The twelfe Chapter, The conclusion, with a Christian exhortation to the amendement of life.
IF anie man shall be offended at this my la∣menting the faults of men, which be in the world, fantasing with themselues, that I doo it either of hatred or of malice, to anie sort or kind of people; verelie in so dooing they shall doo me great wrong. For I thanke God by his grace, I hate no creature; yea I would saie more to giue witnesse of my conscience, that neither life, honour, riches, nei∣ther whatsoeuer I possesse here, which appertaineth to mine owne priuate commoditie, be it neuer so deer∣lie beloued of mee, but most willinglie and gladlie I would leaue it, to win anie man to Christ, of what de∣gree or sort soeuer he were. And yet is this nothing in comparison to the charitie that God hath shewed me, in sending Christ to die for me. No, if I had all the charitie of Angels, and Apostles, it should be but like a sparke of fire compared to a great heape of burning coales.
Page 78 God knoweth of what intent and mind I haue la∣mented mine owne sinnes and faults to the world. I trust no bodie will iudge that I haue done it for praise or thanke of anie creature; since rather I might be ashamed, than reioice in rehearsall thereof. For if they knewe how little I esteeme and weigh the praise of the world, that opinion were soone remooued and taken a∣waie. For I thanke God (by his grace) I knowe the world to be a blind iudge, and the praises therof vaine, and of little moment: and therefore I seeke not the praises of the same, neither to satisfie it none other∣wise than I am taught by Christ to doo, according to christian charitie. I would to God we would all (when occasion doth serue) confesse our faults to the world, all respects of our owne commoditie laid apart. But alas, selfe-loue doth so much reigne among vs, that (as I haue said before) we can not espie our owne faults. And although somtime we find our owne guilt, either we be fauourable to interpret it no sin: or else we be ashamed to confesse our selues thereof. Yea, and we be sore offended and greeued, to heare our faults charita∣blie and godlie told vs of other, putting no difference betweene charitable warning, & malicious accusing.
Trulie, if we sought Gods glorie, as we should doo in all things, we should not be ashamed to confesse our selues to digresse from Gods precepts and ordinan∣ces; when it is manifest we haue done, and dailie doo. I praie God our owne faults and deeds condemne vs not at the last daie, when euerie man shall be rewar∣ded according to his dooings. Trulie, if we doo not re∣dresse and amend our liuing, according to the doctrine of the Gospell; we shall receiue a terrible sentence of Christ the sonne of God, when he shall come to iudge and condemne all transgressours and breakers of his precepts and commandements; and to reward all his obedient and louing children. We shall haue no man Page 79 of lawe to make our plea for vs, neither can we haue the daie deferred, neither will the Iudge be corrupted with affection, bribes, or reward; neither will he heare anie excuse or delaie, neither shall this Saint or that Martyr helpe vs, be they neuer so holie; neither shall our ignorance saue vs from damnation. But yet wil∣full blindnesse, and obstinate ignorance shall receiue greater punishment, and not without iust cause. Then shall it be knowne who hath walked in the darke. For all things shall appeere manifest before him. No mans deeds shall be hidden; no, neither words, nor thoughts. The poore and simple obseruers of Gods commande∣ments shall be rewarded with euerlasting life, as obe∣dient children to the heauenlie Father: and the trans∣gressors, adders, and diminishers of the lawe of God, shall receiue eternall damnation for their iust reward. I beseech God we may escape this fearefull sentence, and be found such faithfull seruants, and louing chil∣dren, that we may heare the happie, comfortable, and most ioifull sentence ordeined for the children of God, which is; Come hither ye blessed of my father, and re∣ceiue the kingdome of heauen, prepared for you before the beginning of the world. Unto the Father, the Sonne, and the ho∣lie Ghost, be all honour and glorie world without end,