*AS for fasting of that originall procee∣ded further: for the vse of flesh & wine from Adam. till the time of Noah was vnknowen: And Moses forbare meat. 40 daies, and Belias did likewise; our Saui∣our Christ fasted the seeke space, and God pardonce the Niniu•tes of their crimes; because they fasted with repeutance.
The Iewes also in their lawe, so oft as they either asked any benefit of God, or woulde pacifie his wrath, or rendes thankes, for his benefites, or kepte anye solemyes feasts, vsed commonly to fast. And •••es he kéepeth not the loue fast, which forbeareth flesh, or forgoeth his supper, but he that minisheth his affecti∣ons, abating his anger, swaging his pride, modifieth his desires, mortifieth his lustes, kiffereth patiently all aduersi∣tie that chaunceth to him, that man is the true faster. Albeit the other is a co∣adiutor to that thing, and helpeth much that purpose. Therefore to the intent wee might reclaime such corruptions of our olde Adam, the Apostles did ordeins the fast of Lent, as Hiemme in an Ca¦pistle•td Marcella doth plaine deriate•. Wherefore they that referre it to The∣lesphorus bée deceiued,* for hée did not institute it first, but appointed that it shoulde bée kepte afore Easter, and ad∣ded another wéeke to it, that wée call Qu•oquag•sima••, this wéeke hée com∣maunded Mi•••tes to fast more then the laitye, because they, which ought to bée holyer then the rest, shoulde in this ordinarye fast, showe more abstinence then the other. The Apostles also insti∣tutes, that thrée weekes after the natiui∣tie of the Lorde named Christide, should be solemp•tye fasred, which constituti∣on ••• is a while kept vniuersallye, albe∣it & canne •••her sake it to bée amities∣on of olde Romane feases, which thrice in the yeare had sacrifices, for the prospe∣rous soceesse of theyr corne. The one Venali, for the wines, the other Robi∣ga••a for all their graine, least it should be mildewed. The thirde Horalia; for all their fruites. These vaine superstitione; olde Bishoppes of Rome tourned to a godly vse, and transposed then feasling, than the •ather at the contemplation of our prayers and fastings.* God might pro∣sper the increase of all fruites; to the su∣stentation of vs his creatures. Poli∣dure Vurgil in his: • booke, and 3. Chap∣ter.
Ieiuniom is called in Hebrew Zon, a fast is a discipline & chastesing of the bo∣dye, taken willinglye for the time pre∣sent, by the which wée are made hum∣ble before GOD: 〈…〉 thereby be∣reaue the body of nourishment, that it may obey the spirit: There are two ne∣cessities which make vs fast, yt is a pub∣like necessitie & a priuate: Publike neces∣sitie is,* when some calamitie, either pres∣seth or nec•sa••y to come vpon the Church of God: the example thereof •• appeare in the Scriptures Priuate necessitie is, when any man doth •i•t, ••eling himselfe to be vexed of his owne lust or concupis∣••nce, from the which he taketh away the amise, yt it may the lesse instance & burne. The whole •y•e• of Christans must bée a fast, as Christ exhorteth vs sayeng: Couete •• graue••••iue••a v• stra cra∣pula ve•ebriet•••; Lake héed least your he•ddes bée laden with surfettes or with dronkenesse.
Page [unnumbered]I doe euidently finde hath in the olde Testament & in the new, yt fasting was cōmanded. But on what daies we ought to fast, or not to fast, I do find commaun∣ded neither of God, nor of the Apostles.
So Austen saith, Nahil prodest tota die longum duxisrie lejunium, si po∣stea sua vitate ciboium vel nimietate a∣nima obruatur: that is, it doth nothing auaile to fast all the daye, if afterwards the soule be ouerwhelmed with delicate meates, &c.
Origen writeth thus, Ieiunio sic ad∣hibenda temperies, vt corpus vestrum, nec situritas excitet, nec inedia immo∣derata debiliter: Fasting must so be tem∣perated, that neither fulnesse may excite and stirre the bodye, neither immoderate hunger may weaken the body.
I reade an olde verse in which is con∣tained the vse, and abuse of fasting: this is the verse.
Abstinet aeger, egens, cupidus, gula, Simla, virtus.
The sicke man fasteth because he hath no appetite to eate, or by the reason of some medicine receiued. The poore man lasteth because hée hath not for to eate. The couetous man fasteth to spare meate and drinke. The gluttenous man fasteth, that he maye after eate the more gréedely. The Ape, that is the hypocrite; fasteth to séeke the praise of man. The godly man fasteth to mortifie his flesh, & to mourne for his striues. Looke for this, further discoursed in the Miscellane of Dallen.