THE INSTI­TVTION OF A CHRISTEN MAN, CONTEYNYNGE the Expo­sytion or Interpretation of the com­mune Crede, of the seuen Sa­cramentes, of the .x. com­mandementes, and of the Pater noster, and the Aue Maria, Iustyfication & Purgatory. ❧

[printer's device of Thomas Berthelet, a compartment featuring cherubs, pygmies and other mythical creatures climbing vines, carrying a litter, banging a drum, etc., a figure wearing a laurel wreath above (not in McKerrow)]

TO THE MOSTE HYGHE AND moste excellent prince, our most gracious, and most redouted Souerayn lord and kyng HENRY the .VIII. by the grace of god kyng of Englande and of Fraunce, defendour of the fayth, lorde of Irelande, and supreme heed in erthe immediately vnder Christ of the Churche of Englande, Thomas arch­bysshop of Canturbury, Edwarde archebysshoppe of Yorke, and all other the bysshoppes, prelates, and Archedeacons of this your realme, wysshe all grace, peace, and felicitie from almighty god the father our lorde Iesu Christe.

PLEASETH IT YOVR moste royall maiestie to vnderstande, that where as of your most godly disposition and ten­der zeale, whyche is impressed in your most noble harte, towardes thaduance­ment of goddis glorie, and the ryghte institution and education of your people, in the know­lege of Christis true religyon, your hyghnes cōmaun­ded vs nowe of late, to assemble oure selfes togyther, and vpon the diligent serche and pervsing of holy scri­pture, to sette forth a playne and syncere doctrine, con­cernyng the hole summe of al those thynges, which ap­pertayne vnto the profession of a christen man, that by the same al errours, doutes, superstitions, and abuses, might be suppressed, remoued, and vtterly taken away, to the honour of almighty god, and to the perfyte esta­blyshing of your said subiectes in good vnitie and concorde, and perfite quyetenes bothe in their sowles and bodies. We consydering the godly effecte and intent of [Page] this your highnes moste vertuous and gracious com­mandement, do not only reioyse and giue thankes vn­to almyghty god with al our hartes, that it hath plesed him to send such a kinge to reigne ouer vs, which so er­nestly mindeth to set forth amōg his subiectes the light of holy scripture, whiche alone sheweth men the righte pathe to come to god, to se hym, to knowe hym, to loue hym, to serue hym, and so to serue hym, as he most de­syreth: but haue also accordyng to our moste bounden dueties, endeuoured our selfes, with all our witte, ler­nyng, and power, to satisfie your highnes sayd desired moste godly purpose. And thervpon callyng to our re­membrance howe the hole pithe and summe of all those thinges, which be at great length conteyned in the hole canon of the Bible, and be of necessitie required to the attayning of euerlasting life: was sufficiently, exactly, and therwith shortly and compendiously comprehēded in the .xii. Articles of the cōmune Crede, called thapo­stels Crede, in the .vii. sacramentes of the churche, in the tenne commandementes, and in the prayer of oure lorde, called the Pater noster. And considerynge therfore, that if your highnes people were perfitely instructed & lerned in the right knowlege and vnderstanding of the same, they shuld not only be hable easily to perceiue and vnderstande, and also to lerne by hart and beare away the hole effecte and substance of al those thinges, which do appertayne and be necessarie for a chrysten man ey­ther to beleue, or to do, but also that al occasions might therby be remouid, which by any colour or visage haue caused any of them to fal or to be offended: we haue af­ter longe and mature consultation, had amonges vs, [Page] compiled a certaine treatise, wherin we haue employed our hole study, and haue therin truely and purely sette forth and declared in our mother tongue, the very sense and meanynge, and the veray righte vse vertue and ef­ficacie of all the said foure partes. And forasmoche as Faythe, is that syngular gifte of god, wherby our har­tes, that is to say, our naturall reason & iugement (ob­scured and almoste extincted by originall & actuall syn­nes) is lyghtened, purified, and made hable to knowe & discerne, what thinges be in dede acceptable, and what be displeasant in the sight of god. and for bycause also that faith is the very fountayne and chiefe grounde of our religion, and of all goodnes and vertues exercysed in the same, and is the firste gate, wherby we entre, and be receyued and admytted, not onely into the familye or householde of our lord god, but also into the knowlege of his maiestie and deitie, and of his inestimable po­wer, wysedome, rightuousenes, mercy, and goodnes: We haue fyrste of all begonne with the Crede, & haue declared by way of a paraphrasis, that is a kynd, mere, and true exposition of the right vnderstanding of eue­ry article of the same. And afterwarde we haue intrea­ted of the institution, the vertue, and ryghte vse of the seuen sacramentes. And thirdly we haue declared the tenne commandementes, and what is conteined in eue­ry one of them. And fourthly we haue shewed the inter­pretation of the Pater noster, whervnto we haue also ad­ded the declaration of the Aue Maria. And to thintent we wold omytte nothynge, conteyned in the boke of Arti­cles, deuised and sette forth this last yere, by your high­nes like cōmandement: We haue also added in the ende [Page] of this tretise, the article of Iustification, and the article of Purgatory, as they be in the said boke expressid. And thus hauing determyned our sentence in all thinges contey­ned in the said treatise, according to the very true mea­ninge of scripture, we do offre the same here with vnto your moste excellent maiestie, most humbly besechinge the same to permytte and suffre it, in case it shall be soo thought mete to your most excellent wisdom to be prin­ted, and so with your supreme power set forthe: & com­manded to be by vs and all other your subiectes of the clergie of this your mooste noble realme, as well rely­gious as other, taughte to your highnes people, with­oute the whiche power and lycence of youre maiestie, we knoweledge and confesse, that we haue none au­ctorytie eyther to assemble our selfes togyther for anye pretence or pourpose, or to publysshe any thinge, that might be by vs agreed on & compiled. And albeit most drade and benigne souerain lorde, we do affirme by our lerninges, with one assent, that the said treatise is in all pointes so concordāt and agreable to holy scripture, as we truste your maiestie shal receiue the same, as a thing most sincerely and purely handled to the glorie of god, your graces honor, the vnitie of your people, the which thinges your highnes we may well se & perceyue, doth chiefly in the same desire: Yet we do moste humbly sub­myt it to the most excellent wysedome & exact iugement of your maiestie, to be recognised, ouersene, and correc­ted, if your grace shal finde any worde or sentence in it mete to be changed, qualified, or further expounded, for the playn setting forth of your highnes most vertuous desyre and purpose in that behalfe. Whervnto we shall [Page] in that case conforme our selfes, as to our most boūden dueties to god and to your highnes apperteineth.

Your hyghnes most humble subiectes and dayly bedesmen.
  • Thomas Cantuarien.
  • Ioannes London.
  • Stephanus winton.
  • Ioannes Exon.
  • Ioannes Lincoln.
  • Ioannes Bathonien.
  • Rolandus Couen. et Lich.
  • Thomas Elien.
  • Nicolaus Sa (rum).
  • Ioannes Bangor.
  • Edouardus Hereforden.
  • Hugo wigornien.
  • Ioannes Roffen.
  • Ricardus Cicestren.
  • Guilielmus Norwicen.
  • Guilielmus Meneuen.
  • Robertus Assauen.
  • Robertus Landauen.
  • Edouardus Ebo (rum).
  • Cuthbertus Dunelmen.
  • Robertus Carliolen.
  • Ricardus wolman Archidiaconus Sudbur. Gulielmus knyght Arch. Richemond. Ioannes Bell Arch. Gloucestr. Edmundus [...]er Arch. Laicestr. Gulielmus Skippe Arch. Dorsett. Nicolaus Heeth Arch. Stafford. Cuthbertus Marshal Arch. Notingham. Ricardus Curren Arch. Oxon. Gulielmus Cliffe, Galfridus Downes, Robertus O­kyng, Radulphus Bradford, Ricardus Smith, Symon Mathew, Ioan­nes Pryn, Gulielmus Buckmaster, Gulielmus May, Nicolaus wot­ton, Ricardus Coxe, Ioannes Edmundes, Thomas Robertson, Ioan­nes Baker, Thomas Baret, Ioannes Hase, Ioannes Tyson Sacrae theologiae, iuris ecclesiastici et Ciuilis professores.
¶This boke called the Institution of a christen man conteyneth foure speciall partes wherof
  • ¶The fyrste parte conteyneth the exposytion of the Crede, called thapostelles Crede.
  • ¶The seconde parte conteyneth the Exposition or de­claration of the seuen sacramentes.
  • ¶The thyrde parte conteyneth the exposition of the tenne commaundementes.
  • ¶The fourthe parte conteyneth the exposytion of the Pater noster and the Aue, with the articles of Iu­stifycation, and Purgatorie.
¶The crede called thapostels Crede.
  • 1 I BELEVE in god the father, and that he is almyghty, and creator of heuen and erth.
  • 2 AND I beleue in Iesu Christe, and that he is his onely begotten sonne, and our lorde.
  • 3 AND that he was conceyued by the holy goost, and borne of the virgyn Mary.
  • 4 AND suffred passyon for our redempcion vnder a certayne Iuge, whose name was Pontius Pilatus, and so was cru­cified, deed, and buryed.
  • 5 AND that he descended into hell, and rose agayn the thyrde day from death to lyfe.
  • 6 AND that he ascended afterwarde vp into heuen / and syt­teth there vpon the right hande of almyghty god his father.
  • 7 AND that he shall come from thens at Domisday to iudge the quycke and deade.
  • 8 AND I beleue in the holy gooste.
  • 9 AND I beleue that there is one holy Catholyque and vni­uersall churche.
  • 10 AND I beleue that there is in the same Churche communi­on of sayntes and remyssyon of synnes.
  • 11 AND I beleue that at Domisday al ye people of the world that euer was or euer shall be vnto that daye, shall then aryse agayne in the selfe same fleshe and body, whiche they hadde whyle they lyued here in erth.
  • 12 AND I beleue that al thelecte people of god shal haue and enioye euerlastynge lyfe for theyr rewarde.

¶The sense and interpretacyon of the fyrst Article.

IN My harte I beleue assuredly, and stedfastly with my mouth I professe & knowledge, that there is but one ve­ry god, & thre persons in trinitie, the father, the sonne, & the holy goost, and that these thre persons be not thre goddis, but all one god, all of one nature, and of one substaunce, and [Page] all of one euerlastyng essence or being, and al lyke and equall in myght, power, wysedome, knowlege, ryghtwysenes and all other thynges belongyng vnto the deitie. And that besyde or without this god, there is no other god.

And I beleue also and professe that god the father, whiche to the fyrste person in Trinitie, is not onely the god, the lorde, and the father of heuen and erth, and all thynges conteyned therin by creation and gouernaunce: but also that he is the fa­ther of his onely begotten sonne, the seconde persone in Trini­tie, and that he dyd bygette hym of his owne substaunce by eternall generation, that is to saye, by generation that neuer hadde begynnynge.

And I beleue also, and professe that all and synguler the wordes and sayinges of this god the father (be they lawes, preceptes, promyses, prophycyes, or thretenynges) and all that euer was spoken of hym, or by hym in the hole body and canon of the newe and the olde testament, is moste certayn­ly trewe, and of suche infallyble verytie and trouthe, that the same canne not be altered, or conuelled by any contrary opynyon, power, or auctorytie. And I promyse and professe that I do and woll not onely hope, and loke surelye, and without all doubte to atteyne and enioye all those thynges, whiche god promyseth in holy scrypture vnto thelecte chyl­derne of god: but also that I do and woll feare lefte those pu­nyshementes and afflyctions, whiche god in holy scrypture threteneth to caste vpon those persones, whiche do transgresse his wyll and cōmaundementes, shall fall vpon me: yf I shall not, lyke an obedient seruaunt and chylde, studye to fulfylle and accomplyshe the same.

And I beleue also, and professe that this god, and this fa­ther is almyghty, that is to saye, that his power and myghte excelleth incomparably all the other powers in heuen and erth. And that all other powers, whiche be in heuen, erthe, or hell, be nothyng as of them selfe: but haue all theyr myght, force, and strengthe of hym onely, and be all subiecte vnto [Page 2] his power, and be ruled and gouerned therby, and can not re­syste, or lette the same.

And I beleue also, & professe, that this almighty god, & al­myghty father dyd at the beginninge create, forme, & make of nought heuen and erthe, and all thynges conteyned in this worlde, as well aungels & mans sowle, and al other thynges inuysyble: as also all other vysyble creatures and that he dyd gyue vnto them all the power and myght, whiche they haue.

And I beleue also and professe, that among his other crea­tures, he dyd create and make me, and dydde gyue vnto me this my sowle, my lyfe, my body, with all the membres that I haue great and small and all the wytte, reason knowlege and vnderstandynge that I haue, and fynally all the other outwarde substance, possessyons, and thynges, that I haue or can haue in this worlde.

And I beleue also, and professe, that he is my very god, my lorde, and my father, and that I am his seruaunte and his owne sonne, by adoption and grace, and the ryght enherytor of his kyngedome, and that it procedeth and cometh of his mere goodnes onely withoute all my deserte, that I am in this lyfe preserued and kepte from daungers and perylles; And that I am susteygned, nourysshed, fedde, clothed, and that I haue helthe, tranquyllytie, reste, peace, or any other thynge necessary for this corporall lyfe. I knowlege also and confesse, that he suffreth and causeth the sonne, the mone, the sterres, the daye, the nyght, the ayre, the fyre, the water, the lande, the see, the fowles, the fyshes, the bestes, & all the frutes of the erthe to serue me for my profytte and my necessite.

And in lyke maner I confesse and knowlege, that all bodily syckenes, and aduersitie, whiche do fortune vnto me in this worlde, be sent vnto me by his hande, and his visitation, and that he punysheth me not to distroy me; but onely to saue me, and to reduce me agayne by penaunce vnto the ryght way of his lawes, and his religion, and so therby to proue me, and to exercyse me in pacience, and other vertues, and also to signi­fie [Page] vnto me the great cure, and fatherly loue, and goodnes, whiche he beareth towardes me. And therfore I woll haue none other god, but onely this god, whiche by his almyghtie power hath created and made heuen and erthe, and all thyn­ges conteyned in the same. Neyther woll I glory, or put my truste and confidence in myne owne power, force, strength, ryches, lernyng, science, wysedome, or any thynge els, what so euer I haue, or shall haue, and possesse in this worlde. Ney­ther woll I glory, or put my confydence in any other man or creature of this worlde, be it in heuen, hell, or in erthe, nor in any crafte of Magicke, sorcerie, charmes, wytchecraftes, or any other false artes subtiled, and inuented by the diuell: but I woll put my hole hope, my hole truste and confydence in god onely, and in hym onely woll I glorye, and gyue all ho­nour and glorie vnto hym, and vnto hym only, and vnto his gouernaunce woll I commytte, and submytte my selfe, my goodes, and all that euer I haue, withoute fearynge or re­gardynge the malyce, the crafte, or power of the deuyll, or a­ny of his membres, whiche myght enduce me to the contrary. Neither woll I desyre any sygne to tempte god, but I woll trust fermely & faythfully vnto hym. And although he shall sende any aduersitie vnto me / or shall dyfferre and tarye his pleasure in grauntynge suche requeste and petytion / as I shall make vnto hym: yet woll not I murmur or grudge ther­at, nor go aboute to prescribe or appoynt vnto hym any ende, any tyme / any measure, or season: but I woll commytte all to his wyll, with a pure and a stedfast faythe, and woll pa­cyently abyde the tyme, whiche vnto hym shall be thoughte moste expedient for me.

This faythe I reteyne stedfastely engraued in my harte, and I promyse by the grace & helpe of god, neuer to swarue or declyne from the same, for any argumente, persuasyon, or auctoritie, that maye be obiected: nor for any worldly affec­tion, or respecte of pleasure, payne, persecution, or torment, what so euer shall fortune vnto me. From this trust and con­fidence [Page 3] woll I neuer be brought, althoughe all the men in the worlde shulde forsake me, and persecute me. Neyther woll I the lesse truste in god, for that I am a man of great power force and auctorytie, endewed withall suffycyencies in this worlde, ne yet bicause I want the possessions of this worlde, and am but wretched and poore / rude and vnlerned, and di­spysed of all men, nor fynally bycause I am a wretched syn­ner. For syth this God is the almyghtye lorde, and maker of all thynges, and hath all thynges vnder his handes and gouernaunce: what can I lacke that he can not gyue or do vn­to me, if it be his wyll so to do? And syth he is my father. I am assured, that for the fatherlye loue and pytie, whiche he hath and beareth vnto me, he woll not onely care for me, but he woll be also continually present with me by his grace and fauour, and woll contynually gouerne and directe me, ayde and assyste me, and prouyde that, that shall be beste for me, and woll also forgyue me all the synnes that I euer commyt­ted or haue done, contrary to his commaundemente, so ofte as I shall by trewe, and vnfeyned penaunce retourne vnto hym with all my harte, and shall applie my hole mynde, pur­pose and endeuour, to amende my noughtie lyfe, and to ob­serue his commaundementes.

¶The sense and interpretation of the seconde Article.

I BELEVE constantly in my harte, & with my mouth I do professe & knowlege, that Iesu Christ is thonly be­goten sonne of almyghty god the father, & that he was begoten of his godly nature, and substance eternally before the worlde was made or formed, and that he is veray god / equall with god the father, and tholy goost in substance, and all other thynges belongynge vnto the godheed.

And I beleue lykewyse, yt this Ihesu Chryst was eternal­ly preordeyned, and appoynted by the decree of the hole Tri­nitie, to be our lorde, that is to say, to be thonely redemer and [Page] Sauyour of mankynde, and to reduce and brynge the same from vnder the dominion of the dyuell and synne, vnto his onely dominion, kyngedome lordeshyppe, and gouernaunce.

And I beleue lykewyse, that this Iesu Christe is true in al his wordes and promyses, or rather that he is verye trouthe it selfe. And that all thynges, whiche be spoken of hym, or by him in holye scrypture, be certaynly and infallibly true.

And I beleue also, and professe that Iesu Christ is not on­ly Iesus, and lorde to all menne that beleue in hym, but also that he is my Iesus, my god, and my lorde. For where as of my nature I was borne in synne, & in the indignation and dyspleasure of god, & was the veray chylde of wrath, condem­ned to euerlastynge death, subiecte and thrall to the power of the dyuell and synne, hauyng al the pryncypall partes or por­tions of my soule, as my reson & vnderstanding and my free wyll, and all thother powers of my soule and body, not onely so destituted & depryued of the gyftes of god, wherwith they were fyrste endewed, but also so blynded, corrupted, and poi­soned with errour, ignoraūce, and carnall concupiscence, that neyther my sayd powers coude exercyse the natural function and offyce, for the whiche they were ordeyned by god at the fyrste creation, nor I by theym coulde doo or thynke anye thynge, whiche myghte be acceptable to god, but was vtter­ly deade to god, and all godlye thynges, and vtterlye vnable and insuffycyente of myne owne selfe to obserue the leaste parte of goddis commaundementes, and vtterlye inclyned and redy to runne heedlynge into all kyndes of synne and myschyefe, I beleue I saye, that I beynge in this case, Iesu Chryste, by sufferynge of moste paynfull and shamefull deth vpon the Crosse, and by shedynge of his most preciouse blode, and by that gloryouse victorie, whiche he had, whan he des­cendynge into helle, and there ouercommynge bothe the diuell and dethe, rose agayne the thyrde daye from dethe to lyfe, and so ascended into heuen, hath nowe pacyfyed his fathers indignation towardes me, and hath reconcyled me agayne [Page 4] into his fauour, and that he hath loosed and delyuered me from the yoke and tyranny of deathe, of the dyuell, and of synne, and hath made me so free from theym, that they shall not fynally hurte, or annoy me, and that he hath powred out plentyfully his holy spyryte and his graces vppon me, spe­cyally faythe, to illumyne and directe my reasone and iudge­ment, and charytie, to dyrecte my wyll and affections towar­des god. Wherby I am so perfectly restored to the lyght and knowledge of god, to the spyrytuall feare and drede of god, and vnto the loue of hym and myne neyghboure, that with his grace I am nowe redye to obey, and able to fulfyll and accomplysshe his wylle and commaundementes. Besydes all this, he hath brought and delyuered me from darkenes and blyndenes, to lyght, from deathe to lyfe, and from synne to Iustyce, and he hath taken me into his protection, and made me as his owne peculyar possessyon, and he hath planted and grafted me into his owne bodye, and made me a membre of the same, and he hath communicated and made me partycy­pant of his iustyce, his power, his lyfe, his felycytie, and of all his goodes, so that nowe I may boldly say and byleue, as in dede I do perfytely byleue, that by his passyon, his dethe, his blode, and his conquerynge of dethe, of synne, and of the dyuel, by his resurreccion and ascension, he hath made a suffi­cient expiation or propiciation towardes god, that is to say, a suffycyente satisfaction and recompence as welle for my origynal synne, as also for all the actuall synnes, that euer I haue commytted, and that I am so clerely rydde from all the guylte of my sayde offences, & from the euerlastynge payne, due for the same, that neyther synne, nor deathe, nor helle, shall be able, or haue any power, to hurte me or to let me, but that after this transytorye lyfe, I shall ascende in to heuen, there to raygne with my Sauyour Christ perpetually in glo­rye and felicytie.

All whiche thynges consydered, I may worthyly call him my Ihesus, that is to say, my sauyour: and my Christ, that is [Page] to saye, myne annoynted kynge and prieste, and my lorde, that is to saye, my redemer and gouernour. For he hathe doone and fulfylled the verye offyce bothe of a prieste and of a kynge, and of a lorde. Of a prieste, in that he hath offe­red vp his blessed bodye and bloude, in the Altare of the Crosse, for the satysfaction of my synnes. And of a kynge and lorde, in that he hath, lyke a moste myghty conquerour, ouercome and vtterly oppressed his ennemyes (whiche were also myne ennemyes) and hath spoyled theym of the possessy­on of mankynde, whiche they wanne before by fraude and deceyte, by lieng and blasphemy, and hath brought vs nowe into his possession and dominion, to reygne ouer vs in mercy and loue, lyke a moste louynge lorde and gouernour.

Fynally I beleue assuredly, & also professe that this redem­ption and iustyfication of mankynde coulde not haue bene wrought / nor brought to passe by any other meanes in the worlde, but by the meanes of this Iesu Christe goddis onely sonne, and that neuer man coulde yet / nor neuer shal be hable to come vnto god, the father, or to beleue in hym, or to attayn his fauour by his owne wytte or reason, or by his owne scy­ence and lernynge, or by any his owne workes, or by what so euer maye be named in heuen or in erthe, but by the faythe in the name and power of Iesu Chryste and by the gyftes and graces of his holy spyryte. And therfore, syth he is my Iesu Chryste, and my lorde: I woll put my hoole truste and confydence in hym, and woll haue the selfe same faythe and affy­aunce in hym in all poyntes, which I haue in god the father. And I woll knowledge hym for my onely lorde, and woll obeye all his cōmaundemētes durynge my lyfe, without any grutchynge. And I am sure, that whyle he is my lorde and gouernour, & I vnder his protection, neyther synne, neyther the dyuell, nor yet deathe, nor helle / can do me any hurte.

The sense and interpretation of the thyrde Artycle.

I Beleue in my harte assuredly, and constantely do pro­fesse that whan the tyme was come, in the which it was before ordeyned, and appoynted by, the decree of the hoole Trinitie, that mankynde shulde be saued and redemed: this Iesu Chryste, the seconde person in Trinitie, and veray god, descended from heuen into erthe, to take vppon hym the veray habyte, forme, and nature of man, and in the same nature to worke, to suffer, and fulfyll all those thynges, whiche were necessary for our redemption.

And I beleue also, and professe that he so descendyng from heuen, dyd lyght downe into the wombe of a most blessed vir­gin called Marie, and that he dyd there take vppon hym our nature, and was conceyued, begotten, and borne of her ve­ray fleshe, nature, and substance: and so dyd vnite and con­ioyne togyther the same nature of man, with his Godheed in one persone, with suche an indyssoluble and inseparable knotte, and bonde, that he beinge one persone Iesu Chryste, was than and euer shall be in the same person, veray persyte god, and veray perfyte man.

And I beleue also, and professe that this moste blessed vir­gine conceyued this her chylde Iesu Chryste, without spotte, or blotte of synne, or carnall concupyscence, and without any cōmixtion, or coniunction had betwene her and any mortall man, or any other creature in heuen or erthe. And that the ho­ly goost, the thyrde person in trinitie, descendynge also from heuen, lighted downe in to this moste blessed virgin, & there of her fleshe & substaūce, wrought this ineffable & incomprehen­syble worke of the Incarnation of this chylde Iesu Chryste.

And I beleue also and professe, that this worke and ope­ration of the holy goost, was all holy, without any synne or impurite, & that it was done without any violation, or detri­ment vnto the virginitie of that blessed virgin saynt Mary.

And I beleue also, that this chylde Iesu Chryste was not onely thus conceyued without synne, but also that he was borne in lyke maner of his sayde moste blessed mother and that she both in the conception, and also in the byrth, and na­tiuitie of this her chylde, and euer after, reteyned stil her vir­ginitie pure and immaculate, and as clere without blotte as she was at the tyme, that she was fyrst borne.

And I beleue, that this conception, and Natiuitie of our sayde sauiour, was ordeyned to be thus pure, holy, and vn­defyled, to thintent that al fylthines and malediction, wher­with the conception and byrthe of me, and of all other men, that euer were sithe Adam, or shalbe, and al the filthines and malyce of the synnes of the hole worlde, as well origynal as actuall, shulde therby be puryfyed, purged, and made cleane.

The sence and interpretation of the fourthe Artycle.

I Beleue assuredly in my harte, and with my mouthe I do professe, that this Christe, very god and man, after he was thus cōceyued and borne of his blessed mother, waxed and lyued forthe here in the worlde, vntyll he came vnto the age of .xxxii. yeres and aboue, and that in all this tyme of his lyfe, he suffered and endured for our sakes, and for our welthe, moche boiely afflyction, moche laboure and trauaylle, moche hungre, thurste, and pouertie, moche iniurie and ignominie, and many other the myseries and infirmi­ties, wherunto all mortall men be subiecte.

And I beleue, that although this our sauyour Iesu Christ passed ouer all the hole course of his sayde lyfe, euen from his Natyuitie vntyll his deathe, in suche perfyte obedience vnto the lawes of god and man, and in suche perfyte innocencie of lyuynge, that neyther any man in the worlde, nor the dy­uell hym selfe, coulde euer fynde in hym suspycion of any the leaste crime or offence that myght be deuysed: yet the blynde ignoraunt Iewes, replete with enuy and malyce, and the ve­ry membres of the dyuell, by whom they were prouoked and [Page 6] enduced there vnto, laboured contynually by all crafte and meanes they coulde, to dystroye hym: and at lengthe conspi­rynge to gether, and subornatynge false wytnesse, they toke hym, and after they had bet hym, and spyt in his face, and vsed all the vilany they coulde vnto hym, they bounde and brought hym before one Pontius Pilatus, beynge then the chiefe iudge in Hierusalem, vnder the Emperour of Rome, and there they mooste falsely accused hym, as a subuerter of the lawes of god, and as a person that seduced the people, and moued sedicion amonge them, and as a traitour against themperour of Rome.

And I beleue that our sauiour Iesu Christe, beynge thus moste falsely and wrongfully accused, and broughte before the sayde iudge, was at length in publyque and open iudge­mente condempned by the sentence of the sayde iudge, to be nayled vnto a crosse, and to be hanged vpon the same, to the intent he shulde so suffre that kynde of death, whiche amonge the Iewes was euer mooste abhorred, and detested, and ac­compted to be the moost shamefull and cursed of all others.

And I beleue that after this sentence, and iudgement thus pronounced and gyuen contrarye to all Iustyce, and equi­tie: the Iewes dyd take this innocent Iesu Christe our sauy­our, and fyrst of all byndyng hym fast to a pyller, & pressyng with great violence a crowne of thorne vpon his heed, they dyd not onely mooste spitefully mocke hym, and scorne hym, but they also most cruelly scorged, tourmented, and afflicted hym, & finally they crucified hym, that is to saye, they nayled hym throughe handes and feete vnto a crosse, and so hanged hym vp vpon the same, on a certayne hyll called Caluarie.

And I beleue also and professe, that he hanged there vpon the same crosse betwene two theues, whiche were malefac­tours, vntyll he was deade, and his soule departed from his body. And that after he was thus deade, one Ioseph ab Ara­mathia, beinge one of Christis disciples, & certayne other de­uout men & women, whiche also beleued in Christ, opteyned [Page] lycence of the sayde Iudge, to take downe this blessed bodye of our sauyour Iesu Chryste frome the sayde Crosse. And that whan they hadde so done, they wrapped and folded the same body in a clene syndone, and so layde it and buryed it in a newe graue or sepulchre, whiche the sayde Ioseph had made of stone, wherin there was neuer man buryed before.

And I beleue that our sauyour Iesu Christ, in al the tyme of his moste bytter, and greuouse passyon, and in suffrynge this moste vyle and shamefull deathe, not onely endured and susteyned all the peynes and iniuries, and all the opprobries, and ignominies, whiche were done vnto hym therin mooste patiently, without resystaunce, and lyke an innocent lambe not openynge ones his mouthe to the contrarye: but also that he dyd wyllyngly and gladly without force or constrainte of any power, suffre this crosse, and this kynde of deathe, and his soule also to departe from his body.

And I beleue that by this passion and dethe of our sauiour Iesu Christe, not onely my corporall deathe is so destroyed, that it shal neuer haue power to hurte me, but rather it is ma­de holsome and profytable vnto me, but also that all my syn­nes, and the synnes also of all them, that do beleue in hym, and folowe hym, be mortyfyed and deed, that is to say, all the guilte and offence therof, and also the damnation and payne due for the same, is clerely extyncted, abolyshed, and washed away, so that the same shal not afterwarde be imputed or in­flycted vnto me. And therfore woll I haue this passyon, and this death in my dayly remembraunce. And I woll not onely glorye, and reioyce contynually therin, and gyue all the than­kes I can vnto god for the same, consyderynge I haue, and shall assuredly attayne therby my redemption, my iustyfyca­tion, my reconcilyation vnto goddis fauour, and lyfe euerla­stynge: but I woll also endeuour my selfe to my possyble po­wer, and by the helpe of god, to folowe this my sauyour Ie­su Chryste, in the bearynge of myne owne crosse, accordynge to the wyll and commaundement of god, that is to say, I [Page 7] woll dayly labour and study, to mortyfie and kyll my carnal affections, and to subdue them vnto the spyryte, and I woll paciently beare all the aduersyties, afflictions, and punyshe­mentes, that god shall sende vnto me in this worlde, and I woll in my harte hate, abhorre, and detest all synne, consy­derynge that the same was euer so odiouse and dyspleasaunt vnto god, that nothynge in the worlde coulde worthyly satys­fie and contente hym for the same, but onely the death and the bloud of his onely and most dere beloued sonne Iesu Chryste.

The sence and interpretation of the fyfth Artycle.

I Beleue assuredly with my harte, and with my mouthe I do professe, that this our sauyour Iesu christe, after he was thus deed vpon the crosse, he descended immedyatly in his soule downe into hell, leauynge his mooste blessed body here in erthe, and that at his comynge thyther, by the incom­parable myght and force of his godheed, he entred into hell. And lyke as that myghty man,Luke. xi. of whome saynt Luke spea­keth, whiche, entryng into the house of an other stronge man, fyrste ouercame hym, and bounde hym hande and foote, and afterwarde spoylynge hym of all his armure and strength, wherin he trusted, toke also awaye from hym, all the goodes & substaunce he had.Iud. xiiii. and lyke as stronge Sampson slewe the mighty Lyon, and toke out of his mouth the swete hony: euen so our sauyour Iesu Chryst at his sayd entre into hell, fyrst he conquered and oppressed bothe the dyuell and hell, and also deathe it selfe, wherunto al mankynde was condempned, and so bounde theym faste, that is to saye, restrayned the power and tyrrannye, whiche they had before, and exercysed ouer all mankynde, that they neuer hadde sythe that tyme, nor neuer shall haue any power fynally to hurte or annoy any of them, that do faythefully byleue in Iesu Christe, and afterwarde he spoyled helle, and delyuered, and brought with hym from thens, all the soules of those ryghtuouse and good menne, [Page] whiche from the fal of Adam died in the fauour of god, and in the faith and bylefe of this our sauiour Iesu Christe, whi­che was then to come. And I beleue that by this descendynge of our sauiour Iesu Christe in to hel, not only his electe peo­ple, whiche were holden there as captyues, were delyuered from thens: but also that the sentence and iudgement of the malediction and of eternal damnation (whiche god hym selfe mooste rightfully pronounced vpon Adam, and all his poste­ritie, and so consequently vpon me) was clerely dissolued, sa­tisfied, released, and dyscharged, and that the dyuel and hell bothe haue vtterly loste, and be depryued of all the ryghte, clayme, and interest, whiche they myght haue pretended to haue had in me by thauctoritie of that sentence, or by reason of any synne that euer I had or haue commytted, be it origi­nall or actuall. And that the dyuel, with all his power, craft, subtilitie, and malice is now subdued and made captyue not onely vnto me: but also vnto all thother faythfull people, and right beleuers in Iesu Christe, that euer was or shal be syth the tyme of Christis sayde descendynge in to hell. And that our sauiour Iesu Christe, hath also by this his passyon, and this his descendynge in to hel, payed my raunsome, and hath merited and deserued, that neither my soule, neither the sou­les of any suche, as be righte beleuers in Christe, shall come therin, or shall fynally be encombered with any tytle or accu­sation, that the dyuell canne obiecte ageynst vs, or laye vnto our charge.

And I beleue that this our sauyour Iesu Christe, after he had thus in sowle conquered, and spoyled the dyuell and hell of all theyr force, power, and tyranny, and made them sub­iecte vnto me, and all true christen men, in lyke case as they were vnto Adam, before his fall: he returned agayne frome hell, lyke a moste mighty kyng, and conquerour, in triumphe and glorie, and came vnto the sepulchre, where his blessed bodye laye buryed, and so resumynge and takyng agayn the very same body vppon hym, the thyrde daye after his sayde [Page 8] death he lyued agayne, and so rose out of that sepulchre in his naturall and perfyte manhode, that is to say, in his soule, and in the selfe same body, whiche was borne of the virgin Mary, and dyd hange vpon the crosse.

And I beleue also, and professe that after he had so done, he lyued in the world by the space of .xl. dayes, in the whiche time he was conuersant, & dyd eate and drynke, with his apostles, and his disciples, and preached vnto them, & auctorysed them to go forthe into the worlde, to manyfest and declare, that he was the very Christe, the very Messias, & the veray god and man, which was promysed in scripture, to come and saue, and to redeme all those that wolde beleue in hym.

And I beleue assuredly that by this descendynge of Christe into hell, and this his resurrection agayne from deathe to lyfe, Christe hathe meryted and deserued for me and all trewe and faythfull christen men, not onely that our sowles shall neuer come into helle: but also that we shall here in this lyfe be perfytely iustifyed in the syght and acceptation of god, and shall haue suche grace, myght, and power gyuen vnto vs by hym, that we shalbe made able therby to subdue, to mortyfie, and to extinguysshe our olde Adam, and all our carnall and fleshely concupiscences, in suche sorte, that synne shall neuer afterwarde reigne in our mortall bodyes, but that we shall be holly delyuered from the kyngdome of synne, and from spy­rituall deathe, and shall be resuscytated and regenerated into the newe lyfe of the spyryte and grace.

And where as I, and all other chrysten men shuld haue ben the moste myserable of all other creatures in the worlde, and shulde haue dyed lyke heathens, and pagans without all hope of euerlastynge lyfe, or ofrysynge agayne after our death: yf Christe our heed and sauiour had not rysen agayne to lyfe af­ter his deathe, I beleue and truste nowe assuredly, that by the vertue and efficacie of this desendynge of Christe in to helle, and of his resurrection agayne from death to lyfe, not onely our corporall dethe, and all the afflictions, whiche we [Page] maye susteine in this worlde, shal not annoy vs, but shall ra­ther tourne vnto our profyte, and be as entrees and occasy­ons of our greatter glorie: but also that we shall after our corporall deathe be preserued from the captiuitie of hell, and shall be made parttakers of Christis resurrection, that is to say, that we shall aryse and lyue ageyne in the selfe same bo­dyes and sowles, that we nowe haue, and so shall vtterly o­uercome deathe, in lyke maner as our heed, and our sauiour Ihesu Christ hath done before vs, and shal fynally lyue with hym immortally in ioye, and felycitie.

The sence and interpretation of the .vi. Article.

I Beleue assuredly, and constantly do professe, that this our sauiour Iesu Christ, after he had perfitely accompli­shed & perfourmed the hole misterie of the redemption of mankynde, by his incarnation, his byrthe, his passion, his deathe, his buriall, his dyscendynge into hell, and rysynge agayne from deathe to lyfe, and after he had ben here in erthe conuersaunt with his Apostles and dyscyples by the space of xl. dayes after his sayde resurrection: the same fortieth day, whan he was amonge his sayde Apostelles, he in theyr syght ascended vp agayne in to heuen, in the very same his natu­rall bodye, whiche was borne of the blessyd virgin his mo­ther, and was crucified vppon the crosse. And so dyd with­drawe his corporall presence from the syghte of his apostels, and from the syght of all other creatures here in erthe, to the intente they shulde frome thensforthe eleuate and lyfte vp theyr hole hartes, theyr myndes, theyr desyres, and all theyr affections from erthely thynges, and frome all carnall and worldely cures, towardes heuen and heuenly thynges, and so shulde prepare theyr hartes, and make theym selfes mete and apte to receyue the holy gooste and his spirituall gyftes, whiche he wolde sende downe in to the worlde sone after his sayd ascention.

And I beleue in lyke maner that this our sauiour Iesu Christe, after he was retourned into heuen, beinge very god and very man in one person, all myghty god his father did constitute and sette hym vpon his ryghte hande,Ephe. i. and that euer sythe that tyme, he hath so sytte, and so shal sytte eternal­ly, that is to say, almyghty god his father, dyd cōmunicate and gyue vnto hym glorie, honour, felicitie, power, and euer­lastynge monarchie, gouernaunce, rule, and dominion ouer all the pryncipates, potestates, powers, dominations and ouer all creatures, that can be named either in this worlde, or in the worlde to come. And soo ordeyned, that he shulde be kynge of all kynges, and lorde of al lordes, and that all thyn­ges in heuen and erthe shulde be caste vnder his feete, and made subiecte vnto hym. And that he shulde be thonly heed of the catholyque churche, and that the same churche shulde be the body vnder that heed. And lykewise as the heed alwaye excelleth al thother membres: so Christe shulde excelle incom­parably in honour, and dignitie, all the membres of his sayd body the churche, and that he shulde be thonly perfectyon and consummation of the same.

And I beleue also, and professe that this our sauiour Iesu Christe, beinge thus constituted and set vpon the right hande of his father, was and is also constituted, to be not onely the eternall kynge, the heed, the lorde, and gouernoure of his bo­dy, the catholyque churche, but also to be the onely eternall priest and byshop of his sayde churche, that is to saye, to be the onely patrone and aduocate, and thonely mediatour be­twene god and mankynde, and the onely intercessor for the synnes of all them that ryghtfully beleue in hym.

And I beleue that accordynge therunto, our sauiour Iesu Christ is of his owne goodnes not onely more redy alwayes, than any other creature in the worlde is, to helpe me by his mediacyon and intercession, but also that whan so euer I do inuocate and calle vpon hym, in ryght fayth and hope, with full intent, and purpose to amende, and retourne from my [Page] noughty lyfe, he presenteth, and exhibiteth vnto the sight of his father his moste blessed body, as it was wounded, cru­cified, and offred vp in sacrifyce for the redemption of man­kynde. and so from tyme to tyme maketh continuall request and intercession vnto god his father for the remission of all my synnes, and for my reconciliation vnto his fauour, and finally doth obteyne, that god so reconciled, woll vouchsafe to sende downe his holy spyrite, to dwell within my harte, there to rule, to gouerne, and to sanctifie me with all my thoughtes and dedes, and to comforte, and strengthe me with all spirituall gyftes, necessary to the attaynynge of e­uerlastynge lyfe.

And therfore sithe my heed and my sauiour Iesu Christ as­cended vp into heuen, and sytteth there vpon the ryght hand of his father, and maketh there continuall intercession for me: I shall neuer from hens forthe, by the grace of god, seke nor set my felicitie in any worldly thynge, but shall alwayes vse the creatures, and ordynaunces of this worlde, and all worldly thynges, as a passynger, or a pylgrime vseth the commodities of a straunge countrey, wherin he intendeth not to tary but to passe forthe, vntyll he shall come vnto his owne dwellynge place. And I shall conuerte my hole cure, desyre, and study from these erthely pleasures, to the attay­nynge of that heuenly, and euerlastynge life, whiche is pre­pared and ordeyned for me. And beinge assured of so good, so louynge, and therwith so myghty a gouernour, mediatour, and aduocate in heuen as Chryst is, I woll by the helpe of his grace, from hens forth continue styll, & perseuer vnder his kyngedome, his tuicion, and his gouernaunce, and so be­ing, I woll accompt my selfe safe, and sure in all maner ad­uersities, and agaynst all maner aduersaries and enmyes. And I woll neuer, by the helpe and grace of god, seke other gouernour or mediatour, nor all the displeasures, iniuries, or aduersities in the worlde, nor all the malyce, crafte, and subtilitie of the dyuell, nor all the multitude or burden of my [Page 10] sinnes, shall cause me to distruste or dispayre of helpe at his handes, nor yet shall make me afrayde to prosecute this my said desyre, and purpose, or cause me to desyst from the same.

The sence and interpretation of the seuenth Artycle.

I Beleue assuredly, and constanly do professe that our sauiour Iesu Christ, beyng thus ascended in to heuen, & sette there on the right hand of almighty god his father, shall at the laste ende of the worlde, whiche we call Domes­day, retourne ones ageyne, and come from heuen, and ap­pere vnto all the people of the worlde both quicke and deed, in his perfyte manhode, and in the selfe same body, wherin he ascended, to the inestimable comforte, and reioyce of the good, and to the extreme terrour & confusyon of the wycked.

And although our sauiour Iesu Christ, at his fyrst aduent or commyng into the world (which was whan he came to be incarnate) appered in the habyte and fourme of a very lowe seruaunt, and of an abiecte person in all humblenes, pouer­tie, affliction, and myserie, and suffred him selfe to be iniust­ly iudged, and condempned to dethe by others, and although he hath euer syth that tyme, and euer shal vntyl Domesday, vse his mercy, and longe pacience, and suffrance towardes the wretched synners of the worlde, inuitinge alwayes; and callynge them from tyme to tyme to repentance: yet I beleue assuredly that at his seconde aduent or commynge, he shall appere in the high and almighty power, glorie, and maiestie of his kyngedome, and beinge accompanyed with all the orders of aungelles, waytinge vpon hym as his ministres,Matth. xxv. Apoc. i. he shall sytte openly in the clowdes of the ayre, and shall iudge all the worlde quicke and deed, and that straitely, ac­cordynge to trouthe and iustice, and accordynge as he hathe promysed and thretned to do by his holy worde, expressed in scripture, that is to say, accordynge to euery mannes owne workes and dedes done by hym while he lyued in the world, [Page] without sparyng, or fauourynge, or shewynge of mercy, vn­to any, whiche haue not deserued the same in theyr lyfe tyme.

And I beleue assuredly that at this day, whan Christ shal thus sytte in the seate or throne of his iudgement, all the peo­ple of the worlde quicke & dead, that is to saye, aswell al those whiche shall be founde on lyfe in the worlde, at the daye of this seconde aduent, or commynge of Christ: as also al those whiche euer sythe the creation of Adam, lyued here in this worlde, and dyed before that daye, shall come and appere be­fore the presence of Christe, in theyr very bodyes and sowles. And whan they shal be so gathered, and assembled togyther, our sauiour Iesu Christe shall pronounce the extreme or fy­nall sentence and iudgement of euerlastynge saluation vpon all those persones,Ro. ii. whiche in theyr lyfe tyme obeyed and con­formed them selfe vnto the wylle of god, and exercysed the workes of ryght belefe and charytie, and so perseuerynge in well doynge, soughte in theyr hartes and dedes the honoure and glorye of god and lyfe immortall. And contrarye vppon all those, whiche in theyr lyfetyme were contentious, and dyd repugne agaynst the wyll of god, and folowed iniustice and iniquitie, rather than trouthe and vertue, our sauyour Christe shall than and there pronounce the sentence of euer­lastynge punyshement and dampnation.

And I beleue that our sauyour Iesu Christe shall also than and there calle a parte and make a perfyte separation or diuysyon betwene these two sortes of people, that is to saye, betwene the shepe and the gootes, the corne and the chaffe, the good and the bad, the blessed and the cursed, the membres of his bodye, and the membres of the dyuell. And so settynge the good and the blessed vppon his ryght hande, he shall cleerely, and perfytely rydde, delyuer, and redeme them for euer, from the power, and malyce of the wycked, and from all paynes and euyll, and so take them all vp with hym into heuen, there to be crowned and rewarded in body and sowle, with honour, glorie, and euerlastynge ioye and [Page 11] peace, whiche was prepared for them from the begynnynge of the worlde. And contrary he shall sette all the other, whi­che shall be iuged to euerlastynge peyne and death, vpon his lefte hande, and so shall sende them downe into hell, there to be punysshed in body and soule eternally, with fyre that ne­uer shall haue ende, whiche was prepared from the begyn­nynge of the worlde for the dyuell and his angelles, and the cursed membres of his body.

The sence and interpretation of the eyght Artycle.

I Beleue assuredly in my harte, and constantly do pro­fesse and knowledge that the holy gooste is the thyrde per­son in Trinitie, & that he is veray god & lorde, auctour and former of all thynges created, and that he procedeth both from god the father, and from god the sonne, and is of the selfe same nature and substaunce, and of the same euerlastynge essence or beynge, whiche the father and the sonne be of, and that he is equall vnto them bothe in almightynes of power, & in the worke of creation, and all other thynges apperteynyng vnto the deitie or godheed, and that he is to be honoured and gloryfyed equally with them both.

And I beleue that this holy spirite of god is of his nature all holy, or rather holynesse it selfe, that is to saye, that he is the onely gooste or spirite, whiche with the father and the sonne euer was, and euer shall be the onely auctoure causer and worker of all holynes, puretie, and sanctimonie, and of all the grace, comforte, and spirituall lyfe, whiche is wrought and cometh into the hartes of all true christen men. In so moche, that neither it is possible, that the dyuell, or any of those euyll spirites, whiche do possesse and reigne in su­che persones, as be subiecte vnto synne, can be expelled or put out of theym, but by the power of this fynger of god, that is to saye, of this holy spirite, whiche is called in scrip­ture, the fynger of god, neither it is possyble,Mat. xii. that the harte [Page] of any man, beynge ones corrupted, and made as prophane by synne, can be purged, purified, sanctified, or iustified, without the speciall worke and operation of this holy spi­rite. neyther it is possible for any man to come vnto the fa­ther by Christe, that is to saye, to be reconciled into the fa­uour of god, and to be made and adopted into the nombre of his chyldren, or to obteyne any parte of that incompara­ble treasure, whiche our sauiour Iesu Christe, by his nati­uitie, his passion, his death, his resurrection, and his ascen­tion, hath merited for mankynde: oneles this holye spirite shall fyrste illumyne, and inspyre into his harte the ryghte knowledge and fayth of Christe, with due contrition and pe­naunce for his synnes, and shall also afterwarde instructe hym gouerne hym, ayde hym, directe hym, and endewe hym with suche speciall gyftes, and graces, as shall be requysite and necessary to that ende and purpose.

And I beleue also assuredly that this holy spirite of god is of his owne nature full of all goodnes and benignitie, or rather that he is goodnes it selfe. Forasmoche as he is the onely goost or spirite, whiche with the father by Christe in­stylleth, and infoundeth into the hartes of mortall men (af­ter they be ones purified from synne by fayth, and delyuered from the power of the deuyll) dyuers and manyfolde moste noble and excellent gyftes and graces, as the gyfte of holy feare and dread of god,Timoris. Sapien. Intellectꝰ Concilii. Fortitu­dinis. the gyfte of feruent loue and cha­ritie towardes god, and our neyghbour, the gyfte of spiri­tuall wysedome and vnderstandynge, the gyfte of free wyll and desyre, and also of very fortitude and strength, to con­tempne this worlde, to subdue and mortifie all carnall con­cupiscence, and to walke in the wayes of god, the gyfte of perseuerance to contynue in the same, the gyfte of pitie and mercy,Pietas. Scientia. of pacyence and benignitie, of science and cunnynge, of prophecienge, of curynge and healynge, and of all other vertues necessarie for christen men to haue, either for the at­taynynge of theyr owne saluation, or for the edifyenge, and [Page 12] profyte of theyr neighbours. All and synguler whiche gyftes and graces I knowlege, and professe that they procede from this holy spirite, and that they be gyuen, conferred, and distri­buted vnto vs mortall men here in erthe, at his owne godly wyll, arbitre, and dyspensation, and that no man can pur­chase or obteyne, ne yet receyue reteyne or vse any one of them, without the specyall operation of this holy spiritie, And although he geueth not, nor dyspenseth the same equal­ly and vnto euery man in lyke: yet he gyueth alwayes some portion therof vnto all persones, whiche be accepted in the syght of god, and that not onely frely, and without all theyr deseruinges, but also in suche plentie, and measure, as vn­to his godly knowlege is thoughte to be mooste benefyciall and expedient.

And I beleue that this holy spirite of god is of his owne nature, autour of charitie and holy loue, or rather that he is charitie it selfe. Fyrst bycause that he is that ineffable and incomprehensyble loue or concord, wherwith the father & the sonne be conioyned inseparably the one with the other. Se­conde, bycause he his the bonde and knotte, wherwith our sa­uiour Iesu Christe, and his most dere beloued espouse the churche (which is also his very mystical body) and al & singu­ler the veray membres of the same churche and body, be vni­ted, knytte, and conioyned to gyther in suche perfyte and euerlastynge loue and charitie, that the same can not be dis­solued or separated. Thyrdely, bycause he his also the verye bonde and knotte, wherby all and euery one of the membres of Christis sayde churche and body, be vnited, coupled, and conioyned the one of them with the other, in perfite mut all loue and charitie. For I beleue assuredly, that lyke as the membres of our mortall bodyes be, by the spirituall opera­tion and vertue of our soules, not onely preserued holly to­gyther, in one body, and be endewed with lyfe, and power to exercyse suche naturall functions, and offyces, as be de­puted vnto them, but also be conteyned in mutuall affection [Page] and desyre eche to helpe and conserue thother: Euen so the membres of this misticall bodye of Christe be, by the onely and speciall operation and worke of this holy spyrite, not onely congregated, vnited, and incorporated in to this one body of Christe, and so do consist, and endure holly, and per­fitely in the same body, euery one in his owne peculiar fun­ction: but also that they be knitted, combined, and congluti­nated all together, and euery one of them with other, in per­fytte and indyssoluble loue, and in the cōmunion of all theyr gyftes, and graces, and of all other thynges, wherwith the one of them may helpe, succour, or comforte the other.

And I bele e that this holy spirite of god is the spirite of trouth, and the autour of all holye scripture, conteyned in the hole canon of the Byble. And that this spirite dydde not onely inspire, and instruct all the holy patriarkes, and pro­phetes, with all the other membres of the catholyke churche, that euer was from the begynynge of the worlde, in all the trouthes, and verities that euer they dyd knowe, speake, or write: but also that the same holy spirite dyd ones descende downe from heuen, in the similitude and lykenes of firye tongues,Act. ii. and dyd ligthe downe vpon all thapostelles and dysciples of Christe, and inspired them also with the know­lege of all trouthe, and replenyshed them with all heuenly giftes and graces. And that from that day vnto the worldes ende, he hath ben, and shall be continually present, and also chiefe president in the catholyque churche of Christe, that is to say, that he hath, and shall continually dwell in the hertes of all those people, whiche shall be the very membres of the same churche, and shall teache, and reuele vnto them the se­cretes, and mysteries of all trouthe, whiche is necessarie for them to knowe, and that he shall also contynually from time to tyme rule them, directe them, gouerne them, sanctyfie them, and gyue vnto them remission of theyr synnes, and all spirituall comforte as well inwardly by fayth, and other his secrete operations, as also outwardely by the open mi­nistration, [Page 13] and efficacie of the worde of god, and of his holy sacramentes, and that he shall endewe them with all suche spirituall graces, and gyftes, as shall be necessarie for them to haue, and so fynally shall rewarde them with the gyfte of euerlastynge lyfe, and ioye in heuen.

The sence and interpretation of the nynthe Artycle.

I Beleue assuredly in my harte, and with my mouthe I do professe, and knowlege that there is, and hath ben euer from the begynnyng of the world, & so shal endure, and continue for euer, one certayne nombre, societie, cōmu­nion, or company of the electe and faythfull people of god, of whiche nombre our sauioure Iesu Christe is the onely heed and gouernour, and the membres of the same be all those holy saynctes, whiche be now in heuen, and also al the faith­full people of god, whiche be nowe on lyue, or that euer heretofore haue lyued, or shall lyue here in this wordle, from the begynnynge, vnto the ende of the same, and be ordeyned for theyr true fayth, and obedience vnto the wyll of god, to be saued, and to enioye euerlastynge life in heuen.

And I beleue assuredly that this congregation, accordyng as it is called in scripture,Gala. iiii. Cant, vi. Hire. xiii. Rom. viii i. Cor. iii. ii. Cor. vi Ephe. v. so it is in very dede the Cyte of he­uenly Hierusalem, the mother of all thelecte people of god, the onely doue, and the onely beloued of god, in perfite and euerlastynge charite, the holy catholyque churche, the temple or habytacle of god, the pure and vndefyled espouse of Christ, the veray mysticall body of Christe. Al and synguler whiche names, and appellations, and certayn suche other rehersed in holy scripture, I beleue and professe that they be mooste worthely attributed vnto this holy church, or congregation. And lyke as citizens assembled in one citie do lyue there vn­der commune lawes, and in commune societie, and there do consult, studie, and labour eche man in his roume and office, and accordynge vnto his callynge for theyr common welth, [Page] and fynally be made participant, or parttakers of all and syngular suche benefites, and commodities, as do aryse vn­to them therby: Euen so I beleue, that the membres of this holy catholique churche, or congregation be collected, and ga­thered togyther within the same churche, as within one citie or folde, and that they be therin all vnyted, and incorpora­ted by the holy spirite of Christe into one body, and that they do lyue there all in one faythe, one hope, one charitie, and one perfyte vnitie, consent, and agrement, not onely in the true doctrine of Christe, but also in the ryghte vse and ministration of his sacramentes, and so lyuynge in this per­fytte vnytie, swete harmony, and concorde, I beleue that they do labour contynually, euery one in his vocation, for the common welthe of this hole bodye, and of euery parte and membre of the same. And that all the prayers, good workes, and merites, yea and all the gyftes, graces, and goodes, whi­che be conferred, done, or wrought in or vnto this hole bo­dy, or any membre of the same, shall be applyed vnto euery one of them, and shall redounde communely vnto the bene­fytte of them all.

And I beleue that this hole congregation, is all holy, that is to saye, that this churche, and all the partes, and membres of the same, be so puryfied, and mundified, as well by Chri­stis mooste precyouse bloude, as also by the godly presence, gouernaunce, and assistence of his holy spirite (whiche dwel­leth and inhabiteth contynually, within the sayde congrega­tion, and gouerneth and sanctifieth the same) that neyther the lepry of heresie, or false and peruerse doctryne, neyther the fylthynes of synne, neyther the gates of hell, shalbe hable fy­nally to preuayle agaynste them, or to pull any of them out of the handes, and possession of Christe. And although god dothe oftymes suffre not onely synne, errour, and iniquitie so to abounde here in the worlde, and the congregation of the wycked to exercyse suche tyranny, crueltie, and persecuti­on ouer this holy churche, and the membres of the same, that [Page 14] it myght seme, the sayde churche to be vtterly oppressed, and extinguished: but also suffreth many and sondry of the mem­bres of the same holy churche to fall out from this body, for a season, and to cōmytte many greuouse, and horryble offen­ces, and crymes, for the whiche they deserue to be precyded, and excluded, for a season, from the communion of this holy churche: yet I beleue assuredly, that god woll neuer vtterly abiecte this holy churche, nor any of the membres therof, but that the same dothe, and shall perpetually contynue, and endure here in this worlde, and that god shall at all tymes, (yea whan persecution is greattest and moste feruent) be pre­sent with his holy spirite in the same churche, and preserue it all holy, and vndefyled, and shall kepe, ratyfie, and holde sure all his promyses, made vnto the same churche or con­gregation. And fynally that all suche membres, as be fallen out from the same by synne, shal at length ryse agayn by pe­naunce, and shall be restored and vnyted agayne vnto the same holy body.

And I beleue assuredly that in this holy churche, and with the membres of the same (so longe as they be mylytant and lyuynge here in erthe) there haue bene euer, and yet be, and euer shall be ioyned, and myngled to gyther an infinite nom­bre of the euyll and wycked people,Mat. xiii Mat. iii. Mat xiii. Mat. xxv whiche all thoughe they be in dede the very membres of the congregation of the wic­ked, and as the gospell calleth them very weedes, and chaffe, euyll fyshe and gootes, and shall fynally be iudged to euer­lastynge dampnation: yet forasmoche as they do lyue in the commune societie, or company of those, whiche be the veray quycke and lyuynge membres of Christis mysticall bodye, and outwardly do professe, receyue, and consent with them, for a season, in the doctryne of the gospell, and in the ryghte vsynge of the sacramentes, yea and ofte tymes be indewed with ryght excellent gyftes of the holy gooste, they be to be accompted, and reputed here in this worlde to be in the nom­bre of the sayde veray membres of Christis mysticall bodye, [Page] so longe as they be not by open sentence of excommunica­tion precided, and excluded from the same. Not bycause they be suche membres in very dede, but bycause the certayne iuge­ment & knowlege of that theyr state is by goddes ordynaunce hydden, and kepte secrete from all mens knowlege, and shall not be reueled, vntyll the tyme that Christe hym selfe shall come at the worldes ende, and there shall manyfest, and de­clare his veray kyngedome, and who be the veray true mem­bres of his body, and who be not.

And I beleue that this holy churche is catholyque, that is to say, that it can not be coarcted or restrayned within the li­mites or bondes of any one towne, citie, prouince, region, or countreye: but that it is dispersed and spredde vnyuersally through out all the hole worlde. In so moche, that in what part soeuer of the worlde, be it in Affrique, Asia, or Europe, there may be founde any nombre of people, of what sorte, state, or condicion so euer they be, whiche do beleue in done god the father creatour of all thynges, and in one lorde Ie­su Christe his sonne, and in one holy goost, and do also pro­fesse, and haue all one fayth, one hope, and one charitie, ac­cordynge as is prescribed in holy scripture, and do all consent in the trewe interpretation of the same scripture, and in the ryght vse of the sacramentes of Christe: we maye boldly pro­nounce and saye, that there is this holy churche, the veray espouse and body of Christe, the veray kyngdome of Christe, and the veray temple of god.

And I beleue that these particular churches, in what place of the worlde so euer they be congregated, be the very par­tes, porcions, or membres of this catholyque and vnyuersall churche. And that betwene them there is in dede no dyfference in superioritie, preeminence, or auctoritie, neyther that any one of them is heed or soueraygne ouer the other: but that they be all equall in power, and dygnitie, and be all groun­ded, and buylded vpon one foundation, and be all called vnto lyke, and vnto the same puretie, cleannes, honour, and glo­rie, [Page 15] and be all subiecte vnto one god, one lorde, one heed Ie­su Christe, and be all gouerned with one holye spirite. And therfore I do beleue that the churche of Rome is not,The churche of Rome. nor can not worthyly be called the catholyque churche, but onely a partycular membre therof, and can not chalenge or vendi­cate of ryghte, and by the worde of god, to be heed of this vnyuersall churche, or to haue any superioritie ouer thother churches of Christ, whiche be in England, France, Espayne, or in any other realme, but that they be all free from any sub­iection vnto the sayde churche of Rome, or vnto the mynyster or byshop of the same.

And I beleue also that the sayde churche of Rome, with all thother partycular churches in the worlde, compacted and vnyted togyther, do make and constitute but one catholyque churche or body. And that lyke as our sauyour Christe is one persone, and the onely heed of his mysticall body: so this hole catholyke churche, Christis misticall bodye, is but one bodye vnder this one heed Christe.The vni­tie of Christis churche. And that the vnytie of this one catholyque Churche, is a mere spirituall vnitie, con­sistynge in the poyntes before rehersed, that is to saye, in the vnitie of Christis fayth, hope, and charitie, and in the vnitie of the ryght doctrine of Christe, and in the vnitie and vny­forme vsynge of the sacramentes consonant vnto the same doctrine. And therfore althoughe the sayde partycular chur­ches, and the membres of the same do moche dyfferre, and be discrepant the one from the other, not onely in the dyuer­site of nations and countreys, and in the dyuersitie, dygnitie, and excellencye of certayne suche gyftes of the holy goost, as they be endewed with: but also in the dyuers vsynge, and ob­seruation of suche outwarde rytes, ceremonies, traditi­ons, and ordynaunces, as be instituted by theyr gouernours, and receyued, and approued amonge them: yet I beleue as­suredly that the vnitie of this catholyque churche, can not therfore, or for that cause be any thynge hurted, impeched, or infrynged in any poynte, but that all the sayde churches do [Page] and shall contynue styll in the vnytie of this catholyke chur­che, not with standynge any suche dyuersytie, nor that any of them ought to be reputed as a membre deuyded or precy­ded from the same for any suche cause of dyuersytie or dyffe­rence vsed by them, or any of them in the sayde poyntes.

And I beleue that al the particular churches in the world, whiche be membres of this catholyque churche, maye all be called apostolicall churches, aswell as the churche of Rome, or any other churche, wherin the apostels them selfes were somtyme resydent. Forasmoche as they haue receyued, and be all founded vpon the same fayth, and doctryne, that the true apostels of Christe dyd teache and professe.

And I beleue and truste assuredly that I am one of the membres of this catholike churche, and that god of his one­ly mercy, hath not onely chosen and called me thervnto by his holy spirite, and by thefficacie of his worde and sacra­mentes, and hathe inserted and vnited me into this vnyuer­sall body or flocke, and hath made me his sonne and inheri­tour of his kyngdome: but also that he shall of his lyke good­nes, and by the operation of the holy goost, iustifie me here in this worlde, and fynally glorifie me in heuen. And ther­fore I proteste and knowlege, that in my hart I abhorre and deteste all heresies and scismes, wherby the true interpreta­tion and sence of scripture is or maye be peruerted. And do promyse by the helpe of god, to endure vnto my lyfes ende in the ryght profession of the faythe, and doctryne of the ca­tholyque churche.

The sense and interpretation of the tenthe Artycle.

I Beleue assuredly in my harte, and with my mouthe I professe, that betwene and amonge all and synguler the saintes, that is to say, the quycke & lyuinge membres of the catholyque churche of Christe, whiche is his mistycall bo­dy, there is a perfyte communion and particypation of all, [Page 16] and syngular the graces of the holy goost, and the spirituall goodes and treasure, whiche do belonge vnto the sayde hole body, or vnto any part, or membre of the same. And like as al the partes & membres, whiche be lyuynge in the natural body of a man, do naturally communicate and mynister eche to o­ther the vse, commoditie, and benefite of all theyr forces, nu­triment, and perfection (in somoche, that it lyeth not in the power of any man, to say that the meate, whiche he putteth in at his owne mouthe, shall nouryshe one particular mem­bre of his body, and not an other, but that all and euery one particularly shall receyue of the sayde nutriment, and of the vertue and benefite therof, more or lesse, accordynge to that naturall disposition, portion, and place, whiche it hath with­in the same body) Euen so I beleue, that what soeuer spiry­tuall gyfte, or treasure is gyuen by god vnto any one parte or membre of this mysticall body of Christe, all though the same be gyuen particularly vnto this membre, and not vn­to an other, yet the fruyte and meryte therof shall by reason of that incomprehensible vnion and bande of charite, whi­che is betwene them, redounde necessaryly vnto the profyte, edifieng, and increase in Christis body of all the other mem­bres particularly: in so moche, that there shall nede no mans auctorite to dyspence & distribute the same, or to apply it vnto this mēbre or that (lyke as the bishop of Rome pretended to do by vertu of his pardons) but yf the mēbre,The bis­shop of Romes pardons. whiche shal receyue this tresure, be a lyuinge membre in this mysticall body, & not putrified or cutte of from the same, I beleue assuredly, that he shall be made participant of the sayde treasure, and shall haue, and enioy the fruite and benefyte of the same, and that in suche quantitie, and measure, as for the rate, proportion, and qualitie of the spirituall lyfe, faythe, and charite, whi­che he hath in the same body, shall be expedient and necessa­rie for hym to haue.

And I beleue that I beinge vnited, and corporated, as a lyuynge membre into this catholyque churche) as vndoub­tedly [Page] I trust that I am) not onely Christe hym selfe beinge heed of this body, and the infinite treasure of all goodnes, and all the holy sayntes, and membres of the same body, do and shall necessarily helpe me, loue me, pray for me, care for me, weye on my syde, comforte me, and assyste me, in all my necessities here in this worlde: but also that I shall be made partaker of the frute, benifite, and treasure of Christis moost blessed lyfe, and his bytter passyon, and of all the holy lyfe, passions, and pacience, and of all the prayers and other good workes of faithe and charitie, whiche haue ben, or shall be done, or susteyned by any, and euery one of all those faithfull and rightuous people, whiche euer haue ben, or shal be mem­bres of this catholique churche.

And I beleue that in this catholique churche I and all the lyuely and quycke membres of the same, shall contynually and from tyme to tyme, so longe as we shal lyue here on erth, obteyne remission and forgyuenes of all our synnes, aswell originall as actuall, by the merites of Christis bloude and his passion, and by the vertue and efficacie of Christis sacra­mentes, instituted by hym for that purpose, so oft as we shal worthily receyue the same.

And lyke as it is not in the power of any man to dispense, minister, or distribute any parte of that nutriment, whiche he receyueth in at his mouthe vnto any membre, whiche ey­ther is mortified and deed in his body, or that is cut of from the same: Euen so I beleue assuredly, that neyther Christis bloude, nor his sacramentes, nor any of the graces of the holy goost, nor any good worke in the worlde, do or can any thynge profyte to remission and forgyuenes of synne, or sal­uation vnto any person, whiche is in veray dede out of the catholyque church, as longe as he shall so stande, and conti­nue out of the same. For I beleue assuredly, that out of this catholyque churche, there neither is, nor can be any suche cō ­munion of sainctes, or remission of synnes, as is before re­hersed: but that lyke as all the people and beastes, whiche at [Page 17] the tyme of Noes floude, were out of his arke of shyp,Genes. vii were all drowned and perished: euen so all the people of the world, be they Iewes, Turques, Saracenes, or of any other nati­on, what so euer it be, whiche either for theyr infidelitie he­resie, or scisme, or for theyr induratenes, and obstinate perse­uerynge in mortall synne, be separated and diuided from the membres of the sayde catholyque churche, and soo shall fy­nally be founde either to be out of the same churche, or els to be as deed membres therin, shall vtterlye perysshe, and be dampned for euer.

The sense and interpretation of the .xi. and xii. Artycle.

I Beleue stedfastly in my harte, and with my mouthe I do professe that at the daye of the generall dome, or iuge­ment, whan Christ shal come, & syt to iudge both quicke and deade; almyghty god shall by the operacyon of his ho­ly spyryte, stire and rayse vp agayne, the veray flesshe and bodyes of all men, women, and chylderne, bothe good and badde, christened, and heathen, that euer lyued here in this worlde, from the begynnynge of the same, and dyed before that daye. And althoughe the sayde flesshe and bodyes were deed before and buryed, yea and consumed by fyre or water, or by any other meanes dystroyed: yet I beleue, that god shall, of his infynyte power, make them all at that daye hole and parfyte agayne, and so euery man generally, shall re­sume and take agayne the very selfe same body, and flesshe, whiche they had, whyle they lyued here on erthe: and so shall ryse from deathe, and lyue agayne in the very selfe same bo­dy and sowle, whiche they had before.

And I beleue that euery man, beyng thus made perfite mā in body, and sowle, shall at that daye, appere before the hyghe Iudge, our sauiour Iesu Christe, and there shall make a strayt accompte of his owne propre workes, and dedes, suche as he dyd, good or yuell, while he lyued here in the worlde. [Page] And accordynge there vnto shall be iudged to receyue bothe in body and soule to gether, eyther euerlastynge ioye and bliffe, or elles euerlastynge peyne and woo. And I Beleue, that I my selfe, shall the same daye, ryse againe in this very fleshe and body, whiche I nowe haue, and in none other: Euen lyke as our sauyour Ihesu Christe (of whose misticall body I am a porcion or membre) dyd aryse from deth to lyfe, in the selfe same naturall body, whiche he had, whan he was borne of his mother, and crucified vpon the crosse. And af­ter that I shall be so rysen ageyne from dethe to lyfe, I be­leue that I, and all true penitent synners, that euer dyed, or shall dye in the fayth of Christ,i. Cor. xv. shall than be perfytely sanc­tified, purified, and delyuered from all contagion of synne, and from all corruption, and mortalitie of the fleshe, and shal haue euerlastynge lyfe in glorie, with god in his kyngedom, not for, by, nor through the workes of rightuousnes, whiche we shall haue done (for all passions and marterdomes,Titū. iii. that maye be suffred in this worlde,Rom. viii be nothynge comparable to the glory, whiche we shall then receaue, and shall be shewed vnto vs) but by thonely grace, goodnes, and mercy of god, and by and for the redempcion, whiche is in Christe Iesu, that is to saye, for, and by his most preciouse deathe, and most peynfull passion.Rom. vii. For I beleue, that the guerdon, rewarde, and stypende of synne (wherwith we be all manifolde wayes polluted, bespotted, and defyled) is deathe, yea and that euerlastynge. And that it is by the onely grace and mercy of god, that we, repen­tynge vs of our synnes, and beleuynge stedfastely in his promyses, shall haue euelastynge lyfe, in Ie­su Christe our lorde. Amen⸫

HERE FOLOVVE CERTAYNE NOTES and obseruations, necessary to be taught vnto the people, for the better inducynge of them vnto the ryght vnderstandynge of the foresayde Crede.

FIrste it is to be noted, that all and syngu­ler the .xii. Artycles, cōteyned in this Crede, be so necessarie to be beleued for mans salua­tion, that who so euer beynge ones taughte, wol not constātly beleue them, or wol obsti­natly affirme the cōtrary of them, he or they can not be the veray membres of Christe, and his espouse the churche, but be very infydelles, or heretyques, and membres of the dyuell, with whom they shall perpetually be dampned.

Seconde it is to be noted, that all true chrysten men ought and must most constantly beleue, maynteyne, and defende all those thynges to be true, not onely whiche be comprehen­ded in this Crede, and in the other two symboles or Credes, wherof the one was made in the councell of Nece, the o­ther was made by that holy man Athanasius: but also all o­ther thynges, whiche be comprehended in the hole body and canon of the Bible.

Thyrdely that al true christen men ought & must not only repute, take, and holde all the same thynges, for the mooste holy, moste sure, and moste certayne, and infallible wordes of god, and suche as neyther ought, ne can be altered or con­uelled by any contrary opinion or auctoritie: but also muste take, and interpretate all the same thynges, accordynge to the selfe same sentence and interpretation, whiche the wor­des of scrypture do purporte and sygnyfye, and the holy ap­proued doctours of the churche, do intreate & defende the same.

Fourthely that all true chrysten men ought and muste vt­terly refuse and condempne all those opinions, contrarye to the sayde .xii. Artycles of our Crede, whiche were of longe tyme paste condempned in the foure holy councelles, that is to saye, in the councell of Nece, Constantinople, Ephesis, [Page] and Calcidonense, and all other sithe that tyme in any pointe consonant to the same.

The no­tes of the fyrste Ar­ticle.In the fyrst artycle of this Crede, two thynges be also speci­ally to be noted, The fyrste is, that herin is declared the infi­nite goodnes of god, towardes mankynde, in that he created this hole worlde for mans sake onely, & therby dystributed su­che parte of his felicite vnto man, as was conuenient for him to receyue. The belefe and knowlege wherof is the fyrst en­tre to knowe that god is a spirituall & an inuisible substance or nature, of infinite power and eternall, without beginning or endynge, and of incomprehensyble knowlege, wysedom, goodnes, iustice, and mercy. &c. For surely that worke of crea­tion is so marueylous, that nothynge in the worlde, neither man, nor aungell, coude performe or accomplyshe the same: but onely such a substāce or nature, as is before rehersed, whi­che is god hym selfe. By this belefe also, and knowlege, we be stired to fere and drede god, and to loue and praise god, with all our hartis: considering that he did create vs euen lyke vn­to his owne image & similitude, and endewed vs with all per­fections, bothe in soule, & body, whiche were necessary for vs to haue, and dyd put vs in the most excellent state of beinge, hauyng all other creatures subiecte and obedient vnto vs.

And so by this Article, we be taught, not onely what is the diuine essence, and beinge of god the father, what is his wyll, what is his power, and what is his worke and operation (the knowlege wherof distroyeth infinite errours and heresies) but also what fayth, loue, drede, honour, laude, praise, and than­kes he requireth, that all christen men shuld at all tymes, as well in prosperite, as in aduersitie gyue vnto hym for the ma­nifolde and excellent gyftes, whiche they receyue dayly and howrely at his handes. And surely yf all christen men, wolde oftimes call this article to theyr remembrance, & wold busily exercise theyr meditations therin, and wold vnfaynedly, and with all theyr hartes, professe the same: no doubte, but theyr hartes wolde waxe warme, and wolde be inflamed to loue [Page 19] god, and wolde be prompt, redye, glad, and wyllyng to serue hym, and to fulfyll his wyll and commandementes, to theyr possyble powers, and wolde take in good parte, without grutchynge, or malygnynge all syckenesse, and aduersyties, and what so euer state of lyfe god sendeth vnto them, and wolde gyue hym thankes and prayse therfore, and wolde vse all goddes creatures, and spende the gyftes, whiche he hath giuen vnto them, to his honour and glorie, and fynally they wolde abhorre and deteste in theyr hartes all superstytion, and ydolatrie, all charmes, wytchecraftes, and sorceries, all blasphemie and desperation, pryde and arrogancie, all co­uetousenes and ambicion, all desyre of reuengynge, and ma­lyce, and all other vices, whiche reygne nowe in the worlde. For surely who so euer beleueth inwardely, & with his hart, that god is his father, and reputeth hym as his sonne, and that the same god is of infynyte myght and power, of infy­nite knowlege and wysedom, of infinite mercy & goodnes, of infynite trouth and iustyce, as he is in dede: no doubt that per­son woll be very lothe, and a frayde to contrary, or resyst his wyll in any thyng, or to haue any thyng for his god, and his father, besyde or without hym, or to loue or preferre money, or any thynge elles in the worlde before hym, or to put affi­aunce, truste, delectacion, or pleasure in any thynge more than in hym, or besyde hym. Neyther woll he gladly seeke helpe at the dyuelles handes, by any meane of wytchecraf­tes, or sorcerye, or any suche other craftes inuented by the dyuell. Neyther woll he commytte those thynges in the syghte of God, whiche he is ashamed to commytte in the presence of men. Neyther woll he murmure agaynste god, nor muse for that he sendeth to some one man helthe, chyl­dern, ryches, and other the felicities of this worlde, and vnto hym, or some other man, he sendeth syckenes, pouertie, and other aduersyties. Neyther woll he despayre of remyssyon of his synnes, and so go (peraduenture) and murder hym selfe: Neyther wolle he reioyce, defyte, or glorye in his malyce [Page] and euyll lyuynge: but woll ratherlyue in feare and drede of euerlastynge deathe, whiche is due vnto all them, whiche ser­uynge the dyuell, the worlde, and the flesshe, lyueth in securi­tie without feare and repentaunce. And fynally to conclude, surely who so euer beleueth in his harte, that god dyd create this hole worlde, and all thynges that be therin, onely for mannes sake, and for his vse, and commoditie: noo doubte he coulde tourne his eyes no where, but he shulde inconty­nently be stirred and rauisshed in his harte, to honour, to praise, and to laude the infynite goodnes of almyghty god, shewed vnto hym, and all mankind, in that partie and shuld also be afraide to vse the thynges created by god, otherwyse than vnto his glory. But it is to be feared, least the mooste parte of them, whiche pronounce, and speke dayly this Ar­ticle with theyr mouthe: do not beleue the same with theyr hartes, or yf they do beleue it, that theyr belefe is but faynt and a colde belefe. For we see, no doubte, the moste parte of christen people lyue in maruelous darkenes, and blynde­nes, declarynge by theyr outwarde factes and dedes, that they haue no respecte in the worlde to god, nor that they knowlege hym to be theyr creatour, or at the leaste, they gyue vnto hym no suche feare and reuerence, as is due vnto a lorde and maker, nor no suche honoure and obedience, as is dewe vnto a father,Malac. i. nor no suche prayse and thankes, as his son­drye benefytes and goodnes towardes vs do requyre. All whiche thynges no doubte procede, for that we haue not the ryght and harty feyth in god the father, whiche is requyred in this fyrste artycle of our Crede.

The second thinge to be noted in this fyrst article, is this ma­ner of speakynge, I beleue in God. For therby no doubte is sygnifyed, that we must not onely beleue stedfastly, that god is, and that he is true in all his wordes, and promyses, and that he is omnipotent and creatour of heuen and erthe, and so forthe: but we muste also with this beleue goo into god by loue, and adhere onely vnto hym, and that with all our harte [Page 20] and power, and so continue and dwell styll in hym by loue. It sygnyfyeth also that we muste obeye vnto his wyll, and expresse the same our obedience, as well in all our inwarde thoughtes, and affectyons, as also in all our outwarde ac­tes and dedes, and that we muste abhorre all tyranny, and vyce, and wysshe or desyre of god noo vayne, or vngodlye thyng. It sygnyfieth also, that we must constantly and bold­ly betake and commytte our selfes, and all ours holly vnto god, and fyxe all our hole hope, trust, and confidence in hym, and quyet our selfes in hym, beleuynge perfytely, and assu­redly, that he woll in dede, shewe no lesse goodnesse, loue, mercy, and fauour vnto vs, than he promyseth by his worde to do, and knowynge also for certayne that we, and all the creatures in the worlde, be conserued by his onely goodnes, and hyghe prouydence, and that without his specyall grace, we shulde not be able to contynue on lyue the space of one mynute of an howre.

This maner of belefe we oughte to haue in no creature of god be it neuer so excellent, but in god onely, and therfore in this crede, the sayde maner of speakynge is vsed onely in the thre Artycles, whiche concerne the thre persons in Trini­tie, that is to say, the father, the sonne, and the holy goost.

In the thyrde Article it is to be noted, that the cause,The no­tes of the thyrde Article. why it was ordeyned by god, that our sauiour Iesu Christ shulde be borne of a virgine, and conceyued by thonly operation of the holy gooste (whose worke is euer without all maner of synne) was, for that he was ordeyned and appoynted by god to come and delyuer mankynde from the captyuitie of the dyuell, and the malediction, whiche man was in, and to redeme hym cleare from all synne, deathe, and damnation, and to restore hym ageyne to the veray blessynge of god, that is to say, to Iustyce, ryghtuousnes, helth, lyfe euerlastynge, and all other the gyftes and graces of the holy gooste. And for as moche as it was necessarye that he, whiche shoulde worke this effecte, shuld be hym selfe al blyssed, al innocent, [Page] all ryghtuouse, all voyde and pure from synne, and vtterly free and clere from the yocke and power of the dyuell: ther­fore was it ordeyned by god, that this chylde Iesu Christe, shulde be so conceyued and borne, as was sayde before. For surely yf Christe shulde haue bene otherwyse borne, or con­ceyued, that is to saye, of the seede of man and woman, and by thacte of generation, whiche is done betwene them, he shulde haue ben borne in lyke synne, in lyke fylthynes, and iniquitie, as all other the chyldren of men, that euer was sith Adam, or euer shalbe be borne and conceyued. But surely neyther was it cōuenient, neither the wyll of god, that Christ shulde by suche generation, contracte any spotte of synne, or shulde be subiecte to any parte of that malediction, whiche was inflycted vnto Adam.

The no­tes of the .iiii. Ar­ticle.In the fourthe Article it is to be noted, that the same dothe folowe vpon the seconde and the thyrde Articles. For surely the cause why Christ was thus made man, and borne of his mother, was for that he shulde in the same nature of man, not onely be conuersaunt in the worlde with other people, and so partly by the example of his moste godlie, and moste innocent, and perfyte lyfe, and partely by his meruaylous workes and miracles, and partly by the heuenly doctrine of his gospell, shulde induce the worlde vnto the ryght know­lege of the wyll of god his father, and shulde declare vnto them his infinite mercy, and goodnes, towardes mankinde: but also that he myght in the same nature, whiche was mor­tall, suffre deathe, and so offre vppe the same his corporall deathe and his bloude in sacrifice vnto god his father, as the sufficient hoste, oblation, or expiation, and as the verye iuste price and valoure, for the whiche god the father shulde holde hym selfe satisfied, for all our synnes, and offences, and shulde remytte and forgeue vs the same, and receyue vs agayne into his grace and fauour. Whiche sacrifice and ob­lation, Christe coulde not haue made by his deathe and by his bloude: yf he shulde haue continued styll only god, and [Page 21] shuld not haue taken also this our nature of man vpon hym.

In the fourthe Article it is also to be noted, that it is the the wyll of god our father, that we his sonnes, and his chil­dren shulde in this worlde folowe our heed Christe in paci­ence, and humilite, and that we shulde beare our own crosse, as Christe dyd his. And that we shulde also hate and abhorre all synne, knowynge for suretie, that who so euer dothe not in his herte hate, and abhorre synne, but rather accompteth the breache and violation of goddis commaundement, but as a lyght matter, and of small weight and importaunce: he estemeth not the price and valour of this passyon of Christe, accordynge to the dignitie and worthynes therof, but rather semeth to consent, and as moche as in hym is, to go aboute to cause Chryste to be crucified ageyne.

In the .v. article it is to be noted,The no­tes of the fyfth Ar­tycle. Ro. x. that therin is included and conteyned the groundes and foundations of the great­test parte of all the misteries of our catholyque faythe. In so moche that saynt Paule sayth, that whosoeuer beleueth in his harte, that god the father dyd resuscitate, and raise vppe his sonne Christe from deathe to lyfe, he shall be saued. And in an other place he sayth, that who soeuer beleueth not,i. Cor. xv. that Christe is rysen from deathe to lyfe, it is not possible his syn­nes shulde be remytted.

It is also to be noted in this Article, that the victory and conqueste, whiche Christe hadde ouer deathe, hell, and the dy­uell hym selfe, with all theyr power and tyranny, besyde that it proceded of the infinite mercy and goodnes of god towardes vs, it was also founded vpon veray Iustyce. For surely like as the sinne of man, & his disobedience, was the only meane and cause, wherfore god ordeyned and suffred, that deth, and the dyuel, shuld haue and occupy suche dominion & tyrranny ouer all mankynde, as they had: Euen so was it contrary to the wyll and ordynaunce of god, that dethe, hell, or the dyuell shulde haue or exercyse any power or auctoritie, where as no synne reygned. In so moche that yf man had neuer synned, he [Page] shulde neuer haue dyed, but shulde haue ben immortall, nor neuer shulde haue descended into helle, but shulde euer haue had the superyoritie ouer the dyuell, deathe, and helle, and shulde haue had theym alwayes subdewed vnto hym. And therfore sythe the dyuell hym selfe dyd perfytely knowe, that our sauyour Iesu Christe, expressed in all his lyfe mooste ex­acte, and mooste perfyte obedyence vnto the lawes, and wyll of god, and soo fulfylled and satysfyed the same in euerye poynte, to the vttermost, that there coulde neuer be founde vntrewthe, or deceyte in his mouthe, nor any spotte or blotte of fylthynesse or impuritie, in any parte of all his lyuynge, and yet that not withstandynge (knowynge hym to be a ve­ray naturalle manne) laboured, procured, and caused the Iewes to kylle this innocente Christe, and to put hym vn­to mooste sharpe and bytter deathe, contrarye to all equi­tie and Iustyce, and all to the intente that he myghte after his sayde deathe, haue Christe with hym downe into helle, as one of his captyues, and so there to exercyse his tyran­nye vppon hym, lyke as he hadde doone ouer all other men, from the begynnynge of the worlde, vntyll that tyme: No doubte, but the dyuelle in this doynge, dydde extreme and manyfeste wronge, and vtterly exceded the lymyttes of the power gyuen vnto hym. And therfore god consyderynge this hyghe presumption and malyce of the dyuelle, and this intollerable abuse of his sayde power, dydde sende his onely begotten sonne downe into hell, there to condempne the dyuell of this extreme iniquytie, and to conquere, to spoyle,Ro. viii. and depryue hym, not onely of the possessyon of all the sowles of the ryghtuouse menne, whyche by his crafte and subtylytie, he had before reduced and brought vnder his domynyon: but also restrayned hym of the power, and auctorytie, whiche he by deathe and helle, hadde ouer man­kynde. All whiche thynges Chryste dydde not by the myght of his godlye power onely: but for and vppon this iuste and reasonable cause, gyuen vnto hym on the behalfe of the dyuel, [Page 22] whiche for the causes aforesayde, mooste worthyly deserued to be serued so.The no­tes of the syxte Ar­tycle.

¶In the .vi. Article thre thynges be speciallye to be noted, and remembred. Fyrste, that in the person of Iesu Christe, there was and is conioyned, and vnited togyther insepara­bly bothe the nature of god, and the nature of manne.

And that by reason of this indissoluble vnitie of these two natures, holye scrypture vseth sometymes to attrybute and gyue vnto the same personne of Christe those thynges, whiche doo apperteygne vnto his humanytie, althoughe the same canne not be veryfyed in hym, as towchynge his godheed. And therfore althowghe Christe, as towchynge his godheed, was euer presente in heuen, and was euer equall in glorye with his father: Yet forasmoche as concernynge his manhode he was neuer in heuen, nor dydde neuer sytte there endewed with suche power and glorye before this his ascenscyon: therfore it is sayde trewely in this Crede, that Christe ascended into heuen, and that almyghtye god the father dydde, at his sayde commynge thyther, sette hym there vppon his ryght hande.

¶ Secondely, it is to be noted, that this ascension of Christe into heuen was not onely ve­ray necessarye: but also moche profytable for all trewe chri­sten men, and that for many causes: One is, for that Christe declared therby veray manyfestely, that he was nat onely manne, but that he was also veray god. And therfore hir foloweth in this Artycle, He sytteth on the ryght hande of his father, not as inferiour in godheed, but as equall vn­to hym. An other is, for that he hath ben euer syth that tyme our contynuall aduocate & sollicitour vnto god his father, ac­cordynge to the sayinge of saynt Paule,Hebr. iiii. wrytynge vnto the Hebrues, where he sayth in this maner, Christe ascended into heuen, to thintent he shuld euer appere, & euer be present in the syght of god, as a mediator, and intercessor for vs. And in an other place also he faythe, Iesus the sonne of god dyd pene­trate & ascende aboue all the heuens to be our great byshop. [Page] wherfore let vs fermely and stedfastely beleue, that we haue a great byshoppe in heuen, that is to saye, a greate, and a perpetuall medyatour and intercessour for vs. And that the same our byshoppe is not onely of suche infynyte myght and power, that he is fully hable to saue all them that woll inuo­cate and byleue in god the father by hym: but also that he hauyng perfyte knowlege of all the infyrmities of our fleshe and mortalitie, and hauyng tasted by experience in his owne body all the tentacions of the same (synne onely excepted) he woll also gladly and wyllyngely haue pitie and compassion of vs, and woll be alwayes redy to saue vs. Wherfore lette vs put our hole truste and confydence in hym. And so let vs boldely goo by prayer, and inuocation vnto the throne of grace, that we maye obteyne mercy, and fynde grace and fa­uour, helpe, succour, and comfort in tyme of our nede, and ne­cessitie. And Sayncte Iohn̄ the Apostle also wryteth con­formely here vnto in his fyrste Epystle, where he sayth, I ex­horte and praye you good christen people,i. Ioan. ii flee from synne, and synne no more. Not withstandynge yf any of you shall fortune to commytte any deadely synne, yet let hym consider and remembre, that Iesu Christe, whiche fulfylled al Iustice for vs, and by the sacrifienge, and offerynge vp of his pre­ciouse bloude, made due satisfaction, and propiciation vnto god his father, not onely for all our synnes, but also for the synnes of all the worlde: is nowe our continuall and perpe­tuall aduocate, our patrone and defendour before the throne of his father, and maketh contynuall intercession and prayer for the remyssyon of all our synnes.

An other cause is for that yf Christe had not ascended, we shuld haue lacked all the graces and gyftes of the holy goost, whiche be necessary for the passynge of this transytorie lyfe, to the pleasure of god, and to thatteynynge of euerlastynge lyfe in an other worlde, accordynge to the sayinge of Christe, spekyng vnto his Apostles,Ioan. vi. in this maner, I tel you trouth, it is expediente, and necessarie for you, that I shall ascende [Page 23] vp into heuen. For surely yf I shulde not ascende, the holy goost shall neuer come vnto you: and contrary yf I do as­cende into heuen, than woll I sende hym immedyately vnto you. And whan the sayde holy gooste shall come, than shall he reproue, and condempne the worlde, and the dyuel for their synne and iniquitie, and he shall fully instructe and teache you all trouthe. &c.

Thyrdely it is to be noted, that all thoughe it be sayde in this Artycle, that Christe is our onely mediatour and inter­cessour, yet therby is not excluded the intercession of the ho­ly sayntes, whiche be nowe in heuen, or hereafter shall be: neyther yet the intercession of the mynysters of Christis chur­che, or of any the holy membres of the same, whiche be liuing here in this worlde. But we muste knowe for certayne, that all the membres of Christis churche, whether they be depar­ted this lyfe, or yet lyuynge here in the worlde, be all knytte and vnyted togyther in perfytte charitie, and eche dothe care and pray for other contynually vnto almyghty god, and that Christe beynge heed of the same body, is aduocate and inter­cessour for theym all, lyke as it is more at large declared in the tenthe Artycle of this Crede.

¶In the .vii. artycle it is to be noted, that lyke as the worlde had ones a begynnyng, so shall it ones also haue an endyng.The no­tes of the vii. Ar­ticle. And that vpon the same extreme or laste daye of the worlde, Christe shall come with glorie, as the supreme & highest iuge, and shall holde an vnyuersall or generall iugement, in the whiche all the people of the worlde, that euer was, or euer shall be, shall appere before hym, there to receyue theyr fy­nall sentence and iugement, some of euerlastynge saluati­on, and some of perpetuall dampnation.

It is also to be noted, that this artycle was for great consy­derations added immedyately, and conioyned vnto the for­mer Artycles, specyally to thintent that no man shulde in his lyfe tyme presume vpon the sayde benefytes of Christe, or take occasyon of carnalle lybertie or securitie, and soo lyue [Page] withoute hauynge any feare to transgresse, or regarde to obserue the commaundementes of god: but rather that eue­ry good christen man shulde in euery parte of his lyfe haue a contynuall remembraunce, and respecte vnto that laste daye of iudgement, and so be in contynuall feare, to commyt any thynge contrarye to the wyll of god, for the whiche he myght deserue to haue the sentence of euerlastynge dampnation pro­nounced vpon hym. For this is certaynely true, that at that day euery man shalbe called to make a strayt accompt of his lyfe, and shall be than fynally iudged euen accordynge to his owne propre workes, good or badde, done in his lyfe tyme. That is to saye, yf in his lyfe tyme he dyd beleue in his harte, and professe with his mouthe, the ryghte belefe and faythe of Christe, and accordynge vnto the same fayth dyd expresse in his outwarde workes suche obedience vnto the lawes of god, as he requireth: he shall be iudged to haue euerlastynge lyfe for his rewarde. And contrary, yf in his lyfe tyme he hadde not this ryghte faythe, and beliefe in Christe, or ha­uynge oportunitie, dyd not expresse this obedience, but trans­gressed the lawes of god, and so dyed without repentaunce, althoughe he pretended and sayde, that he beleued neuer so moche, and trusted in Christis benefyttes neuer so moche, yet shall he be iudged and condempned to the euerlastynge peynes of helle.

In this Article it is further to be noted, that lyke as there is nothynge more certayne vnto vs, than that we be all mor­tall, and shall ones dye, & yet no man lyuynge knoweth the tyme, whan he shall dye: Euen so there is nothynge more certayne, thanne that this daye of iudgemente shall ones come, and yet the howre and the tyme whan it shall be, is hydden and kepte secrete from the knowlege of all men and Angelles, and is reseued to the onely knowlege of god. whiche thynge procedeth of his onely goodnesse towardes vs, and is done to thyntente we shulde alwayes here in our lyfe tyme, fle from synne, and employe al our hole study, and [Page 24] endeuoure to walke in the wayes of god, that is to saye, in suche faythe, hope, and charytie, as god requyreth of vs, and so prepare our selfe, and ordre our lyuynge towardes god, that we maye be in a redynesse at all tymes, whan so euer it shall please god to call and sommone vs to appere before hym in the sayde generall iudgemente, there by his mercye and goodnesse to receyue the crowne and rewarde, whiche he promysed vnto all them that do feare hym, and loue hym, and walke in his wayes.

It is also to be noted in this Artycle,Ma xxiiii Mar. xiii Luc. xvii. that lyke as the lyghtenynge commeth from heuen sodeynely vnloked fore, and in one instaunte, or momente casteth lyght ouer all: euen so this seconde aduente or commynge of Chryste, and his generall iudgement shall come sodeynly, and at suche tyme as the greattest parte of the people of the worlde shall feare or loke for nothynge lesse than for that daye. Trouthe it is, that god shall sende many great and euydente sygnes and tokens before the sayde commynge of Christe, to admonyshe and warne therby his electe people of his sayde aduente or commynge: not withstandynge the same sygnes shall not be so euydent, but that the greattest parte of the people of the worlde, shall take and repute them for no suche sygnes. But lyke as in the tyme of Noe, that holy Patriarke,Genes. vii the peo­ple of the worlde, whiche then were, wolde not be induced to beleue or thynke, that god wolde euer sende any suche generalle flodde, to drowne vppe all the worlde, as the sayde Patriarke shewed them of byfore, and so vppon truste thereof contynued forthe styll after theyr olde accustomed maner and facyon, lyuynge in all fylthynesse and abhomi­nation, vntyll the sayde floode came in dede, and so oppres­sed them sodeynely, whan they were in the myddes of all theyr bely ioye, and drowned them all that euer was, excepte onely the sayde Patriarke, and seuen others, whiche some­what before the commynge of the sayde floude, entered in­to the shyp, made for that purpose, and so saued theyr lyues: [Page] Euen so at Domesdaye, and longe before, the greattest parte of the people of the worlde shall lyttell or nothynge regarde the sayde sygnes, whiche god shall sende as tokens before domysdaye, but shall rather mocke them, and attribute them vnto other causes, and so buyldynge theyr faythe and truste thervpon, shall gyue them selfe holly vnto carnall and bo­dely lustes, to couetousnes and fraude, to vaynglory and ambicion, and to all other the workes of the flesshe, and so shall contynue therin without repentaunce, or thynkynge of the sayd last day, vntyl the selfe same houre that Christ shall come hym selfe in person, and call them sodeinly, to come and appere before his presence, to receyue theyr iudgement.

The no­tes of the viii. Ar­tycle.In the .viii. Artycle it is specyally to be noted, that not with standynge any thynge conteyned or mencyoned therin, yet we muste constantely beleue in the seconde persone in Tri­nitie, accordynge as it is declared in the former Artycles in all poyntes, that is to say, that our sauiour Iesu Christe hath meryted habundantly, and at the full, not onely cleane re­myssyon of all our synnes, but also our parfytte redemption and delyueraunce from all the captiuytie, and thraldome of our spirituall ennemyes, and also our perfyte reconciliati­on vnto the fauoure of god, and our perfytte iustification and saluation, and that his deathe and his bloude is thone­ly and suffycient price, and valour, and the iuste satisfaction for all the synnes of the worlde. And that he is the onely meane and hyghe waye, wherby Christen men do and muste come vnto the father, and that he is our onely Aduocate and patrone in heuen, by whom all the heuenly gyftes of the ho­ly goost, and what so euer els is, or can be necessary, or requi­site to thatteynynge of euerlastynge lyfe, is conferred, and gyuen vnto vs. And therfore where as in this .viii. Artycle our sanctification, our iustification, our incorporation in to the body of Christe, our gouernaunce, and all the other gyf­tes and graces, wherwith christen men be endued, be attri­buted vnto the worke of this holy spirite, it is to be vnder­standed. [Page 25] Fyrst, that lyke as Christ is the autour, the meane, & the veray hygh way to come vnto god the father: so is this holy spirite the veray conductour, the guyde, the dyrectoure, and the gouernour to brynge vs into the same hyghe waye, and to mynyster vnto vs, not onely alacritie and strength to walke and runne therin, but also perseuerance to contynue in the same, vntyll we shall come vnto our iourneys ende.

¶Seconde, that the peculiar offyce & operation of this holy spirite is to reuele, and teache vs the mysteryes of Christis bloude and his passion, and howe he is our onely lorde, our sauiour, and redemer: and so to bring vs into the right know­ledge of all these benefites, that Christe hath done for vs. For surely, yf this holy spirite shulde not by his worke illu­myne & lyght our hartes, with the knowlege of this trouth, all the merites and benefites of Christe, shulde be perpe­tually hydden from our knowledge, and we shulde neuer beleue in Christe, but shulde be lyke Iewes and Turkes, whiche knowe not Christe, and so we shulde neuer be made participant of Christis merites, nor they shulde neuer be applied vnto vs.

Thyrdely, that it is also the peculiar function or offyce of this holy spirite (after we be inspired, and perfytely instruc­ted in the sayde knowledge) fyrste to purge and purifie our hartes by this faythe and knowledge, from the malyce and fylthynes of synne, and afterwarde to stirre, inflame, and rauyshe our hartes, and to make vs able, gladly and thank­fully to embrace and receyue the sayde benefytes, and so to kepe them, to vse them, and to dyspose theym to our owne welthe, and to the edifienge and profite of our neyghbours. And fynally, to comforte vs, and to be vnto vs in maner as acertayne pledge, or an ernest peny, to assure and warraunt vs, by true and infalible tokens, that we be in the fauour of god, and his owne chyldren by grace and adoption, and the ryght enheritours of heuen. And for asmoche as this holy spirite, beynge sent and procedynge from the father and the [Page] sonne, to dwell and inhabyte in our hartes, worketh in vs all these effectes holy scrypture: doth worthyly attrybute vnto hym our sanctification, our iustyfycation, and all the other benefytes, whiche Christe by his passyon hath meryted and deserued for vs. Whiche neuerthelesse be also the workes of the hole Trynytie, and be not to be separated in any wyse, al thoughe scrypture commonly dothe attrybute them vnto the holy gooste, as it doth attrybute power vnto the father, and wysdome vnto the sonne, whiche neuer the lesse be com­mune vnto all thre.

The no­tes of the ix. ArticleIn the nynthe. Artycle many thinges be to be noted. First that this worde Church, in scripture is taken sometyme ge­nerally for the hole congregation of them that be chrystened, and professe Christis gospell: And somtyme it is taken for the catholyque congregation, or noumbre of theym onely, whiche be chosen, called, and ordeyned to reygne with Christe in euerlastynge lyfe.

Seconde it is to be noted, that the churche in the fyrste sy­gnyfycation is in scrypture compared sometyme vnto a felde full of good corne and noughty weedes myngled togyther,Mat. xiii. Act. xx. Mat. xxv Math. iii Luke. iii. and somtymes vnto a nette full of good fyshe and badde, and somtymes vnto a flocke of shepe and gootes gathered to­gyther in one fold, and somtymes vnto the threshyng flower of almyghty god,ii. Tim. ii wherin is conteyned corne and chaffe both togyther, and sometymes vnto a great mannes house, in the whiche be some vessels or instrumentes of golde, some of syl­uer, some of tree, some of erth, some to be had in honour and pryce, and suche as woll neuer be corrupted and putrifyed, and some to be had in contempt, & to serue only for vile vses.

Thyrdly it is to be noted, that by these parables & certayn suche other rehersed in scrypture, is sygnyfied that amonge them, which be chrystened, & do professe Christis gospell, and lyue in the comune societie & cōmunion of the sacramētes of the churche dyuers be in dede the very quycke & lyuynge mem­bres of Christis mystical body, and shal reygne euerlastingly [Page 26] with hym in honour. And that the congregation or societie of them is the very felde, and they be the very good corne or seede, whiche Christe hym selfe dyd sowe. And dyuers be in dede chaffe, or stynkynge and naughty weedes, sowen by the dyuell noughty fyshes, stynkyng and baren gootes, vessels dyspysed, or instrumentes prepared to euerlasting fyre, that is to saye, they be the veray membres of the synagoge of the dy­uell, & not the lyuyng membres of Christis mystycall body.

By these parables also it is signyfied, that in this present lyfe, these two sortes of people, good and badde, be contynu­ally myxted and myngled togyther in the churche, as it is taken in the fyrst sygnyfication. And that the sayd membres of the synagoge of the dyuell, so longe as they growe in the same felde, wherin the good corne groweth, that is to saye, so longe as they do in outwarde apparaunce professe the same fayth of Christ, whiche the very membres of Christis churche do professe, and do consent & agree with them outwardly in the doctryne of the gospell, and in all other thynges apper­teyning vnto Christis relygion: they must be accepted and re­puted here in the worlde, for the verye membres of Christes misticall body, and that they ought not ne can be desseuered from them, vntyll the day of iudgement. At whiche tyme the sheparde shall deuyde the shepe from the gootes, and the mo­wers shall trye and clense the corne frome the weedes and chaffe, & so shall brynge the corne into the barne, and cast the chaffe & the weedes into the fyre, there to burne perpetually.

Of the churche also in this fyrste maner of sygnyfycation scrypture meaneth, where it sayth,Dani. ix. Matth. xxiiii. that abhomynatyon shall sytte in the holy place, and that there shall aryse in the chur­che horryble errours, and false prophetes, whiche shall worke suche wonders, that the electe people of God, shall be almooste seduced with theym. For surely not onely the wycked people, whiche be mingled with the good in the chur­che, as it is taken in this fyrste maner of sygnyfcacyon, doo and shall commytte infynite errours and impieties, [Page] but also the good people, and suche as be the very mem­bres of Christe, do and shall erre oftymes as men, and ofte­tymes do and shall decline, for a season, from the ryght way.

Fourthely it is to be noted, that of the churche, as it is ta­ken in the seconde maner of sygnyfycation,Hebr. xii. Apo. xii. ii. Cor vi. i. Tim iii. Math. v. i. Petr. ii. Ephe. ii. Cant. vi. Cant. iiii. Gala. iiii. Ephe. v. i. Tim iii. ii. Tim. ii It is sayde in scripture, that she is the heuenly Hierusalem, the Cytie of god, the temple or habitacle of god, the house of god, buyl­ded vpon a stone, the onely doue, the onely beloued of god, the gardeyn mured rounde about, the fountayne enclosed, the well of lyuely water, the paradyse full of fruite, our holy mo­ther, the gloryouse espouse of Christe full of all beautie, with out spotte or wryncle, the misticall body of Christe, the seate or pyller of trouthe, the golden vessell in the noble mannes house, whiche shall neuer corrupte or putryfie. All whiche sentences, and dyuers suche other, spoken in scripture of the churche, be to be referred, and veryfyed of the churche in the seconde sygnyfication. And fynally in this sygnyfication al­so the .ix. Artycle of our Crede, is to be vnderstanded, For surely it is necessary for our saluation, to beleue that that churche, or congregation, whiche conteyneth the very quycke and lyuynge membres of Chrystis mysticalle bodye, and whiche shall reygne euerlastyngly with hym in heuen, is all holy, and catholyque: and that lyke as it hath ben euer in the worlde, and yet is, so it shall contynue for euer, and for euer is, & shall be vnto the worldes ende spyritually and in­wardely renewed, quyckened, gouerned, iustified, and san­ctified with the presence, and spyrytuall assistence, and gra­cis of the holy goost, and inwardely shall be connected and vnyted together in one godly consent in charitie, and in the true doctryne of Christe.

And for confyrmation hereof, it is also further to be noted and consydered, that it is not onely veray necessarye for all trewe christen men, to lerne and knowe the certayne notes and markes, wherby the veray true churche of Christe is dy­scerned frome the churche, or congregation of the wycked, [Page 27] whiche god hateth, and also what is the pryncypall cause, wherby they be made to be the very quycke membres of the churche of Christe: but it is also one of the greatest com­fortes, that any christen man can haue, to beleue and truste for certayne, that there is suche a congregation, whiche con­teyneth the veray lyuely membres of Christis mystycall bo­dy, and that he is a membre of the same congregation. Spe­cyally consyderynge the great and excellent promyses, whi­che Christe hym selfe hathe made vnto the sayde congrega­tion, beinge his owne mystycall body, and his owne mooste dere and tenderly beloued espouse.

And for these causes and consyderations, and suche other, it is (no doubte) to be thought, that this .ix. artycle was ad­ded and put into this crede, specyally and pryncypally to des­criue and declare the churche, as it is taken in the sayde se­conde maner of sygnyfycation.

Fyftely it is to be noted, that after the mynde of certayne interpretours of scrypture, the quycke and lyuynge mem­bres of the holy and catholyque churche, or congregatyon, be of two sortes, wherof the one parte is al redy departed this lyfe in the state of grace, and is called the churche tryum­phant, forasmoche as after theyr victorie, they doo or shall tryumphe in ioy and felicitie in heuen. The other is all those true christen people, whiche doo and shall lyue here in this worlde, dayly and contynually fyghtynge in Christis bat­tayle, and for Christis sake, ageynst theyr spirituall enne­myes, the worlde, the dyuell, and the fleshe: and for that cause, is called the mylitant or fyghtynge churche.

Syxtely it is to be noted, that althouge the lyuely mem­bres of this militaunt churche, be subiecte to the infirmities of theyr fleshe, and fall ofttymes in to errour and synne, as was sayde before, yet they alweyes in scripture be called ho­ly, as well bycause they be sanctified in the bloud of Christe, and professynge in theyr baptysme to beleue in god, and to forsake the dyuel and all his workes, they be consecrated and [Page] dedycated vnto Chryste: as also for that they be from tyme to tyme purged by the word of god, & by faith, hope, and cha­ritie, & by the exercyse of other vertues, and fynally shalbe en­dewed with suche grace of the holy goost, that they shall be clerely sanctified, and puryfied from all fylthynes, and shall be made the gloryouse Espouse of Christe, shynynge in all cleannes, without hauynge any spotte, or wryncle, or any o­ther thynge worthy to be reprehended.

The no­tes of the .x. Article.In the tenthe Artycle it is to be noted that dyuers interpre­tours of holy scrypture do dyuersely interpretate the fyrste parte therof, that is to saye, communyon of Saynctes. For some of them do referre it vnto the .ix. Artycle, and do take it as a clause added to declare and explane what to sygnified by these wordes, the Catholyke Churche, and so they do con­ioyne this clause with that that wente before in this sense, I beleue that this catholyque Churche is the communyon, that is to saye, the multytude or the commynaltie, or the com­mune welthe of Saynctes onely, that is to saye, of those whiche be vnder the kyngdome of Christe, and be gouerned and sanctified with his holy spyryte, and be prepared to come to euerlastynge lyfe. And some interpretours do deuyde the sayde clause from the .ix. Artycle, and do conioyne it with the Artycle that foloweth, that is to say, Remyssyon of synnes. Nowe these doctours, whiche be of this opinion, do also dy­uersely expounde the sayde clause of communyon of Sayn­ctes. For some of them do take it to sygnyfye the commune v­tylytie and profytte, whiche all the membres of Christis bo­dy do receyue by the commune merytes, suffrages, and pray­ers of the hole Churche. And some do expounde and take it for the communyon of the sacramentes of the churche, whi­che be commune vnto all menne, be they ryche or pore, free or bonde, yonge or olde, yf they be conteyned with in the v­nytie of this churche. And some do take and expounde it to sygnyfye that vnitie, whiche is betwene Chryste and all true chrysten men, that is to saye, betwene the heed and his my­sticall [Page 28] body. And for as moche as by the cōmunion and par­ticipation of the sacrament of the Altare, we be inserted in to the body of Christe, and so we be incorporated in Chryste, and Christe in vs: therfore some interpretours doo take, that by this clause is sygnifyed, the Sacramente of the Al­tare. And some doctours do expounde it to sygnifye that treasour of the churche, whiche is commune equally vnto all the membres of the same. And those doctours, whiche be of this opynion, do interpretate that treasoure to be no­thynge els, but the grace, that is to saye, the mercye, the goodnesse, and the fauour of god in this worlde, and glo­rye in the worlde to come. They saye also that this grace of god, is the commune treasour of all the electe people of god, and that our pouertie is so extreme, that of our selfes, without this grace, we shulde be vtterly nothynge. They saye further, that the effecte and vertue of this grace is, to make vs hable to ryse from synne, and flee from synne, to worke good workes, to receyue the rewarde of euerlastynge glorye, to haue and reteyne the trewe sense and vnderstan­dynge of holy scrypture, and to endewe vs with christen faythe, hope, and charitie. Fynally they say, that this grace worketh all those effectes in the electe people of god, by two specyall Instrumentes, whiche be, the worde of God and his sacramentes. And for as moche as bothe the worde and the Sacramentes haue all theyr effycacye by, and thoroughe the myghte and operation of the holy gooste, and for as moche also as this holy gooste, dwelleth and a­bydeth onely in the Catholyque churche, and in the mem­bres of the same, and worketh none of these effectes oute of the churche, they thynke that by this clause, Communion of Saynctes, is mente here the treasoure of the Churche: And that this treasoure is nothynge elles, but the holy gooste hym selfe, and his graces, wherby and by the worde of god and his Sacramentes we atteygne remyssyon of synnes, [Page] lyfe, lyghte, trouthe, iustice, eternall peace, reste, tranquilli­tie, and helthe, so longe as we be not dysseuered from the v­nitie of this catholyke churche, but do remayne therein as lyuely membres of the same.

In this Artycle, it is also to be noted, that remyssyon of synnes is the fynall cause of all the hole hystorie of Christe, and of all the workes that euer he dydde, or suffered for out sakes, and our redemption, and also the specyalle fruyte and profyte, whiche trewe chrysten men doo receyue ther­by. For surelye Christe became man, and was borne, crucyfyed, deade, and rose agayne to lyfe, and ascended to heuen, to the ende and entente to meryte and deserue for vs remyssyon of all our synnes, for asmoche as hit was impossyble for vs to haue obteyned the same, by any other meanes. And the trouthe is, that we canne by noo meanes be made partetakers of this meryte of Christe, onelesse we shall fyrste fermely and stedfastely beleue in Christe, and that he is the onely suffycyent auctoure, causer, and wor­ker of remyssyon of al our synnes. To the atteynynge of whiche faythe, it is also to be noted, that Chryste hath instytuted, and ordeyned in the worlde, but onely two meanes and instrumen­tes, wherof the one is the myny­stration of his worde, and the other is the admi­nistration of his sacramen­tes instituted by hym, so that it is not possyble to attayne this fayth, but by one or bothe of these two meanes, as shall be here after declared ⸫

Here foloweth the seconde parte of this treatyse, conteynynge the declaration of the seuen sacramentes, and fyrste of

The sacrament of Matrimonye.

AS touchynge the sacrament of Matri­monie, we thynke it conuenient that al bysshops and preachers shall instructe, and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spyrytuall charge, Fyrste howe that almyghty god, at the first creation of man in paradyse, consyderyng of his infinite wysedome and goodnes, howe necessary it was to couple & conioyne man & woman togy­ther in mariage, as well for theyr mutual ayde and comforte, & for the preseruation and continuaunce of mankynde in lau­full succession, as also that the same generation myght after the falle of man be exercysed perpetually vnto the worldes ende without synne or offence towardes god: dyd not onely than and there conioyne Adam and Eue togyther in mary­age, and instytuted the sayde sacrament of Matrimonie, and consecrated and blessed it by his holy worde: but also descri­ued the vertue and effycacie of the sayde sacramente by the mouthe of Adam. Who beinge inspyred with the holy goost, whan he was by god conioyned in mariage with Eue, spake these wordes folowynge:Genes. ii. Lo nowe these bones and flesshe of Eue my wyfe be formed & made of my bones and flesshe. And therfore euery maryed man here after shall for his wy­fes sake vtterly leue and forsake his father and mother, and shall adhere and cleue vnto his wyfe only, and the husband and the wyfe shall be .ii in one flesshe, and in one body.

By whiche wordes it is ment, that by the vertue and effica­cie of Matrimonie, ryghtfully, and by the auctorytie of god contracted, the man and woman, whiche were before two bo­dyes, be nowe vnyted and made to be one body durynge their lyues, so that the husbande hath no power of his owne body [Page] to vse the same as hym luste, and with whome hym lyketh: but it is his wyfes, and with her onely he maye vse the acte of matrimonie. Nor the wyfe hathe any power of her owne body, to vse it at her luste, or with whom her lyketh: but her body is her husbandes body, and with hym onely maye she vse thacte of matrimony. And therfore the sayde two perso­nes, so conioyned, maye not be afterwarde diuided for any affection to father or mother, or for any erthly thynge in the worlde: but eche must adhere and cleue to other, for as moche as they be nowe two persons in one fleshe, and in one body.

Seconde, howe that almyghty god repeted and renewed agayne his sayde institucion of matrimonye, and sanctified and blessed it with his holy worde immediately after Noes fludde. At whiche tyme, beinge all the people of the worlde peryshed and dystroyed with the generalle deluge, (excepte the sayde holy Patriarke Noe, his chyldren, and theyr wy­ues, whiche were than onely by goddis high prouidence and goodnes towardes mankynde preserued and lefte on lyue) God callynge them out of the arke, sayde vnto theym these wordes: Growe you forthe nowe and increase by contynual generation, and be you multiplyed in contynual succession, and fulfyll you the erthe ageyne with your sede laufully procreated in matrimonye, accordynge as I haue instituted the same. This lawe and commaundement of matrimony thus repeted and gyuen agayn by god vnto Noe and his children, althoughe it was sufficient commaundemēt and instruction vnto them and all theyr posteritie howe to vse the same in all puretie, and cleannesse to goddis pleasure, and his good contentation: yet god perceyuynge the naturall inclination of man to malyce and synne, dyd afterwarde further expli­cate and establishe the same by his other lawes wryten, wher by god prohibyted,Leui xviii et. xx. that any matrimonye, shuld be made be­twene the father and the doughter, the mother and the sonne, the brother and the syster, and betwene dyuers other persones beinge in certayne degrees of consanguynitie and affinitie. [Page 30] whiche lawes of prohibicion in mariage, althoughe they were not by expresse wordes of god declared at the fyrste in­stitution of Matrimonie, ne yet at this seconde repetition of the same, made vnto Noe: yet vndoubtedly god had engra­ued and enprynted the same lawes in the harte of man at his fyrste creation. And for as moche as in longe contynuaunce and processe of tyme, the naturalle lyght and knowledge of man was almooste by synne and malyce extincted, or at the leaste so corrupted and obscured in the mooste parte of men, that they coulde not perceyue and iudge, what thynges were of theyr owne nature noughtie and detestable in the syghte of god, ne yet howe farre that naturall honestie and reue­rence, whiche we owe vnto suche persons, as be nere of blud or of nere allyaunce vnto vs, was extended: god commaun­ded his prophete Moyses to promulgate, and to declare by his worde vnto the people of Israel, the sayde lawes of pro­hibition of Matrimonye in certayne degrees of consangui­nitie and affinitie, whiche be specially mencyoned in the boke of Leuiticus. And commaunded also Moyses,Leu. xviii. et. xx. to declare vnto his sayde people, that not onely they: but also all other the people of the worlde, were as moche, and as strayghtely bounden to the contynuall obseruation of the same lawes, as they were vnto the other morall lawes of the tenne com­maundementes.

Thyrdly, that this coniunction betwene man and woman in Matrimonye, was instytuted by god, to the intent therby shulde be sygnyfyed and represented, or rather prefygurated and prophecied before, not onely the perfyte, and indissoluble coniunction and vnion of the nature of god with the nature of man (whiche was fulfylled, whan the seconde person in Trinitie descendinge from his father, dyd take vpon hym the veray forme and substaunce of our nature, and so those two natures were vnyted and knytte togyther in one person) but also to thintent there shulde therby be sygnyfyed and repre­sented the lyke coniunction or societie, in perfyte and indysso­luble [Page] loue and charitie, betwene Christe and his Churche, that is to saye, the congregation of all christen people, whi­che be the very mysticall body of Chryst, and Christ the onely heed of the same. And this to be trewe sayncte Paule hym­selfe confirmeth in the .v. chapyter of his epistle vnto the E­phesians.Ephe. v. In whiche place the Apostle minding to proue and persuade, that all women beynge maried, ought to loue, to re­uerence, to honour, to obeye, and to be subiecte vnto theyr husbandes in all thynges, euen as the churche is subiecte vnto Christe, and lyke wyse that all husbandes ought, and be bounde to loue theyr wyues, euen as they loue theyr owne selues, and theyr owne bodyes, and euen as Christe loueth the churche his espouse and his owne bodye: He bryngeth in the fyrste institution of Matrimonie, as it was ordeyned by god in Paradyse, and alledgeth the wordes of god, pronoun­ced by our fyrste father Adam, as they be before rehersed. Vp­pon whiche wordes the apostell inferreth and sayth. This cō ­iunction of man and woman togyther in maryage, wherby they are knytted, vnited, and made all one flesshe and one bo­dy, is the sacrament, that is to saye, the fygure, the sygnifica­tion, the mysterie, or the prophecienge before of that greatte and meruaylous coniunction, whiche is betwene Christe and his churche. For lyke as by the vertue and effycacye of this fyrste institution of Matrimonie, the husbande and the wyfe be made to be but one bodye, wherof the husbande is the heede: Euen soo the loue and charytie of Christe, to­wardes his Espouse the Churche, dothe knytte, vnyte, con­glutynate, and make Christe and his churche to be but done bodye, wherof Christe is the verye heede. By the whi­che wordes of Sayncte Paule it appereth, not onely, what is the vertue and effycacie of Matrimonye, in the vny­tynge and incorporatynge of two bodyes in one: but also that hit was instytuted by god, to sygnyfye this other coniunction, whiche is betwene Christe and his Chur­che. And that this coniunction betwene Christe and the chur­che, [Page 31] is the verye selfe thynge, whiche was prophecyed, syg­nyfyed, and represented by the other coniunction of man and woman in maryage. For thoughe Sayncte Paule vsed in this place other argumentes and persuasyons, ta­ken of the lawe of Nature, to induce maried persones, the one to loue the other (sayinge, that menne naturally do loue and nourysshe theyr owne bodyes, and theyr owne flesshe: and that it is agaynste nature, that a manne shulde hate his owne flesshe) yet surely he thoughte, that this was the reason of mooste effycacye, to perswade his sayde purpose, That is to saye, that all husbandes and wyues oughte so to vse theym selfes, the one vnto the other, that theyr Matrymonye, and all theyr workes and affections in the same, myghte and shoulde corresponde, and be conforma­ble and lyke in all poyntes vnto that most holy thynge, whi­che is sygnyfied and represented therby, that is to saye, vnto that spirituall coniunction, whiche is betwene Christe and his espouse the churche. And that therfore specyallye the man oughte and is bounde to loue his wyfe, and the wyfe to loue and obey her husbande in all thynges, leste by doynge the contrarye, they shulde after and subuerte the institution of God, and make the fygure all vnlyke vnto the thynge that is sygnyfied therby.

And so by these wordes and reasons of saynt Paule it is euident, that concernynge the sacramente of Matrymonye, his sentence and doctryne was, that the same was instituted by God at the fyrste creation of man, to sygnifie that inse­parable coniunction and vnyon, whiche is betwene Chryste and his churche.

¶Item we thynke it conuenyent, that all Bysshoppes and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, commytted to theyr spirituall charge, that althoughe this Sacramente of Matrymonye be no newe Sacramente instytuted in the newe Testamente, but instytuted by God, and consecra­ted by his worde, and dignyfied by his lawes euen from the [Page] begynnynge of the worlde, and before any other of the sacra­mentes were instituted in the newe testament, as was sayde before: yet the truthe is, that Christe hym selfe dyd also ac­cepte, approue, and allowe the sayde institution, as well by his worde, as also by his sondrye workes and dedes, testyfy­enge the same.Ioan. ii. In so moche that beynge ones inuited to come vnto a certaine mariage, made in Cana a towne of Galilee, Christe vouchesaued not onely to come thyther, and there to honour the sayde mariage with his corporalle presence, and with the presence also of his blessed mother, and his holy A­postles: but there he beganne also by tournynge of water in to wyne, fyrste to worke miracles, and to manyfeste his glo­rie vnto the worlde. And afterwarde in one other place, whan the pharisees came vnto Christe, and demaunded of hym, whether a man myght laufully be diuorced frome his wyfe for any cause,Mat. xiiii Christe callynge the sayde pharisees vnto the remembraunce of the fyrste institution of Matrimonye, as it was made at the fyrste begynnynge, sayde vnto theym, Re­membre you not you pharysees, howe that god, whiche crea­ted all thynges in the begynnynge dyd also forme and create man and woman? And whan he had conioyned them togy­ther in mariage, he sayd vnto theym these wordes: Propter hoc relinquet homo patrem et matrem, et adherebit vxori sue, et erunt duo in carne vna? wherfore vnderstande you, ye Phariseys, that sythe man and woman conioyned in matrimonye, be by goddis ordynaunce but one flesshe and gone bodye, it is not possyble, that they shulde afterwarde be separated or dyuor­ced one from the other. And vnderstande you also, that it is not laufull for any man to separate, and to dyuyde those per­sones a sondre, whiche be by goddis worde, and his wyll and power, conioyned together. And whan the Phariseys, repli­ynge therunto sayd, And why than dyd Moyses commaund vs to make a libell of dyuorce agaynste our wyfes, for what cause so euer we wolde, and so departe & separate our selfes from them? Christe answered them agayne and sayde, Moy­ses, [Page 32] consyderynge the induratenes and obstinacye of youre hartes, was contente to permytte and suffre you so to doo, for auoydynge of greatter myschefe and inconuenience, whi­che myght els haue ensued therof: All be it I saye vnto you, that it was not so at the begynnynge, that is to saye, It is clene contrary to the godly institution, & naturall order & la­wes of Matrimonie, as it was instituted by god at the beginnynge, that any man maryed shulde dyuorce hym selfe from his laufull wyfe. And therfore I saye agayne vnto you, that who so euer dothe forsake his laufull wyfe, onelesse it be for adulterie commytted by her, and dothe marye a nother, I saye, he commytteth adulterie in his so doynge. And lyke wyse, what woman so euer doth forsake her laufull husbāde, and marie an other, she also commytteth adulterie. And the man also that marieth her, offendeth in lyke maner. And the cause hereof is, for that the bonde of laufull mariage is of suche sorte, that it can not be dyssolued, or broken, but by deathe onely.

These wordes of Christe euidentely declare Christis sen­tence in the approbation of the institution of Matrimonie, made at the begynnynge of the worlde: And that hit was Christis wylle and comamundemente, that all the people of god shoulde folowe and conforme theyr doynges vnto the lawes of Matrimonye than made, and shoulde obserue the same in suche puretie and sanctimonie, as it was fyrste or­deyned, without separation or dyuorce, and that vnder the peyne of dampnation.

And here also two thinges specially be to be noted. The one is in yt Christe sayth, whom god conioyneth, man can not se­parate. By the which wordes he declareth ye infinite benigni­te and goodnes of god towardes vs, in that, that he hath not onely conioyned our fyrste progenitours Adam and Eue togyther in mariage, wherby he gaue vnto vs the originall begynnynge of our procreation: but that he dothe also euer sithe that tyme contynually assiste man and woman, and [Page] worketh with them in this coniunction of mariage, and as you wolde saye, is the veray auctour, causer, and doer of all Matrimonies, whiche be laufully contracted betwene man and woman. The other thynge to be noted is, in that Christe saith here vnto his dysciples, Non omnes capiunt verbum hoc: sed quibus datum est, qui potest capere capiat. By the whiche wordes Chryste semeth to exhorte suche as he shall endue with the grace and vertue of continence, wherby they shall be hable to absteyne from the workes of Matrimonie, to contynewe sole and vnmaryed.

¶Item we thynke it conueniente, that all bysshops and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spirituall charge, that the sacrament of Matrimo­nie dothe consyste of two partes, lyke as the other sacramen­tes do, that is to saye, of an outwarde and a vysible sygne, and of an inward and an inuisible grace. The outward signe is that outwarde contracte, made by expresse wordes or other sygnes equiualent, declarynge the consente betwene suche persones, as maye laufully and by thorder of goddis lawe, be ioyned togyther in maryage, whanne the same persones do consent and promyse eche to other, to companye together continually, durynge theyr lyues, without separation, and to communicate eche to other the vse and office of theyr bo­dies, and all other theyr faculties and substaunce. The spi­rituall and inuisible graces, whiche the electe people of god (as well in the tyme of the lawe of nature, as in the tyme of Moyses sawe, and also in the tyme of the newe testamente,) dyd alwaies, and yet do receyue by vertue of this sacrament, be dyuers and sondrye. Wherof one is the dispensation, or grace of god, wherby the acte of procreation betwene man and woman, whiche is (as of it selfe. and of his owne na­ture) dampable, is sanctified by the worde of god and this saramente, that is to saye, is made pure, cleane, withoute spotte of synne,Hebr. xiii. and honourable, accordynge to the sayenge of saynt Paule, Honorabile coniugium ī omnibus, & thorus imacu­latus. [Page 33] That is to saye, the acte of procreation betwene man and woman in Matrimonie is honourable, and acceptable afore god, and their bed is vndefyled. And other is the grace, wherby the persones conioyned in Matrimonie do atteyne e­uerlastynge lyfe, yf they brynge vp theyr chyldren in the true fayth and obseruance of Chrystis religion, accordynge to the wordes of saynt Paule, where he sayth,i. Tim. ii. The woman was seduced and blynded by the serpent, and so synned deedly: but she shall be saued by procreation and bryngyng forthe of chyldren, yf the same do perseuer and contynue in fayth and loue towardes god, and in holynes, and in temperance in theyr outwarde actes and dedes. And as this is spoken of the woman, so it is also to be verified in the man, he doinge lykewyse as is required of the woman.

¶Finally we thinke it conuenient, that all byshoppes and preachers, shall diligentely and from tyme to tyme ex­horte and admonyshe the people, commytted vnto theyr spi­rituall charge, to consider the thre special benefites or offices, whiche belonge vnto the sacrament of matrimony. And fyrst of all to consyder the thynge selfe, whiche is signified ther­by, whiche (as was sayd before) is the high, the mighty, and the incomprehensyle worke of god, in the coniunction of Chryste and the churche togyther, wroughte by hym to our syngular benefyte and euerlasting saluation. And that ther­fore the man and wyfe oughte not onely to lyue together in perfyte vnitie and concorde: but also they ought to loue eche other as theyr owne bodyes, and to vse the same in all clean­nes, puretie, and honour, and not to defyle the same with the rages and lustes of any beastely or fylthy concupiscence of the fleshe, euen as Chryste hym selfe loued, and doth loue his espouse the churche, and suffred all afflictions and pey­nes to make her glorious, and voyde from all maner of spot or wryncle of vncleannes. And in this parte also it shall be well done, that the byshoppes and preachers do repete ofte tymes, and laye before the eyes of the people, as welle the [Page] sayenges of saynte Paule before rehersed, as also the godly exhortation, which he maketh in his epistle vnto the Thessa­loniens,i. The. iiii where he writeth in this maner. I pray you brethern and instantly desyre you for our lord Iesu Christis sake, that lyke as you haue herde heretofore of vs, howe and in what maner you shulde go forwarde and please god: so ye do pro­cede in the same, and that after suche sorte and maner, that you may contynually profyte and increase therin. You re­membre, I doubt not, what preceptes and commaundemen­tes I haue gyuen vnto you in tymes paste, in the name of our lorde Iesu Christe. And nowe in lyke maner, and in his name also, I saye agayne vnto you, that the wyll and com­maundemente of god is, that you shulde sanctifie your sel­fes, that is to saye, that you shulde absteyne frome all ma­ner of fornication, and that euerye oone of you shoulde vse and kepe the vesselle of his bodye, in holynesse and in ho­noure, and not in desyre of carnalle concupyscence, lyke as the gentyles do, whiche knowe not god. And that noo man shulde craftely compasse or cyrcumuent his brother in flesshly lustes. For almyghty god taketh vengeaunce vpon all suche people, as do commytte any of those thynges. Know you al­so, that god hath not called vs vnto vnclenlynesse and fyl­thynesse of lyfe, but vnto holynesse and sanctimonye. And therfore I do exhorte you all, and in the name of god com­maunde you, to eschewe all fornication and adulterie, all vncleane desyres, and carnall concupyscence, al filthines and vnpure lyuynge in flesshely lustes of the body. And I saye further, that who so euer despyseth and breketh these my com­maundementes: dothe not despyse me, but he despysethe god, for they be his commaundementes, whose spirite bothe you and I haue receyued.

These wordes of sayncte Paule be necessary to be declared ofte tymes to the people, to the intent they maye the better knowe the wyll and commaundement of god, and also con­sydre and feare the greate daunger of goddes wrothe and [Page 34] vengeaunce, dewe vnto suche people, as do transgresse the godly institution and lawes of this holy sacrament of ma­trimonye.

¶The seconde specyalle gyfte or benefyte to be considered in the sayde sacrament, is the faythe and mutuall promyse made betwene the husbande and the wyfe ioyned in laufulle Matrimonye. Whereby, and by vertue of the sayde sacra­ment, the persons so laufully conioyned, be bounde to con­ceyue certayn truste and confidence, and certaynly to beleue, not only that theyr sayd state and maner of lyuynge in wed­locke (beinge the same vertuousely, and religiousely, accor­dynge to the lawe of god by them contracted and obserued) is honourable, acceptable, and meritorious before god: but also that the knotte and bonde of Matrimonye contracted be­twene the sayde persones, is made therby to be indissoluble.

Trouth it is, that yf in any mariage it may appere, and be duely proued, that there is suche laufull impedimente, that the same myght not at the begynnyng be contracted by thor­der of the lawes of god and holy churche: In that case the churche ought and may diuorce the sayd persons so contra­cted, and declare that suche Matrimonie is vnlaufulle, and the bonde therof to be of no strengthe or efficacie, bycause it was neuer good from the begynnynge. Notwithstandynge in mariages laufully made, and accordinge to the ordynance of Matrimonye prescribed by god and holye Churche, the bonde therof can by no meanes be dissolued, durynge the lyues of the partyes, betwene whome suche matrimonye is contracted.

And in this parte also the people be to be taught, that who so euer goethe about to dysseuer hym selfe from the bonde of laufull mariage, he goeth about so moche as in hym lyeth, to diuorce Christe from his churche.

The thyrde special gyft or office to be considered & obserued in Matrimonye, is the good and vertuous education and bryngynge vp of the chyldern begoten in the same. Where­vnto [Page] all maried men and women ought to haue a specyall re­garde,Thobi. i. and to folowe therin the example of Thobie, whiche taught his sonne euen from his infancie, to loue, to dreade, and to feare god, and to fle and absteyne from all maner of synne, euen for goddis sake. For surely yf the fathers and mothers be neglygente in the good bryngynge vp of theyr chylderne in theyr youthe, and soo suffre theym to falle into folyes and synne in defaute of dewe correction and chastise­ment of them for the same, no doubte they shall answere vn­to god for it:i. Reg. iiii as it appereth by the great stroke and punyshe­ment god, whan he dyd sodeynly stryke Elie the priest vn­to dethe, bycause that he, knowyng his chyldren to do amys, dyd not punyshe them therfore. And therfore lette all paren­tes employ theyr dyligence, and busy cure to educate, and in­structe theyr chyldren by all meanes in vertue and goodnes, and to restreyne them from vyces by conuenient dyscyplyne and castigation,Pro. xxiii accordynge to the sayenge of the wyse man, Withdrawe not the iuste dyscyplyne from thy chylde. For yf thou do so, he wyll fall into sondrye inconueniences, and so fynally shall be but loste and vndone. Wherfore spare not to chastyse thy chylde with the rodde, and so doynge, thou shall delyuer his soule from helle.

¶The Sacrament of Baptisme.

AS touchynge the holy Sacrament of baptisme, we thinke it cōuenient, that al bishops and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spirituall charge, that they ought and must of necessitie beleue certaynly all those thynges, whiche haue ben al­wayes by the hole cōsent of the churche approued, receyued, & vsed in the sacrament of baptysme. And fyrst that the sacra­ment [Page 35] of baptisme was instituted and ordeyned by god in the newe testament, as a thynge necessarie for the attaynyng of euerlastynge lyfe, accordynge to the sayenge of our sauyoure Iesu Christe, where he sayth,Ioan. iii. that no man can entre into the kyngdome of heuen, excepte he be borne ageyne of water and the holy gooste.

¶Item that it is offred vnto al men, as wel infantis, as su­che as haue the vse of reason, that by baptisme they shal haue remyssyon of all theyr synnes, the grace and fauour of god, and euerlastynge lyfe, accordynge to the sayenge of Christe, who so euer beleueth, and is baptised, shall be saued.Mat. xvi.

¶Item that the promise of grace and euerlastynge lyfe (whi­che promyse is adioyned vnto the sacrament of baptisme) per­teyneth not onely vnto suche as haue the vse of reason: but also to infantes, innocentes and chyldren, & that they ought therfore and muste nedes be baptised, and that by the sacra­ment of baptisme, they doo also obteyne remyssyon of theyr synnes, the grace and fauour of god, and be made therby the veray sonnes and chyldren of god. In so moche as infantes and chyldren dyeng in theyr infancie, shall vndoutedly be sa­ued therby, and els not.

¶Item that infantes muste nedes be christened bycause they be borne in originall synne, whiche synne muste nedes be re­mytted, whiche canne not be done, but by the sacrament of baptisme, wherby they receyue the holy goost, whiche exer­cyseth his grace and efficacie in them, and clenseth and pu­rifieth theym frome synne, by his mooste secrete vertue and operation.

¶Item that chyldren or men ones baptised, oughte neuer to be baptysed agayne.

¶Item that all good chrysten men ought and muste repute and take all the Anabaptistes, and the Pelagians opinions, whiche be contrarye to the premysses, and euery other mans opinion, agreable vnto the sayde Anabaptistes or the pelagi­ans opinions in that behalfe, for detestable heresyes, and [Page] vtterly to be condemned.

Item that men or chyldren, which hauyng the vse of reson, & beinge not christenid alredy, desire to be baptised, shal by ver­tue of that holy sacrament obteyn the grace & remission of all theyr synnes, yf they shall come therunto not only perfitely & truely repentant and contrite of all theyr synnes before com­mytted: but also perfytely and constantely confessynge and beleuynge all the artycles of our faith, accordyng as is men­cioned in the Crede, called the apostles Crede, And fynally yf they shall also haue firme credence and truste in the pro­myse of god, adioyned to the sayde sacramente, That is to saye, that in and by this sayde sacramente, whiche they shall receyue, god the father gyueth vnto them for his sonne Ie­su Christis sake, remyssion of all theyr synnes, and the grace of the holy gooste. Wherby they be newely regenerated and made the veray chylderne of god, accordynge to the sayinge of saynte Iohn̄, and the apostle saynte Peter, where they say,Matt. iii. Luc. iii. Act. ii. Do you penaunce for your synnes, and be eche of you baptysed in the name of Iesu Christe, and you shall obteyne remyssyon of youre synnes, and shall receyue the gyfte of the holy gooste. And accordynge to the sayenge also of saynte Paule,Tit. iii. where he saythe, God hath not saued vs for the workes of Iustyce, whiche we haue done, but of his mercy by baptisme, and renoua­tion of the holy gooste, whome he hathe powred out vpon vs moste plen­tifully for the loue of Iesu Christe our sauiour, to the intente that we beinge iustified by his grace, shulde be made the inheritours of euerla­stynge lyfe, accordynge to oure hoope⸫

The Sacramente of Confyrmation.

AS touchynge the sacramente of Confyrmation we thynke it conuenyente, that all bysshoppes and preachers shall instructe and teache the peo­ple, cōmitted vnto theyr spirituall charge, howe thapostles in the begynnyng of Christis church, althoughe they dyd certaynly knowe and beleue, that all su­che, as hadde dewely receyued the sacrament of Baptysme, were by vertue and efficacie therof perfytely regenerated in Christe, perfytely incorporated and made the very membres of his body, and had receyued ful remyssion of theyr synnes, and were replenyshed with abundaunce and plentyfulnes of the graces & gyftes of the holy goost: yet they vsed to go vn­to the people after they were baptysed, and so by their prayer & laying of theyr handes vpon them,Act. viii. et. xix. dyd gyue & conferre vn­to them the holy goost. And the sayde people dyd speke dyuers languages, and prophecied, to thintent that the conscyences not onely of them, that had receyued baptisme, and professed Christe, shulde be therby the better ascertayned, confyrmed, and establysshed in Christis relygion, and so more constantly professe the same: but also that the consciences of other, whi­che were out of the churche, and vnbeleuers, shulde the soo­ner be reduced therby from theyr errours, and be brought in to the ryght beleue of Christe and his gospell.

¶Item howe the holy fathers of the premitiue churche, ta­kynge occasyon, & foundyng them selfes vpon the sayd actes and dedes of the Apostelles, & consyderynge also that suche, as had ones receyued the gyftes & benefytes of the holy goost by the sacramēt of Baptisme, myght & oftētimes did in dede by tentatiō, frayltie, or other wyse by theyr owne sinne & ma­lice lose and fall from the same agayne: thought it very expe­dient to ordeyne, that al christen people shuld after theyr bap­tisme be presented to theyr byshops, to thintent that by theyr prayers, & layinge of theyr handes vpon them, & consigninge [Page] of them with the holy Chrisme, they shulde be confyrmed, That is to saye, they shulde receyue suche gyftes of the holye gooste, as wherby they shulde not onely be so corroborated & establyshed in the gyftes and graces before receyued in bap­tysme, that they shulde not lyghtely falle agayne frome the same, but shulde constantely reteyne them, and perseuer ther­in, and shulde also be made stronge and hardy, as wel to con­fesse boldly and manfully theyr faythe before all the persecu­ters of the same, and to resiste and fyght agaynst theyr goost­ly ennemyes the worlde, the dyuell, and the fleshe, as also to beare the crosse of Chryste, that is, to suffre and susteyne pa­ciently all the afflyctions and aduersities of this worlde: but also that they shulde attayne encreace and haboundaunce of the other vertues and graces of the holy goost.

Item we thynke it conueniēt, that al byshoppes and prea­chers shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spirituall charge, that althoughe it be well done, that men do presente theyr chyldren vnto the byshop, to receyue at his handes the sacrament of confyrmation whan they be of so tender age, as commonly they be wonte to do: yet it is not to be thought, that there is any suche necessitie of confyr­mation of infantes, but that they beinge baptysed, and dy­enge innocente before they be confyrmed, shall be assurd to atteyne euerlastynge lyfe and saluation by theffecte of the sa­crament of baptisme before receyued.

¶The sacrament of Penaunce.

AS concernyng the Sacrament of penaunce, we thynke it conueniente, that all Byshop­pes and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, cōmytted vnto theyr spirituall charge, that they oughte and muste moste constantly beleue, that the sayde sacrament [Page 37] was instituted by god in the new testament, as a thynge so necessary for mans saluation: that no man, whiche after his baptisme is fallen agayne, & hath cōmytted deedly synne, can without the same be saued or attayne euerlastyng lyfe.

Item that lyke as suche men, whiche after baptisme do fal agayne into synne, if they do not penaunce in this lyfe, shall vndoubtedly be damned: Euen soo whan soo euer the same men shall conuerte them selfe from theyr noughty lyfe, and do suche penaunce for the same, as Christe requireth of them, they shal without doubte attayne remissyon of theyr synnes, and shall be saued.

Item that the sacrament of perfyte penaunce, which Christ requireth of suche maner persons, consysteth of thre partes. Wherof the one is Contricion, the other is Confessyon, and the thirde is the amendement of the former lyfe, or the newe obedient reconsiliation vnto the lawes and wyll of god, that is to say, exteriour actes and workes of charitie, accordynge as they be cōmaunded of god, whiche be called in scripture Fructus digni penitencia, The worthy fruites of penaunce.

Furthermore as touchynge Contrition,Cōtritiō. whiche is the fyrste parte, we thynke it conueniente, that all bysshoppes and preachers, shall instructe the people, commytted vnto theyr spirituall charge, that the sayde contrition consistethe in two speciall partes, whiche muste alwayes be conioyned togyther, and can not be disseuered, That is to say, the peni­tent and contrite man, muste fyrste knowledge the fylthines and abhomination of his owne synne (vnto whiche know­ledge he is brought by herynge and consyderinge of the wyll of God declared in his lawes) and feelynge and percey­uynge in his owne conscience, that god is angry and displea­sed with hym for the same: he muste also conceyue not onely great sorowe and inwarde shame, that he hath so greuously offended god, but also great feare of goddis displeasure to­wardes hym, consyderynge he hath no workes, or merytes of his owne, whiche he may wortily say before god, as suf­ficient [Page] satisfaction for his synnes. Whiche done, than after­warde with this feare, shame, and sorowe muste nedes suc­cede and be conioyned the seconde parte, that is to wytte, a certayn faythe, trust, and confidence of the mercy and good­nes of god, wherby the penitente muste conceyue certayne hope and faithe, that god wyll forgyue hym his synnes, and repute hym iustified, and of the nombre of his electe chyl­dren, not for the worthynes of any merite or worke done by the penitent, but for the onely merites of the blode and pas­sion of our sauyour Iesu Christe.

Item that this certayne faythe and hope is gotten, and al­so confyrmed, and made more stronge, by the applyenge of Christis wordes and promyses of his grace and fauoure conteyned in his gospell, and the sacramentes instituted by hym in the newe testament. And therfore to attayne this cer­tayne faythe, the seconde parte of penaunce is necessarye, That is to say, Confession to a prieste, yf it may be hadde, For the absolution gyuen by the prieste, was instituted of Christe, to applye the promyses of goddis grace and fa­uour to the penytente.

Wherfore as touchynge Confession we thynke it con­ueniente, that all bysshoppes and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, cōmytted vnto theyr spirituall charge, that they oughte and muste certaynely beleue, that the wor­des of absolution, pronounced by the prieste, be spoken by the auctoritie gyuen to hym by Christe in the gospelle. And that they ought and muste gyue no lesse faythe and credence to the same wordes of absolution, so pronounced by the mi­nisters of the churche, than they wolde gyue vnto the veray wordes and voyce of god hym selfe, yf he shulde speake vn­to vs out of heuen,Ioan. xx. Luc. x. accordynge to the sayenge of Christe, whose synnes soo euer you doo forgyue, shall be forgyuen: whose synnes soo euer you doo reteyne, shall be reteyned. And agayne in an other place Christe saythe,Luc. x. who so euer hereth you hereth me.

Item that the people may in no wyse contemne this auri­cular confession, whiche is made vnto the mynysters of the churche: but that they oughte to repute the same as a veray expedient and necessary meane, wherby they maye require & aske this absolution at the priestes handes, at suche tyme as they shal fynd theyr consciēces greued with mortal synne, & haue occasion so to do, to thintent they maye therby attayn certayne comforte and consolation of theyr consciences.

As touchynge the thyrde parte of penaunce, we thynke it conueniente, that all bysshoppes and preachers shall in­structe and teache the people, cōmitted vnto theyr spirituall charge, that althoughe Chryste and his deathe be the suffi­cient oblation, sacrifice, satisfaction, and recompense, for the whiche god the father forgyueth and remytteth to all syn­ners not onely theyr synnes, but also eternall peyne due for the same: yet all men truely penitente, contryte, and confes­sed muste nedes also brynge forthe the fruites of penaunce, That is to saye, prayer, fastynge, and almes dede, with mo­che mournynge and lamentyng for theyr synnes before com­mytted. And they muste also make restitution or satisfacti­on in wyll and dede to theyr neyghbours, in suche thynges as they haue done them wronge and iniurie in. And fynal­ly they muste do all other good workes of mercye and chari­tie, and expresse theyr obediente wyll in the executynge and fulfyllynge of goddis commaundement outwardely, whan tyme, power and occasion shall be ministred vnto them, or elles they shall neuer be saued. For this is the expresse pre­cepte and comaundemente of god,Luc. iii. Rom. viii Do you the worthy fru­tes of penaunce. And sayncte Paule saythe, Lyke as in ty­mes paste you haue gyuen and applyed youre selues, and all the membres of your bodyes to all fylthy lyuynge and wyc­kednes, contynually encreasynge in the same: In lyke ma­ner you be nowe bounde, and muste gyue and apply your sel­fes holly to iustice, encreasynge contynually in puretye and cleannes of lyfe. And in an other place he sayth,i. Cor. ix. I chastyse [Page] and subdue my carnall body, and thaffections of the same, and make them obediente vnto the spirite.

Item that these preceptes and workes of charitie be neces­sary workes to our saluation, and god necessarily requireth that euery penitente man, shall perfourme the same, whan so euer tyme, power, and occasion shall be minystred vnto hym so to do.

Item that by penance and suche good workes of the same, we shall not only obteyne euerlastyng lyfe, but also we shal deserue remission or mitigation of the presente peynes and afflyctions, whiche we susteygne here in this worlde. For sainte Paule sayth,i. Cor. ii. That yf we wolde correcte and take pu­nyshement of our selues in this worlde, we shulde not be so greuously corrected of god.Zach. i. And god by his prophete Zacha­rie saythe, Tourne your selues vnto me, and I wyll tourne agayne vnto you.Esai. xxviii. And the prophete Esai sayth, Breake and deale thy breade vnto the hungrye, brynge into thy house the poore man, and suche as want harboroughe, whan thou seest a naked man, gyue hym clothes to couer hym with, and re­fuse not to succoure and helpe the poore and nedye, for he is thyne owne fleshe. And yf thou wolte thus do, than shall thy lyght glyster out as bryghte as the sonne in the mornynge, and thy helthe shall soner aryse vnto the, and thy iustyce shall go before thy face, and the glorie of god shall gather the vp, that thou shalte not falle, and whan so euer thou shalte call vpon god, god shall here the, and whan so euer thou shalte crie vnto god, god shall saye, Lo here I am redy to helpe the. Than shall thy lyght ouercome all darkenes, and thy darke­nes shalbe as bryght as the sonne at noone dayes: and than god shall gyue vnto the contynuall rest, and shall fulfyll thy soule with bryghtnes, and shall delyuer thy body from aduer­sitie, and than thou shalte be lyke a gardeyn, that most plen­tyfully bryngeth forth all kynde of fruites, and lyke the wel sprynge, that neuer shall want water.

These thynges and suche other, shoulde be contynuallye [Page 39] taught and inculked into the eares of all trewe christen peo­ple, to thintent to styre and prouoke theym vnto good wor­kes: and by the selfe same good workes to exercise and con­fyrme theyr faythe and hope, and to ascertayne them that they shall for the same good workes, receyue at goddis hande mitigation and remyssion of the miseries, calamities, and greuouse punyshmentes, whiche god sendeth to men in this worlde for theyr synnes.

¶The Sacramente of the Altare.

AS touchynge the Sacrament of the Altare, we thynke it conueniente, that all bysshops and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spyrytualle charge, that they oughte and must constant­ly beleue, that vnder the fourme and fygure of breade and wyne, whiche we there presentely do see, and perceyue by outwarde senses, is verayly, sustancially, and really conteyned and comprehended the veray selfe same bo­dy and bloude of our sauiour Iesu Chryst, which was borne of the virgine Marie, and suffered vppon the Crosse for our redemption. And that vnder the same fourme and fygure of breade and wyne, the veray selfe same body and bloudde of Christe is corporally, really, and in the veray same substance exhybyted, distributed, and receyued vnto and of all them, whiche receyue the sayde sacramente. And that therfore the sayde sacrament is to be vsed with all due reuerence and ho­nour, and that euery man ought fyrst to proue and examyne hym selfe, and relygyously to trie and serche his owne consci­ence, before he shall receyue the same, accordynge to the say­inge of sainct Paule,i. Cor. ii. who so euer eateth this body of Christe vnworthily, or drinketh of this blode of Christe vnworthily, shall be gyltie of the veray body and blode of Christe. Wher­fore [Page] let euery man fyrste proue hym selfe, and so let hym eate of this breadde, and drynke of this drynke. For who so euer cateth it, or drynketh it vnworthily, he eateth and drynketh it to his owne dampnation: bycause he putteth no dyfference betwene the very body of Chryst, and other kyndes of meate.

¶The sacrament of Orders.

AS touchynge the sacrament of holy orders we thynke it conuenyent, that all bysshops and preachers, shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spyry­tuall charge, Fyrste, howe that Christe and his apostels dyd institute and ordeyn in the newe testament, that, besydes the ciuile powers and gouer­naunce of kynges and pryncis (which is called Potestas gladii the power of the swerde) there shulde also be continually in the churche milytant certayne other mynysters or offycers, whiche shulde haue speciall power, auctoritie, and commis­sion vnder Christe to preache and teache the worde of god vn­to his people. to dyspense and admynyster the sacramentes of god vnto them, and by the same to conferre and gyue the graces of the holy gooste, to consecrate the blessed bodye of Christe in the sacramente of the altare. to loose and absoyle from synne all persones, whiche be duely penitent and sorye for the same. to bynde and to excōmunicate suche as be gyl­tie in manyfeste crymes and synnes, and wylle not amende theyr defaultes. to ordre and consecrate others in the same rome, ordre, and offyce, whervnto they be called, and admit­ted them selfe. and fynally to fede Christis people lyke good pastours and rectours (as the apostelle calleth theym) with theyr holsome doctrine. and by theyr contynual exhortations, and admonitions to reduce them from synne and iniquitie, so moche as in them lyeth, and to brynge them vnto the per­fyte knowlege, the perfyte loue and drede of god, and vnto [Page 40] the perfite charitie of theyr neyghbours.

Item that this offyce, this ministration, this power, and auctoritie is no tyrannycall power, hauynge noo certayne lawes or lymyttes, within the whiche it oughte to be contey­ned, nor yet none absolute power: but it is a moderate po­wer subiecte, determyned, and restrayned vnto those certayn endes and lymyttes, for the whiche the same was appoyn­ted by goddis ordinaunce. Whiche, as was sayde before, is onely to admynyster and dystrybute vnto the membres of Christis misticall bodye spirituall and euerlastyng thinges, that is to say, the pure and heuenly doctrine of Christis gos­pell, and the graces conferred in his sacramentes, and fur­ther to do and execute suche other thynges apperteynynge vnto theyr office, as were before rehersed. And therfore this sayde power and administration is called in some pla­ces of scripture, Domum et gratia, a gyfte and a grace, and in some places it is called, Claues siue potestas clauium, yt is to say the keyes or the power of the keyes. Wherby is sygnified a certayn limitted office, restrayned vnto thexecution of a spe­ciall fūction or ministration,Rom. i. i. Ti. iiii. Ephe. iiii according to the saying of saint Paule in the fyrste chapytre of his epistle to the Romaynes, and in the fourth chapyter of his fyrste epistle vnto Timothe, and also in the fourthe chapytre of his epistle vnto the Ephe­sians, where he wryteth in this sentence. Whan Christ ascen­ded in to heuen, he subdued and vanquisshed veray captiuitie her selfe, and ledde or made her thrall and captiue, and distri­buted and gaue dyuers heuenly gyftes and graces vnto men here in erthe. And amonge all he made some apostels, some priestes, some euangelistes, some pastors and doctors, to the intente they shulde execute the worke and office of theyr administration, to the instauration, instruction, and edifieng of the membres of Christis misticalle bodye. And that they shulde also not cease from the execution of theyr sayd office, vntylle all the sayde membres were not onely reduced and brought vnto the vnytie of the faythe, and the knowlege of [Page] the sonne of god: but also that they were come vnto a per­fite state and full age therin. That is to say, vntyl they were so establyshed and confirmed in the same, that they coulde no more afterward be wauerynge therin, & be led or caried lyke chyldren into any contrary doctrine or opinion by the craft & subtyle persuasion of the false pastours and teachers, whiche go aboute by crafte to brynge them into erronius opinions: but that they shulde constantely folowe the true doctrine of Christis gospel, growynge & encreasyng continually by cha­ritie vnto a perfit membre of that body, wherof Christ is the very heed. In whome yf the hole body, that is to say, yf euery part & membre be growen and come vnto his perfite estate, (not al in lyke, but euery one according to the gyfte and qua­litie, whiche is deputed vnto it) and so be compacted, vnited, and corporated togyther in the sayde bodye: no doubte, but that the hole bodye, and euery parte therof, shall therby be made the more perfite, and the more stronge, by reasone of that naturall loue and charitie, whiche one membre so vni­ted in the body, hath vnto the other.

By these wordes it appereth euidently, not only that saint Paule accompted and nombred this sayd power and office of the pastours and doctours amonge the propre and spe­ciall gyftes of the holy gooste: but also it appereth, that the same was a limited power and office ordeyned specially and onely for the causes and purposes before rehersed.

Item that this power, office, and administration is neces­sarie to be preserued here in erthe for thre speciall and prin­cipall causes. Fyrste for that it is the commaundemente of god it shulde so be, as it appereth in sondrye places of scryp­ture. Seconde, for that god hath instituted and ordeyned none other ordinarie meane or instrument, wherby he woll make vs partakers of the reconciliation, whiche is by Christ, and conferre and gyue the graces of his holye spirite vnto vs, and make vs the ryght enheritours of euerlastynge lyfe, there to reigne with hym for euer in glorye: but onely his [Page 41] worde and sacramentes. And therfore thoffyce, and power to minister the sayde worde and sacramentes, maye in no wyse be suffered to peryshe, or to be abolysshed. accordynge to the sayenge of saincte Paule,Rom. x. Howe can men inuocate and call vpon the name of hym, in whom they beleue nat? And howe can men beleue in hym, of whom they neuer herde tell? And howe shulde men here tell of god, oneles there be some men to shewe and preache vnto them of hym? And howe shall men dare take vpon them to preache and shewe of god, oneles they be fyrste sent with auctorytie and commyssion from god so to do? And therfore it is sayde by the prophete Esai,Esa. lii. Naum. i. Blessyd be the feete of those preachers, whiche beynge auctorysed and sent by god, do preche and shewe vnto vs the peace and bene­fytes, whiche we receyue by Christe.

Thirdely bycause the sayde power and offyce or function hath annexed vnto it, assured promyses of excellent and in­estymable thinges. For therby is conferred and gyuen the ho­ly goost, with all his graces, And fynally our iustification and euerlastynge lyfe:Rom. i. accordynge to the sayenge of sainte Paule where he saith, I am not asshamed of the rowme and offyce, whiche I haue gyuen vnto me by Christe, to preache his gospell. For it is the power of god, that is to say, the electe organe or instrumente ordeyned by god, and endued with su­che vertue and efficacie: that it is able to gyue and mynyster effectually euerlastynge lyfe vnto all those, that woll beleue and obey the same.

Item that this office, this power, and auctorite, was com­mytted and gyuen by Christe and his apostelles, vnto cer­tayne persons onely, that is to say, vnto priestes or bysshops, whom they dyd electe, calle, and admytte therunto, by theyr prayer, and imposition of their handes.

Seconde we thynke it conuenyent, that all bysshops and preachers, shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto their spirituall charge, that the sacramente of orders, may worthyly be called a sacrament, bycause it is a holy rite [Page] or ceremonye instituted by Christe and his apostelles in the newe testament, and dothe consyste of two partes, lyke as the other sacramentes of the churche do, that is to saye, of a spirituall and an inuisible grace, and also of an outwarde and a visible signe. The inuisible gyfte or grace conferred in this sacrament, is nothynge els, but the power, the office, and the auctorytie before mencyoned. The visible and out­warde sygne is the prayer and imposition of the bysshoppes handes vpon the person, whiche receyueth the sayde gyfte or grace. And to the intente the churche of Christe shulde ne­uer be destituted of suche mynisters, as shulde haue and exe­cute the sayde power of the keyes: it was also ordeyned and commaunded by the apostels, that the same sacrament shulde be applyed and administred by the bysshoppe frome tyme to tyme, vnto suche other persones as had the qualities neces­saryly required ther vnto. whiche sayde qualities the apostels dyd also very diligently descriue, as it appereth euidentlye in the .iii.i. Tim. iii Titum. i. chapiter of the fyrste epistle of saynct Paule to Ty­mothe, and the fyrste chapiter of his epistle vnto Titus. And surely this is the hole vertue and efficacie, and the cause also of the institution of this sacrament, as it is founded in the newe testament. For all be it the holy fathers of the chur­che, whiche succeded the apstoles (myndynge to beautyfie and ornate the Churche of Christe with all those thynges, which were commendable in the temple of the Iewes) dyd deuyse, not onely certayne other ceremonies than be before rehersed, as tonsures, rasures, vnctions, and suche other obseruances, to be vsed in the ministration of the sayde sacra­ment: but dyd also institute certayne inferiour orders or de­grees, as ianitours, lectours, exorcistes, accolites, and sub­deacons, and deputed to euery one of those certayne offices to execute in the churche (wherin they folowed vndoubted­ly the example and rytes vsed in the olde testamente) yet the trouthe is, that in the newe testamente there is no mention made of any degrees or distinctions in ordres, but onely of [Page 42] deacons or ministers, and of priestes or bysshops. Nor there is any worde spoken of any other ceremony vsed in the con­ferrynge of this sacrament: but onely of prayer and the im­position of the bysshops handes.

Thyrdely forasmoche as it is an olde heresy of the Dona­tistes, condempned in generalle counceylles, to thynke that the worde of god and his sacramentes shulde lose and be of none efficacie, strengthe, or vertue, when they be ministred by men of yuell, viciouse, and fylthy lyuynge: we thynke it conuenient, that all bysshops and preachers, shall instructe and teache the people, cōmytted vnto theyr spyrytuall charge, that accordynge to the saying of sayncte Gregorie Nazian­zene, Lyke as there is no dyfference betwene the selfe same i­mage or fygure of any thynge enprynted with a sygnette of golde, and with a sygnette made of yron or wodde, or any o­ther vyler matter: euen so the worde and sacramentes of god, mynystred by any euyll and noughtie man, be of the same selfe vigour, strength, and efficacie, as when they be miny­stred by a man of excellente vertue and goodnes. The cause and reason wherof is, for that the priestes and bysshoppes, all thoughe in the execution of theyr offyce and ministration they do vse and exercyse the power and auctorytie of god commytted vnto theym, and doo supplye and represente his towme and place: yet they be not the pryncipall, nor the suf­ficient or efficient causers or gyuers of grace, or of any other spyrytuall gyfte, whiche procedeth, and is gyuen of god by his worde and his sacramentes. but god is the onely princy­pall, sufficiente, and perfyte cause of all the efficacie of his worde and sacramentes and by his onely power, grace, and benefyte, it is, that we receyue the holy goost and his gracis by thoffyce and ministration of the sayde priestes or bysshop­pes. And the sayde priestes or bysshoppes be but onely as his instrumentes or officers, to execute and minister with theyr handes and tongues, the outewarde and corporall thynges, wherby god worketh & gyueth grace accordynge to his pacte [Page] and couenaunt, made with, and vnto his espouse the churche. And this to be true Chrisostome affirmeth,Chrisosto Ho. lxxxv suꝑ Ioā. in his .85. homelie vpon saint Iohn̄, where he sayth in this maner. what speke I of priestes? I say that neither angel nor arcangel can of his owne power gyue vs any of those thynges, whiche be gyuen vnto vs from god, but it is the father, the sonne, and the holy gooste, whiche is the effectuall cause of all those thynges, The prieste dothe onely put to his hande and his tongue. And in this poynte sayncte Ambrose also agreeth with the sayde opinion of Chrisostome. For in his boke De dignitate sa­cerdotali, he saythe these wordes: The priest layeth his handes vpon vs, but it is god that gyueth the grace. The priest la­yeth vppon vs his besechynge hande: but god blessethe vs with his myghty hande. The byshoppe consecrateth an no­ther bysshoppe: but it is god that gyueth the dygnitie. wher­fore we must alwayes thynke, & beleue that the vertue & effi­cacie of the worde of god & his sacramentes, consyste and de­pende in and vpon the cōmaundement, ordynaunce, power, and auctoritie of god onely. And that neyther the merytes and worthynes of the ministers, (be they neuer of suche ex­cellencie) do gyue them theyr auctoritie, strength, or efficacie: neyther yet the malyce or corrupte lyuynge of them (be it ne­uer so yuell, onles they be open blasphemors of the gospell, as the iewes and the Turkes be) can frustrate or take away from the sayde worde or sacramentes theyr sayde power, au­ctoritie,Chrisosto Ho. lxxxv suꝑ Ioā. strength, or vertue. For as Chrisostome sayth in the said homelie, Yf god made not only an asse to speke, but also gaue his benediction & blessynge vpon the iewes by Balaam that false and wycked prophete, & so wrought these spirituall graces by suche vncleane & impure instrumentes, and that for the loue onely, whiche he had vnto the Iewes, whiche neuer the lesse were great offenders agaynst god: no doubte but that god woll moche rather sende downe vnto vs his faythfull people, the graces of his holy spirite, and wol worke all other thynges necessarie for vs by our priestes and bys­shops, [Page 43] althoughe they be neuer so euyll of theyr lyuynge.

Fourthely for asmoche as after the mynde of certayne doctours of the churche this hoole power and auctoritie, be­longynge vnto priestes and bysshoppes, is deuyded in two partes, wherof the one is called Potestas ordinis, and the other is called, Potestas iurisdictionis. and for asmoche also as good consent and agrement hath alwaye ben in the churche, con­cernynge the sayde fyrste parte, and contrary, moche contro­uersie for this other parte of iurisdiction: we thynke it con­uenient, that all bysshoppes and preachers shall instruct and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spiritual charge, that the iurisdiction commytted vnto priestes and bysshoppes by thauctorite of goddes lawe, consisteth in thre special pointes.

The fyrste is to rebuke and reprehende sinne, and to excom­municate the manifeste and obstinate sinners, that is to say, to separate, exclude, and repelle from the communion and perception of the sacramentes, and to reiecte and caste out of the congregation and company of Christis people suche per­sons, as haue manifestly commytted mortall synne, and do obstinately perseuer in the same, and to absoyle and receyue them agayne, whan so euer they shall returne vnto the chur­che by condigne penaunce. And forasmoche as suche persones as do cōmytte manifest and open sinne, do therby offend not only god but also some other of the multitude and congrega­cion, whiche they be of: although the saide persones so offen­dynge publikely, do not obstinatly perseuer in their synne so cōmytted, yet the priestes and bysshops, by thauctorite of their sayd Iurisdiction, maye in some cases, vppon consyderation of the crime, and qualitie of the personne so offendynge, sus­spende and inhibite theym for a tyme from the receyuynge of the sacramentes, to the intente the same maye be, not onely a medicine to the offenders them selfes: but also an exam­ple and satisfaction vnto those persones, whiche were before with theyr sayde manifest synnes offended.

And in this parte also twoo thynges be to be noted. [Page] The fyrste is that all punysshemente, whiche priestes or bys­shoppes maye by thauctoritie of the gospell inflicte or put to any persone, is by worde onely, and not by any violence or constraynte corporall. The seconde is, that all thoughe prie­stis and bysshoppes haue the power and iurisdiction to ex­communicate, as is aforesayde: yet they be not bounde soo precisely by any commaundement of god, but that they ought and maye attempre, moderate, or forbeare the execution of theyr sayde iurisdiction in that parte at all tymes, whan so euer they shall perceyue and thynke, that by doinge the con­trary they shulde not cure or helpe thoffenders, or elles gyue suche occasion of further trouble & vnquyetnes in the chur­che, that the peace and tranquillitie therof myght therby be impeched, troubled, or otherwyse interrupted, or broken.

The seconde poynt, wherin consysteth the iurysdyction, commytted vnto priestes and bysshoppes by thauctoritie of goddis lawe, is to approue and admytte suche persones, as (beinge nominated, elected, and presented vnto them to exer­cyse thoffyce and rome of preachynge the gospell, and of mi­nystrynge the sacramentes, and to haue the cure or iurysdi­ction ouer these certayn people within this parisshe, or within this diocesse) shall be thought vnto them mete and worthy to exercyse the same: and to reiecte and repelle from the sayde rowme suche as they shall iudge to be vnmete therfore. And in this parte we must knowe and vnderstande, that the sayd presentation and nomination is of mannes ordinaunce, and apperteyneth vnto the founders and patrones, or other per­sons, accordynge to the lawes and ordynaunces of men pro­uided for the same. As for an example, within this realme the presentation and nomination of the bysshopryques ap­pertayneth vnto the kynges of this realme, and of other les­ser cures and personages somme vnto the kynges hyghnes, some vnto other noble men, some vnto bysshoppes, and some vnto other persones, whome we calle the patrones of the benefyces, accordynge as it is prouyded by the order of the [Page 44] lawes and ordynaunces of this realme. And vnto the prie­stes or bysshoppes belongeth by the auctoritie of the gospel, to approue and confirme the persone, whiche shall be by the kynges highnes, or the other patrons so nominated, elected, and presented vnto theym to haue the cure of these certayne people, within this certayne paryshe or diocese, or els to reiect hym, as was sayde before, from the same, for his demerites or vnworthynes. For surely the office of preachynge is the chiefe and moste principall office, wherunto priestes or bys­shoppes be called by thauctoritie of the gospell. and they be also called bysshoppes or archebyshops, that is to saye, super­attendantes or ouerseers specially to sygnifie, that it is theyr office to ouerse, to watche, and to loke diligently vpon theyr flocke. and to cause that Christis doctrine and his religion may be truely and sincerely conserued, taught, and set forthe amonge christen people, accordynge to the mere and pure trouthe of scrypture. and that all erroniouse and corrupte doctrine, and the teachers therof maye be reiected and cor­rected accordyngely.

The thyrde poynt wherin consistethe the iurisdiction com­mytted vnto priestes and bysshops by the auctoritie of god­dis lawe, is to make and ordeyne certayne rules or canons, concernynge holydays, fastynge dayes, the maner and ce­remonies to be vsed in the ministration of the sacramen­tis, the maner of syngynge the Psalmes and spiritualle hymnes,Ephe. v. Coll. iii. (as fayncte Paule calleth theym) the diuersitie of degrees amonge the ministers, and the forme and maner of theyr ornamentes, and fynally concernynge suche other rites ceremonies and obseruaunces, as do tende and conduce to the preseruation of quietnes and decent order to be had, and vsed amonge the people, whan they shall be assembled toge­ther in the temple. For syth that scripture commaundeth, that all christen people, shulde at certayne tymes assemble them selfe, and conuene together in some publique or open place, there to inuocate, and calle vpon the name of god, there to [Page] here his wyll and his worde by our preachers, thereto receyue the Sacramentes, there to gyue laude and prayse to god in psalmodie, in prayers, in medytations, and in redynge. and fynally with all humilitie and reuerent ordre, to magni­fie, extoll, and set forth the honour of god with all our possi­ble power. And for asmoche also as great trouble, vnquiet­nes, and tumulte myghte aryse amonge the multytude so as­sembled, in case there were no certayne rules, ordynaunces, and ceremonies prescribed vnto them, wherby they shulde be conteyned in quietnes, and not suffered to do euery man af­ter his owne fashion or appetite: it belongeth vnto the iuris­diction of priestes or bysshoppes, to make certayne rules or canons, concernynge all these thynges, and for the causes a­foresayd. For lyke as in the gouernance of a priuate familie, or in the gouernance of a schole, it belongeth vnto the good man, or ruler of that house, or the schole maister to prescribe the tymes, whan his chylderne and seruauntes shall worke, whan they shall rest, whan they shall lerne, whan they shall praye, and suche other thynges: So in the publique & open temple or churche, it apperteyneth also vnto them, that haue the gouernance of the churche, in those poyntes to deuise and prescribe suche necessarie and conuenient ceremonies and or­denaunces vnto the people, for the causes aboue rehersed, as shall tende to theyr profyte and increase in Christis reli­gion, and shall also tende to the honoure of god, and good tranquillitie of the said people. For surely saynct Paule hym selfe dyd prescribe,i. Cor. xi. and make suche rules vnto the Corinthi­ans, and commanded also other bysshops to do the sembla­ble. And the holy fathers of the churche at the begynnynge, before there were any christen princis, vpon great and vr­gent considerations, dyd ordeyne the celebratynge of the son­daye, of Easter daye, and certayne other feastes, and the fa­stinge of lent, and also diuers other suche cerimonies in the churche, wherof a great parte is obserued through all Chri­stendome vnto this daye. The contynualle obseruation [Page 45] wherof was alwayes thought vnto the holy fathers very necessarie: for asmoche as suche traditions, and ceremonies be as a certayne necessarie introduction, or lernynge expedi­ent to induce and teache the people reuerentely to vse them selfe in theyr outwarde worshyppynge of god, and be also (as you wolde say) certayne peynted hystories, the often sight & contemplation wherof, causeth the people the better to re­membre the thynges sygnified, and represented in the same.

For the better declaration of which thre pointes, two thyn­ges be to be noted, Fyrst that althoughe the hole Iurisdicti­on apperteynynge (as is afore sayde) vnto priestes and bys­shops, be commited vnto them in generall wordes (as it ap­pereth by dyuers places of scripture, and specyally in the .xx. chapiter of thactes, where thapostle sayth:Act. xx. Take dylygent hede to your selfes, & to al your hole flocke, amonges whom the holy goost hath set, ordeyned, and made you bysshoppes, to rule, & gouerne the churche of god) Yet there is also a par­ticuler order, fourme, and maner requisite to the due execu­tion of the same accordynge to the sayinge of sayncte Paule,i. Co. xiiii Loke that all thynges be done in the churche semely and in a decent order. Nowe this particular maner & fourme is not expressely declared, determyned, or prescribed in scripture: but was, and is lefte to be declared frome tyme to tyme, and from age to age by certayne positiue rules and ordynaunces, to be made by the ministers of the churche, with the consent of the people, before suche tyme as prynces were chrystened. and after they were christened, with thauctoritie and consent of the sayde princis and their people. For lyke as thauctoritie to preache and teache, and to adminyster the sacramentes, althoughe it be commytted vnto priestis and bysshops by ex­presse wordes of scripture, yet there is no expresse mention concernynge the particuler circumstances, conuenient to be vsed in the execution of the same: Euen so in the power of iu­risdiction, althoughe the same be by general wordes in scrip­ture commytted vnto priestes and bysshoppes, yet there is no [Page] particuler mention, what fourme, order, or processe shulde be vsed in thexecution of any parte therof. As for an example concernynge the sentence of excommunication, although the cognicion of crymes, for the whiche the sayd sentence is to be gyuen, and thexamination of the wytnes also necessarye for the triall of the crymes, and for the instruction of hym, that shall gyue the sayd sentence, be commytted by generall wor­des of scrypture vnto priestes and bysshoppes: yet there is no mention made in scrypture, howe the parties offendyng, or the wytnesse shall be cited and called to appere before the priestes or bysshoppes. nor there is no mencion made, what processe or peyne shall be vsed agaynste them, in case any of them shall disobeye the callynge or sentence of the prieste, or bysshoppe. nor fynally there is any mention made of any other circumstaunce of tyme, place, or persone necessarie to be vsed in the due execution of the sayde sentence of excom­munication. But all these thynges were afterwarde deui­sed and ordeyned by the churche, and the mynysters of the same, and by the consent of those people, whiche professed the name of Christe. And that this is of trouth, it appereth by suche ordinaunces, as sayncte Paule hym selfe, and other thapostles deuysed, and prescrybed to be obserued in certayne churches, as well concernynge the excommunicatynge of the Corinthian,1 Cor. v. 1. Tim. i, 1. Cor. xii. 1 Co. xiiii. 1 Co. xvi. and dyuers others, as also concernyng, that men shulde praye bare heeded, that women shulde kepe sy­lence, and not take vpon them to teache in the churche, that two prophetes or preachers shulde not speake at one tyme in the churche, but that one shulde gyue place to the other, that the almes of poore men shulde be gathered, and howe and by whom, after it was gathered, it shuld be dystributed, with suche other lyke thynges. And this thynge also appereth to be true, by the canons and rules, deuysed and made by the bysshoppes and councelles, concernynge the premysses, du­rynge the tyme that the churche was subiecte to infidel pryn­cis, and before any pryncis were christened. Durynge all [...] [Page 49] and consecrate other bysshops, the sayd fathers restrayned the sayd power, and reserued the same in suche wise, that with­out the consent and auctoritie of the Metropolitane or arch­bysshop, no bysshop shuld be cōsecrated within any prouince. and lykewise in other cases theyr powers were also restray­ned for suche causes, as were than thought vnto them con­uenient. whiche differences the sayd holy fathers thought ne­cessarie to enacte, and establishe by theyr decrees and consti­tutions, not for that any suche dyfferences were prescribed or establyshed in the gospell, or mencioned in any canonicall writinges of thapostels, or testified by any ecclesiasticall wri­ter within thapostels tyme: but to thentent that therby con­tention, strife, variance, and scismes or diuision, shulde be auoyded, and the churche shulde be preserued in good order, and concorde.

¶And for the better confirmacion of this parte, we thinke it also conuenient, that all bysshoppes and preachers, shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spiri­tuall charge, that Christe dyd by expresse wordes prohybite, that none of his apostels, or any of theyr successours, shulde vnder the pretense of the auctoritie gyuen vnto theym by Christe, take vpon them thauctoritie of the swerde, that is to say, the auctoritie of kynges, or of any ciuyle power in this worlde. yea or any auctoritie to make lawes or ordynances, in causes appertayninge vnto ciuile powers. Trouthe it is, that priestes and bysshops may execute all suche temporal power and iurisdiction, as is committed vnto them, by the ordinance and auctoritie of kynges or other ciuile powers, and by the consent of the people (as officers and minysters vnder the sayd kynges & powers) so longe as it shall please the sayd kynges and people to permitte and suffre them so to vse and execute the same. Not withstandynge, yf any bys­shoppe, of what estate or dignitie so euer he be, be he bysshop of Rome, or of any other citie, prouince, or diocese, doo pre­sume, or take vpon hym auctoritie or iurisdiction, in causes [Page] or matters, whiche apperteigne vnto kynges and the cyuyle powers, and theyr courtes, and wyll maynteyne or thynke, that he may so do by thauctoritie of Christe and his gospell, although the kynges and pryncis wolde not permytte and suffre hym so to doo: No doubte that bysshoppe is not worthy to be called a bysshoppe, but rather a tyranne, and an vsurper of other mens rightes, contrary to the lawes of god, and is worthye to be reputed none otherwyse, than he that gothe aboute to subuerte the kyngedome of Christe. For the kyngedome of Christe in his churche is a spirituall and not a carnall kyngdome of the worlde, that is to saye, the veray kyngedome, that Christe by hym selfe, or by his apo­stels and disciples sought here in this worlde, was to brynge all nations frome the carnalle kyngedome of the prynce of darkenes, vnto the lyght of his spirituall kyngedome: and so to reigne hym selfe in the hartes of people by grace, faith, hope, and charitie. And therfore, syth Christe dyd neuer seke nor exercise any worldly kyngedome or domynion in this worlde, but rather refusynge and fleynge from the same, dyd leaue the sayd worldly gouernance of kyngdomes, realmes, and nations to be gouerned by pryncis and potentatis (in lyke maner as he dyd fynd them) and commanded also his a­postels and disciples to do the semblable, as it was sayde be­fore: what so euer prieste or bysshoppe wyll arrogate or pre­sume vpon hym any suche auctoritie, and woll pretende the auctoritie of the gospell for his defense therin, he doth no­thyng els, but in maner (as you wold say) crowneth Christe agayne with a crowne of thorne, and traduceth and bryn­geth hym forthe agayne with his mantell of purpure vppon his backe, to be mocked and scorned of the worlde, as the Ie­wes dyd, to theyr owne damnation.

¶More ouer, the trouthe is, that God constituted, and ordeyned thauctoritie of christen kynges and pryncis, to be the mooste hyghe and supreme aboue all other powers and offices in the regiment and gouernaunce of his people: And [Page 40] commytted vnto them, as vnto the chiefe heades of theyr common welthes, the cure and ouersyght of all the people, whiche be within theyr realmes and dominions, withoute any exception. And vnto them of ryght, and by goddes com­maundement belongeth, not onely to prohybite vnlaufull violence, to correcte offenders by corporall deathe, or other punyshment, to conserue morall honestie amonge their sub­iectes, accordynge to the lawes of their realmes, to defende Iustice, and to procure the publike weale, and the commen peace and tranquillitie in outwarde and erthly thinges: but specially and princypally to defende the fayth of Christe and his relygion, to conserue and mainteyne the true doctrine of Christe, & all suche as be true preachers & fetters forth therof, and to abolyshe all abuses, heresies, and idolatries, whiche be brought in, by heretiques and yuell preachers, and to pu­nyshe with corporall paynes suche as of malice be occasioners of the same, and fynally to ouer se, and cause that the sayde priestes and byshoppes do execute theyr sayde power, office, and iurisdyction truely, faythefully, and accordynge in all poyntes as it was gyuen and cōmytted vnto them by Christ and his apostles. Whiche not withstandynge we maye not thynke, that it doth apperteyne vnto thoffyce of kynges and prynces, to preache and teache, to admynistre the sacramen­tes, to absoyle, to excommunicate, and suche other thynges, belongynge to thoffyce and admynistration of bysshops and prestes: but we must thynke and beleue, that god hath con­stituted and made christen kynges and princis, to be as the chiefe heedes and ouerlokers ouer the sayde priestes and by­shoppes, to cause them to administer their offyce and power commytted vnto them, purely, and syncerely and in case they shall be neglygent in any parte therof, to cause them to sup­plye and repayre the same agayne. And god hathe also com­maunded the sayde priestes and bisshoppes, to obey with all humblenes & reuerence, all the lawes made by the sayde prin­cis, beinge not contrarye to the lawes of god, what so euer [Page] [...] [Page 49] [...] [Page] [...] [Page 40] [...] [Page] they be:Ro. xiii. and that not onely propter iram, but also propter consci­entiam. wherby it appereth well, that this pretended monar­chie of the byshop of Rome is not founded vpon the gospell, but it is repugnant therunto. And therfore it apperteyneth vnto Christen kynges and princes, for the dyscharge of theyr office and duetie towardes god, to endeuoure them selfe, to refourme and reduce the same agayne vnto the olde lymyttes and pristine state of that power and iurisdiction, which was gyuen vnto them by Christe, and vsed in the primitiue chur­che. For it is out of all doubte, that Christis faith was than moste firme and pure, & the scriptures of god were than best vnderstanded, and vertue dyd than moste habounde and ex­cell. And therfore it muste nedes folowe, that the customes and ordynaunces than vsed and made, muste nedes be more conforme and agreable vnto the true doctrine of Christe, and more conducyng to the edifieng and benefyte of the churche of Christ, than any customes or lawes vsed or made syth that tyme. And therfore where as the kynges moost royall maie­stie, consyderynge of his most excellent wysedome, not onely the notable decaye of Christis true and perfytte religion a­monges vs, but also the intollerable thraldome, captiuitie, and bondage, with the infinite damages & preiudices, whi­che we and other his subiectes continually susteyned, by rea­son of that longe vsurped and abused power, whiche the bi­shops of Rome were wonte to exercyse here in this realme, hath nowe of his moste godly dysposition, and by the con­sent of his nobles spirituall and temporall, and by thaucto­ritie of the hole parlyament, determyned, no longer to suffre the byshop of Rome to execute any parte of his iurisdiction here within this realme, but clerely to delyuer vs frome the same, and restore vs agayne to our olde lybertie. Surely we haue great cause moste ioyfully and thankefully to embrace and accepte the same, consyderynge that therby no preiudice is done to goddis worde or his ordyaunces. For as we haue shewed and declared before, it was by princis and mens or­dynance [Page 51] and sufferances onely, that the byshop of Rome ex­ercysed any suche iurisdiction within this realme, and not by any auctoritie gyuen vnto hym by Christe. And as for the bisshop of Rome he can not pretende hym selfe no more to be greued or iniuried therwith, than the kynges Chauncellour, or any other his offycers myght worthily thinke, that the kin­ges highnes shulde do hym wronge, in case he shulde vpon good causes remoue him from his sayde rome and office, and commytte it vnto another. And as for vs and other the kyn­ges faythfull subiectes, we shall vndoubtedly receyue and haue therby synguler welthe and commoditie, as well spiri­tually to the edifienge of our soules, as corporally, to then­creace of our substaunce and ryches. The whiche, howe mo­che was enpayred & decayed contynually from tyme to tyme, by the great exactions of the byshoppes of Rome, and suche treasure as went yerely out of this realme to his cofers, for annates and exemptions, dyspensations, pardones, and su­che other vnprofitable thynges, or rather veray trifles: we doubte not, but all men endued with any wytte and zeale to the welthe of this our countrey, doo ryght welle perceyue and vnderstande.

¶The Sacrament of ex­treme vnction.

AS touchynge the sacrament of extreme vn­ction, we thynke it conuenient, that all bys­shoppes and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, committed vnto their spy­rituall charge, Fyrste howe that the .xii. Apostles beinge sente oute by Christe, and commaunded to go two and two into the worlde to preache his worde, amonges other miracles,Mar. vi. whiche they worughte by the power of god, they cured also, & restored many sycke men vnto helthe, anoyntynge them with oyle.

¶Seconde, that althoughe it be not expressed in scripture, that the sayde apostles had than any newe commaundement of Christe to annoynte suche as they healed with oyle: yet for asmoche as the holy Apostle saynt Iames, endued with the holy spirite of Christe, prescrybed a certayne rule or doctryne, and gaue in maner a commaundement, that whan so euer any persone shulde fortune to fall sycke, he shulde cal or sende for the priestes or auncientes of the churche, and cause them to praye ouer hym, annoyntynge hym with oyle in the name of our lorde, and further added hereunto, as an assured pro­myse, that by the sayde prayer of the priestes, and the sycke persone, made in ryghte faythe and confydence in god, the sycke man shulde be restored vnto his helthe, and god shulde set hym on fote agayne, and yf he were in synne, his synnes shulde be forgyuen hym: it shall therfore be veray necessarie and expedient, that all true christen people do vse and ob­serue this maner of annoylynge of sycke persones, with due reuerence and honour, as it is prescribed by the holy apostell saint Iames.Iaco. v. That is to say, whan so euer any person amon­ges vs shall fall into any daungerous syckenes, let him call the priestes of the churche, with other good and auncyente christen people, and let them go vnto the sycke persone, and there, not onely comforte hym corporally, but also gyue hym goostly instructions, and exortations to lament and be sory for his synnes, to perseuer in the right faythe of Christe and charitie towardes his neyghbour, to beare and susteyne pa­ciently the grefes and peynes of his maladie for goddis sake, reputynge the same as the manifest token of the loue and fa­uour of god towardes hym, to contemne the worlde, and to desyre to reygne with Christe in heuen, and suche other thin­ges. whiche done, then let the priestis and the company there assembled, and the sycke man hym selfe also (as his sickenes wyl suffre hym) pray vnto god with ful hope and confidence, as wel for the remyssion of his synnes, as for the recouerie of his helthe, (yf it shall so stande with goddis pleasure) let the [Page 52] priestes anoynt the sycke man, accordinge to the teachinge of sainct Iames. and no doubt the feruent and faithfull prayer of the priestes, and other persons afore sayd,Iaco. v. ioyned with the due contrition and faith of the sycke person, shall obteyne of almyghty god all thinges, whiche shall seeme vnto god ne­cessarie for the helth and comfort as wel of the soule as of the bodily sickenes of the sayd persone.

Thyrdly, howe that the holy fathers of the churche, consy­derynge this place of saynt Iames, and the maner also of anoyntynge of sycke men, vsed by the apostels (as was aforesayd) thought it conuenient to institute and ordeyn, that this maner of anoyling of sicke men, prescrybed by saint Iames, shulde be obserued contynually in the churche of Christe, as a very godly and holsome medicine, or remedye to alleuiate and mitigate the diseases & maladies, as well of the soule as of the body of christen men. And to the intente the same shuld be had in more honour and veneration, the sayd holy fathers willed & taught, that all christen men shuld repute & accompt the sayd maner of anoylinge amonge thother sacramentes of the churche, for asmoche as it is a visible signe of an inuisible grace. Wherof the visible signe is the anoylynge with oyle in the name of god: whiche oyle (for the naturall propreties belonginge vnto the same) is a very conuenient thyng to sig­nifie and fygure the great mercy and grace of god, and the spirituall lyght, ioy, comfort, & gladnesse, whiche god pow­reth out vpon all faithfull people, callyng vpon hym, by the inwarde vnction of the holy goost. And the grace conferred in this sacrament, is the relief, and recouerie of the disease and sickenes, wherwith the sycke person is then diseased and troubled, and also the remission of his synnes, yf he be then in synne. This grace we be assured to opteyne by the vertue and efficacie of the faythfull and feruent prayer, vsed in the ministration of this sacrament of anoylynge, accordynge to the sayenge of saynct Iames before rehersed, and also accor­dyng to the sondry promises, made by Chryste vnto the faith­full [Page] prayer of his churche, as when Christe saythe, what so­euer ye shall aske and praye my father to gyue vnto you in my name,Matt. vii Ma. xi. it shall be graunted vnto you. For the better vn­derstandynge wherof, two thynges be here speciallye to be noted: The fyrste is that saint Iames calleth here the prayer to be vsed in the tyme of this inunction, the prayer of fayth. wherby he meaneth, that this prayer oughte to be made in that righte faith, truste, and confidence: whiche we ought to haue in god to obteyne the effect of our petitions made in the ministration of this sacrament. and that it ought to con­teyne nothynge, but that shall stande with the pleasure, the honour, and glorie of god. and that whanne we directe our prayers vnto god for any bodili helth or reliefe, or for any o­ther temporall commoditie: we ought always to tempre our sayd prayer with this condition, that is to saye, yf it shall soo stande with goddis wyll and his plesure. And that we ought to saye, as Christe sayd in his prayer vnto his father. Father yf it shall plese the: I am content to die and suffre this shame­full and cruell death of the crosse. Thy wyll be fulfylled here­in,Mat. xxv let not my wyll and desire be folowed, but lette thy wylle and disposition be fulfylled, wherunto I holly commyt my­selfe.

¶ The seconde thynge to be noted is, that to the attai­nynge of the sayde grace, conferred in this sacramente of ex­treme vnction, it is expedient also, that the sycke personne hym selfe shall knowledge his offences towardes god and his neyghboure, and aske forgyuenes of them for the same. and lykewyse forgyue all theym that haue offended hym in worde or dede. and so beynge in parfyte loue and charyte, to praye hym selfe (as he maye) with faythfull harte and full hope and confydence in god for the remyssyon of his synnes, and restorynge vnto his bodyly helthe, yf it shall soo stande with goddes pleasure. And therfore the sayde apostle addeth immediatlye vnto this place these wordes folowynge, Con­fesse youre faltes and offences,Iaco. v. whiche ye haue trespased one to an other, and be you redy and gladde to forgyue the same [Page 53] for goddis sake, and to aske forgyuenes the one of the other, and so beynge reconciled, praye eche for other: and than you shall atteyne perfyt helth of all your infirmities, as well spi­ritual as corporal. For yf you be so affected in hart, and vni­ted and knitte the one to the other in perfite charitie: no doubt ye be iustified, in the sight of god, and without doubte your prayer shal be herde and accepted of god. For surely the pray­er of the man iustified is of meruelous vertue and efficacie in the acceptation of god, as it appereth by the exaumple of Elias the prophete. who althoughe he were but a man, and subiecte to affections as other men be:iii. Re. xvii. Luce. iiii. yet bycause he was a iuste man, whanne he prayed to god, that neyther rayne nor dewe shulde descende vpon the lande of Israell from heuen by the space of thre yeres and syxe monethes, god graunted his prayer, and wold not suffre that any rayne or dewe shuld fall vpon the sayde lande by the sayde space. whereby arose an extreme derthe and famyne amonges them of that coun­trey. And afterwarde whan the sayd Elias prayed agayn to god to sende rayne and moysture vpon the sayde sande: God lykewyse herde his prayer, and sente downe rayne plenty­fully vppon the erthe, and so the erthe brought forth all kyn­des of fruite agayne, in lyke maner as it was wonte to doo before, to the great comforte of the peole.

¶Finally, we thynke it conuenient, that all bysshoppes and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, commit­ted to theyr spirituall charge, Fyrste, that no man oughte to thinke, that by the receyuinge of this sacrament of anoyling, the sicke mans lyfe shall be made shorter: but rather that the same shall be prolonged therby consyderynge the same is in­stituted for recouerie of helthe both of the soule and body.

Seconde that it is an euyll custome to dyfferre the adminy­stration of this sacrament, vnto suche tyme, as the sicke per­sons be brought by sickenes vnto extreme perill and ieoper­die of lyfe, and be in maner in dispayre to lyue any lenger.

Thirdely that it is laufull and expedient to admynister this [Page] sayd sacrament vnto euery good christen man, in the maner and fourme before rehersed: soo ofte and when so euer any great and perillous sicknes, and maladie shall fortune vnto them. For the trouth is, that the holy fathers of the churche dyd neither call this sacrament, the extreme vnction (that is to saye, the laste vnction) bycause it shulde be minystred laste and after al other sacramentes. neyther yet they dyd ordeine, that the same shuld be ministred onely, when sycke men shuld be brought vnto the extreme panges of deth: but they dyd call it by the sayd name of Extreme vnction, bicause it is the last in respecte of thother inunctions, whiche be ministred before in the other sacramentes of baptisme and confyrmation (In both whiche sacramentes, christen men be also annoyled and annoynted.) And the trouthe is also, that the sacramente of the Altare, beinge duely receaued, is the very spiritual foode, and the very necessarie sustentation, comforte, and preserua­tion of all christen men in all daungerous passages and ad­uentures. And therfore it is expedient, that the sayde sacra­ment of the altare shoulde be receyued after this annoylynge, done in the tyme of sicknesse. For surely the receauinge of the body of our sauiour Iesu Christe, is the very perfection, not onely of this, but also of all the other sacramentes.

And, as vnto the ordinance of the holy fathers, concerning the tyme, when this sacrament of extreme vnction shulde be ministred and receaued: it is out of all doubte, that they wyl­led and ordeyned, that the same shulde be obserued, accordyng to the institution of the apostle sainct Iames. Whiche was, that it shulde be ministred and receyued, so ofte and whan so euer any man shulde fortune to be sycke of any daungerous syckenes. and also at suche tyme as the sicke man hym selfe were of perfyte remembraunce, iudgement, dyscrecion, and knowlege, in suche thynges as do apperteyne vnto the pro­fession and offyce of a good christen man. For (as it was sayd before) saint Iames requireth suche Iudgement, suche spiri­tuall affections, and motions, and also suche desyre, and de­uotion [Page 54] to be in the sycke man: that he hym selfe, in the tyme of his anoyling, shuld not only hartily, faithfully, deuoutly, and religiously prayse god, and thanke god for his visitati­on, & punyshement: but also puttinge his hole confidence and truste in god, and soo commyttynge hym selfe holly into his handes and mercy, shulde inuocate and call vppon hym for the remission of his synnes, and recouerie of his helthe, and fynally shulde declare his charitie, in forgyuinge, and asking of forgyuenes for all offences commytted by hym agaynste his neyghbour, or by his neyghboure agaynst hym.

¶Thus beinge declared the vertue and efficacie of all the seuen sacramentes, we thinke it conuenient, that al bysshops and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, commyt­ted to theyr spirituall charge, that althoughe the sacramen­tes of Matrimonye, of Confirmation, of holy Orders, and of Extreme vncton, haue ben of longe tyme paste receaued, and approuid by the commune consent of the catholique chur­che, to haue the name and dignitie of sacramentes, as in dede they be well worthy to haue (forasmoche as they be holy and godly sygnes, wherby, and by the prayer of the minister, be not onely signyfied, and represented: but also gyuen and con­ferred some certayne and specyal gyftes of the holy goste, ne­cessarie for christen menne to haue for one godly purpose or other, lyke as it hath ben before declared) yet there is a dif­ference in dignitie and necessitie betwene them and the other thre sacramentes, that is to saye, the sacramentes of Bap­tisme, of Penance, and of the Altar, and that for diuers cau­ses. Fyrste bycause these the sacramentes be instituted of Christe to be as certayne instrumentes or remedies necessa­rie for our saluation, and thatteynyng of euerlastynge lyfe. Seconde, bycause they be also commaunded by Christe to be ministred and receaued in theyr outwarde visible signes.

Thyrdly bycause they haue annexed & cōioyned vnto theyr sayde visible signes suche spirituall graces, as wherby oure synnes be remytted and forgyuen: and we be perfytely re­newed, [Page] regenerated, purified, iustified, and made the veray membres of Christis mysticall body, so ofte as we worthily, and duely receaue the same.

¶Here foloweth the thyrde part of this treatyse, contey­nynge the Exposition or declaration of the tenne Commaundementes.

The tenne commaundementes.
  • 1 THou shalte haue none other goddis, but me.
  • 2 Thou shalte not make to thy selfe any grauen thynge, ne any similitude of any thyng, that is in heuen aboue, or in erthe beneth, nor in the water vnder the erthe, thou shalte not bowe downe to them, ne worshyppe them.
  • 3 Thou shalte not take the name of thy lorde god in vayne.
  • 4 Remembre that thou doo sanctifie, and kepe holy thy Sab­bot daye.
  • 5 Honour thy father and mother.
  • 6 Thou shalte not kylle.
  • 7 Thou shalte not commytte adulterie.
  • 8 Thou shalte not steale.
  • 9 Thou shalt not beare false wytnesse ageynst thy neighbour.
  • 01 Thou shalte not desyre thy neighbours house, his wyfe, his seruaunte, his mayde, his oxe, his asse, ne any other thyng that is his.

The Exposition of the fyrste commaundement.

THe fyrste commaundemente, lyke as it is fyrste in order, so it is the most chiefe, and princypall amonge al the other preceptes. For in this fyrste commaundement, god requyreth of vs those thynges, in the whiche consysteth his [Page 55] chiefe & principal worshyp and honour, that is to say, perfyte faith, sure hope, & vnfeyned loue, and drede of god. And ther­fore as concernyng this cōmaundement, we thynke it conue­nient, that all byshops and prechers shal instructe and teache the people, committed vnto theyr spirituall charge, Fyrst that to haue god, is not to haue hym, as we haue other outewarde thynges, as clothes vpon our backe, or treasure in our che­stes, nor also to name hym with our mouthe, or to worshyp hym with knelynge, or suche other gestures: But to haue hym our god, is to conceyue hym in our hartes, to cleue faste and surely vnto hym with harte and mynde, to putte all our truste and confidence in hym, to sette all our thoughte and care vpon hym, and to hange holly of hym, takynge hym to be infinitely good and mercyfull vnto vs.

Seconde, that god commaundeth vs thus to do vnto hym only, and to no creature, nor to no false and fayned god. For as a kynde and louynge man canne not be content, that his wyfe shulde take any other husbande: so can not out mooste kynde, and mooste louynge god, and creatour be pleased, yf we shoulde forsake hym, and take any other fayned goddis. And surely he is more present with vs, & more redy to shewe vs all kyndnes and goodnes, than any creature is or can be. And allredye of his gyfte we haue all that we haue, meate, drynke, clothe, reason, wytte, vnderstandynge, dyscretion, and all good thynges, that we haue, perteynynge both to the sowle and the bodye. And therfore he can not beare so moche vngratitude and vnkyndenes at our handes, that we shulde forsake hym, or elles fyxe our fayth and truste in any other thynges besydes hym.

Thyrdely, that by this precepte god commaundeth vs, not onely to truste thus in hym: but also to gyue hym the hole loue of our hartes aboue all worldly thynges, yea and aboue our selfes. So that we maye not loue our selfes, nor any other thynge, but for hym. accordynge as Moyses sayth in the boke of Deuteronomie, Thy lorde god is one god,Deut. vi. and [Page] thou shalt loue hym with all thy harte, and with all thy lyfe, and with al thy mynd, and with all thy strength and power. And this loue muste brynge with it a feare, that euen for ve­ray pure loue we ought to be moche abashed, and afrayde, to breake the least of his commaundementes: Lyke as the chylde the more he loueth his father, the more he is lothe and afrayde to dysplease hym in any maner of case.

Fourthely, that all they offende agaynst this commaunde­ment, whiche sette theyr hartes & myndes vpon any worldly thynge aboue god. For what so euer we loue aboue god, so that we set our myndes vpon it, more than we do vpon god, or for it we woll offende god: truely that we make our god. For as sayncte Paule sayth,Collo. iii. Philli. iii The couetouse man makethe his goodes, his god, and the gluttonous man maketh his bely his god. For the one setteth his mynde more vpon his goodes, the other more vpon his bely: than they doo vpon god, and for them they wolle not stycke to offend god. and all these breake this commaundemen.

Item that all they, whiche haue more confidence in the cre­atures of god, than in god: doo also make the creatures of god, theyr god. And howe greuously god is offended ther­with we fynde in the boke of Paralipomenon,ii. Par. xvi. where it is wrytten, That when Aza kyng of Iuda being sore cōstray­ned by Baasa kynge of Israell, sente for helpe to Benadad kyng of Siria, and gaue to hym great treasure, for to allure hym to his ayde: Our lorde sent the prophete Ananie to Aza the kynge of Iuda, who sayde vnto hym in this maner, Bycause thou hast trusted in the kynge of Siria, and not in thy lorde god: therfore those of the kynge of Siria, are escaped from thy handes. were not they of Ethiopia and Libia of farre greater power, bothe in chariottes and horsemenne, and in nombre or multitude, whiche was innumerable? And yet our lorde, as longe as thou dyddest put thy truste in hym: dyd yelde them in to thy handes. The eies of god do beholde all the worlde, and doo gyue strengthe to them that truste in [Page 56] hym with all theyr harte. In whiche wordes it doth appere, that it is layed to Aza his chardge, that he dyd not beleue in our lorde, bycause he had more truste in Benadad an hethen prynce, than in our lorde. It is noted also in the same chapi­ter, That where as Aza afterwarde had veray great peyne in his feete, he sought not to our lorde for remedy of his sayde dysease: but trusted more in the arte and remedy of phisique. Wherby we maye lerne, that it is one great parte of parfyte belefe in our lorde god, to put our trust and confidence moost pryncypally, and aboue al other, in hym. Wherfore they that do otherwyse, transgresse this commaundement, and make to them other goddis.

¶Item that al they transgresse this cōmaūdement, which ei­ther so moche presume vpon the mercy of god, that they feare not his iustice, and by reason therof do styll contynue in theyr synne: or elles so moche feare his iustice, that they haue no truste in his mercie, and by reson therof fall into desperation. For bothe these wayes they make hym no god, takynge from hym eyther iustyce or mercye, withoute whiche he can not be god. And so do they, that by supersticion repute some dayes good, some dismale, or infortunate: or thynke it a thyng vn­lucky to mete in a mornynge with certayne kynde of beastis, or with men of certayne professions. For suche superstitious folke infame the creatures of god.

¶Item that they be of the same sort, whiche by lottes, astro­logie, diuination, chatterynge of byrdes, phisiognomie, and lokynge of mennes handes, or other vnlaufull and supersti­ciouse craftes, take vpon them certaynely to tell, determyne, and iudge before hande of mennes actes and fortunes, whi­che be to come afterwarde. For what do they but make them selfes goddis in this behalfe, as the prophete Esaie saythe?Esaie, xli Telle vs afore, what shall comme, and we shall saye that you be goddis.

¶Item that all they, whiche by charmes and wytchecraftes do vse any prescribed letters, sygnes, or charactes, wordes, [Page] blessynges, roddes, cristall stones, sceptres, swordes, mea­sures, hanging of sainct Iohn̄s gospell, or any other thynge about theyr neckes, or any other part of theyr bodies, or any other suche vayne obseruation: trustynge therby to contynue longe life, to driue away sycknes, or preserue them from sicke­nes, fires, water, or any other peryl, other wyse then phisique or surgerie doth allowe, doo also offende agaynste this com­mandement.

¶But moste greuously of all, and aboue all other they do of­fende agaynst this commaundement, whiche professe Christ, and contrarie to theyr profession, made in theyr baptysme, do make secrete pactes or couenantes with the dyuell, or do vse any maner coniuration, or raysyng vp of dyuelles for trea­sure, or any other thynge hydde or loste, or for any other ma­ner of cause, what so euer it be. For all suche commytte soo high offence and treason to god, that there can be no great­ter. For they yelde the honour due vnto god, to the dyuelle, goddis ennemie. And not onely all suche as vse charmes, wytchecraftes, and coniurations transgresse this hyghe and chiefe commaundement: but also all those, that seke and re­sorte vnto them for any councell or remedy, accordynge to the sayinge of god whan he sayde,Deutero. xviii. Let no man aske councell of them that vse false diuinations, or suche as take hede to drea­mes, or chatterynge of byrdes. Let there be no witche or en­chaunter amonge you, nor any that asketh councell of them, that haue spiritis, nor of southsayers, nor that seke the trouth of them that be deade. for god abhorreth all these thynges.

¶The exposition of the seconde cōmandement.

THe Seconde commaundemente Moyses declarethe at good lengthe in the boke of Deuteronomie, where, he speketh in this maner. In the daye, whan our lorde spake to you in Oreb frome the myddes of the fyre,Deut. iiii. you herde the voyce and the sounde of his wordes, but you sawe no forme, [Page 57] or similitude, leaste peraduenture you shuld haue ben therby deceyued, and shulde haue made to your selfe an engraued si­militude, or ymage of man or woman, or a similitude of any maner beaste vpon erthe, or of foule vnder heuen, or of any beaste that crepeth vpon the erthe, or of fysshes that tarye in the water vnder the erthe. and least peraduenture, lyftynge vp your eyen to heuen, and there seynge the sonne, and the mone, and the sterres of heuen, you shulde by errour be de­ceyued, and bowe downe to them, and worshyp them, whi­che the lorde hath created to serue all people vnder heuen.

By these wordes we be vtterlye forbydden to make or to haue any symilitude or image, to the intent to bowe downe to it, or to worshyp it. And therfore we thynke it conuenient, that all bysshops and preachers, shall instructe and teache the people, commytted to theyr spirituall charge, Fyrst, that god in his substance can not by any similitude or ymage be repre­sented or expressed. For no wytte ne vnderstandynge canne comprehende his substance. And that the fathers of the chur­che. consyderynge the dulnes of mans wyt, and partely yel­dynge to the custome of gentylitie (whiche before theyr com­mynge vnto the fayth of Christe had certayne representati­ons of theyr false goddis) suffred the pycture or similitude of the father of heuen to be had and sette vp in churches: not that he is any suche thynge, as we in that image do beholde (for he is no corporall ne bodyly substance) but onely to putte vs in remembrance, that there is a father in heuen, and that he is a distincte persone from the sonne, and the holy gooste. whiche thing neuer the les, yf the cōmon people wolde dewe­ly conceyue of the heuenly father, without any bodyly repre­sentation: it were more semely for christen people, to be with­out all suche images of the father, than to haue any of them.

Seconde, that althoughe all images, be they engrauen, peynted, or wrought in arrayse, or in any otherwyse made, be so prohibited, that they may neyther be bowed downe vnto, ne worshipped (for asmoche as they be the workes of mans [Page] hande onely (yet they be not so prohibited, but that they may be had and sette vp in churches, so it be for none other pour­pose, but only to thintent, that we) in beholdinge and lokyng vpon them, as in certayne bokes, and seynge represented in them the manyfolde examples of vertues, whiche were in the saynctes, represented by the sayd images) maye the rather be prouoked, kendled, and styred, to yelde thankes to our lorde, and to prayse hym in his said saynctes, and to remembre and lamente our synnes and offences, and to praye god that we maye haue grace to folowe theyr goodnes and holy lyuynge. As for an example. The image of our saluyour, as an open boke, hangeth on the crosse in the rode, or is paynted in clo­thes, walles, or wyndowes, to the intent that beside thexam­ples of vertues, whiche we may lerne at Christe: we may be also many wayes prouoked to remembre his peynefull and cruel passyon, and also to consydre our selfes, when we be­holde the sayde image, and to condempne and abhorre our synne, whiche was the cause of his soo cruell dethe. and ther­by to professe, that we wol no more synne. And furthermore, consyderyng what hygh charitie was in hym, that wolde dye for vs his ennemies, and what great dangiers we haue es­caped, and what hygh benefytes we receyue by his redemp­tion: we may be prouoked in all our dystresses and troubles, to runne for comforte vnto hym. All these lessons, with ma­ny mo, we may lerne in this boke of the Roode, yf we wol en­tierly and ernestly loke vpon it. And as the lyfe of our sauy­our Christe is represented by this image: euen soo the lyues of the holy sanctes, whiche folowed hym, be represented vnto vs by theyr images. And therfore the sayde images may well be set vp in churches, to be as bokes for vnlerned people, to lerne therin examples of humylytie, charitie, pacience, tem­perance, contempte of the worlde, the flesshe, and the deuyll, and to lerne example of all other vertues, and for the other causes aboue rehersed. For whiche causes onely, images be to be sette in the churche, and not for any honoure to be done [Page 58] vnto them. For although we vse to sense the sayde ymages, and to knele before them, and to offre vnto them, and to kysse theyr feete, and suche other thynges: yet we muste knowe and vnderstand, that suche thynges be not, nor oughte to be done to the ymages selfe, but onely to god, and in his honour, or in the honour of the holy saincte or sainctes, whiche be repre­sented by the sayd ymages.

¶Thyrdely, we thinke it conuenient, that all bysshops and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, cōmitted vn­to theyr spirituall charge, that agaynst this commaundment dyd offende generally before the comyng of Christe all genti­les, & people that were not of the nation of Israell. For they worshipped images and false goddis, somme one, somme an­other. Of the whiche sorte, there was a great nombre. For besyde theyr common goddis, euery countrey, euery citie or towne, euery house and familie hadde theyr propre goddis. Wherof is moche mencyon made in authors bothe christen & hethen. And these gentyles thoughe they had knowlege of a veray god: yet as saynt Paule saith,Roma. i. they had ydle and vayn fantasyes, whiche ledde them from the trouthe: and where they counted them selfes wyse, they were in dede very foles.

¶ Item that agaynst this cōmundement also offended the Iewes many and sondry tymes, and almooste continually. For not withstandyng that they professed the knowlege and worshypping of the veray true god, yet they fel to worshyp­pinge of ymages, idols, and false goddis, as the holye scryp­ture in many places maketh mencion.

¶Finally we thynke it conuenient, that all bysshoppes and preachers, shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spirituall charge, that to sette vp images, as the hethen people and the Iewes dyd, to bowe to theym, and to worshyp them, is forbydden in this seconde cōmaundement.

¶ Item that all they do greatly erre, whiche put difference betwene ymage and ymage, trustyng more in one then in an other: as thoughe one coude helpe, or do more than an other, [Page] when bothe do represent but one thyng, and sauyng by way of representation, neyther of them is hable to worke, or to do any thynge. And they also that be more redye with theyr sub­stance to decke deed ymages gorgiously and gloriously: than with the same to helpe poore chrysten people, the quicke and lyuely images of god. Whiche is the necessarye worke of cha­ritie, cōmanded by god. And they also, that so dote in this be­halfe, that they make vowes, and go on pylgremages euen to the images, and there do calle vpon the same ymages for ayde and helpe: fantasieng, that eyther the image wol worke, or els some other thynge in the image, or god for the images sake. As though god wrought by images carued, engrauen, or peynted, brought ones into churches, as he dothe worke by other his creatures. In whiche thynges if any personne heretofore hath, or yet dothe offende: all good and well ler­ned men haue great cause to lament suche errour and rude­nes, and to put theyr studies and diligence for the reforma­tion of the same.

¶The declaration of the thyrde commaundement.

AS touchynge the thyrde commaundemente, we thynke it conueniente, yt all bysshoppes and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spy­ritual charge, that in the said cōmaundement god requireth of vs to vse his name with all honour and reuerence.

¶Item that the ryght vse of the name of god, and the out­warde honour of the same, standeth chiefely in these thynges folowynge, that is to saye, In the constant confession of his name, in the ryght inuocation of the same, in gyuynge of due thankes vnto god, as well in prosperytie as in aduersitie, and in the preachynge and teachyng of his worde. For Christ sayth,Mat. x. He that openly confesseth me before men: I shall con­fesse hym before my father in heuen. and he that is a shamed of me, to confesse my name before men: I woll be ashamed of [Page 59] hym before my father in heuen. In whiche wordes Christe techeth vs, not only to professe the name of god: but also bold­ly and constantly to defende the same, & not to swarne from it, for any maner of persecution or iniurie. We muste also in all tribulation and necessitie, and in all temptations and as­saultes of the deuill, inuocate & call vpon the name of god. For god accompteth his name to be halowed, magnified, & worshypped, whan we call vpon hym in our nede. Call vpon me (sayth he) in the tyme of trouble, and I woll delyuer the: and thou shalt honour me. And agayn the wyse man sayth,Psal. xlix Pro. xviii. The name of god is the most strong towre, the rightuous mā tūneth to it, & he shalbe holpen. Furthermore, we maye not seke our owne name, laude, & fame: but vtterly auoide & es­chewe the desire of all worldly honour, glorie, and prayse, and must gyue all laude, praise, & thankes vnto god for his bene­fites. which be so many in nombre, & so great, that we ought neuer to cesse from suche laudes & thankes. Lyke as the pro­phete Dauid admonysheth vs sayinge,Psal. xlix i. Cor. x. Offre vnto god the sacrifice of laude & prayse. And saint Paule cōmaundeth vs, when so euer we eate, drinke, or do any maner of busynesse, to gyue honor, prayse, and thankes vnto god. And we muste also preache the worde of god truely, and purely, & set forth the name of god vnto other, and reproue all false and erro­nious doctrine and heresies. For al thoughe priestes and bys­shops only be specyally called, and deputed as publique my­nisters of goddis worde: yet euery christen man is bounde particularly to teache his familie, and suche as be vnder his gouernaunce within his house, whan tyme & place requireth.

Seconde, we thynke it conuenient, that all bysshops and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spirituall charge, that by this precepte we be com­maunded to vse the name of god, vnto all goodnes & trouth: And contrarywyse we be forbyd in the same, to vse his name to any maner of euyll, as to lyenge, deceyuynge, or any vn­trouthe. And therfore agaynste this commaundement they [Page] offende, that sweare in vayne. They swere in vayne, that sweare without laufulle and iuste cause: for than they take the name of god in vayne, althoughe the thynge, whiche they swere, be true. And lykewyse doo all they, whiche for euery lyght, and vayne thynge be redy to sweare vnprouoked, or prouoked of lyghte cause. or that doo glorie in outtragiouse othes, or of custome do vse to sweare. or that do sweare a fals othe, and be forsworne wyttyngly. And suche an othe is not onely periurie, but also a kynde of blasphemie, and is high dishonour and iniurie to god: bycause that suche persones, as make suche oothe do wyttyngely brynge god for a false wytnes, whiche is all trouthe, and hateth all vntrewth. For yf he coulde be false, he were not god. And so suche periured men, asmoche as is in them, make god no god. And yf they beleue, that he woll or can beare false wytnes, than aboue & besydes blasphemie, they runne into heresie.

¶Item that they also do sweare in vayne, whiche sweare any thynge that is true, or false, they beynge in doubte, why­ther it be true or false: and doo not afore well examyne and discusse, whither it be trewe or false. or that swere that thyng to be fals, whiche though in dede it be false, yet they thinke it to be trewe. or that sweare that thynge to be trewe, whiche thoughe in dede it be trewe, yet they thynke it to be befalse.

¶Item that they also do take the name of god in vayne, whiche swere to do that thynge, whiche they intended nat to do or sweare to forbeare that, which they entended not to for­beare. or swere to do any thynge, whiche to do is vnlaufull. or sweare to leaue vndone any thynge, whiche to omitte, or leaue vndone, is vnlaufull. And suche as so sweare, to doo thynges vnlaufull, not onely offende in suche swearynge: but also they moche more offende, yf they performe the thyng that they do sweare.

¶Item that they also breake this commaundement, whi­che sweare to do, or to obserue any thynge, whiche to do and obserue they knowe not, whether it be laufull or vnlaufull. [Page 60] or that make any othe contrary to theyr laufull oothe or pro­myse made before: so longe as theyr former oothe or promyse standeth in strengthe.

Item that they also doo take the name of god in vayne, whiche by rewardes, or fayre promyses: or by power, or fere, do enduce, or constrayne any man to be periured.

Item that they also take the name of god in vayne, whi­che abuse the holy name of god to vnlaufull practyses, as to charmes, enchauntementes, diuinations, coniurations, or suche lyke. And that priestes and ministers of Christis chur­che, do also breake this commaundemente: yf in the admini­stration of the sacramentes, they yelde not the hole efficacie, vertue, and grace therof to our lorde, as the veray auctoure of the same: but ascribe the sayd efficacie vertue and grace, or any parte therof to them selfe. or yf any of them do vse any of the sacramentes to any cōiurations, or any other strange pra­ctise, cōtrary to that holy vse, for the which they be ordeyned.

Item that they also breake this commaundement, whiche eyther by teachynge or preachynge, or by pretense of holy ly­uynge, do abuse this name to theyr owne vaynglorie, or any other vngodly purpose. And generally that all euyll christen men, whiche professe the name of Christ, and lyue not accor­dynge to theyr professyon, doo also take the name of god in vayne, in wordes confessynge Christe, and denyinge hym in dedes. They also breke this cōmaundement, whiche in trou­ble do not call vpon the name of god, nor do thanke hym in all thynges bothe swete and sowre, good and euyll, wel fare and euyl fare. For god dothe sende vs many troubles and ad­uersities, bycause we shulde runne to hym, crye to hym for helpe, and call vpon his holy name.

¶Thyrdly we thynke it conuenyent, that all bysshoppes and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, commyt­ted vnto theyr spirituall charge, that (for asmoche as the gyf­tes of helthe of body, helthe of soule, forgyuenes of synnes, the gyfte of grace, or lyfe euerlastynge, and suche other, be [Page] the gyftes of god, and can not be gyuen but by god) who so euer maketh inuocation to saynctes for these gyftes, pray­eng to them for any of the sayd gyftes, or suche lyke, (whiche can not be gyuen but by god only) yeldeth the glorie of god to his creature,Esai. xlii. cōtrary to this cōmandement. For god sayth by his prophete, I woll not yelde my glorie to any other. Ther­fore they that so praye to saynctes for these gyftes, as though they coulde gyue them, or be the gyuers of them: transgresse this commaundement, yeldynge to a creature the honoure of god. Neuer the lesse to praye to saynctes to be intercessours with vs, and for vs to our lord for our suites, which we make to hym, and for suche thynges as we can obteyne of none but of hym, so that we make no inuocation of them: is laufull & allowed by the catholyque churche.

And ageyne bycause no temple, ne churche, ne altare ought to be made but onely to god, (For to whom we make temple, churche, or altare, to hym (as saynt Austyne sayth) we maye do sacrifice, and sacrifice we maye do to none but to god.) We thynke it conuenyent, that all bysshops and prechers, shal in­structe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spiritu­all charge, that we abuse our englysshe, whan we call the tē ­ples, churches, or altars by the name of any saynct, as the churche, or altare of our lady, the churche or altare of saynct Michaell, of sainct Peter, of sainct Paule, or suche other. For we ought to call them no otherwyse, but the memories of our lady, of saynct Michaell, saynct Peter, saynct Paule, and so of other saynctes: and the churches or temples of god onely, in whiche be the memorials of those saynctes. And lykewyse muste the altares be dedicated to our lorde onely, thoughe it be for the memoryall of any saynct. Not withstandynge it is not necessarie to alter the commune speche, whiche is vsed, nor there is any errour therin: soo that the sentence or mea­nynge therof be well and truely vnderstanded, that is to say, that the sayde altares and churches be not dedicated to any sayncte, but to god onely, and of the saynctes but a memo­riall, [Page 61] to put vs in remembrance of them, that we maye fo­lowe theyr example and lyuynge. And therfore if we meane, as the wordes do importe, whan we call them the churches or altares of saynctes: we yelde the honour of god from hym to the saynctes, and breake this commaundement. And lyke wise if we honour them, any otherwyse than as the frendes of god, dwellynge with hym, and establysshed nowe in his glorie euerlastynge, and as examples, whom we muste fo­lowe in holy lyfe and conuersation. or if we yelde vnto sayn­ctes the adoration & honoure, whiche is due vnto god alone: We do (no doubt) breke this commaundement, and do wrong vnto our lorde god.

¶The exposition of the fourth commaundement.

AS touchynge the fourthe commaundement we thynke it conuenyent, that all bysshoppes and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spiri­tuall charge. Fyrste that this worde Sabbote is an hebrewe worde, and signyfieth in englysshe reste. So that the Sabbot daye is as moche to saye, as the daye of reste and quyetnes. And therfore there is a speciall & notable difference betwene this commaundement and thother .ix. For, as sainct Austen sayth, All the other .ix. commaundementes be morall com­mandementes, and belonged not onely to the Iewes, and all the other people of the worlde, in the tyme of the olde testa­ment: but also to all christen people in the newe testament. But this precepte of Sabbot, as concernynge reste from bo­dyly labour the seuenth daye, perteyned onely vnto the iewes in the olde testament, before the commynge of Christe: and not vnto vs christen people in the newe testament. Neuer­theles, as concernynge the spirituall rest (whiche is figured and signified by this corporall reste) that is to saye, reste from carnall workes of the flesshe, and all maner of synne: this precepte remayneth styll, and byndeth them, that belonge to [Page] Christe, and not for euery .vii. daye onely, but for all dayes, howres, & tymes. For at all tymes we be bounde to rest from fulfyllynge of our owne carnall wyll and pleasure, from all synnes, and euyll desyres, from pride, disobedience, ire, hate, couetousnes, and all suche corrupt & carnal appetites, & to cō ­mytte our selues holly to god, that he maye worke in vs all thynges, that be to his wyll and pleasure. And this is the true Sabbotte or reste of vs, that be chrystened, when we reste from our owne carnall wylles, and be not ledde therby: but be guyded alwaye by god and his holy spirite. And this is the thyng that we pray for in the Pater noster, Whā we say, Father, let thy kyngedome come vnto vs, Thy wyll be done in erthe, as it is in heuen, Reigne thou with vs, Make thy wyll to be wrought in vs, that from our owne corrupte wyll we maye reste and cesse. And for this purpose, god hath or­deyned, that we shulde faste, watche, and labour: to thende that by these remedies we myght mortyfie and kyll the euyll and sensuall desyres of the flesshe, and attayne this spyrytual reste, and quietnes, whiche is sygnyfied and fygured in this commaundement.

¶Seconde we thynke it conuenient, that all bysshops and preachers, shall instructe and teache the people, commyt­ted vnto theyr spyrytuall charge, that besydes this spyrytuall reste (whiche chiefely and pryncypally is requyred of vs) we be bounde by this precepte, at certayne tymes to ceasse from all bodyly labour, and to gyue our myndes entyerly and hol­ly vnto god. to here and lerne his worde. to knowledge our owne synfulnes vnto god, and his great mercy, and good­nes vnto vs. to gyue thankes vnto hym for all his benefytes. to make publyque and common prayer for all thynges nede­full. to receyue the sacramentes. to visite the sycke. to instructe euery man his chyldren, and famylie in vertue and good­nes, and suche other lyke workes. Whiche thinges althoughe all christen people be bounde vnto, by this commaundement: yet the Sabbot daye, whiche is called the Satturdaye, is [Page 62] not nowe prescribed and apoynted therto, as it was to the Iewes: but in stede of the Sabbot daye, succedeth the Son­daye, and many other holy and feastefull dayes, whiche the churche hathe ordeyned from tyme to tyme. Whiche be called holy dayes, not bycause one daye is more acceptable to god, than an other, or of it selfe is more holy than an other: but bycause the churche hath ordeyned, that vpon those dayes we shulde gyue our selues holly without any impedyment vnto suche holy workes, as be before expressed, where as vpon o­ther dayes we do applye our selfes to bodyly laboure, and be therby moche letted from suche holy and spyrituall workes.

¶ And to the entent the ignoraunt people maye be the more clerely instructed, what holy & spirituall workes they oughte to do vpon the holy day, we thynke it cōuenyent, that al bys­shops and preachers shall exhorte and teache the people, com­mytte to theyr spiritull charge, to vse them selfe in this ma­ner folowynge: That is to say, At their first entre or cōmyng into the churche, lette them make accompte with them selfes, howe they haue bestowed the weke paste, remembryng what euyll myndes and purposis they haue had, what wordes they haue spoken, what thynges they haue done, or left vndone, to the dishonour or displeasure of god, or to the hurt of their neygh­boure, or what example or occasyon of euyll they haue gyuen vnto other. And when they haue thus recollected, and consy­dered all these thynges in their myndes: then lette them hum­bly knowlege their defautes vnto god, and aske forgyuenes for the same, with vnfeyned purpose in their hartes, to con­uerte and retourne from theyr noughty lyues, and to amende the same. And whan they haue so done, than let them clerely, and purely in their hartes remytte and forgyue all malyce and displeasure, whiche they beate to any creature. And after that, then let them fall vnto prayer, accordynge to the com­maundement of Christe, where he sayth,Math. v. whan you begynne to praye, forgyue what so euer displeasure you haue ageynst any man. And when they be wery of prayer, then let theym [Page] vse redynge of the worde of god, or some other good and hea­uenly doctrine, so that they do it quietely, without distour­bance of other, that be in the churche: or els let them occupie their myndes with some holsom & godly meditations, wher­by they maye be the better. And they that can rede, maye be well occupied vpon the holy day, yf they rede vnto other, suchche good workes, whiche maye be vnto them in stede of a ser­mon. For al thynges that edifie mans sowle in our lorde god be good and holsome sermons.

And truely yf men wolde occupie them selfes vpon the holy dayes, and spende the same dayes holly, after this fourme and maner, not onely in the howse of god, but also in their owne howses: they shulde therby eschewe moche vice, con­founde their auncient ennemy the deuyll, moche edyfie both them selfes and other, & finally obteigne moche grace, and hygh rewarde of almyghty god.

¶Thyrdly we thynke it conuenient, that all byshoppes and prechers shall instruct and teache the people, committed vnto theyr spirituall charge to haue speciall regarde, that they be not ouer scrupulous, or rather superstitious in absteynynge from bodily labour vpon the holyday. For not withstanding al that is afore spoken, it is not ment, but that in tyme of ne­cessitie, we may vpon the holyday gyue our selfe to labour, as for sauinge of our corne & cattall, whan it is in daunger, or lykely to be distroyed, yf remedy be not had in tyme. For this lesson our sauiour doth teache vs in the gospell. and we nede to haue noo scruple, ne grudge in consience, in suche case of necessitie, to labour on the holydayes: but rathre we shulde offende, yf we shoulde for scrupulositie not saue that god hath sent for the sustenance, and relyefe of his people.

¶ Fynally we thynke it cōuenient, that all bysshoppes and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spirituall charge, howe agaynste this commaun­dement generally do offende all they, whiche woll not ceasse and reste from theyr owne carnall wylles and pleasure, that [Page 63] god maye worke in them after his pleasure and wyll.

¶Item al they, whiche hauynge no laufull impediment, do not gyue them selfe vpon the holy daye to here the worde of god, to remembre the benefytes of god, to gyue thankes for the same, to praye, & to exercise suche other holy workes, as be appoynted for the same: but (as commonly is vsed) passe the tyme eyther in idlenes, in glottony, in ryot, or in plays, or o­ther vayne and ydell pastyme. For surely suche kepynge of the holy day is not accordyng to thintente and meanynge of this cōmandement: but after the vsage and custome of the Iewes. and doth not please god: but doth moche more offende hym, and prouoke his indignation, and wroth towardes vs. For as sainct Austen saythe of the Iewes, they shulde be better occupied labourynge in theyr feldes, and to be at the plough: than to be idle at home. And women shoulde better bestowe theyr tyme in spynninge of wolle, than vpon the sabot daye to lose theyr tyme in leapyng and daunsynge, and other idle, wanton lose tyme.

Item that all they do offende agaynst this commandemēt, whiche do here the worde of god, and gyue not good hede there vnto, that they maye vnderstande it, and lerne it. or yf they do lerne it, yet they endeuour not them selfes to remem­bre it. or yf they remembre it, yet they study not to folowe it.

¶ Item that all they do breake this commaundement also, whiche in masse tyme doo occupye theyr myndes with other matiers, and lyke vnkynde people remembre not the passion and deathe of Christe, nor gyue thankes vnto hym. Whiche thynges in the masse tyme they ought specyally to do, for the masse is ordeyned to be a perpetuall memorie of the same. And lyke wyse do all those, whiche in suche tyme as the com­mune prayers be made, or the worde of god is taught, not onely them selfes do gyue none attendaunce therto: but also by walkynge, talkynge and other euyll demeanour, let other that wolde well vse them selfes. And lyke wyse doo all they, whiche do not obserue, but despyse suche laudable ceremonies [Page] of the churche, as set forthe goddis honoure, or apperteyne to good ordre to be vsed in the churche.

¶And therfore concernynge suche ceremonyes of the churche, we thynke it conuenyent, that all bysshoppes and preachers, shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spirituall charge, that althoughe the sayde ceremonies haue no power to remytte synne: yet they be very expediente thin­ges to stirre and cause vs, to lyfte vp our myndes vnto god, and to put vs in contynuall remembraunce of those spiritual thynges, whiche be sygnyfied by them: As sprinklyng of ho­ly water doth put vs in remembraunce of our baptysme, and the blode of Christe, sprinkeled for our redemption vpon the Crosse. Gyuynge of holy breade doth put vs in remembrance of the sacrament of the Altare, whiche we oughte to receyue in ryght charitie, and also that all christen men be one bodye mysticall of Christe, as the breade is made of many graynes, and yet but one lofe. Bearynge of candels on Candelmas daye doth put vs in remembraunce of Christe the spirituall lyghte, of whom Simeon dyd prophecie, as is redde in the churche that day. Gyuynge of ashes on Ashe wenysday, doth put vs in remembraunce, that euery chrysten man, in the be­gynnynge of lente and penaunce, shulde consydre, that he is but Ashes and erthe, and therto shall retourne. Bearynge of palmes on palmesonday, dothe put vs in remembraunce of the receyunge of Christe into Hierusalem a lyttell before his deth, and that we muste haue the same desire to receyue hym into our hartes. Crepynge to the crosse, and humblynge our selfes to Christe on good fryday before the Crosse, and there offerynge vnto Christe before the same, and kyssynge of it, putteth vs in remembraunce of our redemption by Christe made vpon the crosse. And so fynally the settynge vp of the sepulture of Chryste, whose body after his deathe was bury­ed. The halowynge of the Fonte, and other lyke exorcismes & benedictions done by the ministers of Christis churche, and all other lyke laudable customes, rytes, and ceremonies, doo [Page 46] put vs in remembraunce of some spirituall thynge. And that therfore they be not to be contemned, and cast away: but be to be vsed and contynued as thynges good and laudable for the purposes abouesayde.

¶The declaration of the fifth commaundement.

AS touchynge the fyfth commaundement, we thynke it conuenient, that all bysshops and preachers shall in­structe & teache the people, cōmytted to theyr spiritual charge, First that by this word Father, is vnderstanded here, not only the naturall father and mother, whiche dyd carnally begette vs, and broughte vs vppe: but also the spirituall father, by whom we be spiritually regenerated & nourisshed in Christe: and all other gouernours and rulers, vnder whome we be nourisshed and brought vp, or ordered and guyded. And all thoughe this commaundement make expresse mention onely of the chyldren or inferiours to theyr parentes and supery­ours: yet in the same is also vnderstanded and comprised the office and duetie of the parentes and superiours agayne, vn­to their chyldren and inferiours.

¶Seconde that by this worde Honour, in this commaunde­ment, is not only ment a reuerence and lowlynesse in wordes and outwarde gesture, whiche children and inferiours ought to exhibite vnto their parentes and superiours: but also a prompte and a redy obedience to theyr laufull commaunde­mentes, a regarde to their wordes, a forbearynge and suffe­rynge of them, an inwarde loue and veneration towardes them, a reuerent feare, and loothenes to dysplease or offende them, and a good will and gladnes to assyst them, aide them, succour them, and helpe them with our counseyll, with oure goodes, and substaunce, and by all other meanes to our pos­sible power. This is the veray honoure and duetie, whiche not onely the chyldren do owe vnto theyr parentes: but also all subiectes and inferiours to theyr heades and rulers. And [Page] that chyldren owne this duetie vnto theyr fathers: it appe­reth in many places of scripture. In the prouerbes it is wri­ten,Pro. i. Obey my sonne the chastisynge of thy father, and be not neglygent in thy mothers commandementes. In the boke of the Deuteronomi it is also written,Deutero. xxvii. Accursed be he that doth not honour his father and his mother. And in the boke of the Leuiticus,Leuit. xix it is sayde, Let euery man stande in awe of his father and mother. And yf any man haue a stubbourne, and a disobedient sonne,Leuit. xxi whiche woll not here the voyce of his fa­ther and mother, & for correction wold not amend and folowe them: than shall his father and mother take hym, and brynge hym to the iuges of the citie, & saye, This our sonne is stub­borne and disobedient, and despyseth our monicions, and is a riottour and a dronkerde. Then shall all the people stone hym to death, and thou shalt put awaye the euyll from the, that all Israell maye here therof,Exodi. xxi. and be afrayde. And in the boke of Exodi, it is also written, He that striketh his father or mother, he shall be put to deathe. And lykewyse he that curseth his father or his mother shall suffre deathe. And in the boke of prouerbes the wyse man also sayth,Prouer. xxviii. He that stealeth any thynge from his father or mother, is to be ta­ken as a murderer. And althoughe that these great punys­shementes of dysobedient chyldren by deathe, be not nowe in the newe lawe in force and strengthe, but lefte to the ordre of pryncis and gouernours, and theyr lawes: yet it euident­ly appereth, howe sore god is greued, and dyspleased with such disobedience of chyldren towardes their parentes. For so moche as in the olde lawe, he dydde appoynte thervnto so greuous punyshementes.

And as almyghty god doth thretten these punysshementes vnto those children, whiche do breake this commaundement: so he dothe promyse great rewardes, to theym that kepe it. For he that honoureth his father (saith the wyse manne) his synnes shall be forgyuen hym:Eccle. iii. And he that honoureth his mother, is as one that gathereth treasure. Who so euer ho­noureth [Page 65] his father, shall haue ioye of his owne chyldren: and whan he maketh his prayer to god, he shall be herde. He that honoureth his father, shall haue a longe and a prosperous lyfe. And as the chyldren by this cōmaundement, be bound, to honour and obey theyr parentes (according as is before ex­pressed) so it is implied in the same precept, that the parentes shulde norishe & godly bryng vp theyr children, that is to say, that they must not only fynd them meate & drinke in youth, & also set them forward in lernyng, labour, or some other good exercise, that they may eschew idlenes, and haue some craft, & occupation, or some other laufull meane to get theyr liuinge: but also they muste lerne & teche them to truste in god, to loue hym, to feare hym, to loue theyr neighbour, to hate no man, to hurt no man, to wishe wel to euery man, and so moch as they maye to do good vnto euery man, not to curse, not to swere, not to be riottous, but to be sobre & tēperate in al thingis, not to be worldly, but to sette theyr myndes vpon the loue of god and heuenly thynges, more than vppon temporall thynges of his world, and generally to do al that is good, & to eschue all that is euyll. And this the parentes ought to do, not by cruel entreating of theyr chyldren, wherby they might discou­rage them, & prouoke them to hate theyr parentes: but by cha­ritable rebukynge, thretenynge, and resonable chastisynge and correctynge of them, whan they do euyl: and cheryshyng, maynteynynge, and commendynge them, whan they do wel.

This offyce and duetie of the parentes towardes theyr chyldren is wytnessed in many places of Scripture. Fyrste saynt Paule wryteth thus, Fathers,Ephe. vi. prouoke not your chyl­dren vnto angre, but brynge theym vp in the correction and doctrine of god. And in Deutero. Almyghtye god faythe,Deut. vi. Pro. xxix. Teache my lawes and cōmandementes to thy children. And the wyse man saythe, The rodde of correction gyueth wyse­dome. The chylde that is lefte to his owne wyll, shalbe con­fusion to his mother. And in an other place he sayth,Pro. xiii. He that spareth the rodde, hateth his sonne: and he that loueth hym, [Page] wyll se hym corrected.Pro. xxiii. And in an other place he saythe, Se thou withdrawe not frome thy chylde discipline and chasty­synge. If thou stryke hym with the rodde, he shall not dye, thou shalte stryke hym with a rodde, and shalte therby dely­uer his soule frome helle. And on the other syde it is wrytten, The sonne vntaught & vnchastysed,Eccl. xxii i. Reg. iiii is the confusyon of his father. And for this cause we fynde in the boke of kinges how that our lorde conceyued hyghe indignation ageynst Helie the chiefe priest, bycause he dyd not duely correcte his two sonnes Ophni & Phinees, whan he knewe that they dyd greuously offend god. And how in reuengyng of the fathers negligēce, and remysnesse in correctynge of his chyldren: almyghty god toke from Hely, and all his issue and householde for euer, the office of the high priesthode, & howe his two sonnes Ophni & Phinees were slayne bothe vpon a daye, and Helie theyr fa­ther brake his necke. This example of Helie is necessary for fathers to emprinte in theyr hartes, that they maye see theyr chyldren well taughte and corrected: leaste they runne into the greate indignation of almyghtye god, as Helie dydde, and not onely in this worlde haue confusion, but also in the worlde to come, haue dampnation for the mysorder of theyr chyldren throughe their defaute. And they muste not thynke, that it is ynough to speke somwhat vnto them, whan they do amys (For so dyd Helie to his sonnes, and yet our lorde was not pleased, bycause he dyd not more sharpely correcte them, and se them reformed) But whan wordes woll not serue, the fathers and mothers muste put to correction, and by suche discipline saue theyr soules, or elles they shall answere to god for them. And truely they greatly deserue the indignation of god, that, whan they haue receyued of hym chyldren, do not brynge them vp to his seruyce, but without regard what com­meth of them, suffreth them to ren to the seruice of the diuell.

Thyrdely we thynke it conuenient, that all bysshops and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spirituall charge, that all christen men be bounde [Page 66] to exhibite and do vnto them, whiche vnder god be their spi­ritual fathers and parentes of theyr soules, the lyke and the selfe same honour,i. Cor. iiii whiche (as is aforesayde) chyldren of due­tie do owe vnto theyr naturall fathers.

¶Item that these spyrytuall fathers be appoynted by god,Act. xx. to mynister his sacramentes vnto them, to brynge them vp, and to fede theym with the worde of god, and to teache them his gospelle and scripture: and by the same to gouerne,Hebr. xiii to conducte, and to leade them in the streyght waye to the father in heuen euerlastynge.

¶Item that our sauiour Christe in the gospell maketh men­tion as well of the obedience, as also of the corporalle susty­naunce,Math. x. Luc. x. whiche al christen people do owe vnto theyr spiritual fathers. Of the obedience he sayth, that who so euer receyueth you, receyueth me. And in an other place he saythe, He that hereth you, hereth me. and he that despisethe you, despysethe me. And in an other place he saythe,Math. xxiii. Hebr. xiii what so euer they bydde you do, do it. And sayncte Paule sayth, Obeye your prela­tes, and gyue place vnto them: for they haue moche charge and care for your soules, as they, whiche muste gyue an ac­compte therfore, that they maye do it, with ioye and not with griefe, that is to saye, that they maye gladly and with moche comforte do theyr cure and charge. whan they doo perceyue, that the people be obedient to theyr teachynge: lyke as on the contrary wyse they haue lyttell ioy or pleasure to do it, whan they fynde the people disobedient and repugnant.

And for the sustynaunce of their lyuynge, which is compry­sed in this worde Honour (as before is declared) Christe sayth in the gospelle, The workeman is worthye his wages.Luc. x. i. Cor. ix And saynt Paule sayth, who goeth on warrefare vpon his owne stipende? And who planteth the vyne, and eateth no parte of the fruicte? And who fedeth the flocke, and eateth no parte of the mylke? And after foloweth. Euen so hath the lorde or­deyned, that they, whiche preache the gospell, shulde lyue of the gospell. And therfore in an other place it is writen,i. Tim. v. Prie­stes [Page] or auncientes that rule wel: be worthy of double honour, specially they that labour in the ministration of the worde of god, and his doctrine. In whiche place the apostell meaneth by double honour, not onely the reuerence, whiche is due vnto the spyrytuall fathers (as is aforesayde) but also that all chry­sten people be bounde to mynister, fynde and gyue vnto theyr spyrytuall fathers sufficiency of al thynges necessarie and re­quysite, as well for theyr sustinaunce and fyndynge, as for the quyete and commodiouse exercysynge and executynge of theyr sayde office.

¶Fourthly we thynke it conuenient, that all bysshops and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spirituall charge, that this commaundement also conteyneth the honour and obedience, whiche subiectes owe vnto theyr prynces, & also the office of princis towarde theyr subiectes.Esai. xlix For scripture taketh princes to be, as it were, fa­thers and nouryces to theyr subiectes. And by scripture it ap­pereth, that it apperteyneth vnto thoffyce of princes, to se that the ryght religion and trewe doctrine of Christe maye be maynteyned and taughte. and that their subiectes maye be well ruled and gouerned by good and iust lawes. and to pro­uyde and care for them, that all thynges necessarie for theym maye be plentuouse. and that the people and commune weale maye encrease. and to defende theym frome oppressyon and inuasyon as well within the realme, as without. and to se that iustyce be ministred vnto them indifferently. and to here benignely al theyr complayntes. and to shewe towardes them (although they offende) fatherly pytie. And finally so to cor­recte them that be euyll, that they had yet rather saue them than lose them: yf it were not for respect of iustyce, and main­tenaunce of peace and good order in the commune weale. And therfore al theyr subiectes must ageyne on theyr parties, and be bounde by this commaundement, not onely to honour and obey theyr sayde prynces, accordynge as subiectes be bounde to do, and to owe theyr trouthe and fidelitie vnto theym, as [Page 67] vnto theyr naturall lordes: but they must also loue them: as chyldren do loue theyr fathers. yea they must more tendre the suertie of theyr princis person, and his estate, than their owne: Euen lyke as the health of the heed is more to be tendered, thā the health of any other membre.

And by this commaundemente also subiectes be bounde, not to withdrawe theyr sayd feaultie, trowthe, loue, and obe­dyence towardes theyr prynce, for any cause what soo euer it be. Ne for any cause they may conspire ageynst his person, ne doo any thynge towardes the hynderaunce, or hurte therof, nor of his astate.

And furthermore, by this commaundement they be bounde also to obeye all the lawes, proclamations, preceptes, and commaundements, made by theyr prynces and gouernours: excepte they be ageynst the commaundementes of god. And lykewyse they be bounde to obey all suche as be in auctorytie vnder theyr prynce, as farre as he woll haue them obeyed. They must also gyue vnto theyr prynce ayde, helpe, and assi­stence, whan soo euer he shall require the same, eyther for suer­tie, preseruation, or mayntenaunce of his person & astate, or of the realme, or for the defence of any of the same, ageynste all persons. And when so euer subiectes be called by theyr prynce vnto priuey councell, or vnto the parlyament, whiche is the generall councell of this realme, than they be bounde to gyue vnto theyr prynce (as theyr lernynge, wysedome, or expery­ence can serue them) the mooste faythfull counsell they can, and suche as may be to the honour of god, to the honour and suretie of his regall person and astate, and to the generall welth of all his hole realme.

And further, yf any subiect shal knowe of any thyng, whi­che is or may be to the annoyaunce or damage of his pryncis person or astate: he is bounde by this commaundement to dysclose the same with all spede to the prince hym selfe, or to some of his counceyll. For it is the veraye lawe of nature, that euery membre shall employe hym selfe to preserue and [Page] defende the heed. And surely wysedome and policie woll the same. For of conspiracie and treason commeth neuer no good­nes: but infinite hurte, damage, and peryll to the common weale. And that all subiectes do owe vnto theyr pryncis and gouernours suche honour and obedience (as is before sayde) it appereth euidently in sondry places of scrypture: but spe­cially in the Epistles of saynct Paule and saynct Peter. For sayncte Paule sayth in this maner,Rom. xiii Euery man muste be obe­dient vnto the hyghe powers: for the powers be of god. And therfore who so euer resisteth the powers, resysteth the ordy­naunce of god. And they that resyste, shall get to them selfes damnation.i. Pet. ii. And saynt Peter sayth, Obey vnto all sortes of gouernours for goddis sake, whether it be vnto the kynge, as vnto the chiefe heed, or vnto rulers, as vnto them that be sent of god for to punysshe euyll doers, and to cherysshe them that do well. And shortely after it foloweth, Feare god, Ho­nour thy kynge.

And there be many exaumples in scripture of the greatte vengeaunce of god, that hath fallen vpon rebels, and suche as haue ben disobedient vnto theyr pryncis:Num xvi But one princy­pall example to be noted is of Chore, Dathan, and Abiron. Whom for their rebellyon almyghty god soo punysshed, that Whan they and two hundred and fyftye capitaynes mo, with other people, to a great nombre, were all to gyther: the erthe opened, and swalowed them downe, with their houses, their wyfes, and theyr chyldren, and all their substaunce. And they went downe quycke in to hell, with all that they had.

¶Fyftely we thynke it conuenient, that all bysshoppes and preachers, shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto their spirituall charge, that this commaundement doth also conteyne ye honour and obedience, yt seruauntes do owe vnto theyr maysters. and the office and duetie agayne of the maysters vnto their seruauntes.

¶Item that the honoure and obedyence of the seruauntes vnto theyr maysters, is to loue theyr mayster. to be reuerente [Page 68] and lowly vnto hym in al theyr wordes and gesture. to suffre and forbeare hym. to be redy and with a good wyll, without murmuration or grutchynge to obey all his lawfull or reaso­nable commaundementes. to feare hym, and to be lothe to dis­please hym. to be faythfull and true vnto hym. and to theyr power to procure and do that, whiche is to theyr maisters ho­nestie and profyt, and that as well in theyr maisters absence, and out of his syght, as whan he is present, and loketh vpon them accordynge to the wordes of sayncte Paule,Ephe. vi. where he sayth, Seruantes be you obedyente vnto your maisters with feare and tremblyng, with symple and playne hartes, as vn­to Christe, not seruynge onely in theyr syght, as pleasers of men, but as the seruantes of Christe, doynge the wyll of god from the harte, and with good wyll, thynkyng that you serue god, and not men. And be you sure, that of all your good ser­uyce you shall receyue rewarde of god.Tit. ii. And agayne to Titus he wryteth thus, Exhorte the seruantes, to be obedyent vnto theyr maysters, to please them well in all thynges, not to be patterers, and praters agaynst them, nor pyckers, or pryuey conueyers of theyr maysters goodes: but to shewe all trouth and faythfulnes.i. Pet. ii. Saynte Peter also byddeth seruauntes to obey theyr maysters with all feare, not onely yf they be good and gentle but also though they be frowarde.

¶Item that the offyce and duetie of the maysters vnto theyr seruauntes is to prouyde suffyciently for them of all thynges necessary. To se them instructed in the lawes of god, and that they obserue the same. not to be ouer rygorouse vnto theym. to correcte theym whan they do amysse. and to cōmende and cherysshe them whan they do well. accordynge to the sayinge of sayncte Paule, You that be maysters,Collo. iiii doo vnto your ser­uaūtes that is right and reason, know that your selues haue also a mayster in heuen. And in an other place he saythe,Ephe. vi. Be not rygorous vnto your seruantes, for you haue a mayster in heuen, that regardeth all persons indifferently.Ecclesi. xxxiii. And the wyse man sayth, Meate, correction, and worke is due vnto the ser­uauntes, [Page] Sette thy seruaunt to labour, that he be not idell. For idelnes bryngeth moche euyll. Sette hym to worke, for that belongeth vnto hym. Yf he be not obedyent, correcte hym.

¶ Item that in this commaundement is also implyed, that chyldren and yonge folkes shulde gyue due honoure and reue­rence to olde men, and to all suche as be theyr maysters and tutours, to brynge them vp in lernynge and vertue, whiche be in this behalfe as fathers vnto them: and soo as fathers muste be honoured and obeyed.

¶Fynally we thynke it conuenient, that all bysshoppes and preachers, shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spiritual charge, that al fathers ought diligētly to consider, and remembre, howe moche, and howe greuousely they do offende god, and of howe many euylles they be the cause: whiche eyther brynge vp theyr chyldren in wanton­nes and ydelnes, and do not put them forth in tyme to some facultie, exercyse, or labour, wherby they may after get their lyuynge, or occupie theyr lyfe to the profyte and commoditie of the common weale. or els do suffre theyr chyldren in youth to be corrupted for lacke of good teachynge, and bryngynge vp in the true knowlege of god, and of his wyll & commaun­dementes. or commytte in worde or dede suche thynges in the presence of theyr chyldren, wherof the yonge tender hartes of theyr sayde chyldren (whiche lyke a smalle twigge, is incly­neable euery waye, and by fraylenes of youth is inclyned to euyll) do take so euyll example and corruption of vices, and worldly affections, that harde it woll be for them after to es­chewe the same.

¶The declaration of the syxte commaundement.

AS touchynge the syxte commaundement, we thynke it conuenyente, that all bysshoppes and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, cōmytted vnto theyr spy­rytuall charge, Fyrst that in this commaundement is forby­den, [Page 69] not onely bodely kyllynge, and all maner of violent lay­inge of handes vpon any man, as strikynge, cuttyng, woun­dynge, and all maner of bodely hurtynge by acte and dede: but also al malyce, angre, hate, enuy, dysdayne, and al other euyll affections of the harte, and also all sclaunder, backby­tyng, chidyng, bannynge, raylynge, scornyng, or mockynge, and all other euyll behauiour of our tongue agaynst our neighbour. Whiche all be forbydden by this cōmaundement. For they be rotis & occasions of murder, or other bodyly hurt.

¶ Item that the contrary of all these thynges be comman­ded by this cōmandement, that is to say, that we shuld with our hartis loue our neyghbours. and with our tongues speke well of them and to them. and in our actes and dedes do good vnto them, shewynge towardes them in hart, word, and dede pacience, mekenes, mercye, and gentylnes, yea thoughe they be our aduersaries and ennemyes. And that this is the true sense and meanynge of this commandement: it appereth by the exposition of our sauyour Christe in the gospell, where he declareth,Math. v. That we shulde neyther hurte any man in dede, nor speke of hym or vnto hym maliciously, or contemptuously, with our tongues, nor beare malyce or angre in our hartis: but that we shulde loue them,Rom. x. that hate vs, saye well by them, that saye euyll by vs, and do good to them that do euyll to vs. And accordynge to the same say­inge of Christe, saynct Iohn̄ also saythe, That he, that ha­teth his neyghbour, is a manqueller.

¶Item that it is not forbydden by this cōmaundement,i. Ioā. iii. but that all rulers and gouernours, as princes, Iudges, fathers, maysters, and suche other, maye for the correction of them, whiche be vnder theyr gouernaunce, vse suche maner of pu­nysshemente, eyther by rebukefulle and sharpe wordes, or by bodyly chastysynge: as the lawes of euery realme do per­mytte. And not onely they maye doo thus: but also they be bounde so to do, and offende god, yf they do it not, as is be­fore declared in the fyfte commaundement.

¶Item that all rulers muste be ware and take hede, that in their corrections or punysshementes they do not procede vp­pon any priuate malyce of theyr hartes, or dysplesure towar­des any man, or for any lucre, fauoure, or feare of any per­son: but that they haue their eie, & consyderation onely vpon the reformation, and amendement of the person, whom they do correcte, or elles vpon the good ordre and quyetnes of the common weale. so that styll there may remayne in theyr har­tes charitie and loue, towardes the persone, whom they pu­nysshe. And lyke as the father loueth his chylde, euen whan he beateth hym: euen so a good iudge, whan he gyueth sen­tence of deth vpon any gyltie persone, although he shewe out­wardly cruelnes and rigour, yet inwardly he ought to loue the person, and to be sory and heuy for his offences, and for the deathe, whiche he hym selfe by the lawe dothe, and muste nedes condempne hym vnto.

¶Item that althoughe inferiour rulers or gouernours maye correcte and punysshe, suche as be vnder theyr gouernaunce: yet they maye not punysshe by deathe, mutilate, mayme, or imprison them, or vse any corporall violence towardes them, other wyse than is permytted by the hyghe gouernour. that is to saye, by the prynce and his lawes, from whome all such auctoritie dothe come. For no man may kylle, or vse suche bo­dyly cohercion, but onely pryncis, and they whiche haue au­ctoritie from princis. Ne the sayde prynces, ne any for them maye do the same: but by and accordynge to the iuste ordre of theyr lawes.

¶Item that no subiectes maye drawe the swerde (sauyng for laufull defence) without theyr princis lycence. And that it is theyr duetie to drawe theyr swerdes for the defence of theyr prynce and the realme: whan soo euer the prynce shall com­maunde them so to do. And that for no cause, what so euer it be, they maye drawe theyr swerdes agaynst theyr prynce, nor agaynste any other, without his consent or commandement, as is aforesayde. And althoughe princis do other wyse, then [Page 70] they ought to do: yet god hathe assygned no iuges ouer them in this worlde, but woll haue the iugement of them reserued to hym selfe, and woll punysshe, whan he seeth his tyme. And for amendement of suche prynces, that do otherwyse thanne they shulde do:Prouer. i. the people muste praye to god (whiche hath the hartes of pryncis in his handis) that he maye soo turne theyr hartis vnto hym, that they may vse the sworde, which he hath gyuen them, vnto his pleasure.

¶Seconde we thynke it conuenient, that all bysshoppes and pleachers shall diligently frome tyme to tyme instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spirituall charge, that ageynste this cōmaundement offende all they, which do kylle, mayme, or hurte any man, without iuste order of the lawe, or gyueth counsayle, ayde, fauoure, prouocation, or consent thervnto.

Item that all they, whiche may, yf they wol, by theyr au­ctoritie, or lawfull meanes delyuer a man from wrongefull deathe, mutilation, hurte, or iniurie, and woll not doo it, but woll wynke therat, and dissimule it: be transgressours of this commaundement.

Item that all iudges, whiche seing no sufficient matter or cause of deathe, or that vpon a lyght tryall, without suffici­ent examination, and dyscussyon gyueth sentence of deathe. or that, whan the mater and cause of deathe is sufficient, and the triall good, yet delyteth in the deathe of the persone: be transgressours of this commaundement.

And lyke wyse be al those, whiche in the causes of lyfe and deathe, beynge empanelled vpon Enquestes, doo lyghtly con­dempne, or endicte any person, without sufficient euidence, examination, and discussyon, of the informations gyuen vn­to them. And more ouer all those, whiche eyther in suche cau­ses do gyue false euydence, or information, or wyttyngely contrary to theyr owne conscience: or doubtynge of the trouth of those informations, or without sufficient examination, do promote, enforce, or maynteyne suche euydences, enformati­ons [Page] or inditementes: do also breke this commaundement.

And lyke wyse do all they, whiche wyllyngly do kyl them selfe for any maner of cause. for so to doo there canne be no pretence of laufull cause, ne of iuste ordre. And therfore he that so doth: kylleth at ones both body and soule.

And fynally al they, whiche be in hatrede and malice with theyr neyghbours, and eyther speake wordes of contempte, despyte, checkyng, cursynge, and suche other, or els publysshe their neyghbours offences, to theyr sclaunder, rather than to their amendemente. and generally all they that lyue in ire, malyce, enuy, and murmurynge at other mennes welthe, or reioysyng at other mens trouble or hurte, or suche other lyke: they offende all ageinst this precepte.

¶The declaration of the seuenth commaundement.

AS touchynge the seuenth commaundement we thinke it conueniente, that all bysshoppes and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spi­rytuall charge, Fyrste that this worde Adulterie, dothe in this commaundement signifie, not onely the vnlaufull commix­tion of a maried man, with any other woman, than his own wyfe, or els of a maried woman with any other manne, than her owne husbande: but also all maner of vnlaufull copu­lation betwene man and woman, maried or vnmaried, and all maner of vnlaufull vse of those partes, whiche be ordey­ned for generation, whither it be by adulterie, fornication, in­ceste, or any other meane, although it be in laufull matrimo­nie. For in laufull Matrimonie a man maye cōmytte adulte­rye, and lyue vnchaste euen with his owne wyfe: yf they doo vnmesurably serue theyr flesshely appetite and luste. and of suche the dyuell hath power,Thobi. vi as the Angel Raphael sayd vn­to Thobie, They that marie in suche wise, that they exclude god out of theyr myndes, and gyue them selues to their owne carnall lustes, as it were a horse or a mule, whiche haue noo [Page 71] reason: vpon suche persons the dyuell hath power.

Item that all christen people ought hyghly to regarde the obseruation of this commaundement, consyderynge howe moche god is displeased, and what vengeaunce he hath al­wayes taken, and euer woll take for the transgression of the same. For confirmation wherof, we thynke it conueniente, that all bysshops and preachers shall instruct and teache the people cōmytted vnto theyr spyrituall charge, Fyrste, howe that god in the tyme of Moyses lawe cōmaunded, that who so euer commytted adulterie, shulde be stoned to deathe.

Item howe Hemor kynge of Sichem,He. xxxiiii and Sichem his sonne, with all the men of the Citie were slayne, and theyr wyues and chyldren were taken captiue, and all theyr goo­des within the Citie were robbed and spoyled: bycause the sayde Sichem laye with Dina the doughter of Iacob, and defyled her.

¶Item howe that almyghtye god, after the chyldren of Is­rael hadde commytted adulterie with the women of Moab and Madian, commaunded fyrste,Nu. xxv. that the heedes and ru­lers of the people shulde be hanged, for that they suffred the people so to offende god. And afterwarde commaunded al­so euery man to slee his neyghbour, that hadde soo offended. In so moche that there was slayne of that people the nom­bre of .xiiii. thousande. And many moshulde haue ben slayn: had not Phinees the sonne of Eleazar, the high priest, tour­ned the indignation of god from the chyldren of Israell. For this Phinees whan he sawe Zamry chyefe of the tribe of Si­meon in the presence of Moyses, and all the people go vnto Cozby a troble mans doughter of the Madianites, to com­mytte fornication with her: he arose from among all the mul­titude, and takynge a swerde in his hande, wente into the howse, where they were, and thruste them bothe throughe the bealyes. Whose feruent mynde and zeale god dyd so moche allowe, that he dyd therfore bothe ceasse from further puny­shement of the Israelites, and also graunted to Phinees, [Page] and his succession for euer, the dignitie of the hyghe pryeste.

Iudi. x.Item howe the tribe and stocke of Beniamyn was so pu­nysshed for the mayntenaunce of certayne persons of the Ci­tie of Gabaa (whiche had, contrary to this cōmaundement, shamefully abused a certayne mans wyfe) that of .xxv. thou­sande and seuen hundreth men of armes, there remayned on lyue but syxe hundreth.

Gene. xix.Item howe almyghtye god for the transgressyon of this commandement, caused brymstone and fyre to rayne downe frome heuen vpon all the countrey of Sodom and Gomor: and so dystroyed the hole regyon bothe men and beastes, and all that grewe vpon the erthe, reseruynge onely Loth, and his .iii. doughters. These terryble examples, and many other lyke, almyghty god dyd shewe in tymes paste: to the intente we shulde haue theym in our contynuall remembraunce, and soo shulde euer stande in awe and feare to offende god. For thoughe he doo not soo presentely punysshe vs here in this worlde, as he dyd the persones before rehersed: yet his longe patience, and forbearynge, is no allowance or forgyuenes of our offences, yf we contynue styll in them, but a sore accu­mulation, and heapyng together of goddes wrathe and in­dygnation ageynste the daye of iugement. At whiche tyme, in stede of this temporall peyne,Rom. ii. we shall receyue euerlastyng peyne: beynge as sayncte Poule saythe, excluded frome the euerlastynge kyngedome of heuen. and as Christe saythe in the gospell,Mat. xxii et .xxv. et Luc. xiii. and saynct Iohn̄ in the Apocalips, We shall be caste in to the brennyng lake of hel, where is fyre, brymstone, wepynge, waylynge, and gnastynge of tethe without ende.

¶ Seconde we thynke it conuenyent, that all bysshoppes and preachers, shall instructe and teache the people, com­mytted vnto theyr spirituall charge, howe that in this com­maundement, not onely the vyces before rehersed, be forbyd­den and prohibited: but also the vertues contrary to them be required and commaunded, That is to saye, fydelytie, and true kepynge of wedlocke, in theym that be maryed, conty­nence [Page 72] in them, that be vnmaried, and generally in al parsons shamefastnes, and chastenes, not onely of dedes, but of wor­des and maners, countenaunce & thoughtes. And more ouer fastynge, temperaunce, watchynge, laboure, and all laufull thynges that conduce and helpe to chastitie. And that ther­fore agaynste this commaundemente offende all they, whiche do take any syngle woman, or other mannes wyfe.Math. v. or that in theyr hartes do couete and desyre for to haue them. For as Christe sayth, who soo euer eyeth a womman, wysshynge to haue her: hathe all redye commytted adulterye with her in his harte.

¶They also offende this commaundement, that take in ma­riage,Leu. xviii et. xx. or out of mariage any of theyr owne kynred or affini­tie, within the degrees forbydden by the lawes of god.

¶They also offende agaynste this commaundemente, whi­che abuse theym selfes, or any other persones, agaynste na­ture. or abuse theyr wyues in the tyme of theyr menstruall purgation.

They also that do nourissh, styre vp, and prouoke them sel­ues, or any other to carnall lustes and pleasures of the bo­dy, by vnclenly and wanton wordes, tales, songes, syghtes, touchynges, gaye and wanton apparayle, and lasciuiouse deckynge of theym selfes, or any suche other wanton beha­uiour and entisement. And also all those, which procure any suche acte, or that mynyster house, lycence, or place thereto. And all counsaylours, helpers and consenters to the same: doo greuousely offende god, and doo transgresse this com­maundement.

¶Lykewise al they that auoyde not the causes hereof, so mo­che as they conueniently maye, as surfettyng, slouth, idelnes, immoderate slepe, and company of suche (both men and wo­men) as be vnchaste and euyll dysposed: be gyltie of the trans­gression of this commaundement.

¶The declaration of the eyght commaundement.

AS touchynge the eyght commaundement, we thynke it conuenyent, that all bysshops and preachers shall in­structe and teache the people, cōmytted vnto theyr spirituall charge, Fyrste, that vnder the name of Thefte or stealynge in this cōmaūdement is vnderstanded all maner of vnlauful takynge awaye, occupienge, or kepynge of an other mannes goodes, whether it be by force, extorcion, oppression, briberie, vserie, simonie, vnlauful cheuesaunce, or els by fals byenge & sellynge, eyther by false weyghtes, or by false measure, or by sellynge of a worse thyng for a better, or a thynge coūterfaite for a trewe, as gylte coper, for trewe golde, or glasse for pre­cious stones, and generally all maner of fraude or deceyte.

¶ Item that lyke as the vices before rehersed be by this pre­cepte forbydden, euen soo, sondry vertues, contrarye to the sayde vices be by the same commaunded. as to deale truely and playnely with our neyghbours in all thynges. to gette our owne goodes truely. to spende them lyberally vpon them that haue nede. to fede the hungery. to gyue drynke to the thir­stie, to clothe the naked. to harborowe the harborlesse. to com­forte the sycke. to visite the prisoners. and fynally to helpe our neigbours with our lernyng, good counceyll, and exhortati­on, and by all other good meanes that we can.

¶Seconde we thynke it conuenient, that all bysshoppes and preachers, shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto their spirituall charge, that ageynst this cōmaundement offende all they, whiche by crafte, or by violence, vpon see or lande spoyle, robbe, or take away any other mannes seruaūt, or chylde, lande, or inheritaunce, horse, shepe, or catal, fysshe, foule, conyes, ordere, money, iewels, apparayle, or any other thynge, whiche is not his owne.

And lykewise offende they ageynste this commaundement, whiche haue goodes gyuen to an vse, and put them not to the [Page 73] same vse: but kepe them to theyr owne aduantage. As mai­sters of hospitalles, and fals executours, whiche conuert the goodes gyuen to the sustentation of the poore folkes, and other good and charitable vses, vnto theyr owne profite.

Item that all they, whiche receyue rent or stipende for any office spirituall or temporall, and yet do not theyr office be­longynge therunto: be theues, and transgressours of this commaundement.

Item that all they, whiche take wages or fee, pretendynge to deserue it, and yet do not in dede. as labourers and hyred seruauntes, whiche loyter and do not applye theyr busynes. and lykewyse aduocates, proctours, atturneis, councellours, in any of the lawes, whiche somtime for litel peyne take mo­che stipende, or in theyr defaute and neglygence marre good causes, or do any thynge to the hynderance of spedye iustice, for theyr owne aduantage: do transgresse this cōmandment.

Item that all they transgresse this commaundement, whi­che bye any stolen goodes, knowynge that they be stolen. or that bye thynges of them, that haue no auctoritie to selle theym, or alyenate them, yf they knowe the same. And lyke wyse do they, that fynde thynges loste, and knowynge the owner therof, woll not restore them, or woll not do theyr dy­lygence to knowe the owner.

They also, whiche defraude theyr hyred seruauntes of theyr due wages. and they that borow any thinge, or receyue any thynge delyuered vnto them vpon truste: and woll not re­store the same agayne. and they that vse false weyghtes or measures, or deceitefull wares, or selle theyr owne wares at vnreasonable price, farre aboue the iuste valour. and they that engrosse and bye vp any kynde of wares hole into theyr owne handes: to the intente that they maye make a scarsenes therof in other mens handes, & sell it agayn as they lyste. and generally al couetouse men & brybers: whiche by any meanes vnlaufully gette, or vnmercifully kepe from them that haue nede: be transgressours and breakers of this commandement.

¶The declaration of the nynthe commaundement.

AS concernyng the nynthe cōmaundement, we thynke it conuenyent, that all bysshoppes and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spiri­tuall charge, Fyrste that by this commaundement is forbyd­den all maner of lyinge, sclaunderynge, bacbytynge, false reportynge, false accusynge, yuell councellynge, and all maner of mysusyng of our tongue, to the hurte of our neygh­bours, whether it be in theyr body and goodes, or in theyr good name and fame.Iaco. iii. The apostle saynct Iames lykeneth the tongue of a man vnto a bytte in a horse mouthe, whiche turneth the hole horse euery waye, as pleaseth hym, that syt­teth on the horse backe. And he compareth it also vnto the helme of a shyppe: wherby all the hole shyppe is ruled at the pleasure of hym, that gouerneth the helme. And thyrdely he compareth it vnto a sparcle of fyre, whiche (yf it be suffred) woll burne vp a hole towne or citie. And surely al these com­parysons be veray apte & mete. For the tongue of a man (no doubte) is the chiefe staye of all the hole body, eyther to doo moche good, or elles to doo moche hurte. The voyce of the tongue perceth the hartes of the herers, and causeth theym to conceyue of other menne good or yuell opynyon. it kend­leth or quencheth contention. it dysposeth men to warre or peace. and moueth the herers sondry wayes to goodnes, or vyce. And lyke as the great ragyous flames, that go frome howse to howse, come but of one sparkle, whiche in the be­gynnyng myght haue ben easyly quenched, but by negligēce and sufferaunce encreaseth and waxeth so great, that no mā can resyst it. And lyke as fyre is a great commoditie many wayes (yf it be well and wysely vsed) and contrary an vtter destruction, yf it be suffered, and no hede taken therunto: Euen soo of a mannes tongue (althoughe it be but a veray smal membre of the body) yet there commeth excedyng great benefite, bothe to hym selfe and others, if it be wel and wyse­ly [Page 74] gouerned. And contrary wyse, yf no hede be taken therunto, but be suffered to runne at large: thanne it is not one syngle yuell alone, but a rote and occasyon, or rather an heapynge together of all yuelles. And bycause that of the tongue com­meth so moche good, or so moche yuell: therfore by this com­maundement is not onely forbyd all yuell vse of the tongue, to the hurte of our neyghbours: but also in the same is com­maunded all the good vse of the tongue, to the benefite of our sayde neyghbours. As to be true and playne in our wordes. to be faythfull in couenauntes, bargaynes, and promyses. to testifie the trouthe in all courtes, iugementes, and other places. to reporte well of them that be absent. to vse gentyll wordes to them that be presente. to gyue good councell and exhortation to all goodnes. to dysswade frome all yuell. and whan we knowe any man to do amysse, not to publisshe his faulte to other men, to his hynderaunce and sclaunder: but rather to admonysshe hym pryuely betwene hym and vs, and to seke his reformation. to speke well by our ennemyes. to pacifie and set at one them that be ennemyes. to excuse them, and to answere for them, that be vniustly sclaundered. And generally in all other thynges, to vse our tonges in trouthe to the welthe of our neyghbours.

¶Seconde we thynke it conuenyent, that all bysshoppes and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, commyt­ted vnto theyr spirituall charge, that ageynst this commaun­dement offende all they, whiche by lyinge, and vtterynge of false speche deceyue and hurte any man. and suche lyers be the dyuels chyldren. For as saynct Iohn̄ sayth in his gospell,Ioā. viii. The dyuel is a lyer, and the father of lyers. And therfore bid­deth saynct Paule, that we shuld put away lying,Ephe. iiii and speke trouthe euery man to his neyghbour.

Item that al they offend ageynst this cōmaūdement, which be detracters, backbyters, & sclaunderers,Eccle. x. whom the wise mā doth lyken vnto serpentes, that priuely byte or stinge men be­hynde, whan they be not aware thereof. And surely suche [Page] men (what so euer they pretende) go not aboute to heale and amende theym, that do amysse: but rather to satysfye theyr owne malyce and sclaunderous tongues. For lyke as the sur­gion, that woll heale a wounde, dothe couer it and bynde it, that it take no open ayre: so yf we intende the amendment of our neighbours faulte, we muste not open it abrode to his hurte, but we must be sorie, and pray to god for hym, and soo takynge hym vnto vs, we muste pryuely counsayle and ex­horte hym. And no doubte, this louyng correction woll make hym beware, and take hede that he offende no more. But yf we tell his defautes fyrste to one, and after to an nother, and charge euery one to kepe counceyll, as though we had tolde it to no mo: this is no amendement of his faulte, but a decla­ration of our owne, and a reprehension of our selfes, in that we vttre forthe vnto other that thynge, whiche we our selues iudge not to be vttered. And surely we condempne our selfes therin. For we shulde fyrste haue kepte it secrete our selues, if we wolde that an other man shulde not vttre the same. And therfore the wyse man saythe,Eccle. xix If thou haste herde anye thynge agaynst thy neyghbour: let it dye within the, and be sure it woll not burste the. And agaynst backebiters speketh the prophete Dauid,Psal. C. who so euer priuely sclaundereth his neyghbour, hym woll I destroye.

And they also offende this cōmaundement, whiche gladly gyue eares, & be redy to here suche backbyters. For as saynte Bernarde saythe, Lyke as the backbiter carieth the dyuell in his mouthe: so the herer caryeth the dyuell in his eare. For the detractour is not glad to tell,Pro. xxv. but to hym, that is glad to here. And the wyse man saythe, That lyke as the wynde dri­ueth away the rayne, euen so doth as harde, and a dysplesant countenaunce dryue awaye the tongue of the backebyters, and maketh them abasshed.

They also breake this cōmaundement, whiche with flate­rynge and double tongues, go aboute to please suche as be gladde to here complayntes.

Iudges also, whiche gyue sentence contrary to that, whi­che they knowe to be true. and they that in iudgemente doo hyde and suppresse the trouthe. and they that make any false plees, to the delaye and hynderaunce of iustyce, or any other wyse do stoppe iustice. and inquestes, whiche vppon lyghte groundes, or vpon groūdes not well examyned, or dyscussed, gyue verdycte: be transgressours and breakers of this com­maundement.

¶And aboue other they do transgresse this cōmaundement, whiche in preachynge, or other wyse do teache or maynteyne any false or erronious doctrine, contrarye to the worde of god. or that do teache fables, or mens fantasies, and imagy­nations: affirmynge them to be the word of god. For suche be not false witnes of worldly matiers: but false witnes of god.

¶The declaration of the tenthe commaundement.

AS concernynge the tenthe commaundemente, we thinke it conuenient, that al bishops and prechers shal instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto their spi­rituall charge, Fyrst that where as in thother cōmaundementes before rehersed, be forbydden all wordes, dedes, and coun­ceyll, whiche be agaynst goddis pleasure, and the loue of our neyghbours: In this laste precepte be forbydden the inwarde affections of our hertes. For in this laste precepte is forbydde al inwarde motion, desire, delite, inclination, and affection vnto euyll. Whiche thynges be so roted & planted in all vs the chyldren of Adam, euen from the fyrste houre of our byrthe, that althoughe by the inspiration of the holy gooste, and the grace of god, gyuen vnto vs, we do entende neuer soo well, and wolde moste gladly eschewe al euyll: yet there remayneth in vs a disposition, and redynes vnto suche thynges, as be contrarie to the wil and cōmaundement of god. In so moche that yf the grace of god dyd not helpe vs, to staye and resyste our owne noughtynes, and delyte vnto synne: the same our [Page] concupiscence and naughtynes shulde be soo moche, that we shulde runne hedlynge in to all myschyefe, and that at euery lyght occasyon. our nature is so corrupte, and we be so farre from the perfyte obedience vnto goddes wyll, whiche we had in the state of innocency, and yet styll ought to haue. And of this corruption of our nature and redynes vnto yuell com­plaineth saint Paule in his epistle vnto the Romains,Rom. vii where he declareth at lengthe, that the nature of man is soo full of concupiscence, and yuell affections: that no man dothe or can of hym selfe satisfie, or fulfyll the lawe of god. And that the lawe condemneth all men, as transgressours. And that ther­fore euery man for his saluatyon, must haue refuge vnto the grace & mercy of god, obteyned by our sauyour Iesu Christe. I knowe (sayth saynct Paule) that in me, that is to saye, in my flesshe dwelleth no goodnes. For I haue a good wyl, but I fynde not howe to performe it. For I doo not that good thyng, whiche I wolde: but I do that yuell, whiche I wolde not. And yf I do that I wolde not: then it is not I that doo it, but synne that dwelleth in me. Thus fynde I by the lawe that whan I wolde do good, yuell is present with me. for I delyte in the lawe of god, as concernynge myne inwarde mā: but I see an other lawe in the partis of my body, whiche re­belleth contynually ageynst the lawe of my mynde, and sub­dueth me vnto the lawe of synne, whiche is in the partes of my body. O wretched man that I am: who shall delyuer me from this body of death? The grace of god by Iesu Christe.

By these wordes of saynct Paule it appereth, what concu­piscence, corruption, and yuell resteth contynually in the na­ture of man. by reason wherof thoughe he be neuer soo well mynded, yet he is stayed, letted, and hyndered frome the per­fyte accomplysshement of goddes wyl and cōmaundementes.

¶ Seconde we thynke it conuenyente, that all bysshoppes and preachers, shall instructe and teache the people, commyt­ted vnto theyr spirituall charge, that notwithstandynge that this corruption and concupiscence be damnable in all them, [Page 76] that be not baptysed, although they neuer commytte any ac­tuall offence: yet vnto vs that be renued by baptysme in the ryght fayth of Chryste, it is neyther dampnable, nor yet cul­pable, yf we by the spirite and grace of god endeuoure and apply our selues to withstande and resyst it, and do not gyue our selues to lyue after the motions and desyres therof. And therfore saynct Paule (vppon the wordes before reherced) in­ferreth and sayth.Ro. viii. That there is no dampnation nowe vnto them that be in Christ Iesu, which walke not after the fleshe, but after the spirite. And anon after he sayth, If you lyue af­ter the flesshe, you shall dye, but yf by the spirite you mortifie the dedes of the body, you shall lyue.

¶Thyrdly we thynke it conueniente, that all bysshoppes and preachers, shall instructe and teache the people, commyt­ted vnto theyr spirituall charge, that lyke as in the fyfthe cō ­maundement vnder the name of father and mother, is vn­derstande all superiours, And in the syxte commaundement vnder the name of kyllynge, is vnderstande all wrathe and reuengynge, And in the seuenth commaundement vnder the name of adulterie is vnderstande all vnchaste lyuynge, And in the .viii. commaundement vnder the name of thefte is vn­derstande all deceytfull dealynge with our neyghbours, And in the .ix. commaundement vnder the name of false wytnes, is vnderstande all mysvse of the tongue: Soo in this laste commaundement vnder the name of desyrynge of an other mannes wyfe and goodes, is vnderstande all maner of yuell and vnlawful desyre of any thynge. And lyke as in this pre­cepte is forbydde all yuell desyres: Euen soo in the same be cōmaunded all good desyres, good affections, good inclina­tions to godly thynges, and the perfyte obedience of our har­tes vnto goddis wyll. Whiche all though we shall not fully and absolutely atteyne vnto, whyle we be in this lyf: yet this commaundement doth bynde vs to enforce and endeuour our selues therunto by contynuall resystynge and fyghtynge a­geynst the sayd corruption, concupiscence, and euyll desyres. [Page] Forasmoche as they be the veray roote, and springe, frome whense dothe flowe and growe all yuell dedes and viciouse lyuynge.Mat. xv. as Christ sayth in the gospell, From the harte sprin­geth all yuelle thoughtes, murder, adulterie, fornication, thefte, false wytnesse, blasphemie. And the same is shewed dayely by experience. For whan a manne desyreth an other mans goodes, yf he can not haue them: than he falleth into enuy, and grutcheth agaynst them, that haue suche goodes, and desyreth euyll towardes them, and is gladde whan they haue losse or hurte. All whiche yuell affections procede of the sayde vnlaufull desyre.i. Tim. vi For as saynct Paule sayth, Su­che as be not content, but desyre to be riche, they fall into di­uers temptations and snares of the diuelle, and in to many noysom and vnprofitable wisshes and desyres, whiche drow­neth men into perdicion and destruction. For the rote of all euyll is Cupidite or vnlaufull desire of goodes in this world. And suche persones as haue moche folowed this couetous­nes, haue erred from the fayth, and wrapped theym selfes in many pangues and sorowes.

Fourthely we thynke it conuenient, that all bysshoppes and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, commit­ted vnto theyr spirituall charge, that all maner of men be in suche wyse culpable of the transgression of this commande­ment, that no man can iustifie hym selfe in the syght of god. For god loketh through euery mans hart, and fyndeth there in moche corruption and concupiscence, althoughe in some more, some lesse, accordynge as they haue more or lesse morti­fied theyr sayde flesshely and worldely concupiscence. And yf there were no more commandementes of god but this one: yet is there no man in this worlde, but (yf he diligently en­serche his owne harte, and conferre it with this commande­ment) he shall anone perceyue, that he is many wayes culpa­ble and guyltie before god, by transgressyon of this comman­dement, yf god shulde entre into strayte iugement with hym, and deale with hym accordinge to iustice without mercye.

But amonge all other, they chiefely be transgressours of this commaundement: whiche by deliberation and full con­sent, caste theyr myndes and studies to accomplysshe the con­cupiscence and desyre, whiche they haue to obteyne and gette an other mans wyfe, childe, seruaunt, house, lande, corne, ca­tall, or any thynge, or goodes that be his.

And they also be transgressours of this commaundement, whiche by enuy be sory of theyr neighbours welth and pros­peretie: or be gladde of theyr sorowe, hynderaunce, or aduersi­tie. and also all they, whiche do not sette theyr myndes and studies, to preserue, maynteyn, and defende vnto theyr neigh­bours (as moche as lieth in them) their wyues, chyldren, ser­uauntes, howses, landes, goodes, and all that is theyrs. For (as before is declared) this commaundement not only forbyd­deth vs to desyre from our neyghbour any thynge, whiche is his: but by the same we be also commaunded, gladdely to wysshe and woll vnto hym, that he may quietely possesse and enioy all that god hath sent hym, be it neuer so great habun­daunce. And this mynde we ought to beare vnto euery man by this commaundement, not onely yf they be our frendes & louers, but also yf they be our ennemies and aduersaries.

¶Here folowe certayne notes necessarie to be lerned for the better vnderstandynge of the tenne commaundementes.

FYrste it is to be noted,Exod. xix &. xx. howe that oure lorde not onely deliuered vnto Moyses, when he was in the mounte of Sina, two tables of stone, wherin these tenne commaundementes were writen with goddis owne fynger, and not by Moises, ne any other creature: but al­so howe in the same place, and at the same tyme, god threte­ned to punisshe all them greuously, and extremely, yea to the thirde and fourthe generation, whiche shulde transgresse any [Page] of the sayd commaundementes and contrarie, howe he promysed to shewe mercye, and to gyue lyfe euerlastynge to all them, that shulde obserue and kepe the same. Whiche thynge was afterwarde confyrmed by our sauiour Christ.Luc. xviii For when a certayne great man asked hym, what he shulde do to come vnto the lyfe euerlastynge, Christ answered hym and sayd, If thou wolte come vnto the kyngedome of heuen, kepe the commaundementes.

¶Seconde it is to be noted, that all the workes of mercy, & all good thynges, whiche we be bounde to do, and lykewyse all synnes, whiche we be bounde to eschewe and leue vndone: be sufficiently conteyned and comprised in these two tables. For where as our hole offyce and duetie, as well to god as to our neyghboure, standeth in harte, worde, and dede, The fyrst foure precepts, whiche be the preceptes of the fyrst table, con­teyne our sayd hole duetie towardes god. The syxe other pre­ceptes, whiche be preceptes of the seconde table, conteyne oure hole duetie towardes our neyghbour. For the fyrst commaun­dement chiefely sheweth, howe we ought to ordre oure selfe vnto god in our hartes, by pure fayth, hope, loue, and drede. The seconde and fourth sheweth, howe we ought to ordre our selfes vnto hym in our outwarde actes and dedes. The thyrde sheweth, howe we ought to ordre our selfes vnto hym in oure tongue and wordes. And likewise the .v. the .vi. the .vii. & .viii. do shewe, howe we shulde ordre our outwarde actes & dedes vnto our neighbours. The .ix. howe we shulde ordre our wor­des and tongues vnto them. And the .x. howe we shulde be to­wardes them in harte and mynde.

¶Thyrdely it is to be noted, That for as moche as out of a good harte, endewed and replenysshed with the loue of god and our neyghboure, spryngeth forthe all good wordes and workes: And out of an yuell harte, voyde of the loue and drede of god, and replenysshed with hate and malyce towar­des our neyghbour, spryngeth forth all yuell wordes & wor­kes. accordynge to the sayinge of our sauyoure in the gospell, [Page 78] where he sayth, That a good man out of the good treasoure of his harte bryngeth forthe all those thynges that be good:Mat. xi and an yuell man out of the yuell treasure of his harte bryn­geth forthe those thynges that be yuell. Therfore oure sauy­our Christ reduceth all these tenne commaundementes vnto two commaundementes, belongynge to the hatte, that is to saye to the loue of god, and our neyghboure.Mat. xxii For where as the pharisees came vnto Christ, and sayde, Mayster, whiche is the greatest commaundement of the lawe, oure sauyoure answered them, and sayde, The chiefe and the greatest com­maundement is, that thou shalte loue thy lorde god, with all thy harte, with al thy soule, and with al thy mynde. And the seconde, lyke to this, is, that thou shalte loue thy neyghboure euen as thy selfe. And in these two commaundementes stan­deth and consysteth all the hole lawe and the prophetes.

These be the wordes of Christe, wherin it is further to be noted, that to loue our lorde god with all our harte, soule, and mynde, is to sette all our hole mynde and thought, to knowe hym, to honour hym to please hym, and to loue hym vnsay­nedly aboue al other thynges in the worlde. For he is a ie­lous god, and wol not be content, onles we yelde vnto hym, our hole harte and loue. And yf we shall set or fyxe ony parte of our harte or loue vpon the worlde, or the flesshe: no doubte god woll not be parttaker of oure loue. For he requyreth the hole loue of our hartes, and that we shall loue nothynge but hym or for hym, and that so hartely, that (yf case requyre) we shall not refuse to suffre any bodyly punysshemente, nor yet deathe for his sake. And this loue towardes hym we doo de­clare: when we set our myndes to obserue & fulfyll his com­maundementes. For as Christe sayth in the gospell,Ion̄. xiiii. He that hath my commaundementes, and kepeth them, it is he that loueth me. And contrarye, the loue and charitie of god and our neyghboure (as sayncte Paule sayth) is the fulfyllynge of all the hole lawe.Rom. xiii For no doubte yf we loue god aboue all thynges: thanne we loue hym more than oure selfes. And yf [Page] we loue hym more than our selfe: than woll we folowe in all thinges his wyll, and not our owne. And in lyke maner, yf we loue god aboue all thinges: than do we loue hym aboue our neighbour, and so we woll for nothinge fulfyll the wylle of our neighbour agaynste his wyll. and as the loue of god aboue all thynges shulde so kepe, directe, and guyde vs, that for no loue or pleasure to our selfe, or to our neyghbour, we shulde wyllyngely transgresse the leaste parte of any of the tenne cōmaundementes: In lyke wyse the hartie and feruent loue, that we shulde beare to our neighbour, as to our selfes, shulde preserue and kepe vs, that we shulde not kylle hym, nor committe adultery with his wyfe, nor steale his goodes, nor beare false wytnes agaynst hym, nor by any meanes do, speke. or wyshe any maner of yuell vnto hym, but we shulde with harte, tongue, and handes, wyshe, speake, and worke all goodnes towardes hym, as sayncte Paule sayth, He that loueth his neyghbour,Rom. xiii. hath fulfylled the lawe. For these commaundementes, Thou shalte not commytte adulterye, Thou shalte not kyll, Thou shalt not steale, Thou shalte not beare false wytnes, Thou shalte not desyre, and suche o­ther commaundementes be all comprysed in this sayinge, Thou shalt loue thy neyghbour as thy selfe. Mat. xxii For if we loue oure neighbour as our self: thā must we vse our self towardꝭ hym' as we wold that he shuld vse hym selfe towardes vs. that is to saye, we must do for hym, as we of reason wyl, and desyre that he shuld do for vs, & desire and wyshe towardes hym, as we of reason wold that he shuld desyre & wishe towardes vs. This is the lawe of nature, this is the law of the gospel. And therfore let vs kepe these two cōmaundementes: and than we shall kepe the hole lawe. for as saynct Paule sayth, The ful­fyllynge of the lawe is loue and charitie.

¶Fourthly it is to be noted, that there be thre consydera­tions, for the whiche all true christen men oughte to employ theyr labour and diligence to knowe these tenne commaunde­mentes. The fyrste consideration is, for that in these com­maūdemētes [Page 79] god hath sufficiētly declared vnto vs his wyl & plesure, aswel what he wold haue vs to do, as what he wolde haue vs not to do. The seconde consideration is, for that we may know hereby our infirmitie, sinne, and damnation. For whan we loke ernestely vppon these commaundementes of god, and consider what thyngis god requireth of vs in them: we shall se our selues as in a myrrour or glasse, & shall easely perceyue, howe far we be from the true & perfyt obseruyng of the same cōmaundementes. & so we shall perceyue our owne defautes, our owne myserie, noughtynes,Roma. iii. & our owne dam­nable estate, as saynt Paule sayth, By the lawe of the com­maundementes we may knowe our synnes. The thyrde con­sideration is, for that by these cōmandementes, we may also attayne the knowledge of goddis mercye. For whan we per­ceyue, that of our selfes we haue no strenght, goodnes, or liefe eternall, but weakenes, syynne, and euerlastinge death: than we maye euidently se, howe moche nede we haue of the mercy of god, and to haue a sauiour and redemer to paye a raun­some for our synnes and to delyuer vs from euerlastynge ca­ptiuitie, damnation, and deathe, due vnto vs for the same. And therfore saynt Paule sayth, The lawe was our schoole mayster, conductour, and leader vnto Christ,Gala. iii. that we myght be iustified by faythe, that is to saye, by goodis mercy, whi­che Christ obteyned for vs.

¶Fiftely it is to be noted, that althoughe these lawes and commaundementes of god, teache vs, what is good, and what we shulde do to please god: yet they gyue not vnto vs strength and power to do the same: but all suche strength co­meth of god, by his singuler grace, and gyft. And therfore as almyghty god taught vs by his prophete Moyses, what we shulde do: so he taught vs by his sonne Iesu Christe, what we shulde aske. For as these tenne commaundementes doo teache vs, what is goddis wyl, so the Pater noster teacheth vs, that we shulde dayly and continually praye to the father of heuen, that it may please hym, to gyue vs his helpe & grace, [Page] to do all his wyll, that is to saye, to do all that is good, and eschewe that is yuell. For surely god commaundeth vs thin­ges, whiche we, of our selfes can not do: bycause we myght lerne, what of hym we shulde aske. And therfore after the declaration of these tenne commaundementes in maner as is before expressed, we shall descende nowe vnto the declaration of the Pater noster.

¶Here foloweth the fourth parte of this Treatise conteynynge the exposition of the Pater noster, and the Aue Maria.

¶The Pater noster deuyded into seuen petitions.
  • 1 OVr father that arte in heuen, thy name be halowed.
  • 2 Thy kyngedome come vnto vs.
  • 3 Thy wyll be done and fulfilled in erth, as it is in heuen.
  • 4 Gyue vs, this daye our dayly brede.
  • 5 And forgyue vs oure trespasses as we forgyue theym that trespasse agaynst vs.
  • 6 And leade vs not in to temptation.
  • 7 But delyuer vs from the euyll. Amen.

¶The sense and interpretation of the fyrst Petition.

O God Almyghty oure moste dere heuenly father, whi­che of thyne infinite beneuolence, and onely mercy hast taught, and commaunded vs, by thy onely and dere belo­ued sonne Iesu Christe, to beleue constantely: that for his sake, thou haste admytted vs into the nombre of thy chyl­dren, and made vs the veray inherytours of thy kyngedome, (where as in dede thou myghtest, of iustyce and good ryght, haue vtterly renounced and refused vs for thy chyldren, and haue ben a strayt and a greuous Iudge agaynst vs synners, [Page 80] for as moche as we haue so ofte, and so abhomynably offen­ded, and transgressed thy godly and most holy wyll, and haue gyuen the soo iuste occasyon of dyspleasure ageynste vs) Lo here we nowe thy chyldren, hauynge conceyued in our hartes ferme and stedfaste truste of thy fatherly loue towardes vs, and lamentynge in our hartes to see, howe many wayes thy godly name is dyshonoured and blasphemed here in this vale of myserie. We moost humbly, and euen frome the rote, and botome of oure hartes beseche and praye the, that thy name maye be halowed, honoured, praysed, and glorified, amonge vs here in this worlde. Make (we beseche the) that al wytche­craftes, and false charmes, may be vtterly abolisshe amonge vs. Cause all coniurations, by the whiche Satan, or other creatures be enchaunted to cesse by thy blessed name. Make that all false fayth, by the whiche men eyther mystrust the, or put theyr confydence in any other thynge than in the: may be destroyed. Make that all heresies and false doctrines maye vanysshe awaye, and that thy worde may be trewely taught and set forthe vnto all the worlde and that all infidels maye receyue the same, and be conuerted vnto the ryght catholyke fayth. Make that we be not deceyued by hypocrisie, or coun­terfaytyng of trouthe, of rightuousnes, or of holynes. Make that no man swere in vayne by thy name, or abuse thy name to lye, or to deceyue his neyghboure. Kepe vs from pryde, and from the vayne ambition and desyre of worldely glorye and fame. Kepe vs frome all enuy, malyce, couetousnes, adulte­ry, gloteny, slouthe, frome backbytynge, and sclaunderynge of oure neyghbours, and frome all other yuell and wycked thoughtes, and dedes, wherby thy name maye be dyshonou­red and blasphemed. Graunt vs that in all peryls and daun­gers we may runne vnto the, as vnto our onely refuge, and calle vpon thy holy name. Graunt, that in our good wordes and workes, we may only please and magnifie the. Kepe vs frome the moost dampnable synne of vnkyndenes towardes the. Graunte, that we, whiche do alredy professe thy ryghte [Page] faythe, maye styll contynue in the same: and may declare and expresse the same, as wel in our outwarde cōuersation, as in professynge the same with our mouthe. Graunt, that by our good lyfe and our good workes all other maye be moued to good: and that by our yuell workes and synnes no man may take occasyon to sclaunder thy name, or diminisshe thy laude & prayse. kepe vs that we desyre nothynge, whiche shulde not retourne to the honour & prayse of thy name. And yf we aske any suche thynge: heare not our folysshnes. Make that our lyfe be suche, that we maye be truely founde thy chyldren in dede, and that we shall not in vayne call the our father: but that in all thynges we may study and seke for the honoure & glory of thy name.

¶For the better and more ample declaratyon of this fyrst pe­tition, we thynke it conuenyent, that al bysshoppes and prea­chers shal instructe and teache the people, cōmitted vnto theyr spirituall charge, Fyrste, that our sauyour Iesu Christ, was the auctour and maker of the Pater noster. And that therfore lyke as he was of infinite wysedome and of infinite loue & charytie towardes vs: Euen soo all chrysten men oughte to thynke and beleue, that the same prayer is the most excellent, and the moost sufficient and moost perfite of all others. And surely so it is in veray dede. For neyther there is any thyng in this prayer superfluous, neyther there wanteth any petition, suite, or request, whiche may be necessary for our iourney and passage in this worlde, or for our furtheraunce to the attay­nynge of the lyfe and glorie euerlastynge.

Psal. ix. & Psal. c. xvii. et Psal c. xxxvii. et Pro. iii. & Sa. viii. Mat. vii.

¶ Seconde, that euery good chrysten man maye be assured to attayne his requestes, made in this prayer, yf he shall en­force hym selfe, and applie his hole harte, and wyll to the wyll and grace of hym, vnto whom this prayer is made, and also yf he shall vtter and offer the sayde petitions inwardely with his harte, and with suche confidence and truste in god, as he requireth. For surely no prayer is thankefull vnto god, [Page 81] but that, whiche spryngeth frome the harte. And therfore the prophete Dauid cryeth to our lorde with all his harte. And Moyses is noted to crie out alowde, whan he spake no worde with his mouthe: but he spake alowde in his harte.Esai. xxix Mat. xv. And our lorde by his prophete noteth, that some praye with theyr lyp­pes, and in theyr harte mynde nothynge lesse than that, whi­che they praye for. And therfore who so euer entendeth by say­eng of this Pater noster, to attayn that he desyreth in the same, he muste fyrst here hym selfe, and vnderstande what he sayth, and so conioyne the worde of his mouth with the same worde in his harte, and say, as the prophete Dauid sayd,Psal. lxx. et. Cxviii The hym­nes and praysynges, whiche I shall yelde to the good lorde, shall yssue out frome the inwarde lyppes of my harte, to the lyppes of my mouthe: whan I shall synge lawdes and pray­ses vnto the.

Thyrdely, that all christen men ought to conceyue great comforte, and ioye in that they be taught and cōmaunded in this prayer, to take almyghty god for theyr father, and so to calle hym. If our soueraygne lorde the kynge wolde saye to any of vs, take me for your father, and so calle me: what ioye in harte, what comforte, what confidence, wolde we conceyue of so fauourable and gracious wordes? Moche more than incomparably haue we cause to reioyse, that the kynge and prince of al princes sheweth vnto vs this grace and goodnes, to make vs his chyldren. And surely as the naturall sonne may assuredly trust, that his father wol do for hym, al thyn­ges that may be for his settynge forthe, and auauncement: euen so we maye vndoubtedly assure our selfes, that hauyng almyghty god to our father, we shall lacke nothyng, neyther in this worlde, nor in the worlde to come, whiche may be pro­fytable and expedyent for vs towardes the euerlastyng enhe­ritaunce, whiche our heuenly father hath prepared for vs.

Fourthely, that lyke as this worde Father declareth the great beneuolence, mercy, & loue of god towardes vs: soo it admonyssheth vs agayn of our duetie towardes hym, & howe [Page] we be bounde to shewe agayn vnto him our hole harty loue, and our obedyence, and redynes to fulfyll all his preceptes, and commaundementes with al gladnes and humilitie. And therfore who soo euer presumethe to come to god with this prayer, and to call hym Father, and yet hath not full entente and purpose to vse hym selfe in all thynges lyke a kynde and an obedyente sonne: he commeth to hym as Iudas came to Christe with a kysse, pretendynge to be his frende and his seruaunt in callynge hym mayster, and yet he was in dede a traytour to hym, and a deadely ennemie. And for this consy­deration euery chrysten manne, that entendeth to make this peayer, ought inwardely and throughoutly to enserche and examyne hym selfe. And if he fynde in hym selfe any notable cryme,Luc. xv. for the whiche he maye be ashamed to call god his fa­ther, let hym accuse hym selfe therof to god, and recognyse his vnworthynes, sayinge as the prodygall sonne sayde: Fa­ther, I haue offended the, I am not worthy to be called thy sonne. And with intiere repentaunce, and with ferme pur­pose, and entente to amende his noughty lyfe, let hym lyfte vp his harte vnto his celestiall father, And let hym call for his grace of reconciliation: and then lette hym boldely saye this Pater noster.

¶Fyftly that in these wordes, Our father, is signified, that we ought to beleue, not onely that almyghty god is the com­mune father of all chrysten people, and equally and indyffe­rently regardeth the ryche and the poore, the free & the bonde, the lorde and the subiecte, but also that all christen people be Christis owne bretherne, and the verye coenheritours and compartioners with hym in the kyngedome of heuen, and fynally that al chrysten men be bretherne to gyther, and haue all one father, whiche is god almyghtye. And that therfore we ought not onely to be of one spyryte towardes our sayde father,Ephe iiii. & to employ and endeuour our selfes to the vttermoste to plese hym, and to kepe his lawes and commaundementes: but we ought also eche to consente with other in parfyte loue [Page 82] and charitie, and eche to helpe and further other towardes our sayde inheritaunce in heuen, and fynally in all our pray­ers to god eche to comprise other, and to praye for other. lyke as in this Pater noster we be taughte to say, Oure father gyue vs our breade, forgyue vs our synnes, suffre vs not to falle in temptation, and delyuer vs from yuell.

¶Sixtely by these wordes, whiche arte in heuen, we be taught that we ought to haue, not onely an inwarde desyre, and a great care and studie to come to that place, where our heuenly father is: but also an inwarde sorowe and griefe, that we be so longe kepte frome the presence of oure heuenly father, and be subiecte here vnto so manyfolde cures and thoughtes, to so many troubles and miserie, and to so many, and so greuous perylles and daungers of the worlde, of synne, and of the dyuell. For lyke as a louynge chylde is euer desyrous to be where his father is, & yf his father shall departe to any place, he woll lamente and be sorye, oneles he maye go with hym, and in his absence he woll morne, and at his retourne he woll be ioyfull: euen so ought we desyre euer to be with oure he­uenly father. And to se that oure conuersation be all with­drawen frome the worlde, the flesshe, and the dyuell, and be sette in heuen and heuenly thynges, as sayncte Paule sayth.Ephe. iiii philip. iii And we ought contynually to wayle, and lamente, bycause we be not with our heuenly father, saying with the prophete, wofull am I,Psal. cix. that my dwellynge vpon the erthe is so moche prolonged.

¶The sense and interpretation of the seconde petition.

O God almyghty, our moost mercyfull father, we thy wretched chyldren moost humbly beseche and pray the, helpe vs by thy grace, not onely that we maye attayne and come to thy kyngedome in heuen after this mortall lyfe: but also that in this present lyfe we maye be delyuered frome the kyngedome and power of the dyuell and synne. and that we [Page] may lyue vnder thy dominion and kyngdome, whiche is the kyngedome of innocency and grace. We confesse and know­lege our foly, our blyndenes, yea and our extreme vnkynd­nes towardes the our moost mercyfull father, in that we haue so wyllyngly and gladly forsaken the so myghty and so gra­cious a kynge, and haue gyuen our selfes to serue the dyuell, whiche hath euer hated vs, and lyke a moost cruell and wyc­ked tyranne hath euer vexed and troubled vs, nor neuer goth aboute any other thyng, but to dystroy vs: where as thou our mercyfull father haste created and made vs, whan we were nothynge: haste redemed vs, whan we were damned, & haste ordeyned euerlastynge lyfe for vs, whan for oure synnes we shulde haue bene iudged to euerlastynge deathe. And therfore consyderyng nowe this our owne madnes & ingratitude, and beyng wery of this myserable thraldome, and bondage, whi­che we susteyne vnder this kyngdome of the dyuell & synne, helpe vs (we pray the) moost dere father, that we may escape from out of this most wretched thraldome & captiuite, & that we may be subiecte vnto thy kyngdome. Gyue vs before all thynges true & constant fayth in the, and in thy sonne Iesu Christ, & in the holy gost. Gyue vs pure loue & charite towar­des the & al men. Kepe vs from infidelitie, desperation, & ma­lyce, whiche myght be the cause of our destruction. delyuer vs from dissensions, couetousnes, lechery, & all yuell desyres and lustes of synne. Make the vertue of thy kyngedome soo to come, and to reygne within vs, that al our harte, mynde, and wyttes, with all our strength inwarde and outwarde, maye suffre them selfe to be ruled by the, to serue the, to obserue thy cōmaundementes and thy wyll, not them selfe, the flesshe, the worlde, or the dyuell. Make, that thy kyngedome ones in vs begonne, may be dayly encreased, and go forwarde more and more. Suffre not the subtile and secrete hate or slouth, whi­che we haue to goodnes, to rule so in vs: that it shall cause vs to loke backe agayne, and to fall in to synne. Gyue vs a sta­ble purpose and strength, not onely to begynne the lyfe of in­nocencye [Page 83] in thy kyngedome: but also to procede ernestely in it, and to performe it. Lyghten oure eien,Psal. xii. leste we slepe or be werye in good lyfe ones begonne: and soo suffre oute enne­mie, to brynge vs agayne vnder his power. Graunt, that we may contynue in goodnes: and that after this kyngedome, whiche is begonne in this lyfe, we maye come vnto thy hea­uenly kyngedome, whiche indureth euer.

¶For the better vnderstandynge of this seconde petition, we thynke it conuenyent, that all bysshoppes and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spirituall charge, that this seconde peticion is veray necessa­rie. For no doubte oure auncient ennemy the dyuell, gothe aboute contynually by all crafte and meanes to deceyue vs, and to brynge vs vnder his power and dominion. And sure­ly so longe as pryde, or dysobedience reygneth in vs, so longe as ire, enuy, wrathe, or couetousnes reygneth in vs, so longe as slouthe, glottony, lechery, or any kynde of synne reigneth in vs: soo longe we be vnder the dominion and kyngedome of the dyuell. For the dyuell (vndoubtedly) is kynge ouer all the chyldren of pryde, that is to say, ouer all them, that be syn­ners, rebelles, and disobedient vnto god. And for asmoche as it is not in our powers to delyuer our selfes from vnder this tyranny of the dyuell,Osee. xiii. but onely by goddis helpe (for our per­dicion and vndoynge is of oure selfes, but oure helpe and sal­uation is onely of god, as fayth the prophete Osee) therfore it is very necessary for all true christen people, to make this peticion incessantlye vnto our heuenly father, and to beseche hym, accordyng to this doctryne of Christe, that by his grace and helpe, we maye escape the dominion and power of the dyuell, and that we maye be made subiecte vnto his heuenly kyngdome.

¶The sense and interpretation of the thyrde petition.

FAther, graunte vs we beseche the, that lyke as thy holy Angels and saynctes in heuen, in whome thou reygnest perfytely and holy, do neuer cesse, ne shall cesse to gloryfy the, and prayse the, and to fulfyll thy wyll & pleasure in all thyn­ges, and that moost redyly and gladly, without any maner of grutchynge or resystynge therunto, knowynge certaynely and clerely, that thy wyll is alwaye beste: Euen soo we thy chyldren here on erth may dayly and contynually prayse the, by our holy conuersation in good workes, and good lyfe,i. Petr. i. and that we maye frome tyme to tyme so mortifie our owne car­nall affections and yuell desyres, and soo renounce and deny our owne corrupte and synfull appetite, and wyll, that we maye be euer redy lyke louynge chyldren, humblye, lowely, and obedyently to approue allowe and accomplysshe thy wyl in all thynges, and to submytte oure selfe with all oure harte vnto the same. And to knowlege, that what soo euer is thy wyll, the same is moost parfyte, moost iuste, moost holy, and most expedyent for the welthe and helthe of our soules. Gyue vs true and stable pacience, when our wyll is letten and bro­ken. Graunte vs, that whan any man speketh or dothe any thynge contrary to oure wyll, that therfore we be not out of pacience, neyther curse or murmure. Graunte, that we seke not vengeaunce agaynst our aduersaries, or theym, whiche let our wyll: but that we may say well of them, and do good to them. Endue vs with thy grace, that we maye gladly suf­fre all dyseases, pouertie, dyspysynges, persecutions, and ad­uersities, knowing that it is thy wyl, that we shulde crucifie, and mortifie our wyls. Make vs, that we impute not to the dyuell or yuell men, when any aduersitie chaunceth vnto vs: but that we maye attribute all to thy godly wyll, and gyue the thankes therfore, whiche doste ordeyne all suche thynges for oure weale and benefyte. Gyue vs grace, that when soo euer it shall please the to calle vs out of this transytorie lyfe, [Page 84] we maye be wyllynge to dye, and that for thy wyll, we may take our deathe gladly: so that by feare or infirmitie, we be not made dysobedient vnto the. Make, that al our membres, eyes, tongue, harte, hande, and feete, be not suffered to fo­lowe theyr desyres: but that all maye be vsed to thy wyll and pleasure. Gyue vs grace, that we malycyousely reioyse not in theyr troubles, whiche haue resysted our wyll, or haue hur­ted vs: nor that we be enuyously sory, when they prospere, & haue welfare. And fynally that we maye be contented and pleased with all thynge, that is thy wyll.

¶For the better vnderstandynge of this thyrde petition we thynke it conuenient, that all bysshoppes and preachers, shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spyry­tuall charge, howe that by the occasyon, and euer sythe the dysobedyence and synne of oure fyrste father Adam: the wyll of man hath ben so corrupted with originall synne, that we be all vtterly enclyned to dysobeye the wyll and preceptes of god, and so to loue our selfes, & our owne wylles, that with­out a specyal grace and a synguler inspiration of god, we can not hertely loue neyther god nor man, but in respecte to our selfes, as we may haue benefytte and commoditie by them.

¶ Item that we haue this corruption in our nature, and this inordynate loue of our selfes from Adam, as it were by enhe­rytaunce: and that it goethe from one to an other, from the fathers and mothers vnto the chyldren, as soone as they be conceaued within theyr mothers wombes. For as the chyl­dren take of theyr parentes theyr originall and naturall qua­lities and conditions: euen so they receyue with the same this orygynall corruption of nature, whiche commeth by original synne. And thoughe the parentes be neuer so cleane purged and pardoned of theyr originall synne, by baptysme, and by the grace and mercy of god, and be drawen vp from the loue of theyr selfes, and of these worldely thynges vnto the pure loue of god: yet neuertheles the chyldren of them be gotten, [Page] be conceaued and borne in originall synne and corruption, lo­uyng thē selfes better than god or man. lyke as corne, though it be neuer so cleane wynnowed and purged frome chaffe, yet if it be sowen, the yonge sede is full of chaffe ageyne, vntyl it be wynnowed and made clene: Euen so be the chyldren borne full of chaffe and corruption of originall synne, vntyll that by baptisme in the blode of our sauyour Iesu Christe they be wasshed and purged, as theyr parentes were.

Item that so longe as we be in this mortall lyfe, we shall neuer be soo cleane purged frome this concupiscence and this inordinate loue of our selfe, and of this worlde, and of world­ly thynges and pleasures: but some rote woll euer remayne of this corrupte wede. Whiche (yf the grace of god helpe vs not, and we also applie not al our forces to mortifie and ouercome the same) no doubte woll soo ouergrowe the hoole gardeyne of our harte, that there shall be lefte no good herbe therin, but it shalbe so ouergrowen with the loue of our selfe and of this worlde, that the loue of god and our neyghbour shall conty­nually decay from tyme to tyme, and at length it shal grow, not onely to a neglygence and a small regardynge: but also vnto an vttter contempte bothe of god and of our neighbour, and than we shall appertayne holly vnto the citie of the dy­uell. For as saynct Augustine sayth, There be in this worlde two cities, the one buylded by god, in the whiche he reygneth as a moost gracious lorde and kynge: The other is buylded by the dyuel, wherin the dyuel reigneth as a moost mercylesse and cruell tyranne. The citie of god consisteth, & is inhabi­ted of them, which loue god so moche, that for to accomplyshe his wyll and cōmaundementes they be content to refuse theyr owne wylles and pleasures. The citie of the dyuell hath in­habytantes all suche as loue them selfes so moche, that (for to haue theyr owne wylles and pleasures here in this worlde) they care not or lytell regarde the wyl, pleasure, and cōmaun­dementes of god. And therfore surely we haue greatte nede contynually to pray (accordynge to Christes doctrine in this [Page 85] thyrde petition) for ayde vnto our heuenly father, that being thus clothed and encombred with this corruptyble flesshe here in this worlde (whiche dulleth and draweth downe mannes mynde, as the wyse man sayth) It may please hym to graūt vs the grace, that so longe as we lyue here, we maye fulfylle his wyll in all thynges, and not our owne, and so to haue a dwellynge place in his citie. And contrarye, that the dyuelle may neuer haue power to take vs, and to bringe vs vnto his citie and possessyon.

¶The sense and interpretation of the fourth Petition.

O Oure heuenly father we beseche the, gyue vs this daye our dayly breadde. Gyue vs meate, drynke, and clo­thynge for oure bodyes. Sende vs encrease of corne, fruyte, and catayle. Gyue vs helthe and strengthe, reste, and peace, that we may leade a peasible and a quiete life in al godlines, and honestie Graunte vs good successe in all our busynes, & helpe in aduersytie and peril. Graunt vs, we beseche the, all thynges conuenient for our necessitie in this temporalle lyfe. And to thē, to whom thou doest vouchsafe to gyue more than theyr owne portion necessarie for theyr vocation, and degree: gyue thy grace, that they maye be thy dylygent and true dys­pensatours and stewardes, to dystrybute that they haue (ouer and aboue that is necessarie, consyderynge theyr astate and degree) to them that haue nede of it. For so (good lorde) thou doest prouyde for thy poore people, that haue nothyng: by thē whiche haue of thy gyfte suffycyent to relieue them selfe and other. And gyue also thy grace to vs, that we haue not to moche solicitude and care for these transytorye and vnstable thynges: but that our hartes may be fyxed in thynges, whiche be eternall, and in thy kyngedome, whiche is euerlastynge. And yet more ouer (good lorde) not onely giue vs our necessa­ries: but also conserue that, thou dost gyue vs, & cause that it maye come to our vse, & by vs to the poore people, for whome [Page] by vs thou hast prouided. Giue vs grace, that we may be fed and nourisshed with al the lyfe of Christ, that is to say, bothe his wordes, & workes. And that they maye be to vs an effec­tual example & spectacle of al vertues. Graunt, that al they, that preache thy worde, may profytably & godly preache the, & thy sonne Iesu Christ through all the worlde. And that all we, whiche here thy worde preached, maye so be fed therwith, that not onely we may outwardely receaue the same: but also digest it within our hartes, and that it maye soo worke and fede euery parte of vs, that it may appere in all the actes and dedes of oure lyfe. Graunte, that the holy sacramente of the Altare, whiche is the breade of lyfe, and the veray flesshe and bloode of thy sonne Iesu Christe, maye be purely mynystred and dystrybuted to the comforte and benefyte of all vs thy people: and that we also may receaue the same with a ryght faythe and perfyte charytie, at all tymes, when we ought to receaue the same. and specyally agaynst our deathe, and de­partynge out of this worlde, soo that we maye be than spiri­tually fedde with the same to our saluation, and therby enioy the lyfe euerlastynge. Gyue vs an inwarde hungre & thyrste to haue thy worde, and the ryghtuous lyuynge, taught in the same. Graunte this also mercyfull father, that all false doctrines, contrary to thy worde, whiche fedeth not but poy­soneth, and kylleth the soule, may be vtterly extincte and cast awaye out of thy Churche, so that we maye be fedde as well with the true doctrine of thy worde, as with all other thinges necessary for vs in this lyfe.

¶For the better vnderstandynge of this fourthe petition, we thynke it conuenient, that all bysshoppes and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spiri­tuall charge. Fyrste, howe that our lorde teacheth vs not in this petition to aske any superfluous thynges, or thynges of pleasure or delyte, but onely thynges sufficient. And therfore he byddeth vs onely aske breade, wherin is not mente super­fluous [Page 86] ryches or great substaunce or habundaunce of thynges aboue our estate and condycyon: but suche thynges onely as be necessary and suffycyent for euery man in his degree. And that this is the meanynge of this worde,i. Tim. vi saynct Paule decla­reth at good lengthe, where he sayth, we haue brought no­thyng in to this worlde, ne shal take any thing with vs, whā we shall departe hense. And therfore yf we haue meate and drinke and clothe, that is to say, thynges sufficient, we ought to holde our selfe contente. For they, that set theyr myndes on ryches, and woll haue superfluities, more than nedeth, or is expedient to theyr vocation: they fall into dangerous temp­tations, and into the snares of the dyuell, and into many and vnprofytable and noysome desyres, whiche drowne men into perdicion, and euerlastynge damnation. for the sprynge and rote of all euyls is suche superfluous desyre.Prou. iii. The wyse man also makynge his suite to our lorde sayth, Gyue me neyther pouertie ne excesse, but only thinges sufficient for my liuing, left that hauynge to moche I be prouoked to denye god, and to forgette who is the lorde: and on the other syde, lest that by pouertie constrayned, I falle vnto thefte, and forsweare the name of my god. These two wyse men, the one of the olde, & the other of the newe testamente, agree with the lesson of our sauyour, Bothe aske breade, that is thynges necessary, and bothe refuse and renounce superfluities, as thynges vnpro­fytable, daungerous, and noysome.

¶Seconde, that in these wordes of our sauyour Iesu Christ, be reproued all those persones, whiche eate not theyr owne breade, but deuoureth other mens breade. Of whiche sorte be all those, whiche lyue of rauyn and spoyles, of thefte, of ex­torcyon, of crafte, and deceyte. Item all they, whiche neyther laboure with theyr handes, nor otherwyse apply theyr study, industry, and dylygence to some thynge, whiche is good and beneficial in the cōmune weale, and to the honour of god, but lyue in ease, reste, ydelnes, and wanton pleasures, without doynge or carynge for any suche thynge.

Item all they, whiche beyng called in this worlde, vnto any roume, office, or auctoritie, do abuse the same, and do not em­ploy them selfe accordyng to theyr vocation.

¶Thyrdely that althoughe we be bounde by labour, or other laufull meanes to prouyde for our selfes frome tyme to tyme a suffycyent lyuynge: yet we muste surely beleue, and truste, that oure father in heuen prouydeth for vs also, and that all our owne prouysyon, and industrie is in vayne, without his prouysyon. For it is he that gyueth vnto vs, and taketh from vs, at his pleasure more or lesse. Therfore not withstandynge all our owne laboure, industrye, and dylygence: yet we must thanke hym for all that we haue. of hym must we hange. in hym must we caste our hole hope and truste, that he shal sende vs sufficient, and in noo wyse mystruste hym. For yf he pro­uyde sufficiently for all fysshes and byrdes, and other creatu­res, whiche laboure not for theyr lyuynge as we doo, howe moche more oughte we, beynge his owne chyldren, and also vsynge all labour and diligence to get our lyuynges, to trust that our father, whiche hathe all thynges in his disposition, wyll se vnto vs, that we shall lacke nothyng necessarie? And as the husbande man tylleth and soweth his grounde, we­deth it, and kepeth it from destroyenge, and yet he prayeth to god for thencrease, and putteth all his truste in hym to sende hym more or lesse at his pleasure: Euen soo besydes our owne diligence, policie, labour, & trauayle, we must also pray day­ly to god, to sende vs sufficient. & we muste take thankfully at his handes all that is sent. and be no further carefull, but put our hole confidence and truste in hym. For our sauyoure Christe saythe in the gospell,Matt, ix, I saye to you be not carefull for your lyuynge, what you shall eate, ne what clothes you shall weare. Is not lyfe better than your meate, and youre bodye better than your clothynge? Loke vpon the byrdes of the ayre, they sowe not, they reape not, they brynge nothynge into the barne: but your heuenly father feadeth them. Be not you of more price then they? Loke vpon the lillies in the fyelde, they [Page 87] labour not, they spynne not, and yet I tell you, that Salo­mon in all his precious and royall apparell was not soo clo­thed as one of them. Therfore care you not for these thynges. Leaue this care to them, that knowe not god. Youre heuenly father knoweth, that you haue nede of all these thynges. but seke you fyrst the kyngdome of god, and his ryghtuousnes: & than god shall cast all these thynges vnto you.

These be the wordes of Christe, full of good and comforta­ble lessons, that we shulde not care, ne sette our hartes to mo­che vpon these worldly thynges: ne care soo moche for to mo­rowe, that we shall seme to mystruste our lorde. And that we shulde sequester this care frome vs, and seeke for the kynge­dome of god, and employe our selfes holly, to the gettynge therof: and than he maketh a comfortable promyse, that we shall not lacke thynges necessary for vs. And althoughe our lorde hath soo prouyded for some, that they haue all redy suf­ficient and plentie for many days or yeres: yet that not with­standynge they ought to make this petition to god, and say, Gyue vs this daye our dayly breade. For asmoche as theyr substaunce (thoughe it be neuer so great) lyke as it coulde not haue ben gotten without god hadde sent it: so it can not pros­pere and contynue, excepte god preserue it. For howe many great ryche men haue we knowen sodeynly made pore, some by fyre, some by water, some by thefte, some by exchete, and many other wayes? Was not Iob the one daye, the rychest man that was in all the Estlande: and the morowe after had vtterly nothynge? It is therfore as nedefull to pray our lorde to preserue that, he hath gyuen vs: as to praye hym to gyue it. For yf he gyue it, and doo not preserue it: we shall haue no vse of it.

¶Fourthely, that by this breade, whiche oure sauyoure tea­cheth vs to aske in this petytyon, is pryncypally mente the worde of god, whiche is the spirituall breade, that fedeth the soule. For as the body is nourysshed, broughte vp, groweth, and fedeth with breade and meate: soo nedeth the soule euen [Page] from our youth to be nourisshed & brought vp with the worde of god, and to be fed dayly with it. And lyke as the body wol faynte and decay, yf it be not from tyme to tyme releued and refresshed with bodyly sustenaunce, euen so the soule waxeth feble and weake towardes god, oneles the same be contynu­ally cherysshed,Mat. iiii. refresshed, & kepte vp with the worde of god, accordynge to the sayinge of Christe. A man lyueth not with meate only, but by euery word that procedeth from the mouth of god. And surely there is no other thynge that can fede and comforte the soule, but onely this breade of the worde of god. For if we haue aduersitie in this worlde, as pouertie, sycknes, imprisonment, and suche other myseries, where shulde we seke for comforte, but at goddis wordes? yf we thynke our selfe so holy, that we be without synne, where shuld we fynd a glasse to se our synnes in, but in the worde of god? If we be so ful of synnes, that we be lyke to fall in to desperation, where canne we haue comforte, and lerne to knowe the mercy of god, but onely in goddes worde? Where shall we haue armure to fyght agaynste our thre great ennemies, the worlde, the flesshe, and the dyuell, where shall we haue strengthe and power to with­stande them, but onely as Christe dyd in and by the worde of god? And fynally if we haue any maner of sicknes or disease, in oure sowles, what medicine or remedy can we haue, but onely the worde of god? So that the worde of god is the ve­ray breade of the soule. And therfore as well for this breade of the soule, as also for the breade and dayly sustenaunce of the body, oure sauyoure Christe teacheth vs to praye in this fourthe petition.

¶The sense and interpretation of the fyfthe petition.

OVr heuenly father, loo we wretched synners, know­legynge and confessynge vnto the our moost mercyfull father, the great and manyfolde synnes, wherwith our con­science is contynually combred, and hauynge none other re­fuge, [Page 88] but vnto thy mercy, we moost humbly beseche the, com­forte our conscience bothe now and in the howre of our dethe, whiche is nowe abasshed & asshamed to loke vpon our synne & iniquitie, and than also shall be more asshamed & afrayde, remembrynge thy harde and strayte iugement, whiche shall than be at hande. Gyue vs thy peace in our hartes, that we to our comforte maye loke for thy iugement. Entre not into iugement agaynste vs with the strayte extremitie of thy iu­stice.Psal. xxx. for in thy syght noo man shall be founde innocente or ryghtuous, but manyfolde wayes to haue synned agaynste the. Gyue vs grace dere father, not to stycke, stay, or grounde our selfes in our owne good workes, or deseruynges: but to gyue and submyt our selfes playnly and faythfully, to thyne infynyte and incomparable mercy. Helpe and comforte all mennes conscience, whiche in poynte of deathe, or in any su­che other temptation are vexed with desperation. Forgyue bothe them, and vs, our offences, comforte vs, refresshe vs, and be reconciled vnto vs. Iudge vs nat after the accusation of the dyuell, and our wretched consciences, neyther here the voyce of our ennemyes, whiche accuse vs daye and nyght be­fore the. But like as we forgyue them hartely which trespasse agaynste vs: Euen so we beseche the forgyue vs the many­folde synnes, wherby from our youthe we haue prouoked thy dyspleasure, and wrathe agaynste vs, and dayly do prouoke it, by doynge that is yuell, and omyttynge that is good. And so wasshe our synnes dayly more and more, throughe the bloode of thy sonne and our sauyoure Iesu Christe. And for asmoche as it is al repugnant, & contrary vnto our frayle and corrupte nature, to loue them, whiche hate vs, or to for­gyue them (without reuengynge) whiche do hurte or offende vs: gyue vs (we beseche the) this heuenly grace, and make thou our hartes soo meke and gentyll, that we maye gladly and vnfaynedly forgyue them, whiche haue hated or hurted vs in worde or in deade, and that we maye behaue our selfe vnto all men, frendes and foes with suche mercy, gentylnes, [Page] and kyndenes: as we wolde desyre not onely that they, but also that thou, good lorde, shuldest vse vnto vs. For we can not other wyse truste or loke for any forgyuenes or remyssion of our trespasses at thy handes: oneles we shall, accordyng to thy commaundement, forgyue all them that haue trespassed in any wyse agaynste vs.

¶For the better vnderstandynge of this fyfte Petition, we thynke it conuenyent, that all bysshoppes and preachers, shal instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spiri­tuall charge, that no manne oughte to glorye in hym selfe, as though he were innocent, and without synne: but rather that euery good christen man (without exception) ought to know­ledge hym selfe to be a synner, and that he hath nede to aske forgyuenes of god for his synnes, and to requyre hym of his mercy. For doubtles he dayely commytteth synne, whiche is commaunded dayely to aske remyssyon of his synnes.i. Ioan. i. And saynt Iohn̄ sayth in his epistle, If we say, that we be with­out synne, we deceyue our selfes, and trouth is not in vs.

¶Seconde that god woll not forgyue vs oure synnes, but vppon condicion, that we shall lykewyse forgyue all theym, whiche trespasse ageynst vs: and that not in tongue onely, but also in our hartes. And that this is a certayne sure lawe and decree of god, Christe declareth in sondry places of the gospell.Mat. vi. For fyrste by expresse wordes Christe saythe, If you forgyue men theyr offences done ageynste you: your heuenly father woll forgyue you your offences. And yf you woll not forgyue them that offende you: be you assured, youre father woll not forgyue you your offences. And in an other place, whan Peter came to our lorde,Mat. xviii. and demaunded of hym, howe ofte he shulde forgyue his brother, whiche had offended hym, and whether it were not sufficient to forgyue hym seuen ty­mes? Our lorde answered hym and sayde, I telle the Peter, that thou oughtest to forgyue hym, not onely seuen tymes, but seuenty tymes seuen tymes, meanynge therby, that from [Page 89] tyme to tyme, we must contynuallye forgyue our brother, or neyghbour, althoughe he trespasse agaynst vs neuer so often. And Christe also declareth the same by a Parabole.Mat. xviii. There was (sayth Christe) a kynge, whiche callyng his seruauntes vnto an accompte, & fyndynge that one of them shulde owe vnto hym the somme of .x.M. talentes: because he had it not to pay, commaunded that the sayd dettoure, his wyfe, and his chyldren, and all that he had shulde be solde. But whan this dettour came vnto the kynge, and prayed hym on his knees, to haue pacience with hym, promysynge hym to paye all: the kynge had pytie of hym, and forgaue hym the hole dette. It fortuned afterwarde, that this man, being thus acquited, met with an other of his felowes, that ought hym but an hundred pence, and with violence almoost strangled hym, and sayd to hym. Pay me my money. And the sayd seruaunt his felowe fel vpon his knees, and prayde hym to haue pacience, promy­syng to pay al. albe it he wolde not, but cast hym into prison, vntyll all was payde. And whan the rest of theyr felowes, se­ynge this crueltie, had tolde the kynge therof: the kynge forth­with sent for this cruell felowe, and sayd to hym, O wycked man, I forgaue the thy hole det, at thy suite and request: It shulde therfore haue besemed the, to haue shewed lyke compas­syon to thy felowe, as I had shewed to the. And the kynge beynge sore displeased with this crueltie, commytted hym to tourmentours, that shulde roughly and straytly handell hym in pryson, tyll he had payde the hole det. Vpon this parabole Christ inferreth, and sayth. Euen so shall your heuenly father doo with you, yf you woll not forgyue euery one of you his brother, euen from the harte.

Thus it appereth playnly, that yf we woll be forgyuen, if we woll escape euerlastynge damnation: we must hartily for­gyue those, whiche haue trespassed and offended agaynst vs. No man can offende vs soo moche, as we offende god: and yet he is alwaye redy to forgyue vs. What ingratitude is it than, what hardenes of harte, what cruelnes is in vs, yf we [Page] for his sake woll not forgyue one an nother? There is none offence great, that man dothe to man: yf it be compared to our offences agaynst god. And therfore we maye be well ac­compted to haue lyttell respecte and consyderation vnto our owne benefyte, yf we wol not remitte and forgyue smal fau­tes, done vnto vs, that we maye haue pardone and forgyue­nes of so many thousandes of greatte offences, whiche we haue committed agaynst god. And if any peraduenture wol thynke it to be a harde thynge, to suffre and forgiue his enne­mie, whiche in worde and dede hath done hym many dysplea­sures: lette hym consyder agayne, howe many harde stormes our sauiour Christe suffred and abode for vs. What were we whan he gaue his moste precyouse lyfe and blode for vs: but horrible synners and his ennemyes? Howe mekely toke he for our sake all rebukes, mockes, byndyng, beatynge, crow­nynge with thorne, and the moste opprobrious deathe? Why do we boste vs to be chrysten men, yf we care not for Christe, of whom we be soo named, yf we endeuoure not our selfe to take example at him? we be not worthy to haue the name of the membres: yf we folowe not the heed. And if any wol say, that his ennemie is not worthy to be forgyuen: let hym con­syder, and thynke, that no more is he worthy to haue forgiue­nes of god. And by what equitie or iustyce can we requyre, that god shulde be mercyfull vnto vs, yf we woll shewe noo mercy, but extremytie vnto our neyghbour and brother? Is it a great matter for one synner to forgiue an other seing that Christe forgaue them that crucified hym? And althoughe thy ennemie be not worthy to be forgyuen: yet we be worthye to forgyue. And Christe is worthye, that for his sake we shulde forgyue. But surely it is aboue our frayle and corrupte na­ture, to loue our ennemies, that doo hate vs, and to forgyue them that do hurte and offende vs. Thus to do is a greatter grace thā can come of our selfes. Therfore our sauiour Christ teacheth vs to aske this heuenly gyfte of our heuenly father, that we may forgyue our ennemies, and that he wol forgiue [Page 90] vs our trespasses, euen so as we forgyue them, that trespasse agaynst vs.

¶Thyrdly, that to forgyue oure brother his defaulte, is to praye to our lorde, that he woll forgyue hym, and woll not impute his offence to hym: & to wysshe to hym the same grace and glorie, that we desyre vnto our selfes, and in no case to anoye hym, but whan occasyon shall come, to helpe hym, as we be bounde to helpe our christen brother.

¶Fourthly, that none ennemye can wysshe or desyre more hurte vnto vs, than we desyre vnto our owne selfes, whan we offre vnto god this fyfthe petition: yf we woll not remyt and forgyue our dyspleasure vnto them, whiche offende vs. For what ennemye was euer soo malicious, or so farre from all grace and humanitie, that wolde desyre and dayly praye to god, to sende vnto his ennemye eternall damnation, and that god shulde withdrawe his mercy from hym for euer? And surely in this petition we aske continually these thynges of god, for our selues, if we wol be mercyles towardes our enne­myes, and wyll not forgyue them theyr trespasses. For none otherwyse we do aske forgyuenes of god. but vpon this con­dition. that we shall forgyue them, whiche trespasse agaynst vs. And in case we doo not fulfyll this condycyon: than we praye vnto god, that he shall neuer shewe mercy vnto vs, nor neuer forgyue vs oure synnes, but suffre vs to be dampned perpetually.

¶The sense and interpretation of the sixte Petition.

O Our heuenly father, lo we here thy moost vnworthy and myserable chyldren, felynge and consyderynge the greate and violente assaultes, wherby not onely the dyuell and his wycked spirites, but also our owne flesshe and concu­piscence contynually do tempte and prouoke vs to breke and violate thy moost holy wyll and cōmaundementes, and con­syderynge also our owne ignoraunce, and fraylenes, & howe [Page] weake and vnhable we be to resyste so myghty and so crafty ennemies, without thy heuenly grace, and helpe: we mooste humbly beseche the our moste dere father, helpe vs, succoure vs, and defende vs in all temptations of the dyuell, and of our owne concupiscence, & suffre vs not to be vanquisshed or ouerthrowen by them. Endue vs so with thy grace, that we maye withstande the desyres of the flesshe. Make, that we maye resyste and fyght agaynste all temptation, whiche pro­cedeth of superfluytie of meate and drynke, slepe, slouthe, or idlenes. And that by temperance in diet, by fastyng, watche, and labour, we may be able to subdue the same, and be mete and apte to all good workes. Make that we maye ouercome the yuell desyres of Lecherie, with all affections and instyga­cions therof. Kepe vs, that the false subtilitie of this worlde, and the vayne intysementes of the same, bryng vs not to fo­lowe it. kepe vs, that we be not drawen by the yuels and ad­uersities of this worlde, to impacience, auengemente, wrath, or suche other vyces. And that we maye not to moche esteme the thynges, that belong to the world, nor inordynately loue them: but that we maye renounce the same, accordynge as we haue promysed in our baptysme: And that we maye con­tynue in that same promyse, goynge forwarde therin dayely more and more. Kepe vs from the intysementes of the dyuell, that we consent not to any of his temptations or persuasiōs. Kepe vs, that he by no suggestion brynge vs from the ryghte fayth, neyther cause vs to fall into desperation, nowe, nor in the poynte of deathe. Put thy helpynge hande, heuenly fa­ther, to them that fyght and labour agaynste these harde and manyfolde temptations. Loke moste deare father vpon vs thy chyldren, whiche, in this moost tempestuous & troublous see of this worlde, be tossed on euery syde with the most peryl­lous waues of temptation, and be compassed aboute bothe within and without with most dredefull and cruell ennemies. Defende vs, we beseche the of thy infinite goodnes, and for thy sonne Iesu Christis sake, from all these ennemyes and [Page 91] daungers: And gyue vs thy grace and helpe, that they neuer tempte vs further, nor haue greatter power ouer vs, thanne we shall be able to beare, resyste, and susteyne. and that they maye neuer ouercome vs, but that we maye euer haue the o­uer hande vpon them.

¶For the more playne declaration of this syxte petition, we thynke it conuenyent, that all bysshoppes and preachers shal instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spiri­tuall charge, Fyrste that there be two maner of temptations, wherof one commeth and is sente vnto vs by god, who suffe­reth those, that be his, neuer to be withoute temptation, by one meanes or other, for theyr probation and triall: albeit he so assysteth & aydeth them in al such temptations,Ecclesi. xxvii. that he tur­neth all at the ende vnto theyr profytte and benefyte. For as the wyse man sayth, Lyke as the ouen tryeth the potters ves­sell, so doth temptation of trouble trie the ryghtuouse man. And with this maner of temptation, god tempted sondrye wyse our holy father Abraam. He tempted also Iob with ex­treme pouertie, horryble sickenesse, & sodayn deth of his chyl­dren. And dayly he tempteth & proueth all his chosen & electe chyldren, whom he loueth.i. Pet. v. The other maner of temptation cōmeth chiefely of the dyuell, whiche lyke a furyous, and a wodde lyon, runneth and rageth aboute perpetually, sekynge howe he maye deuoure vs. And secondly it cōmeth also of our owne concupyscence, which contynually inclineth and stireth vs vnto all euyl, as saint Iames saith,Iacob. i. Euery man is temp­ted, ledde, and intyced by his owne concupiscence. This con­cupiscence is an inclination, and pronitie, or redynes, and in maner a violente dysposytyon of our owne corrupte nature, to fall into all kynd of synnes, which after the fall of Adam, all mankynde hath naturally grafted in them: soo that it is borne and groweth, and shall dye with vs, and not before. There is no man so mortified, so sequestred from the world, ne so rauysshed in spirite, in deuotion, or in contemplation: [Page] but that this concupiscence is in hym. Howe be it, it reigneth onely in them, that yelde vnto it. It woll neuer cesse, but one way or other it woll euer assaulte vs. And if we do not fight with it, and resiste it contynually: it woll ouercome vs, and brynge vs into bondage. Soo that betwene the dyuell, and this our concupiscence, all vyce and synnes be engendred: lyke as betwene man and woman chyldren be engendred. Accor­dynge to the sayenge of saynct Iames,Iacob. i. where he sayth: Con­cupiscence, whan she doth conceyue, she bringeth forth synne, and that of all sortes: that is to saye, Fyrst actes and dedes, contrary to the lawes of god, and after that vse and custome of the same dedes, and at lengthe blyndnes and contempte. For so the wyse man saythe,Prouer. xviii. The wycked man, whan he co­meth to the bottom of synne, setteth nought therby: but blyn­ded with yuell custome, eyther thynketh the synne, whiche he vseth, to be no synne, or els if he take it for synne, yet he careth not for it, but eyther vpon vayne truste of the mercy of god, (whiche is in dede no right trust but a veray presumption) he wol contynue styl in purpose to synne, or els vpon vayn hope of longe lyfe, he wol prolonge, differre, & delay to do penance for the same, vntyll the laste ende of his lyfe. And so ofte ty­mes preuented with sodayne dethe, dieth without repentance. Wherfore consyderynge howe daungerous it is to falle into synne, and howe harde it is to aryse: the chiefe and the beste way is to resyst with goddes helpe the fyrst suggestyon vnto synne, and not to suffre it to remayne with vs, but as soone as may be, to put it cleane out of our myndes. For if we suf­fre it to haue place in our hartes any whyle, it is great peryl, leste that consent and dede wyll folowe shortly after.

¶Seconde that our sauyoure Iesu Christe teacheth vs not in this syxte petition, to praye vnto god our father, that we shulde be clerely without al temptation, but that he wol not suffre vs to be led into temptation, that is to saye, when we be tempted, that he suffre vs not to be ouercome therwith. For surely temptations be profytable, yf they doo not ouer­come [Page 92] vs. And therfore sayncte Paule sayth, The trewe and faythfull god wol not suffre vs to be tempted aboue that we maye beare: but he woll turne temptation to our profite,i. Cor. i. that we may susteyne it & ouercome it. And saynt Iames sayth,Iacob. i. Thynke that you haue a gret cause of ioy, when you be trou­bled with dyuers temptations. For the tryinge of your fayth bringeth pacience, & pacience maketh ꝑfit worke, so that you maye be parfyte and sounde, lackynge nothynge. And al­myghty god also exhorteth vs,Apoca. ii. and calleth vpon vs to fyghte agaynste temptations, sayinge, He that hath the victorie a­gainst them, I shall gyue hym to eate of the tree of lyfe.Ibidem. And agayne he sayth, He that ouercōmeth them, shall not be hurte with the seconde deathe. And sayncte Paule sayth,ii. Tim. ii No man shall be crowned, excepte he fyght, yea and that as he ought to fyght, that is to saye, excepte he defende hym selfe, and re­siste his ennemies at all poyntes to his power.Ioan. xvi And our sal­uiour gyueth vs a good courage to fyghte in this battayle, where he sayth, Be of good comforte, for I haue ouercome the world, that is to say, I haue had the victorie of all sinnes and temptations: And so shall you haue, yf the defaulte be not in your selfes. for you fyght with an aduersarie, whiche is all redy vanquysshed and ouercome.

¶The sense and interpretation of the seuenth petition.

O Father, kepe vs from the daunger of water and fyre, from thonder, lyghtenynge, and hayle kepe vs from hungre, and derth. kepe vs from warre and manslaughter. kepe vs from thy moste greuouse strokes, the pestylence, and all other dyseases. kepe vs from sodeyne death kepe vs from all yuelles and perylles of the body, yf it be thy pleasure so to do. But moste specyally kepe vs from synne, and all thynges that maye displease the. delyuer vs from thy straycte iudge­mente, at our deathe, and at the laste daye of dome. Turne neuer thy face from vs moste louynge father. Loke neuer [Page] awaye from vs, least we turne from the vnto the worlde, the flesshe, and the dyuell. Good lorde graunte vnto vs all these our suetes and peticions, accordynge to our humble requeste and desyre. Amen.

¶For the better vnderstandynge of this laste petition, we thynke it conuenient, that all bysshoppes and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spiri­tuall charge, Fyrste that lyke as in the syxte petition Christe taught vs to desyre of our heuenly father, that we shulde not be ouercome with temptation, ne brought into synne, so now in this seuenth and last petition he teacheth vs to praye hym, that yf by fraylenes we fall into synne, he woll sone delyuer vs from it, not to let vs contynue in it, not to let it take rote in vs, not to suffre synne to reygne vpon vs: but to delyuer vs, and make vs free frome it. This synne is the excedynge yuell, from the whiche in this petition we desyre to be delyue­red. And thoughe in this petition be also comprehended all yuelles in this worlde, as syckenes, pouertie, derthe, with other lyke aduersyties: yet chiefely it is to be vnderstanded of synne, whiche onely of it selfe is yuell, and ought euer with­out condition to be eschewed. And as for other aduersities, neyther we can, ne ought to refuse, when god shall sende thē, neyther we ought to praye for the eschewynge of them other­wyse, than with this condition, If goddes pleasure so be.

¶Seconde, that nothynge can be called proprely and of it selfe yuel, but onely synne. And that all other thynges, what soo euer they be, be the workes and creatures of god: whiche neyther made ony thynge yuell, nor can do any thynge that is yuell. Many thynges we suffre in this worlde, and take them for yuell: but they be not yuell of them selfe. All afflicti­ons, dyseases, punysshementes, and turmentes of this body, all the trouble and anguysshes of the soule, all the troubles of this worlde, and al aduersities, be good and necessary instru­mentes of god for our saluation. For god hym selfe (who can [Page 93] not say other than trouth) sayth, Those yt I loue, I chastise.Apoca. iii Prou. iii. Hebr. xii. And agayne the apostle sayth, He receyueth none but whom he skurgeth. This is the tyme of skurgynge, purgynge, and skowrynge: And the tyme to come is the tyme of reste, ease, and blysse. And surely there is no better token, that we be in the fauour of god: than that he doth skourge vs, and trieth, and fyneth vs lyke golde in the fyre, whyles we be in this worlde. As contrary, there is no more certayne token of his indignation towardes vs: thanne to suffre vs styll to lyue in prosperitie, and to haue all thynges after our wyll and plea­sure, and neuer to nyppe vs or touche vs with aduersitie. Therfore our sauyour Christe Iesu (who knoweth what is beste for vs) teacheth vs not cheifely to praye and desyre to be delyuered from worldely afflictions, trouble, and aduersitie, whiche god sendeth abundantly, euen to them whome he beste loueth, and with whom he is best pleased: but the yuel, which we moost chiefly shulde praye to be delyuered from, is synne, whiche of it selfe is so yuell, that in no wyse he can be pleased therwith. And bycause our hole studye and endeuoure in this worlde. oughte to be to please god: therfore oure contynuall prayer shulde be, that we myghte specyally aboue all thyn­ges be preserued from synne, and eternall punysshement for the same.

¶The Aue Maria.

HAyle Mary full of grace, the lorde is with the. Blessed arte thou amonges women. And blessed is the fruyte of thy wombe.

¶ For the better vnderstandynge of this Aue, or salutation of the aungell, we thynke it conuenient, that all bysshoppes and preachers, shal instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spiri­tuall charge, Fyrste howe that it was decreed in the hyghe consistorie of the hole Trinitie, that after the fall of our fyrst [Page] father Adam, by whiche mankynde was so long in the great indignation of god, and exyled out of heuen, the seconde per­son, the euerlastynge sonne of the father euerlastynge, shulde take vpon hym the nature of manne, to redeme mankynde from the power of the dyuel, and to reconcile the same agayn to his lorde god,Luce. i. and that he shulde be so perfyte god, and also perfyte man. And for this purpose, as saynct Luke in his gos­pell reporteth. In the syxte moneth after sayncte Elisabeth was conceyued with saynct Iohn̄ the Baptist, the aungell Gabriel was sente from god into a Citie of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin, whiche was despoused or ensuted to a man, whose name was Ioseph, of the house of Dauid, and the virgins name was, Marie. And whan this aungel came vnto this sayde virgin, he sayde these wordes, Hayle full of grace, the lorde is with the, blessed arte thou amonge women.

And when the virgin, heryng these wordes was moche trou­bled with them, & mused with her selfe, what maner of salu­tation it shulde be, The aungel sayd to her, Feare not Mary, be not abasshed: for thou haste founde fauour and grace in the syght of god. Lo thou shalte conceyue in thy wombe, & shalte brynge forth a sonne: and thou shalte call his name Iesus. he shalbe great: and shall be called the sonne of the hyghest, And the lorde god shall gyue to hym the sete of Dauid his father, and he shall reygne ouer the house of Iacob for euer, and his kyngdome shall haue no ende. Then sayd Mary to the aun­gell, howe can this be done: for I knowe no man? And the aungel answerynge sayd vnto her, The holy goost shal come from aboue into the, and the power of the hyghest shall ouer­shadowe the, and therfore that holy thynge, whiche shall be borne of the, shal be called the sonne of god. And lo thy cosyne Elisabeth hath also conceyued a sonne in her olde age: & this is the syxte moneth syth she conceyued, whiche was called the barteyne woman. For there is nothynge impossyble to god. To this Mary answered, Lo I am the handemayde of our lorde. Be it done vnto me as thou hast spoken. And then [Page 94] forthwith vppon the departure of the aungell, and beynge newely conceyued with the most blessed chylde Iesus, Mary wente vp into the mountaynes with spede into a citie of Iu­da: and came to the house of Zachary, and saluted Elisabeth. And as sone as Elisabeth harde the salutation of Mary, the chylde spronge in her bely. And forthwith Elisabeth was re­plenysshed with the holy goost, and cryed with a grete voyce, and sayd, Blessed arte thou among women, and blessed is the fruicte of thy wombe. And wherof commeth this to me, that the mo­ther of my lorde commeth to me? For lo as soone as the voyce of thy salutation was in my eares: the chylde in my wombe lepte for ioye. And blessed arte thou, that dyddest beleue. For all thynges that haue ben spoken to the from our lorde, shall be perfourmed.

¶Seconde, that the aungell Gabryell, whiche spake to the virgin, was an hygh aungell, and an hygh messanger. And truely it was conuenient, that he shulde be soo. For he came with the hyghest message, that euer was sente, whiche was the treate and leage of peace betwene god & man. And ther­fore the fyrste worde of his salutation (that is to say, Hayle, or be ioyfull) was meruaylous conuenient for the same. for he came with the message of ioye, And so sayd the other aun­gell, whiche at the byrthe of our sauyoure appered to the she­pardes. I shewe to you (sayd he) great ioye, that shall be to all the people. And surely consyderynge the effectes, that en­sewed vpon this hygh message: al mankynde had great cause to ioye. For man beynge in the indignation, and the displea­sure of god, was hereby reconciled. Manne beynge in the bondes of the dyuell, was hereby delyuered. Manne beynge exiled and banysshed out of heuen, was hereby restored thy­ther agayne. These be suche matters of ioye and comforte to vs, that there neuer was or shallbe, nor canne be any lyke. But not onely for this purpose, he beganne with this hyghe worde of comforte: but also for that he perceyued, that the virgin beynge alone, wolde be moche abasshed and astonyed [Page] at his meruaylous and sodayne commynge vnto her. And therfore he thought it expedient, fyrst of al to vtter the worde of ioye and comforte, whiche myght comforte and put away al feare from the blessed virgyn. And he calleth not her by her propre name: but gyueth her a newe name, callynge her full of grace. This is nowe her newe name. and this is the highest name, that can be in any creature. For her sonne, the sonne of god, was contente with this name, where he is by the holy euangelist saynct Iohn̄ called also full of grace. And yet she is not in this behalfe equall with hym. For that she is full of grace, she hath it of hym. And howe coulde it be otherwyse, but that she must nedes be full of grace, that shulde conceyue and beare hym, that was the veray plenitude and fulnesse of grace, the lorde of grace, by whome is all grace, and without whom is no grace. Holy scripture calleth also saynt Stephyn full of grace:Act. vi. but he may not be compared with the blessed vir­gin, ne haue cōmunyon in this name, Full of grace, equall with her, for she conceyued and bare hym, that is the auctoure of all grace. & this is the singuler grace by which she is called, not onely the mother of man, but also the mother of god.

¶Thyrdely, that by these wordes, The lorde is with the, is declared the name, whiche the aungell gaue to her, callynge her full of grace: And they signifie, that she was full of god­dis fauour, and full of his grace. For surely our lorde is not with them that be not in grace: he can not tarye with them, that be voyde of grace, and be in synne. For there is a separa­tion and diuorce betwene the synfull sowle and our lorde, as the wyse man sayth, Peruerse thoughtes make a separation and diuorce from god:Sapie. i. moche more peruerse dedes.

¶Fourthely, that these wordes, Blessed arte thou amonge women, was menie, that there was neuer woman so blessed. And truely she may wel be called so, moost blessed amongest all women: for she had great and hyghe prerogatiues, whiche none other woman euer had, hath, or shall haue. Is not this [Page 95] an hygh prerogatiue, that of all women she was chosen to be mother to the sonne of god? And what excellent honour was she put to, whan not withstandynge the decree was made of his natiuitie by the hole trinitie: yet the thyng was not done and accomplysshed, without or before her consent was graū ­ted, for the which so solemne a messanger was sent? And how hygh grace was this, that after the defaulte made throughe the perswasion of the fyrst womā our mother Eua (by whom Adam was broughte in to dysobedience) this blessed virgin was electe, to be the instrument of our reparation, in that she was chosen to beare the sauyour and redemer of the worlde? And is not this a wonderfull prerogatiue, to see a virgin to be a mother: and agaynste the generall sentence of the male­diction of Eua, to conceyue & brynge forthe her chylde with­out synne? And who can esteme, that meruaylous solace and comforte, whiche was in her harte, whan she enbraced that chylde, and nourysshed it with her pappes, & had contynually company of suche a sonne so many yeres togyther? Wherfore we may worthyly say, that she is the moost blessed of al other women. And to the intent that all good christen men shulde repute and take her soo: beholde the prouidence of god, that wolde by an nother witnesse confirme the same. For euen the same wordes that the aungell spake, the blessed matron saint Elisabeth spake also. and where the aungell made an ende, there she began. The aungell made an ende of his salutation with these wordes, Blessed arte thou among women. The blessed matrone began her salutation with the same wordes, decla­ryng that she was enspired with the same spirite, that sent the aungel: & that they were bothe ministers of the hole Trinitie, the one from heuen, the other in erthe. And afterwarde she ad­ded these wordes and sayd, And blessed is the fruict of thy wombe. These be not the wordes of the aungell: but of saynct Elisa­beth. For whan the virgin Marie came to salute her, the sayd Elisabeth beyng inspired with the holy goost, and knowyng that the virgin Marie was conceyued, spake these wordes of [Page] the fruict, that the virgin shulde brynge forthe. And here is also an other wonderfull thynge to be noted. for as it appe­reth in the gospell, the chylde in saynt Elisabethes wombe, that is to saye saynct Iohn̄, whiche yet had scant lyfe, gaue testimony to this fruict: that this fruict shulde saue hym, and all the worlde, and as a prophete, he lepte for ioye in his mo­thers bealy. And althoughe he coulde not yet speake: yet ne­uer the lesse he declared by suche sygnes and tokens, as he coulde: that blessed was the fruict of that wombe. This is the fruict, that the aungell spake of, sayinge his name shall be Iesus, that is to saye a Sauyoure: for he shall saue his people from theyr synnes. And well he may be called the bles­sed fruict, whiche hathe saued vs, and geuen vs lyfe, contra­rye to the cursed fruict, whiche Eue gaue to Adam, by whi­che we were dystroyed and brought to deathe: but blessed is the fruict of this wombe, whiche is the fruict of lyfe euer­lastynge.

¶Fifthely we thynkh it conuenient, that all bysshoppes and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spirituall charge, that this Aue Maria is not pro­prely a prayer, as the pater noster is. For a prayer proprely hath wordes of petition, supplication, request and suite: but this Aue Maria hath no suche. Neuer the lesse the churche hath vsed to adioyn it to the ende of the Pater noster, as an hymne, laude, and prayse partly of our lord and sauyour Iesu Christ for our redemption, and partely of the blessed virgin, for her humble consent gyuen and expressed to the aungell at this salutation. Laudes, prayses, and thankes be in this Aue Maria principally gyuen and yelded to our lorde, as to the auctour of our sayd redemption: but herewith also the vir­gin lacketh not her laudes, prayse, and thankes for her excel­lent and synguler vertues, and chiefely for that she humbly consented, accordynge to the sayinge of the holy matron saynt Elisabeth, when she sayde vnto this virgin, Blessed arte [Page 96] thou, that dyddest gyue truste and credence to the aungelles wordes. for all thynges that haue bene spoken to the, shall be perfourmed.

¶The article of Iustification.

AS touching the order and cause of our Iusti­fication, we thynke it conuenient, that all bysshoppes and preachers shall instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spi­rituall charge, that this worde, Iustification, signifieth remyssyon of our synnes, and our acceptation or reconciliation into the grace & fauour of god, that is to say, our perfyte renouation in Christ.

¶Item that synners attayne this iustification by contri­tion, and faythe ioyned with charitie, after suche sorte and maner as is before mencioned and declared in the sacrament of penaunce. Not as thoughe oure contrycyon or faythe, or any workes procedynge therof, can worthyly meryte or de­serue to attayne the sayde iustification. For the onely mer­cye and grace of the father, promysed frely vnto vs for his sonnes sake Iesu Christ, and the merytes of his bloode and passyon, be the onely suffycyent and worthy causes therof. And yet that not withstandynge to the attaynynge of the same Iustification, god requyreth to be in vs, not onely in­warde contrycyon, perfite faythe, and charitie, certayne hope and confidence, with all other spiritual graces and mocions, whiche as was sayde before, muste necessarylye concurre in remyssyon of our synnes, that is to saye, our Iustification: but also he requyreth and commaundeth vs, that after we be iustified, we muste also haue good workes of charitie and obedyence towardes god, in the obseruynge and fulfyllynge outwardely of his lawes and commaundementes. For al­thoughe acceptation to euerlastynge lyfe be conioyned with [Page] iustification: yet our good workes be necessaryly requyred to the attaynynge of euerlastynge lyfe. And we beynge iusti­fied, be necessaryly bounde, and it is our necessary duetie, to do good workes, accordynge to the sayinge of saynct Paule, we be bounde,Rom. viii not to lyue accordynge to the flesshe, and to flesshely appetites: for yf we lyue so, we shall vndoutedly be damned. And contrary, yf we woll mortifie the dedes of our flesshe, and lyue accordynge to the spirite, we shall be saued. For who so euer be led by the spyryte of god, they be the chyl­dren of god.Matt. xix And Christ sayth, If you woll come to heuen, kepe the commaundementes. And saynct Paule spekynge of yuell workes saythe,Gala. v. Who soo euer commytte synfull dedes, shall neuer come to heuen. Wherfore all good chrysten people must vnderstande and beleue certaynely, that god necessary­ly requyreth of vs to do good workes commaunded by hym, and that not onely outwarde and ciuyle workes, but also the inwarde spirituall motions and graces of the holy goost, that is to saye, To drede and feare god. to loue god. to haue ferme confidence and trust in god. to inuocate and call vpon god, to haue pacience in all aduersities. to hate synne. and to haue cer­tayne purpose and wyl not to synne agayne. and suche other lyke motions and vertues.Matt. v. For Christe saythe, we muste not onely doo outwarde cyuyle good workes, but we must also haue these foresayd inwarde spirituall mocyons, consentyng and agreable to the lawe of god.

The article of Purgatorye.

FOr as moche as due order of charitie requy­reth, and the boke of Machabees, and dy­uers auncient doctours playnely shewen, that it is a veray good & a charytable dede to pray for sowles departed. And for as mo­che also as suche vsage hath contynewed in [Page 97] the churche so many yeres, euen from the begynnynge, we thynke it conuenient, that all bysshoppes and preachers shal instructe and teache the people, commytted vnto theyr spiri­tuall charge, that no man ought to be greued with the conty­nuaunce of the same. & that it standeth with the veray dewe order of charitie, that chrysten men shulde pray for the sowles departed, and commyt them in our prayers to goddes mercy. and also to cause other to pray for them in masses & exequies. & to gyue almes to other to pray for them, wherby they maye be relyued and holpen of some parte of theyr peyne. But for as moche as the place, where they be, the name therof, & kynde of peynes there also be to vs vncertayne by Scripture, Ther­fore this with al other thynges be to be remytted to almyghty god, vnto whose mercye it is mete and conueniente for vs to commende them, trustynge that god accepteth oure prayers for them, referrynge the reste holly to god, to whome is kno­wen theyr estate and condicion. Wherfore it is moche necessa­rie, that suche abuses be clerely put awaye, whiche vnder the name of purgatorie, hathe bene aduaunced: as to make men beleue, that throughe the bysshop of Romes pardons soules might clerely be de­lyuered out of purgatorie, and all the peynes of it: or the masses sayd at Scala celi, or other where, in any place, or before any ymage, myght lykewyse delyuer them from all theyr peyne, and sende them streyght to heuen, and other lyke abuses.



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