¶The fyrste Sermon of May∣ter Hughe Latimer, whi∣che he preached before the Kinges Maiestie wythin his gra∣ces palayce at Westmin∣ster, M. D. XLIX. the .viii. of March.
Cū gratia et Priuilegio ad imprimendum solum.
¶To the ryghte vertu∣ous & gracious Lady Katherin Douchesse of Suffolke, Thomas Some, her humble and fayth∣full Oratoure, wysheth Godly fauoure and euerla∣sting sal∣uacion from god the father through Iesus Christ our mercyfull Lorde.
WHan man is borne for man, that one to another shoulde be a God, and not a deuyll, an helper, no hynde∣rer. Vnto whom also the vse of the tonge is only geuen, wherby they do both expresse & shewe the affections of their mindes, there is no man which can say, I haue no nede of any man.
☜But amonges infinite mischiefes and euyls of manns pouertie and anguish, by which he hath nede of other mēnes helpe, is the instruction of prudence or vertue & of science. For mākynd doth in thys pre∣cel chiefly brute beastes because thei helpe one another by mutual communication.
Page [unnumbered] In learnynge good and vertues ma∣ners, the vse of communyng is required chiefly, that men errynge and ignoraunte should be taught, for there is none which shall euer learne of him selfe, all thoughe he be neuer so happily borne.
Therfore, it shal become euerye man, which doth intēd to lyue godly, to heare & learne godly bookes, to printe heauenly documentes in their hartes. For as euyll doctrine, deuilysh bokes, and fylthy talke do corrupt good maners: so faithfull pre∣ceptes, godly bokes, chast commonynge and honest, shal edifie, and confirme.
Wherfore▪ intendinge to do good vnto al mē & namely vnto suche, as erre & be igno¦rant, I haue gathered, write, and brought into lyght the famous fryday sermōs of Mayster Hugh Latimer, whiche be prea∣ched in Lent last past, before oure moste, noble Kinge Edward the sixte, at the new Palaice of Westminster, the thirde yeare of hys reigne. Whiche Sermons (moste vertuous Lady) I dedicate vnto your ho∣norable grace, nothing doubting but that you wyll gladly imbrace them, not onlye because of their excellēcie, but chiefly for the profyte whyche shal ensue thoroughe them vnto the ignorante.
Page [unnumbered] For in them are frutefull and godlye documentes, directing ordinatly not on∣ly the stepps, conuersatyon, and liuing of kinges: but also of other mynisters and subiectes vnder hym. And let no man be greued though it be not so exactlye done as he did speake it, for in very dede I am not able so to do, to write word for word as he did speake, that passeth my capacitie though I hadde .xx. mens wittes, and no fewer handes to wryte withal. As it is vn¦possyble that a litell ryuer should receyue the recourse of the main sea wt in his brym¦mes, so that no water should ouer whelm the sides therof: In lyke maner is it more vnlyke my sym•le witte to comprehende absolutely the abundaunt eloquence and learnyng which floweth most abundantli out of godly Latymers mouth.
Notwithstandyng, yet had I rather with shamefastnes declare charitably thys parte of hys godly documentes, & counsel then with slowthfulnes forgette or kepe close folyshly, that thyng which may pro∣fit many.
Who is that wyll not be glad to heare and beleue the doctryne of godly Lati∣mer? Whome God hath appoynted a prophet, vnto our most noble Kyng, and Page [unnumbered] vnto our Realme of England, to declare the message of the lyuynge God, to sup∣plante and rote out al sinnes and vice, to plante & graffe in mens hartes the plen∣teousnes of all spiritual blessynges in Ie∣sus Chryst our Lorde?
Moses, Ieremias, Helias, dyd neuer declare the true message of god vnto their rulers and people, wyth a more syncere spirite, faithfull minde and godlye zeale, then godlye Latymer both now in oure daies vnto oure moste noble Kyng & vnto the whole realme.* Furthermore also Io∣sia receyued neuer the boke of gods wyll at the handes of Helkia the hie preiste, or yt admonicion of Hulda yt prophetesse, with a more perfect and godly feare, then oure most noble Kinge doth moste faithfullye, geue credite vnto the wordes of good fa∣ther Latimer. And I haue no doubte but all godly men wyl lykewise receiue glad∣ly his godly Sermons & geue credit vnto the same. Therfore this my rude laboure of another mans swet (most vertuous la∣dy) I offer most humbly vnto your grace, moued ther vnto of godly zeale, thorough the Godlye fame, that is disperst vnyuer¦sally of your most godly disposicion, and vnfayned loue towardes the lyuynge, Page [unnumbered] almyghtye, eternall God and hys holye word, practysed dayly both in your gra∣ces most vertuous behauour, and also godly charitie towardes the edificatiō of euery membre graffed in Chryste Iesu, most humbly desiryng your grace to ac∣cept fauorably thys my temerous inter∣prise. And I your most humble and fayth¦ful Oratour shall praye vnto Iehouah, the God which is of himself, by whom, and in whome, all thynges lyue, moue, & be, that, that good worke whych he hath begonne in you he may performe it vnto your laste endynge, thorough our Lorde Iesu Chryst, who preserue and kepe your grace now and euer. So be it.
¶The argument of the Sermon.
IN this fyrst Sermō is decla¦red, & taught the godlye elec∣tion of a Kyng, and a rule of godly lyuynge as touchynge hys owne person. Where he proueth oure moost excellent King Edward, to be our most lawful king both by natiuitie, and cōtrey, yea, and now appoynted in these our dayes to delyuer vs from the daunger and captiuitie of Egypt and wicked Pharao, that is from, errour & ignorāce & the deuelishe antichrist the Pope of Rome. The forme of his godly rule also he deuyded here in this sermon in thre par∣tes.* Fyrst that he shuld not truste to muche vnto his owne strēgth and policy, but only to walke ordinatly with God and to make him his lodes man and chief guyde. Secon¦darily that he lyue not lassyuyously and wā¦tonly, folowyng venerial affections, but to lyue chastly. And whan time shal require, to leade a pure lyfe, vnder the yoke of matri∣monye, admonishing both his grace, and al other Maiestrates to be circūspecte in cho¦synge a wyfe, eyther for them selues or for theyr children, hauing this alwaies in min∣de, that she be, of a faythfull house, godlye broght vp, & of a pure life. Thirdly he admo¦nyshed the kynges grace, that he should not desyre gold & syluer to muche, prouyngs by many argumentes that kynd of vice wyth the other forsaid, to be destruction not only vnto the kynges grace: but also vnto the whole realme & people, In these thinges cō¦systith the whole summe of this sermon.Page [unnumbered]
The fyrst sermon Of M. Latimer.
The spiritual swerde is in the handes of the ministers & prea∣chers,*Page [unnumbered] where vnto all Kynges, Maiestrates &, Rulers ought to be obediente, that is to heare, and folowe, so longe as the mi∣nisters sitte in Christes chayre,* that is, speakyng out of Christes boke.
The Kynge correcteth trans∣gressours wyth the temporall swerd, yea, and ye preacher also, if he be an offender: But the prea∣cher can not correcte the kynge if he be a transgressor of goddes word, wyth ye temporal swearde, But he muste correcte and re∣proue hym wyth the spyrituall swearde, fearynge no man, set∣tynge God only before hys eyes, vnder whome he is a minister to supplante and roote vppe all vyce and myschiefe by Goddes worde, whereunto all menne Page [unnumbered] oughte to be obedyente, as is mencyoned in manye places of scripture, and amonges manye this is one.*
¶Quecunque iusserint vos seruare, seruate, et facite.
What so euer they byd you obserue, that obserue and doo. Therfore let the preacher teach improue,* amende an instructe in ryghtuousnes, wyth the spy∣rituall sweard, fearynge no man thoughe death shoulde ensue. Thus Moyses fearyng no man wyth thys swearde,* dyd, reproue Kyng Pharao, at Goddes com∣maundement.
Micheas the prophet also dyd not spare to blame Kyng Achab for hys wyckednes,* accordynge to goddes wyl, & to prophesye of hys destrucion contrarye vnto Page [unnumbered] manye false Prophetes. These forsayde kynges beynge admo∣nyshed by the ministers of gods worde, because they woulde not folow theyr godly doctryne and correcte theyr lyues,* came vnto vtter destruccion. Pharao ge∣uynge no credite vnto Moyses the prophet of God, but apply∣ant vnto the lustes of hys owne herte,* what tyme he heard of the passage of Goddes people, ha∣uyng no feare or remembraunce of gods worke, he dyd prosecute after entendyng to destroye thē, and was drowned in the red sea. Kynge Acab also because he wold not herken vnto Micheas was kylde with an arrow.* Like wyse also the house of Ieroboā wyth other many,* came vnto de∣struccion, because he woulde not Page [unnumbered] heare the ministers of Goddes worde, and correcte hys lyfe ac∣cordyng vnto hys wyl, and plea¦sure.* Let the preacher therefore neuer feare to declare the mes∣sage of God vnto all men. And if the kyng wyll not heare theim then the preachers maye admo∣nyshe and charge theym wyth theyr dewties, and so leaue them vnto God and praye for theym.* But if the preachers digrese out of Christes chaire, & shall speake their owne Phansyes, then in¦stede of. Quecunque iusserint vos, fa∣cere, facite, et seruate.
What so euer they bid you ob∣serue, that obserue & do. Chaūge it into these woordes folowe∣ynge:* Cauete vero vobis apseudo Pro∣phetis qui veniunt ad vos. &c.
Beware of false Prophetes Page [unnumbered] whych come vnto you in shepes clothyng, but inwardly, they are rauenynge woulffes, ye shall knowe theym by theyr fruites: Yea, change Quecunque iusserint (yf their doctryne be euyll) into Cauete a fermento pharise orum,* &c.
That is Take hede and beware of the leauen of the Pharyseis, & of the Saduces. In teachinge euell doctryne, all preachers are to be eschewed, and in no wyse to be harkened vnto. In spea∣king trueth, thei are to be heard. All thynges wrytten in goddes boke,* are moost certaine true, and profitable for all men. For in it is contayned mete matter for Kynges, Prynces, Rulares, Byshoppes, and for all estates. Wherfore, it behoueth euerye preacher, sumwhat to appoynte Page [unnumbered] and accomodate him selfe, and hys matter agreable vnto the comforte, and amendemente of the audience, vnto the whiche he declareth the message of God. If he preache before a kyng, let hys matter be concernynge the office of a kinge, if before a by∣shoppe, then lette him treate of byshoplye dutyes and orders, and so forthe in other matters, as time & audience shal require.
I haue thoughte it good, to intreate vpon these wordes fo∣lowynge whyche are wrytten in the .xvii. Chapter of Deutero∣nomye.
One of thy brethren must thou make Kynge ouer the, and mai∣est not set a straunger ouer the, whiche is not of thy brethren. But in anye wyse, lette hym not holde to manye horsses, that he brynge not the people agayne to Egypte, thorowe the multitude of horsses, for as muche as the Lorde hathe sayde vnto you: ye shall hence forthe go no more a∣gayne that waye. Also he shall not haue to manye wyues, leaste hys herte turne awaye, neyther shall he gather hym syluer and goulde to muche. As in diuerse Page [unnumbered] other places of Scriptures, is mete matter for all estates, So in thys forsayde place is dyscri∣bed chiefely the doctryne fyt for a kynge. But who is worthye to vtter thys doctryne before oure most noble kynge? Not I God knoweth, whyche am throughe age, both weake in body, and ob∣liuious, vnapte I am, not onely because of paynefull studye, but also for the shorte warnynge. Wel vnto God I wyl make my mone, whoe neuer fayled me. Auxiliator in necessitatibus.
GOD is my healper in all my necessities. To hym alone wyll I make my peticion. To praye vnto sayntes departed I am not taughte, to desyre lyke grace of God as they had (ryghte Godly Page [unnumbered] it is (•or to beleue God to be no lesse mercyfull vnto vs beynge faythful) thē he was vnto them, greatly comfortable it is. Ther∣fore only vnto God let vs lyfte vp our hertes and say the lordes prayer.
GVm veneris. &c.* When thou art come vnto y• lād which the lord. &c. Thou shalt appoynte him king. &c. One of thy brethrē [ i] must thou make king ouer the, & must not set a straūger, ouer the which is not of thy brethren.
[ ij] But in anye wyse let not suche one prepare vnto hym selfe ma∣ny horses, that he bryng not. &c.
[ iji] Furthermore let hym not pre∣pare vnto hym selfe manye wy∣ues, leaste hys herte recede from Page [unnumbered] God. Nor he shal not multiplye [ iiij] vnto hym selfe, to much goulde, and syluer. As the text doeth rise I wyll tuch and go a lyttle in e∣uerye place, vntyll I come vnto to muche. I wyll touche all the forsayde thynges, but not to muche. The texte is, when thou shalt come into the land. &c.
To haue a kynge the Israelites dyd wyth muche importunitye call vnto God, and God longe before promised theym a kynge, and were fully certified thereof that GOD had promised that thynge.* For vnto Abraham he sayed: Ego crescere te faciam vehemen¦ter, ponamque te in gentes, sed et reges ex te prodibunt.
That is, I wyl multiply the ex∣cedyngely, & wyl make naciōs of the, yea & kinges shal spring out Page [unnumbered] of the. These wordes were spo∣ken longe before the chyldren of Israell had any king. Notwith∣standyng, yet God prescribed vnto thē an order, how thei shuld chose their kynge, & what maner a man he shoulde be, where he sayeth: whan thou shalt come in to the lande. &c. As who shoulde saye, O ye chyldren of Israell I knowe your nature ryghte well, which is euyl, and inclined vnto al euyls. I know that thou wilt chose a kyng to raygne ouer the, and to apere glorious in the face of the worlde, after the manner of Gentyles. But because thou arte styffe necked, wylde, and art geuen to walke wythoute a bry∣del, and lyne. Therefore nowe I wyl preuent thy euyl and beastly Page [unnumbered] manners, I wyl hedge strongly thy waye, I wyll make a dura∣ble lawe, whyche shal compel the to walke ordinatelye, and in a playne waye, that is thou shalt not chose the a Kynge after thy wyll and fantasye, but after me thy Lorde and God. Thus, God condicioned wyth the Iewes, that their kinge should be suche a one as he hym selfe wold chose theym.* And was not muche vn∣lyke the bargayne that I hearde of late shoulde be betwixte two frinds for a horse the owner pro∣mised the other shoulde haue the horse if he would, the other axed the price, he sayd .xx. nobles. The other woulde gyue hym but .iiii. pound, the owner said he should not haue hym then. The other claymed the horse bycause he Page [unnumbered] sayde, he shoulde haue hym if he would. Thus thys bargayne be came a Westminster matter, the lawyers gote twyse the valure of the horse, and when all came to all, two fooles made an ende of the matter. Howe be it, the Is∣raelites coulde not go to lawe wyth GOD, for chosynge theyr kynge, for woulde they, nyl they theyr kynge shold be of hys cho∣syng, lest they shoulde walke in∣ordinatly, in a deceyuable waye, vnto theyr vtter losse & destruc∣cion. For as they say communly Qui vadit plaue, vadit saue▪ that is. He that walketh playnely,* wal∣keth safelye. As the Iewes were styfnecked, and were euer ready to walke inordinatelye, no lesse are we Englyshe men geuen to vntowardnes, and inordinate Page [unnumbered] walkynge after oure owne fan∣tasyes and braynes. We wyll walke wythoute the Limites of Goddes worde, we wyll chose a kyng at oure owne pleasure.*
But let vs learne to frame oure lyues after the noble kyng Da∣uyd whyche when he had manye occacions, geuen of kyng Saul to worke euyll, for euyl, yea, and hauynge manye tymes oportu∣nity to perfourme mischiefe and to slay kyng Saule, Neuerthe∣lesse yet fearynge,* would, not fo∣lowe hys fleshlye affections and walke inordinatelye, wythoute the wyll of Gods worde, whych he confessed alwayes to be hys direccion,* sayinge. Lucerna pedi∣bus meis verbum tuum et lumen semi∣tis meis.* Thy worde, O Lorde is a Lanterne vnto my feete, Page [unnumbered] and a lyghte vnto my steppes. Thus hauynge in mynde, to walke ordinatly he dyd alwaies auoyde to do euyll. For whan kynge Saul was in a caue with out anye man, Dauyd and hys men syttynge by the sydes of the caue, yea and Dauyds men mo∣uynge hym to kyl Saul, Dauid made answere and said vnto thē: Seruetiue dominus,* ne remistani. &c. cō∣tra dominū meū Messiam. &c. That is The Lorde kepe me from doing this thyng vnto my maister yt is the lordes anoynted. At another tyme also, moued by Abisay to kyl Saul sleping, Dauyd sayd:* Ne interficias eum, quis enimimpune manum suam inferret vucto domini. &c. That is: Destroye hym not, for who can laye hys handes on the Lordes annoynted and be gylte∣les Page [unnumbered] &c. I would God we woulde folowe kynge Dauyd, and then we should walke ordinatly, & yet do but that we are bound of du∣tye to do, for God sayeth: Quode∣go brecipio, hoc tantum facito.
That thyng which I command that on••y do.* There is a greate errour risen now a daies among many of vs, whyche are vaine & newe fangled men, climbyng be∣yond the lymites of our capaci∣tye and witte, in wrenching this texte of scripture, hereafter folo∣wing, after their owne phantasie and braine,* their errour is vpon this texte: Audi vocem populi in omni∣bus que dicunt tibi, non enim te repro∣bant sed me reprobarunt, ne regnem su∣per eos.
That is: Heare the voyce of the people in all that they saye vnto Page [unnumbered] the, for they haue not caste the a¦waye but me. They wrench these wordes awrye after their owne fantasies, & make muche doubte as touchynge a kynge, and hys Godlye name. They that so do walketh inordinatly, they walke not directly and playnly, but de∣lite in balkes, and stubble waye.*
It maketh no matter by what name the rulers be named, if so be they shall walke ordinatelye with God, and direct theyr steps wyth God. For both patriarkes Iudges, and kynges, had, and haue their authoritie of god, and therfore Godly. But thys ought to be considered which God say∣eth. Non preficere tibi potes hominem alienum. that is. Thou muste not set a straunger ouer the.
It hath pleased God to graunte Page [unnumbered] vs a naturall liege Kynge and Lorde,* of oure owne nacion, an Englyshe man, one of our owne religion. God hath geuen hym vnto vs, and is a most precious treasure, and yet many of vs do desyre a straunger to be kynge ouer vs. Let vs no more desyre to be bankers, but lette vs ende∣uoure to walke ordinatelye and plainely, after the word of God. Let vs folow Daniel, let vs not seke the death of our most noble and ryghtfull Kynge, our owne brother, boeth by natiuitye, and Godly religion. Let vs praie for hys good state, that he may lyue long among vs.
Oh what a plage were it,* that a straunge kynge of a straunge land, and of a straunge religion shoulde raygne ouer vs. Where Page [unnumbered] nowe we he gouerned in the true religion,* he shoulde extirpe and plucke awaye all together, and then plante agayne all abo∣mynacion, and Popery. GOD kepe such a kynge from vs.
Well the Kinges grace hath systers, my Ladye Marye, and my Lady Elizabeth, whyche by succession and course, are enheri∣tours to the Crowne. Who i• they should marye with straun∣gers, what should ensue GOD knoweth. But god graunte they neuer come vnto coursynge, nor succedynge. Therefore to auoyd thys plage, lette vs amende oure lyues and put awaye all pryde whyche dothe drowne menne in thys realme at those dayes, all couetousnes where in the ma∣gistrates and tyche men of thys Page [unnumbered] realme are ouer whelmed, all le∣chery and other excessyue vyces, prouokyng goddes wrath, were he not mercyefull, euen to take from vs oure natural kyng and leyge Lord, yea, and to plage vs wyth a straunge kynge for oure vnrepentaunte herte. Where∣fore (if as ye sai) ye loue the king amende youre lyues,* and then ye shalbe a meane that GOD shall lende hym vs longe to ra∣ygne ouer vs, for vndowtedlye synnes prouoke muche goddes wrath scripture sayeth.
Dabo tibi regē in furore meo. That is I wyll geue the a Kinge in my wrath. Nowe we haue a lawfull king, a godly king, neuertheles yet many euils do raigne. Long tyme the ministers appoynted, Page [unnumbered] hath studied to amende, and re∣dres al euyles, longe time before thys, greate laboure hathe bene about this matter, greate crakes hath bene made that all shoulde be well. But when all came to all for all theyr bostes, lyttle or nothynge was done, in whome these wordes of Horace may wel be verified,* sayinge. Parturiunt montes, nas•etur ridiculus mus. The moūtaynes swelleth vp, the pore mouse is brought out: longe be∣fore thys tyme, manye hath ta∣ken in hande to brynge manye thynges vnto passe, but finallye theyr workes came vnto smalle effect and profyt. Nowe I heare say all thynges are ended after a Godlye maner, or els shortelye shalbe. Make haste, make haste, and let vs learne to conuerte, to Page [unnumbered] repente, and amende our lyues. If we do not, I feare, I feare, lest for our synnes and vnthāk∣fulnes, an Hipocrit shall raigne ouer vs. Long we haue bene ser¦uantes and in bondage,* seruing the pope in Egypte. God hath geuen vs a deliuerer, a naturall kyng.* Let vs seke no straunger of another nacion, no Hypocrite whyche shall brynge in agayne al papistrie, hipocrisie, and Ido∣latrye. No diabolicall minister whyche shall mayntayne all de∣uilyshe worckes and euyll exer∣cises.* But let vs praye that god mayntayne and continue oure moost excelente kynge here pre∣sent, true inheritoure of this our realme,* boeth by natiuytye, and also by the speciall gyfte and or∣dinaunce of GOD. He doth vs Page [unnumbered] rectify in the libertye of the gos∣pell, in that therfore let vs stād. State ergo in libertate,* qua Christus nos liberauit. Stande ye in the ly∣bertye, wherewyth Christe hath made vs free. In Christes ly∣bertie we shall stande, If we so lyue that we profyte. If we cast awaye al euyl, fraude, & deceyte wyth such other vices, contrary to gods word. And in so doinge we shall not onely prolong and mayntayne our most noble kin∣ges dayes in prosperitie: but al¦so we shall prosper our owne ly∣ues to lyue not only prosperous∣ly, but also godly.
In any wyse,* lette no suche a wone prepare vnto him self ma∣nye horses. &c. In speakynge these wordes, ye shal vnderstād, that I do not entende to speake Page [unnumbered] agaynste the strengthe, polycye, and prouysyon of a king, but a∣gaynste excesse, and vaine truste that kynges haue in them sel∣ues, more thē in the liuinge god the authour of al goodnes, and geuer of al victorye. Many hor¦ses are requisite for a kyng, but he maye not excede in them, nor triumphe in them, more then is nedefull for the necessarye affai∣res and defence of the realme: what meaneth it, that god hath to do wyth the kynges stable? But only he woulde be mayster of hys horsses: the Scrypture sayeth,* In altis habitat, He dwel∣leth on hye, it foloweth. Humilia respicte He loketh on lowe thyn∣ges,* yea vpon the Kynges sta∣bles, and vpon all the offyces in hys house. God is great grande mayster of the Kynges house, & Page [unnumbered] wyll take accompte of euery one that beareth rule therein, for the executyng of their offices: Whe∣ther they haue iustly and truely serued the kyng in theyr offyces or no. Yea God loketh vpon the kynge hym selfe, if he worcketh wel or not. Euery kynge is sub∣iecte vnto God, and all other men are subiectes vnto the king In a king God requireth fayth, not exces of horsses. Horsses for a kyng be good and necessary, if thei be wel vsed. But horsses are not to be preferred aboue poore men. I was ones offended wyth the kynges horses, and therefore toke occasion to speke in the pre∣sens of the kynges maiestie that deade is, whan Abbeis stode. Ab¦beis were ordeyned for the com∣forte of the poore. Wherefore I Page [unnumbered] sayde it was not decente that the kynges horses shoulde be kepte in theym (as manye were at that tyme) the lyuynge of poore men therby minished and takē awai. But afterwarde a certayne no∣ble man sayed to me, what haste thou to do wyth the kinges hor∣ses: I answered, & sayd, I speke my conscience as Goddes word directeth me. He saied: horses be the maintenaunces and parte of a kynges honoure, and also of hys realme, wherfore in speking agaynste theym ye are agaynste the kinges honour.* I answered: God teacheth what honoure is decente for the kynge and for all other men accordyng vnto their vocacions. God apoynteth eue∣ry kyng a sufficiente lyuyng for hys state and degree, boeth by Page [unnumbered] lādes and other customes. And it is lawfull for euery kynge to enioye the same goods and pos∣sessions. But to extorte & take awaye the ryghte of the poore is agaynste the honoure of the kynge. And you do moue the kynge to do after that manner, then you speake agaynste the honoure of the kynge. For I full certifye you,* extorcioners, violēt oppressers, ingrossers of tenementes & landes, throughe whose couetousnes, villages de caye and fall downe, the Kyn∣ges leige people for lacke of su∣stinaunce are famished and de∣cayed. They be those whyche speke agaynst the honour of the Kynge.* God requyreth in the king and al magistrates a good herte, to walke directlye in hys Page [unnumbered] wayes. And in all subiectes, an obedience dewe vnto a kynge. Therefore I pray god both the kyng & also we hys people may endeuer diligētli to walke in his wayes, to hys greate honoure and oure profite.* Let hym not prepare vnto hym selfe to many wyues. &c. Althoughe we reade here that the kinges amongest the Iewes,* had libertye to take more wyues then one, we maye not therefore attempte to walke inordinatly and to thynke that we may take also many wyues.
For Christ hath forbydden thys vnto vs Christians. And lette vs not impute synne vnto the Iewes because they hadde many wyues. For they hadde a dispensacyon so to do. Christ limitteth one wyfe vnto vs only Page [unnumbered] And it is a greate thynge for a man to rule one wyfe ryghtely, & ordinatly. For a woman is frayl and procliue vnto all euels, a woman is a very weake vessel, & maye sone deceyue a manne, and brynge hym vnto euel. Manye examples we haue in holy scrip∣ture. Adam had but one wyfe called Eue,* and howe sone had she brought hym to consent vn∣to euell, and to come to destruc∣cion. Howe dyd wycked Iesabel prouente Kynge Hachabs herte from God and al godlynes, and fynally vnto destruccion.* It is a very hard thynge for a man to rule well one woman. Therfore let oure kynge, what tyme hys grace shalbe so mynded to take a wyfe, to chose hym one, whych is of God, that is, whyche is of Page [unnumbered] the houshoulde of fayth. Yea let all estates be no les circumspect in chosyng her, taking greate de¦liberacion, and then shall not nede dyuorsementes, and suche myscheues, to the euyl example and slaunder of our realme,* and that she be one as the kynge can fynd in hys hert to loue and lede hys lyfe in pure and chaste espo∣sage, and then shall he be the more prone and redy to aduaūce gods glory, punishe and extirpe, the greate lecherye vsed in thys realme. Therefore we oughte to make a continuall prayer vnto God, for to graunte our kynges grace such a mate as maye knyt hys herte and hers, accordynge to Goddes ordinaunce and law, and not consider and cleaue one∣lye to politycke matter or con∣iunccion, Page [unnumbered] for the enlargynge of dominions, for suertye and de∣fence of contreys, settyng aparte the institucion and ordinaunce of God. We haue nowe a prety litle shillyng, in dede a very pre¦ty one.* I haue but one I thinke in my purse, and the laste daye I had put it awaye almoste for an olde grote, and so I truste some wyll take them. The fyne∣nes of the Syluer▪ I can not se. But therein is Printed a fyne sentence: that is. Timor Domini fons vite, vel sapientie.* The feare of the Lorde is the fountayne of lyfe or wysedome. I woulde God this sentence were alwaies prynted in the herte of the kyng in chosynge hys wyfe,* and in all hys offycers. For lyke as the feare of God is fons sapiencie, or vi∣te, Page [unnumbered]•o the forgettyng of GOD is fons stulticie the foūtaine of folysh¦nes or of death,* althoughe it be neuer so politike: for vpon such politike matters death doth en∣sue and folowe. All their deuor∣cementes and other lyke condi∣ciones to the greate displeasure of almyghtye God, whyche e∣uylles I feare me, is much vsed at these dayes in the mariage of noble mens chyldrē, for ioyning landes to landes, possessions to possessiōs, neither the vertuous educacion, nor liuynge being re∣garded, but in the infancy suche mariages be made, to the disple∣asure of god & breach of espou∣sals. Let the king therfore chose vnto hym a godly wife, wherby he shal the better lyue chast, and in so liuyng al godlines shal en∣encrease, Page [unnumbered] and ryghtuousnes be mayntained. Notwythstandyng I knowe, here after some wyll come and moue youre grace to∣wardes wantonnes and to the inclinacion of the fleshe & vaine affeccions.* But I woulde your Grace shoulde beare in memory an hystorye of a good kyng cal∣led Lewes, that trauaylled to∣wardes the holye lande (whyche was a greate matter in those da∣yes) and by the waye syckened, beynge longe absente from hys wyfe. And vpon thys matter the Phisicians did agre, that it was for lacke of a woman,* And dyd consulte with the bishoppes ther in, who dyd conclude that be∣cause of the dystaunce of hys wyfe (beyng in an other contrie) he shoulde take a wenche. Thys Page [unnumbered] good kinge hering their conclu∣sion would not consent ther vn∣to, but sayde: he hadde rather be sycke then vnto death, then he wold breake his espousals. Wo worth such counsellers, bishops, naye rather Bussardes. Neuer∣theles if the kynge shoulde haue consented to their conclusyon, and accomplished the same, if he had not chansed wel, they would haue executed the matter as I haue hearde of two that haue consulted together, and accor∣dynge to the aduyse of his frend the one of them wrought, where the succession was not good.
The other imputed a piese of re∣proche to hym for hys such coū∣sell geuen. He excused the mat∣ter, sayeinge that he gaue hym none other counsell, but if it had Page [unnumbered] bene hys cause he woulde haue done lykewyse. So I thinke the bishops would haue excused the matter, if the king shoulde haue reproued them for their counsel.* I do not rede that the King did rebuke them for their coūcel, but if he had, I knowe what would haue bene theyr answere. They woulde haue saide, we geue you no worsse councel, then we wold haue folowed oure selues, if we had ben in like case: wel sir this Kynge dyd well,* & had the feare of God before his eies. He wold not walke in bywalkes, where are many balkes. Amōgest ma∣ny balkīges, is much stūbling, & by stōling it chaunceth mani ti¦mes to fal downe to the ground. And therfore, let vs not take a∣ny bywalkes, but let gods word. Page [unnumbered] directe vs, let vs not walke af∣ter, nor leane to our owne iudge¦mentes & procedynges of oure forfathers, nor seke not what they dyd, but what they should haue done, of which thing scrip∣ture admonysheth vs, sayinge:
Ne inclinemus preceptis et traditioni∣bus patrum neque faciamus quod vide∣tur rectum in oculis nostris.*
Let vs not incline our selues vnto the preceptes and trady∣cyons of oure fathers, nor lette vs do that semeth ryghte in our eyes. But suerlye, we wyll not exchange oure fathers doynges and tradicious, wyth scripture, but chiefely leane vnto thē and to theyr prescripcion, and do that semeth good in oure owne eyes. But suerlye that is go∣ynge downe the ladder, Sca∣la Page [unnumbered] Celi as it was made by the Pope, came to be a Masse, but that is a false ladder to brynge men to heauen. The true ladder to brynge a man to heauen is the knowledge and folowynge of scripture. Let the kynge ther∣fore chose a wyfe whiche feareth God, let hym not seke a proude, wanton,* and one ful of rich trea∣sures and worldelye pompe. He shal not multiply vnto him selfe to much gold and siluer.
Is there to muche thyncke you for a kynge? God doeth alowe muche vnto a kynge, and it is expedyente that he shoulde haue muche,* for he hath greate expen∣ses, and many occasions to spend much for the defence and suertie of his realme and subiectes.
And necessary it is that a kynge Page [unnumbered] haue a treasure alwayes in a re¦dines, for that, and suche other affaires, as be dayly in hys han¦des. The which treasure, if it be not sufficiente, he maye lawful∣ly and wyth a salue conscience, take taxes of hys subiectes. For it were not mete the treasure shoulde be in the subiectes pur∣ses, whan the money shoulde be occupied, nor it were not best for them selues: for the lacke there∣of, it myghte cause both it, and al the rest that they haue should not long be theirs.* And so for a necessarye and expediente occa∣sion, it is warranted by goddes worde to take of the subiectes. But if there be sufficiente trea∣sures, and the burdennynge of subiectes be for a vayne thyng. so yt he wyl require thus much, Page [unnumbered] or so much of his subiects (whi∣che perchaunce are in greate ne¦cessitye, and penurye) Then this couetous intēt, and the requeste thereof,* is to muche, which God forbiddeth the king here in this place of scripture to haue. But who shall se this to much,* or tell ye king of this to much. Thinke you anye of the Kynges prieuie chāber? No. For feare of losse of fauer. Shal anye of his sworne Chapelins? No. Thei be of the clausset and kepe close such mat¦ters. But the Kynge hym selfe must se this to much,* and yt shal he do by no meanes with the cor¦porall eyes:* Wherfore, he must haue a payer of spectacles, whi∣che shall haue to cleare syghtes in thē, that is, that one is faith, not a seasonable fayeth, whych Page [unnumbered] shall laste but a whyle, but a fayeth, whyche is continuynge in GOD. The seconde cleare syght is charitye, whyche is fer∣uente towardes hys Chrysten brother. By them two, must the Kynge se euer whan he hath to muche. But fewe there be that vseth these spectacles, the more is theyr damnacion. Not wyth out cause Chrisostome wyth ad¦miracion sayeth.
Miror si aliquis rectorum potest saluari.* I maruaile if anye ruler can be saued. Whyche wordes he speaketh not of an impossi∣bilitye, but of a great difficultie For that their charge is marue¦lous greate,* & that none aboute them dare shew thē the truth of the thing how it goth:* well, thē, if God wyl not alowe a king to Page [unnumbered] much,* Whether wyl he alowe a subiect to much? no, yt he wil not Whether hath anye man here in Englande to much? I doubt most ryche men haue to muche, for wythout to muche, we can get nothynge.* As for example. The Phisician: If the pore mā be diseased, he can haue no helpe wtout to muche. & of the lawier the pore man can get no coūcel,* expediciō, nor helpe in hys mat∣ter, except he geue him to much. At marchantes hands no kind of wares can be had,* except we geue for it to muche. You lande¦lordes, you rentreisers, I maye saye you steplordes, you vnna∣tural lordes, you haue for your possessions yerely to much. For that herebefore wēt for, xx. or .xl poūd by yere, which is an honst Page [unnumbered] porcion to be had gratis in one Lordeshyp, of a nother mannes sweat and laboure:* now is it let for .l. or .a. C. pound by yere. Of thys to muche commeth thys monsterous and portentuous dearthes made by man, notwith¦standyng GOD doeth send vs plentifullye the fruites of the earth, mercyfullye, contrarye vnto oure desertes, Not wyth∣standynge to muche, whyche these ryche menne haue, causeth suche dearth, that poore men ne (whyche lyue of their laboure) can not wyth the sweate of their face haue a liuynge, al kynde of vittales is so dere, pigges, gese, capons, chickens, egges. &c.
These thinges with other are so vnresonably enhansed.* And I thinke verely, that if yet this cō¦tinewe, Page [unnumbered] we shal al length be cō∣strayned to paye for a pygge a pounde. I wyll tel you my lor∣des & maysters, thys is not for the kynges honoure.* Yet some wyl saye, knowest thou what be¦lōgeth vnto the kinges honour better then we? I answere, that the true honoure of a Kynge, is moost perfectly mencioned and painted furth in the scriptures, of which, if ye be ignoraunt, for lacke of tyme, yt ye cannot reade it, albeit that your counsayle be neuer so politicke, yet is it not for the kynges honoure.* What hys honour meaneth ye cannot tell. It is the kynges honour yt his subiectes be led in the true religion.* That all hys prelates and Cleargie be set about their worcke in preching & studiyng, Page [unnumbered] and not to be interrupted from their charge.* Also it is ye kinges honour that the commē wealth be auaunsed, that the dearth of these forsaied thinges be proui∣ded for, and the commodities of thys Realme so emploied, as it maye be to the settyng hys sub∣iectes on worke, and keping thē from ydlenes. And herin resteth the kynges honour and hys of∣fyce. So doynge, hys accompte before God shalbe alowed, and rewarded.* Further more, if the kinges honour (as sum mē say) standeth in the great multitude of people. Then these grasiers, inclosers, and renterearers, are hinderers of the kings honour. For wheras haue bene a great meany of householders and in∣habitauntes, ther is nowe but a Page [unnumbered] knowe his intent in it. For if ye bring it to passe, that the yoman¦ry be not able to put their sōnes to schole (as in dede vniuersi∣ties do wonderously decaye all redy) and that they be not able to mary theyr daughters to the auoidyng of whoredome,* I say ye plucke saluacion frō the peo∣ple,* & vtterly distroie the realm. For by yomans sōnes,* the faith of Christe is, & hath bene main∣tayned chiefely. Is this realme taught by rich mens sōnes. No no, reade the Cronicles ye shall fynde sumtyme noble mennes sonnes, which haue bene vnpre∣chyng byshoppes and prelates, but ye shal fynd none of theym learned men.* But verelye, they that shoulde loke to the redresse of these thinges, be the greatest Page [unnumbered] agaynst thē. In this realme are a great many of folkes, & amon∣gest many, I knowe but one of tender zeale at the mocion of his poore tenauntes, hathe let do∣wne hys landes to the olde ren∣tes for their reliefe. For goddes loue, let not him be a Phenix, let him not be alone. Let hym not be an Hermite closed in a wall, sum good man follow him and do as he geueth example.* Sur∣ueiers ther be, yt gredylye gorge vp their couetouse guttes, hand makers, I meane (honest men I touch not) but all suche as sur∣uei, thei make vp their mouthes but the commens be vtterly vn¦done by thē.* Whose bytter crye ascending vp to the eares of the god of Sabaoth, the gredy pyt of hel burnyng fyre (wtout great Page [unnumbered] repētaunce) to tary and loke for thē. A redresse God graunt. For suerly, suerlye, but yt .ii. thynges do cōfort me, I wold dispaire of the redres in these maters. One is, that the kinges maiestie whā he commeth to age, wyll se a re∣dres of these thynges so oute of frame. Geuynge example by let¦ting doune his own hādes first & then enioyne hys subiectes to folowe him. The second hope I haue is, I beleue that the gene∣ral accomptyng day is at hand, the dreadfull day of iudgement I meane, whych shall make an end of al these calamities & mise¦ries. For as the Scriptures be Cum dixerint pax pax. When they shal say, peace, peace: Omnia tuta, all thynges are sure: Thē is the day at hand, a mery day I saye, Page [unnumbered] for all such as do in thys world studye to serue & please god, and continue in his fayth, feare and loue: & a dreadeful, horible day for them that decline from God walking in their own waies, to whom as it is writtē in the .xxv of Mathewe is said:* Ite maledicti in ignem eternum. Go ye curssed in∣to euerlastynge punishmente. Wher shalbe waylinge & gnas∣shing of teeth. But vnto y• other he shal saye:* Venite benedicti come ye blessed chyldren of my father possesse ye the kyngdome prepa¦red for you from the begin∣nynge of the world, of the which god ma∣ke vs al parta∣kers.
Imprinted at London by John Day dwellynge ouer Aldersgate, and Wylliam Seres, dwellyng in Peter Colledge.
¶Cum priuilegio ad impri∣mendum solum.Page [unnumbered]