Of Easter. chap. 31.
EAster is called Pascha in Gréek, that is to vnderstand, passion, or suffe∣ring: That commeth of Patin, that is to suffer. And is called in Hebrew Phase, that is passing or passage. For in the Paske of Hebrewes, & Lambe, was of∣fered, roasted and eaten, and nothing thereof lefte till on the morrowe. And that which might not be eaten, was burnt in the fire with hast, and it was eaten with wilde Letuse, and with the purest bread. It was forbidde and com∣maunded, that men that were vncleane and not circumcised, shoulde not eate thereof. The Hebrewes were gird and shoddde, when they shoulde eate thereof. Each man that eate thereof should holde a staffe in his hande. Postes of houses were bawmed with bloud of the lambe, and the vertue of the Angell that flewe the first birthes, was withstoode there∣by. For he had no power to greene there, as the postes of the house were baumed with bloud of that lambe. In eating of that offered Lambe, our Lorde passing through Aegypt, the people of the Ae∣gyptians were smitten: and the people of the Hebrewes were deliuered out of the cruel Lordship of the Aegyptians. And so because the first birthes of Aegyptians were slaine, the first births of Hebrewes were hallowed, and offered, and after ea∣ten. After the eating of the Lambe, the people following a piller of fire, and of a clowde, were lead without hurt through∣out the red sea, and Pharao and his hoast that pursued them were drowned. And finally, for theyr deliueraunce and drow∣ning of their enimies, they sung laudes to God: as sheweth Exo. 12. & .14. And there∣fore in mind of slaughter of the Aegypti∣ans, and of deliueraunce of the Hebrewes came vp an vsage in ye country of Iews, that at Easter, of tiro, yt were dampned to death, one should be slaine, and that other shoulde be deliuered and passe frée, as it is open: Mat. 26 And this Easter of Iewes was figured and prophesied of the Easter of christen men: in the which Easter by the bloud of the cleane Lambe without wem, that tooke away the sinnes of the worlde, all that bée chosen, bée quit and raunsomed out of the seruice of féends. By the lambe they that be chosen make passage from fleshe to spirite, and from the olde ••an to the new, and out of the world to heauen, out of shadowe to light, out of figures to foothnesse, and out of seruage and thraldome, to the fréedome of the blisse, of Gods owne children.
And therfore Easter day is time of glad∣nesse and of ioy, time of honesty and re∣newing, time of cleannesse & of purenesse and of ioyfull refection and féeding: for children of the resurrection bée solemp∣ly fedde, not with sowre dough of mal∣lice, Page 152 but with pure meat of swéetnesse & of soothnesse. Alway we hallow Easter day on the Sundaye in springing time, when the Moone is yet at the full. And alwaye we hallowe Easter daye on the Sunday, for reuerence and worshippe of the resurrection of our Lorde•. And wée hallow it not alway in the fifteenth day of the Moone, as the Iewes doe, least it should seeme that we hold the same law, following the meaning of the Iewes. Al∣so to speake largely of Easter, our Ea∣ster stretcheth to manye dayes: first to Palme Sunday, the which is commonly called the Easter of flowres. For that day our Lord was receiued with boughs and braunches of trées. Also this day is priuiledged: for the day the children of Israel vnder Iosua passed Jordane drye footed, and entered and came into the endes and countries of the lande of be∣hest, andaeate: of the fruite of the lande of Canaan, and anone Manna was giuen, wherewith they were fed in desart 40. Winters, as it is sayd Iosua. 2. Also the same daye that it fell, that time was Palme Sunday. And our Lorde droue out of the temple buiers and sellers, after that he was receiued worshipfully with boughs and braunches of Palme and of Oliue. Also the daye of Cene, that wée call shéerethursday, perteineth to Easter.