righte­ousnes and deliueraunce from al euyls, at our heauenly fathers hande. He declareth that the sinnes of our owne heartes, do defyle our own selues. He teacheth that an euyll word or thought,Mat. xii. deserueth condemnacion, affirminge that we shall geue an accoumpt for euery idle worde.Mat. xv. He saith he came not to saue, but the shepe that were vtterly lost, & cast away. Therfore fewe of the proude, iust, lear­ned, wise, perfect, and holy Pharise ys, were saued by him, because they iustified them selues, by their counterfeit holynesse, before men. Wherfore (good people) let vs be ware of such hipocrisie, vaineglo­ry, and iustifying of our selues.

¶ The seconde part of the Sermon of the miserie of man.

FOr asmuch as the true knowledge of our selues, is verye necessarye to come to the right knowledge of God, ye haue hearde in the laste readynge, howe humbly all godly mē, alwayes haue thought of them selues: and so to thynke and iudge of them selues, are taught of God theyr creator, by his holy worde. For of oure selues, we be crabtrees, that can brynge forth no apples. We be of our selues of suche earth, as can bryng forth but weedes, nettles, brambles, bry­ers, cockle and darnell. Our fruites be declared in the .v. Chapter to the Galathians. We haue ney­ther faith, [...] v. charitie, hope, pacience, chastitie, nor [Page]any thyng els that good is, but of [...]. & th [...] [...] these vertues be called there, the scuites of the h [...] ­ly ghost, & not the fruites of man. Let vs therefore acknowledge our selues before God (as we be in dede) miserable and wretched sinners. And let vs ernestly repent, and humble our selues heartely, & crye to God for mercie. Lette vs all confesse with mouth and hearte, that we be full of imperfecti­ons. Let vs knowe oure owne woorkes, of what imperfection they be, and then we shall not stand foolyshely, and arrogantly in our owne conceites, nor chalenge any part of Iustification, by our me­rites or woorkes. For truely, there be imperfecti­ons in our best woorkes: we doe not loue God so much as we are bounde to do, with all our heart, mynde, and power: we do not feare God so much as we ought to do: we do not pray to Godde, but with greate and manye imperfections: we geue, forgeue, beleue, liue, and hope vnperfectlye: we speake, thynke, and do vnperfectlye: we fyght a­gaynst the deuyll, the worlde, and the fleshe, vnper­fectly. Let vs therfore not be ashamed to confesse plainly, our state of imperfectiō: yea, let vs not be ashamed to confesse imperfection, euen in all oure owne best woorkes. Let none of vs be ashamed to say with holy S. Peter: I am a sinful mā.Luke. v [...]. Psal. [...]v [...] Let vs al say with the holy Prophet Dauid: we haue sin­ned with oure fathers, we haue done anrisse▪ and dealt wickedly. Let vs al make opē confessiō with the prodigall sonne, to our father. & say with him, we haue sinned against▪ [...]auen & before the (O fa­ther) we are not worthy to de called this [...]s. Let vs al say, with holy Baru [...] O lord [...] to vs [...] [Page]is worth [...]y [...] confusyon, and to thee, righteousnes: We haue sinned, we haue doe [...] wickedly, we haue behaued our selfes vngodly, in al thy righteousnes. Let vs all saye with the holy Prophet Danyel:Daniel. is O lord, righteousnes belongeth to thee, vnto vs belongeth confusion. We haue sin­ned, we haue bene naughtie, we haue offended, we haue fled from thee, we haue gone backe from all thy preceptes and iudgmentes. So we learne of al good men in holy scripture, to humble our selues: and to exalte, extol, praise, magnify, & glorify God.

Thus we haue heard, howe euyll we be of our selues: howe, of oure selfes, and by our selfes, we haue no goodnes, helpe nor saluacion: but contra­ry wise, sinne, dampnacion, & death euerlastynge: whiche, yf wee depely weigh and considre, we s [...]al the better vnderstand the great mercy of God, and howe our saluacion commeth onely by Christ. For in our selues (as of our selues) we fynde nothing, [...] Cor. iii wherby we may be deliuered from this miserable captiuitie, into the which we were caste, through the enuy of the deuyll, by breakinge of gods com­maundement, [...]salu [...]. i. in our first parente Adam. We are all become vncleane, but we all are not able to clense our selues, nor to make one another of vs but we are not able to make our selues the childrē cleane. [...]phe. ii. We are by nature, the childrē of gods wrath and inherytours of gods glory. We are shepe that runne astraye, [...]. Pet. ii. but we cannot of oure owne pow­er, come againe to the shepfold, so great is our im­perfection and weakene [...]. In our selues therfore maye not we glorye, whiche (of our selues) are no­thing but sinfull Neither we maye reioyce in any [Page]workes that we do, which all be so vnperfect and vnpure, that they are not able to stand before the righteous iudgement seate of God, as the holy prophet Dauid saith:Psa .cxi [...]. Entre not into iudgemet with thy seruaūt (O lord) for no man that liueth shalbe founde righteous in thy syght.ii. Cor. i. To God therefore must we flee, or els shall we neuer fynd peace, rest, & quietnes of conscience in our heartes. For he is the father of mercies, and God of all consolation. He is the lord with whō is plenteous redemption. He is the God which of his own mercy saueth vs,Psal. cxxi and setteth out his charitie and exceading loue to­wardes vs, in that of his owne voluntarye good­nes, when we were perished, he saued vs, & prouy­ded an euerlastyng kyngdome for vs. And all these heauenly treasures, are geuen vs, not for our own deserts, merites or good dedes (which of our selues we haue none) but of his mere mercy freely. And for whose sake: Truly for Iesus Christes sake, that pure & vndefyled lambe of God, He is that dearely beloued sōne, for whose sake god is fully pacified, satisfied,Iohn .i. 1. Pet. ii. & set at one with man He is the lambe of God, which taketh away the sinnes of the world: of whom onely it may be truly spoken, that he did all thinges well, & in his mouth was founde no craft nor subtiltie.Iohn .i. None but he alone may say the Prince of the worlde came, and in me he hath no­thing. And he alone may saye also:Iohn. viii Hebr .viii. whiche of you shal reproue me of any fault? He is that hygh and euerlasting priest, which hath offred him selfe an [...] for all, vpon the aulter of the crosse, and with that one oblacion, hath made perfect for euermore: th [...] that are sanctified.Iohn. [...]. He is the alone medi [...] [...] [Page]twene God and man, which payed our raunsome to God, with his owne bloud, and with that hath he clensed vs all from sinne. He is the Phisition which healeth all our diseases.Math. i. He is that saui­our. which saueth his people frō all theyr sinnes. To be short, he is that flowyng, and moste plente­ous fountayne, of whose fulnesse all we haue re­ceiued. For in him alone, are all the treasures of the wisedome and knowledge of God hydden. And in hym, and by hym, haue we from God the father all good thynges perteynyng eyther to the body or to the soule. O howe much are we bounde to this our heauenly father, for his great mercies, which he hath so plenteously declared vnto vs, in Chryst Iesu our Lorde and sauiour? What thankes wor­thy and sufficient can we geue to hym? Let vs all with one accorde, burste our with ioyfull voyces. euer praysyng & magnifying this lorde of mercye, for his tender kindnesse she wed to vs in his deare­ly beloued sonne, Iesus Christ our Lorde.

Hytherto haue we hearde what we are of oure selues verely sinfull, [...]. wretched and damnable: a­gayne we haue hearde, howe that of oure selues, & by our selues, we are not able, eyther to thinke a good thought, or worke a good dede, so that we can fynde in our selues no hope of saluacion, but rather whatsoeuer maketh vnto our destruction. Agayne we haue hearde the tender kindenesse and great mercy of God the father towardes vs, [...]. and howe beneficial he is to vs, for Christes sake, without our merites or desertes, euen of his own mere mercyr and tender goodnesse. Nowe, howe there exceadyng great mercies of God, [...]. set abroade [Page]in Chryste Iesu for vs, be obteyned: and howe we be deliuered from the captiuitie of synne, death, and hell, it shall more at large (with Gods helpe) be declared in the next Sermon. In the meane season, yea and at al tymes, let vs learne to know our selues, our frailtie and weakenesse, without any crakyng or bostyng of our owne good deedes and merites. Let vs also knowledge the exceading mercy of God towardes vs, and confesse, that as of our selues commeth all euyll and damnacione so lykewyse of hym, commeth all goodnesse and saluacion, as God hym selfe saith, by the Prophet Oze: O Israell,Oze. xii [...] thy destruction commeth of thy selfe, but in me onely is thy helpe and comfort. If we thus humbly submit our selues in the sight of Go [...] we may be sure, that in the tyme of hi [...] disitacion, he wyll lyfte vs vp vnto the kyngdome of his dearely beloued sonne Christ Iesu our Lord: to whom with the fa­ther and the holy ghost, be all honor and glory for euer. AMEN.

[...] of man­kynd, by onely Christ ha [...] Sa [...]r, from sinne and death euerlassyng.

BEcause all men be sinners, and of­fendours agaynst God, & breakers of his lawe and commaundementes, therfore can no manne by his owne actes, workes, and dedes, (seme they neuer so good) be iustified, and made righteous before God: but euery man of necessitie is constrayned to seke for an other righteousnesse, or iustification, to be receiued at Gods owne han­des, that is to saye, the forgeuenes of his sinnes and trespasses, in such thynges as he hath offen­ded. And this iustification or righteousnes, which [...]so receiue by Gods mercy, & Christes m [...]ides, embrased by fayth, is taken, accepted, and allow­ed of God, for our perfecte and full iustification. For the more full vnderstanding hereof, it is our partes and duetie, [...] [...]mber the greate mercye of God, howe tha [...] al [...] the worlde beynge wrapped in sinne, by breakyng of the lawe) God sent his onely sonne, our sauiour Christ, into this worlde, to fufyll the lawe for vs: and by shedynge of his moste precious bloudde, to make a sacrifice and satisfaction, or (as it may be called) amendes to his father fo [...] our sinnes: to assuage his wrath & indignation conceyued agaynst vs for the same. In so much that infantes beyng baptised, and dy­ing in theyr infansye,The effi­catie of Chrystes [...]ssion & oblation. are by this sacrifice: washed from theyr synnes, brought to Gods fauour, and made his children, and inheritours of his kynge­dome of heauen. And they which in act or dede do [Page]sinne after theyr baptisme, when they tourne a­gayne to God vnsaignedly, they are likewise was­shed by this sacrifice, from theyr sinnes, in suche sort, that there remaineth not anye, spot of sinne, that shalbe imputed to theyr damnation. This is that iustification or righteousnes, which S. Pain speaketh of when he saith: no man is iustified by the workes of the lawe, but freely by faith in Ie­sus Christ. And agayne he saith:Gale. ii. we beleue in Ie­su Christ, that we be iustified freely by the faith of Christ, and not by the workes of the lawe, because that no man shall be iustified by the workes of the lawe. And although this iustification be free vn­to vs, yet it commeth not so freelye vnto vs, that there is no raunsome payde therefore at all. Obiection But here may man [...] reason be astounied, reasonyng after this fashion: If a raunsome be payde for our re [...]emption, then is it not geuen vs freely: For a prisoner that payeth his raunsome, is not let goe freely, for if he go [...]rely: then he goeth without raū ­some▪ for what is it els to go freely, then to be set at libertie without payment of raunsome.An [...] [...] sider [...] This reason is satisfied vt the great wisdome of God, in this mistery of our redemption, who hath so tem­pered his iustice & mercy together, that he woulde neither by his suffice condemne vs vnto the euer­lasting captiuitie of the deuyll, & his person of hell remedilesse for euer without mercy nor by his mercie delyue [...] [...]s clearely, without [...]ice, or paymēt of a iust [...]aunsome: but with his endlesse mercy he ioyned his moste vpright and [...] great mercy he shewed [...]nto vs, in [...] from out former captiuitie, [...] [Page]any raunsome to be payde, or amendes to be made vpon our partes: which thyng, by vs had ben im­possible to be doen. And where as it lay not in vs. that to do, he proinded a raunsome for vs: that was, the most precious body & bloud of his owne most deare & best beloued sonne Iesu Christe (who besides this raunsome, fulfylled the lawe for vs perfectly. And so the iustice of God, and his mercy dyd embrace together, & fulfilled the mistery of our redēption. And of this iustice & mercy of God, knit together, speaketh saint Paule, in the .iii. Chapt. to the Romains:Rom. iii. al haue offended & haue nede of ye glory of god, but are iustified frely by his grace, by redēption, which is in Iesu Christ, whō God hath set forth to vs, for a reconciler & peace maket, tho­rough faith in his bloud, to shewe his righteous­nesse.Rome. i. And in the .x. Chapt. Christ is the ende of the lawe, vnto righteousnes, to euery man that bele­ueth.Rom. viii. And in the .viii. Chapt. that which was im­possible by the lawe, in asmuch as it was weake by the fleshe, God sending his owne sonne in the strailitude of sinfull fleshe, by sinne damned sinne in the fleshe, yt the righteousnes of the lawe might be fulfylled in vs, which walk not after the fleshe, but after the spirite.The thinges muste go toge­ther in our iusti­fication. In these foresaid places, the Apostle toucheth speciallye three thinges whiche must go together in our iustification, Vpon gods part, his great mercy & grace, vpon Christes part, iustice: yt is, the satisfaction of Gods iustice, or the price of our redēption, by the offering of his body, [...] sheddyng of his bloud, with fulfyllyng of ye law, perfectly & throughty: & v [...] our part true & [...]e­ly [...]ith in the mer [...]tes of I [...]u Christ, which yet is [Page]tho [...] ours, but by gods working in vs. So that in our iustification, is not onely gods mercy & grace, but also his iustice, whiche the Apostle calleth the iustice of God, & it consisteth in paying our raun­some, & fulfyllyng of the lawe, and so the grace of God, doth not shut out the iustice of god in our iu­stificatiō, but onely shutteth out the iustice of mā, yt is to say, ye iustice of our workes, as to be merites of deseruing our iustification. And therfore saint Paule declareth here nothing vpon the behalfe of man, concerning his iustification, but only a true & liuely faith, which neuerthelesse is ye gyft of god, & not mans onely worke without god.How it is to be vn­derstand that faith iustyfyeth without workes. And yet ye faith doth not shut out repentaunce, hope, loue, dread, & the feare of god, to be ioyned with faith in euery man yt is iustified: but it shutteth them out frō the office of iustifying. So that although they be al presēt together in him yt is lustifyed, yet they iustifie not altogether. Nor ye faith also doth not shut out the iustice of our good workes, necessarily to be done afterward of duetie towardes god, (for we are most bounden to serue god, in doyng good dedes, cōmaunded by him in his holy scripture, al the dayes of our lyfe:) But it excludeth thē so, that we may not do thē to this entent, to be made good by doing of thē. For all the good workes that wee can do be vnperfect, & therfore not able to di [...] [...] our iustification: but our iustification doth come frely, by ye mere mercy of god: & of so great and [...]ee merci, yt wheras al the world was not a [...]e of be it selues, to pay any part to wardes theyr [...] i [...] pleased our heuēly father, of his infin [...] [...] out any our desert. or deseruynge, to prepa [...]e so [...] [Page]the moste precious is welles of Christes body and bloud, wherby our raunsome might be fully paid, the law fulfilled, and his iustice fully fatisfied. So that Chryst is nowe the righteousnes of all them that truely do beleue in hym. He for them payde their raunsome by his death. He for them fulfilled the lawe in his lyfe. So that nowe, in him, and by him, euery true Christian man may be called a fulfiller of the lawe, forasmuch as that, which theyr infirmitie lacketh, Christes iustice hath supplied.

¶ The seconde part of the Sermon of Saluacion.

YE haue hearde of whom all men ought to seke their iustification and ryghteous­nesse, and howe also this righteousnesse commeth vnto men by Christes death and merites, ye hearde also howe that thre thyn­ges are required to the obtaynyng of our ryghte­ousnesse: that is, Gods mercie, Christes Iustyce, and a true and a lyuely fayth, out of the whiche fayth spryngeth good woorkes. Also before was declared at large, that no man can be iustyfyed by his owne good woorkes, that no man fulfylleth the lawe, accordyng to the full request of the law. And sainct Paule in his Epistle to the Galathi­ans proueth the same,Galat. iii. saying thus: If there had ben any lawe geuen, which coulde haue iustifyed, verely, ryghteousnesse shoulde haue been by the lawe. And agayne he sayth: yf ryghteousnesse be by the lawe, then Chryste dyed in vayne. And a­gaine he saith: you that are iustified by the lawe, [Page]are fallen awase from grace. And furthermore, he writeth to the Ephesias, on this wise: by grace are ye saued through faithe,Ephe. ii. and that not of your sel­ues: for it is the gift of God, and not of workes, lest any man should glory. And to bee short, the summe of all Paules disputacion, is this: that if iustice come of workes, then it commeth not of grace: And if it come of grace, then it commeth not of workes. And to this ende, tendeth all the Prophetes, as S. Peter saieth, in the tenth of the Actes:Actes. v. of Christ all the Prophetes (saieth sainct Peter) doe witnesse, that through his name, al thei that beleue in him, shall receiue the remission of sinnes. And after this wise,Faithe onely iustifieth, [...] the doctrine of old docto [...] to bee iustified onely by this true and liuely faith in Christ, speaketh all the olde and aunciente aucthours, bothe Grekes, and Latins. Of whom I will specially reherse three: Hillarie, Basill, and Ambrose. S. Hillarie saieth these woordes plainly in the .ix. Canon, vpon Mathew: Faith onely iusti­fieth. And sainct Basil, a Greke aucthour, writeth thus: This is a perfecte and a whole reioysyng in God, when a man auaunceth not hymself for his owne righteousnesse, but knowledgeth hymself, to lacke true iustice and righteousnesse, and to bee in­stified by the onely faithe in Christe. And P [...]ule (saith he) doeth glory in the contempt of his owne righteousnesse,Phil [...]. iii. and that he looketh for the righte­ousnesse of God, by faith.

These be the very woordes of sainct Basill. And Sainct Ambrose, a Latine aucthour, saieth these woordes: This is the ordinaunce of GOD [...] whiche beleue in Christ, should bee [...]aued without woorkes, by faith onely, frely receiuyng re [...]n [Page]of his synnes. Consider diligently these woordes: without workes, by faith onely, freely, we receiue remission of oure sinnes. What can bee spoken more plainlye, then to saie: that freely, withoute woorkes, by fayth onelye, we obtayne remission of oure sinnes: These and other lyke sentences, that wee be iustified by fayth onelye, freely, and with­oute woorkes, we dooe reade of times in the moste beste and auncient writers. As beside Hillary, Basil, and sainct Ambroise, before rehearsed: wee reade the same in Origene, sainct Chrisostome, sainct Cypriane, sainct Augustine, Prosper, Deco­menius, Phocius, Bernardus, Ansehne, & manye other auctours: Greke and Latin. Neuerthelesse, this sentence: that we be iustified by fayth onelye: is not so meante of them, that the saied iustifiynge faith is alone in man, without true repentaunce, hope, charitie, dreade and the feare of God, at any time and season.Faith alone howe it is to be vnder­stande. Nor whē they say: that we be iu­stified frely: they meane not, that we shoulde or might afterward be idle, and that nothyng should be required on our partes afterward. Neither thei meane not so to bee iustified withoute oure good workes, that we should doe no good workes at all, lyke as shalbe more expressed at large, hereafter. But this saiyng, that we he iustified by faithonly, frely, and without workes: is spoken for to take awaie clerely all merite of our woorkes, as beyng vnable to deserue our iustification at Gods han­des, and thereby moste plainly to expresse the wea­kenes of man, and the goodnes of God: the greate infirmitie of our selues, and the might and power [Page]of God: the imperfectnes of our owne workes, and the most aboundaunt grace of our sauiour Christ. And therfore wholly to ascribe the merite and de­seruing of our iustification, vnto Christ onely, and his [...] precious bloud shedyng. This faithe the holy [...]ure teacheth: this is the stronge rocke & foundation of Christian religion: this doctrine all olde and auncient auctours of Christes churche do approue:The profit [...] the doctrin [...] of faith on [...] iustifieth. this doctrine, auaunceth & setteth furthe the true glory of Christe, and beateth downe the vayne glory of manne: this, whosoeuer denieth, is not to be coumpted for a Christian manne: not for a setter furthe of Christes glorie,What thei [...] that impug [...] the doctrin [...] of faith ou [...] iustifieth. but for an aduer­sary to Christe & his Gospel, and for a setter furthe of mennes vayne glorye. And althoughe this do­ctrine bee neuer so true, (as it is most true in dede) that we be iustified frely,A declarati [...] of this do­ctrine: faith without wor­kes iustifieth. without al merite of our owne good workes (as sainct Paule doeth expresse it) and freely, by this lyuely and perfecte faithe in Christe onely (as thaunciēt aucthors vse to speake it:) yet this true doctrine muste be also truely vn­derstande, & most plainly declared, lest carnal men shoulde take vniustly occasion therby, to lyue car­nally after the appetite and will of the worlde, the fleshe, and the deuil. And because no man shoulde erre: by mistakyng of this doctrine, I shal plainlye and shortely so declare the right vnderstandyng of the same, that no man shall iustly thinke, that he may therby take any occasion of carnal libertie, to folow the desyres of the flesh, or that therby, anye kynde of synne shalbe committed, or any ungodly lyuing the more vsed.

Firste, you shal vnderstande, that in oure iustifi­cation [Page]by Christe, it is not all one thyng, the office of God vnto man, and the office of man vnto God. Iustificacion is not the office of man, but of God: for man can not, makyng himself righteous by his owne woorkes, neither in parte, nor in the whole, for that were the greatest arrogancie a [...] presump­cion of manne, that Antichrist could set vp against God: to affirme, that a manne might by his owne workes, take awaie and pourge his owne synnes, and so iustifie hymself.Iustificaci­on is the of­fice of God onely. But in iustificacion is the office of God onely, and is not a thyng, whiche we render vnto hym, but whiche we receiue of hym: not whiche we giue to hym, but whiche we take of hym, by his free mercie, and by the onely merites of his moste derely beloued sonne, our onely redemer, Sauiour and iustifier, Iesus Christe. So that the true vnderstādyng of this doctrine: we be iustified frely by faithe, without woorkes: or that we be iu­stified by faith in Christ onely: is not, that this our owne acte, to beleue in Christ, or this our faithe in Christe, whiche is within vs, doeth iustifie vs, and deserue our iustificacion vnto vs (for that were to coumpte our selues, to bee iustified by some acte or vertue, that is within our selues:) but the true vn­derstanding and meaning therof, is, that although we heare Gods woorde, and beleue it, although we haue faith, hope, charitee, repentaunce, dread; and feare of GOD within vs, and doe neuer so many good workes thereunto: yet we must renounce the merite of all our saied vertues, of faith, hope, cha­ritie, and all our other vertues, and good deedes: whiche we either haue doen, shall doe, or can doe, as thinges that be farre to weake, and insufficient [Page]and vnperfecte, to deserite remission of our synnes, and our iustificacion, and therefore we muste trust onely in Gods mercie, and that sacrifice which our high prieste, and sauiour Christ Iesus the sonne of God, ones offered for vs vpon the crosse, to obtaine therby Gods grace, and remission, aswell of our o­riginall sinne, in Baptisme, as of all actuall sinne cōmitted by vs after our Baptisme, if we truely re­pent and tourne vnfainedly to hym againe. So that as sainct Ihon Baptist, although he were ne­uer so vertuous and Godly a man, yet in this mat­ter of forgiuyng of synne, he did put the people frō hym, and appoincted theim vnto Christe, saiyng thus vnto theim: Beholde,Ihon. i. yonder is the Lambe of God, which taketh awaie the sinnes of the world: euen so, as great and as godly a vertue as the liue­ly faith is, yet it putteth vs from it self, and remit­teth or appoincteth vs vnto Christ, for to haue one­ly by hym remission of our synnes, or iustifi­cacion. So that our faith in Christ (as it were) saieth vnto vs thus: it is not I▪ that take a waie your syn­nes, but it is Christ one­ly, and to him one­ly▪ I send you for that purpose, forsa­king therin al your good vertues, woordes, thoughtes, and workes, and onely puttyng your trust in Christ.

[...] Sa [...]uation.

IT hath bene manifestly declared vnto you▪ that no man can fulfyl the lawe of God, and therfore by the la [...] [...]enne are condemned: wherupon it folowed necessarylye, that some other thynge should be re­quired for our saluacion, than the lawe: and tha [...] is a true and a lyuely faith in Christe, bringynge foorth good workes, and a lyfe accordyng to Gods commaundementes. And also you hearde the aun­cient aucthours mindes of this sayinge, faith in Christ only iustifieth mā, so plainly declared: that you s [...] that the very true meaning of this propost­ciō or sa [...]yng: We be iustified by faith in Christ one­ly: (accordyng to the meanyng of the olde auncient auctours) is this: we putte oure faith in Christe, that we be iustified by hym onely, that we be iusti­fied by Gods free mercy, and the merites of our sa­uiour Christe onely, & by no vertue or good worke of our owne, that is in vs, or that we [...] be able to haue, or to do, for to deserue the same: Christe himselfe only, being the cause meritorious therof.

Here you perceaue many wordes to bee vsed, to auoyde contention in wordes with them that de­lyght to braule about woordes▪ and also to shewe the true meanyng to auoide euil takyng and mis­vnderstandinge: and yet peraduenture al will not serue with them, that the contencious: but conten­ [...]s will euer for [...]e ma [...]er [...]f con [...]ention, euen when they haue no [...]e [...] therto. Not with­standing [Page]forty nyghtes, without me [...]t and drinke, that he wrought al kynde of miracles, declaryng himselfe very god: They beleue also, that Christ for our sa­kes suffered moste painefull death, to redene vs from euerlastynge death, and that he rose againe from death the third day: they beleue that he ascen­ [...]d into heauen, and that he sitteth on the righte hande of the father, & at the last end of this world, shal come again and iudge both the quicke and the dead. These articles of oure fayth, the deiuils be­leue, and so they beleue all thinges that bee writ­ten in the new and olde Testament to be true: and yet for all this faith, they be but deuils, remaining styll in theyr damnable estate, Iackynge [...]e very true Christian faith.What is the tru [...]e [...]us [...] [...] syu [...]g fayth. For the right and true Chri­stiā faith is: not only to beleue that holy scripture, and all the foresaide articles of our faith are true, but also to haue a sure trust and cōfidence in gods mercifull promises, to be saued from euerlastynge damnatiō by Christ: whereof doeth folow a louing hert, to obey his commaundemētes. And this true Christian faith neyther anye deuill hath, [...] nor yet any man which, in the outwarde profession of his mouth, and in his outward receiuing of the sacra­mentes▪ in cumming to the church, and in al othe [...] outward appearaunces, semeth to be a Christ [...] manne, & yet in his liuinge and dedes, sheweth [...] contrarye. For howe can a manne haue this [...] fayth, this sure trust and con [...]idence [...] by the merit [...]s of Christe his sinnes be [...] [...] and he reco [...]d to the f [...]uo [...] [...] pa [...]ak [...] of the kingdom of [...] he lyueth vngodlye, and denieth [...] [Page]dedes? Surely, no suche vngodly maune, can haue this saith & trust in god. For as they know Christe to be the onely sauiour of the world: so they know also, that wicked men, shal not enioye the kyngdō of god. They know, that god hateth vnrighteous­nes,Psalm .v. that he will destroy all those that speake v [...] ­truelye, that those that haue done good woorke [...] (whiche can not be done without a liuely fayth in Christe) shall come furth into the resurrection of life, and those that haue doen euil, shal come vnto resurrection of iudgement: very well they knowe also, that to them that be cōtencious, and to them that wil not be obedient vnto the trueth, but will obeye vnrighteousnes, shall come indignation, wrath, and affliction. &c. Therfore, to conclude, cō ­sidering the infinite benefites of God, shewed and geuen vnto vs, mercifullye without our desertes, who hath not onely created vs of nothing, and frō a piece of vyle clay, of his infinite goodnes, hathe exalted vs (as touchinge our soule) vnto his owne similitude and lykenesse: but also, wheras we wer condemned to hel, and death euerlastyng, hath ge­uen his owne naturall sonne, being god eternall, immortal, and equal vnto hymselfe in power and glory, to be incarnated, and to take our mortal na­ture vpon hym, with the infirmities of the same: and in the same nature, to suffre most shamful and painful death for our offences, to thintent to iusti­fye vs, and to restore vs to life euerlastynge: so ma­kynge vs also his dere beloued children, brethren vnto his only sonne our sauiour Christ, and inhe­ritors for euer with him, of his eternal kyngdome of heauen.

These greate and mercifull benefites of God) yf they be well considered) do neyther minister vnto vs occasion to be ydle, and to lyue without doynge any good woorkes, neyther yet [...]yrreth vs, by any meanes, to doe euill thinges: but contrary wyse, it we be not desperate persons, and our heartes har­ [...]er then stones, they moue vs to render our selues vnto god wholy with all oure will, heartes, might and power, to serue him in all good dedes, obeying hys commaundementes, duryng our lyues, to seke in al thinges his glorie and honoure, not our sen­suall pleasures and vainglory, euermore dreadyng willyngly to offend suche a mercifull God a [...] lo­uyng redemer, in word, thought or dede. And [...] said benefites of God depely considered, moue vs▪ for hys sake also, to be euer ready to geue oure sel­ues to our neyghbours, and asmuche as lyeth in vs▪ to studie with all our endeuour, to do good to euery man. These be the fruites of the true saythe, to dooe good (asmuche as lyeth in vs) to euerye man. And aboue al thinges, and in all thinges to auaunce the glory of God, of whom one­lye we haue oure sanctification, iusti­fication, saluacion, and redempci­on. To whome be euer glorie, praise, and ho­nour, worlde with­oute ende. Amen.

[...] true liue [...]y, and Christian faith.

THe first coming vnto god, (good Christian people) is throughe faith:Fayth. whereby, (as it is decla­red in the last Sermon) we [...]e iustified before god. And lest [...] ny man should be deceiued, for lacke of [...]ht vnderstandynge therof, [...] [...]diligently to be no­ted, that faith is taken in the scripture, two maner of wayes. There is one faith, whiche in scripture is called a dead faith: [...] dead. faythe. which bringet furth no good workes, but is ydle, barrain, and vnfruitful. And this faith,Iames .ii. by the holy Apostle, S. Iames, is com­pared to the faith of deuils, which beleue god to be true, and iust, & tremble for feare, yet they do no­thing well, [...]ius .i. but al euil. And such a maner of faith, haue the wicked & naughty christian people, which confesse god (as .S. Paule saieth) in their mouth, but denie him in their deedes. beeing abhomina­ble▪ & without the right faith, and to al good wor­kes reprouable. And this faith is a perswasiō and beliefe in mannes heart: whereby he knoweth that there is a god, and agreeth vnto all trueth of gods most holy woorde conteined in holy Scri­pture. So that it consisteth onely, in belieuyng in the woorde of god, that it is true. And this is not properlye called faythe: But as he that readeth Ceasars Commentaries belieuing the same to be true, hath thereby a knowledge of Ceasars lyfe, and not able actes, because he beleueth the history [...] ta [...]: yet it is not properlye sayed that he be­leueth [Page]in Ceasar, of whome he loketh for no helpe, nor benefite: Euen so, he that beleueth that all that is spoken of god in the Bible, is true, and yet liueth so vngodly, that he can not loke to enioye the promises and benefites of god: although it may be sayed, that suche a man hath a faith and beliefe to the woordes of god, yet it is not proper­lye sayed, that he belieueth in god, or hath suche a faith and trust i [...] god, whereby he may surely loke for grace, mercy and euerlasting li [...] at gods hand, but rather for indignacion and punishment, ac­cordyng to the merites of his wicked lyfe. For as it is written in a boke, entituled to be of Didimus Alexandrinus: for asmuche as faith without wor­kes is dead, it is not now faith: as a dead man is not a mā. This dead faith therfore is not the sure and substantial faith▪ whiche saueth synners.A liuely faith. An­other faithe there is in scripture, which is not (as the foresaid faith) ydle, vnfruitful, & dead but wor­keth by charitie (as S. Paule declareth) Gala v. whiche, as the other vayne faith,Ga [...]. [...] is called [...] dead faith, so may this be called a quicke or liuely fa [...]. And this is not onely the common beliefe of the Articles of oure faythe, but i [...] is also a sure [...] and confidence of the mercy of God▪ [...] Lord Iesus Christ, and a stedfaste hope of [...] thynges to be receyued at gods hande [...] thoughe we, through infirmitie, or ter [...] [...] of our gostly enemy, do fall from hym by [...] we returne a [...]ine vnto him by [...]rue [...] [...] his sonnes sake oure Sauiour Ie [...] [...] wyll made vs [...]herito [...]ir [...] [...] [Page]lastynge kingdome, and that in the meane tyme, vntill that kyngdome come, he will be our protec­tor and defendor in all perils and daungers, what­soeuer doe chaunce: and that, though sometime he doth sende vs sharpe aduersitie, yet that euermore he wilbe a louinge father vnto vs, correctynge vs, for our sinne, but not withdrawing his mercy fi­na [...]ye from vs, if we truste in hym, and commit o [...] selues wholy vnto him, hang only vpon hym, and call vpon him, ready to obey and serue hym. This is the true, lyuely, and vnfained Christian saith, and is not in the mouth and outward pro­fession onely: but it liueth, and stirreth inwardely in the heart. And this faith is not without hope and trust in God, nor without the loue of GOD and of oure neighbours, nor without the feare of God, nor without the desire to heare Gods worde, and of folowe the same in esche wynge euyll, and doynge gladlye all good woorkes.

This faith, [...]ebr [...]. xi (as saint Paule describeth it) is the sure ground and foundatiō of the benefites: which we ought to looke for and trust to receiue of God, a certificat and sure lookynge for them, althoughe thei yet sensibly appeare not vnto vs. And after he saith he that commeth to god, must beleue, bothe that he is, & that he is a merciful rewarder of well doers. And nothing cōmēdeth good men vnto god so much, as this assured faith, and trust in him. Of this faith .iii. thinges are specially to be noted.

Firste,Thre thin­ges are to be noted of [...]the. that this faith dothe not lye dead in the heart, but is liuely and fruitful in bringing furth good woorkes.

Seconde, that without it, can no good workes be [Page]done, that shalbe acceptable & pleasaunt to God.

Chyrd, what maner of good workes they be, that this faith doeth bring furth.

For the first, as the light cannot be hyd,Faith is full of good wor­kes. but will shew furth it selfe, at one place or other: So a true faith cannot be kept secret, but whē occasion is of­fered it will breake out, and shewe it selfe by good woorkes. And as the lyuinge body of a man euer exerciseth such thinges, as belongeth to a natural and liuing body, for nourishment and preseruatiō of the same, as it hath nede, oportunitie & occasiō: euen so the soule, that hath a liuely faith in it, wil be doing alway some good woorke, which shal de­clare that it is liuing, and wil not be vnoccupied. Therfore, when men heare in the scriptures, so high commendacions of faith, that it maketh vs to please god, to liue with god, & to vs the children of god: if then they phantasy, that they be set at li­berty frō doyng al good woorkes, and may liue as they lust, they trifle with god and deceiue themsel­ues. And it is a manifest token that they be farre from hauing the true and liuely faith, & also farre frō knowledge what true faith meaneth. For the very sure and liuely christian faith is, not onely to beleue al thynges of God whiche are conteyned in holye scripture: but also, is an earnest trust, and confidence in God, that he dothe regard vs: and that he is carefull ouer vs, as the father is ouer the childe, whome he dothe loue: and that he will be merciful vnto vs, for his only sonnes sa [...]e: and that we haue our sauiour Christ, oure perpetuall aduocat & priest, in whose only merites, oblation & [Page]sufferynge, we do trust that our offences be cont [...] ­nually washed, and purged, whensoeuer we, (re­pentyng truely) do teturne to him, with our whole herte, stedfastlye determinynge with oure selfes, through his grace, to obey & serue him, in hepinge his commaundementes, and neuer to turne backe againe to synne. Suche is the true faith that the scripture doeth so muche commende, the whiche when it seeth and considereth what god hath done for vs, is also moued through continuall assistence of the spirit of god, to serue and please him, to kepe his fauoure, to feare his displeasure, to continue his obedient children, she winge thankefulnes a­gain, by obseruing or keping his cōmaundemētes, and that freely, for true loue chieflye, and not for dreade of punishemēt, or loue of temporal reward: cōsidering how clerely, without our deseruinges. we haue receiued his mercy and pardon frely.

This true faith wyll she we furth it self,Ab [...]. ii. and can not long be idle. For as it is written: The iuste mā doth liue by his fayth. He neyther slepeth, nor is idle, when he shoulde wake and be well occupied, And god by his Prophete Ieremy saith: that he is a happy and blessed man,Iere. xvii. whiche hath faith and confidence in God. For he is lyke a tree, set by the waterside, that spredeth his rootes abrode toward the moysture, and feareth not heate when it com­meth: his leafe will be grene, and wil not cease, to bring furth his fruite: Euen so, faithful men (put­tynge awaye all feare of aduersitie) wyll shewe furth the fruite of their good woorkes, as occasion is offered to dooe them.

¶ The seconde [...] of Fayth.

YE haue hearde in the fyrst part of this sermō, that there be two kindes of faithe: a dead and an vnfruitful faith, and a faith liuely that worketh by charitie. The first to be vnprofitable, the second necessary for the ob­tayning of oure saluacion: the whiche fayth hath charitie alwayes ioyned vnto it, and is fruitefull, bringyng forth all good workes. Nowe as concer­ninge the same matter, you shall heare what folo­weth. The wise man sayeth: he that beleueth in God, wil hearken vnto his cōmaundementes. For if we do not shewe our selues faithfull in our con­uersation,Eccle. xxxi [...] the faith whiche we pretende to haue, is but a fained faith: because the true Christian faith, is manifestly shewed by good liuing,Libro de fi [...] ­et operibu [...] Cap. ii. and not by wordes onely, as sainct Augustine saith: good liuing cannot be separated from true faith, which worketh by loue. And Sainct Chrisostome sayth:Sermo delege et fide, faith of it selfe is ful of good workes, as sone as a man doth beleue, he shalbe garnished with them. Howe plentyful this faith is of good workes, and how it maketh the woorke of one man more accep­table to god then of another: S. Paule teacheth at large in the .xi. chap. to the Hebr.Hebre. xi. Gene. iiii. Gene. vi. Eccle. xliiii. Gene. xi. saying that faith made the oblacion of Abel better, then the oblaci­on of Cain. This made Noe to builde the arcke. This made Abraham to forsake his countrey, and al his frendes, and to go into a far countrey, there to dwel among straungers. So did also Isaac and Iacob: depending or hanging only of the helpe and trust, that they had in God. And whē they came to [Page]the countrey, which god promised thē, they would builde no cities, townes, nor houses, but liued like straungers in Tentes, that might euery daye be re­moued. Their trust was so much in god, that they set but litle by any worldly thing, for that god had prepared for thē, better dwelling places in heauen, of his own foundaciō & building. [...]ene. xii. [...]ccle. xiiii. This faith made Abraham ready at gods commaundemente: to of­fre his owne sonne & heire Isaac: whome he loued so wel, and by whom he was promised to haue in­numerable issue: emong the which, one shoulde be borne, in whome all nacions should be blessed: tru­sting so much in god, that though he were slaine, yet that god was able by his omnipotent power, to raise him frō death, and perfourme his promise. He mistrusted not the promise of god, although vn­to his reason,Exod. ii. euery thing semed cōtrary. He bele­ued verely, yt god would not forsake him in dearth, & famine, that was in the coūtrey. And in al other daungers that he was brought vnto, he trusted e­uer yt god would be his god, & his protectour, & de­fendour, whatsoeuer he sawe to the cōtrary. This faith wrought so in the heart of Moses, that he refused to be taken for kinge Pharao his daughters sonne, & to haue great inheritaūce in Egipt: thin­king it better with the people of god, to haue affli­ction & sorow, then with naughtie mē, in sinne to liue pleasauntly for a time. By faith, he cared not for ye threatning of king Pharao, for his truste was so in God, that he passed not of the felicitie of this worlde, but loked for the reward to come, in heauē, settinge his heart vpon the inuisible god, as if he had seene him euer present before his eies. By faith [Page]the childrē of Israel passed through the red sea.Exod. xi [...]. Iosu [...]. vi. By saythe, the walles of Hierito, seldoune withoute stroke, and many other wonderful miracles haue ben wrought. In all good men, that heretofore haue beene, fayth hath brought furth theyr good workes, and obteyned the promises of God.

Faith hath stopped the Liōs mouthes:Daniel .vi. Daniel .iii. faith hath quenched the force of fyre: faith hath escaped the swordes edges: Faith hathe gyuen weake mē strength: victory in battail, ouerthrowen the ar­mies of infideles, raysed the dead to lyfe: faith hath made good men to take aduersitie in good part: some haue ben mocked and whipped, bounde and cast in prison: some haue lost all theyr goodes and liued in great pou [...]rtie: Some haue wandered in mountaines, hilles, and wildernes: some haue ben racked, some slaine, some stoned, some sawen, some rente in pieces, some headed, some brente without mercy, and would not be deliuered, because they loked to rise again to a better state.

All these fathers, martyrs, and other holy men, (whom. S. Paule spake of) had their faith surely sixed [...] God. whē al the world was against them. They did not onely knowe god to be the Lord, ma­ker and gouernour of al men in the world: but also they had a special cōfidence and trust, that he was & would be their God, their cōforter, [...]ider, helper, mainteiner, and defendour. This is [...] [...]ristian faith, whiche these holy men had, & also ought to haue. And altough they were [...] named Chri­stiā men yet was it a Christiā [...]aten [...] they had, for they loked for all benefytes of [...] father, through the merites of his sōne [...] we [Page]now doe. This difference is betwene them and vs, for they loked when Christ should come, and w [...] in the time when he is come. [...] Iohn [...]. xiv. Therfore saith. s. Au­gustin: the time is altered & chaunged, but not the faith. For we haue both one faith in one Christe. The same holy goste also that we haue, had they, sayth. S. Paule. [...]. Cor. iiii. For as the holy Gost dooeth teach vs to trust in God, and to call vpon him as our fa­ther: so did he teache them to say, (as it is written:) Thou lord, art our father and redemer, [...]say. xiiii. & thy name [...] without begynning, and euerlasting. God gaue them then grace to be his children, as he doth vs [...]we. But now by the comming of oure sauiour Christe, we haue receiued more aboundantly the spirite of god in our heartes, wherby we may con­ceiue a greater faith and a surer truste, then many of them had. But in effecte they & we be al one: we haue the same faith, that they had in god, and they the same, that we haue. And S. Paule so much ex­tolleth their faith, because we shold no lesse, but ra­ther more, geue our selfes wholy vnto Christ, doth in profession & liuinge: now when Christ is come, then the old fathers did before his cōmyng: And by al the declaratiō of S. Paul, it is euident: that the true, liuely, & christiā faith, is no dead, vaine, or vn­fruitfull thinge, but a thinge of perfecte vertue, of wonderful operacion or working & strength, brin­gyng furth all good mocions and good woorkes.

Al holy scripture agreably beareth witnes, that a true liuely faith in Christ, doth bring furth good workes, & therfore euery man must examine & try [...] himselfe diligently, to know, whether he haue the same true liuely faithe in his heart vnfainedly, or [Page]not, whiche he shall knowe by the fruites therof. [...]nt that professed the faith of christ: wer in this error: that they thought they knew god & beloued in him, when in their life they declared the contra­ry: which error, sainct Iohn in his first Epistle cō ­futing,i. Iohn .ii. writeth in this wise: herby we are certified that we know God, if we obserue his cōmaūdemē ­tes: He that saith he knoweth God, and obserueth not his commaundementes, is a liar, & the truth is not in him. And again he saith:i. Iohn .iii. whosoeuer sin­neth, doth not see god, nor knowe him: not no man deceiue you, wel beloued childrē. And moreouer he saith: hereby we know that we be of the trueth,i. Iohn .iii. & so we shal perswade our heartes before him: For if our owne heartes reproue vs, God is aboue oure heartes, & knoweth al thinges. Wel beloued: if our heartes reproue vs not, then haue we cōfidence in god: and shal haue of him whatsoeuer we aske, be­cause we kepe his cōmaunde mendes and do those thinges that please him. And yet further he fayth:i. Iohn .v. Euery man that beleueth that Iesus is Christe, is borne of god: & we know that whatsoeuer is borne of god, doth not sinne: but the generation of God, purgeth him, and the deuill doeth not touche him. And finally he concludeth: and shewing the cause:i. Iohn .v. why he wrote this Epistle, saith: for this cause haue I thus writte vnto you, that you may know, that ye haue euerlastinge life, whiche do beleue in the sonne of God. And in his third Epistle,iii. Iohn .i. he con­firmeth the whole matter of faith and workes, in fewe wordes, saying: the that doth wel, is of god: & he that doth euill, knoweth not god. And [...] [...]ainct Iohn saith: that as the liuely knowlege, [...] [Page]of god, brīgeth furth good worke [...] saith he like­wise of hope and charitie, that the [...] cannot stande with euill liuing.i. Iohn iii. Of hope he w [...]teth thus: we know that when god shal appeare [...]e shalbe lyke vnto him, for we shal see him, euen as he is. And whosoeuer hathe this hope in hym, doth purifie himselfe,i. Iohn .ii. lyke as God is pure. And of charitie he saieth these wordes: he that doth kepe gods worde, or cōmaūdement, in him is truely the perfect loue of god.i. Iohn .v. And again he saith, this is the loue of god, that we should kepe his commaūdementes. And. s. Iohn wrote not this, as a subtile sayinge deuised of his owne phantasye: but as a most certaine and necessary trueth, taught vnto him by Christ him­self: the eternal & infallible veritie, who in many places doeth most clerely affirme, that faith, hope, & charitie, cannot consyst or stande without good and godly workes.Iohn .iii. i. Iohn .v. Of saith, he saith: He that bele­ueth in the sonne hath euerlasting life: but he that beleueth not in the sonne: shal not se that life, but the wrath of god remaineth vpon him.Iohn .vi. And ye same he confirmeth with a double othe saying: forsothe & forsorth, I say vnto you he yt beliueth in me, hath euerlasting life. Now, forasmuch as he yt beleueth in Christ, hath euerlasting life, it must nedes cōse­quētly folow, yt he that hath this faith, must haue also good workes, and be studious to obserue Gods commandementes obediently. For to them that haue euil workes, [...] & leade their life in disobedience & transgression or breakyng of Gods commaunds mentes, without repētaunce perteineth not euen lastyng life, but euerlasting death as Christe hym selfe saith▪ Matt. xxv. They that doe wel, shal go into life eter­nal, [Page]but they that do euil, shal go into the euerla­styng fyre. And again he saith:Apoca. xxi. I am the first letter & the last, the beginning & the endinge, to hym that is a thirst, I wil geue of the wel of the water of life frely: he that hath the victory, shal haue al thinges, & I will be his God, & he shalbe my sonne, but they that be fearefull, mistrusting god, & lackyng faith, they that be cursed people and murderers: and for­nicatours, and forcerers, and Idolaters, and all liers, shal haue their porcion in the lake, that bur­neth with fyre and brimstone, which is the second death. And as Christ vndoubtedly affirmeth,Charit [...] bringeth furth good woorkes. Iohn .xiiii. that true faith bringeth furth good workes▪ so doth he saye likewyse of charitie. Whosoeuer hath my com­maundementes and kepeth them, that is he that loueth me: And after he saith: he that loueth me wil kepe my worde, and he that loueth me not,Iohn .xiiii. kepeth not my wordes. And as the loue of God is tryed by good workes, so is the feare of god also, as the wise manne saith: the dreade of god putteth away synne. And also he sayeth:Eccle. i. Eccle. xv. he that feareth god will do good workes.

¶ The thyrde parte of the Sermon of Fayth.

YOu haue heard in the second part of this sermon, that no man should thinke yt he hath that liuely saith which scripture cō ­maundeth, when he liueth not obediētly to goddes lawes. For al good woorkes fyringe out of that faith. And also it hath been declared vnto you by examples, that faith mak [...] [...] [Page]quiet, & patient in al affliction. Now as cōcerning the sain [...] matter, you shal heare what foloweth. A man may soone deceiue himselfe; and thinke in his owne phantasie, that he by faith knoweth god, lo­ueth him, feareth him, & belongeth to him, when in very dede he doth nothing lesse. For the trial of al these thinges is a very godly & christian life. He that feleth his hearte set to seke gods honor, and studieth to know the wyl and commaundementes of God, and to frame himselfe therunto, & leadeth not his life after the desyre of his owne fleshe to serue ye deuil by sin, but setteth his minde to serue god, for gods owne sake, & for his sake also to loue al his neyghbours, whether they be frendes or ad­uersaries, doing good to euery man (as oportuni­tie serueth) & wyllingly hurting no man: suche a man maye well reioyce in God, perceiuinge by the trade of his life, that he vnfainedly hath the right knowledge of god, a liuely faith, a stedfaste hope, a true and vnfained loue & feare of god. But he that casteth a way the yoke of gods commaundementes from his necke, & geueth himself to liue withoute true repentaūce, after his own sensual minde and pleasure, not regarding to know gods worde, and much lesse to liue according therunto: such a man clerely deceiueth himself, & seeth not his own hert, if he thinketh that he either knoweth god, loueth him, feareth him or trusteth in him. Some perad­uēture phātasy in them selfes, that they belong to god, although thei liue in sin, & so they come to the churche and shew themselfes as gods dere childrē. But. s. Iohn saith plainly:1. Iohn. 1. if we say yt we haue any company with god, and walke in darkenes, we doe [Page]lye. Other doe vainelye thinke that they knowe and loue god, although they passe not of the commaundements. But S. Iohn saith clearely:1. Ioh. 1. he that sayth I know God, & kepeth not his commaundemēts, he is a lyer. Some falselye perswade themselues, yt they loue God, whē they hate their neighbors. But S. Iohn saith manifestly: if any mā sai, I loue god,1 Ioh. 4. 1. Iho, 2. & yet hateth his brother, he is a lier. He that saith yt he is in the light, & hateth his brother, he is stil in darkenes. He that loueth his brother, dwelleth in the light, but he that hateth his brother, is in darknes, & walketh in darkenes, & knoweth not whether he goeth:1. Iho, 3. For darknes hath blinded his eies. And moreouer he saieth: hereby we manifestly know ye children of GOD, from ye children of the deuil: he yt doth not righteous­ly, is not ye child of GOD, nor he yt hateth his brother.

Deceiue not your selfes therefore, thinkyng that you haue faith in GOD or that you loue GOD, or dooe trust in him, or do feare him, when you liue in sinne: for then your vngodly and sinfull lyfe. declareth the contrary, whatsoeuer ye say or think. It perteineth to a christen man, to haue this true christen faith, & to trie himselfe, whether he hath it or no, & to know what belongeth to it, & howe it doth worke in him. It is not the world that we can trust to: the worlde and al that is therein is but vanitie. It is GOD that must be our defence and proteccion agaynst al temptation of wickednes and sinne errours, superstycy­on. Idolatry, and al euill. If all the worlde were on our side, and GOD against vs, what could the would auayle vs. Therefore let vs set our whole fayth [...] trust in GOD, & neither the world, the deuil, nor al [...] [Page]power of thē, shall preuaile agaynst vs. Let vs ther­fore (good christian people) trie & examine our fayth what it is: let vs not flatter our selfes, but loke vpō our workes, and so iudge of our faithe, what it is.

CHRIST him selfe speaketh of this matter and saith:Mat. 24 the tre is knowē by ye fruite. Therfore let vs do good workes, and therby declare our faith, to be the lyuely christian faith. Lette vs by such vertues as oughte to spring out of faith, shewe our eleccion to be sure & stable, as S. Peter teacheth. Endeuor your selfes to make your calling & chosyng certaine by good wor­kes.1 Pet. 3 And also he sayth: mynyster or declare in youre fayth, vertue, in vertue, knowledge, in knowledge, tēperaunce, in tēperaūce, pacience, againe in paciēce godlinesse, in godlinesse, brotherlye charitye, in bro­therly charitie, loue. So shal we shewe in dede, that we haue ye very lyuely christen faith: & maye so both certify our conscience the better, yt we be in the right faith, & also by these meanes confirme other men. If these fruites do not folowe, we do but morke with GOD, deceiue our selues & also other men. Well may we beate the name of christen mē but we doo lacke the true faith, that doth belonge thervnto. For true faith doth euer bring furth good workes;I [...]mes. 2 as Saint Iames saith: shew me thy fayth by thy dedes. Thy bedes and workes must be an open testymony all of thy fayth: otherwyse, thy faith, being without good workes, is but the deuils faith, ye faith of the wicked a phantasy of fayth, & not a true christen fayth. And lyke as the deuils & euyll people be nothing the bet­ter; or theyr counterfeit faithe, but it is vnto thē the more cause of damnacyon: so they yt be christened, & [Page]haue receyued knowledge of GOD and of CHRISTES merites, & yet of a set purpose do lyue idlelye, with­out good works, thinking the name of a naked faith, to be either sufficient for them, or els settynge theyr mindes vpon vaine pleasures of thys worlde, dooe lyue in synne without repentaunce, not vtterynge the fruytes that do belong to such an hygh professy­on: vpon such presumpteous persones and wylfull sinners, must nedes remaine the great vengeaunce of GOD, and eternall punyshment in hell prepared for the deuil & wicked liuers. Therfore, as you professe the name of CHRIST, (good christyan people) let no such phantasy & imagination of faithe, at anye tyme begyle you: but be sure of your faith, trie it by youre liuinge, looke vpon the fruites that commeth of it, marke the increase of loue & charitie by it towardes GOD & your neighbor, and so shal you perceiue it to be a true liuely fayth. If you fele and perceiue such a fayth in you, reioyce in it, and be diligēt to maintain it and kepe it still in you: let it be dayly increasyng, & more & more, by well working, & so shal you be sure, that you shal please GOD by thys fayth: and at the length (as other faithful men haue done before) soo shall you (when his wil is) come to hym, and receiue thend & fynal reward of your faith (as S. Peter nameth it) ye saluation of your soules:1 Peter. 1 the whych GOD graunt vs, that hath promysed the same vnto hys faythfull. To whome, be all honoure and glorye, world with­out ende. AMEN.

A Sermon of good workes annexed vnto fayth.

IN the last sermō was declared vnto you, what the lyuely and true faith of a christian man is: that it causeth not a man to be ydle, but to bee occupyed in bringinge furth good workes as occasyon serueth.

No good worke cā be dooen without fayth.Now by GODS grace shal be declared ye second thing that before was noted of fayth, yt without it can no good woorke be done acceptable & pleasaunte vnto GOD. For as a braunch cannot beare fruyte of it selfe (sayth our sauiour Christ) except it abide in ye vine so cannot you except you abide in me:Ihon. 15 I am the vyne & you be ye braunches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, he bringeth furth much fruite: for withoute me, you cā do nothing.Hebr. 11 And S. Paule proueth yt Enoch had faith, because he pleased GOD. For without faith (sayth he) it is not possible to please GOD. And agayn to the Roma. he saith:Rom. 14 whatsoeuer worke is done wt out faith it is sinne. Faith geueth life to ye soule: and they be asmuch dead to GOD that lacke faith, as they be to the world: whose bodies lacke soules. Without faith al yt worke seme neuer so gaye & gloryous be­fore man.1 [...] Euen as yt picture grauen or painted is but a deade representation of the thing it selfe, and is wt ­out lyfe or any maner of mouing: soo be the workes of al vnfaithfull persons before GOD. They dooe ap­peare to be liuelye workes, and in dede they bee but [...]ead, not a [...]ailing to ye euerlasting life, They be but shadowes & shewes of liuelye & good thinges, & not [Page]good and liuely thinges in deede. For true faith doth geue life to the works, & out of such faith come good workes, that be very good workes in dede, & with­out, no worke is good before GOD: as saith.In pre [...] ii Psal. 31 S. Au­gustine: We must set no good workes before fayth, nor think that before saith a man maye do any good worke: for such workes, although they seme vnto mē to be prayse worthy, yet in dede they be but vaine, & not allowed before GOD. They be as the course of a horse, yt runneth out of the way, which taketh great labor, but to no purpose. Let no man therfore (sayth he) rekon vpon his good workes before his faythe. Wheras fayth was not, good workes were not: The intent (sayth he) maketh the good woorkes, but faith must gyde and ordre thintente of manne.Mat. 6. And CHRIST saith: if thine eye be naught, thy whole bo­dy is full of darkenes. The eye doth sygnyfye the in­tent (sayth S. Augustine) wherwith a man dothe a thing. So that he,In pres [...] ti Psal. 31 which doth not his good workes with a godly intent & a true fayth, that worketh by loue, the whole body beside, (that is to sai) al ye whole nūber of his workes, is darke, & there is no lyghte in them. For good dedes, be not measured by ye factes themselues, and so descerned from vices, but by the endes and intentes, for the which they be doen. If a Heathen man clothe the naked, fede the hungrye, & doe suche other lyke woorkes: yet because he bodeth them not in fayth, for the honoure and loue of god, they be but dead, vaine and fruitles workes to him.

Faith is it, that doth commend the word to GOD: (for as S. Augustine sayeth) whether thou wilte or no, that worke that commeth not of faith, is naught [Page]where the faith of CHRIST is not ye foundacion, thee is no good worke, what building soeuer we make. Ther is one worke, in the which be al good works, yt is faith, which worketh by charitie: yf thou haue it, thou hast ye ground of algood workes. For the vertues of strength, wisedome, temperaūce, & iustice be al referred vnto this same faith. Without this faith we haue not thē, but only the names & shadowes of them, (as. S. Augustine sayeth.) Al the life of them yt lacke the true fayth is synne: and nothing is good without him, that is the auctor of goodnes: where he is not, there is but feyned vertue, although it be in the best works. And S. Augustine declaring this vearse of the psalme, the Turtie hath founde a nest, wher she may kepe her yonge byrdes: sayeth, that Iewes, heritiques, and pagans, do good woorkes: they cloth the naked, fede the pore, & doo other wor­kes of mercy, but because they be not done in ye true faith, therfore the birdes be lost. But if they remaine in faith, then faith is the nest and sauegard of theyr birdes, that is to say, sauegard of their good workes that the rewarde of them be not vtterlye loste. And this matter (which.Deuocati Gentium li. 1. cap. 3 S. Augustine at large in many bookes disputeth) Saynte Ambrose concludeth in fewe woordes, saying: he that by nature would wt ­stand vice, either by natural wyll or reason, he doth in vaine garnishe the time of this life, and atteyneth not the very true vertues:In sermōe de side, lege, et spiritu sācto for without the worship­ping of the true GOD, that which semeth to be vertue is vice. And yet most plainly to thys purpose wry­teth. S. Iohn Chrisostome in thys wise: You shall find many, which haue not ye true faith, & be not of ye [Page]flocke of CHRIST & yet (as it appeareth) they floryshe in good workes of mercy. You shall find them ful of pietie, compassion, and geuen to iustice: and yet for al that, they haue no fruite of their workes, because the cheife worke lacketh. For when ye Iewes asked of CHRIST, Iohn. 9, what they should do to worke good workes, he answered: this is the work of GOD, to beleue in him whom he sente: So that he called faythe the worke of GOD. And assoue as a mā hath fayth, anone he shall floryshe in good workes: for faith of it selfe is full of good workes, and nothing is good withoute faith. And for a symylitude, he sayth that they which glitter and shine in good workes, without fayth in GOD, be lyke dead men, which haue goodly and pre­cious tombes, & yet it auaileth them nothing. Fayth may not be naked without good workes, for then it is no true faith: and when it is adioyned to workes. yet it is aboue the workes. For as mē that be verye men in dede, first haue life, and after be noryshed, soo must our faith in CHRIST go before, and after be norished with good workes. And lyfe may be without norishment, but norishment cannot be without lyfe. A man must nedes be norished by good workes, but first he must haue fayth, he that doeth good dedes, yet without faith, he hath no lyfe. I can shew a mā that by fayth without workes liued, & came to heauen, but withoute faythe, neuer man had lyfe. The these that was hanged when CHRIST suffered, dyd beleue only, & the most merciful GOD did iustifi him. And because no man shal say againe that he lacked tyme to doe good workes, for ells he would [...] haue doen them, trueth it is, and I wil not co [...]end ther [...] [Page]in: but this I wil surelye affirme, that fayth only sa­ued him. If he had lyued and not regarded faith, & the workes thereof, he should haue lost his saluation agayne. But this is the effect that I saye that fayth by it selfe saued him, but workes by them selues ne­uer iustifyed any man. Here ye haue hard the mynd of S. Chrisostome, wherby you maye perceyue, that neyther fayth is without workes (hauynge oportu­nitie thereto) nor workes can auayle to euerlastyng lyfe without fayth.

The second part of the Sermon of good workes.

OF three thinges which were in ye former sermō specially noted of liuely faith, two be declared vnto you: the first was, that faith is neuer idle without good works when occasion serueth. The second, that good wor­kes acceptable to GOD cānot be done without faith. Nowe to go forth to the third part,What workes they are that sprīg of fayth. that is what maner of workes they be, which spring out of true faith and leade faithful men vnto euerlasting life: Thys can not be knowē so wel, as by our sayuoure CHRIST him selfe, who was asked of a certaine gret man the same question:Mat. 19. What woorkes shall I dooe (sayde a Prince) to come to euerlastinge lyfe? To whom Ie­sus aunswered:Mat, 19. If thou wilt come to ye euerlastinge lyfe, kepe the commaundementes. But the Prynce not satisfyed here with, asked farther: whiche com­maundementes. The Scrybes and Pharise is had made [...] many of theyr owne lawes and tradicions to bring men to heauen besides GODS commaunde­mentes, [Page]that this man was in doubt, whether he should come to heauen by those [...]wes & traditions, or by the lawes of God: and therfore he asked Christ which commaundementes he meante. Wherevnto Christ made him a plain answere,Mat. 19 [...]hersing the com­maundementes of God saying: Thou shalt not kyll, thou shalt not commit adulterr, thou shalt not steale, thou shalt not beare false witnesse, honor thy father and mother and loue thy neighbour as thy selfe:The workes that lead to heuen, be ye works of gods cō ­maunde­mentes. By which wordes. Christ declared that ye lawes of God be the very way that doth leade to euerlasting life, & not the traditions, and lawes of men. So that this is to be taken for a most true lesson taughte by Chri­stes owne mouth, yt the workes of the moral comaū ­dementes of God, be the very true workes of fayth, which lead to the blessed life to come.Man frō his fyrste fallinge frō gods cōmaun­dements, hath euer ben redye to do the like, and to deuise works of his a [...] phan [...]sy to please GOD withall. But the blind­nes & malice of man, euen from the beginninge, hath euer been ready [...]o fal from Gods cōmaundemētes. As Adam the fyrst man, hauing but one commaun­dement that he should not eate of the fruit forbiddē, notwithstandinge gods commaundement, he gaue credite vnto the woman, seduced by the subtyle per­swasion of ye serpent, and so folowed his owne wyll, and left gods commaundement. And euer since that time, al that cain of him hath ben so blinded through original sinne yt they haue been euer readye to fal frō GOD and his law, & to inuent a new way vnto saluation, by woorkes of their own deuise: so much that a [...] most al the worlde forsaking ye true honor of the oue­ly eternal liuing GOD wandered about they [...]wne phantasies, worshipping some ye S [...]ne, the [...]oone ye Sterres: some Iupiter, Iuno, Dia [...], S [...] [...] [Page]Apollo,The deuises and I dolatry of the genti­les. Neptumus, Ceres, Bacchus, & other deade men and women. Some therwith not satisfied, worshipped diuers kindes of be ast [...]s, birdes, fishe, foule, & serpentes, euery coūtrey, towne, & house, in maner being deuided, and setting vp Images of such thin­ges as they lyked, and worshyppinge the same.

Suche was the rudenes of the people, after they fell to theyr owne phantasies, & lefte the eternall ly­uing God and his commaundementes, that thei de­uised innumerable Images, & gods. In whiche er­ror and blindnes they did remaine, vntyl suche time as almightie God pitiyng the blindnes of man, sent his true prophet Moses into the world, to reproue & rebuke this extreme madnesse, and to teach the peo­ple to know the only liuing God, and his true honor and worship. But the corrupt inclination of mā, was so muche geuen to folowe his owne phantasies (and as you would say) to fauour his owne byrde that he brought vp him selfe, that al the admonitions, exhortations, benefites, and threatninges of God, coulde not kepe hym from such his inuentions. For notwithstandinge all the benefites of God,The deutses and I dolatry of the Isra­elites. shewed vnto the people of Israell, yet when Moses went vp into the mountayne, to speake with almightye God: he had taried there but a few daies, when the people began to inuent new Gods. And as it came in their heades they made a calfe of golde, & kneled downe and worshipped it.Exod. 22 And after that, thei folowed ye Moabites, and worshipped Beelphegor the Moabytes GOD. Reade the boke of Iudges, the bokes of the kynges, and the Prophetes, and there shal you find, how vn­stedfast the people were, how ful of inuentions, and [Page]more ready to runne after theyr own phantasies thē Gods most holy cōmaundementes. There shall you reade of Baal, Moloch, Chamos, Mechom, Baal­pe or, Astaroth, Beel the Dragon, Priapus, the bra­sen serpent, the twelue signes, and many other, vnto whose ymages the people with greate deuotion in­uented Pilgrimages, pretiously decking and cēsing them, kneling doune and offering to them, thinking that an high merite before god, & to be estemed aboue the preceptes and commaundementes of God. And where at that tyme God commaunded no sacryfyce to be made but in Ierusalem onelye, they did cleane contrary, making alters and sacrifices euery where in hylles, in woodes, and in houses, not regardynge Gods commaundementes, but esteming theyr own phantasies and deuotion, to be better then thei. And the error hereof was so spred abrode, that not onelye the vnlearned people, but also the Priestes and tea­chers of the people partely by glorye and coueteous­nes were corrupted, and partly by ignoraunce blindly deceaued with the same abhominatiōs: So much that kynge Achad, hauinge but onely Helias a true teacher and minister of God, there were eyght hun­dred and fyftye priestes, that perswaded him to ho­nor Baal, and to do sacrifice in the wodes or groues. And so continued that horrible error, vntyll the thre noble kynges, as Iosaphat, Ezechias, and Iosias, gods chosen ministers, destroyed the same clearelye, and brought agayne the people from suche there fay­ned inuentions, vnto the very commaundements of God: for the which thinge, their immortall rewarde and glory doth and shal remayne with God for euer.

[...]e [...]gi­ [...]ns and sectes a­mong the Iewes.And besyde the foresayd inuentions, the inclinati­on of man to haue his owne holye deuotions, deuy­sed new sectes▪ & religiōs, called Phariseis, Saddu­ceis and Scribes, with many holy & godly traditi­ons, and ordinaunces (as it semed by the outwarde apparaunce & goodly glisteryng of the workes,) but in very dede all tending to Idolatrye, Superstition and Hipocrisie: theyr heartes within, beynge full of malice, pride, couetousnes, & al wickednes. Against [...] which sectes, and their pretensed holines, Christ cry­ed out more vehemently, then he did against anye o­ther persons, saying & often rehersyng these wordes: Woe be to you Scribes & Phariseis▪ ye Hipocrites, for you make cleane the vessell withoute,Mat. 23. but within you be full of rauine & fylthines: thou blynd Phary­see, & Hipocrite, fyrst make the inwarde par [...] cleane. For notwithstandinge al the goodly traditions, and out warde shewes of good workes▪ deuysed of theyr owne imagination, whereby they appeared to the world, most religious and holy of all men: yet Christ, (who sawe theyr heartes) knowe that they were in­wardly in the syghte of God, most vnholy, moste ab­hominable, and farthest from GOD of almen. Ther­fore sayde he vnto them: Hypocrites, the Prophete Esay spake full truely of you, when he sayde: Thys people honor me with theyr lyppe [...],Mat. 15. Esai. 19, but theyr hearte is farre from me: they worshyppe me in vayne, that teache doctrines and commaundementes of menne: For you leaue the commaundementes of GOD, to kepe your owne traditions.

And though Christ sayde, they worshipped God in vayne that teache doctryne [...] and commaunde­mentes [Page]of men [...] yet he mean [...] no [...] thereby to o [...]r­throw al mens cōmaundemētes,Man [...] lawes must [...] [...]e obs [...]r [...] and kept, but n [...]' [...] [...] [...]s [...]w [...]. for he himself was euer obediente to the Princes & theyr lawes, made for good ordre & gouernaunce of the people but he reproued the lawes and traditions, made by the Scribes & Pharise is, which wer not made onely for good ordre of the people (as the Ciuil lawes were) but they were set vp so hygh, that they were made to be a ryght and pure worshipping of God, as thei had [...]eue equall with gods lawes▪ or aboue them: for many of gods lawes coulde not be kept. but were fayne togeue place vnto them. This arrogancie God de­tested, that man shoulde so aduaunce his lawes, to make them equal with gods lawes▪ wherin the true hon [...]ryng and right worshyppyng of God standeth. and to make his lawes for theym to be lefte of. God hath appoynted his lawes, whereby his pleasure is to be honoured. His pleasure is also, that all mennes lawes beyng not contrary to his lawes, shalbe obey­ed & kepte, as good and necessary for euery common weale, but not as thinges wherein pryncipallye hys honor resteth. And al Ciuil and mans lawes, eyther be, or should be, made to bring in men ye better to kepe gods lawes: that consequently, or folowingly God should be the better honored by them. Howebeit the Scribes and Pharise is were not content▪ that their lawes shuld be no hygher estemed, thē other positiu [...] and ciuiss lawes. nor would not haue them [...]lled by the name of other temporall lawes, but called [...] not onely for a ryght and true worshippinge [...] God (as Gods lawes be in dede:) but also to [...] the [Page]mo [...]e high honoring of God,H [...]ly tra­ [...]itions [...] [...]e med, [...] G [...]ddes law [...]s. to the whiche, the com­maundementes of God shoulde geue place. And for this cause did Christ so vehemently speake agaynste them, sayinge: your traditions, which men esteme so hygh, [...]linesse of mānes deuise, is commōly occasion that God [...]s offēded be abhomination before God. For commonlye of such traditions foloweth the [...]ansgression or breaking of Gods commaundementes, and a more deuo­tion in the kepynge of suche thinges & a greater con­science in breaking of theim, then of the commaunde­mentes of God.Math 12 As the Scribes and Phariseis so supersticiously, and scrupulo [...]slye kepte the Sabboth, that they were offended with Christ, because he hea­led sicke men: and with his Apostles, because they being sore hungrye, gathered the eates of corne to eate vpon that daye. And because his disciples was [...]hed not their handes so often as the traditions required, the Scribes and Phariseis quereled with Christ, saiyng:Mat. 15. why do thy disciples break the traditions of the seniours? But Christ layde to their charge, that thei for to kepe theyr owne traditions. did teache men to breake the berye commaundementes of GOD. For they taughte the people suche a deuotion, that they offered their goodes into the treasure house of the temple, vnder the pretence of Gods honour, leauing theyr fathees and mothers (to whom they wer chiefly bounde) vnholpen: and so they brake the commaudemetes of GOD, to kepe their owne traditions. They estemed more an othe made by the golde or ob­lation in the temple, then an othe made in the name of God himself or the temple. They were more studious to pay their fithes of small thinges, then to do [...]he greater things commaunded of God, as workes [Page]of mercy, or to do iustice, or to deale syncerely, vprightly, and faythfullye beith God and man:Mat. 23, (these sayeth Christe ought to be done, and the other not l [...]fte vn­done) And to be shorte, they were of so blinde iudge­ment, that they stombled at a straw▪ and leaped ouer a block. They woulde (as it were) nicely take [...]ily [...] out of theyr cuppe, and drinke down a whole C [...]nnel. And therfore Christ called them blinde guides, war­ninge his disciples from time to time, to eschew their doctrine. For althoughe they semed to the worlde to be moost perfecte men, both in lyuyng and teachinge yet was their lyfe but Hypocrisie, and theyr doctrine but so wre leauen, myngled with superstition, Idola­trye, and ouertwart iudgemente: settyng vp the tra­ditions and ordinaunces of manne, in the steade of Goddes commaundementes.

The thyrde parte of the Sermon of good workes.

THat all men myghte ryghtely iudge of good woorkes, it hath bene declared in the seconde parte of this sermon, what kinde of good workes they be, that god woulde haue his people to walke in, namelye suche as he hath commaunded in his holye scripture, and not such workes as men haue studied out of theyr owne braine, of a blinde zeale and deu [...] tion, withoute the worde of God And by mista [...]ing the nature of good workes, man hath moste hyghi [...] [Page]displeased GOD, and hathe goen frome his wyll and commaundemente. So that thus you haue hearde▪ howe mache the worlde, from the beginning vntyll Christe s [...]ime, was euer readye to fall from the com­maundemētes of GOD, and to seke other meanes to honor and serue him, after a deuotion founde oute of theyr owne heades: & how they did set vp theyr own traditions, as high or aboue Goddes commaunde­mentes, whiche hath happened also in our times (the more it is to be lamented) no lesse then it did among the Iewes: and that by the corruption, or at the least by the negligence of thē, that chiefely ought to haue preferred gods commaundemētes, and to haue pre­serued the pure and heauenly doctrine left by Christ. What man hauing any iudgement or learninge, ioy­ned with a true zeale vnto GOD, both not se, and la­mente, to haue entered into Christes relygion, suche false doctryne, Superstition, Idolatrye, Hipocrisye, and other enormities and abuses, so as by lytle and litle, through the soure leauen therof, the swete bread of Gods holy worde hath bene muche hyndered and layed a parte. Neuer had the Iewes in theyr mooste blyndnesse, so manye Pilgrimages vnto Images, nor vsed so muche knelyng kissinge, and censynge of them, as hath ben vsed in our tyme.

Sectes & religion amonges Christiā [...]en.Sectes & feined religions were neither the forty parte so manye amonge the Iewes, nor more super­sticiouslye and vngodlye abused, then of late dayes they haue bene amonge vs. Whiche sectes and rely­gions, had so many Hipocritical or feined workes in their state of religion (as thei arrogantly named it) [...] their lampes (as they said) rāne alwayes ouer, able [Page]to fatissye, not only for theyr owne sinnes, but also for all other theyr benefacto [...]s, brothers and sisters of religion, as mooste vngodly and craftely they had per­swaded the multitude of ignoraunt people: kepynge in diuers places (as it were) martes or markettes of merites, beynge full of theyr holye reliques, ymages, shrynes, and workes of ouerflowing abundance, ready to be sold. And all thinges which they had were called holy: holy Coules, holy gyrdelles, holye Par­dons. Beades, holy Shooes, holy Rules, and al ful of holines. And what thinge canne be more foolyshe, more superstitious, or vngodlye, then that men, wo­men and children, shoulde weare a Friers coate, to delyuer them from agues or pestilence or when they dye, or when they be buried, cause it to be caste vpon them in hope thereby to be saued? Whiche superstition, although (thankes bee to God) it hath bene lytle vsed in this Realme yet in diuer [...]e other realmes, it hath bene, and yet is vsed, both amonge many, both learned and vnlearned. But to passe ouer the innu­merable supersticionsenes that hath ben in straunge apparel, in scilence, in dor [...]itory, in cloyster, in chap­ter, in choyse of meates and in drinkes, and in suche lyke thynges, let vs consider, what enormities and abuses haue bene, in the three chiefe pryncipal poin­tes, whiche they called the three essencialles, or three chief foundations of religion, that is to saye, obedi­ence, chastitie, and wilful pouerty.

The th [...] chiefe b [...] wes of religio [...].Fyrst vnder pretence or color of obedience to theyr father in religion (which obedience they made them selues) they were made free by theyr rules & cano [...]s from the obedience of their naturall father and [...] ­ther [Page]and from the obedience of Emperour & kinge, & al temporal power, whom of very duety by gods la­wes. they were bound to obey. And so the profession of their obedience not due, was a forsaking of theyr due obedience. And how theyr profession of chastitie was kept, it is more honesty to passe ouer in scilence, and let the world iudge of that, which is wel knowē then with vnchast wordes, by expressing of their vn­chast life, to offend chaste and godlye eares. And as for their wilfull pouertie, it was suche, that when in possessions, iewels, plate and riches, thei were equal or aboue marchauntes, gentlemen, Barons, Erles, & Dukes: yet by this subtile sophistical terme Propriū in communi, that is to say: proper in common, they moc­ked the world, perswading, that notwithstandinge all their possessions & riches, yet they kept their vow and were in wylfull pouertie. But for all theyr ry­ches, they might nether helpe father nor mother, nor other that were in dede very nedie & poore, without the licence of their father Abbot. Prior, or Warden. And yet they mighte take of euerye man, but they might not geue ought to anye man, no, not to theim whom the lawes of God boūd them to help. And so through their traditions & rules, the lawes of God could beare no rule with them. And therefore of thē myght be moost truely sayd,Mat. 15 that which Christ spake vnto the Phariseis: you breake the commaunde­mentes of God by your traditions: you honor God with your lippes, but your harts be farre from him. And the longer prayer they vsed by day & by night vnder pretence or colour of suche holines, to get the fauour of widowes & other simple folkes, that they [Page]might singe Trentals and seruice for theyr husban­des and frendes, and admit or receiue thē into their prayers: the more truely is verified of them the say­ing of Christ: Woe be to you scribes and Phariseis, Hipocrites, for you deuour Widowes houses, vnder color of long prayers: therfore your damnation shal­be the greater. Wo be to you Scribes & Phariseis,Mat. 25, Hipocrites, for you go about by sea and by lande▪ to make moe Nouices and newe brethren, and when they be let in or receaued of your secte, you make thē the children of hell, woorse then your selues be. Ho­nour be to God, who did put light in the heart of his faithful and true minister of most famous memorye, King Henry the .viij. and gaue him the knowlege of his word, and an earnest affection to seke his glory, and to put away al such superstitions and Pharisai­call sectes by Antichrist inuented, and set vp against the true worde of God, and glory of his most blessed name: as he gaue the like spyryte vnto the most no­ble and famous princes, Iosaphat, Iosias, and Eze­chias. God graunte all vs the kinges highnes faith­full and true subiectes, to fede of the swete and sauory breade of Gods owne word, and (as Christ com­maunded) to eschewe all our pharisaicall and papy­sticall leauen of mans feyned religion. Whiche, al­though it were before God moste abhominable and contrary to Gods commaundements, and Christes pure religion, yet it was praised to be a moste godlye life, and highest state of perfectiō. As though a man myght be more godly and more perfecte by kepynge the rules, traditions and professions of men, then by kepinge the holye commaundementes of God. And [Page]briefly to passe ouer the vngodly & counterfeite reli­gions, let vs rehearse some other kindes of papisti­call superstitions and abuses, as of Beades, of Lady psalters and Rosaries,Other deui [...]es and supersti­tions. of .xv. Dos, of i. Bernardes vearses, of S. Agathes letters, of Purgatorye, of Masses satisfactorye, of Stacions and Iubilies, of feined Reliques, of halowed Beades. Belles, Bred, Water, Palm [...]s, Candels, Fyre, and suche other, of Superstitious fastinges, of fraternities or brother heades, of Pardons, with such lyke marchaundyse: whiche were so estemed and abused to the great preiudice of gods glorye and commaundementes, that they were made most high and moost holye thinges, wherby to attaine to the euerlasting lyfe, or remissiō of sinne. Yea also, vaine inuentions, vnfruitfull ceremonies, and vngodli lawes, decrees and counsels of Rome,Decrees, & Decre­talies. were in such wise aduaunced, that nothynge was thought comparable in auctoritie, wisdom, ler­ninge & godlines vnto them. So that the lawes of Rome (as they said) were to be receiued of all men, as the four Euāgelistes: to ye which al lawes of prin­ces must geue place. And the lawes of God also partly were left of and lesse estemed, that the sayd lawes decrees and counsels, with theyr traditions and ce­remonies, might be more duelye kepte and hadde in greater reuerence. Thus was the people, throughe ignorance so blinded, with the goodly shewe and ap­paraunce of those thinges, that they thought the ke­pynge of them to be a more holynes, a more perfecte seruice & honoring of God, & more pleasinge to God, then the keping of gods commaundementes. Such hath bene the corrupte inclination of man, euer su­perstitiously [Page]geuen to make new honorynge of God of his own head, and then to haue more affectiō and deuotion to keepe that, then to searche out Goddes holye commaundementes and to keepe theim. And furthermore, to take Gods commaundementes for mens commaundementes, and mens commaunde­mentes for Gods commaundementes, yea, & for the highest, and most perfect and holy of all Gods com­maundemētes. And so was all confused, that scante wel learned men, and but a small number of them, knew, or at the least would knowe, & durste affyrme the trueth, to separate or seuere Gods commaunde­mentes from the commaundementes of men: wher­vpon did grow much error, Superstition, ydolatry vayne religion, ouertwart iudgement, great contention, with all vngodly liuing.

An exhortation to the [...] of Gods cōman̄dementes.Wherfore, as you haue any zeale to the ryghte and pure honoring of God: as you haue any regarde to your owne soules, and to the life yt is to come, which is both without pain, and without end: apply youre selues chieflye aboue all thing, to reade and to heare Gods word: marke diligently therin, what his wyll is you shal doe, and with all your endeuoure applye your selues to folow the same. Firste you must haue an assured faith in god,A briefe rehersall of Gods cōman̄dementes. and geue your selues wholly vnto him, loue him in prosperitie and aduersitie, and dreade to offende him euermore. Then, for his sake loue all men frendes and foes, because they be hys creation and ymage, & redemed by Christ, as ye are. Cast in your mindes how you may do good vnto al men, vnto your powers, and hurte no man. Obey al your superiours & gouernours, serue your masters [Page]faythfully and diligentlye, aswell in theyr absence as in their presence, not for dreade of punishment onely, but for conscience sake, knowing that you are boūde [...]o to do by Gods commaundementes. Disobey not your fathers and mothers, but honor them, help thē and please theim to youre power. Oppresse not, kyll not, beat not, neither slaūdre nor hate any man: But loue al men, speake well of al men, help and succoure euery man, as you maye, yea euē your enemies that hate you, that speake euill of you, and that do hurte you. Take no mans goodes, nor couet youre neygh­bours goodes wrongfully, but content your selues with that which ye get truly, and also bestow youre own goodes charitably, as nede and case requireth. Flee all ydolatry, witchcraft, and periury: committe no maner of adultery▪ fornication, nor other vnchastnes, in wilnor in dede, with any other mans wy [...]e, widowe, mayde, or other wyse. And trauailing con­tinually during your life, thus in the keping the commaundementes of God (wherein standeth the pure principal, and right honor of God, & which wrought in fayth. God hath ordeyned to be the righte trade and path way vnto heauen:) you shall not fayle, as Christ hath promised, to come to that blessed and euerlastinge life, where you shal lyue in glorye and ioye with God for euer. To whom be prayse, honour and impery, for euer and euer. Amen.

A Sermon of christian [...] and Charitie.

OF all thinges that be good to be taught vnto christen people, there is nothinge more necessarye to be spo­ken of, and dayly called vppon, then charitie: as well, for that all manner of workes of ryghteousnes bee con­teyned in it, as also, that the decay thereof is the ru­yne or falle of the worlde, the banishment of vertue, and the cause of al vice. And for so muche as almoste euery man maketh and frameth to him selfe charitie after his owne appetite, and how detestable soeuer his lyfe be, both vnto God and man, yet he perswa­deth him selfe still that he hath charitie: therfore you shal heare now a true and plaine description or set­ting forth of charitie, not of mens imagination, but of the very wordes and example of our sauiour. Ie­sus Christ. In which description or setting forth euery man (as it were in a glasse) may consider him self, and se plainely without errour,What [...] rytye [...] whether he be in the true charitie or not.

Charitie is to loue God with al our heart, al oure lyfe, and al our powers and strength: With all oure heart, that is to say, that our heartes, mind,The [...] of god and stu­dy ▪ be set to beleue his word, to truste in him, and to loue him aboue all other thinges that we loue beste, in heauen or in earth. With all oure lyfe, that is to say, that our chiefe ioy and delight be set vpon hym & his honour, & our whole life geuē vnto the seruice of him aboue al thinges, with him to liue and dye, and to forsake all other thynges, rather then hym▪ For [Page]he that loue [...] [...]his father or mother,Mat. 10. sonne or dough­ter, house or land, more then me (saith Christe) is not worthy to haue me. Withal our powers yt is to say, that with our handes and feete, with oure eyes and eares, our mouthes and tonges, and with all other partes & powers, both of body and soul, we shoulde be geuen to the keping and fulfilling of his cōmaundementes. This is the fyrst and principal part of charitie, but it is not the whole: for Charitie is also, to loue euerye man,The loue of thy neighbor good and euyl, frende and foe, and whatsoeuer cause be geuē to ye contrarye, yet neuer­theles to beare good wyll and hert vnto euery man, to vse our selues wel vnto them, aswell in woordes and countenaunce, as in al our outwarde actes and dedes: For so Christ himself taught, & so also he performed in deede. Of the loue of God he taught in this wise vnto a doctour of ye law, that asked him, which was the great & chief commaundement in the law: Lone thy Lord God (sa [...]ed Christ) with al thy heart with all thy lyfe,Mat. 11. and with all thy mynde. And of the loue that we ought to haue amonge our selues eche to other, he teacheth vs thus: You haue hearde it taught in times past, thou shalt loue thy frende, and hate thy foe,Math. 5. but I tel you: loue your enemies, speke wel of them that diffame you, and speak euyl of you, doe well to theim that hate you, praye for them that vexe and persecute you, that you maye be the childrē of youre father that is in heauen.Math. 5 For he maketh hys [...]imne to [...]yse both vpon the euyll and good, and sen­deth rayne to iuste and vniuste. For if you loue them that loue you what rewarde shall you haue? Dooe not the Publi [...] anos lykewyse? And yf you speake [Page]well onelye of them that be youre brethren and dere beloued frēdes, what great matter is that? Do not the Heathen the same also? These be ye very wordes of our Sauiour CHRIST himselfe, touchinge the loue of our neyghbour. And forasmuch as the Pharisies (with theyr most pestilent tradicions, & false inter­pretations & gloses) had corrupted, & almost clerely stopped vp thys pure well of GODS lyuelye woorde, teaching, that this loue and charitie pertayned one­ly to a mans frendes, and that it was suffycyent for a man to loue them, which do loue him, & to hate his fooes: therefore CHRIST opened thys well agayne, pourged it, and scoured it by geuing vnto his godly lawe of charitie, a true & clere interpretation, which is this: that we ought to loue euery man, both frend and fooe, adding therto, what commoditie we shall haue thereby, and what incommoditie by doyng the contrary. What thing can we wyshe so good for vs, as the eternal heauēly father to rekenne & take vs, for his children? And this shall we be sure of (sayeth CHRIST) if we loue euery manne withoute exception. And yf we doe otherwyse (sayeth he) we be no better then the Phariseis Publicans & Heathen and shall haue our rewarde with them: that is, to be shut out from the numbre of GODS chosen chyldren, and frō his euerlasting inheritaunce in heauen.

Thus of true Charitie CHRIST taught, that euery man is bound to loue GOD aboue all thynges, and to loue euery man, frend & fooe. And thus lykewyse he did vse himselfe, exhortynge his aduersaryes, re­bukynge the faultes of hys aduersaryes, and when he coulde not amende them, yet he prayed for them. [Page]Fyrst he loued GOD hys father aboue althynges: so much that he soughte not his owne glorye and wyl, but the glory and wyl of his father. I seke not (sayd he) mine owne wil, but the wil of him that sente me. Nor he refused not to die,Ihon. 5. to satisfie hys fathers wil, saying:Mat. 29 if it may bee, let this cuppe of death go from me: if not, thy wyll be done, and not myne. He loued not onely his frendes, but also his enemyes, whiche (in their hertes) bare exceding great hatred against him, and in their tounges spake aleuyll of hym, and in theyr actes and dedes pursued him with all their myght and power, euen vnto death. Yet al this not withstandyng, he withdre we not his sauoure from them, but stil loued thē, preached vnto them, of loue rebuked theyr false doctryne, theyr wycked lyuyng, and did good vnto them, pacientlye takynge what­soeuer they spake or dyd a gaynste hym. When they gaue hym euyl wordes, he gas [...]e none euyll agayne: when they dyd stryke hym, he did not smyte agayne: and when he suffered deth, he dyd not slea them, nor threaten them, but prayed for them, and dyd put all thynges to hys fathers wyl.Esai. 53. Actes, 8, And as a shepe yt is led vnto the shambles to be slayne, and as a lambe that: is shorne of his fleese, maketh no noyse nor resistence euen so went he vnto his death, without any repug­naunce, or openyng of his mouth to saye any euyll.

Thus haue I sette forth vnto you, what charytye is, aswel by the doctrine, as by the example of Christ hymselfe. Wherby also euery man maye, without er­ror, know himself, what state and condicion he standeth in, whether he be in charitie, (and so the child of the father in heauen) or not. For although almooste [Page]euery man perswadeth himselfe to be in charitie, yet let him examine none other man, but his own hart, his life and conuersation, & he shall not be deceyued, but truely decerne & iudge, whether he be in perfect charitie or not. For he that foloweth not hys owne appetite & wil, but geueth himself earnestly to GOD. to do al his wil and commaundementes, he maye be sure that he loueth GOD: aboue al thinges, & els, surely he loueth hym not, whatsoeuer he pretende: as Christ said: if ye loue me,Iohn. 13 kepe my commaundemēts For he that knoweth my commaundementes, & ke­peth thē, he it is (said Christ) yt loueth me. And again he saith: he that loueth me, wil kepe my worde, & my father will loue him, and we will both come to hym, and dwell with him. And he that loueth me not, wil not kepe my wordes. And lykewyse, he that beareth good hearte & minde, and vseth wel his tongue and dedes vnto euerie man frend and foe; he may know therby, that he hath charitie. And then he is sure also that almighty GOD taketh him for his dere beloued sonne, as S. Iohn saieth:1, Ioh, 4 hereby manyfestly are knowen the chyldren of God, from the chyldren of the deuyll: for whosoeuer doth not loue hys brother, belon­geth not vnto GOD.

¶ The second part of the Sermon of Charytie.

YOu haue heard a playne & a fruitfull setting forth of Charitie, and how profitable and necessary a thing charitie is. Howe charitie stretcheth it selfe, both to GOD and man, frend and foe, and that by the doctryne and exam­ple of CHRIST. And also who may certifye himselfe whether he be in perfect charitie or not: nowe as cō ­cernyng the same matter it foloweth. The peruerse nature of man corrupte with synne and destitute of GODS word and grace, thinketh it against al reason; that a man should loue his enemie, and hath manye perswasions,Agaynste carnal mē that wyll not for­geue ther enemies. which bring him to the contrarye. A­gaynst al which reasons, we ought aswel to set the teachyng, as the lyuynge of our Sauyoure Chryste, who louyng vs (when we were his enemyes) dothe teach vs to loue our enemies. He did paciently take for vs, many reproches, suffered beatyng, and moste cruell death. Therfore we be no membres of him, yf we will not folowe hym. Chryste (sayth. S. Peter) suffered for vs, leauyng an example that we shoulde folowe hym.1. Pet. 2.

Furthermore, we must consydre, that to loue our frendes, is no more but that, which thieues, adulte­rers, homicides, and al wicked persōs do: in somuch that Iewes, Turkes, Infideles, & all brute beastes, doe loue them that be theyr frendes, of whome they haue their liuing, or any other benesites. But to loue enemies, is the proper condicion onely of them, that be the children of GOD, the disciples and folowers of [Page]Christ. Notwithstandyng, mans frowarde and cor­rupt nature weigheth ouer depely many tymes, the offence and displeasure doen vnto him by enemyes, and thinketh it a burden intollerable to be bounde to loue them, that hate him. But the burden shoulde be easy enough, if (on ye other side) euery man would consider, what displeasure he hath doen to hys ene­mye againe, & what pleasure he hath receiued of his enemie. And if we find no equal or euen recompense neither in receiuing pleasures of our enemye, nor in requytting displeasures vnto him again: then let vs pondre the displesures which we haue doen against almyghty GOD: how often, and howe greuously we haue offended him. Wherof, if we will haue of GOD forgeuenes, there is none other remedye, but to for­geue the offences doen vnto vs, which be very small in comparyson of our offences doen agaynst GOD.

And it we consydre that he, whiche hath offended vs deserueth not to be forgeuen of vs, let vs consy­der agayne that we much lesse deserue to be forgeuē of GOD. And although our enemy deserue not to be forgeuen for his owne sake, yet we ought to forgeue him for GOD'S loue, considering howe great & many benefytes we haue receiued of him, without out de­sertes, & that Christ hath deserued of vs, that for his sake we shoulde forgeue thē theyr trespasses cōmit­ted agaynst vs.A Que­styon. But here may rise a necessary questi­on to be dissolued: if charitie requyre to think, speke & do wel vnto euery man, both good & euil: how ran magistrates execute iustice vpō malefactors or euil doers with charitie? Howe can they cast euil [...] in prison, take away theyr goodes, and sometime their [Page]lifes, according to lawes, if charitie wil not suffer thē so to do?An An­swere. Herevnto is a playne & a breif answere: that plagues and punishmētes be not euil of themselues, if they be wel taken of ye harmelesse. And to an euyll man they are both good & necessary, & may be executed, according to charitie,Charitie hath two offyces. & with charitie shuld be executed. For declaratiō wherof, you shal vnderstand, yt charitie hath .ii. offices: thone contrary to ye other, & yet both necessary to be vsed vpon men of contrary sort, & disposition. The one office of charitie is, to cherishe good & harmelesse men, not to oppresse them wt false accusatiōs, but to encourage thē with rewards to do wel & to continue in wel doing, defēding them with ye sweord, frō their aduersaries. And the office of Bishopes & pastores is, to prayse good mē for wel doing, that they may continue therin, and to rebuke and correct by the worde of GOD, the offences and crimes of all euill dysposed personnes. For the other office of charitie is, to rebuke, correcte, and punyshe vice, withoute regarde of personnes, and this to be vsed agaynst them onely, that be euyl men and ma­lefactors or euyl doers. And that it is aswell the of­fice of charitie, to rebuke, punysh, and correcte them yt be euil, as it is to cherish, & reward thē that be good & harmlesse. S. Paule declareth, (writing to ye Ro.) saying,Rom. 13 that the high powers are ordayned of GOD, not to be dreadful to them that do wel, but vnto malefactours: to draw the sword, to take vēgeaunce of him that committeth the synne. And S. Paule biddeth Timothie, stoutelye and earnestlye to rebuke synne,1, Tim, 1 by the woorde of God. So that both offyces should be dilygently executed, to fight againste the [Page]kingdome of ye deuil the preacher with the worde, [...] the gouernour with ye sweord: Els they loue neither GOD, nor them whom they gouerne, yf (for lacke of correction) they wilfully suffer GOD to be offēded, & thē whom they gouerne, to perishe. For as euery lo­uing father correcteth his naturall sonne, when he doth amysse, or els he loueth hym not: so all gouer­nours of realmes, countryes, townes, and houses, should louingly correct them, which be offendours vnder their gouernaunce, & cherish them which liue innocently, if they haue any respect, either vnto god and theyr office, or loue vnto thē, of whom they haue gouernaunce. And such rebukes and punishmentes of them that offend, must be doen in due tyme, leste by delay, ye offendours fal hedlonges into all maner of mischeife, and not onely be euil thē selues, but also do hurt vnto many mē, drawing other by their euill example, to sinne & outrage after thē. As one thefe may both robbe many men and also make mani the­ues: and one sedicious persō may alure many, & noy a whole towne or countrye. And such euyl persones that be so great offendors of God, and the common weale, charitie requyreth to be cut of from the body of the common weale, lest they corrupt other good & honest persons lyke as a good surgion cutteth awai a rotten and festred membre, for loue he hath to the whole body, lest it infect other mēbres adioyning to it. Thus it is declared vnto you, what true chary­tie or christian loue is, so playnlye that no man nede to be deceiued. Whiche loue, whosoeuer kepeth not only towardes God (whō he is bound to loue aboue althinges) but also towardes hys neighbor, aswell [Page]frende as fo [...], it shal surely kepe him from all offence of GOD, and iust offence of man. Therfore beare well away this one short lesson, that by true christiā cha­ritie. GOD ought to be loued aboue all thinges, & all men ought to be loued, good and euil, frend and foe, and to al suche, we oughte (as we maye) to do good: those that be good, of loue to encourage and cherish, because they be good: and those that be euyll, of loue to procure & seke their correctiō and due punishmēt, that they may therby, either be brought to goodnes or at the leaste, that GOD and the common wealth may be the lesse hurt and offended. And yf we thus direct our lyfe, by christyan loue and Charytye, then Christ doth promise and assure vs that he loueth vs, that we be the children of oure heauenlye fa­ther, reconciled to hys fauoure, verye membres of Christ: and that after this shorte tyme of this present and mortal lyfe. we shall haue with hym euerlastynge lyfe, in hys euerlastyng kyngdome of heauen: Therefore to hym with the father and the holy Gost be all honoure and glorye, now and euer. A­MEN.

Agaynst swearynge and Periurye.

ALmighty God, to the intent his most holy name should be had in honour & euermore be magnified of the people, commaundeth that no manne should take his name vainely in hys mouth, threateninge punishmente vnto hym yt vnreuerentlye abuseth it, by swearynge, forswea­ryng, and blasphemye. To the intent therefore that this commaundement maye be the better knowen and kept: it shalbe declared vnto you both how it is lawefull for Christian people to sweare, and also what peril and daunger it is, vainelye to sweare,Howe & in what causes it is lauful to swere or to be forsworne. Fyrste when iudges requyre othes of the people, for declaration or openynge of ye truth, or for execution of iustice, this ma [...]er of sweringe is lawfull. Also whē men make faithful promises wt callynge to witnes of the name of GOD, to kepe coue­nauntes, honest promyses, statutes, lawes, & good customes: as christian princes do in theyr conclusy­ons of peace, for conseruation of common wealthes, & priuate persōs, promise their fidelitie in Matrimonye, or one to another in honestie and true frende­shyp: and al men, when they do sweare to kepe com­mon lawes, or [...]ocall statutes and good customes, for due ordre to be had and continued emonge men, when subiectes do sweare to be true and faythfull to theyr kyng and soueraygne Lord, and whē iud­ges Magystrates, and offyces sweare, truely to ex­ecute theyr offyces, and when a manne woulde af­fyrme the truth to the settynge foorthe of Goddes glory (for the saluatyon of the people) in open [...] ­ching [Page]of the gospel, or in geuinge of good counsayle priuatelye for theyr soules health. Al these maner of swearinges, for causes necessary and honest, be law­ful. But when men do sweare of custome, in reaso­nyng, bying & felling, or other dayly communicatiō (as manye be common and greate swearers) suche kynd of swearing is vngodly, vnlawfull, and forbidden by the commaundement of God. For such swe­ring is nothyng els, but takyng of Gods holy name in vayne. And here is to be noted, that laweful swe­ryng is not forbidden, but commaunded of almigh­ty God. For we haue examples of Chryste, and god­ly men in holy scripture, that did swere themselues, and required othes of other lykewyse.Deut, 9, And Gods commaundement is: Thou shalte dread thy Lorde God,Psal. lxii and shalt sweare by hys name. And almightye GOD by hys Prophete Dauyd saith: al men shal be praysed that sweare by hym.

Thus did our Sauiour Christ sweare dyuerse times,Iohn, 3, 2, Cor, 1, Gc, 24, saying: verely verely. And S. Paule swereth thus: I call God to wytnes. And Abraham (wax­ing olde) required an othe of his seruaunte, that he shoulde procure a wife for hys sonne Isaac whyche should come of his owne ky [...]red: and the seruaunte did sweare that he would perfourme his maysters wil.Gen, 22, Abraham also being required, dyd swere vnto Abimelech, the kyng of Geraris, that he should not hurte him nor his posteritie. And soo lykewyse dyd Abimelech sweare vnto Abraham. And Dauid did sweare to be and continue a faythfull frende to Io­nathas: and Ionathas did sweare to become a faithful frend vnto Dauyd.

Also, GOD once commaunded, that yf a thynge were laied to pledge to any man, or left with him to kepe, if the same thing were stolne, or lost, that the keper therof should be sworne before Iudges, that he did not conuey it away, nor vsed any deceite, in cau­sing the same to be conueyed away,Hebre, 6, by his consente or knowledge. And S. Paule saith: yt in al matters of controuersye betwene two persons, wheras one saith yea, and the otheruaye, so as no due profe can be had of the truth, the end of euery suche controuer­sye muste bee an othe mynystred by a Iudge. And moreouer, GOD by the prophete Ieremy saith: thou shalt sweare ye lord liueth, in trueth, in iudgemente, in righteousnes. So yt whosoeuer sweareth when he is required of a iudge, let him be sure in hys con­science, that his othe haue these three condycyons, and he shall neuer nede to be afrayde of periurye. Fyrst he that sweareth, must sweare truelye:What cō ­ditions [...] lawefulloth ought to haue. The first The se­cond. that is, he must (setting a part al fauoure & affectyon to the parties) haue the truth onely before hys eyes, and for loue therof, say and speake that whych he kno­weth to be truth, and no further. The seconde is he that taketh an othe, must doe it with iudgemente, not rashely and vnaduisedlye, but soberlye, conside­ringe what an othe is. The thirde is:The .iii. he that swea­reth, muste sweare in ryghteousnes: that is for the very zeale and loue, which he beareth to the defence of innocency, to the maintenaunce of the trueth, and to ye righteousnes of the matter or cause: all profyt, disprofite, all loue and fauour vnto the persone, for frendeshippe or kynred, layd a parte. Thus an othe (if it haue with it these three condicions) is a parte [Page]of GODS glorye, whiche we are bounde by hys com­maundement,Why we [...]e willed in scrip­ture to sweare by the name of GOD to geue vnto him. For he willeth that we shall sweare onely by his name: not that he hath pleasure in our othes, but lyke as he commaunded the Iewes to offer sacrifices vnto him, not for anye delight that he had in them, but to kepe the Iewes from committyng of Idolatry: so he commaunding vs to sweare by hys holy name, doeth not teache vs that he delyghteth in swearyng, but he thereby for­biddeth al men to geue hys glory to any creature in heauē,Esa. 42 Psal 15 yearth, or water. Hetherto you se, that othes lawfull, are commaunded of GOD, vsed of Patryar­ches and Prophetes, of CHRIST himselfe, and of his Apostle Paule. Therefore christian people muste thinke laweful othes, both godly and necessary. For by lawfull promises and couenauntes confyrmed by othes.Cōmo­ [...]s had by lawfull othes made & obser­ued. Princes and their countreies are confyrmed in common tranquilitie and peace. By holye promy­ses, with calling the name of GOD to wytnesse, we be made lyuely members of CHRIST, when we professe his relygyon, receiuyng the sacrament of baptisme. By lyke holy promise, the sacrament of matrimonye knitteth man & wife in perpetuall loue, that they desyre not to be separated, for anye dyspleasure or ad­uersitie that shal after happen.

By laweful othes, which kynges, Prynces, Iud­ges, and Magistrates doe sweare, common lawes are kept inuiolate, Iustice is indifferentlye mynys­tred, harmelesse persons, fatherlesse chyldren, wyd­dowes and poore men are defended from murthe­rers, oppressors and theues, that they suffer no wrōg nor take any harme. By lawful othes, mutual socie­tie, [Page]amitie, and good ordre is kept continuallye in all commonalties, as boroughes, cities, townes & villages. And by laweful othes, malefactors ar searched out, wronge doers are punished, and they which sustein wrong, are restored to their ryghte. Therefore, laweful swearyng cannot be euil, whiche bryngeth vnto vs, so many godly, good, and necessarye com­modities. Wherfore,Vayne swerige is for­bidden. when CHRIST so earnestly for­bad swearyng, it maye not so bee vnderstanded, as though he did forbid al maner of othes: but he for­byddeth al wayne sweryng, and for swerynge, bothe by GOD and by his creatures: as the common vse of sweryng, in bying, sellynge, and in oure daylye com­munication, to the intente euerye christian mannes word, shoulde be aswell regarded in suche matters, as if he should confyrme hys communicacyon wyth an othe. For euerye christian mans woorde (sayeth Saint Hierome) should be so true, that it shoulde be regarded as an othe. And Chrisostome wytnessyng the same, sayth: It is not conueniente to sweare, for what nedeth vs to sweare, when it is not lawefull for one of vs to make a lye vnto another? Peraduenture some wil saye: I am compelled to sweare,An ob­iection. for els men that do common with me, or do bye and sell with me, wil not beleue me.An an­swere. To this aunswereth S. Chrisostome, that he that thus sayth, sheweth hym­selfe to be an vniust, and a deceitfull personne: for yf he were a trustie man, and his dedes taken to agree with his wordes, he shoulde not nede to sweare at al. For he that vseth trueth and playnes in hys bar­gaynyng and communication, he shal haue no [...] [...]e [...] by such vaine swearing, to bring himselfe in credēce [Page]with his neighbours, nor his neighbours wyll not mistrust his sayinges. And if hys credence bee soo much lost in dede, yt he thinketh no man wyll beleue him without he sweare, then he maye well thynke hys credence is cleane gone. For truth it is (as The­ophilactus writeth, yt no man is lesse trusted, then he that vseth much to sweare. And almyghty GOD by the wiseman sayth:Eccl, 33 That manne whiche swea­reth much, shalbe ful of sinne, and the scourge of GOD shal not depart from his house.

Another obiectionBut here some men wil say, for excusing of theyr many othes in theyr dayly talke: why shoulde I not sweare, when I sweare truelye? To such men it may be said, that though they sweare truelye, yet in swearing often,An An­swere. vnaduisedly for trifles, without ne­cessitie, and whē they should not sweare, they be not without fault, but do take Gods most holy name in vayne. Much more vngodlye and vnwyse men are they, that abuse Gods most holy name, not onlye in bying and selling of smal thinges daylye in all pla­ces, but also eating, drinking, playing, commoning, and reasoning. As yf none of these thinges myghte be doen, except in doyng of them, the moost [...] holye name of GOD be commonly vsed and abused, [...]aynely, and vnreuerently talked of, sworne by and for sworne, to the breakyng of Gods commaundement, and procurement of hys indygnatyon.

The second part of the Sermon. of swearyng.

YOu haue bene taught in the first part of this sermon agaynst swering & periury what gret daunger it is to vse the name of GOD in vaine. And that al kinde of swearinge is not vnlawefull, neyther agaynst GODS commaundement, and that there be thre thinges required in a lawful oth. Fyrste, that it be made for the maintenaunce of the truth. Second that it be made with iudgemente, not rashlye & vn­aduisedly. Thirdly, for the zeale and loue of iustyce. Ye heard also what commodities cōmeth of lawfull othes: And what daunger cōmeth of rashe & vnlawful othes. Nowe as concerning the rest of the same matter, ye shal vnderstand yt as wel thei vse ye name of god in vaine, that by an oth make laweful promi­ses of good and honest thinges,Lawfull othes and promyses would be better re­garded. and performe them not: as they, which do promise euil and vnlawefull thinges, and doe perfourme the same. Of such men that regard not their godly promyses bounde by an othe, but wittinglye and wilfully breaketh them, we doe reade in holye scrypture two notable punysh­me [...]s. Fyrst,Iosue 9, Iosue and the people of Israel made a league and faythful promise of perpetual amytye and frendship with the Gabaonites: notwithstan­ding, afterward in the dayes of wicked Saule, ma­ny of these Gabaonites were murdered, contrary to yt said faithful promise made. Wherwith almyghtye GOD was so sore dyspleased, that he sent an vniuer­sall hunger, vpon the whole countrye, whiche con­tynued [Page]by the space of three yeres. And god woulde not with draw his punyshment, vntill the sayde of­fence was reuenged by the deathe of .vii. sonnes, or next kinsmen of Kyng Saule.2. Re. xi Also, wher as Sede­chias, kynge of Ierusalem, had promysed fidelytye, to the kynge of Chaldea: afterwarde, when Sede­chias, contrary to hys othe and allegeaunce, dyd re­bel agaynst kinge Nabugodonozor: this Heathen king, by GODS permission and suffraunce inuadinge the land of Iewry, and besieging the cytye of Ieru­salem, compelled the sayd king Sebechias to flee, & in fleeing tooke him priesoner, slewe hys sonnes bee fore hys face, and put out bothe hys eyes, and byn­ding hym with chaynes, led him priesoner miserably into Babylon.

Vnlawful oths and promyses are not to be kepte.Thus doeth GOD shewe playnly, howe much he abhorreth breakers of honeste promises, bounde by an othe made in hys name. And of them that make wicked promises by an othe, and wil perfourme the same: we haue exaumple in the scrypture, chyetly of Herode,Ma. 14 of ye wicked Iewes, and of Iephthath. He­rode promysed by an othe vnto the damosel whyche daunsed beefore hym, to geue vnto her whatsoeuer she shoulde aske: when she was instructed beefore of her wicked mother, to aske the hoade of saynt Iohn Baptyste. Herode as he tooke a wycked othe so he more wyckedly performe the same, & cruellye slewe the most holy Prophete. Lykwise dyd ye malytious Iewes make an othe,Act, 23. cursyng thēselues yf they did eyther eat or drink, vntil they had slaine S. Paule. And Iephthath,Iudie [...] 11. when GOD had geuen to him victo­rye of the chyldrn of Ammon promysed of a foolyshe [Page]deuotion vnto God, to offre for a sacrifice vnto him. that persone, which of his owne house shoulde fyrste meete with him, after his returne home. By force of whiche fonde and vnaduised othe, he did slea hys owne and onely doughter, whiche came oute of hys house, with myrth and ioye, to welcome him home. Thus the promise whiche he made moste foolyshlye to God, against Gods euerlasting will, and the law of nature, most cruelly he performed, so committing agaynst GOD double offence. Therfore, whosoeuer maketh any promise, bynding him selfe thervnto by an othe, let him foresee, that the thing which he pro­miseth bee good, honeste, and not agaynste the com­maundement of GOD, and that it be in his owne power to perfour me it instely. And suche good promy­ses, must all men kepe, euermore assuredly. But yf a man at anye tyme shall, eyther of ignoraunce, or of malyce, promise and sweare to do any thing, whiche is eyther against the lawe of almighty GOD, or not in his power to performe: let hym take it for an vn­lawfull and vngodly othe.

Against & periurye.Nowe something to speake of periury, to the in­tent you should knowe, howe great and greuous an offence againste God this wilfull periury is? I wil shewe you, what it is to take an oth before a Iudge vpon a boke. Fyrst,An othe before & iudge. when they layinge theyr handes vpon the gospel booke, do sweare truelye to inquyre and to make a true presentment of thinges, where­with they be charged, and not to lette from sayinge the trueth, and doyng truely, for fauor, loue, breade, or malyce of any person, as GOD maye helpe theym, and the holy contentes of that booke: They muste [Page]considre, that in that booke is conteyned, Gods euer lasting trueth, his mooste holy and eternall worde, whereby we haue forgeuenesse of our sinnes, and be made inheritoures of Hea [...]en, to lyue for ener, with goddes Angelies and his sainctes, in ioye and glad­nesse. In the gospell booke is conteined also. Gods terrible threates to obstinate synners, that wyll not amende theyr liues, nor beleue the trueth of God his holy worde: and the euerlasting payne prepared in helle, for Idolaters, Hypoerites, for false and vaine swearers, for periured men, for false witnes bearers for false condemners of innocent and gylteles men, and for them, whiche for fauoure hide the crymes of euyll doers, that they shoulde not be punyshed. So that whosoeuer wilfully forsweareth himselfe vpon Christes holy Euangely, they vtterly forsake Gods mercye, goodnesse and trueth, the merites of our sauiour Christes natiuitie, life, passion, death, resurrec­tion, and assention. They refuse the forgeuenesse of synnes, promised to all penitente synners, the ioyes of heauen, the company with Angelles and sainctes for euer. All whiche benefites and comfortes, are promised vnto true christian persons in the gospell.

And they, so being for sworne vpon the gospel, do be take them selfes to the deuilles seruice, the master of all lyes, falshod, deceite, and periurye, prouokynge the great indignation, and curse of God, against thē in this lyfe, and the terrible wrath and iudgemente of our sauior Christ, at ye great day of the last iudge­ment, when he shal iustly iudge both the quicke and the dead, accordynge to theyr woorkes. For whoso­euer forsaketh the trueth, for loue or displeasure of [Page]any man, or for lucre and profite to hym selfe, doeth forsake Christ, and with Iudas betrayeth hym.

Though pe [...]iury [...] do escape here vnespied and vnpuni­shed, it shall not do so euer.And although such periured mennes falshod bee now kept secrete, yet it shalbe opened at the last day when the secretes of all mennes heartes, shalbe ma­nifest to all the worlde. And then the trueth shall ap­peare, and accuse them: and theyr owne conscience, with all the blessed companye of heauen, shall beare witnes truely against them. And Christ the righte­ous iudge, shall then iustly condemne them to euer­lastyng shame and death. This sinne of periurye, al­mightie God by the prophete Malachy, doth threa­ten to punyshe sore, saying vnto the Iewes:Malac. [...] I wyll come to you in iudgement, and I wil be a swift witnes, and a sharpe iudge, vpon sorcerers, adulterers, and periured persons. Which thing to the Prophete Zachary God declareth in a vision,zachar. [...]. wherin the prophete saw a booke fliyng, which was twentye cubi­tes long, and tenne cubites broade, God saying then vnto hym: this is the curse, that shall goe furthe vp­pon the face of the yearth, for falshoode, false swea­rynge, and periurye. And this curse shall entre into the house of the false man, and into the house of the periured man, and it shall remaine in the middeste of his house, and consume hym, the tymbre and sto­nes of his house. Thus you see, how much God doth hate periurye, and what punishment God hath pre­pared for false swearers, and periured persones.

Thus you haue heard, how, and in what causes it is lawfull for a Christian man to sweare: ye haue heard, what properties, and conditions, a lawefull othe must haue, and also howe suche lawefull othes [Page]are bothe godlye, and necessarye to be obserued: ye haue heard, that it is not lawfull to sweare vaynly, (that is) other wayes then in suche causes, and after suche sort, as is declared: and fynally, ye haue heard how damnable a thing it is, eyther to forsweare our selues, or to keepe an vnlawfull and an vnaduised othe. Wherfore let vs earnestly call for grace, that al vayne swearing and periury set a part, we may onely vse suche othes, as bee lawful and god­ly, and that we maye truelye, withoute all fraude, keepe the same, accordinge to Gods will and pleasure. To whom with the sonne and holye ghost, bee all honour and glo­ry.


A Sermon, how daungerous a thinge it is, to sall from God.

OF oure goynge from God,Eu [...]. [...]. the wyse­man sayth, that pryde was the fyrste beginning: for by it mannes hearte was turned from God his maker.

For pride (sayeth he) is the fountaine of all synne, he that hath it, shall be ful of cursinges, and at the ende it shall ouerthrow him. And as by pride and synne we go from God: so shall God and al goodnes with him, go from vs.Ozee. 5. And the prophete Ozee doeth playnly affyrme, yt they which go away stil frō God by vicious liuing, & yet would go aboute to pacyfye him otherwise, by sacrifice, and entertayne hym thereby, they labour in vayne. For, notwithstandinge all theyr sacrifice, yet he goeth stil awaye from them. For so muche (sayth the prophet) as they do not applye theyr myndes to retourne to God, althoughe they goo aboute with whole flockes and heardes to seeke the Lorde: yet they shall not fynde him, for he is gone awaye from them. But as touchinge our turninge to God, or from God: you shal vnderstand, that it may be doen dyuerse waies. Sometimes directlye by ydolatrye, as Israell and Iuda then did: sometimes men go from GOD, by lacke of fayth, and mistrusting of God, wherof Esay speaketh in this wyse: Woe to them that go doune into Egipt, to seke for helpe, trusting in Horses, [...]hauing confidence in the numbre of chariots,Esai. [...]. and [...] ­saunce or power of Horsemen. They haue n [...] [...]dence in the holy god of Israel nor seke for the Lord, [Page]But what foloweth? The Lorde shall let hys hande fall vpon them, and downe shall come, both the hel­per, and he that is holpen. They shalbe destroyed al­together.

Sometyme men go from God, by the neglecting of his commaundementes conceining theyr neygh­bours, which commaundeth them to expresse hartie loue towardes [...]uery man: [...]her. 7. as Zacharye sayde vnto the people in Gods behalfe: Geue true iudgemente. shewe mercye and compassion euery one to his bro­ther: Imagin no deceite towardes widows, or children fatherles & motherles, towardes straunger, or the poore, let no man forge euill in his heart against his brother. But these thynges they passed not of, they turned their backes, and went theyr way, they stopped theyr eares, that they might not heare, they hardened theyr hartes, as an Adamante stone, that they might not listen to the lawe & the wordes, that the Lorde had sente through his holy spirite, by his aunciente Prophetes. Wherefore the Lorde shewed his great indignation vppon them. It came to passe (sayeth the Prophete) euen as I tolde them, as they would not heare, [...], 7, so when they cryed they were not heard, but were scattered into al kingdomes, which they neuer knew, & theyr lande was made, desolate. And to be short al they, that may not abide ye worde of God, but folowyng the perswasions, and stubber ne [...] of theyr owne heartes, go backeward & not for­ward (as it is said in Ieremy) they go & turne away from [...]od. [...]. 7. Insomuche that Origene sayth. He that wt mind to study, with dedes, with thought & care [...]pplieth & geueth himself to gods word, & thinketh [Page]vpon his lawes, day & night, geueth himselfe wholy to God, and in his preceptes and cōmaundementes is exercised: this is he that is turned to God. And onthother part (he saith:) Whosoeuer is occupied with fables & tales when the word of God is re [...]rsed, he is turned from God. Whosoeuer in tyme of readyng Gods worde, is careful in his minde, of worldly vn­sines, of moneye, or of lucre: he is turned from God. Whosoeuer is entangled with ye eares of possessions fylled with couetousenes of ryches whosoeuee stu­dieth for the glory & honor of this worlde, he is tur­ned from God. So that after his mynde, whosoeue [...] hath not a speciall minde to that thinge that is com­maunded or taught of God: be that doth not listen vnto it, embrace & print it in his heart, to the intent that he maye duely fashion his lyfe thereafter, he is playnly turned from GOD; although he doe other thinges of his owne deuotion and minde, whiche to him seme better. & more to gods honor. Which thing to be true, we be taught and admonished in the holy scripture, by the example of King Saule,1, Re, 1 [...]. who being cōmaunded of God by Samuel, that he should kyll all the Amalechites, and destroye them clearly wa [...] theyr goodes & cattels: yet he, beyng moued, parte­ly with pitie, and partly (as he thought) with deuo­tion vnto God, saued Agag the kynge, & all the chief of theyr cattayle, therewith to make sacryfyce vnto God. Wherwithall God beynge dyspleased hyghe­ly, sayd vnto the Prophete Samuel. I repente that euer I made Saule a king, for he hath fors [...]ke [...]ns, and not folowed my wordes, and so be [...] Samuel to shewe hym. And when Samuel as [...] [Page]wherfore (contrary to Goddes worde) he had saued the catell: he excused the matter, partelye by feare, sayinge he durste doe none other, for that the people woulde haue it so: partely, for that they were goodly beastes, he thought GOD woulde be contente, seyng it was done of a good intent and deuotion, to honor God with the sacrysyce of them.

But Samuel, reprouing al suche intentes and deuotions (seme they neuer so much to Gods honour, if they stande not with his worde, wherby we may be assured of his pleasure) sayd in this wyse: would God haue sacrifices and offeringes? Or rather that his worde shoulde be obeyed? To obeye him, is bet­ter then offerynges, and to listen to him, is better the to offre the fat of Rammes: yea, to repugne againsts his voyce, is as euel as the sinne of south saying, and not to agree to it, is lyke abhominable Idolatrye. And now, forasmuche as thou hast caste awaye the worde of the lorde, he hath cast away thee, that thou shouldest not be kynge.

The t [...] [...]i [...]e of God frō [...].By all these examples of holy Scripture, we may knowe, that as we forsake God: so shall he euer for­sake vs. And what miserable state doth consequently and necessarely folow thervpon, a man may ease­ly considre by the terrible thretninges of God. And although he considre not al the sayde miserye, to the vtter most, beynge so great, that it passeth any mans capecitie▪ in this lyfe sufficiently to cōsidre the same: yet he shall sone perceine so muche thereof, that if his heart [...] not more then stony, or harder then the A­damant, he shall feare, tremble and quake, to cal the same to his remembraunce.

Fyrst the displ [...]sure of GOD towardes vs, is com­monly expressed in the scripture, by these two thyn­ges: by shewyng hys fearefull coun [...]ce vpon vs, and by t [...]nyng hys face, or [...]y [...]yng i [...] from [...]. By shewing his dreadfull coun [...]ince, is signi [...] ­ed hys great wrath: but by tu [...]nying hys lace or hi­ding therof, is many times more signified, th [...] is [...] saye: that he cleare lye forsaketh vs▪ and ge [...]th vs ouer. The which signifie mions be taken of the pro­perties of mens maners: For men to wordes them whom they fauor, commonly beare a good, a the [...]e­ful, and a louing countenaunce: s [...]o that by the fac [...] or countenaunce of a man, it doeth commonsye ap­peare, what will or mind he bereth to w [...]des other▪ So, whē GOD doth thew his dr [...]adful [...]o [...]n [...]e [...] free towardes vs, that is to saye, doth [...]end d [...]dfull pla­gues; of sweord, famine, or pestil [...]ce vpon bs, it ap­peareth that he is greatly wroth with vs. But whē he withdraweth from vs his worde, the ryghte doc­ [...]e of CHRIST, his gracious a flystonce and ayde, (which is euer ioyned to hys word) [...]d leaueth vs to our owne wit, our owne wil and strengthe he de­clareth then▪ that he beginneth to forsake vs. For wher as GOD hath shewed to al them that truely be­leue his gospel, his shoe of mercy in IESVS [...]CARE [...]. whiche doeth so lighten theyr heartes, that they [...] they behold it, as they ought to doo [...]be te [...]so [...]lied whis Image, be made partakers of the hea [...]ilye light, and of his holye spirite, and bee sasbyoned to him, in al goodnes requisite to the chyldren of clo [...] so, yf they after doe neglecte the same, yf the [...] [...]nkefull vnto hym, yf they ordre not they, [...] [Page]accordinge to his example and doctryne, and to the set [...]inge lurth of his glory, he will take awaye from them his kingd [...]e, his holy word, wherby he shoulde reigne in thē ▪ because they bring not furthe ye fruyte therof, that he lo [...]e [...] for. Neuertheles, he is so mer­ciful, & of so long s [...]eraunce, that he doth not shewe vpon vs, that great wrath sodainly. But when we begin [...]o shrinke from his worde, not beleuing it, or not expressing it in our liuinges fyrst he dothe send his messengers that truepr eachers of hys worde▪ to admonishe vs of our du [...]tie that as he for his part. for the greate loue he bare vnto vs, delyuered hys owne sonne to suffre deathe, that we by hys deathe might be deliuered from death, and be restored to yt life [...] euermore to dwell with hym, and to be partake [...]s and inheritours with him, of his euerla­stynge glorye and kingdome of heauen: so againe, that w [...]for our partes, should walke in a godly lyfe, as becammeth his children to doo. And if this wyll not serue, but still we remaine disobediente to hys woorde, and wil, not knowing him, not louing him, not fearing him, not putting our whole trust & con­fidence in him, and on the other side, to our neygh­bours▪ behauing vs vncharitably, by disdaine, enuy, malice, or by committing murther, robbery, adulte­ry glutteny, deceit lying, swearing, or other like detestable workes▪ and vngodlye behauiour: then he threatneth vs by terrible comminacions, swerynge in great angre,Hob [...].4. Psa. 25. that whosoeuer doth these workes, shal [...]er entre into his rest, which is the kingdom [...].

The second part of the Sermon of fallynge from GOD.

IN the former parte of this sermon, ye haue learned how many mau [...] of wayes men [...] from GOD so [...]s by Idola [...]y, so [...] lacke of faith some by the negl [...]ynge of their neyghbors, some by n [...] heatynge of Gods word, some by the [...] they take in the vanities of wordly things. M [...]h [...]e also lea [...]tied in what mise [...]peth at man is, whiche [...] gone from God. And how that God yet of his infy­nite goodnes to call agayn man from that his my­sery vseth fyrst tentle admonitions by hys pr [...]chor [...]) after he layeth on terrible th [...]eat [...]ynges [...] owe yf thys gentle menye you and commynation to gether do not secu [...], than GOD wyll shewe his [...] [...] ̄ ­tenannce vppon vs, he wyll powre in [...]ollerable plagues vpon oure heades, and after he wyll take awaye from vs, all hys ayde and [...]ssyste [...], where­wyth before he dyd defen [...] vs, from all se [...] he ma­ner of [...]alamitie: As the Euan gelycal Prophete E­say,Esay. 5. agreing with CHRISTES pata [...], doth teathe vs, saying:Mat. 21. That GOD had made a goodly viney ar [...] for his belourd children: he hedged it, he w [...]lse [...] i [...] found about, he planted it with chosen vynes, and made a turret in the middes therof, & therein [...] wyne presse. And when he [...]o [...]ied that i [...] [...]ould [...] hym furth good grapes it brought furth w [...]l [...] [...] [...] ­pes and after it foloweth: Nowe shall I she [...] (saith GOD) what I wyl do with my vine [...] shil p [...]nck down ye hedges, that it tha [...] yet [...] [Page]breake downe the walles, that it may be troden vn­der foote: I wyll let it lye wast, it shal not be cutte, it shall not [...]igged, put briers and thornes shall o­ [...]gue we it, and I shall commaunde the cloudes that they shall [...] mayne vpon it.

My these that arminges ho [...] are monyshed, that if we which are thechosen vineyarde of GOD, brynge not furth good grapes; that is to say, good workes that may be de [...]ot [...]bl [...] and pleas [...]unt in his sight, whē he [...]heath for the [...] when he sendeth his [...]essengers to c [...]l vpon vs for them but rather bring forth wylde grapes, that is to saye, sower workes, vnswete, vn­sauery, and vns [...] ful [...]thē wil he pluck away al de­fence, [...]suffre greuous plages of famine & bartayll, dearth & death, to light vpō vs Finally, if these doo not yet serue, he wil let vs lie wast, he wyll geue vs ouer, he wil turne away from vs, he wil dig & delue no more about vs, he will let vs alone, & suffer vs to bring furth, euen such fruit as we wil: to bring forth brābles, h [...]ers & thornes, al naughtynes, al vyce, & that so aboūdantly, that they shal cleane ouer growe vs suffocate, strangle, & vtterly destroy vs. But they that in this w [...]ld, liue not after GOD (but after the [...] own carnal liberty) perceiue not this great wrathe of God to wards them, yt he wil not digge, nor delue any more about them, yt he doth let them alone euē to themselues. But they take this for a great bene­f [...] [...] GOD to haue al their owne, libertie & so they like as carnal libertie were the true libertie of ye gos­pel. But GOD forbidde (good people) that euer we shulddesyre such libertie. For although GOD suffer so [...] [...] the wicked to haue their pleasure in this [Page]world: yet the ende of vngodly liuing is at lengthe eternal destructiō.Mu. 11. The murmuring Israelites had that they longed for, they had quayles enough, yea, tyl they were wery of them. But what was the end thereof. Their swete meate had soure sauce: euen whyles the meate was in their mouthes, the plage of GOD lighted vpon them, and sodainly they dyed. So, if we liue vngodly, & GOD suffereth vs to folow oure owne willes, to haue our owne delightes and pleasures, and correcteth vs not with some plage: it is no doubt, but he is almost vtterlye dyspleased with vs. And although it bee long or he stryke, yet manye tymes, when he stryketh suche personnes, he striketh them at once, for euer. So yt when he doth not strike vs, when he ceaseth to afflict vs to punish or beat [...] vs, & suffereth vs to runne headlonges into all vngodlines, and pleasures of thys worlde that we delite in, wout punishmente & aduersitie, it is a dredful token yt he loueth vs no lēger, that he careth no lēger for vs, but hath geuē vs ouer, to our owne selues. As long as a mā doth proyne his vines, doth digge at the rootes, and doeth lay freshe yearth to them, he hath a mynde to them, he percepueth some token of fruitfulnes that may be recouered in thē: but when he wil bestow no more suche cost and la­bor about them, then it is a signe that he thynketh they wil neuer be good. And the father, as long as be loueth his child, he loketh angerly, he correcteth him when he doeth amysse: but when that serueth not, & vpon that he ceaseth from correccion of hym, and suffereth him to do what he list himselfe, it is a signe that he intendeth to disinherite hym, & to cast [Page]him a way for euer. So surely, nothing should perce our heart so sore, and put vs in suche horrible feare, as when we knowe in our conscience, that we haue grieuously offended GOD, and do so continue, & that yet he striketh not, but quietlye suffereth vs in the naughtines that we haue delight in. Then specyal­ly it is time to crye, & to cry againe, as Dauid dyd: Cast me not away from thi face,Psal. 51 Psal. 29 and take not a way thy holy spirit frō me. LORDE turne not awaye thy face fcomme, cast not thy seruaunt away in displea­sure. Hide not thy face from me,Psal. 1.42. least I be like vnto thē that go down to hel. The which lamētable prai­ers of him, as they do certify vs, what hor [...]ible daū ­ger they be in, frō whom GOD turneth his face (for ye time, & as long as he so doth:) so shoulde they moue vs to crye vpon GOD with al our heart, that we m [...] not bee brought into that state, which doubtles is so sorowful, so miserable, & so dreadful, as noo tounge can sufficiently expresse, or any heart can thynke.

For what deadly greif may a man suppose it is to be vnder the wrath of GOD to be forsaken of hym to haue his holy spirite the authoure of all goodnes, to be taken from him, to be brought to so vile a condy­tion, that he shalbe lefte mete for no better purpose, then to be for euer condemned to hell. For not onely suche places of Dauid do shewe, that vpon the tur­nyng of GODS face from anyr persons, they shalbe left bare from al goodnes; & farre from hope of re­medy: but also the place recited last before of Esay, doeth meane the same, which she weth, yt GOD at len­gth doth so forsake his vnfruitful vineyard, yt he wyl not onely suffre it to bryng furth wedes, briers, and [Page]thornes, but also, further to punyshe the vnfruitful­nes of it, he faith he wil not cut it, he wil not delue it, and he wil commaund the cloudes, that they shall not raine vpon it, wherby is signified, the teachinge of his holy word: which S. Paule, after a lyke ma­ner, expresseth by planting and watering, meaning that he wylcake that away from thē. So that they shalbe no lenger of his kingdome, they shalbe no lei­ger gouerned by his holy spirites they shalbe frustrated of the grace and benefites that they hadde, and tuer mighte haue enioyed throughe Christe. They shalbe depriued of the heauenly light, and life which they had in Chryst, whiles they abode in him. They shalbe, (as they were once) as men without GOD in this world, or rather in woorse takynge. And to be short, they shalbe geuen into the power of the deuyl, which beareth the rule in al thē, that be cast awaye from GOD, as be dyd in Saul, & Iudas, and gene­rally in al suche, as worke after their owne wylles,1. Re 25. the children of diffidence and infidelitie.

Let vs beware therefore (good christyan people) lest that we, reiecting GODS woord, (by the whyche we obteine and reteine true faith in GOD) be not at length cast of so farre, that we become as ye chyldren of infidelitie, which be of two sortes, farre dyuerse, yea almost cleane contrary, and yet both bee verye farre from returning to GOD. The one forte, onelye waying their sinful & detestable liuing, with ye right iudgment & straightnes of GODS righteousenes, be so destitute of counsail, and be so comfortles, (as all they must nedes be, from whom the spirite of coun­sayl and comfort is gone) that they will not be per­swaded [Page]in their hertes, but that either GOD cannot or els that he wil not take them agayne to his fauor and mercye. The other. hearyng the louing & large promises of GODS mercye, and so not concei [...]nge a right faith therof, make those promises larger, then euer GOD did: trusting that although they cōtinue in their sinful and detestable liuinge neuer so longe, yet that GOD at the ende of their lyte, wil shewe hys mercy vpon them, and that then, they wil returne. And doth these two fortes of men,Eze. 18. and. 33. de in a dawnable state: and yet neuer thelesse, GOD (who willeth not the deth of the wicked) hath shewed meanes, wher­by both the same (if they take hede in season may es­cape.A gaynst desperation. The fyrst, as they doe dread GODS rightefull iustice in punishing sinners: (wherby they shuld be dismaid and shuld despayre indeoe, as touching any hope that may be in themselues) soo if they woulde constantly beleue, that GODS mercy is the remedye appoynted agaynst such despayre and distrust, not onely for them but generally for al that be forye and truely repentant, & wil therwithall sticke to GODS mercy, they may be sure they shal obtein mercy, and enter into the porte or hauen of sauegarde, into the which whosoeuer doth come, be they defore time neuer so wicked, they shalbe oute of daunger of euer­lasting damnation,Eze. 33. as GOD by Ezechiel saith: what time soeuer the wicked doth returne, & take earnest and true repentaūce. I wil forget al his wickednes.

Agaynste presump­tyon.The other, as they be ready to beleue GODS pro­mises so they shuld be as ready to beleue the threat­ninges of GOD: aswel they should beleue the lawe as the gospell: aswell that there is an bel and euer­lasting [Page]fyre, as that there is an heauen, and euerla­stynge ioye, aswel they should beleue damnation to be threatened to the wicked and euill doers, as sal­uation to be promysed to the faythful in worde and workes: aswell they should beleue God to be true, in the one, as in the other. And the sinners that con­tinue in theyr wicked lyuyng, ought to thynke▪ that the promises of Goddes mercy and the Gospel, per­teyne not vnto them, beynge in that state: but onely the lawe, and those scriptures, whiche conteine the wrathe, and indignation of GOD, and his threate­ninges, whiche should certifie them, that as they do ouer boldely presume of GODS mercye, & liue disso­lutely: so doth GOD [...]tyl more and more withdrawe his mercy from them, and he is so prouoked therby to wrathe at lengthe, that he destroieth suche presu­mers many tymes soday [...]lye. For of suche Saynct Paule sayde thus: when they shall saye it is peace,1. Cess. 5 there is no daunger▪ then shall sodaine destruction come vpon them. Let vs beware therefore, of suche naughtye boldenesse to synne: for GOD, which hath promysed his mercy to them that bee truely repen­taunte, (althoughe it be at the latter ende) hath not promised to the presumtuous sinner, eyther that he shal haue longe lyfe, or that he shal haue true repen­taunce at the laste ende. But for that purpose hath he made euerye mannes death vncertaine, that he should not put his hope in thende, and in the meane season (to GODS hyghe displeasure) lyue vngodlye. Wherfore, let vs folowe the counsayle of the Wyse­man: let vs make no tarying to turne vnto the lord: let vs not put of, from day to daye, for so daynly shall [Page]hys wrath come▪ and in tyme of veng [...]nce he wyll destroy the wicked. Let vs therfore turne betymes: and whē we turne, [...]se. 14, let vs praye to GOD, as Dze [...] teacheth, saying: Forgeue vs al our sines▪ receiue vs graciouslye. And if we turne to him, with an hum­ble & a very penitent heart, he wyl receiue vs to hys fauour and grace, for hys holye names sake, for hys promyse sake, for his trueth and mercyes sake, pro­mised to all faythful beleuers in Iesus Christe, his onely naturall sonne. To whom the on­ly sauiour of the worlde, with the fa­ther and the holy ghoste, bee all honour, glory, and power, worlde without ende. Amen.

An exhortation agaynste the feare of death.

IT is not to be merueiled, that world­lye men doe feare to dye: For death depryueth theim of all worldlye ho­nours, ryches, and possessions, in the fruition whereof, the worldely man counteth hym self happy, so longe as he maye enioye theim at his owne pleasure, and o­therwise, if he be dispossessed of the same, withoute hope of recou [...]rye, then he can none other thinke of him self, but that he is vnhappy▪ because he hath lost his worldlye ioye and pleasure. Alas thinketh this carnall man, shall I nowe depart for euer, frō al my honours, al my treasure, from my country, frendes, riches, possessions, and worldlye pleasures, whiche are my ioye and heartes delyghte? Alas that euer that daye shall come, when all these I muste bydd [...] fare well at once, and neuer to enioye anye of them after. Wherefore it is not withoute great cause spo­ken of the Wise man: O death, howe bytter & sower is the remembraunce of thee, to a man that liueth in peace, and prosperytie in his substaunce,Ecct. 41. to a man li­uinge at ease, leadyng his lyse after hys owne mind withoute trouble, and is there withall well pampe­red and fedde? There be other menne, whome thys worlde doth not so greatly [...] laugh vpon▪ but rather bere and oppresse with pouertie, syckenesse, or some other aduersitie, yet they doo feare death, partely [...] because the fleshe abhorreth naturally his owne so­rowfull dissolution, whiche death doth threaten vn­to them, and partelye, by reason of such [...]sses, and [Page]payneful diseases, whiche be moste stronge panges and agonies in the flesh, and vse commonly to come to sycke men before death, or at the leaste, accompa­ny death, whensoeuer it commeth.

Although these two causes seme great & weigh­ty to a worldly man, wherupon he is moued to fear death, yet there is another cause much greater then ani of these afore rehersed, for which in dede, he hath iust cause to feare death, and that is, the state & con­dition wherunto at the laste ende, death bringeth al them that haue theyr heartes fixed vpō this world, without repentance and amendment. This state & condition, is called the second death, whiche vnto al such, shall insue after this bodely death. And this is that death, which in dede ought to be dred & feared: for it is an euerlasting losse without remedy, of the grate and fauour of GOD, and of euerlastynge ioye, pleasure, and felicitie. And it is not only the losse for euer of all these eternall pleasures, but also it is the condemnation, both of body and soule, (without ey­ther appellation, or hope of redemption) vnto euer­lastynge paynes in hell. Vnto this state death sente the vnmerciful and vngodly ryche man (that Luke speaketh of in his gospel,Luk, 16,) who liuinge in al wealthe and pleasure in this worlde, and cheryshing himself daylye with dayntye fare, and gorgeous apparell, despysed poore Lazarus, that laye pitifullye at his gate, myserably plagued, and full of soores, and also greuously pyned with hunger.

Both these two were arrested of death, whyche sent Lazarus the poore miserable man, by aungels anone vnto Abrahams bosome: a place of rest, plea­sure [Page]and consolation. But the vnmerciful riche man descended doune into hel, & beinge in tormentes, he cried for comforte, complaininge of the intollerable payne that he suffered in ye flame of fyre, but it was to late. So vnto this place, bodely death sendeth all them, that in this worlde haue theyr ioye & felycitie: al thē, that in this worlde be vnfaythfull vnto GOD, and vncharitable vnto their neighbours, so dyinge without repentaunce, and hope of GODS mercye. Wherefore it is no meruayle, that the worldly man feareth death, for he hath much more cause so to do, then he hym selfe doeth consydre.

The firstThus we se thre causes, why worldly men feare [...]eathe. One, beecause they shall lose thereby theyr worldely honoures, riches, possessions, and all theyr heartes desyres: Another,Seconde because of the paynefull diseases, and bitter pangues, which commonly men suffre, eyther before, or at the time of death: but the chiefe cause, aboue al other,Thyrde. is the dreade of the my­serable state, of eternal damnation both of body and soule, which they feare shal folow, after theyr departing out of ye worldly pleasures of this present lyfe.

For these causes be al mortal men, (which be ge­uen to the loue of this world) both in feare, & state of death, through sin (as the holy Apostle saith) so long as they liue here in this worlde.He [...]. [...] But (euerlastynge thankes bee to almyghtye God for euer) there is ne­uer one of al these causes, no nor yet they altogether that can make a true Christian man altayde to dye (which is ye very membre of CHRIST, 1 Co [...]. [...] the [...] of the holy gost, the son of God, & the very inherit ours of the euerlasting kingdom of heauen:) but play [...] [Page]contrary, be conceiueth great and many causes, vn­doubtedlye grounded vpon the infallible and euer­lastynge trueth of the worde of GOD, whiche moue him, not only to put away the feare of bodely death, but also for the manyfolde benefyttes and synguler commodities, which ensue vnto euerye faythful person, by reason of the same, to wyshe, desyre, and long heartely for it. For death shall be to hym no death at al, but a very deliueraunce from death, frō al paines cares, and sorowes, myseries, and wretchednesse of this worlde, and the very entry into reste, and a be­gynnyng of euerlasting ioye, a tastyng of heauenlye pleasures, so greate, that neither toungue is able to expresse, neither eye to see, nor eare to heare them: no nor for any earthly mans hearte to conceiue theim. So exceding greate benefites they be, whiche God oure heauenly father by his mere mercy, and for the loue of his sonne IESVS CHRIST, hath layed vp in store, and prepared for them, that humbly submytte them selues to Gods wil, and euer more vnfaynedly loue hym, from the botome of theyr heartes. And we ought to beleue, that death being slayne by CHRIST cannot kepe any manne, that stedfastlye trusteth in CHRISTE, vnder his perpetual tiranny & subiectiō, but that he shall ryse from death agayne vnto glory at the laste daye, appoynted by almighty God: lyke as CHRISTE our head, dyd ryse agayne, accordynge to Gods appointement the thyrde daye. For saynete Augustine sayth: The head goyng before, the membres trust to folowe, and come after. And S. Pauls sayeth: if Christe be rysen from the deade, wee shall ryse also from the same. And to comfort all Christen [Page]persones herein, holy Scripture calleth this bodely death a slepe, wherin mans senses be (as it were) taken from hym for a season, & yet when he awaketh, he is more freshe, then he was when he went to bed: So, although wee haue our soules seperated frome our bodyes for a season, yet at the generall resurrec­tion, we shalbe more freshe, beautifull and perfecte, then we be now. For now we be mortal, thē we shal be immortall, now infecte with diuerse infirmities, then clearely voide of all mortall infyrmities: nowe we be subiecte to al carnall desyres, then we shalbe all spirituall, desyring nothing but Gods glory, and thinges eternal. Thus is this bodely death, a doore or entring vnto life, & therefore not so muche dread­ful, (if it be rightly considered) as it is comfortable, not a mischief, but a remedy of al mischief, no enemy but a frend, not a cruel tyraunte, but a gentle guide, leadinge vs, not to mortalitie but to immortalytye, not to sorowe and payne, but to ioye and pleasure, and that to endure for euer, if it be thankfully taken and accepted, as gods messenger, & pacientlye borne of vs, for Christes loue, that suffered moste payneful death, for oure loue, to redeme vs from death eter­nall. Accordynge herunto, Sayncte Paule sayeth, oure lyfe is hid with Christe in God,Rom, [...] but when oure lyfe shall appeare, then shal we also appere with him in glory. Why then shal we feare to die? considering the manifold, and comfortable promises of the gos­pel, & of holye scriptures.Iohn. 6 God the father hath geuen vs euerlasting lyfe, (sayth S. Iohn) and this lyfe is in his sonne, he that hath the sonne, hath lyfe, and he that hath not ye son, hath not life. And t [...] I wr [...] [Page](sayeth S. Iohn) to you,Iohn. 6 that beleue in the name of the sonne of God, that you may know that you haue euerlastinge lyfe, and that you doe beleue vpon the name of the sonne of God. And our sauiour CHRISTE sayth: he that beleueth in me, hath lyfe euerlastynge, and I wyll rayse him from death to life,Iohn, 6 at the laste daye.1, Cor. 1, S. Paule also sayth, that CHRISTE is ordey­ned and made of God, our righteousnes, oure holy­nes and redemption, to the intente that he whyche will glory, should glory in the LORDE. S. Paul did contemne, and set litle by al other thinges, esteming them as dunge whiche before he had in very greate pryce, that he might be founde in CHRIST, to haue euerlastinge life, true holynes, righteousnes and re­demption. Finallye S. Paule maketh a playne ar­gument in this wyse:Cellos, 3 If our heauenly father would not spare his owne natural sonne, but dyd geue him to deathe for vs: howe can it be, that with hym he should not geue vs all thinges? Therfore yf we haue CHRIST, then haue we with hym, and by hym, all good thinges whatsoeuer we canne in oure heartes wysh or desyre: as victory ouer death, synne and hel: we haue the fauoure of God, peace with hym, holinesse, wysedome, iustice, power, lyfe and redemption: we haue by hym perpetuall health, wealth ioye and blisse euerlastinge.

¶ The seconde part of the [...] of the feare of death.

IT hath ben heretofore she wed you, that there be three causes wherfore men do cōmonly feare death. Fyrst, the sorowful departing from worldly goods & pleasure. The second, the feare of the panges & paynes that come with death. Last and principall cause is, the horrible feare of extreme miserie, & perpetual damnacion in time to come. And yet none of these thre causes troubleth good men, because they staye thē selues by true fayth, perfit charitie, & sure hope of the endelesse ioy and blisse euerlastyng.

Al those therfore, haue gret cause to be ful of ioy that be ioyned to Christe with true faith, stedfaste hope, & perfect charitie, & not to fere death nor euer lasting dānation. For death cannot depriue thē of Iesu Christ, nor any sinne can condemne thē that are graffed surely in him, which is their only ioy, treasure, & lyfe. Let vs repent our sinnes, amende our liues, trust in his mercy & satisfactiō, & death can neither take hym from vs, nor vs from hym. For thē (as s. Paule saith) whether we liue or dye, we be the lordes owne. And again he saith:Rom. xiiii Christ did die & rose againe, because he shuld be lord, both of the dead & quicke. Thē if we be the lordes owne when we be dead, it must nedes folow that such tē porall death, not only cannot harme vs, but also, yt it shal much be to our profite, & ioyne vs vnto god more perfectly. And therof the Christiā heart may surely be certified by the infallible or vnde [...] ­ble trueth of holy scripture. It is God [...] Paul) which hath prepared vs vnto [...] [Page]& the same is he which hath geuen vs an earnesse of the spirite. Therfore let vs be alwayes of good comfort, for we know: that so long as we be in the body, we be (as it were) farre frō god in a strange countrey, subiect to many perilles, walking with out perfect syght, & knowledge of almighty God, onely seing him by faith in holy scriptures. But we haue a courage & desire rather to bee at home with God & our sauiour Christ, farre from the bo­dy, where we may beholde his God head, as he is, face to face, to our euerlastyng comforte. These be S. Paules wordes in effect,Pebre. xiii wherby we may per­ceiue, that the life in this world, is resēbled & lyke­ned to a pilgrimage, in a straunge countrey, farre from god: & that death deliuering vs from our bo­dyes, doth sende vs straight home into our owne countrey, & maketh vs to dwel presently with god for euer, in euerlasting rest & quietnes. So that to dye is no losse, but profite & winninge to all true christen people. What loste the thiefe yt hanged on ye crosse with Christ, by his bodely death? yea, how much dyd he gayne by it?Luk. xxiii Did not our sauiour say vnto him: this day thou shalt be with me in Para dise? And Lazarus that pitifull person, that laye before the riche mans gate,Luke .xvi. payned with sores, & pyned with hunger? dyd not death hyghly prosite and promote hym? Which by the ministery of An­gels, sent hym vnto Abrahams bosome, a place of rest, ioy and heauenly consolation. Let vs thinke none other (good Christen people) but Christ hath prepared and made ready before the same ioy and felicitie for vs, that he prepared for Lazarus & the thiefe. Wherfore, let vs sticke vnto his saluation [Page]and gracious redemptiō: & beleue his word, serue him from our heartes, loue & obey him, & whatso­euer we haue done heretofore cōtrary to his moste holy Wyl, now let vs repent in tyme, & heareafter study to correct our lyfe: & doubt not, but we shall fynd him as merciful vnto vs, as he was eyther to Lazarus, or to the thiefe whose examples ar writtē in holy seripture, for the comfort of thē that be sinners, & subiect to sorowes, miseries, & calami­ties in this world, that they shuld not dispayre in gods mercy, but euer trust therby to haue forgeuenes of their sinnes & life euerl [...]sting, as Lazarus & the thiefe hadde. Thus I trust euery christen mā perceiueth by the infaflible or vndeceauable word of God, yt bodely death cannot harme nor hynder thē that truly beleue in Christ, but contrary shall profite & promote the christen soules, which being truely penitent for their offences, depart hence in perfect charitie, & in sure trust, that God is merci­full to thē, forgeuing theyr sinnes, for the merites of Iesus Christ his onely naturall sonne.

The seconde cause why some do feare death,The secōd cause why some do fere death is fore sickenes, and greuous paynes, which partely come before death, & partly accōpanieth or cometh with death whensoeuer it commeth. This feare, is the feare of the frayle fleshe, and a naturall pas­sion, belongyng vnto the nature of a mortal man. But true faith in Gods promises, and regarde of the paynes & panges, which Christ vpon the crosse suffered for vs miserable sinners, with considera­cion of the ioye & euerlastynge lyfe to come in hea­uē, wil mitigate & asswage lesse those paines, & moderate or bryng into a meane this feare, yt it shall [Page]neuer be able to ouerthrowe the heartye desyre, & gladnes, ye the Christian soule hath to be seperated frō this corrupt body, that it may come to the gra­cious presence of our sauiour Iesus Christ. If we beleue stedfastly the word of god, we shal perceyue that such bodely sicknes, panges of death, or what soeuer dolorous paynes we suffer, eyther before or with death, be nothing els in christen men but the rodde of our heauenly & louyng father, wherwith he mercifully correcteth vs, eyther to trye and de­clare the faith of his pacient children, yt they may be found laudable, glorious, and honorable in his sight, when Iesus Christ shalbe openly shewed, to be the iudge of all the world: or els to chastice and amende in thē, whatsoeuer offendeth his fatherly & gracious goodnes, least they should perishe euer­lastingly. And this his correcting rod, is common to all them that be truely his. Therfore let vs caste away the burden of sinne, yt lyeth to heauy in our neckes, and returne vnto God by true penaunce, & amendement of our liues. Lette vs with pacience runne this course that is appoynted, suffering (for his sake that dyed for our saluacion) all sorowes & panges of death, and death it selfe ioyfully, when God sendeth it to vs, hauyng our eyes fyred & set fast euer vpon the head & captaine of our faith, Iesus Christ: Who (considering the ioy that he shulde come vnto) cared neither for the shame, nor payne of death, but wyllyngly conforming and framyng his wyll to his fathers wyll, most paciently suffe­red the most shamefull and paynefull death of the crosse,Phil. ii. beinge innocent and harmelesse. And nowe therfore he is exalted in heauen, & euerlastynglye [Page]sitteth on the right hand of the throne of God the father. Lette vs call to our remembraunce there­fore, the lyfe and ioyes of heauen, that are kept for all them that paciently do suffer here with Christ: and consydre that Christ suffered all his paynefull passion by sinners, and for synners: and then we shall with pacience, and the more easelye, suffer such sorowes and paynes, when they come. Let vs not set at lyght the chastysynge of the Lorde, nor grudge at hym, nor fall from hym, when of hym we be corrected: for the Lorde loueth them whom he doeth correcte, and beateth euery one whom he taketh to be his childe. What chylde is that (sayth Saint Paule) whom the father loueth,Hebr [...]. xii. and doeth not chastice? If ye be without Goddes correction, (which al his welbeloued and true children haue) then be you but bastardes smally regarged of god, and not his true chyldren.

Therfore, seing that when we haue in earth our carnall fathers to be our correctours, we do feare them, and reuerentlye take theyr correction, shall we not muche more be in subiection to God oure spirituall father, by whom we shall haue euerla­styng lyfe? And our carnal fathers sometyme cor­rect vs, euen as pleaseth them without cause: but this father iustelye correcteth vs, either for oure sinne, to the intent we shoulde amende, or for our commoditie and wealth, to make vs therby part­takers of his holynesse. Furthermore, all correctiō which God sendeth vs in this presēt tyme, semeth to haue no ioy and comfort, but sorowe & payne: yet it bryngeth with it a taste of Gods mercy and goodnesse towardes them that be so corrected, and [Page]a sure hope of gods euerlastyng consolatiō in hea­uen. If then these sorowes, diseases & sickenesses, and also death it selfe, be nothing els but our hea­uenlye fathers rod, wherby he certitieth vs of his loue & gracious fauour, wherby he trieth and pu­rifieth vs, wherby he geueth vnto vs holynes, and certifieth vs that we be his children, & he our mercifull father: shall not we then, withall humilitie, as obedient & louyng children, ioyfully kysse oure heauenly fathers rod, and euer say in our hearte, with our sauiour Iesus Christ? Father, if this an­guishe and sorowe which I fele, & death which I se approche,Mat. xxvi maye not passe, but that thy wyll is that I must suffer them, thy wyll be done.

¶ The thyrde part of the Sermon of the feare of death.

IN this Sermon agaynste the feare of death, twoo causes were decla­red, which commonly moue world­ly men to be in much feare to dye, & yet the same do nothynge trouble the faithfull and good lyuers, when death commeth, but rather geueth them occasion greatly to reioyce, considering that they shalbe de­lyuered from the sorow and miserie of this world, and be brought to the great ioy and felicitie of the lyfe to come.The third cause why death is to be fea­red. Nowe the thyrde and speciall cause, why death in dede is to be feared, is the miserable state of the worldly & vngodly people, after theyr death. But this is no cause at all, why the God­ly and faythfull people should feare death: but ra­ther contrarywyse, theyr Godly conuersation in [Page]this lyfe & beliefe in Christ, cleauyng continually to his merites, should make thē to long sore after that lyfe, that remaineth for them vndoubtedly after this bodely death. Of this immortall state, af­ter this transitory lyfe where we shall lyue euer­more, in the presens of God, in ioy and reste, after victory ouer all sickenesse, sorowes, sinne, & death: there be many, both playne places of holye scrip­ture, which confirme the weake cōscience againste the feare of al such dolours, sickenesses, sinne, and bodely death, to asswage such tremblyng and vn­godly feare, and to encorage vs with comfort and hope of a blessed [...]ate after this lyfe.Ephe. i. Saint Paule wisheth vnto the Ephesians, that God the father of glory woulde geue vnto them the spirite of wis­dome & reuelation, that the eyes of theyr heartes myght geue lyght to knowe hym, and to perceiue howe great thynges he had called them vnto, and howe riche inheritaunce he hath prepared after this lyfe, for them that perteyne vnto hym.Philip. i. And Saint Paule hym selfe declareth the defyre of his heart, which was to be dissolued and loosed from his body, and to be with Christ: which (as he said) was muche better for hym, although to them it was more necessary, that he shoulde lyue, whiche he refused not, for theyr sakes. Euen lyke as saint Martin sayde: Good Lorde, yf I be necessary for thy people to do good vnto them, I wyll refuse no labour: but els for mine owne selfe, I besech thee to take my soule.

Now, the holy fathers of the olde lawe, and all faithfull & righteous men, which departed before our sauiour Christes ascention into heauē, dyd by [Page]death depart from troubles vnto rest, frō the han­des of their enemies into the handes of God, from sorowes and sickenesses vnto ioyful refreshing in­to Abrahams bosome, a place of all comforte and consolation,Sapi. iii. as scriptures do plainely by manifest wordes testifie. The boke of wisedome saith: that the righteous mens soules be in the hand of god, and no torment shal touche them. They seemed to the eyes of folishe men to dye, and theyr death was counted miserable, and theyr departynge out of this worlde wretched, but they be in reste. And an other place saith: that the righteous shall lyue for euer, & theyr rewarde is with the lorde, & theyr myndes be with god who is aboue all. Therefore they shall receiue a glorious kyngdome, & a beaw­tiful crowne,Sapi. iiii. at the Lordes hand. And in an other place the same boke saith: the righteous, thought he be preuented with sodaine death, neuerthelesse he shalbe there, where he shalbe refreshed. Of A­brahams bosome, Chrystes wordes be so playne, that a christian man nedeth no more profe of it. Nowe then, if this were the state of the holye fa­thers and righteous men, before the commyng of our sauiour, & before he was glorified: how much more then ought all we to haue a stedfast faith, & a sure hope of this blessed state and condicion, af­ter our death? Seing that our sauiour nowe hath perfourmed the whole worke of our redemption, and is gloriouslye ascended into heauen, to pre­pare our dwellyng places with hym,Ioh. xvii. and sayd vn­to his father: Father, I wyll that where I am, my seruauntes shalbe with me. And we knowe that whatsoeuer Christ wyll, his father wyll the same [Page]wherefore it cannot be, but if we be his faithful ser­nauntes, oure soules shalbe with him, after our de­parting out of this present life. Sainct Stephin, when he was stoned to death, euen in the middest of his tormentes, what was his minde moste vpon? When he was ful of the holy gost,Ac [...]. v [...] (saieth holy scrip­ture) hauing his eies lifted vp into heauen, he sawe the glory of god, and Iesus standinge on the righte hande of god. The whiche trueth, after he had con­fessed boldly before the enemies of Christ, they drew him out of the citie, and there they stoned him, who cried vnto God, sayinge: Lorde Iesu Christe, take my spirite. And doeth not our sauiour say playnly in S. Iohns gospel? Verely, verely, I say vnto you, he that heareth my worde and beleueth on him that sēt me, hath euerlasting life, & cummeth not into iudge­ment,Iohn .v. but shal passe from death to life. Shal we not then thinke that death to be precious, by the whiche we passe vnto life?

Therefore it is a true saying of the Prophete: the death of the holy and righteous men, [...] cxvi is precious in the lordes sight. Holy Simeon, after that he had his heartes desier in seing our sauiour that he euer lon­ged for al his life, he embraced or toke him in his ar­mes, and said: Now lord let me departe in peace,Luke. [...]. for mine eies haue beholden that sauiour, whiche thou hast prepared for al nacions.

It is trueth therfore, that the death of the righte­ous is called peace, and the benefite of the Lord,Psal. cxiiii. as the churche saieth in the name of the righteous de­parted out of this world: my soule turne thee to chy­reste, for the Lorde hath bene good to thee, and re­warded [Page]thee. And we see by holye scripture, & other auncient Histories of Martirs, that the holy, faith­ful, and righteous, euer sins Christes ascencion, or going vp in their death did not doubt, but that they went to be with Christ in spirite, whiche is our lyfe, health, wealth, & saluacion. Iohn in his holy reuela­cion, saw an. C. xl. and .iiii. M. virgins & innocentes of whom he sayd:Epo. xiiii these folowe the lābe Iesu Christe, whersoeuer he goeth. And shortely after in the same place he saieth: I heard a voice from heauen, saying vnto me: write happy and blessed ar the dead, which die in the lord: from henceforth (surely saieth the spi­rite) thei shal rest from their paines and labours, for their workes doe folowe them. So that then they shal reape with ioy and comfort, that which they so­wed with labors and paynes.

They that sow in the spirite, of ye spirite shal reape euerlasting life. Let vs therfore neuer be werye of well doing, for when the time of reaping, or reward commeth, we shal reape without any werines euer­lastinge ioye. [...]ola. vi. Math. vi. Therefore while we haue time (as S. Paule, exhorteth vs) let vs doe good to all men, and nor laye vp our treasures in earth, where ruste and mothes corrupt it,Iames .v. which rust (as S. Iames sayeth) shall beare witnesse agaynst vs at the great day, cō ­demie vs, and shall (like moste brenninge fier) tor­mente our fleshe. Let vs beware therfore (as we tē ­der our owne wealth) that we be not in the number of those miserable couetousse and wretched menne, whiche S. Iames byddeth mourne and lament, for theyr gredye gatherynge and vngodlye kepynge of goodes. Lette vs be wyfe in tyme, and learne to [Page]folowe the wyse example of the wicked stewach. Let vs so wisely order our goodes and possessions, com­mitted vnto vs here by god for a season, that we may truely heare and obeye thys commaundemente of our sauioure Chryste: I saye vnto you, (sayeth he) make you frendes of the wicked Mammon,Luke. xvi that they may receiue you into euerlastinge tabernacles, or dwellynges. Richesse he calleth wicked, beecause the world abuseth them vnto al wickednes, which at otherwise the good gifte of God, & the instrumentes wherby goddes seruauantes doe truely serue hym, in vsing of the same. He commaunded thē not, to make them riche frendes, to gette highe dignities, and worldly promotions, to geue greate giftes to ryche men that haue no nede therof, but to make them frē ­des of poore and miserable men: vnto whom, what­soeuer they geue, Chryst taketh it, as geuen to him­selfe. And to these frēdes Christ in the gospel geueth so great honor and preeminence, that he sayeth: they shall receyue them that doe good vnto them, into e­uerlasting houses: not that mē shalbe ourrewarders for our wel doyng, but that Chryst wil rewarde vs, and take it to be doen vnto himselfe, whatsoeuer is doen to suche frendes.

Thus makyng poore wretches our frendes, we make oure sauioure Chryste oure frende, whose mē ­bers they are, whose miserye, as he taketh for hys owne myserye: so theyr relyefe, succoure and helpe, he taketh for hys succoure, relyefe, and helpe, and wyll asmuche thanke vs and rewarde vs for oure goodnes shewed to them, as if he himselfe had recei­ued lyke benefyte at oure handes, as be wyt­nesseth [Page]in the gospel, [...] xxv saying: whatsoeuerye haue doē to any of these simple persons, whiche dooe beleue in me, that haue ye doen to my self. Therfore let vs di­ligently foresee, that oure faith and hope, whiche we haue conceiued in almightie god, and in our sauiour Christ, waxe not fainte, nor that the loue whiche we beare in hande to beare to him, waxe not colde: but let vs study daily and diligently to shew oure selues to be the true honourers & louers of god, by kepinge of his commaundementes, by doing of good dedes vnto our nedy neighbours releuing by all meanes that we can, their pouertie with oure aboundaunce, and plenty, their ignoraunce with our wisedom and learning, and comforte their v eakenes, wyth oure strength & aucthoritie: calling all men backe frō euill doing by godlye counsaile and good exāple, perseue­ring still in well doing so long as we lyue. So shall we not nede to feare death, for any of those thre cau­ses, afore mēcioned, nor yet for any other cause that can be imagined. But contrary, considering the ma­nifold sickenesses, troubles and sorowes of this pre­sent life, the daungers of this perilous pilgrimage, and the great encombraunce, which our spirite hath by this sinful fleshe and fraile body subiect to death: considering also the manifold sorowes and daunge­rous deceites of this world on euery side, ye intolle­rable pride, couetousnes and lechery, in time of pros­peritie: the impaciente murmuring of them that bee worldlye, in time of aduersitie, whiche cease not to withdrawe and plucke vs from God, oure sauioure Christe, from oure life, wealth, or euerlastynge ioye and saluacion: considering also the innumerable as­soultes, [Page]of oure gostly enemie the deuil with al hys fierie dartes of ambicion, pride, lechecie, vaine glory enuie, malice, detraccion or backebiting, with other his innumerable deceites, engynes and snares, whereby he goeth busely aboute to catche all menne vnder his dominion, euer like a roringe Lyon, by all meanes searchynge whom he maye deuoure:1. Pete. v. the faythfull Christian manne, whiche considereth all these miseries, perilles, and incommodities, (where­unto he is subiecie so longe as he here lyueth vpon earth and on the other parte, consydereth that bles­sed and comfortable state of the heauenlye life to cōe, and the swete condicion of them that departe in the Lorde, howe they are deliuered from the continuall encoumbraunces of their mortal and sinnefull body from all the malyce, craftes and deceytes of thys worlde, from all the assaultes of theyr ghostelye ene­mye the deuill, to lyue in peace, reste and endelesse quietnesse, to liue in the felowshyppe of innumera­ble Aungels, and with the congregacion of perfecte iuste menne, as Patriarches, Prophetes, Martires and confessors: and finallye, vnto presence of al­mightie GOD, and oure sauioure Iesus Chryste. He that doeth consider all these thynges and beele­ueth them assuredly as they are to be beleued, euen from the bottome of his hearte, beeynge established in GOD, in this true fayth, hauinge a quiete cons­cience in Chryste, a syrme hope, and assured truste in Goddes mercye, throughe the merites of Iesu Chryste to obtayne thys quietnesse, rest, and euerla­sting ioye: shal not only be withoute feare of bodelye death, when it commeth, but certainely (as Saincte [Page]Paule did) so shal he gladly (according to gods will, [...] sp. i. and when it pleaseth god to call hym out of this life) greatly desier in his heart, that he may be rid fromal these occasiōs of euil, and liue euer to gods pleasure, in perfecte obedience of his wyll, wyth oure saui­oure Iesus Chryste: to whose gracious presence the Lorde of hys infinite mercye and grace, bryng vs to reigne wyth hym, in life euer­lastyng. To whom, with oure heauen­lye father, and the holye ghoste, bee glorye in worldes wythoute ende. Amen.

¶ An exhortacion, conc [...]ng good ord [...] and obedience, to rulers and Magistrates.

ALmighty god hath created and appointed all thinges, in hea­uen, earth, and waters, in a most excellente and perfect or­dre. In heauē, he hath appoin­ted distincte or seuerall orders and states of Archangels and Angels. In earth he hath as­signed and appoynted kinges, princes, with other gouernours vnder them, all in good and necessary order. The water aboue is kepte and raigneth down in due time and season. The sun Mone, Sterres, rainbow, thūdre, lightning, clouds and all birdes of the aire, doe kepe their order. The earth, trees, sedes plantes, herbes, corne, grasse, and al maner of beastes, kepe themselues in their order. All the partes of the whole yeare, as Wynter, Sommer, monethes, nyghtes and dayes, contynue in theyr ordre. All kyndes of fyshes in the sea, ryuers and waters, wyth all fountaynes, sprynges, yea, the seas themselues, keepe their comely course and order. And manne hymselfe also hath all his partes, both wythin and wythoute, as soule, hearte, mynde, memorye, vnderstandyng, reason, speache, wyth all and synguler corporall members of hys badye, in a profitable, necessarye and pleasaunce or [...]. Euerye degre of people, in their vocacion, callyng, and [...] hath appoynted to thē, theyr duety and ordre. Some are in hygh degree, some in lowe, some [...]ynges and prynces, some i [...]eriors and subiectes, priestes, and laymenne, maysters and seruauntes, fathers, [Page]and children, husbandes, & wiues, riche and poore, and euery one haue nede of other: so yt in all thinges is to bee lauded and praised the goodly order of god wythoute the whiche, no house, no citie, no common wealth can continue and indure or laste. For where there is no right order, there reigneth [...] abuse, car­nal libertie, enorinitie, sinne, & Babilonycal confusi­on. Take away kinges, princes, rulers, magistrates iudges, and such estates of gods order, no man shall ride or go by the high waye vnrobbed, no man shall slepe in his own house or bed vnkilled, no man shall kepe hys wyfe, children & possessions in quietnes: all thynges shalbe common, & there must nedes folowe al myschyefe & vtter destruccion, bothe of foules bo­dyes, goodes and common wealthes. But blessed be god, that we in thys realme of England fele not the horible calamities, miseryes & wretche dues, whiche al they vndoubtedly fele and suffer, yt lacke this god­ly ordre. And praysed be god that we know the great excellēt benefyte of god shewed towardes vs in this behalfe. God hath sent vs his hygh gyft, oure moste dere soueraigne Lady Quene Elizabeth, with god­ly, wise and honourable coūsaile, with other superi­ors & inferiors in a beautiful order & goodly. Wher­fore let vs subiectes do our bounden duties, geuyng harty thankes to god, & praying for the preseruacion of this godly order. Let vs al obey euē frō the botōe of oure heartes, all their godly procedinges lawes, statutes proclamacions, and iniunccions, wyth all other godly orders. Let vs consider the scriptures of the holy goste, whiche perswede and commaunde vs all obediently to be subiecte: first and chieflye, to the kynges [Page]quenes maiestie, supreme head ouer al: & next, to her honorable counsail, and to al other noble men, ma­gistrates and officers, whiche by Gods goodnes be placed and ordered: for almightie god is the onelye authour and prouider of this forenamed state and ordre, as it is written of god,Prou. viii in the boke of the Pro­uerbes: through me kinges do reigne: through me counsailours make iust lawes: through me do prin­ces beare rule, and all iudges of the earthe execute iudgement: I am louing to them, that loue me.

Here let vs marke well, & remembre, that the high power and autoritie of kinges, with their makinge of lawes, iudgementes, & officers, are the ordinaun­ces, not of man but of god: & therfore is this woorde (through me) so manye times repeted. Here is also well to bee considered & remembred, that this good ordre is appointed of gods wisedom, fauour & loue, specially for them that loue god, & therfore he saith: I loue them yt loue me.Sap. vi. Also in the boke of wisedom we may euidently learne, that a kinges power, au­thoritie and strength, is a great benefite of god ge­uen of his great mercye, to the comfort of our great misery. For thus we reade there spoken to kinges.Sapi. vi. Heare Oye kinges & vnderstand: learne ye that be iudges of thēdes of the earth: geue eaxe, ye that rule the multitudes: for the power is geuē you of the lord & the strēgth from ye highest. Let vs learne also here by ye īfallible & vndeceauable word of god, yt kīges & other supreme & higher officers, are ordeined of god, who is most highest, & therfore thei are here diligētly taught to apply & geue thēselfes, to knowledg & wi­sedome, necessary for the ordringe of gods people, to [Page]their gouernaunce committed or whom to gouerne thei are charged of god. And thei be here also taught by almighty god, that they should reknowledge thē ­selues, to haue all their power & strength, not from Rome, but imediatly of god most highest We reade ī the boke of Deuteronomi,Deu. xxxii. that al punishment per­teineth to god by this sentence: Vēgeaūce is mine, & I wil reward. But this sentence we must vnderstād, to perteine also vnto the magistrates, which doe ex­ercise goddes roume in iudgement and punishing by good & godly lawes, here in earth. And the places of scripture which seme to remoue frō emōg al christiā men, iudgemēt, punishment, or killing, ought to bee vnderstande, that no mā (of his own priuate auciho­ritie) may be iudge ouer other, may punishe, or maye kil. But we must refer al iudgement to god, to kīges and rulers, & iudges vnder thē, whiche be gods offi­cers to execute iustice, & by plaine woordes of scrip­ture, haue their auctoritie & vse of ye sweord, graun­ted from god, as we are taught by S. Paule ye dere & choisen Apostlē of our fauior Christ, whō we ought diligensly to obey, euen as we would obey our saui­our Christ if he wer present.Rom. xiii. Thus. s. Paule writeth to the Roma. Let euery soule submit himselfe vnto the auctoritie of the higher powers: for there is no power but of god: ye powers yt be, be ordeined of god: whosoeuer therfore whithstandeth ye power, whith­stādeth ye ordinaūce of god, but they yt resist or are a­gaist shal receiue to thēselues dānaciō: for rulers are not feareful to thē that do good, but to thē that do e­uil. Wilt thou be without feare of the power? Doe well then, and so shalt thou be praised of the same: [Page]for he is the minister of God, for thy welthe. But and if thou doe that whiche is euil, then feare, for he beareth not the sweorde for naughte, for he is the minister of God, to take vengeaunce on him that doeth euil. Wherfore ye must nedes obey, not onelye for feare of vengeaunce, but also, because of consci­ence: and euen for this cause pay ye tribute, for they are Gods ministers, seruing for the same purpose.

Heare lett vs all learne of S. Paule the chosen vessell of god, that al persons hauing soules (he ex­cepteth none, nor exēpteth none, neither prieste, A­postle, nor prophet, saith. s. Chriso.) do owe of boūden duety and euen in conscience, obediēce, submission and subieccion, too the high powers, whiche be sett in auctoritie by god, for asmuch as they be gods liue­tenauntes, Gods presidentes, Gods officers, gods commissioners, gods iudges, ordeined of god him­self, of whom onely they haue al their power, and al their auctoritie. And the same. s. Paule threatneth no lesse pain thē euelasting damnacion, to al disobediēt persons, to al resisters against this general and cō ­mon auctoritie, forasmuche as they resist not manne but god: not mans deuise and inuencion, but gods wisedom, gods ordre, power and authoritie.

¶ The second parte of the Sermon of Obedience.

FOrasmuche as god hath created and dis­posed all thinges in a comelie ordre, we haue bene taught in the first part of this sermon, cōcerning good ordre & obediēce, yt we also ought in all common welthes, to obserue [Page]and kepe a dewe ordre, and to be obedient to the po­wers, their ordinaunces and lawes, and that all ru­lers are appointed of god, for a godly ordre to bee kept in the worlde. And also howe the Magistrates oughte to learne howe to rule and gouerne accor­ding to gods lawes. And that al subiectes are boun­den to obey them as gods ministers: yea although they be euil, not only for feare, but also for consciēce sake. And here (good people) let al marke diligently, that it is not lawful for inferiours & subiectes, ī any case to resist or stāde against ye superior powers: for .s. Paules wordes be plain, yt whosoeuer withstādeth, shal get to thēselfes dānaciō: for whosoeuer withstā ­deth wtstādeth ye ordināce of god. Our sauiour Christ himselfe & his Apostles, receiued many and diuerse iniuries of the vnfaithefull and wicked menne in aucthoritie: yet we neuer reade, that they, [...]ranye of them, caused any sedicion or rebellion against au­thoritie. We reade oft, that they paciently suffered all troubles, veracions, slaūders, pangues and pai­nes, and death it selfe obedientlye, without tumulte or resistence. They committed their cause to him that iudgeth righteouslye, and praied for their ene­mies heartely and earnestly. They knewe that the auctoritie of the powers, was gods ordinaunce, and therfore both ī their wordes and dedes, they taught euer obedience to it, and neuer taught nor did the contrary.Iohn .xix. The wicked iudge Pilate saide to Christe: knowest thou not that I haue power to crucifie the, and haue power also to loce the? Iesus aunswered: Thou couldest haue no power at all against me, ex­cept it wer geuen the from aboue. Wherby Christe [Page]taught vs plainly, that euen the wicked rulers haue their power and authoritie from god.

And therfore it is not lawfull for their subiectes, by force to wtstāde thē, although they abuse their power much lesse then, it is lawful for subiectes to wtstande their godly & christian princes, whiche do not abuse their aucthoritie, but vse the same to gods glory, and to the profite and commoditie of Gods people.i. Peter .ii. The holy Apostle .s. Peter, cōmaundeth seruauntes to be obedient to their maisters, not only if they be good and gentle, but also if they be euil and frowarde: af­firming that the vocacion and callinge of gods peo­ple, is to be pacient, and of the suffering side. And there he bringeth in the paciēce of our sauior Christ, to perswade obedience to gouernors, yea although they be wicked and wrong doers.i. Peter .ii. But let vs nowe heare .s. Peter himselfe speake, for his owne wordes certifie best our conscience. Thus he vttereth them in his firste Epistle: Seruauntes obey your Mais­tres with feare, not onely if they be good and ientle, but also if they be frowarde: For it is thankewoor­thy, if a manne for conscience toward god, suffereth griefe, and suffereth wrong vndeserued:i. Peter .ii. for what praise is it, when ye be beaten for your faultes, if ye take it paciētly▪ but when ye do well, if you then suf­fer wrong & take it paciently,i. Re .xvi [...]. xix. and .xx. then is there cause to haue thanke of god, for herunto verely were ye cal­led: For so did Christ suffer for vs, leauing vs an ex­ample, that we should folow his steppes. Al these bee the very wordes of .s. Peter. S. Dauid also teacheth vs a good lesson I this behalf, who was many times most cruelly and wrong fullye persecuted of Kynge [Page]Saule, and manye times also put in ieoperdie and daunger of his life by kinge Saule & his people: yet he neuer withstode, neither vsed any force or violēce against king Saule his mortal or deadly enemy, but did euer to his liege lorde and master kinge Saule, most true, most diligent, and most faithful seruice.

In so much, that whē the lord god had geuen kinge Saule into Dauids handes in his owne caue, he would not hurte him, when he might without al bo­dely peril easely haue slain hī: no, he would not suffer any of his seruauntes, once to lay their handes vpō king Saul, but praied to god in this wise: lord kepe me from doing that thing vnto my maister, the lor­des anointed: keepe me that I laie not my hande v­pō him, seing he is the anoīted of ye lord: for as true­ly as the lorde liueth, (except the lorde smite him, or except his day come, or that he go down to warre & in battaile perishe) the lorde be mercifull vnto me, that I lay not my hande vpon the lordes anointed. And that Dauid might haue killed his enemy king Saule, it is euidētly proued, in the firste boke of the kinges, both by the cutting of the lappe of Saules garment, and also by the playne confession of kinge Saule. Also an other time (as it is mēcioned in the same booke) when the most vnmercifull, and moste vnkind king Saule did persecute poore Dauid, god didde againe geue king Saule into Dauides han­des, by castinge of kinge Saule and his whole ar­mye, into a deade sleepe: so that Dauid and one Abi­sai with him, came in the nighte into Saules hoste, where Saule laye sleepinge, and his speare stacke in the ground at his head. Then sa [...]de Abisai vnto [Page]Dauid: god hath deliuered thine enemye into thy handes at this time, now therfore let me smite him once with my speare to the earth, & I will not smite him again the second time: meaning therby to haue killed him wt one stroke, and to haue made him sure foreuer. And Dauid aunswered and said to Abisai: destroy him not, for who can laye his handes on the lordes anointed and be giltles? And Dauid said fur­thermore: as sure as the lorde liueth, the lorde shall smite him, or his daye shall come to dy, or he shal de­scende or go doune into bataill, & there perishe. The lord kepe me frō laying my hādes vpon the Lordes anointed. But take thou nowe the speare that is at his head, & the cruse of water, & let vs go: & so he did.

Here is euidently proued, that we may not wtstand nor in any wayes hurt an anoynted king, which is gods liuetenaunt, vice gerent, and highest minister in that countrey where he is kinge. Obieccion But per aduen­ture, some here would say, that Dauid in his owne defence, might haue killed king Saule lawfullie, & with a safe conscience. Aunswere. But holy Dauid did knowe that he might in no wise wtstande, hurt, or kil his so­uereigne lord & king: he did knowe, that he was but king Saules subiecth, though he wer ī great fauor with god, & his enemy kinge Saule out of gods fa­uor. Therfore, though he wer neuer so much prouo­ked, yet he refused vtterly to hurt the lordes anoyn­ted. He durste not for offending god & his own cons­cience, (although he had occasion and oportunitie) once lay his handes vpon gods high officer ye king, whō he did know to be a person reserued & kept (for his office sake) only to gods punishmēt & iudgemēt. [Page]Therfore he praieth so oft, & so eanestlye, that he lay not his handes vpon the lordes annointed. [...]sal .lxxx. [...]d . [...]. And by these .ii. exāples .s. Dauid (being named in scripture a man after gods own heart) geueth a generall rule & lesson to al subiectes in the world, not to withstand their liege lord & king, not to take a sweord by their priuate authoritie against their king, gods anoyn­ted, who only beareth the sworde by gods auctoritie for the maintenance of the good, and for the punish­ment of the euill: who onely by gods lawe, hath the vse of the sweord at his commaūdement, & also hath al power, iurisdicciō, regimēt coerciō & punishemēt, as supreme gouernour of all his realmes & dominiōs, & that euen by the auc [...]oritie of God, and by gods ordi­naunces. Yet an other notable story & doctrine is in the secund boke of the kinges, that maketh also for this purpose. Whē an Amalēchite, by kinge Saules own consent & cōmaūdemēt, had killed kinge Saul, he went to Dauid, supposing to haue hadde great thāke for his message, [...]. yt he had killed Dauids deadli enemye, and therefore he made great haste to tell to Dauid the chaūce: bringing with him kinge Saules Croun that was vpon his head, and his bracelet that was vpon his arme, to perswade his tidinges to be true. But godly Dauid was so far frō reioising at these newes, that immediatly & forthwt he rēt his clothes of his backe, he mourned & wept, & said to the messenger: how is it that thou wast not afraid, to lay thy handes on the lordes anointed to destroy him? And by & by Dauid made one of his seruaūtes to kil ye messēger, saying: thy bloude be on thine own head, for thy own mouth hath testified & wittenessed agaīst [Page]the, graūting that thou hast slaine the lordes anoin­ted. These examples being so manyfest and euident, it is an intolerable ignoraunce, madnes, & wicked­nes, for subiectes to make any murmuring, rebelli­on, resistence or wtstāding, cōmociō, or insurrectiō a­gainste their moste dere and most dreade souereinge Lorde & king, ordeyned and appoynted of Goddes goodnes, for their commoditie, peace and quietnes. Yet let vs beleue vndoubtedli, (good christiā people) that we maye not obey Kinges, Magistrates, or a­ny other, (though they be our owne fathers) if they woulde commaunde vs to do any thing, contrary to gods cōmaundemētes. In such a case, we oughte to say with ye Apostles:Actes. we must rather obey God then man. But neuertheles in yt case, wee may not in any wise withstande violētly, or rebel against rulers, or make any insurrecciō, sediciō, or tumultes, either by force of armes, (or other waies) against the annoin­ted of the lord, or any of his appointed officers. But we muste in such case, paciently suffer al wronges & iniuries, referring the iudgemēt of oure cause onely to god: Let vs feare ye terrible punishmēt of almigh­tie God, against traitors, or rebellious persons, by ye exāple of Chore, Dathan, & Abiron, which repugned & grudged against gods Magistrates, and officers, and therfore the earthe opened, and swallowed thē vp alyue. Other for their wicked murmuring and rebellion, were by a sodaine fire sente of god, vtterly consumed. Other for their frowarde behauioure to their rulers and gouerners, Gods ministers, were sodainely strycken, with a foule leprosy. Other were stinged to death with wonderfull strange firie [Page]serpentes. Other were sore plagued, so that there was killed in one day, the numbre of fourtene thou­sand and seuen hundred, for rebellion against them; whom god had appointed to be in authoritie. Absa­lon also, [...]e. [...]ii. rebelling againste his father Kinge Dauid was punished with a straunge and notable death.

The thyrde parte of the Sermon of Obedience.

YE haue heard before in this sermō of good ordre & obedience, manifestly proued bothe by scriptures & examples, that al subiectes are boundē to obey their magistrates, and for no cause to resiste or withstand, rebel, or make a­ny sedicion againste them, yea although thei be wic­ked men. And let no man thinke yt he can escape vn­punished, yt cōmitteth treasō, conspiracie, or rebelliō, against his souereigne Lord the King, though he cō ­mit ye same neuer so secretly; either in thought, word or dede: neuer so preuelye, in his prieuye chambre, by himselfe, or openly communicating, and consultyng wt other. For treason wil not be hid: treason wil oute at the length. God will haue ye most detestable vyce, bothe opened & punished, for that it is so directly a­gainst his ordeynaunce, and against his high prin­cipal iudge, & anointed in earth. The violence & imu­ry, yt is committed against authoritie, is commited a­gainste God, the cōmon weale, & thee whole realme, whiche god wil haue knowen, & condingly or woor­thelye punished, one waye or other. For it is nota­bly written of the Wise mā in Scripture, in ye booke called Ecclesiastes:Eccle. x. wishe the Kinge no euyll in thy [Page]thought, nor speake no hurt of him in thy priuy chā ­bre: for a byrde of the ayre shal betraye thy voice, and with her fethers, shall bewraye thy woordes. These lessons and exaumples are written for our learning. Therfore let vs al feare the moste detestable vice of rebellion, euer knowing and remembring, that he yt resisteth or wt standeth cōmon authoritie, resisteth or wt stādeth god & his ordinaunce, as it may be proued by many other mo places of holye Scripture. And here let vs take here yt we vnderstād not these or such other like places (which so streightly cōmaūde Obe­dience to superiours, and so streightly punisheth re­bellion, and disobedience to ye same) to be meant in a­ny cōditiō of ye pretensed or coloured power of ye Bi­shop of Rome. For truly ye scripture of god alloweth no such vsurped power, ful of enormitties, abusiōs & blasphemies. But ye true meaning of these, and suche places, be to extoll and sette forth goddes true ordi­naūce, & ye authoritie of gods annointed kinges, & of their officers appointed vnder thē. And concerning ye vsurped power of the Bishop of Rome, whiche he most wrongfully challēgeth, as ye successor of Christ & Peter: we may cafily perceiue how fals, semed, & forged it is, not onely in yt it hath no sufficiēt groūd in holy scripture, but also by ye fruites & doctrine there­of. For our sauior Christ, & S. Peter, teacheth moste earnestly & agreably obedinece to kinges, as to the chiefe, & supreme rulers in this worlde, nexte vnder god: but ye bishop of R [...]me teacheth yt thei yt are vnder him, [...]r fre frō al burdēs & charges of ye cōmō wealth & obediēce towardes their prince, most clearly against Christes doctrine an d. s. Peters. He ought there fore [Page]rather to be called Antichrist, & the successour of the Scribes & Pharysies, then Christes vicar, or s. Pe­ters successour: seing, yt not only in this poynte, but also in other weighty matters of Christiā religiō, in matters of remissiō & forgeuenes of sinnes, & of saluation, he teacheth so directli against, both s. Peter & against our sauiour Christ: who not onely taught obedience to kinges, but also practised obedience in theyr cōuersaciō & liuing. [...]ath. [...]i. For we reade, yt they both paied tribute to ye king. And also we read, yt the holy virgin Mary, mother to our sauiour Christe, & Io­seph, who was taken for his father, at ye Emperours cōmaundement, went to the citie of Dauid, named Bethleem, [...]e. ii. to be taxed emōg other, & to declare their obedience to the magistrates, for gods ordinaunces sake. And here let vs not forgette the blessed virgin Maries obedience: for although she was highlye in gods fauour, and Christes naturall mother, & was also great with childe that same time, & so nighe her trauaile, that she was deliuered in her iourneye: yet she gladly without any excuse or grudging (for con­science sake) did take that cold & foule winter iour­ney, being in ye meane seasō so pore, yt she lay in ye sta­ble, & there she was deliuered of Christe. And accor­ding to ye same,Peter. [...] lo, how s. Peter agreeth, writig by expresse words, in his first Epistle: submit your selues or be subiect (saieth he) vnto kinges, as vnto ye chiefe heades, or vnto rulers, as vnto them that are sente of him, for the punishmente of euill doers, and for the praise of them yt do well, for so is the wil of God. I nede not to expoūd these wordes, they be so plaine of them selfes. S. Peter doth not say: submit your selfes [Page]vnto me, as supreme head of the Church: neither he saieth, submit your selues frō time to time, to my successors in Rome: but he saieth, submit your selfes vnto your kinge, your supreme head, & vnto those that he appoynteth in authoritte vnder him. For that ye shall so shewe your obedience, it is the wyll of God. God will that you be in subiection to your head and king. That is gods ordinaunce, gods commaunde­ment, & gods holy wil, that the whole body of euery realme, and al the membres and partes of the same, shalbe subiect to their heade, their king, and that (as S. Peter writeth) for ye lordes sake:i. Peter [...] ii. Rom. xi [...] and (as S. Paule writeth) for conscience sake, and not for feare onely. Thus we learne by the worde of god, to yelde to oure kyng, that is dewe to our king, that is ho­nor, obedience, paimentes of dewe taxes, customes, tributes, subsidies, loue and feare.Ma. xxi [...] Rom. xii Thus we knowe partly our bounden dueties to commen authoritie, nowe let vs learne to accomplishe the same. And let vs most instauntly and heartilye praye to God, the onely authour of all authoritie, for all them that be in authoritie, according as S. Paule willeth, wri­ting thus to Timothie, in his first epistle: I exhorte therfore, that aboue all thinges, prayers,i. Timo. ii. supplica­cions, intercessions, and geuing of thankes be done for all men: for kinges, and for al that he in authori­tie, that we maye liue a quiete and a peaceable life, wt all godlines & honestie: for yt is good, & accepted or alowable in the sight of god our sauioure. Here S. Paule maketh an earnest, and an especiall exhorta­cion, concerning geuyng of thankes, and prayer for kinges and rulers, saying: aboue all thinges, as hee [Page]might say, in any wise principally & chiefely, let prai­er bee made for kynges. Let vs heartely thanke god for his great and excellent benefite and prouidence, concerning the state of kinges. Let vs praye for thē, that thei maye haue gods fauoure, and gods protec­tion. Let vs pray, that they maye euer in all thinges haue God before their eies. Let vs praye, that they may haue wisedom, strength, iustice, clemencie, zeale to gods glory, to gods verytie, to Christian soules, and to the common wealth. Let vs praye, that they maye rightly vse theyr sweorde and authoritie, for the maintenaunce & defence of the catholique fayth couteyned in holye Scripture, and of their good and honest subiectes, and for the feare and punishmente of the euyll, and vitions people. Let vs praye, that they maye faithfully folowe the most faithful kings and Capitaynes in the Bible, Dauid, Ezechias, Io­sias, and Moses,Iudith. v with suche other. And let vs praye for our selues, yt we maye liue godly, in holy & chris­tian conuersation: so we shall haue God of our syde: And then let vs not feare what man can doo against vs. So we shal liue in true obedience, bothe to oure moste mercifull kynge in heauen, and to oure moste Christian Quene in earth: so shall wee please God, and haue the exceding benefite, peace of conscience, reste and quietnes here in the worlde, and after this life, we shall enioye a better life, rest, peace, and the euerlasting blesse of heauē, which he graunt vs all, yt was obedient for vs al, euē to the death of the crosse, Iesus Christ: to whome with the father, and the ho­ly ghost, be all honour & glory, bothe nowe and euer. Amen.

¶ A Sermon agaynst whoredome and vncleannesse.

ALthough there want not (good chris­tian people) greate swarmes of vices worthy to be rebuked (vnto suche de­caye is true godlynes and vertuous liuynge nowe come:) yet aboue other vyces, ye outragions seas of adultery or breaking of wedlocke) whoredome, fornication, & vncleannesse, haue not onely braste in, but also ouer­flowed almost ye whole world, vnto ye great dishonor of God, ye excedinge infamye of ye name of Christe, ye notable decaie of true religion, & ye vtter destrucciō of ye publique welth: & that so aboundantly, yt throughe the customable vse thereof, thys vice is growen vnto such an heighth; that in a maner emonge many, it is coumpted no synne at all, but rather a pastime, a da­liaunce, and but a touche of youth: not rebuked, but wynked at: not punished, but laughed at: wherefore it is necessary at this present, to intreate of the sinne of whoredome, and fornicacion, declaring vnto you, the greatnes of thys synne, and howe odyous, hate­full, and abhominable it is, and hathe alwaye bene reputed, before god and all good men, and howe gre­nouslyeit hathe bene punished, bothe by the lawe of God, and the lawes of diuerse princes. Agayne, to shewe you certayne remedyes, whereby ye maye (through the grace of god) eschewe thys most detes­table sinne of whoredome and fornication, and leade your liues in all honestie a [...] cleannesse. And that ye maie perceiue, that fornication and whoredome [Page]are (in the sighte of god) most abhominable sinnes, ye shall call to remembraunce this cōmaundemente of god:Exod. xx yu shalt not commit adultery, by ye which word adultery, although it be proprely vnderstād, of ye vn laweful cōmirtion or ioyning together of a maryed man with any womā beside his wife, or of a wife wt any man beside her husband, yet thereby is signy­fyed also, all vnlawfull vse of those partes, whiche be ordayned for generation. And this one commaū ­demente (forbidding adulterye) doeth sufficientlye paynt, and sette out before oure eyes, the greatnes of this sinne of whoredome, and manifestly decla­reth, howe greately it ought to be abhorred of al ho­nest and faithfull persons. And that none of vs all shall thinke himselfe excepted from this commaun­dement whether we be olde or yong maryed, or vn­maried man, or woman, heare what God the father sayethe, by hys moste excellente Prophete Moyses: There shall be no whore emonge the daughters of Israell,Deut. xxiii. nor no whoremongers, emonge the sonnes of Israell.

Here is whoredome, fornication, and all vnclean­nesse forbidden, to al kindes of people, all degrees, & al ages, wtout exception. And yt wee shal not doubt. but yt this precept or commaūdemente pertaineth to vs in dede, hear what Christ (ye perfect teacher of al truth) saith in the newe testament: ye haue heard (saith Christe) that it was said to them of the olde tyme,Mat. v. thou shalt not committe adultery: but I saye vnto you: whosoeuer seeth a womā, to haue his luste of her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Here our sauiore Christ, doth not only [Page]confyrme and stablishe the law agaynst adulterye, geuen in the olde Testamente of God the father, by hys seruaunt Moses, and make it of full strengthe, continually to remayne emonge the professors of his name in the new law: But he also (condemning the grosse interpretacyon of the Scribes and Phari­seis, which taught that the aforesaide commaunde­ment onely required to abstayne from the outwarde adultery, and not from the filthye desires and vn­pure lustes,) teacheth vs an exacte and full perfecti­on of puritie and clennes of life, bothe to keepe oure bodies vndefyled, and oure hertes pure and fre from all euill thoughtes, carnal desyres, and fleshlye con­sentes. Howe cane we then be free from thys com­maundemente, where so great charge is layde vpon vs: May a seruaunte do what he will in anye thyng, hauinge a commaundemente of hys master to the contrary? Is not Christ our master? Are not we hys seruauntes? How then may we neglect our masters wil and pleasure, and folow our own wil and phan­tasy? Ye are my frends (sayeth Christe) yf you keepe those thinges that I commaunde you.Ihon. [...].

Nowe hath Christe oure master commaunded vs that we shoulde fortake all vnclennesse and lecherye both in body and spirite: thys therefore muste we do, if we looke to please god.Mat. x [...] In the gospell of Saincte Matthewe, we reade that the Scribes and Phari­sies were grieuously offended with Christe, because his disciples did not keepe the tradicions of the fore­fathers, for they washed not their handes when thei wente to diner or supper, and emong other thynges, Christ aunswered and saide: heare and vnderstande: [...]. [Page]not that thing which entreth into the mouthe,Math. [...]v. defy­leth the man, but that whiche cummeth oute of the mouth defyleth the man. For those thynges whyche procede out of the mouth, come furthe frō the heart, and they defyle the man. For out of the hert, procede euil thoughtes, murthers, breakynge of wedlocke, whoredome, theftes, false witnes, blasphemies: these are the thynges, whiche defyle a man. Here may we se, that not onely murther, theft, false witnes & blas­phemy, defile menne, but also euill thoughtes, brea­king of wedlocke, fornication, and whoredome.

Who is nowe of so little wit,Ihon xiiii. Titus .i. that he will esteme whoredome and fornicacion, to bee thinges of small importaunce, and of no weight before God? Christe (whiche is the truth and cannot lye) saith, that euill thoughtes, breaking of wedlocke, whoredome, and fornicacion, defyle a manne, that is to saye, corrupte bothe the bodye and soule of manne, and make them, of the temples of the holy Ghoste, the fylthye dunghill, or dungeon of all vncleane spirites: of the house of God, the dwelling place of Sathan.

Agayne in the gospell of Saincte Iohn,Ihō. viii when the womanne taken in adulterye, was broughte vnto Christe, sayde not he vnto her? Goe thy waye and sinne no more. Dooeth not he here call whoredome sinne?Rom. vi. And what is the rewarde of sinne, but euer­lasting death? If whoredome be sinne, then is it not lawfull for vs to commit it.1. Ihō. iii. For S. Iohn saieth: hee that committeth synne, is of the deuill. And oure sa­uiour sayth: euery one that cōmytteth sinne, is ye ser­uaūt of sinne.Iohn. viii Rom. vi If whordom had not bene sinne, sure­ly s. Iohn Baptist would neuer haue rebuked kinge [Page]Herode, for takinge hys brothers wife, but he tolde him playnely, that it was not lawful for him to take his brothers wife. He winked not at the whoredome of Herode, although he wer a kinge of great power, but boldlye reproued him, for his wicked and abho­minable liuynge, althoughe for the same he loste hys heade. But he woulde rather suffer deathe (then see God so dishonored, by the breakinge of his holy pre­cept or cōmaundemēt) thē to suffer whoredom to be vnrebuked, euē in a king. If whordom had been but a pastime, a daliaūce, & a thing not to be passed of (as many coumpt it now a daies,) truely Iohn had bene more then twise madde, if he woulde haue had the displeasure of a kinge, if he would haue bene cast in to prieson, and loste his heade, for a trifle. But Iohn knew right wel, how filthy, stinkinge, and abhomi­nable, the sinne of whoredom is in the sight of god, therefore would not he leaue it vnrebuked, no not in a kynge. If whoredome bee not lawefull in a king, neither is it lawefull in a subiect. If whoredome bee not lawful in a publique or cōmune officer, neither is it lawful in a priuat persō. If it be not lawful, neither in king, nor subiecte, neither in common officer, nor priuate persō, truelye, thē is it lawefull in no man, nor woman, of whatsouer degree, or age they bee. Furthermore,Actes. [...] in the actes of the Apostles we reade that when the Apostles and elders, with the whole congregacion, were gathered together to pacyfye ye hertes of the faithful dwelling at Antioche, (which wer disquieted through the false doctrine of certain Iewish preachers) they sent worde to the brethren, that it semed good to the holye ghoste, and to them. [Page]to charge them with no more, then wyth necessarye thinges: emonge other, they willed them to abstayne from Idolatry and fornicacion, from whiche (sayde they) if ye kepe your selues, ye shall do well.

Note here, howe these holy and blessed fathers of Christes churche, woulde charge the congregacyon with no mo thynges then were necessarye. Marke also, how emong those thinges, from the which they commaunded the brethren of Antioche to absteine, fornication and whoredome is numbred. It is ther­fore necessary, by the determination and consente of the holy ghost, and the apostles and elders, with the whole congregacion, that as from Idolatrye and superstytion, so likewise wee muste absteyne from fornication and whoredom. Is it necessary vnto saluation to absteine from Idolatry? So is it, to absteine frō whoredome. Is there any nygher waye to leade into damnation, then to be an Idolater? No: euen so, neyther is there a nerer waye to damnacyon then to be a fornicatour and an whoremonger.

Nowe where are those people, which so lightly es­teme breaking of wedlocke, whoredome, fornication and adultery? It is necessary, sayeth the holy ghoste, the blessed apostles, the elders, with the whole con­gregacion of Christe: it is necessary to saluation (say they) to absteyne from whoredome. If it be necessary vnto saluation, then woe be to them, whiche neglec­ting their saluacion, geue their mindes to so fylthy, & stinking sinne, to so wicked vice, to suche detestable abhomination.

¶ The second parte of the Sermon against Adultery.

YOu haue bene taught in the fyrste parte of this sermon agaynst adultery, how that vice at this day reigneth most aboue all o­ther vyces. And what is mēt by this worde (adultery) & how holy scripture disswadeth or discoū ­seyled from doing yt filthy sinne: & finally what cor­ruptiō cūmeth to mans soule through ye sinne of ad­ultery. Now to procede further, let vs heare what ye blessed apostle S. Paule saith to this matter. Wry­ting to ye Romaines, he hath these woordes:Rom. iiii. Let vs cast away ye workes of darknes, & put on ye armours of light. Let vs walke honestly, as it were in ye daye time, not in eating and drynking, neither in chaum­bringes and wantonnes, neyther in strife & enuying, but put ye on ye lord Iesu Christe, and make not pro­uision for the fleshe to fulfill the lustes of it. Here the holy apostle exhorteth vs to cast away the wor­kes of darkenesse, whiche (emonge other) he calleth gluttonous eatynge, drynking, chaumberinge and wantonnesse, whiche are all ministers vnto that vyce and preparacyons to induce and bringe in the fylthye synne of the fleshe. Hee calleth them the dedes and workes of darkenesse, not onely because they are customablye doone in darkenesse,Ihon. iii. or in the night time, (for euery one that doth euyl hateth the light, neither cummeth he to the light, leste his wor­kes should be reproued) but that they leade ye righte way vnto that vtter darkenes,Mathe. xiii. where wepynge and [Page]gnashinge of teeth shalbe. And he saieth in an other place of the same Epistle: They that are in the fleshe, can not please god. We are detters not to the fleshe, that we shoulde liue after the fleshe, for if ye lyue af­ter the fleshe, [...]o. viii. ye shal dye. Agayne he sayeth, flye from whoredome, for euery synne that a manne commit­teth, is without his body: but whosoeuer cōmitteth whoredome, sinneth agaynst his own bodye. Doe ye not knowe, that youre membres are the temple of the holy ghoste whiche is in you, whome also ye haue of god,Cor. vi. and ye are not youre owne? For ye are dere­ly boughte: glorifie GOD in your bodyes. &c. And a little before he saieth: Doe ye not knowe that your bodyes are the membres of Christe? Shall I then take the membres of Christe, & make them the mem­bres of an whore? God forbid. Do ye not know that he whiche cleueth to an whore, is made one bodye with her? There shalbe two in one fleshe (saieth hee) but he yt cleueth to ye lord, is one spirite. What godlie reasōns doth ye blessed Apostle S. Paule bring forth here, to disswade or discounseylle vs frō whoredome and all vnclennes? youre membres (sayeth hee) are the temple of the holye ghoste: whiche, whosoeuer doth defile, god wil destroy him, as sayethe Saincte Paule. If we be the temple of the holye goste, howe vnsitting then is it, to dryue that holy spirite frō vs, throughe whoredome, & in his place to sette the wic­ked spirites of vncleannes & fornication, & to be ioy­ned, and doe seruice to them?1. Cor. vi. 1. Peter. i Ye are derelye boughte (saieth he) therefore gloryfye God in youre bodyes. Christe that innocent [...]ain [...]e of god, hath bought vs from the seruitude of the deuill, not with corruptible [Page]gold & siluer, but wt his most precious & deare heart bloud. To what intent? That we should fall agayne vnto our old vnclennes, & abhominable liuyng? Nay verely: But that we should serue him, all ye dayes of our life, in holynesse and righteousenesse:Es [...] xxxv [...] Luk [...] yt we shuld glorifie him in oure bodyes, by puritie and clennesse of life. He declareth also yt our bodies are the mēbers of Christ. How vnsemely a thing is it then, to cease to be incorporate or imbodyed & one with Christe, & through whoredom to be ioyned, and made al one wt an whore? What greater dishonour or iniury can we doe to Christ, then to take away from him, the mem­bres of his body, & to ioyne thē two whores, deuils, & wicked spirites? And what more dyshonour can wee do to oure selues, thē through vncleannes, to loose so excellent a dignitie and fredome, & to become bonde flanes, & miserable captiues, to the spirites of darke­nesse? Lette vs therefore consider, fyrst the glorye of Christe, and then oure state, our dignitie and fredom wherin god hath set vs, by geuinge vs his holy spy­rite: and let vs valeantly defende the same agaynste Sathan, and all his craftie assaultes: that Christe maye be honored, and that we loose not our libertie or freedome, but stil remayne in one spirite with him.

Moreouer, in hys Epistle to the Ephesians, the blessed Apostle willeth vs, to be so pure,Ephe. v [...] & free from adulterye, fornication, and all vncleannesse, that we not once name them emonge vs (as it becommeth sainctes) nor filthinesse, nor foolyshe talkynge, nor iesting, which are not comely, but rather geuynge of [Page]thankes. For this ye know (saieth he) that no whore­monger, either vncleane person, [...]t. v. [...] vi or couetous person, (which is an ydolater) hathe any inheritaunce in the kyngdome of Christe and god. And that we shoulde remembre to be holy, pure, and free from al vnclean­nesse: The holy Apostle calleth vs Sainctes, because we are sanctifyed and made holye in the bloude of Christ throughe the holye Ghoste.

Now if we be sainctes, what haue we to do wyth the maners of the Heathen? Saincte Peter sayeth: As he whiche called you is holy, [...]eter euen so bee ye holye also, in all your conuersacion, because it is wrytten: Be ye holye, for I am holy. Hitherto haue we heard how grieuous a synne fornication and whoredome is, [...]eui. xi [...]d. xix. and howe greatly god doth abhore it. throughout the whole scripture. How cane it any otherwise be, then a synne of most abhominacion, seing it once maye not bee named emong the Christians, muche lesse it may in any poynte be committed. And surely, if we woulde weigh the greatnes of thys synne, and consider it in the right kynde, we shoulde fynde the sinne of whoredome, to be that most filthy lake, foule puddle, and stinking sinke, whereinto all kindes of sinnes and euils flowe: where also, they haue theyr resting place and abyding.

For hath not the aduiterer a pryde in his whroe­dome? as the Wiseman sayeth: They are glad when they haue done euil, and reioyce in thinges that are starke naughte. Is not the adulterer also ydle, and delighteth in no godly exercise, but only in that hys moste filthy and beastly pleasure? Is not his mynde pluckte, and vtterlye drawen awaye, from all ver­tuous [Page]studies, and fruiteful labours, and only geuē to carnall & fleshly imaginaciōs? Doth not ye whore­monger gene his minde to gluttonie, that he maye be the more apt to serue his lustes, and carnal plea­sures? Doeth not the adulterer gene his minde to couetousnes, & to polling and pillinge of other, that he may be the more able to mainteine his harlottes and whores, & to continue in his filthy, and vnlaw­ful loue? Swelleth he not also with enuye, againste other, fearing that his pray should bee allured & ta­ken awaye from him? Againe, is he not yrefull & re­plenished with wrath & displeasure, euen against his best beloued, if at any time, his beastly and diuelishe request bee letted. What sinne, or kind of sinne is it, that is not ioined with fornication and whoredome It is a monster of manye heades: It receiueth all kindes of vices, and refuseth all kindes of vertues. If one seuerall sinne bringeth dānacion, what is to be thought of that sinne, which is accompanied with al euils, & hath waiting on it, whatsoeuer is hateful to god, damnable to man, and pleasaunt to Sathā?

Greate is the damnacion, that hangeth ouer the heades of fornicatours, and adulterers. What shall I speake of other incommodities, whiche issue, and flowe out of this stinkynge puddell of whoredome? Is not that treasure, which before al other is moste regarded of honeste persons, the good fame & name of man and woman, lost through whoredom? what patrimonie or liuelehode, what substāce, what goo­des, what riches, doth whoredome shortly consume & brīg to naught? What valiaūtnes & strēgth is ma­ny times made weake, & destroied with whoredome? [Page]What wit is so fine, yt is not doted & defa [...]ed through whoredome? What beautie (although it were neuer so excellent) is not diffigured through whoredome?

Is not whoredome an enemie to the pleasaunte floure of youthe & bringeth it not gray heares, & olde age, before ye time? What gifte of nature (although it were neuer so precious) is not corrupted with wor­dome? Come not ye french pockes, with other diuerse diseases, of whoredom? From whence come so many bastardes and misbegotten children, to the high dis­pleasure of god, & dishonour of holy we blocke, but of whoredome? How many cōfirme all their substaūce and goodes, & at ye last fal into such extreme pouer­tie, yt afterward thei steale, & so are hanged, through whoredome What comencion & manslaughter com­meth of whordome. Now many maidens be deflou­red, howe many wiues corrupted, howe many wy­dowes defiled, through whoredom? How much is ye publique & cōmune v [...]eale impouerished, & troubled through whoredom? How much is gods worde cōtē ­ned & depraued by whoredom & whoremongers? Of this vice cōmeth a great parte of the diuorces▪ which (nowe a daies) be so commōly accustomed and vsed, by mēs priuate auethoritie, to the greate displeasure of God, and the breache of the most holy knotte and bonde of matrimonie. For when this moste detesta­ble sinne is once crept into the breast of the adulte­rer. so that he is entangled with vnlawfull and vn­chaste loue. straighte waies, his true and lawefull wife is despised, her presence is abhorred, her com­panie stinketh, and is lothesome, what soeuer she doth, is dispraised, there is no quietnes in the house. [Page]so long as the is in sight: Therefore to make shorte tale, must she away, for her housbande can broke her no longer. Thus through whoredome, is the honest and harmelesse wife put away, & an harlot receiued in her stede: & in like sorte, it happeneth many times in the wife, towardes her housbande O abhomina­cion: Christ our sauiour, very god & man, comming to restore the lawe of his heauenly father vnto the right sence, vnderstāding, and meaning, (Among o­ther thinges) refourmed ye abuse of this law of god: For where as ye Iewes vsed of a longe sufferaunce,Mat. xix. by custome, to put awaie their wiues at their plea­sure, for euery cause: Christ correcting that euill cus­tome, did teach, yt if any mā put away his wife, & ma­rieth an other for any cause, except only for adulte­ry, (whiche then was death by the lawe) he was an adulterer, & forced also his wife so diuorced, to com­mit adultery, if the were ioined to any other man: & the mā also, so ioyned with her, to commit adultery.

In what case then are those adulterers, which for the loue of an whore, put awaye their true and law­full wife, againste all lawe, righte, reason, and con­science▪ O damnable is the state wherin they stand. Swiste destruccion shal fall on them, if they repēte not and amende not: for GOD will not euer suffre holy wedlocke thus to be dishonoured, hated, and despised, He will once punishe this fleshly and licen­tious maner of liuing, and cause that his holy ordi­naunce, shalbe had in reuerence, and honoure.

For surely, wedloke (as the Apostle saieth) is hono­rable emonge al menne, [...]chic. iii and the bed vndefiled: But whoremongers and fornicatours, God will iudge: [Page]that is to saye, punish & condemne. But to what pur­pose is this labour taken, to describe, and set forthe the greatnes of the sinne of whoredom, & the incom­modities that issue & flow out of it, seing that breath and tongue shal sooner faile any mā, then he shal, or may be hable to set it out, accordinge to the abhomi­nacion and hainousnes thereof? Notwithstandinge this is spoken to the entent, that al men shoulde flee whordome, and liue in the feare of god: God graunt that it may not be spoken in vaine.

The thirde part of the sermon against Adulterye.

IN the second parte of this sermon against adulteri, that was last read, you haue lear­ned how earnestly ye scripture warneth vs to auoide the sinne of adultery, and to em­brace clennes of life: & that through adultery we fall into al kindes of sinnes, & are made bonde slaues to the deuil. Thorow cleannes of life we are made mē ­bres of Christ. And finally how farre adultery brīg­eth a man from al goodnes, & driueth him headlong into al vices, mischiefe, & misery. Now wil I declare vnto you in ordre, with what greuous punishmētes god in times past, plagued adultery: & how certaine worldly Princes also, did punish it: that ye may per­ceiue, that whoredome and fornicacion be sinnes, no lesse detestable in the sight of god, and of all good menne, then I haue hitherto vttered. In the firste booke of Moses wee re [...]de, that when mankinde beegan to be multiplied vpon the earth, [...]e [...]. vi. the menne and w [...]omenne gaue their mindes so greatelie to [Page]fleshely delight, and filthy pleasure, that [...] withoute all feare of god. God seeīg this the [...] [...]st­ly and abhominable liuinge, and per [...]uin [...]e that they amended not, but rather encreased dayly more and more, in their sinnefull and vncleane maners, repented that he euer hadde made manne: and too shew how greatly be abhorced adultery, whoredom, fornicacion, and all vncleanesse, he made al the foū ­taines of the deepe earth, to burste oute, and the slu­ces of heauen to be opened, so that the raine came doune vpon the earth, by the space of fourtie daies, and fourtie nightes, and by this meanes, destroied the whole worlde, and all mankinde, eight persons onely excepted: that is to saye, Noe: the preacher of righteousnesse (as Saincte Peter calleth him) and his wife, his three sonnes, and their wiues.

O what a grieuous plague dyd God cast here vpon all liuinge creatures, for the sinne of whordome?

For the whiche God toke vengeaunce, not onely of man, but also of beastes, foules, and all liuing crea­tures. Manslaughter was committed beefore,Ge [...]e. iiii. yet was not ye worlde destroied for that: but for whore­dome, all ye world (few only except) was ouer flowe [...] with waters, & so perished: An example worthy to be remembred, that ye maye learne to feare god.

Wee reade againe, that for the filthy sinne of vncleannesse, Sodome and Gomor. and the other cities nighe vnto them,Gene. [...]ix. were destroied with fire and brimstone from heauen: so that there was nei­ther manne, woman, childe, nor beaste, nor yet anye thinge that grewe vpon the earthe, there lefte vn­destroied. Whose hearte tremb [...]eth not [...] the he [...] ­ting [Page]of this history? Who is so drouned in whordom and vncleanes, yt will not now for euer after, leaue this abhominable liuing, seing that god so grieuous­ly punisheth vncleanesse to raine fire & brymstone from heauen, to destroie whole cities, to kill manne, woman and childe, and all other liuinge creatures there abiding, to cōsume with fire, all yt euer grewe? what can be more manifest tokens of gods wrath & vengeaunce against vncleannes, & impuritie of lif? Marke this historie, (good people) and feare ye ven­geaunce of god. Doe we not reade also, that god did smite Pharao,Gene. xiii. & his house, with greate plagues, be­cause that he vngodly desired Sara, the wife of A­braham? Likewise reade we of Abimelech Kynge of Gerat, althoughe he touched her not by carnall knowledge.Gene. xx. These plages & punishementes did god cast vpon filthie and vncleane persons, beefore the law was geuen, (the law of nature onely reigninge in the heartes of men) to declare howe great loue he had to Matrimonie or wedlocke: & again, how much he abhorred adultery, fornicacion, and all vnclean­nesse. And when the lawe that for badde whoredom, was geuen by Moses to the Iewes did not GOD commaunde,Leut. xx. that the breakers thereof, shoulde be put to death? The wordes of the lawe be these: Who­so committed adulterye with any mans wife, shall dye the death, both the manne and the womanne, beecause he hath broken wedlocke with his neigh­bours wife. In the lawe also it was commaunded, that a damosel and a man taken together in whore­dome, shoulde be both stoned to death. In an other place wee also reade, that God commaunded Moses [Page]to take al the heade rulers, [...]u [...]. xx and Princes of the peo­ple, and to hange them vpon gibbetes openlye, that euery manne might see them, because they either cō ­mitted, or did not punishe whoredome. Againe, did not god sende suche a plague amonge the people, for fornicacion and vncleanesse that they dyed in one daye, three and twentye thousande? I passe ouer for lacke of t [...]ue, manye other histories of the holye Bi­ble, whiche declare the grieuous vengeauncee, and heauie disp [...]easure of GOD, againste whoremon­gers, and adulterers. Certes, this extreme punishe­ment appointed of god, shiweth euidentelye, howe greatly god hateth whoredō: And let vs not double. but that god at this presente, abhorreth all maner of vncleannesse, no lesse then he did in the olde lawe: and will vndoubtedly punishe it, both in this world, and in the worlde to come. [...]ful. v. For he is a God, that can abide none wickednesse? therefore oughte it to bee eschewed of all that tendre the glory of God, and the saluacion of their owne soules.

Saincte Paule saieth:i Cor. x. al these thinges are wri [...] ­ten for oure example, and to teache vs the feare of god, and the obedience to his holy lawe. For if god spared not the naturall branches, neither will he spare vs, that be but graftes, if wee commit like of­fence. If god destroied many thousandes of peop [...], many cities, yea the whole world, for whoredom, let vs not flatter our selues, and thinke we shall escape fre, and without punishement. For he hathe promi­sed in his holy lawe, to sende most grieuous plagues vpon them that transgresse or breake his holy com­maundementes. Thus haue we hearde, howe God [Page] [...]unisheth the sinne of adultery: let vs nowe heare [...]ertaine l [...]es, whiche the ciuil Magistrates deui­sed in diuerse coūtreyes, for the punishment therof, that we may learne, how vnclennes hath euer bene detested in all well ordred cities and commen weal­thes, and emonge all honeste persons. The lawe e­mong the Lepreians was this, that whē any were taken in adultery,Lawes de­ [...]sed for [...]unishment [...]f whordō. they were bound and caried thre daies through the citie, and afterwarde, as longe as they liued, were they despised, and with shame and confusion coumpted as persones voide of all hones­tye. Emonge the Locrensians, the adulteres haue bothe their eyes thruste oute. The Romanes in times paste, punished whoredome, sometime by fire, sometime by sweorde. If a manne emonge the E­gipcians hadde been taken in adulterie, the lawe was that he shoulde openly in the presence of al the people be scourged naked with whippes, vnto the numbre of a thousande stripes. The woman that was taken with him, had hert nose cutt of, whereby she was knowen euer after, to bee an whore, and therfore to be abhorred of all men. Emong the Ara­bians, they that wer taken in adultery, hadde their heades striken from their bodies. The Atheniās pu­nished whoredome by death in like maner. So like­wise did the Barbarous Tartarians. Emonge the Turkes euen at this day, they that be taken in adul­tery, both man and womā, are stoned streightwaies to death, without mercy. Thus see we, what godlye actes wer deuised in times past, of the high powers, for the putting away of whoredome, & for the main­taining of holi matrimony or wedlock, & pure cōuer­sacion. [Page]And the auctors of these actes, were no Chri­stians. but heathen: yet were they so enflamed wyth the loue of honestye and purenes of life, that for the maintenaunce and conseruaciō or keping vp of that they made godly statutes, suffering nether fornicaci­on, nor adultery, to reigne in their realmes vnpuni­shed. Christ said to the people: the Niniuites shal rise at ye iudgement,Luke. xi. with thys nacion, (meaning the vn­faithful Iewes) & shal condemne thē. For they repē ­ted at ye preachyng of Ionas, but behold (saith he) a greater than Ionas is here, (meaning himself,) and yet they repent not. Shal not (thinke you) likewise the Locrensians, Arabians, Athenians, with suche other, rise vp at the iudgemente, and condemne vs, forasmuch as they seaced from whoredom, at the cō ­maundement of man, and we haue the lawe and ma­nifest preceptes and commaundementes of god, and yet forsake we not our filthy conuersacion? Truelye, truely, it shalbe easier at ye day of iudgement to these heathen, thē to vs, except we repent and amend. For although death of body, semeth to vs a grieuous pu­nishment in this world for whoredome: yet is that payne nothing, in cōparisō of the grieuous tormētes which adulters, fornicatours, and al vncleane persones shall suffer after thys lyfe. For al suche shalbe excluded, and shut out of the kingdome of heauen, as Saincte Paule sayeth: be not deceiued,1. Cor. vi. Gol [...]. v. Ephe. v. for neyther whoremōgers, nor worshippers of Images, nor ad­ulterers, nor softlynges, nor sodomites, nor threues, nor couetousse persons, nor dronkardes, nor cursed speakers, nor pyllers, shall inherite the kingdome of God. And S. Iohn in his reuelacion sayeth:Epo. xxi. that [Page]whoremongers shall haue their parte, with murde­rers, sorcerers, enchaunters, liars, idolaters, & suche other, in the lake whiche burneth with fier & brym­stone, which is the seconde death. The punishmente of the bodye althoughe it be death, hath an ende, but the punishment of the soule, which. S. Iohn calleth the seconde death, is euerlasting: there shalbe fier & brimstone:Mat xui. Luke .iii. there shalbe weping & gnashing of teeth: the worme that shal there gnaw the conscience of the damned, shall neuer dye. O whose heart distylleth not euen droppes of bloud, to heare and consider these thynges? If we tremble and shake at the hea­ring and naming of these paynes, oh, what shal thei doe that shall fele them, that shall suffre them: yea & euer shall suffer, worldes withoute ende: God haue mercy vpō vs. Who is now so drowned in sinne and paste all Godlynesse, that he wyl set more by a filthy and stynkyng pleasure, (whych soone passeth away) then by the losse of euerlastyng glorye: Agayne, who wyll so geue hymselfe to the lustes of the fleshe, that he feareth nothyng at al the paynes of hell fier? But let vs heare how we may eschewe the sinne of whor­dome and adulcery, that we maye walke in the feare of god, and be free from those most grieuous, and in tollerable tormentes, whyche abide al vncleane per­sons. To auoyde fornicacion, adulterye, and all vn­clennes, let vs prouide,Remeci­es where­by to a­uoyde for­nicacion & adulterye. that aboue all thynges, we maye kepe our heartes pure and cleane, from al euil thoughtes, and carnal lustes. For if that be once in­fected and corrupte, we fall headlong into al kynde of vngodlynesse. Thys shall we easelye doe, if when we fele inwardlye, that Sathan oure olde enemye [Page]tempteth vs vnto whoredome, we by no meanes cō ­sente to hys craftye suggestions, but valyauntly re­syste and withstande hym, by stronge faythe in the worde of God, aleadgynge a gaynste hym alwayes in oure hearte, thys commaundement of god: Scriptum est, non mae chaberis. It is written, thou shalt not commit whoredome. It shalbe good also for vs, euer to lyue in the feare of god, and to sette before oure eyes: the grieuous threatnynges of god, agaynste all vngod­ly synners, and to consyder in our mynde, how filthy beastely, and shorte that pleasure is, whereunto Sa­than moueth vs.

And againe, howe the payne appoynted for that synne, is intollerable and euerlastyng. Moreouer, to vse a temperaunce and sobrietie in eatynge and drynkyng, to eschewe vncleane communicacion, to a noyde all filthy company, to flee idlenes, to delighte in readyng holy scripture, to watch in godly praiers and vertuouse meditacions: and at al tymes, to exer­cyse some godly trauayles, shall helpe greatlye vnto the esche wing of whoredome.

And here are all degrees to be monished, whether they be married or vnmarried, to loue chastitie and clennes of lyfe. For the married are bounde by the lawe of God so purely to loue one an other, that ne­ther of them seeke any straunge loue. The man must onely cleaue to hys wyfe, and the wyfe agayne only to her husband: they must so delight one in an others companye, that none of them couete any other. And as they are bounde, thus to liue together in all god­lynesse and honeslye, so lykewyse is their duetie, vertuouslye to brynge vp their children, and to [Page]prouide that they fall not into Sathans snare, nor into any vnclēnes, but that they come pure and ho­nest vnto holy wedlocke, when tyme requireth. So likewise oughte all maisters and rulers to prouide, that no whoredome, nor any point of vnclennes, bee vsed among theyr seruauntes. And again, they yt are single, and fele in themselues, that they cannot lyue without the company of a woman, let them get wy­ues of their own, and so liue godli together. For it is better to marry, then to burne.

And to auoide fornicacion,i. Cor. vii. saith the Apostle, let eue­ry man haue his own wife, and euerye woman her own husbande. Finally, al such as fele in thēselues, a sufficiencye and habilitie (throughe the workynge of gods spirite) to leade a sole and continent lyfe, let thē praise god for his gift, and seke al meanes possible to maintaine thesame: as by reading of holy scriptures by godly meditacions, by continual praiers, & suche other vertuous exercises. If we all on thys wyse wil endeuoure our selues to eschewe fornicacion, adulte­ry, and all vnclennes, and leade our liues in all god­lynes and honestye, seruinge God with a pure and cleane hearte, and glorifying him in our bodyes, by leadyng an innocente and harmelesse lyfe, we maye be sure to be in the number of those, of whom our sa­uioure Chryste speaketh in the gospell on thys ma­ner:A [...]th. v. blessed are the pure in hearte, for they shall see God: to whom alone, bee all glorye, ho­noure, rule, and power, worldes with­oure ende. Amen.

¶ A Sermon against Contencion and brawling.

THis day (good Christen people) shall be declared vnto you, the vnprofita­blenes, and shamefull vnhonestye of contencion, strife and debate: to thin­tente, that whē you shal see (as it were in a table painted before your eyes) the euil fauourednes, and deformitie of thys mone detestable vice, your stomackes mat be moued to rise againste it, and to deteste and abhore that sinne, which is so much to be hated, and so pernicious and hurteful to al men. But emong all kindes of cōten­tion, none is more hurteful, then is contencion in matters of religion. Eschewe (sayeth S. Paule) fo­lishe and vnlearned questions,i. Timo. [...]. 1. Tim. ii. knowynge that they brede stryfe. It becommeth not the seruaunt of god, to fight or striue, but to be meke towarde all menne. This contencion and strife was in Sainct Paules tyme, emong the Corinthians, and is at this tyme, emonge vs Englyshe menne: For to many there be, which vpon the Ale benches or other places, delight to set forth certayne questyons, not so much pertay­nyng to edificacion, as to vaine glory and shewyng forth of theyr conning: and so vnsoberly to reason & dispute, that when neyther parte wyll geue place to other, they fall to chydynge and contencyon, [...] and sometyme from hote woordes to further inconuem­ence. Sainte Paule could not abyde to heare emong the Corinthians, these woordes of discorde or dis­sencyon: I hold of Paule, I of Cephas, and I of A­pollo. What woulde he then saye,i. Cor. iii. if he heard these [Page]wordes of contencion (which be now almost in eueri mans mouth:) he is a Pharisei, he is a gospeller, he is of the new sort, he is of the old fayth, he is a newe broched brother he is a good catholique father, he is a papist, he is an heretique. Oh how the church is deuided. Oh howe the cities bee cut and mangled. Oh how the cote of Chryst, that was wythoute seame, is all to rente and torne. Oh body mistieal of Chryste: where is that holy & happy vnitie, oute of ye whyche whosoeuer is, he is not in Chryst: If one mēber bee pulled from another, where is the body? If the bodye be drawen frō the head, where is the life of the body, We cannot be ioyned to Christ our head, excepte we bee glued with cōcorde & charitie, one to an other. For he yt is not in this vnitie, is not of the church of Christ,1. Cor .iii. whiche is a congregacion or vnitie together, and not a diuision. S. Paule saith: that as longe as emulacion or enuyinge, contencion, and faccions or seetes, be emong vs, we be carnal, and walke accor­dyng to the fleshly mā. And. S. Iames saith: If you haue bitter emulacion or enuying and contencion in your heartes, glory not of it: for wheras contencion is,Iames. iii there is vnstedfastnes, and all euill dedes. And why doe we not heare. S. Paule which prayeth vs, whereas he myghte commaunde vs, saying. I bee­seche you, in the name of oure Lord Iesus Chryste, that you wyl speake all one thyng,1. Cor. i. and that there be no dissencion emonge you, but that you will bee one whole body, of one mind, & of one opiniō in ye trueth. If his desier be resonable & honest, why doe we not grasit it [...]if his request be for our profit, why doe we refuse it? And if we liste not to heare his peticion of praier, yet let vs heare his exhortaciō, wher he saith: [Page]I exhorte you, that you walke,Ephe. iiii. as it becommeth the vocacion in the which you be called, with al submissi­on and mekenesse, with lenitie and softnesse of mind bearyng one another by charitie, studying to keepe the vnitie of the spirite, by the bonde of peace. For there is one body, one spirite, one faith, one baptisme There is (he saith) but one body, of the whiche he cā be no liuely member, yt is at variaūce with the other members. There is one spirite, whiche ioyneth and knitteth all thynges in one. And how can thys one spirite reigne in vs, when we among our selues bee deuyded? There is but one fayth, and howe can we then say the is of the olde fayth, and he is of the new fayth. There is but one baptisme, and then shall not all they, whiche be baptised, be one? Contencion cau­seth diuision, wherefore it oughte not to bee emonge Christians, whom one fayth, and baptisme ioyneth in an vnitie. But if we cōtemne. S. Pauses: request and exhortacion, yet at the least, let vs regarde hys earnest entreating, in the whyche he doeth very ear­nestly charge vs, and (as I maye so speake) coniure vs in this fourme and maner: If there be any consolacion in Chryste, if there bee any comforte of loue, if you haue any felowshyp of the spirite, if you haue any bowels of pitie and compassion, fulfill my ioye, beeynge all lyke affected, hauynge one charitie, bee­ynge of one minde, of one opinion, that nothynge be done by comencion, or vayneglorye. Who is he, that hath any bowels of pitie, that wyll not be moued with these wordes so pithye: Whose hearte is so stony the sweorde of these woordes (whyche bee more sharpe then anye two edged sweorde) maye notPhili. iii. [Page] [...]ut and breake a sonder; Wherfore, let vs endeuoure our selues to fulfil. S. Paules ioy, here in this place whiche shalbe at length to our great ioy in an other place. [...]ow we [...]houlde [...]cade the [...]cripture Let vs so reade the scripture, that by readyng therof, we may be made the better lyuers, rather thē tue more contencious disputers. If any thyng is ne­cessary to be taughte, reasoned, or disputed, let vs do it with all mekenesse, softnesse, and lenitie. If anye thyng shall chaunce to be spoken vncomely, lette one beare an others frailtie. He that is faultye, let hym rather amende, then defende that whyche he hath spoken amisse, lest he fal by contencyon from a folish erroure, into an obstinate heresye: for it is better to geue place mekely then to winne the victorye, wyth the breache of charitie: which chaūseth, where euerie man wil defend his opinion obstinately. If we bee Christen mē, why do we not folowe Chryst, whyche sayeth: [...]ath. x. learne of me, for I am meeke and lowelye in heart. A disciple must learne the lesson of his scoole­master, and a seruaunt must obeye the commaunde­ment of his mayster. He that is wyse & learned (saith S. Iames) let him shewe his goodnes by his good conuersacion and sobrenes of hys wysedome. For where there is enuy and contencion, that wysedome commeth not from God, but is worldly wysedome, mans wysedome, and deuillishe wisedome. For the wysedome that commeth from aboue, from ye spirite of god, is chaste and pure, corrupted with no euil af­fe [...]ions: it is quiete, meke and peaceable, abhorring all desyre of contencyon:I [...]. ii [...] it is tractable, obedyeme, not grudging to learne, and to geue place to them that [...]eache better for their reformacyon. For there [Page]shall neuer bee an ende of striuing and contencion, if we contend, who in contencion shal be master, and haue the ouer hande: if we shall heape erroure vpon errour, if we continue to defend yt obstinatly, whiche was spokē vnaduisedly. For trueth it is, that stifnes in mainteining an opinion, bredeth contenciō, brau­ling and chiding, which is a vice amonge all other, most pernicious and pestilent to common peace and quietnes. And as it standeth betwixte two persons and parties, (for no man commonly doth chide with himselfe (so it comprehendeth two moste detestable vices: the one is picking of querels, with sharpe and contencious wordes: the other standeth in frowarde answering, & multiplying euill wordes again.i. Cor v. The firste is so abhominable, that sainct Paule saieth: if any that is called a brother, bee a worshipper of y­dols, a brauler, or picker of querels, a thief, or an ex­torcioner, with him that is such a manne, see that ye eate not. Now here considre that sainct Paul num­breth a scolder, a brauler, or a picker of querels, a­mong thiefes, and idolaters:Ag [...]ist. querell pickig. and many times com­meth lesse hurt of a thiefe, then of a railinge tounge: for the one taketh awaye a mannes good name, the other taketh but his riches, whiche is of muche lesse value & estimaciō, thē is his good name. And a thief hurteth but him, from whom he stealeth: but he that hath an euil tonge, troubleth al the towne where he dwelleth, & sometime the whole countrie. And a ca [...] ­ling tongue is a pestilence so full of cōtagiousnes,i. Cor. [...]i. y sainct Paul willeth christian menne to forbeare the company of suche, & neither to eate nor drinke with them. And wheras he will not, that a thris [...]ia womā [Page]shoulde forsake her husbande, althoughe he bee an infidele, nor that a christian seruaunt shoulde depart from his master, which is an infidele and Heathen, and so suffre a christian man to kepe companie with an infidele: yet he forbiddeth vs to eate or drike with a scolder, or a quarel picker. And also in the .vi. chap. to the. Cor. he saith thus: Be not deceiued, for nei­ther fornicators, [...]. Corin. vi. neither worshippers of ydols, nei­ther thieues, nor drūkerds, neither cursed speakers, shal dwel in the kingdom of heauen. It must nedes be a great fault, that doth moue and cause the father to disherite his natural sonne. And how can it other­wise be, but that this cursed speakinge muste nedes be a moste damnable sinne, the whiche doeth cause god our most merciful and louing father,Against fro [...]aro oun­swering. to depriue vs of his most blessed kingdome of heauen. Against the other sinne that standeth in requiting taunte for taunte, speaketh Christe himselfe: I saye vnto you, (saith our sauiour Christe) resiste not euill, [...]at. v. but loue your enemies, and saye well by them, that saye euill by you: doe wel vnto them, that doe euil to you, and praye for them, that doe hurte and persecute you: yt you maye bee the children of your father, whiche is in heauen, who suffereth his sunne too rise, both vpon good and euell, and sendeth his raine both to the iuste and vniuste. To this doctrine of Christe, agreeth very well the teaching of sainct Paul,Roma. xi [...] that chosen vessel of God, who ceaseth not to exhorte and cal vpon vs, saying: blesse them that curse you, blesse (I say) and curse not: recompence to no man euil for euil: if it be possible (asmuch as lieth in you) li [...]e pea­ceably with all men.

[...] against contencion.

IT hath ben declared vnto you in this ser­mon againste strife and braulinge, what greate inconuenience commeth thereby, specially of suche contencion as groweth in matters of religion. And howe, when as no man will geue place to an other, there is none ende of contencion and discorde. And that vnitie, whiche God requireth of christians, is vtterly thereby ne­glected and broken. And that this contencion stan­deth chiefely in two pointes, as in picking of qua­relles, and makinge froward aunswers. Nowe ye shal heare Sainct Paules wordes, sayinge: Deare­ly beloued, auenge not your selues, but rather geue place vnto wrath, for it is written: vengeaunce is mine, I wil reuenge, saieth the lorde. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, fede him: if he thirst, geue him drinke: bee not ouercome with euill,Deu. xxxii. but ouercome euill with goodnes. All these be the wordes of sainct Paule. But they that be so ful of stomacke, and sette so muche by themselues, that they maye not abide so muche as one euill woorde to be spoken of them. [...]eraduenture will saye: if I bee euill reuiled, shall I stand still like a goose, or a foole, with my finger in my mouth? Shall I bee suche an ydiote & diserd, an obiecciō. to suffre euery manne to speake vpon me what they list, to rayle what they list, to spewe out all their ve­ [...]ume against me, at their pleasures. Is it not con­ueniente, that he that speaketh euill should bee aun­swered accordinglye: If I shall vse this lenitie and [Page]softnes. I shal both īcrease mine enemies froward­nesse, and prouoke other to doe like. Suche reasons make they that can suffre nothinge, An āswere for the defence of their impacience. And yet, if by frowarde answe­ring to a froward person, there were hope to reme­die his frowardnesse, he should lesse offend, yt should so answere, doing the same not of yre, or malice, but onely of that intente, that he that is so frowarde or malicious, maye be refourmed. But he that cannot amende another mannes faulte, or cānot amend it without his owne fault, better it were yt one shoulde perish, then two, Then if he cannot quiete him with gentle wordes, at the least lett him not folowe him, in wicked and vncharitable woordes. If he can pa­eifie him with sufferinge, lette him suffre: and if not, it is better to suffre euill, then to dooe euill: too saye well, then to saye euill. For to speake well againste euill, commeth of the spirite of GOD: but to rendre euill for euill, commeth of the contrarie spirite.

And he that cannot temper ne rule his owne anger is but weake and feble, and rather more like a wo­man or a childe, then a stronge manne. For the true strength and manlinesse, is to ouercome wrathe, and to despise iniurie, and other mennes foolisshe­nesse. And besides this, he that shall despise the wronge doen vnto him by his enemye, euery mane shall perceiue, that it was spoken or doen without cause: where as contrarye, he that doth fume & chafe at it, shall helpe the cause of his aduersarie, geuinge suspicion that the thinge is true. And so in going a­bout to reuenge eu [...]l we shewe our selues to be euil, and while wee will punishe, and reuenge an other [Page]mans foly, we double and augement our owne foly. But many pretenses finde they, that be wilful, to co­lour their impacience. Mine enemie (say they) is not worthy to haue gentle wordes or deedes, beinge so ful of malice, or frowardnes. The lesse he is worthy the more arte thou allowed of GOD: the more art thou cōmended of Christ, for whose sake thou shoul­dest rendre good for euill, because he hath commaū ­ded thee, & also deserued that thou shouldest so dooe. Thy neighbor hath peraduenture with a worde of­fended the: cal thou to thy remembraunce, with how many wordes & dedes, how grieuous [...]y thou hast of­fended thy lorde god. What was man, when Christe died for him? was he not his enemie, and vnworthy to haue his fauour and mercy? Euen so, with what gentlenes and pacience doeth he forbeare and tolle­rate & suffer thee, althoughe he is daiely offended by thee? Forgeue therfore a ligt [...]repasse to thy neigh­bour, that Christ maye forgeue thee, many thousan­des of trespasses, whiche art euerie day an offender. For if thou forgeue thy brother, being to thee a tres­passer, then hast thou a sure signe and tokē, that god wil forgeue thee, to whom al men be debters or tres­passers. How wouldest thou haue god merciful to ye, if thou wilte be cruell vnto thy brother? Canst thou not finde in thine hearte to do yt towardes an other, that is thy felow, whiche god hath doen to thee, that art but his seruaunte? Ought not one sinner to for­geue another, seing that Christ, whiche was no syn­ner, did praye to his father for them, that withoute mercy [...]nd dispitfully put him to death? Who, when he was reuiled,i. Pet. ii. did not vse reuiling wordes againe, [Page]& when he suffred wrongfully, he did not threaten, but gaue all vengeaunce to the iudgemente of his father, which iudgeth rightfully. And what crakest thou of thy heade, if thou laboure not to bee in the body? Thou canst be no membre of Christ, if thou fo­low not the steppes of Christ: who (as the Prophete saith) was led to death like a lambe, [...]soi. iiii. not openinge his mouth to reuiling, but opening his mouthe too praying for them that crucified him, saiyng: Father, forgeue them,Luke .xxiii. for they cannot tell what they doe.

The which example, a none after Christ, sainct Ste­phin did folowe,Acte. vii. and after sainct Paule: We be euill spoken of (saith he) and speake well, we suffre perse­cucion & take it paciently: [...] Cor. iiii. Men curse vs, & we gently entreate. Thus. s. Paule taught that he did, & he did that he taught: Blesse you (saieth he) thē that perse­cute you: blesse you, and curse not. Is it a great thīg to speake wel to thine aduersarie, to whome Christ doth commaund the to do well? Dauid whē Semei did call him all to nought, did not chide againe, but said paciently: suffre him to speake euil, if perchaunce ye lord wil haue mercy on me. Histories be ful of exā ­ples of Heathē men, that toke very mekely, both op­probrious & reprocheful wordes & īiurious or wrōg­ful dedes. And shal those Heathē excel in paciēce, vs, yt professe Christ, ye teacher and exāple of all paciēce? Lisander, when one did rage against him, in reuilīg of him, he was nothinge moued, but said: goe to, go to, speake against me asmuch, & as oft as thou wilt, & leaue out nothinge, if perchaunce by this meanes thou maist discharge the of those naughtie thinges, with the whiche it semeth, that thou art full laden. [Page]Many men speake euil of al menne, because they cā speake well of no manne. After this sort, this wise man auoided from him, the reprocheful wordes spo­ken vnto him: imputing and laying them to the na­turall sicknes of his aduersarie.

Pericles, when a certaine scoulder, or a railing fe­low did reuile him, he answered not a worde again, but went into a galery: & after toward night, when he went home, this scoulder folowed him, rageing still more and more, because he sawe the other so sett nothing by him. And after that he came to his gate, (being darcke nighte) Pericles commaunded one of his seruauntes to light a torche, & to bringe the scol­der home to his owne house. He did not onely with quietnes suffre this brawler pacientely, but also re­compenced an euill turne with a good turne, & that to his enemie. Is it not a shame for vs that professe Christ, to be worse then Heathen people, in a thinge chiefly pertaining to Christes religion? shal philoso­phie perswade them more, then goddes woorde shall perswade vs? Shall naturall reason preuaile more with thē, then religion shal do with vs? Shal mans wisedome leade them to that thinge, wherunto the heauenly doctrine cannot leade vs? What blinde­nes, wilfulnes, or rather madnesse is this?

Pericles being prouoked to anger with many vilai­nous wordes, answered not a worde. But we stir­red but with one litle word, what foule worke do we make? How do we sinne, rage, stampe, and stare like madde men? Many men of euery trifle, will make a great matter, and of the sparke of a litle worde, will kindle a great fire, taking all thinges in the worste [Page]parte. But how muche better is it, and more like to the example and doctrine of Christ, to make rather of a great fault in our neighbour, a small fault, rea­soning with our selfes after this sort. He spake these wordes, but it was in a sodaine heate, or the drinke spake them, & not he, or he spake them at the mociō of some other, or he spake them, being ignoraunt of the truth: he spake them not against me, but against him whome he thought me to bee. But as touching euil speaking,Reasōs to [...]noue men [...]rom querel [...]ickinge. he that is ready to speake euil against other menne: first lette him examine himselfe, whe­ther he be faultlesse and cleare of the faulte, whiche he findeth in an nother. For it is a shame when he that blameth an other for any fault, is giltie himself either in the same faulte, either in a greater. It is a shame for him that is blinde, to call another manne blinde: and it is more shame for him that is whole blinde, to cal him blinkarde, that is but pore blinde. For this is to see a strawe in another mannes eye, when a man hath a blocke in his own eye. Then let him consider, that he that vseth to speake euill, shall commonly bee euill spoken of againe. And he that speaketh what he will for his pleasure, shalbe com­pelled to heare that he would not, to his displeasure. Moreouer lette him remembre that saying: that we shall geue an accoumpte for euery idle worde.Mat. xii. Howe muche more then shall we make a reconinge for our sharpe, bitter, brauling, and chiding wordes, whiche prouoke our brother to be angrie, & so to the breache of his charitie, And as touching euill answearinge, al though we [...]ee neuer somuche prouoked by other mennes euill speaking, yet we shall not folow their [Page]frowardnes by euil aunsweryng, if we cōsider, that anger is a kinde of madnes, and that he whyche is angry, is (as it wer for the time) in a phrensy.Reason [...] to moue men from frowarde [...] aunswe­rynge. Wher­fore let him beware, lest in his fury he speake any thing, wherof afterwarde he may haue iust cause to be sory. And he that wil defende that anger is no fu­ry, but that he hath reason, euē when he is most an­gry, then let him reason thus wyth himselfe, whē he is angrye. Nowe I am so moued and chafed, that within a litle while after, I shalbe otherwaies min­ded: wherfore then should I now speake any thynge in mine anger, which hereafter, when I would fay­nest, cannot be chaunged? Wherfore shal I doe any thing now, beeing (as it were) out of my wit, for the which, whē I shall come to my selfe againe, I shalbe verye sadde? Why dooeth not reason? Why doeth not godlines? Yea, why doeth not Chryst obtein ye thyng now of me, which hereafter time shal obteine of me? If a man be called an adulterer, vsurer, drunkarde, or by any other shamefull name, let hym cōsider ear­nestly, whether he be so called truly or falsly: if true­ly, let him amende hys fault, that his aduersary may not after worthely charge him with such offences: if these thinges be layed against hym falsly, yet let him consider. whether he hath geuen any occasion to bee suspected of such thynges, and so he maye both cut of that suspicion wherof thys slaunder did arise, and in other thynges shall lyue more warelye. And thus v­sing oure selues, we maye take no hurte, but rather muche good, by the rebukes and slaunders of oure enemye. For the reproche of an enemye, maye be to many men a quicker spurre to the amendeme [...]te of [Page]their life, then the gentle monicion of a frende. Phillippus the king of Macedonye, when he was euil­spoken of by the chyefe rulers of the citie of Arthens he did thanke them hertely, because by them he was made better, both in his wordes and dedes: for I stu­dye (saied he) bothe by my sayinges and doynges, to proue them lyars.

¶ The thirde parte of the Sermon [...]gaynst contencion.

YE heard in the last lesson of the sermon a­gaynst [...]fe and braulynge, howe we may answere them whiche mainteine their fro­warde saying [...]s in cōtencion, & that wyl reuenge with wordes such euil as other men doe to them. And finally howe we may accordynge to gods wyl, order our selues: & what to consider towardes them, when we are prouoked to contenciō and strife wyth raylyng wordes. Now to procede in the same matter, you shall knowe the ryght waye how to dis­proue and ouercome your aduersary and enemye.

Thys is the best way to improue a mans aduersary so to lyue, that all whiche shall knowe his honestye, may beare wytnes, that he is slaundered vnworthe­ly. If the faulte whereof he is slaundered, bee suche, that for the defence of hys honeslye, he muste nedes make answere▪ yet let him answer quietly and softe­ly, on thys fashyon: that those faultes bee layed a­gaynste hym falslye. For it is trueth, that the wise mā sayeth:P [...] .xv. a softe aunswere asswageth anger, and a heard and sharpe aunswere doeth stirre vp rage and furye. The sharpe aunswere of Nabal, did prouoke [Page]Dauid to cruel vengeaunce:i. res. xx [...]. but the gentle wordes of Abigail, quenched the fier again, that was all in a flame. And a speciall remedy agaynste malycyous ionges, is to arme oure selues with pacience, meke­nes, & silence, lest wt multiplying wordes wc the ene­mie, we be made as euil as he.An obie [...] ­cyon. But they that cannot beare one euil worde, peraduenture for their owne excuse, wil allege that which is written: he that des­pyseth his good name is cruel. Also we reade: an­swere a foole accordyng to hys fooly s [...]es.Pro. xxvi And our lord Iesus did hold his peace at certain euil sayings but to some, he answered diligen [...] ▪ He heard men call him a Samaritaine, a carpent [...]s sonne, a wine drinker, and he helde hys pe [...]e: but when he heard them say, thou hast a Deuil within the,Iohn. xix he answered to that earnestly. Trueth it is in dede, that there is a tyme,An nu [...] ­swere: [...] when it is conuenient to answer a foole accor­dyng to his folishnes, lest he should seme in his own conceite to be wise. And sometyme it is not profita­ble to answere a fole, accordyng to hys folishnes, lest the wyse man be made lyke to the fole. When our in­famye or the reproche that is done vnto vs is ioyned with the perill of many, then is it necessarye in aun­swering to be quicke and ready. For we reade that many holy men of good zeales, haue sharpelye and fiercely, both spoken and answered tiraūtes and euil men: whiche sharpe wordes came not of anger, ran­cor or malice, or desyer of vengeaunce, but of a fer­uent desyer to bryng them to she true knowledge of God, and from vngodly liuinge, by an earneste and sharpe rebuke and chydyng.Mat. i [...]i. In thys zeale Saincte Iohn Baptist called the Phariseis, Adders broobe: [Page]and. [...] iii. S. Paule called the Galathyans soles: and the men of Crete, he called lyars, euill beastes, and slug­gishe bellies: [...]im [...]. i. [...]ba [...]li. iii. and the false Apostles, he called dogges and craftye workemen. And thys zele is godlye and to be allowed, as it is plainly proued by the example of Christ, who although he were the fountayne and spryng of all mekenes▪ genilenes and softnes: yet he calleth the obstinate Scribes and Phariseis, [...]. xxiii. blinde guides, fooles, paynted graues, Hipocrites, serpētes adders brode; a corrupt and wicked generacion. Al­so he rebuketh Peter egerly, [...]. xvi. saying: goe behynde me Sathan. Likewise. S. Paule reproueth Elimas, saying: [...]te. xiii O thou full of all crafte and guyle, enemy to all iustice, thou ceaseste not to destroye the ryghte waies of god: and now loe, the hand of the lord is v­pon thee, and thou shalt be blinde, and not see for a tyme. [...]. v. And. S. Peter reprehendeth Ananias verye sharpeli, saying: Ananias, how is it that Sathā hath filled thy heart, that thou shouldest lie vnto the holy gost? This zeale hath been so feruente in many good men, that it hath stirred thē, not only to speake bitter and eger wordes: but also to doe thynges, whyche might seme to some, to be cruell, but in dede the bee very iust, charitable and godly, beecause they were not doen of yre, malice, or contencyous mind, but of a feruent mind to the glory of god, and the correcci­on of sinne, executed by men, called to that office. For in thys zeale, our Lord Iesus Chryst dyd driue with a whippe,Iohn. ii. Exo. xxxii the biers and sellers out of the temple. In this zeale Moses brake the two tables, which he had receyued at gods hande, when he saw the Israelites [...]unsyng about a calse: and caused to be killed .xxiii. [Page]M. of his own people. [...]um. x [...] But the [...] example [...] are not [...] be fol [...] [...] ­wed of [...] very b [...] but as [...] be called to o [...]p [...] and set [...] aucthouty Iame. iiii. Pro. xx. In this zeale Phinees the sonne of Eleasar, did thrust through with his sword, zambry and Cosby, whom he founde together ioined in the acte of Lecherye. Wherfore, now to returne a­gaine to contencious wordes, and specially in mat­ters of religion, and gods worde, (whyche would be vsed with all modestie, sobernes and charitie) the wordes of. S. Iames ought to be wel marked, and borne in memorye▪ where he sayeth: that of contenci­on riseth all euyl. And the wyse kyng Salomon say­eth: honoure is due to a man that kepeth hymself frō contencion, and al that mingle themselues therwith be foles. And because this vice is so muche hurtefull to the societie of a common wealth, in all well orde­red cities, these common braulers and sholders, be punished with a notable kinde of payne: as to be set on the coking stole, pillery, or such lyke. And they bee vnworthy to liue in a common wealth, the which d [...] asmuch as lieth in them, with brauling and skolding to disturbe the quietnes and peace of the same. And wherof commeth thys contencion, stryfe, and vary­aunce, but of pryde and vayneglory? Let vs therfore humble our selues vnder the myghtie hande of god,i Pet. [...]. Luke. [...]. whyche hath promysed to reste vpon them, that bee humble and lowe in spirite. If we be good and quiet Christian men, let it appeare in our speach and ton­gues. If we haue forsaken the deuill, lette vs vse no more deuelyshe tonges. He that hath been a ras [...]ing sholder, nowe lette hym be a sober counsayloure. He that hath been a malicious siaund erer, now let hym be a louing comforter. He that hath been a▪ vain rai­ler, now let hym be a gostly teacher. He that hath a­bused [Page]his tong in cursing, now let him vse it in bles­syng. He that hath abused his tong in euil speakyng, now let hym vse it in speakyng wel. Al bitternes, an­ger, raylyng, and blasphemye, let it be auoyded frō you. If you may, and it pe possible, in no wyse be an­gry. But if you may not be cleane voide of this pas­sion, then yet so temper and bridle it, that it stirre you not to contencion and braulyng. If you be pro­uoked wyth euyll speakyng, arme youre selfe wyth pacience, lenitie and silence, ether speaking nothing, or els beeyng very soft, meke and gentle in answe­ryng. Ouercome thine aduersaryes with benefytes and gentlenes. And aboue all thynges, kepe peace & vnitie: be no peace breakers, but peace makers. And then there is no doubt, but that god, the aucthor of comforte and peace, wil graunt vs pence of consciēce and, suche concorde and agremente, that with one mouth and mynde, we may gloryfye god the father of our Lord Iesus Chryst: to whom be al glory now and euer. Amen.

HEreafter shall folowe sermons, of fastyng, praying, Al­mese dedes: of the [...]atiuitie, Passion, Resurrecyon & Ascencion of our Sauioure Ch [...]ste: of the due recey­ [...] of hys blessed body and bloud, vnder the fourme of bread and wyne: agaynst Idlenes, agaynst Gluttonye and drunke [...]nes, agaynst couetousnesse, agaynste enuye, I [...] and malice, with many other matters, of well fruitefull as necessa­rye to the [...]sying of Chrysten people, and the increase of godly liuing Amen.

God saue the Quene.

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