The sermons of M. Iohn Caluin, vpon the Epistle of S. Paule too the Ephesians. Translated out of French into English by Arthur Golding
Calvin, Jean, 1509-1564., Golding, Arthur, 1536-1606.
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THE SERMONS of M. Iohn Caluin, vpon the Epistle of S. Paule too the Ephe∣sians.

Translated out of French into English by Arthur Golding.

☞ Imprinted at London for Lucas Harison, and George Byshop. 1577.

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¶To the most reuerend father in God and his speciall good Lord, Edmund by the grace of God Archbishop of Caun••bu∣rie. &c. Arthur Golding wisheth abundance of all heauenly wisdome, grace, and health in Christ Iesu.

MY very good Lord, forasmuch as it is the dew∣tie of all them that publishe things too the world, whe∣ther as first authors, or as translators, too deale in such sort as most folke may reape profite and commoditie by their dooyngs, specially in matters of Religion, the knowledge or ignoraunce whereof, concerne the bene∣fite and welfare, or the hinderance and perill, not of a fewe, but of all men: I humbly beseeche your grace, that with your clemencie, fauour, and well liking, which I haue alwayes hi∣thertoo through your goodnesse inioyed, I may indeuer too benefyte others (specially the simple and ignorant sorte, for whom my care is, & ought chiefly to be) by the things which I haue gathered and conceyued to myne owne comfort, part∣ly out of these present Sermons of M. Caluins, and such other readings, but specially out of the very woord of God it selfe: that they may bee as a briefe abridgment of this whole work, and as an enterance too the ryght conceying of the doctrine of Election and Predestination, which being the chief ground∣woorke of this Epistle to the Ephesians, minisrtr••h mee iust occasion to say somewhat concerning the order and ryght vse therof: not that I intend too take vppon mee too discusse the particular poyntes therof, or too answer the seuerall obiecti∣ons Page  [unnumbered] and blasphemies which the heathenish Atheists or world∣lywise scorners are wont too cast foorth in derogation of that heauenl••octrine, bycause their- fleshly reason cannot atteine too it: (for I confesse that too bee a matter too hygh for mee too meddle withall, and it were more than needeth, conside∣ring how much is sayd therof in these Sermons:) But onely too shewe the gentle reader what way he may safely take, too deale therwith to his benefyte and comfort. Wherunto I am the rather moued, bycause it commonly falleth out, that the vnseasonable and vnaduyzed dealing therewith, (partly by such as of a certeine vaynglory doo aduenture too speake the things which they know not, and partly by such as beyng o∣therwise godly and well mynded, doo notwithstanding enter deeper sometimes intoo that profound doctrine, than com∣mon capacitie (yea euen of good and sound Christians) can well reache vnto, or ordinarie skill can well wade out of agein, or the present state of the hearers well beare:) dooth often∣tymes shake, and sometimes also wellneere ouerthrowe the faith of the weaklings, whom Gods woord willeth to be ten∣dered with all myldnesse and modestie, and for whose releefe and edifying the things that are set downe there are cheefly written. Wherfore keeping as euen a hand as I can, that no∣thing may scape from mee vnawares, wherby the aduersaries of the Gospell may take occasion too slaunder the doctrine, or the simple sort, occasion to bee offended at it, or to shrinke from it, or the perfect sort, occasion to find iust fault with me: I will no longer trubble your grace with delayes, but (by Gods leaue) proceedeforthwith too the matter.

The substance and ground of this Epistle to the Ephesians is this: That beyng once throughly instructed and rooted in the fayth of Iesus Christ, wee must (for full confirmation and stablishment of our consciences in the louing kyndnesse and fauour of our God, ageinst all assaultes and temptations both of body and soule,) stye vp in mynd aboue the world and all worldly things, too the beginninglesse loue of God, wher∣through he choze vs too saluation,* or endlesse welfare in his Page  [unnumbered] onely begotten sonne, before the foundations of the world were layd, freely of his owne mercy, without respect of any desert, worke, or worthinesse of our owne: In consideration wherof,* it is our dewtie on the other syde, too glo••• God both in our bodyes and in our soules,* by leading a holy and vertuous lyfe proceeding from a pure and sound hart:* which acceptable obedience, togither with the fayth from whence the same springeth, is bred and brought foorth by the one∣ly woorking of Gods holy spirit in our myndes, for Iesus Christes sake.

This doctrine then belongeth not at all too the carelesse worldlings,* which welter still in the dregges of the old Adam: that is to say,* which bee not yit come vntoo Christ, nor haue heard of his Gospell:* or which beyng come in name and pro∣fession, doo fyght still ageinst him in lyfe and conuersation. Of which two sortes, these latter (if they amend not vppon dew admonition) are rather too bee left vp too the iust iudg∣ment of God, than too bee perswaded by reason, which they themselues abuze, or too be confuted by Gods woord, which they will not regard, vntill they feele it cutting sharper than a two edged sword: and the other sort are too bee taught first too knowe God and his sonne Iesus Christ, before they can bee made parttakers of the riche treasures of Gods wisdome, ryghtuousnesse, and redemption, layd vp in Iesus Christ for none but such as beleeue in his name.* Nother belongeth it properly and immediatly to the weaklings and Nouice (if I may so terme them) which are but newly trayned to the •••∣pell, or are but of slender vnderstanding and feeble beleefe: bycause their myndes beyng yit vnable too discerne so hygh mysteries for want of experience in matters perteyning too God,* haue neede of milke still, rather than of strong and sub∣stanciall meate. And surely there needeth no better nor fur∣ther proofe of the infinite and incomprehensible profound∣nesse of this doctrine, than that euen the Apostle himselfe be∣ing after a sort astonished at the exceeding great hugenesse of it, was fayne to knit vp his discourse therof with this exclama∣tion, Page  [unnumbered] O wonderfull depth of the riches of Gods wisdome and knowledge.* How vnsearchable are his iudgmentes, and his wayes past finding out?* But this doctrine belongeth too such as being growen vp too some rypenesse in Christ, and hauing gathered strength in the knowledge of matters of saluation, haue through the longer working or greater measure of Gods holy spirit, obteyned light of vnderstanding aboue the com∣mon and ordinarie rate, and by the same spirit subdewed their owne wit and will, too the beleefe of God and his woord, that is too say, roo a right and stedfast perswasion of mynd concer∣ning God and all his sayings and dooyngs, without any mis∣trust or doubting of the same. I call that onely a right per∣swasion,* which is grounded altogither vppon the Canonicall writings of the old and new Testament, and throughly war∣ranted in all poyntes by the same. And lyke as that tree may well and iustly bee sayd too stand fast, not which hath bin vt∣terly vntasted or vntouched of any storme, but which hauing borne out the brunt of all wyndes and weathers, continueth vnblowen downe through the violence of tempests, haue sha∣ken off all the leaues, broken off some braunches, sliuered dy∣uers bowghes, riuen the bark, yea and inforced the top of it too stoope now and then too the ground: euen so that fayth or beleefe, is too bee counted stedfast and well settled, which continueth vnuanquished too the end, though in the meane time it haue bin neuer so sore shaken and battered with the assaultes of temptations, aduersities, and crosses both of body and mynd. They therfore which haue atteyned to this groun∣ded growth in Iesus Christ, may safely and comfortably deale with the doctrine of Election and Predestination without guyde: & such may haue neede of exhortation, admonition, warning and incoragement, by reason of the naturall fraytlie which alwayes followeth, and oftentimes ouertaketh euē the strongest, but not of instruction, otherwise than by the woord it selfe:* for (as sayeth S. Iohn) the inward anoynting (that is to wit, the inlightening of the holy Ghost) teacheth them all things. But as for the other sort, which are yit but as new Page  [unnumbered] borne infantes in Christ, whether it bee in respect of yme, or in respect of knowledge, or in respect of both: forasmuch as this doctrine is of such nature as it cannot bee learned by any preceptes or perswasions of wisdome, vntill the knwledge and loue of God in Iesus Christ, be first well felt and through∣ly digested by fayth in the bowels of mens hartes: they haue neede too bee both cherished and trayned foorth by degrees, and as it were by parcelmeale, too the right conceyuing and vnderstanding of so great a mysterie. For although Gods free Election and Predestination, according too the purpose of his owne good will, euen before all time, bee in very deede the first cause and onely originall welspring of our saluation or endlesse welfare, and of all the things that further or accom∣panie the same: yit is it not the first poynt in doctrine wherby too bring men to saluation, nor the first Loadestarre that men must looke at, as soone as they bee entered intoo the way of saluation. Which thing appeereth sufficiently by the conti∣nuall order of teaching vsed throughout the whole holy scrip∣ture, where both the Prophets and Apostles and Christ him∣selfe,* doo alwayes begin the ministration of saluation at the preaching of repentance, and so proceeding too fayth and free forgiuenesse of sinnes, too newnesse of lyfe, and the right vse of Sacramentes, too the rizing agein of the dead, and the euer∣lasting iudgment: doo finally deliuer foorth the doctrine of Election and Predestination as a sheeld ageinst all assaultes, to make me perseuer and hold out to the end in the way of sal∣uation, through all aduersities, tormentes, and temptations, as shall appeare more plainly hereafter. This doctrine then is (as yee would say) the roofe of Christianirie, which beyng orderly, substancially, and workemanly reered vppon the rest of the building, is as a couering and safegard too the whole, defending it frō all iniuries & anoyances of wynd & weather, and giuing it continuance with perpetuitie: so that what∣soeuer is added afterward, may well make too the adorning and beautifying of it, but not to the safetie and strength of it▪ And therefore if it bee set vppon a false or ouerfeeble founda∣tion, Page  [unnumbered] or while the building is yit greene and vnperfected, b∣fore the stones bee well clozed, settled and dry: the weyght of it beareth downe the whole house to the ground, to the great losse, and (but if the more grace of God bee) too the vtter and vnrecouerable vndoyng, both of the buylder and of the buil∣ding.

What then, will some man say? Is it not too bee taught? Is it not to bee learned? Yis verily: and that with all earnestnesse and indeuer of mynd: howbeeit, not at al aduenture, not in haste, not rashly, not presumptuously: but with singular cir∣cumspection, reuerence, warenesse and humilitie, as al the god∣ly haue vsed to doo: least whyle wee take vppon vs too swim without a bladder, before wee haue learned too beare our bo∣dyes vppon the water, wee bee caryed away with the violence of the streame, or sink for fayntnesse ere wee can recouer too land agein: or least (which worse is) whyle wee bee ouercuri∣ous in medling with the secretes of Gods Maiestie, wee bee o∣uerwhelmed of his glory. How then may wee wade safely in it too our benefite? Euen by seeking of our selues in Iesus Christ. Let vs see if wee can fynd our selues there. For the scripture assureth vs,* that there is no saluation but onely in Christ Iesus, nor no damnation to them that are in him. Now therefore,* like as too knowe the originall cause of our death and damnation, wee must not raundge beyond the fall of our first father Adam,* bycause that by him sinne entered into the world, and by sinne, death: so to fynd our recouerie and sal∣uation, wee must not seeke elswhere than in Iesus Christ, by∣cause he is ordeyned to bee the onely propitiation and attone∣ment for our sinnes,* and there is not any other name, (that is to say, any other person or meane) giuen vs wherby to bee sa∣ued,* than the onely name of Iesus. For he is the way,* the the truth,* and the lyfe: He is the lyght of the world:* He is the resurrection and the lyfe: God is in him reconcyling the world vnto himselfe:* In him dwelleth the whole fulnesse of the Godhead bodily:* God hath made him our Wisedome, Rightuousnesse,* Holinesse,* and Redemption: And he through Page  [unnumbered] his once offering vp of himselfe vppon the Crosse, hath perfec∣ted them for euer which are to bee sanctifyed,* and is become the author of euerlasting saluation too as many as obey him. Inasmuch then as Iesus Christ is both God and man,* and hath all power both in heauen and earth,* and all knees must bow before him: whosoeuer seeketh saluation out of Iesus Christ, dooth but wander away after his owne deceytfull ima∣ginations, neuer to fynd the thing that he seeketh, bycause that (as sayeth Saint Iohn) he that hath not the sonne,* hath not the father,* and he that hath not the father, is a straunger too the couenauntes and promises of saluation, without hope and without God in the world, and so consequently in stead of the substance he ketcheth but a shadowe or a dreame or rather nothing at all. Nay rather he ketcheth euerlasting damnati∣on, according to this saying:* He that beleeueth not in the sonne, shall not see light, but the wrath of God abydeth vppon him.* And agein, this is damnation (that is to say, the cause of damnation) that wheras light is come into the world, (which lyght is Christ) men haue loued darknesse better than lyght: that is to say, they haue loued the blynd imaginations and in∣uentions of their owne ignorant mynds, better than the light∣some truth of Christes Gospell.

Wherefore putting away all flatterie and soothing of our selues,* and taking to vs the touchstone of Gods word, which is quick and effectuall, and sharper than any two edged sword, entering in to the diuiding asunder of the soule and the spirit, and of the sinewes and marie, and sifting out the thoughts and conceytes of the hart:* let vs examin our owne consciences, whether wee bee in Christ, and Christ in vs, or no. Our owne consciences (at leastwise if they bee not blynded with igno∣rance or hypocrisie) will certifie vs of the truth in that behalf. And if any man haue not the record thereof in himselfe, he wanderh yit still in errour, and knoweth not whyther he go∣eth,* no i what cace he standeth. For they that are in Christ, haue Christes spirit in them,* and that spirit assureth their spi∣rit, that they bee the children of God. Now let vs see if wee Page  [unnumbered] haue this warrant in our selues: wee shall discerne it by these markes following,* and such other lyke. The scripture telleth vs, that those which are in Christ Iesus, are become new crea∣tures.* That they bee rooted, buylded, and setled vpon Christ by fayth:* That they walke as he walked, fashioned themselues after his example:* That they haue put off the old man, (that is to say, their owne naturall disposition) which is corrupted with deceitfull lustes: and beyng renewed in the spirit of their mynd, (that is to say, in the inward working of their hartes,) they haue put on the new man,* (that is to wit, a new disposi∣tion of mynd, which is shaped lyke vntoo God in true rightu∣ousnesse and holinesse:* That they walke after the spirit, and not after the fleshe, that is to say, that they liue not after the lyking of their owne wit and will, but in obedience to the wis∣dome and will of God:* That they haue mortifyed their earth∣ly members, that is to say, ouermaystred and subdewed their sinfull lustes and lykinges: That they bee crucifyed too the world,* and the world to them, that is to say, that they bee no more intangled with the fond loue and sinister affection of the world and worldly things, than if they were already dead, and had no more neede of them at all:* And finally that they bee dead vnto sinne, but alyue vnto rightuousnesse. Of all which sayings, and of a number mo tending to the same purpose, the pith and effect is this, consisting of two members: Namely, that such as are rightly and vnfeynedly in Christ, haue vtterly renounced their owne wit, will, wisdome, strength, reputa∣tion, and rightuousnesse: yea and quyte and cleane forsaken themselues, togither with the world and all worldly things, and haue giuen ouer themselues (as it were in bondage) all wholly vnto Christ, taking him for their onely God, Lord, Sa∣uiour, Father, Mayster, Teacher, Guyde, Defender, Stay, Light, Rightuousnesse, Holinesse, Redemption, Wisdome, Strength, Reconciliation, Sacrifize, Alter, Temple, high Priest, and all in all: and therefore depending alonely vppon him in all things, putting their whole hope, trust and confidence in him, way∣ting vppon him as the seruant vppon his Mayster, or as the Page  [unnumbered] handmayd vppon hir mistresse, or as the chyld vppon his fa∣ther: seeking his onely honour and glory in all caces, conten∣ed to beare the crosse with him in suffering all manner of harmes, wrongs, losses, despytes, reproches, myseries, and tor∣ments for his sake, that is to wit, for the truth of his Gospell, and for the rightuousnesse of his kingdome: and finally ma∣king full account that as they on their part lyue not in them∣selues, but in him, nor to themselues, but to God, so he on his part will most plenteously and bountifully reward their la∣bours beyond all that they can hope or conceiue, and neuer fayle them or withdraw himself from them euen in this world, at their neede. Out of the which roote of trew and liuely faith, springeth foorth this fruite (which is the second part or mem∣ber that I spake of) to the full confirmation of our conscien∣ces, & to the open warranting of our beyng in Christ: namely that for the loue of him, wee imploy our whole lyfe to glorify God by indeuering continually to edefy, profit, and comfort our neyghbours both in word and deede, earnestly, faythfully, and cheerefully, without respect of our selues or of our owne commodities, ase, profit, pleasure, yea or lyfe, which is in dede the perfect charitie. If wee fynd this disposition of mynd throughly rooted in vs: then may wee boldly and certeinly conclude,* that wee bee in Christ, and Christ in vs: that the life which we lyue as now in the fleshe (that is to say, in this world) wee lyue by beleefe in the sonne of God, or rather that it is not wee that lyue, but the sonne of God which lyueth in vs, that wee bee led by Gods spirit, and consequently that wee bee his children and heyres of his blessed and euerlasting kingdome with Christ, as chozen and predestinated therto in him before all worlds.

Howbeit, forasmuch as wee carrie the old Adam continual∣ly about vs, who cannot bee put quyte and cleane away but by death.* And the flesh not onely lusteth, but also wrestleth and fyghteth so myghtily ageinst the spirit, that oftentymes it weakeneth, woundeth, ouerthroweth, yea and (as sayeth Saint Paule) leadeth vs captiue to the lawe or seruice of sinne:* Inso∣much Page  [unnumbered] that there is not so stout a souldyer in Christ, but he is compelled to say with the same Paule,* The good that I would doo, I doo not, but the euill which I hate, that doo I: by reason whereof the greefe and anguish of his mynd inforce him too cry out (at leastwise in his hart,)*〈◊〉 that I am, who shall de∣liuer mee from this body of sin••. The weake conscience of the frayle sinner, fynding how farre he commeth short of the trew effectes and fruites of perfect Christianitie heretoofore described, is stryken in great heauinesse, and dwelleth in doubt whether he bee yit in Christ or no. By meanes wherof, he not only taketh no comfort in the doctrine of Gods eternall elec∣tion and predestination: but also is the more abashed and dis∣mayed at it. In this cace wee must not resort for remedie too fleshe and blud, that is too say, too the perswasions of worldly wisdome, or of mans owne natural reason and vnderstanding, but too Gods holy woord, which beyng the very foode and healthfull salue of our soules, alonely is able to pacify the vex∣ed conscience, and to cheere vp the drooping and dying hart. This, besydes other comfortes, wherof mo shall bee reherced hereafter in place more conuenient, telleth vs that there are ages and degrees in Christ and Christianitie,* and that our lyfe is a continuall warfare,* wherin wee must mainteyne battell, not onely ageinst the trubbles and aduersities of this world, but also ageinst our selues, that is to say, ageinst the vices and af∣fections of our owne corrupt and sinfull nature,* yea and (as sayeth Saint Paule in this present Epistle too the Ephesians) a∣geinst principalities and powers,* ageinst the Lordes of this world, which are the rulers of the darknesse of this world, euen the wicked spirites that are aboue. To bee sort, wee must in∣dure continuall conflict ageinst the world, the flesh, and the di∣uell. And this warfare is to be susteyned and borne out, not by our owne strength and policie,* but by the power and wis∣dome of Christ in vs. Agein, the scripture telleth vs, that as long as wee lyue in this world, (bee wee neuer so foreward, willing, and circumspect in our doyngs) our knowledge is vn∣perfect,* our loue vnperfect, our fayth vnperfect, and all our Page  [unnumbered] ryghtuousnesse is as a defyled cloth:* so that euen the godlyest 〈◊〉 holyest men that euer were, are, or shalbee, must bee faine 〈◊〉 confesse with Dauid,* that onely those are blissed whose 〈◊〉 are forgiuen, and whose iniquities are couered, and too 〈◊〉 out with the Publicane,* God bee mercifull too mee wret∣••ed sinner:* alwayes yeelding him this prayse, that it is on∣••he which forgiueth all our sinnes, and healeth all our infyr∣•••ities.* For if wee thinke wee haue no sinne, or that wee may ee quyte and cleane rid of sinne, so long as wee beare the arthly tabernacle of this frayle body of fleshe and blud about 〈◊〉: wee deceyue our selues, and the truth is not in vs. There∣fore wee must hold fast the foundation too the ende, which foundation is the free forgiuenesse of sinnes through Iesus Christ, beleeuing and hoping to bee iustifyed, (that is too say, to bee accepted for innocent and ryghtuous, and to bee in∣dewed with power of the holy Ghost,) not by the deedes of the Lawe, nor by our owne workes or inuentions, but by the obedience and ryghtuousnesse of Christ. And therewithall, vppon assured trust of his strength and assistance, wee must fyght manfully ageinst our owne lustes, and ageinst all maner of temptations and crosses, with the weapons of Gods word, continuall and hartie repentance, feruent prayer, often fasting, and earnest indeuer of amendment, so as wee suffer not sinne to ouermayster vs,* and too reigne in our mortall bodyes, by our fulfylling of the lustes therof,* but delyght in the lawe of God with the inward man, that is too say, vnfeynedly with the whole hart,* for as God requyreth truth in the inward partes, so hateth he the deceytfull man.* So then, wee must nother finne wilfully and presumptuously, nor despayre and shrinke away from God when wee haue sinned: nor play the hypo∣crites in iustifying our selues towardes God or the world. But lyke as wee must continually pray God to keepe vs from pre∣sumptuous sinnes,* and beware in any wise that they get not the vpper hand of vs: so when wee haue offended, by what meane so euer it be, or how often so euer it bee, (as who is he that sinneth not?* Or rather who can tell how oft he offen∣deth?) Page  [unnumbered] Wee must ryse agein continually by repentance and fayth: so as although our sinnes seeme neuer so greeuous and heynous in our owne eyes, yit must we yeeld God the honour, as well of faythfulnesse and mercy in pardoning our often ma∣nifold and greeuous falles, as of ryghtuousnesse in sanctifying vs with the fruites of true godlynesse, and of strength in vphol∣ding and mainteyning vs by the mighty power of his spirit, or of Iustice in correcting and punishing vs for our misdeedes and offences.* For wee bee sure that if any of vs doo sinne, wee haue a faythfull aduocate with the father, euen Iesus Christ the rightuous, who is the attonement maker for our sinnes, and not for our sinnes onely, but also for the sinnes of the whole world. Insomuch that if it were possible for one man to haue in him the full gilt and greeuous burthen of all the particular sinnes of all men: yit ought not the same man too despayre, or to doubt of the cleere forgiuenesse and vtter re∣lease therof, vpon his hartie repentance and vnfeyned amend∣ment, so long as Christ lyueth and sitteth at the right hand of God, making intercession for vs. For lyke as God himselfe is infinite, so is his mercy infinite also, towardes all such as take hold of it by fayth in Iesus Christ. And too the intent wee should take hold of it, he assureth vs of it with an othe, saying: as truely as I lyue I desyre not the death of a sinner,* but rather that he should turne from his wickednesse and liue: and in what houre so euer he repenteth him of his sinnes from the bottom of his hart, I will put all his wickednesse out of my re∣memberance, sayeth the Lord. Moreouer, although we inde∣uer to keepe a cleare conscience towardes God, and to leade a blamelesse lyfe through charitie towardes men, according to the prescript rule of Gods lawe: yit our so doyng must not be with intent too purchace grace, fauour, or ryghtuousnesse therby at Gods hand, (for that belongeth onely vnto Christ, and no man liuing shall be iustifyed by the deedes of the lawe) nor to glorify our selues to the worldward, (for whosoeuer see∣keth the glory of men, is destitute of the glory of God, and hath receyued his reward already,)* but onely to glorify God Page  [unnumbered]〈◊〉 shewing foorth the myghtie woorking of his spirit in vs,*o 〈◊〉 benefite of our neyghbours, to th stablishing of our owne •••sciences in the faith, and to the confuzion and shame of 〈◊〉duersaries, which doo slaunderously misreport the doc∣••• of saluation which wee professe.

〈◊〉 wee deale after this maner, then dooth Gods woord put 〈◊〉 of all doubt,* that sinne shall not get the vpper hand of 〈◊〉 bycause wee bee not vnder the lawe, but vnder grace. And 〈◊〉 continuall mainteyning & renewing of the battell ageinst 〈◊〉, the world, and our owne flesh, assureth vs, that although 〈◊〉 bee neuer so full of infirmities, yit are wee graffed intoo hrist,* and growen into him by resembling his death, in that 〈◊〉 haue crucifyed, and dayly labour to crucifye the old man 〈◊〉 him:* by meanes wherof wee growe vp agein intoo the •••enesse of his resurrection, through newnesse of lyfe to the ••ory of God for euer. Finally, it warranteth vs that wee bee 〈◊〉 grounded and setled in Gods Election, so as wee cannot 〈◊〉 any wyse perish. For Satan is not diuided ageinst himselfe: 〈◊〉 worldlinges hate not the world,* nor the things therin: ••esh and blud mislyke no the corruption of the old Adam: other can any man come vnto Christ, except the father draw 〈◊〉. Now then, seeying that to striue ageinst sinne, and too 〈◊〉 continually by repentance after the maner afore mentio∣ ed, and to doo all things of mere loue, commeth not of our 〈◊〉, (for the naturall man is not obedient to Gods will, no∣••er can bee:)* but of God the father of all mercy, comfort, and 〈◊〉, from whom euery good and perfect gift commeth, who 〈◊〉 of his owne free goodnesse worketh in vs both the wyll 〈◊〉 the performance therof by the power of his spirit:* And ••eyng that the sheading of his spirit after that sort into our ••rtes (beyng the earnest penny of saluation, and seale of our 〈◊〉 option, to strengthen our weaknesse, and to warrant and 〈◊〉 vs ageinst all temptations) is a sure and infallible proofe 〈◊〉 Gods loue towardes vs,* according to his saying of S. Iohn, 〈◊〉 doo wee know that wee dwell in him; and he in vs, that 〈◊〉 hath giuen vs of his spirit: theruppon followeth an argu∣ment Page  [unnumbered] grounded vppon the nature of God, which leadeth vs directly and comfortably to the poynt of Predestination, and is the very knot and conclusion of that matter.* For inasmuch as God is vnchaungeable, so as there is no alteration of mind or purpoze in him, too fancie one thing to day, and another too morrowe, or too determine and repeale agein, and so con∣sequently too hate and loue by turnes and fittes:* (for Gods giftes and callings are such, ashe cannot repent him of them:) it must needes follow, that he loued vs before all worldes, and that the same loue of his caused him too chooze and predesti∣nate vs too saluation before wee had any beeing, yea euen e∣uerlastingly before all tyme: and also that the same loue shall neuer leaue vs, vntyll it haue brought vs too the endlesse fru∣ition of his heauenly glory, bycause that whom he loueth, he loueth to the end,* and bycause that forasmuch as the spirit of him that raysed vp Iesus dwelleth in vs, he that raysed vp Iesus will also quicken our mortall bodyes, through his spirit which dwelleth in vs▪ For when wee bee come so farre forward as to fynd our selues in Christ, & by Christ to take hold of Gods free loue, and by his loue to clymb vp to his eternall election: then resting vppon the foresayd argument of the vnariable and vnchaungeable nature of God, (which not euen the hea∣then, I meane the wyser sort of them, did euer deny, or in ma∣ner doubt of:) wee knit the eternitie to come with the eterni∣tie past, and conclude determinately in our selues, that there is now no damnation to vs that are in Christ Iesus.

Yea and out of this conclusion springeth such inestimable comfort and inward ioy of mynd, as inforceth vs to burst out into this bold, but yit most godly boasting on Gods behalfe▪ which Saint Paule describeth in the eyght too the Romanes, saying: I am fully perswaded, that nother lyfe, nor death, nor Angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor heigth, nor depth, nor any other crea∣ture can separate vs from Gods loue, which he beareth vs in Iesus Christ our Lord. And seeyng that God is on our syde, Page  [unnumbered] who shalbee ageinst vs? Seeing he hath not spared his onely sonne, but hath giuen him for vs all: how should he not giue vs all things with him? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of vs whom God hath chozen? God hath acquitted vs, who hen can condemne vs? Christ hath dyed for vs, yea and is rizen agein for vs, and also sitteth at Gods ryght hand and maketh intercession for vs.* Now if he dyed for vs, then are wee sure that wee dyed all in him, and lykewyze that as he is rizen,* so wee are rizen agein with him, neuer to dye any more, for death hath not any more power ouer him,* but forasmuch as wee bee his members, wee doo sit with him already in the heauenly places by hope, only wayting for the day of his com∣ming to iudgment,* at the which tyme, our lyfe which as yit ly∣eth hidden with him in God, shalbee shewed openly, and wee shall appeere with him in glory.

And this assured perswasion or beleef of Gods loue, groun∣ded vppon his eternall predestination, kindleth in vs as it were a counter loue towardes God, and a contempt of all world∣ly thinges, bee they neuer so sweete or sower, pleazant or peynfull: wherethrough wee doo cheerfully answere on our owne behalfe accordingly as is set downe in the foresayd eyghth Chapter to the Romans: Who shall plucke away our loue from Christ? Shall oppression, or anguish, or per∣secution, or hunger, or nakednesse, or daunger, or swoord, according as it is written, for thy sake are we slayne all the day long, and accounted as sheepe appoynted to the slaughter? No surely: in all these things wee be more then conquerours through him that loued vs, that is too wit, through God woorking in vs.* And therefore hauing our eye fast set conti∣nually vppon the foreleader and finisher of our fayth Iesus Christ, who for the ioyes sake that was set before him, did willingly abyde the Crosse, and the reprochefull misusages which he was most spytfully put vntoo:* wee doo not faynt or wexe cold, but although our outward man bee consumed, yit our inward man is dayly remewed, insomuch that we reioyce uen in tribulations, knowing that tribulation br••deth pa∣cience, Page  [unnumbered] pacience breedeth experience, experience breedeth hope, and hope maketh not ashamed. For wee bee sure that our induring of affliction for a short tyme, will yeeld vs an in∣comporable weyght of vnspeakable and euerlasting glory. In respect whereof wee make no more account of all the aduersi∣ties of this world, than of fleabytings, and therefore wee looke not vppon the things that are seene, but vppon the things that are not seene, bycause the things that are seene, are transitorye, but the thinges that are seene, are euerla∣sting.

Now then, the summe of the things aforesayd, is this. That wheras there is no saluation, no election, no fauour, no bles∣sing, no benefyte to bee had, hoped, or sought for at Gods hand, but onely in and by our Lord Iesus Christ: it is shewed for the comfort of the weaker sort, that in this spirituall bat∣tell ageinst the world, the fleshe, and the diuell, those are not counted to be out of Christ, which beyng Baptized into him, and professing themselues to bee Christians, doo notwithstan∣ding fall through simple ignorance and infirmitie of nature, or are violently borne downe, wounded, or caryed away at tymes by the force of ouermightie tēptations: but eyther such as hauing their conscience seared or benommed, doo welter in sinne without feeling of any remorse: or which feeling the sting of sinne and hartbyting of the lawe, doo neuerthelesse make such account of the filthie pleasures of the fleshe, the va∣nities of the world, and the fulfilling of their owne wicked willes, that they continew in sinne wilfully and wittingly, or rather maliciously and presumptuously, euen ageinst the con∣tinuall testimonie and exclamation of their owne consciences: or else which through a cerrein feintnesse of hart, and coward∣ly misbeleefe, by reason of ouermuch mynding of their owne weaknesse, and of the horriblenesse of their sinnes without the remedyes that God hath ordeyned for the same, doo vt∣terly castaway their armour and weapon, and eyther out of hand giue ouer, and as it were betray themselues too the ene∣mie of mankynd without any resistence: or soone after for∣sake Page  [unnumbered] the feeld vppon despayre of victory, without returning a∣ny more into the battell, or without crauing the helpe and ••ccour of their Captein Christ, as who would say, they looked 〈◊〉 get the vpper hand, and to stand by their owne strength at ••eir owne appoyntment, and not at Gods appoyntment, ••rough his power and mercie in Christ.

Of which kynd of people the cowardlinesse is so much the more shamefull and blamewoorthie, bycause God hath gi∣uen them such a Sauyour & Captein, as is both able & willing too minister strength too them bee they neuer so weake and feeble, health, bee they neuer so sicke or diseazed, soundnesse, bee they neuer so sore wounded or maymed, corage, bee they neuer so faynt and weery, victory, bee they neuer so much op∣pressed and ouermatched, ryghtuousnesse, bee they neuer so sinfull and wicked, yea and euen lyfe though they bee dead. For Christ himselfe beeing the Phisition of our soules, our health, our welfare, our lyght, our resurrection, our lyfe, and the very truth it selfe, which cannot lye nor deceyue, (to the intent wee should bee willing too resott vntoo him, and haue assured warrant of hope and comfort,) calleth and allu∣reth vs in this wyse vntoo him:* Come vntoo mee all yee that are weery and ouerloden,* and I will refreshe you: Bee of good cheere, I haue ouercome the world, and so shall you also by fayth in mee:* Although your sinnes bee as read as scarlet, I will make them as whyte as snowe:* I will refuze none that commeth to mee, but though he bee dead, yit shall he lyue, for I will rayze him vp at the last day:* If yee suffer with mee, yee shall also reigne with mee in glory:* Resist the diuell, and he shall flee from you, so that the verye gates of hell shall not preuayle ageinst you:* Aske what you will of my father in my name, and it shalbee done vntoo you: Aske and yee shal haue, seeke and yee shall fynd,* knocke and it shalbee opened vntoo you, possesse yee your soules through pacience. Besydes this, he putteth vs not too the dooing of any thing which he him∣selfe hath not first doone for our sakes, to giue vs the more comfort and incoragement by his owne example. If wee bee Page  [unnumbered] tempted,* so was he. If wee bee smitten for our sinnes, so was he: for he bare our infirmities,* and the penaltie of our trans∣gressions was layd vppon him. If wee be tryed and nurtured with correction of the crosse, so was he: insomuch that al∣though he was the sonne of God,* yit learned he obedience by the things that he suffered. If wee bee abaced, so was he: insomuch that wheras it was no robberie in him to bee equall with God,* bycause he was in the shape of God, yit abaced he himselfe by taking vppon him the shape of a seruant, and that so farre,* as he cryeth out in the Psalme, I am a worme, and no man, a very scorning stocke of men, and an outcast of the peo∣ple. If the terrour of Gods wrath for sin doo abash our harts, so did it abash his: and that so sore, as he was fayne too crye out,* O God my God, why hast thou forsaken mee? If wee suffer want and penury, so did he: for he had not whereon too rest his head. Finally he became lyke vnto vs in all things, sauing onely in sinne,* to the intent that wee hauing a Hygh priest which could bee touched with the feeling of our infir∣mities, might boldly preace to the throne of grace, to obteyne mercy and fauour,* to our releefe and helpe in dew time. Assu∣ring our selues that if wee fashion our selues lyke vntoo his image in sufferance, in patience, in humilitie, in fayth, in hope, in loue, and in resistence of sinne, wee shall also bee made lyke vnto him in glory.

Wherefore let vs take his yoke vppon vs,* for it is sweete: let vs sticke to him in weale and wo, 〈◊〉 he will not forsake vs: and let vs fence our selues aforehand with the armour and weapons that Saint Paule speaketh of in his present Epistle, that wee may bee able to stand fast in these euill dayes, wherin Satan the old serpent leaueth nothing vnattempted that may destroy or impayre our fayth: and that wee may bee able to beare out the brunt of afflictions which God iustly may, and (I feare mee) shortly will cast vppon vs for our carelesse hea∣ring, and more carelesse, slowe, and negligent following of his word so plentifully preached among vs, if wee conuert not by speedie amendment. Let such as are yit weake, learne to grow Page  [unnumbered] from fayth to fayth, from knowledge to knowledge in Iesus Christ.* Let them (as sayth S. Peter) indeuer by all meanes to adde too their fayth, strength, to their strength, knowledge, to their knowledge, stayednesse, to their stayednesse, pacience, to their pacience, godlynesse, to their godlynesse, kynd harted∣nesse, and to their kynd hartednesse, Loue. And whyle they bee proceeding too perfection by those degrees: I counsell them in the meane season too reuerence the mysteries which God hath not yit reuealed vnto them, nother despayring of their owne saluation for want of deepe and exquisite know∣ledge, (for to whom much is giuen, of him much shall bee re∣quyred, and to whom lesse is giuen, of him lesse shall bee requi∣red:) nor refuzing too learne, least they fall intoo the sinne of contempt: nor grudging at thoze too whom God hath giuen a greater lyght of vnderstanding in such misteries: nor yit dif∣faming the doctrine it selfe, which is vttered by the holy Ghost for their comfort, if they could conceyue it aryght. Agein, on the other syde, I coūsell the stronger sort (euen for Christes sake, who beeing the Lord of al power, became weake for our sakes) too trayne foreward the weakelings with all myldnesse of spirit, not with disputing, but with gentle exhortation and incoragement,* and too cheere vp the faynt handes and fee∣ble knees, eche bearing so with others infirmities, and helping too guyde their feete in the ryght pathes, as God may bee gloryfyed on all handes through Iesus Christ. And as for the vnreuerend and wicked wilfull scorners, wee may let them a∣lone vntoo God,* without casting of our pearles before swyne, or wihout giuing of our holy things vnto Dogges, least Gods name bee blasphemed and rayled vppon by our occasion. But yit ought wee (of christian charitie) too pray for them, if peraduenture the goodnesse and long sufferance of God may win them too repentance,* that they may acknowledge the truth, and scaping out of the diuels snares wherein they bee hild prizoners, come too their ryght myndes, and performe the will of God. For wee our selues also bee compassed a∣bout with innumerable infirmities, and haue neede of conti∣nuall Page  [unnumbered] mercy at Gods hand, nother is there any of vs all that standeth by his owne strength, or that can assure himselfe too hold out one minute of an houre, but by the helpe of God through Christ. Therefore let euery one that calleth vppon the name of Christ, (that is too wit, which professeth him∣selfe a Christian) depart from iniquitie. Let him that see∣meth to stand,* take heede that he fall not. And finally let vs all indeuer to warrant our calling and election by good and godly conuersation, and so shall the way bee layed open for vs to enter into the euerlasting kingdome of our Lord and Sa∣uiour Iesus Christ, to whom bee all honour, glory, and domi∣nion for euer and euer. Amen.

Thus much haue I (presuming vpon your graces good fa∣uour and sufferance) aduentured to wryte of this deepe, but yit moste comfortable poynt of Christen doctrine, so farre foorth as myght beseeme the breefnesse of an Epistle, and as too my poore skill hath seemed necessarie too giue the simple reader an enterance into the substance of this booke, that he myght the eazlyer conceyue, and the better vnderstand and digest the doctrine of this Epistle, and of the Sermons written vppon the same. And therfore I haue had a speciall care to set downe the matter as playnly and comfortably as I could, hol∣ding my selfe alwayes to the present cace, without stepping a∣syde into any bymatters, and without auouching anything which is not warranted by Gods expresse woord. Agein, I haue bin the sparer in woordes and sentences of myne owne, bycause of the greate profoundnesse of the diuine doctrine, which cannot bee handled with too greate reuerence: the ra∣ther bycause I see that the more godly and skilfull men are in matters of Religion, the warer and circumspecter they bee is dealing with the foresayd doctrine, eyther in familiar talk & conference, or in giuing it forth in their Sermons & writings. And as for the author of these Sermons, I shal not neede to cō∣mend him to your grace, bycause that you, whose study is im∣ployed in matters of diuinitie and good gouernment of the Church, are better acquaynted with him thā I, & therfore can∣not Page  [unnumbered] be ignorant of the goodnes of his writings, wherof this is not the first part, nor (I hope) the last that hath and shal be put forth both by mee and others, (I trust) to the benefyte of our common country. Wherefore omitting too trubble you any further in that behalfe, I beseech your goodnesse to beare with my boldnesse, and also with myne ouersyghtes where any haue scaped mee in this translation, and to further this my trauell with your fauour, as you doo the lyke proceedings that tend to the aduauncement of Gods glory, by the edifying of his Church. Surely my purpose and desyre was that it should haue bin a first fruite, or at leastwise among the first fruites, of such maner of presents as were offered your grace, at your returne into the South, to welcome you to your See of Caunterbury, if the time would haue serued to haue had it conueniently prin∣ted: for it was fully translated and deliuered out of handes a good while afore. Neuerthelesse, my trust is that a woorke so beneficiall to the Church of God, shall not bee the lesse accep∣table to you, though it come not with such speede as I glad∣ly would it should haue doone: which thing I beseeche your goodnesse with all reuerend humilitie too graunt, praying God too power vppon you such abundance of his heauenly grace and holy spirit, as the place of high preheminence wher∣in he hath set your most reuerend fatherhood, requyreth: that wee may long inioy your furtherance, to the continuall bene∣fyte of his Church. Written at Clare in Suffolke the .vii. of Ianuary. 1576.

Your good graces most humble Oratour alwayes at your commaundement, Ar∣thur Golding.

Page  [unnumbered]

To all Christians baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Sonne, and of the holy Ghost, dwelling or abyding in Fraunce, greeting.

IT is a wondrous mattr right deerly bele∣ued brethren, how all of vs glory in our Baptim, and yit consider not all with one accord what that marke importeth of i owne nature, namely by following the in∣tent of him that is the author of it. For no doubt but if wee did so, wee should all ioyne toogither in one holy consent too woorship the onely one God in spirit and truth, and to acknowledge Iesus Christ for our onely Sauyour, Aduocate, Mayster, yea and Lord, as touching the gouernment of our soules and consciences: and wee would take his nely woord for our wisdome, guyde, and rule of our whole lyfe, and specially of his seruice, without mingling of the inuentions of mans brayne with it, how great antiquitie or countenance so euer they seeme too haue. Yea, and for the outward gouernment and visible order of the Church, wee would hold vs to that which our Lord Iesus Christ in whose name wee were Baptyzed, hath shewed thereof too his Apostles, and by them inioyneth the whole world too followe euen vntoo the last day. And certeynly then should the straunge confuzi∣on and diuisions ceasse which are too bee seene in Christendome, wher∣of those are the cause, which will not harken vntoo God, and yeeld full authoritie too his woord, which fault shalbee layd too their charge at the iudgment of God, vnlesse they turne a new leafe. The Lord and Father of mercie graunt them grace so too doo, according as sup∣plication is made too him for them, in all holy assemblies where he is called vppon according too his will, in the onely name of Iesus Christ. That is the thing which wee desire: For heere the cace concerneth not the bringing in of some newe deuyce, after the fancie of men, no∣ther stryue wee too make the victorie fall vppon mens sides, whatsoe∣uer they bee, as some surmyze: but that God and his woord may haue the vpper hand ageinst all abuses, superstitions, and lyes of Satan, and Page  [unnumbered]〈◊〉 we may all toogither giue glory too our God, confessing that both 〈◊〉 and our fathers haue ouershamefully forgotten him, insomuch 〈◊〉 haue not folowed his holy Lawe, but haue bowed asyde both 〈…〉 the ryght hand and too the left. And truly whensoeuer we reade 〈◊〉 woord in a tung that wee vnderstand, or heare it preached and 〈◊〉••clared purely: he allureth vs too him, too make the lyke acknow∣•••gedment. And he hath doone so much in these late yeeres by stri∣••ng with his mercie ageinst the malice of the world, that dyuerse aue returned intoo the ryghtway, whom others yea euen of all de∣rees doo followe styll anew. But yit is not that ynough, vnlesse th residew which haue hithertoo bin deaf or asleepe, doo bethinke them∣selues too awake in good earnest, and too haue eares too heare, a sayeth Iesus Christ. Therefore wee intreate and exhort them too it 〈◊〉 Gods name, that they may discharge themselues of the promis whereuntoo their Baptim dooth secretly bynd them, as hath bin sayd. And too further them therein, besydes the lyuely voyces of the trew inisters, and other bookes conteyning faythfull expositions of the Scripture: wee offer them heere the Sermons of M. Iohn Caluin vp∣pon the Epistle of the Apostle Saint Paule too the Ephesians, where (as wee hope) they shall haue matter too fare the better by, for the playner vnderstanding of the things, which they shall eyther heare preached, or reade alone by themselues afterward. Too mak long rehersall of things that myght bee alledged in commendation of the doctrine herein conteyned, or of the manner of teaching vsed by the Author, which is both simple and familiar, and yit neuerthelesse full of authoritie and force: it is not now needfull. For wee bee sure that such as seeke Gods honour and their owne saluation, shall in reading them, perceyue that the Author had none other meaning with him: and that shall euen the malicious sorte themselues bee driuen to confesse, spyte of their hartes. Wherefore too conclude, ryght deare brethren which shall meete with this book, wee pray you new agein, too giue eare too our God and too his sonne our Mayster, who by his seruant and excellent minister of his Church, declareth the things which his holy Apostle had long ago preached with lyuely voyce, and afterward compyled breefly in wryting for vs, and all that shall com after vs too the worldes end. And of what degree soeuer you bee or Page  [unnumbered] haue bin, shrinke not backe, forasmuch as it is God that speaketh, who hath loued vs so darely, that he hath not spared his owne sonne, but hath giuen him too death too redeeme vs from death, and from the vayne traditions of our fathers: Come on therefore, and let vs all serue our God with one accord, walking in the wayes which he tea∣cheth vs, and forsaking our owne, (that is too say, all that disagre∣eth with the rule of his woord,) and making all his giftes too serue too his glory. And in so dooyng wee shall bee Christians both in name and deede: wee shall discharge our selues of our promise made in Baptim: wee shall see good agreement in Christianitie: and wee shall serue for a good example too the Iewes and Turkes, which are yit enemyes too Christendome. So bee it, So bee it, Amen.

Your brethren in our Lord, The causers of these Sermons too bee brought to lyght.

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¶The Argument of Saint Paules E∣pistle too the Ephesians.

IT is well ynough knowen, that Ephesus was a Citie of the lesser Asia, renowmed for many causes. And S. Luke reporteth in the Actes, how our Lord got himselfe a peo∣ple there by the seruice of S. Paule, how the Church be∣an there, and what furtherance it had. As for ee, I will touch nothing heere, but onely that hich belongeth properly too the argument of the Epistle. Saint Paule had taught the Ephesians he pure doctrine of the Gospell. And when he was prisoner at Rome, perceyuing that they had eede too bee confirmed, he wrate this Epistle too hem. In the three first Chapters he standeth heefly vppon the prayzyng and magnyfying of Gods grace. For in the beginning of the first Chap∣••r, after his greetings, he speaketh of Gods free election, too the end they should knowe that they were now called too the kingdome of heauen, by∣cause they had bin predestinated vntoo lyfe before they were borne. And heerin shineth foorth Gods wonderfull mercy, that the sauing of our soules commeth of Gods free adoption, as of the trew nd naturall welspring thereof. And forasmuch as mens wittes are too weake to conceyue so hygh Page  [unnumbered] a secret: he prayeth God to inlighten the Ephes∣ans with the full knowledge of Christ.

In the second Chapter, the better too set foorth the greanesse of Gods grace, he putteth them in rememberance how wretched they were till they were called too Iesus Christ, by comparing their present state, and their former state toogither. For wee can neuer perceyue sufficiently how greatly wee bee beholden too our Lord Iesus, nor consider as becommeth vs how greate his benefyts are towads vs, except it bee layd afore vs on the con∣trarie part, how wretched our state is without him. Also he amplifyeth the matter new agein, saying, that they had bi Gentiles and straungers too the promises of eternall lyfe, which God had made alonly too the Iewes.

In the thrd Chapter he sheweth, that his Apo∣stleship had bin apoynted peculiarly for the Gen∣tyles, too the intent that they who had bin straun∣gers a long tyme, myght now bee graffed intoo the people of God. And for bycause it was an vnac∣customed thing, and such a one as trubbled many mens mynds with the newnesse therof: He calleth it a secret, hidden from all tymes, saying neuerthe∣lesse, that the vttering of the same secret was com∣mitted vntoo him. Towards the end he prayeth God agein too giue the Ephesians the perfect and lyuely knowledge of Iesus Christ, so as they may not couet too knowe any other thing. By which woords he not only goeth about too make the E∣phesians acknowledge the greate number of bene∣fyts Page  [unnumbered] and gracious gifts that God had bestowed up∣pon them, and too shewe themselues thankfull for 〈◊〉 same, by yeelding themselues wholy vnto him: 〈◊〉 also intendeth rather too put them out of all 〈◊〉 of their owne calling. For by all lykelyhood 〈◊〉aint Paule was afrayd, least the false Apostles ould step in to trubble their fayth, by making th̄ eleeue that they had bin but halfe instructed. For heras they had bin Gentyles, and had newly re∣eyued the trew Christen doctrine: they had not ear the Ceremonies nor Circumcision spoken of. But they that intended too bring the Lawe 〈◊〉 vre among the Christians, sayd, that all such as were not consecrated too God by Circumsion, ere vnholie. For it was their common song, that one ought too bee reckened among the people of God, which were not circumcysed: and that al the Ceremonies commaunnded by Moyses, ought to ee kept. And for that cause they spake euill of S. Paule, for making Iesus Christ common too the Gentyles, as well as too the Iewes, and affirmed ••at his Apostleship was an vnhallowing of the eauenly doctrine, bycause he did after that sort of∣fer and set forth the couenant of grace to vncleane people without any difference at all. Therfore too he end that the Ephesians bein assayled with such launders, should not chaunge their mynds: he in∣ended too giue them a remedie. And so, wheras n the one syde he telleth them so aduyzedly, that heir being called to the Gospell, was for that they ad bin chozen before the making of the world: he Page  [unnumbered] warneth them on the other syde, not too thinke that the Gospell came too them by haphazard at the apoyntment of men, or that it lyghted in their lappes at aladuenture. For he telleth them, that wheras Christ was preached too them: that prea∣ching was nothing else than the vttering or pub∣lishing of Gods euerlasting determination. When as he setteth the vnhapie plight of their former life before their eyes, he therwithal putteth them in mynd, that their getting out of so deepe a gulf, was through the singular and woonderfull mercie of God. And wheras he speaketh of the Apostleship which was committed too him towards the Gen∣tyles: he dooth it too strengthen them in the fayth which they had once receyued, bycause their cal∣lng intoo the communion of Christes Church, was wrought by the will of God. Neuerthelesse, looke how many sentences heere be, so many war∣nings are there to chere vp the Ephesians to ac∣knowledge Gods beneyts.

In the fourth Chapter he descrybeth the meane wherby our Lord gouerneth and maynteyneth his Church: namely by the Gospell which is prea∣ched by men. Wheruppon it foloweth, that that is the verie full poynt of perfection, and that the Churche cannot otherwyse bee kept vp vnappay∣red. And therfore the Apostles meaning is, to com∣mend vntoo the Ephesians the ministerie, wherby God reigneth among vs. Afterward he commeth too speake of the fruts of preaching, that is to wit, of innocencie, holinesse, and of all dewties of a Page  [unnumbered] Christen man. And he not onely teacheth what he lyues of Christians ought too bee in gene∣rall: but also interlaceth particular in∣structions, which concerne eue∣ry mans peculiar calling or vocation.

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Sermons of Iohn Caluin vpon Saint Paules Epistle too the Ephesians, gathered by the ordinarie writer, to the benefite and edi∣fying of the Lordes Church.

The first Sermon vpon the first Chapter.

. Paule an Apostle of Iesus Christ by the vvill of God, too all you holie and faithfull ones in Iesus Christ vvhich are at Ephesus.

. Grace bee too you and peace from God our father, and from the Lord Iesus Christ.

. Blissed bee the God and father of our Lord Iesus Christ, vvhich hath blessed vs vvith all spirituall blessings, in heauenly things in Christ.

WHen we reade the Epistles which S. Paule wrate abrode to diuerse places, we must alwayes consider that God mēt they should serue not only for some one time alone, or for some certaine people: but for euer, & generally for the whole Church. And truly if a man cōsider wel the doctrine that is conteined in thē, it will be easie to discerne, that Gods intent was to be herd in the things that are spoken there, euen to the ••rldes ende: and also that he hath had such a care of vs, that he hath ••ot ouerslipped or forgotten any thing, that might further our welfare nd saluation. The slainne of this Epistle which I haue now taken in 〈◊〉 and too expound, is that S. Paule confirmeth such as had bin trayned 〈◊〉 the Gospell before, too the ende they might knowe that that is the ••ing wheruppon they must rest, as vppon the trewe lawfull and perfect wis∣ome, and that it is not 〈◊〉 too adde anything theruntoo. And he ••lleth vs that the bene••tes which are brought vs by 〈◊〉: Lord 〈◊〉hrist, and whereof wee bee 〈…〉, Page  [unnumbered] are so excellent, that wee must needes bee tootoo vnthankefull, if wee iske too and fro as folke that are neuer at rest nor contented. And theruppon he sheweth vs also what wee haue in Christ, too the end wee should so sticke vntoo him, as not to presume too seeke helpe any where else, but assure our selues that he hath bought vs all. Againe on the o∣ther side he sheweth vs, that Christ hath so wel prouided for his church, that if wee haue the wit to vse the giftes of grace which he offereth vs, wee shall haue full and perfect happinesse. Therewithall he warneth such as haue bin instructed in the truth of the Gospell, too leade a holy lyfe, and too shewe that they haue profited as they ought too doo in Gods schoole. Now, these thinges serue not onely for the Citie of E∣phesus, nor for any one Countrie, ne for any one age or time: but wee had neede too bee furthered more and more, seyng that the diuell prac∣tizeth without ende or ceassing, too thrust vs out of the way. And when he cannot leade vs quite away from the doctrine of Iesus Christ, he laboreth too bring it out of taste with vs by some way or other, and too intangle vs in new curiosities, onely too bring too passe that wee may not bee constant in the faith that wee haue receiued, but stand alwayes in a mamering. Now, whensoeuer our fancies are so ticklish, it is cer∣taine that there is a gap opened too wype out the rememberance of all that wee had learned afore, & too take in many folies, yea and errone∣ous doctrines, which serue too corrupt and peruert all the purenesse of our faith. We see then that the doctrine which is conteyned in this E∣pistle, is directed and dedicated vntoo vs at this day, & that God hath by his woonderfull prouidence so dispozed thinges aforehand, that wee not onely haue had the foundations of the Gospell whereuppon too ground our selues, but also whereby our faith may from day too day growe and increase, and wee go still forward, till wee come too perfec∣tion. And first and formest S. Paule claymeth the authoritie vntoo him which had bin giuen him of God, too the intent that men should not stop at his person, as though it had bin but a mortall mannes saying. For in very deede our Lord Iesus Christ is the onely mayster at whole hand wee must learne:* for it is witnessed of him from heauen, that it is onely he and none other whom wee must giue eare vntoo. And it hath alwayes bin Gods will too haue the guyding of his owne Church him∣selfe, and that his woord should bee receyued without geynsaying, and he hath not giuen that priuiledge too any creature.* And whereas Iesus Christ is ordeyned in the roome of God his father: it is bycause he is Page  2 God manifested in the fleshe, and the infallible truth itselfe, and his ••sdome which was before all time. Furthermore when men speake, 〈◊〉 must not doo it in their owne name, nor alledge aught of their ••ne fancie and brayne: but they must faithfully set foorth the thing 〈◊〉 at God hath inioyned them and giuen them in charge. Thus yee see hy S. Paule dooth as it were euerywhere vse this preface, that he is 〈◊〉 Apostle of our Lord Iesus Christ. And so he holdeth it for a sure and bsolute grounde, that if any man thrust foorth himselfe too speake in is owne name, there is nothing but rashnesse in him. Why so? For he taketh that thing vppon him, which belongeth alonely vntoo God. Ageine, forasmuch as our Lord Iesus Christ was purposely sent, too be our last teacher, that wee might haue such wisdome as were perfect and vtterly without fault: therefore dooth S. Paule call himselfe an Apostle sent of him. This presuppozeth twoo thinges: the one is, that S. Paule had that charge committed vntoo him: and the other is, that he acquited himselfe dewly of it, by imploying himselfe faithfully in he office that he was called too. For were a man the best able & most xcellent in the world: yet if he thrust foorth himselfe of his owne head, he trubbleth all common order. And wee knowe that God will haue order, and not disorder among vs, as S. Paule sayeth in the fowrteenth chapter of the first Epistle too the Corinthians. He then that speaketh (at leastwise too teache) must haue calling: that is too say, he must bee admitted, & haue his charge (giuen him,) so as euery man may not put foorth himselfe of an vnaduized zeale, as I sayd afore. Now too speake any further of S. Paules calling,* it is not needefull at this present. For wee knowe how God gaue record that he auowed him for his Apostle. And in deede he disputeth not much of it heere, bycause it was knowen well ynough in the Church of Ephesits. But forasmuch as the Gala∣thiās had bin trubbled by deceyuers, in so much that S. Paules autho∣ritie, yea and the name of God himselfe had bin disgraced there: wee sawe howe he mainteyned his owne state, telling them that the reue∣rence dew too an Apostle of Iesus Christ coulde not bee taken from him,* without ouerthrowing the order of God. And therfore it is ynough for him heere too haue sayd in one woord, that he is an Apostle of Iesus Christ. Let vs come too the seconde poynt which I touched, namely that it is not ynough for a man too bee called, except he discharge his dewtie with a pure conscience and vpright dealing in his office▪ which thing S. Paule tooke vppon him as a thing out of all Qutesion and he Page  [unnumbered] had giuen sufficient proofe of it. The deceyuers may well boast them∣selues with full mouth that they bee called, as wee see they doo. For all they that fight ageinst God and his woord, and sowe trubble and dar∣nell in his Church, would fayne make a buckler of their calling, and al∣so of their zeale, for they will needes bee called Christians, yea & more too. But S. Paule had sufficiently proued that he came not of himselfe, ne sought any thing else than too spend himselfe in the building vp of the Church. And forasmuch as the same was well knowen in Ephe∣sus,* (as wee may gather by the storie of S. Luke) yea and that he had borne out many a hard brunt: therefore he thinketh it ynough too say in one woorde, that he is an Apostle of our Lorde Iesus Christ. And heere wee bee warned, first too holde our selues too the pure doctrine which wee knowe too haue proceeded from God: for wee cannot doo amisse if wee followe that rule. And bycause that in our Lord Iesus Christ wee haue the performance of all that is requisite and needefull for our instruction, so as wee neede not too doubt whither wee may hold vs too the Gospell, or adde somewhat too it: Let vs bee cotented too take the sonne of God for our mayster, specially such he voutafeth too stoope so lowe as too take that charge vppon him, and also protes∣teth that if wee haue profited well in his doctrine, wee shall come too the trew marke wheruntoo wee should go. Yee see then that the first lessn which wee haue too gather vpon this text, is that our faith must not wauer one way nor other, but haue a sure and vnmoueable founda∣tion too rest vppon, that is too wit, Gods truth, euen as it is conteyned in the Gospell. And seyng that S. Paule is sufficiently auowed vntoo vs: let vs not doubt but Gods spirit speaketh too vs at this day by his mouth, nother let vs heere the doctrine as though it were subiec too our iudgement: but let vs imprizon our owne vnders•••ding & wittes, and receyue it without scanning, except wee will wilfully make warre ageinst God, and aduaunce our selues aboue him. And so, that is one of the thinges which wee haue too marke vppon this text. Furthermore too the ende that this doctrine may not onely bee reuerenced among vs, but also bee amiable too vs: let vs marke that S. Paule speaketh in the name of Christ, who was sent vntoo vs of God his father, too bring vs glad tydinges of peace: and also let vs beare in mynd how he sayeth in another text,* that he was ordeyned too bring the message of attonement, and beseecheth men in Gods name too bee reconcyled too God. Now I told you that this was done too make the doctrine of the Page  3 Gospell sweete, that wee myght bee desirous of it and giue our selues 〈◊〉 too it. For whensoeuer it is told vs that God speaketh too vs: 〈…〉 it is ynough too authorize all that he shall speake: but yet might 〈…〉 at his voyce, and therwithall bee weerie of it, according 〈…〉 see a great muber confesse well ynough that God deserueth 〈…〉 obeyed, and too haue all men subiect to him: but in the meane 〈…〉 they start away, and shun him as farre as they can, bycause his 〈…〉 maketh them afrayd. But when Iesus Christ speaketh too vs 〈…〉 mediator betweene God and men: wee may go too him boldly. 〈…〉 (as it is sayd in the Epistle too the Hebrewes) wee bee no more 〈…〉 were at Mount Sinay,* where the lyghtenings flashed in the aire 〈◊〉 the Lawe was published, in so much that if a beast had come 〈◊〉 it, it must haue dyed. The voyce therefore which God vttered at 〈◊〉 time was terrible. But now a dayes seyng he incorageth vs by 〈◊〉 Gospell to receyue the grace that he offereth vs, and is mynded too 〈◊〉 away the rememberance of our sinnes: let vs suffer our selues 〈…〉 iustifyed by his free goodnesse, and let vs bee peasable and 〈…〉 vntoo him. For that ought well too moue vs too resort vntoo him 〈…〉 poore hungrie soules, to bee fed with the heauenly foode that he 〈…〉 giue vs. Thus yee see in effect what wee haue too remember when 〈…〉 Paule calleth himselfe the Apostle of Iesus Christ.

Whereas he addeth, that it is by the vvill of God: it serueth too 〈◊〉 off all scanning, too the ende that men should not blame him of pre∣•••ptuosnesse, as though he thought himself of more reputation than 〈◊〉 men. For he protesseth that it was not for any woorthinesse of his 〈◊〉, but bycause it had pleased God too chcoze him too that office. 〈…〉 surely it is no feyned humilitie, that he sayeth he was set in that 〈◊〉 by Gods mere grace & choozing.* For wee see how he protesteth 〈◊〉 other places, that he is not woorthy of such honour, but rather had 〈◊〉 serued vtter damnation,* and therefore was too bee taken as a 〈…〉 of Gods infinite goodnesse, in that he had exalted him so high, 〈…〉 him that had bin a murtherer of Christians, that had shed the blud 〈…〉 the Martirs, and that had rayled ageynst God and his woord, as he 〈◊〉 reporteth it. Wee see then that there was no feynednesse in 〈◊〉 is confession of his, where he sayeth, that he was set in that state and 〈◊〉gree by the onely will of God. And this serueth vs too great purpose 〈◊〉, too the intent wee esteeme not Gods woord after the qualitie of 〈◊〉 that bring it too vs. For one of the ordinarie polices which the Page  [unnumbered] diuell vseth too diminish the reuerence of Gods woord withall, is too outface vs with the persons that bring it. Now it is certaine that wee bee frayle vessels, and of no valew, yea and euen as good as bro∣ken pots. What is there in them whom God hath ordeyned too bee the ministers of his word?* But it is the treasure alwayes inestimable, notwithstanding the dyspizednesse of the vessells. Then let vs marke, that when men come too warrant vs the forgiuenesse of our sinnes, & the saluation which wee ought too hope for: our fayth must mount vp hygher, and not stand scanning whether such a man bee woorthie too bee herd or no, or inquyring what maner of person he is. Let vs holde or selues contented, that God by that meanes intendeth too drawe vs too himselfe. That is the way which wee must walke: and if wee stp asyde from it, by and by wee •••e astray, and are in the high way too destruction. Then let vs marke well, that wee must submit our selues too Gods will and ordinance, and receiue without let, the doctrine that is preached too vs by the mouthes of mortall men. For wee must not bee wyze after the maner that a great number are, which demaund whether God could not send his Angells from heauen, and teache vs by reuelations: nor also after the maner of some buzibodies, which beare thēselues in hand that they haue the holy Ghost in their sleeues, by meanes wherof they hold skorne too receiue the giftes as they bee delt abrode by God. Too the end wee bee not bewitched by Satan af∣ter that maner: let vs marke how it is sayd heere, that it is Gods will that the Gospell is preached by the mouthes of men, and that they bee as it were witnesses of it vntoo vs: and that whosoeuer exempteth himselfe from that order, is in like cace as if he did thrust backe Gods hand, when he offereth him sure and infallible recorde of his saluati∣on. Thus yee see still what wee haue too marke vppon this text.

Ageine, they that are called too beare abrode Gods woord, ought too take warning by Saint Paules example, too walke in lowely∣nesse. For who are wee if wee compare our selues with him? He sheweth vs that he was not chozen for any sufficientnesse or abilitie that was in him: but bycause it was Gods will to haue it so. There∣fore let vs assure our selues, that wee holde all thinges of him and of his mere grace, and that wee cannot chalendge aught too our selues, vnesse wee mynd too rob him of his ryght. And wee knowe that such vnthankfulnesse were not too bee borne withall.

Hereuppon he sayeth, Too all the holy ones that are at Ephe∣•••, Page  4 and too the faythfull in Iesus Christ. Trew it is, that the name 〈…〉 Citie is expressed heere, but yet (as I haue touched alredie) the 〈…〉 is common too vs all, and God hath ordeyned it too our vse 〈…〉 day, and wee must receiue it as if S. Paule were still alyue, 〈…〉mong vs: yea and wee must not onely haue an eye vntoo him, 〈◊〉 the partie by whom he is sent. For although he dyed when 〈…〉 finished his race: Yit notwithstanding Gods spirit dyeth not. 〈…〉soeuer the cace stand, wee must for our learning beare in mynd 〈…〉 S. Paule meaneth heere, when he speaketh too the holy & 〈…〉 ones in Iesus Christ. Albeit then that wee bee not of that tyme, 〈…〉 of the Countrie and people of Asia: yit notwithstanding, seying it 〈…〉 pleased God too match vs with those too whom S. Paule wrate 〈…〉 time: let vs assure our selues that it standeth vs in hand at this 〈…〉, too bee strengthened in the fayth which wee haue receyued by the Gorpell bycause it was the intent and purpose of the holy Ghost, too incorage all those too holde out, which haue bin entered in the Gospel, 〈◊〉 yet weake and haue neede of larger confirmation. But let 〈…〉 well in mynd these woordes, where it is sayd, the holy and 〈◊〉 ones in Iesus Christ. For S. Paule sheweth, that all the 〈…〉 of men is nothing else but feynednesse, till God haue applyed 〈…〉 too his owne seruice, & dedicated and consecrated them therunto 〈…〉 faith. For wee are all vncleane by nature, and there can neuer any 〈…〉 come from vs but vnclenenesse. Trew it is, that if men can set a 〈…〉 glasse & countenance vpon things, they shalbe taken for as righ∣••us as may bee, & their vertues shalbe commended euerywhere, ac∣••••ing as wee see that a man shall purchace the fame of great perfec∣••••, if he haue but some gay things in him. But wee must remember 〈◊〉 it is sayd in the fifteenth of the Actes, that God clenzeth mennes 〈◊〉 by faith. And he had great neede too doo so: for (as the Pro∣••et Ieremie sayeth) manmes hart is a dungeon of horrible confuzion.*〈◊〉 our selues perceiue it not: but God hath cleerer eyes than wee. owsoeuer the cace stand, let vs assure our selues of this, that all the ho∣••nesse which men surmize themselues to haue, is but corruption & vt∣•••ly abhominable before God, till such time as they be made one with 〈◊〉 by belief of the Gospell. Therfore marke it for a schoole poynt, 〈…〉 none other holynesse is lyked and allowed at Gods bande, than 〈…〉 holynesse of the beleeuers. For except wee first become Christi∣••s, wee bee blynde and can neuer yeelde God his dewtie.

Page  [unnumbered]Although there were none other leadwnesse than this, were it not y∣nough too marre all the vertues that wee could haue besides? Againe seyng that the spirit of perfection, the spirit of the feare of God, the spi∣rit of righteousnesse, and the spirit of purenesse abydeth and resteth in Iesus Christ: it is certeine that all such as are separated from him, haue nothing else in them but vyce, and all maner of vnclenenesse, how much so euer the world fawne vppon them. And on the other side let vs marke also, that all such as boast themselues of beleefe in the Gospell, and are not sanctifyed of God, doo bewray their owne hipocrisie and lying, and dote themselues by their owne lyfe, whatsoeuer their mouth sing or say, according as wee see many now a dayes, which defyle and vnhalowe the name of faith which ought too bee holie. For euerie man will say he is faithfull, and they that haue least faith, are boldest too say that there is no faith but in themselues. And would God it were so but in the one halfe of vs. But wee see euen among all that beare the name of Christians, their whole life is disordered and looce, in so much that they mocke▪ God too the full, and despyze all religion, and yet notwith∣standing doo in the meane whyle thinke (as I haue sayd already,) that they haue great wrong if they bee not taken for good Chrirtions and Catholikes. Yet for all this wee see how S. Paule knitteth these 〈◊〉 things toogither in vnseparable bond: namely that if wee haue the faith of the Gospell, wee must therwithall giue ouer our selues wholly vntoo our God, and separate our selues from the corruptions of the world, according as wee haue seene how that in the Epistle too the Galathians,* he sayeth that the comming of our Lord Iesus Christ, 〈◊〉 too the end wee should bee sanctifyed by his blud, too yeeld obedience hensfoorth in all purenesse vntoo God his father. And as he sayeth 〈◊〉 another place,* wee bee not called too vnclenenesse, but vntoo right∣ousnesse, too the intent that Gods name should bee honored and glori∣fied by vs. Thus yee see what wee haue too remember in this preface, too the end wee may bee the better prepared too receiue the 〈◊〉 conteyned in this Epistle, & the same may haue such authoritie among vs, as it deserueth, and moreouer bee made amyable too vs, so as wee may vnderstād, how it is for our singular benefite too learne at Paules hand, forsomuch as he witnesseth the grace of our Lord Iesus Christ vntoo vs, and leadeth vs too God too bee reconcyled vntoo him, wher∣as wee bee naturally the children of wrath, and furthermore that wee may stand in his fauour, so as wee may bee hold too call vppon him as Page  5〈◊〉 father, & bee sure that he also taketh vs for his children. Theruppon 〈◊〉 a thanksgiuing, too lift vp a mennes hartes; too acknowledge 〈◊〉 much they bee bound and beholden vntoo God, specially conside∣•••• that he hath shewed himselfe so bountifull towardes them, in 〈…〉 foorth himselfe after all maner of sortes.

•••essed (sayeth he) bee the God and father of our Lord Iesus 〈◊〉, vvhich hath blissed vs vvith all spirituall blissings in hea∣•••ly things, or in heauenly places in Christ. Forasmuch as the chiefe 〈◊〉 which God requireth at mennes hands, is that they should ac∣••wledge his benefites and be thankfull too him for them: S. Paule 〈◊〉sidereth first of all, how the same maye prouoke them too doo their 〈…〉: For wee bee so rechlesse, as it is▪ pitie too see. Wee can well 〈◊〉 confesse, that our chiefe studie and indeuer ought too bee too 〈…〉 a well ordered lyfe: that is too wit, to praise God. For if a man aske vs wherefore wee bee in this world, wherefore God hath such a care of vs, wherfore his goodnesse feedeth and cherisheth vs, & finally 〈◊〉 he dooth as it were put out our eyes with the great number 〈…〉 which he bestoweth vppon vs: it is too the end wee should 〈…〉 some acknowledgement of them vntoo him. For (as it is sayd in 〈◊〉 Psalme) wee 〈◊〉 our side cannot profit him at all, nother requyreth 〈…〉 else of vs in exchaunge than thanksgiuing, according as it is 〈◊〉 in the hundred and sixteenth Psalme, What shall I render too the 〈◊〉 for all the benefites which I haue receyued of him, but onely too 〈◊〉 the cuppe of welfare at his hand, and too call vppon his name? 〈…〉 see then that all that euer wee can bring vntoo God, is but too ac∣••owledge our selues bound too him for all things. And yet for all that 〈◊〉 dischargeth his dewtie, no nor the hundredth part of it in that bhalfe, but rather all of vs from the greatest too the least doo defraud 〈◊〉 of it, in as much as wee ceasse not through our leawdnesse, to bury 〈◊〉 praise, which ought too ring 〈…〉 in our mouthes. For this cause 〈◊〉 Lord rebuketh vs for our negligence, for wheras the holy scripture exhorteth vs too praise God, and vseth so many woordes too that pur∣ose: let vs not thinke that they bee super•••ous: but let vs acknow∣edge them too bee as many vpbraydings of our churlishnesse and vn∣ydnesse for fayling in the thing that is so requisite, and (as yee would 〈◊〉) the principall poynt of our life. Trew it is that the holy Ghost ooth oftentimes set foorth other reasons why wee shoud magnifye Gods name, as the order of nature, the fruites which the earth yeeldeth Page  [unnumbered] the ayde and help which God giueth vs & such other things: and those are sufficient matter wherfore too prayse God. But S. Paule leadeth vs hygher heere, and will haue vs too glorifye God aboue all things, for bycause he thinkes it not ynough too haue set vs in the worlde, and too cherish vs there, and too haue prouided all things needfull for the passing of this transitorie lyfe: but also hath chozen vs too bee heires of his kingdome, and of the heauenly lyfe. Then are wee dubble bound vntoo God, and that much more streytly than the ignorant and vnbe∣leeuing wretches are. For although they bee sufficiently bonnd alre∣dye: yit notwithstanding the good which he hath doone vs in Iesus Christ, is without all comparison more excellent and noble, bycause he hath adopted vs too bee his children. Truely inasmuch as wee bee men, wee bee of the nomber of his creatures which he hath fashioned after his owne image: but what for that: This image is defaced in vs by sin, and by the corruption wherwith we bee atteinted by Adams disobediēce. And now what other heritage haue wee, than of his wrath and of endlesse death? Too bee shorte, wee bee not woorthy too bee reckened in the number of brute beasts, if wee abide in the state which wee haue of nature. Now then seyng that God maketh vs members of his onely sonne, & setteth vs in the aray of the Angels, & prepareth vs too become parttakers of his owne nature and glory (as sayeth S. Peter in his first Epistle:)* ought not wee too perceiue there so hygh and noble a grace, as should rauish vs wholly in loue with it? Thus yee see that of the thinges which S. Paule ment too say in this text, the first is, that wee bee heere exhorted too apply our whole indeuer too the praising of God, verily bycause wee bee too cold & slothfull in that behalfe, if wee bee not driuen and inforced thereuntoo. Besydes this, S. Paule had one other respect more: which was, too feede vs in such wise with the grace that we haue by the Gospell, as wee may no more couet this thing & that thing after our ordinary manor. We see how fickle wee bee of nature, & when God is so good vntoo vs, as too set his woord before vs: wee will needes haue some other thinges be∣side, and nothing can content vs. And what is the cause of it: It is for that wee bee dull, & neuer conceiued nor vnderstoode what God she∣weth vs by his word.* For we shal see heereafter, that such as know the loue which God sheweth vs in our Lord Iesus Christ, haue all that they can wish vpward and downward, farre & wyde. Also S. Paule dooth now call vpon vs too blisse God, too the end too holde vs to the Page  6 doctrine wherin consisteth the fulnesse of all felicitie, at leastwise if we 〈…〉 skill too vse it too our profit.

••thermore let vs marke also, how not without cause he sayeth, 〈◊〉 is in spirituall blissings. For although wee cannot eate a bit of 〈◊〉 nor drinke a drop of water without theft too Godward, except cknowledge & confesse that he therein sheweth himselfe a very 〈◊〉 towards vs: yit notwithstāding, the things that concerne this 〈◊〉 and transitory life of ours, are nothing in respect of the thinges 〈◊〉 serue for the euerlasting welfare of our soules. And in very deede 〈◊〉 Paules exhorting of vs heere too praise God for his heauenly blis∣••s, is in such wise, that therwithall he giueth vs an incling that we 〈◊〉 bee pacient if we bee pinched in respect of the flesh, & haue not all ••ges at will, but that God cutteth vs short of our pittance, & hand∣••• vs not so tenderly as we would bee. Two things therfore are con∣••ed heere. The one is, that we should learne too knowe wherin our 〈◊〉 and perfect happinesse consisteth: that is too wit, in the lyfe 〈◊〉 wee hope for, and which is hid from vs as yit, too the intent we 〈◊〉 not bee tyed too the world: (Marke that for one poynt.) And se∣••ly, that if this world shake vs off and dispize vs, and men make a 〈◊〉 stocke of vs, wee must settle our selues in pacience, and while 〈◊〉 despizers of God vaunt themselues with pompe and brauerie, and eemeth that wee bee vnhappie in respect of them, in so much that 〈◊〉 of vs suffer hunger and thirst, and othersome be trubbled & vexed ••ongfully: wee must looke further. And why? Euen bycause wee 〈◊〉 too content our selues with the heauenly blissings which God 〈◊〉 bestowed vpon vs. Then must this so great, so hygh, and so inesti∣••••le prerogatiue, make vs too ouerpasse all incomberances that we can conceiue, whensoeuer God exercizeth and tryeth vs in this worlde 〈◊〉 many afflictions, and will haue vs too indure scarcitie and pe••rie 〈◊〉 many things. This is the effect of the things which wee haue too arke in this streyne.

Now before wee go foreward with the rest, let vs marke that this oord Blissing, is taken in diuers sences, when S. Paule applyeth it 〈◊〉 ther too God or too our selues. It is said that wee blisse God, & how? 〈◊〉 he blisseth vs? After what maner dooth he blisse vs? Wee blisse 〈◊〉 him as he blisseth vs, wee come farre short of that. For (as I haue •••edged alreadie out of the sixteenth Psalme) all our seruices can doo 〈◊〉 no good: & agein we must needes conclude, that (as I haue also al∣ledged Page  [unnumbered] out of the hundred & xvi. Psalme) all that wee can bring vntoo God is no more but this acknowledgement, that wee bee beholden too him for all the good things which wee haue. Yee see then that all our blissing is but too yeeld the sacrifice of praize vntoo God. Let that serue for one poynt. But now when God blisseth vs, is it but onely in woordes? No: but it is a filling of vs, and a bestowing of all things vppon vs which wee want, so farre foorth as is needefull. And why is this woord Blissing attributed vntoo him? Bycause he needeth not too trauell and take much paine too helpe his seruantes, and too giue them the things that he knoweth too bee expedient for them. If he doo but say the woord, that is too say, if he doo but vtter his will, the thing is doone. Forasmuch then as God hauing created the world by his onely woord, hath power also too doo vs good by his alonely behyghting of it: therefore it is sayd that wee become riche by his onely blissing, that is too say, by his shewing of himself louing and fauorable too vs. Now let vs see if wee bee too bee excuzed when we defraud God of his dew, by disdeyning too open our lippes too confesse howe much wee bee bound and beholden vntoo him, after wee haue receyued so many bene∣fites at his hand. Let all the blissinges that all the men in the world can giue vntoo God, bee layd intoo the balance ageinst the onely blis∣sing wherwith he inricheth vs: and which shall outwey other? All that they can alledge, is, but that they must bee fayne too confesse, that they can nother doo, nor say any thing that is aught woorth: wheras on the other side God sheweth vs that he hath all that is requisite for our wel∣fare. Therefore it is not without cause that S. Paule sayeth heere, that the faithfull must giue and apply all their wittes and indeuers too blisse God, seyng he giueth them so great cause: for else they bee vn∣thankfull and starke churles. Therefore he speaketh twoo thinges: The father of our Lord Iesus Christ, vvhich hath blissed vs in Christ.

Whereas he sayeth, the God and father of our Lord Iesus Christ, it must bee layd foorth after this maner: namely, that the God whom wee feele so fauorable vntoo vs, is the father of our Lord Iesus Christ. This circumstance deserueth too bee well marked. For thereby S. Paule dooth vs too vnderstand, that Gods benefites, & specially those that belong too the heauenly lyfe, and too the euerlasting saluation of our soules, cannot come at vs, except Iesus Christ bee as it were the cundit pype of them, so as wee may bee made parttakers of them for Page  7〈…〉 Therefore let vs marke well that wee bee shet out from all 〈…〉, and from all things that concerne the saluation of our 〈…〉 Iesus Christ become our mene. Trew it is that the 〈…〉 doo eate and drinke and glut themselues to the vttermost, 〈…〉 shyneth vpon them. But yet howsoeuer they fare, to speake 〈…〉 they inioy not any of all the thinges that God giueth them, 〈…〉 they vsurp them without any lawfull tytle too them. For the 〈…〉 was made for Gods children, yea and that in respect of their 〈…〉, which is our Lord Iesus Christ. Too be short, it is not 〈…〉 that S. Paule shewing how God hath giuen himselfe 〈…〉, sayeth that it is bycause he is the father of our Lord Iesus 〈…〉. But (as I told you euen now) heere the matter standeth not 〈…〉 eating and drinking, but vppon farre greater and preciouser 〈…〉: namely that God hath adopted vs for his children. And so ye〈◊〉 effect what wee haue too beare in mynd.

••wbeit, for the better profiting of our selues by this streyne: Let 〈…〉 that we must brydle our selues, least wee wander intoo 〈…〉 when wee knowe God the father of our Lord 〈…〉. And why? For the Papists haue this word God often 〈…〉 in their mouthes, and lykewyse the woorde Iesus Christ,〈…〉 the meane whyle they haue disfigured Iesus Christ, and 〈…〉 the doctrine of his Gospell wherin he should bee seene. So 〈…〉 they a God: howbeit but by confuzed imaginatiō: & in the meane 〈◊〉 they knowe him not. And truly, they woe no more what God 〈◊〉 worship, than the Turkes doo. Wee know that our Lord Iesus 〈…〉 (in the fourth of Iohn) sayth, that they which haue not the 〈…〉 too rule themselues well, wote not what they worship, 〈…〉 continually forge Idolls too themselues. Therfore there is 〈…〉 one way too haue good and infallible accesse vntoo God: and 〈…〉 by beholding him in his lyuely image, for his maiestie is too 〈…〉, too farre of, and too deepe for vs. But Iesus Christ hath 〈…〉 himselfe too vs, and applyed himselfe too our weaknesse, and 〈◊〉 vs whatsoeuer was requysite too knowe, that wee myght 〈◊〉 too God his father. Yee see then that wee must haue our Lord 〈◊〉 Christ for our way, too the intent wee stray not. For seing that 〈◊〉 is the father of our head and of him that is made one with vs, yee 〈◊〉 wee may haue accesse too come familiarly vntoo him. And 〈◊〉 without that mediatour, wee are all shet out from him, and the Page  [unnumbered] maiestie of God must needs make the heares of our head too stand vp for feare. But when we consider that he calleth himselfe the father of him that is our head: wee knowe that he also must needs auow vs for his children, bycause he hath bought vs.

Furthermore although S. Paule doo set downe heere but the one woord of Spirituall blissinges: yit notwithstanding he sheweth that God hath shewed himselfe bountifull towardes vs mo wayes than one. And therof he will make a more large declaration hereafter, by laying foorth the benefites particularly which wee obteyne by the Gospell. For all this chapter is full of them. But howsoeuer the eace standeth, yit dooth he giue vs too vnderstand in this streyne, that Gods giuing of his gracious gyfts vnto vs, is not by patches and parcells, and that his making of vs too taste them, is not with a wet finger and away, as they say: but that he hath giuen vs them so diuersly and fully, that wee haue cause too magnifie him in all respectes. Therfore let vs vnderstand, that seyng that Iesus Christ is so giuen vntoo vs, in him wee obteyne all that is auaylable too our saluation, and too make vs happie, according also as Paule speaketh of it in the eyght to the Ro∣manes. For if the onely sonne bee giuen vntoo vs, how should not all the benefites which he hath in him, bee communicated too vs with him and by his meanes?

But howsoeuer wee fare, let vs learne too fauour Gods spirituall giftes in such wise, as all our wittes may bee gathered home to make much of them. And for the bringing therof too passe: let vs beware that wee haue not our myndes too much wedded too the world. For the verie cause that draweth vs away, so as we perceyue not the hundredth part of the good that God hath doone vs, nor can apply his benefites too our profit: is our owne vanitie, bycause euery of vs begulleth him∣selfe with his owne fond and wandering lustes. Therfore let vs learne too shake off the things that stop vs from comming too our Lord Ie∣sus Christ. And although our naughtie nature prouoke vs too seeke the transitorie things of this world: yit let vs doo our indeuer to with∣drawe from them, so as wee may yeeld our selues with a free hart vn∣too God, and bee earnestly mynded too obey him, and too giue our sel∣ves wholly vntoo him, for so is it his will too haue vs ioyned vnto him. This is the thing which wee haue too marke vppon S. Paule, when hauing spoken of the spirituall blissings, he addeth immediatly, in hea∣uenly places or thinges: whereby he ment too shewe, that wee bee not Page  8〈…〉 receiue the gracious giftes which are communicated too vs in 〈…〉 Iesus Christ, and which God would haue vs too possesse: till 〈…〉 howe there is not any thing in this world, that ought too 〈…〉. Wherefore when wee once knowe that wee bee not 〈…〉 and made too dwell alwayes in this world, but that wee must 〈…〉 as wayfarers in it, and that our euerlasting heritage and 〈…〉 in heauen: let vs thereuppon make thitherwarde, and 〈◊〉 our selues too it more and more. And although wee bee feeble: 〈◊〉 not faynt, but plucke vp a good hart, and pray God too giue 〈◊〉 Moreouer yee see that the cause why S. Paule setteth downe 〈◊〉Blissings, is too doo vs too wit, that wheras the diuell 〈…〉 any traynes too thrust out of the way, God will prouide (〈…〉 them all. And why? For he hath such store of blissings, that he 〈…〉 and destroy all that euer may bee ageinst our 〈…〉.

But now let vs fall downe before the maiestie of our good God, 〈…〉 of our faultes, praying him to touche vs more 〈…〉 with them, that wee may bee brought to trew repentance, so 〈…〉 may condemne our selues, and seeke to our Lord Iesus Christ 〈…〉 that wee want, and that not for one day or at a brayd, but 〈…〉 and stedfastly too our lyues end: and that whatsoeuer befall vs, 〈…〉 alwayes assure our selues that we haue cause too praise our 〈…〉, and that if wee be poore and miserable in this world, the 〈…〉 is ynough too quiet vs, & to sweeten all our afflictions and 〈◊〉, and too giue vs such contentation, as wee may neuerthelesse 〈◊〉 mouthes open too blisse God for shewing himselfe so kynd 〈◊〉 and liberall towards vs, as euen too adopt vs too his children, 〈…〉 shewe vs that the heritage which hath bin purchaced for vs by 〈…〉 of his only sonne, is redie for vs, and wee can not misse of it, 〈…〉 go too it with trew and inuincible constancie of fayth. That it 〈…〉 please him too graunt this grace not only too vs, but also too all 〈…〉. &c.

Page  [unnumbered]

¶The second Sermon vppon the first Chapter.

3. Blissed bee the God and father of our Lord Iesus Christ, which hath blissed vs with all spirituall blissing in heauenly things in Christ:

4. According too his choozing of vs in him before the foun∣dation of the world, too the end wee should bee holy and vn∣blamable before him in charitie.

WEe haue seene heeretofore how S. Paule exhorted vs too praise and blisse God, by∣cause he hath blissed vs, and that not after an earthly maner, but after a spirituall ma∣ner, too the end wee should learne too holde our selues contented with Gods shewing of his fatherly goodnesse and loue towards vs, in opening the gate of the kingdome of heauen vnto vs by hope, in so much that al∣though wee bee subiect too much miserie in this world, yit it is good reason that wee should content our selues with Gods choozing of vs after that fashion, and with his calling of vs too him, according as it is witnessed too vs by the Gospell,* that he is our father, namely in as much as he hath knit vs too our Lord Iesus Christ as members too their head. And now S. Paule bringeth vs too the originall & wel∣spring, or rather too the principall cause tha caused God too take vs into his fauour. For it is not ynough that God hath vttered the rea∣sures of his goodnesse and mercy vppon vs, too drawe vs too the hope of the heauenly lyfe by the Gospell: and yit is that very much. For had not S. Paule added that which wee see presently: it myght haue bin 〈◊〉 that Gods grace is common too al men, and that he offereth it too all without exception, and consequenly that it is in euery mans 〈…〉 too receyue it through his owne freewill, by meanes whereof thee should bee some deseruing in vs. For if there were no 〈…〉 men, but that some receyue Gods grace and 〈…〉 what myght bee sayd, but that God hath shewed 〈…〉 to all mankynd? But they that are parttakers of the 〈…〉 Lord Iesus Christ, atteyne too it by fayth. And so yee see Page  9 what might bee deemed of it. But S. Paule, too exclude all deseruing 〈◊〉 behalfe, and too shew that all commeth of Gods onely free 〈◊〉 goodnesse: sayth that he hath blissed vs according too his 〈◊〉 of vs aforehand. As if he should say, that too exalt Gods 〈…〉 as becommeth vs, wee must looke vppon the difference that is 〈◊〉 betweene man and man. For the Gospell is preached to some, and 〈◊〉 wote not what it is, but are vtterly shet out from it, as if 〈◊〉 should make it too rayne in one coast, and suffer another coast to 〈◊〉 dry. Now if it bee demaunded why God pitieth the one part, 〈◊〉 forsaketh and giueth ouer the other: there is none other answere 〈◊〉 that it so pleaseth him. Uppon the preaching of the Gospell in a 〈◊〉, some shalbee touched with lyuely faith in their hartes, and 〈…〉 go away ageine as they came without faring any whit the 〈◊〉, or else they harden themselues ageinst God, and bewray the 〈◊〉 that was hidden in them before, whereof commeth such 〈◊〉? Euen of this, that God amendeth the one sort by his holy 〈◊〉, and leaueth the other sort in their naturall corruption. Yee see 〈◊〉 that the thing wherein Gods goodnesse shyneth foorth most vntoo 〈◊〉 that by the preaching of the Gospell too vs, wee haue as it were 〈◊〉 that he pitieth vs, loueth vs, calleth vs, and allureth vs too him. 〈…〉 when the doctrine that is preached too vs, is receyued of vs 〈…〉 effectually: that is yit a further and more speciall token 〈…〉 wee perceyue that God intendeth too bee our father, and hath 〈…〉 vs too bee his children. Not without cause then doth S. Paule say 〈◊〉 this streyne, that wee bee blissed of God, euen according too his 〈◊〉 of vs aforehand. For wee of our selues come not too him, wee 〈◊〉 selues seeke him not:* but the saying of the Prophet Esay must 〈◊〉 bee fulfilled in all: namely that God sheweth himselfe too such 〈◊〉 sought him not: and that such as were farre of doo see him neere at 〈◊〉, and he sayeth too them, heere I am, heere I am; although you 〈◊〉 despyzed mee, yit doo I voutsafe too come too you, bycause I haue 〈◊〉 care of your welfare. Thus wee see what S. Paule amed at in this 〈◊〉.

Too bee short wee haue to marke heere, that wee shall neuer know 〈◊〉 our saluation commeth, till we haue lifted vp our myndes too 〈◊〉 Gods euerlasting purpose, wherby he hath chozen whom he thought 〈◊〉; and left the residew in their owne confuzion and fall. Now then 〈◊〉 is no maruell though some men thinke this doctrine too be straunge Page  [unnumbered] and hard: for it agreeth no whit at all too mans naturall wit. If a man aske of the Philosophers: They wil alwayes tell him that God loueth such as are worthy of it, and that forasmuch as vertue pleaseth him, he dooth also marke out such as are giuen theretoo, too hold them for his people. Yee see then, that after our owne imagination, wee will deeme that God putteth none other difference between man and man, in louing some, and in hating other some, than eche mans owne wor∣thinesse and deseruing. But by the waye, let vs remember also, that in our owne vnderstanding there is nothing but vanitie, and that wee must not measure God by our meetyard, and that it is too excessyue an ouerweening too bynd God too the stake, so as he should not do any thing but that which wee could conceyue, and which myght seeme ryghtfull in our eyes. The matter therfore concerneth heere the reue∣rencing of Gods secrets which are incomprehensible too vs, & with∣out wee doo so, wee shall neuer taste the principles of fayth. For wee knowe that our wisdome ought alwayes too begin at humilitie: and this humilitie is as much too say, as that we must not fall too weying of Gods iudgments in our owne balance, nor take vpō vs to be iudges and determiners of them, but that wee must bee sober, bycause of the weaknesse of our wit, and that forasmuch as wee bee grosse and dull, wee must magnifie God,* and say as wee bee taught by the holy scrip∣ture, Lord thy determinations are as a great deepe, and no man is a∣ble too recken them vp vntoo thee. Yee see then, that the cause why some men fynd this doctrine hard and irksome, is for that they bee too much wedded too their owne opinion, and cannot submit themselues to Gods wisdome, to receiue his sayings soberly & modestly. And truly we ought too take warning by that which S. Paule sayeth:* namely that man of his owne mother wit vnderstādeth not Gods secretes, but taketh them too bee starke foolishnesse. And why? For wee bee not of his cunsell, but must haue things reueled too vs by his holy spirit, or else we should neuer know them: & we must haue thē in such measure as he giueth thē vnto vs. S. Paule speaketh there of the things that wee know by experiēce: that is to wit, that we be Gods childrē, that he go∣uerneth vs by his holy spirit, that he comforteth vs in our aduersities, & that he strengtheneth vs through pacience. We should not conceyue any of all these things, vnlesse we were inlyghtened by his holy Ghost. How then shall wee vnderstand the thing that is much hygher, namly that God choze vs before the making of the world? Sith the cace stan∣deth Page  10 so: let vs learne too put away all that wee conceyue of our owne 〈◊〉, & too lay it vnder foot, and let vs receyue whatsoeuer God 〈…〉 vs, discharging our selues vtterly of all selfweening, and 〈…〉 our selues that wee cannot bring any thing of our owne syde but 〈…〉 beastlynesse. Thus yee see what wee haue too beare in mynd. 〈…〉 in good sooth wee see how S. Paule exhorteth vs to come too the 〈…〉 poynt.* Who art thou o man (sayeth he) which standest in 〈…〉 with thy God? After he had set downe many replyes which we 〈…〉 to make, he sayeth, who art thou o man? By the word man he 〈…〉 to make vs perceyue our owne fraylty:* for we be but wormes of 〈…〉 earth and rottēnesse. Now then, what a malipertnesse is it too open 〈…〉 mouthes to dispute with God? Is it not a peuerting of the whole 〈…〉 of nature: Is it in our power too plucke the Sunne out of the 〈…〉, or too latch the moone betwixte our teeth, as they say? much lesse 〈◊〉 it lawful for vs too contend with God, and too alledge reasons too 〈◊〉 his iudgments, which wee cannot comprehend.

〈…〉 are that will graunt this doctrine of Predestination too bee 〈…〉, wherof S. Paule treateth heere: but yit they would it were so 〈…〉, as it myght neuer bee spoken of. Yea, but they shew themselues 〈…〉 bee but fooles in controllyng the holie Ghoste, which spake it by 〈…〉 Prophets and Apostles, yea and euen by the mouth of Gods only 〈…〉.* For when our Lord Iesus intendeth too assure vs of our 〈…〉: he sendeth vs too this euerlasting election, and lykewise when he 〈…〉 too magnifie the gift of fayth,* the one in the tenth of Ihon, 〈…〉 the other in the sixth. And therefore those kynd of folke come too 〈…〉 too put God too silence, and too wype the things out of the holye 〈…〉 which are shewed there. For all the whole scripture is 〈…〉.* S. Paule spake that of the Lawe and the Prophets. Therfore mee also may conclude, that there is no superfluitie in the Gospell, nor any thing which serueth not too good purpose, and whereby wee may 〈◊〉 bee edifyed both in faith and in the feare of God. But this doctrine 〈…〉 conteyned there, and the holy Ghost speaketh it lowd and shirle. 〈◊〉 Therefore they must needes bee Manichies which intend too nip and 〈…〉 the Gospell. For looke what lyketh not them, they did set it aside, 〈…〉 forged a Gospell of diuerse peeces, allowing nothing but that 〈◊〉 they themselues thought good of. Now if such maner of 〈…〉 haue shewed a diuelish stubbornnesse ageinst God, in separating 〈…〉 things which ought too go toogither in vnseparable bond, then are Page  [unnumbered] they malicious and froward also, which would now a dayes haue the doctrine of election kept in silence. For they woulde ouerrule God if it were possible, & stop his mouth as oft as he vttereth any thing that lyketh not them. Agein, a man may euidently see their beastlynesse, in that S. Paule had not a better proofe whereby too magnifie Gods goodnesse, than this. Then if there were none other reason, yit were it better that the whole world should go too confuzion, than that this doc∣trine should bee suppressed with silence. For is it reason that God should set the infinite treasures of his mercies before our eyes, and yit that they should not be spoken of, but bee thrust vnder foote? But there are yit twoo reasons mo, which shewe that this doctrine is most neede∣full too bee preached, and that wee reape so great profit by it, as it had bin much better that wee had neuer bin borne, than too bee ignorant of the thing that S. Paule sheweth heere. For there are twoo thinges wherat wee must chiefly ame, and whereuntoo it behoueth vs too ap∣ply all our wittes and indeuers, and they bee the very summe of all the thinges which God teacheth vs by the holy scripture. The one is the magnifying of God as he deserueth, and the other is the as∣surednesse of our saluation,* that wee may call vppon him as our fa∣ther with full libertie. If wee haue not these twoo thinges, wo woorth vs, for there is nother fayth nor religion in vs. Well may wee talke of God, but it shalbee but a leazing. As touching the first poynt, I haue tolde you alreadie that Gods grace is not sufficiently knowen but by seting Gods election as it were before our eyes. For put the cace that God drawe all men alyke, and that such as intend too obteyne saluati∣on, must come of their owne free will and selfmouing: if it be so, then is it certeine that wee deserue too bee receyued at Gods hand, and that he should handle euery man according too his worthinesse. But wher∣in shall Gods goodnesse bee magnifyed? Euen in this, that he pre∣uenteth vs of his owne mere free good wil, and loueth vs neuerthelesse without fynding any thing eyther in vs or in our woorkes why he should loue vs. If this bee trew, then must there needes bee election, so as God must take the one sort bycause he thinketh it good so to doo, & leaue the other. Thus ye see it is a most assured point, that Gods glory doth not appeere & shyne foorth as were requisite, except it be knowen that he sheddeth foorth his goodnesse and loue where it pleaseth him.

I sayd euen now that the preaching of his word is a singuler bene∣fyte too vs. And that is the cause why it is sayd so often in the Lawe & Page  11〈…〉, that God hath not delt so with any other nation, as he 〈…〉 the linage of Abrahā,* in that he voutsafd too chooze & adopt 〈…〉 the lawe was a sure record. So then the children of 〈…〉 exhorted too prayse God, bycause he had vosafed to gyue 〈…〉 law, and in the meane whyle had let the poore entyles 〈…〉 folk that perteyned not too him at all. But it is yit a farre 〈…〉 specialler priuiledge, when he maketh vs too fare the better 〈…〉 woord. For it is certeyne that our eares myght bee beaten 〈…〉 with the things that should bee told vs, and wee bee neuer the 〈…〉 for it, vntill God speake to vs by his holy spirit within vs. Then 〈…〉 matter God sheweth a dubble grace.* The one is when he 〈…〉 vp men to preache the Gospell too vs: for no man is meete & 〈…〉 too doo it of himselfe. Needes therefore must they bee of Gods 〈…〉, which doo call vs too him, and offer vs the hope of saluation. But yit for all that, let vs marke well that wee cannot beleeue, except 〈◊〉 himself too vs by his holy spirit, and speake too our hartes 〈…〉 holy Ghost, as well as he hath spoken too our eares by the 〈…〉 of man.* And that is the cause why the Prophet Esay sayeth, 〈…〉 beleeued our doctrine? or too whom is the arme of the Lord 〈…〉? He sheweth that there is no fayth in the world, till God haue 〈…〉 in mennes myndes and hartes by the power of his holy 〈…〉 And for the very same cause also dooth our Lord Iesus say,* that 〈…〉 commeth too him except he bee drawen by the father: but 〈…〉 hath learned of my father (sayeth he) the same submitteth 〈…〉 mee. Too be short, wee see manifestly that God sheweth 〈…〉 too vs, when he voutsafeth too inlyghten vs by his holy 〈◊〉 too the end wee should bee drawen too the fayth of his Gospell. If the same were doone commonly and indifferently too all men: yit 〈◊〉 wee haue cause too magnify God. But now when wee see that 〈◊〉 are hardened, and othersome vnconstant: and that some go their 〈…〉 without taking any profit by the things that they haue heard, 〈◊〉 othersome bee altoogither blockishe: it is certaine that the same 〈…〉 Gods grace more apparant too vs,* according as S. Luke 〈…〉, that at S. Paules preaching, as many beleeued as were 〈…〉 too saluation. Uerily the number of people was great that 〈◊〉 S. Paules Sermon: and out of all doubt he on his side had so 〈◊〉 grace, as ought to haue moued euen the very stones. And yit 〈◊〉, a great sort continued in their vnbeleefe and stubborn∣nesse, Page  [unnumbered] and othersome beleeued. Now S. Luke sayeth playnly that the cause therof was not for that the one sort were more forewarde folke than the other, or for that there was any towardnesse of vertue more in the one than in the other: but for that God had foreordeyned them too saluation. Therefore at one woord, wee see that all mannes de∣seruing must ceasse and be layd vnder foote, or else God shall not haue his deserued praise. Yea and wee must vnderstand, that fayth com∣meth not of our selues: for if it did, then should there be some woorthi∣nesse in our woorkes. Trew it is, that by fayth wee confesse that there is nothing but wretchednesse in vs, that wee bee damned and accursed, and that wee bring not aught with vs but onely an acknowledgement of our sinnes. But yit should our fayth serue for some desert, if we had it of our owne breeding. Wee must therefore conclude, that it is im∣possible for men too beleeue, vnlesse it bee giuen them from aboue. And surely S. Paule declareth heere a thing well woorthie too bee marked, when he sayeth, blissed bee God. And for what cause? Euen for inriching vs in such wise in Iesus Christ, that our lyfe is happie and blissed. And afterward he addeth, according too his choozing of vs. Is not fayth comprehended among the spirituall riches whereof S. Paule maketh mention? Yis, and (which is more) it is the chiefe of them. For it is by fayth that wee receyue the holy Ghost, it is by fayth that wee become patient in our aduersities,* it is by fayth that we become obedient too God, it is by fayth that wee bee sanctifyed to his seruice. Too bee short, fayth continueth alwayes chiefe of the spiri∣tuall benefites that God bestoweth vppon vs. Now let vs remember well S. Paules order. He sayth that God hath giuen vs fayth as well as any of all the rest, according too his choozing of vs. Wee see then that fayth dependeth vppon Gods election, or else wee must make S. Paule a lyer. And so as touching the first poynt, yee see that all such as cannot abyde to haue predestination plainly and openly spoken of, are deadly enemies of Gods grace, and would deface it too the vtter∣most of their power. For (as I sayd afore) the hyding therof were the ouerthrowing of all religion.

The second poynt is the assurednesse of our Saluation. The Pa∣pists say wee must dout of it, and that wee cannot come vntoo God o∣therwyze than with an opinion that he wyll receyue vs: but too assure our selues of it, that ought wee not too doo, for that were too great a presumtuousnesse. But when wee pray vntoo God, wee must call Page  12〈…〉, at leastwize if we be the scholers of our Lord Iesus Christ, 〈…〉 taught vs so too doo. Now, doo wee call him father at 〈…〉? or are we sure of it in our selues that he is our father? If 〈…〉 is there nothing but hipocrisie in our prayers, and the first 〈…〉 wee vtter shalbee a stark lye. The Papistes therfore neuer 〈…〉 it is too pray vntoo God, seing they say that they ought not 〈…〉 themselues of their saluation.* But (as wee shall see in the 〈…〉 chapter specially) the scripture sheweth that if wee will pray too 〈◊〉 ryghtly, wee must haue beleef in Iesus Christ, which giueth vs 〈…〉 & vppon that trust wee by and by conceyue boldnesse. Then 〈…〉 the world go, wee must not bee in a mamering nor yet dout, but 〈…〉 be throughly resolued & perswaded in our selues, that God 〈…〉 vs as his children. And how may that bee but by imbracing 〈…〉 through fayth, as he offereth it vs in his Gospell, and by 〈◊〉 our selues also that wee bee grounded in his euerlasting 〈…〉 if our fayth should depend vppon our selues: surely it would 〈…〉 from vs, and it myght bee shaken of, if it were not 〈…〉 aboue. And although wee bee kept or preserued by fayth as 〈…〉 S. Peter:* yit is it God that keepeth or preserueth vs. Then if 〈…〉 were not grounded vppon Gods eternall election, it is 〈…〉 that Satan myght plucke it from vs euery minute of an houre. 〈…〉 wee were too day the constantest in the world,* yit myght wee 〈…〉 too morrowe. But our Lord Iesus sheweth vs the remedie too 〈…〉 vs ageinst all temptations, in that he sayeth, you come not 〈…〉 of your selues, but the heauenly father bringeth you too mee. 〈…〉 as I haue taken you intoo my keeping,* bee no more 〈…〉, for I acknowledge you for the inheritance of God my father, 〈…〉 that hath giuen me the charge of you and put you into my hand, 〈…〉 than all. Wee see then, that besides the setting foorth of 〈…〉 glory, our saluatiō also is warranted by Gods eternall 〈…〉: which ought too bee sufficient cause too moue vs too consider 〈◊〉 at S. Paule treateth of it in this place.

Trew it is (as I haue touched alredie) that many men starkle at it 〈◊〉 they heere that God hath chozen whom he thought good, and 〈…〉 all the rest. For wee see that the number of them that come vnto 〈◊〉 is very small: and why then hath he refuzed the rest? Uerily as 〈◊〉 would say that Gods will ought not too stand for a rule towardes 〈…〉 It behoueth vs too marke,* first that God is not bound at all vntoo Page  [unnumbered] any person. For had wee once that foredeele at his hand, that he were neuer so little beholden vntoo vs: then we might well go too lawe with hun. But forasmuch as he on his side is nothing at all bounde vntoo vs, but wee altoogither vntoo him: let vs see now what wee shall win by our contending with him. For if wee will needes constreyne God too deale alyke with all men, he should haue lesse libertie than mortall creatures. If a man bee riche, he may doo what he listeth with his owne goods: if he bee liberall too some one, is it reason he should bee sewed at the Lawe for it, and that euery man should demaund the lyke summe of him? Behold, a man of his good will aduanceth one whom he loueth: now if all poore folke should come and require him too doo as much for them, as it were of bound dewtie, were it not a fond thing? Uerily a man may adopt the farthest straunger in the world too be his chyld and heire,* and it is free for him so too doo. Behold, God is libe∣rall too all men: for he maketh his sunne too shyne both vppon good and bad. Onely he reserueth a certeine part of men on whom too be∣stowe the priuiledge of adopting them too his children. What shall wee now gayne by murmuring ageinst him? If any man say, that then he should seeme too bee an accepter of persons:* No, it is not so: for he choozeth not the riche, and letteth the poore go: he choozeth not noble men and gentlemen,* rather than men of no estimation and bace degree. And therefore it cannot bee sayd that there is any accepting of persons before God. For in choozing those that are vnwoorthy, he hath no respect but only too his owne mere goodnesse: nother passeth he whether one bee more woorth than another, but he taketh whom he listeth. What would wee more? Then is it good reason that we should hold our selues contented with Gods will, and brydle our selues, and let him chooze whom he listeth, bycause his will is the souereine rule of equitie and right.* And so yee see the mouthes of all the world stop∣ped. And although the wicked and he athenish sort doo grudge and re∣pyne at God, yea or blaspheme him for so dooing: yit is he myghtie y∣nough too maynteyne his owne rightuousnesse and infinite wisdome: and when they haue chattered their fill, yit must they bee confounded in the end. For our part, wee see what S. Paule sayeth heere: for it is no darke doctrine when he sayeth that God hath blissed vs. Uerily inasmuch as he hath inlyghtened vs with the fayth of the Gospell by his holy spirit, and made vs parteners of the grace of our Lord Iesus Christ: euen therby (sayeth he) hath he shewed that he had choozen vs Page  13〈…〉 making of the world. And therefore let vs vnderstand, that 〈…〉 Gods grace aryght, wee must (as I sayd afore) come too 〈…〉 and originall cause, that is too wit, vntoo Election.

〈◊〉 have wee too passe further: for too the itent the better too 〈…〉 respects and woorthynesse which men myght pretend, 〈…〉 wee bee inclyned too chalendge alwayes somwhat too our 〈◊〉 and cannot abyde too bee brought to nothing: he sayeth, before 〈…〉 of the world. So then forasmuchas through such 〈…〉 wee think our selues too haue that which wee haue not: it was 〈◊〉 that S. Paule should heere beate downe all such fantasticall 〈…〉. And for that cause he sayeth wee could put our selues 〈…〉 when wee were not yet borne. Nay verily, God choze vs before 〈◊〉 taking of the world: and what could wee then bring vntoo him? In 〈◊〉 the Papists haue a suttle shift in this behalfe: for they say that God chaze such vntoo saluation, as had not yet deserued it, but yit he 〈◊〉 such as he foresawe shoulde deserue it. Thus confesse they 〈…〉eseruing at all went before election, eyther in order or in 〈…〉 but that God (as too whom all thinges are open) knewe who 〈…〉 bee worthie of it. After that maner doo the Papists speake of it 〈◊〉 they deny not Gods election. And soothly, to shewe that these 〈…〉 which nowadayes cannot abyde too haue it spoken of, 〈…〉 diuells incarnate, and maynteyne a more outrageous and 〈…〉 wickednesse than the Papists do: wee must note that the 〈…〉 God to haue chozen and predestinated whom he thought 〈…〉 before the making of the world. They stand vntoo that: 〈…〉 thing these diuells deny, and would haue Gods maiestie vtterly 〈…〉, by ouerthyowing his ordinaunce after that maner. The 〈…〉 leastwyze such of them as haue walked vprightest, & I speake 〈◊〉 of the very Monks and Freers which are called schoole diuines) 〈…〉 yit further, that this election of Gods is free, and that he choze 〈…〉 man for any other respect, than for that it pleased himselfe: but 〈…〉 and by after, they mingle and turmoyle al: for they say that whē 〈…〉 choze whom he listed, he did it too make them deserue it. And 〈…〉 doo they ground all their merites, insomuch as they 〈…〉 that men may win the kingdome of heauen by their owne 〈…〉 They graunt in deede that as touching election, it is a free gift: 〈…〉lwayes they returne too their fantasticall surmyze, that God 〈…〉 who should doo good. But how should he foresee that which could Page  [unnumbered] not bee? For wee knowe that all Adams ofspring is corrupted, & that wee haue not the skill too thinke one good thought of doyng well, and much lesse therefore are able too doo well in deede. Although God should tarie for vs a hundred thousand yeers, if wee could continew so long in the world: yit is it certeine that wee should neuer come vntoo him, nor doo any thing else than increase the mischiefe continually too our owne condemnation. Too bee short, the longer that men yue in the world, the deeper doo they plundge themselues in their damnati∣on. And therefore God could not foresee the thing, which was not in vs, before he himselfe did put it intoo vs. How then come wee vntoo God? How obey wee him? How haue we a quiet mynd that yeeldeth it selfe according too his fayth? All these things come of him. And so it followeth that he is fayne too doo all himselfe. Wherfore let vs con∣sider, that in saying that God choze vs before the creation of the world, S. Paule presuppozeth the thing that is trew: namely that God could not see any thing in vs, saue the euill that was there: for there was not one droppe of goodnesse for him too fynd. So then, seying he hath chozen vs, yee see it is a very manifest record of his free goodnesse. And for the same cause,* in the nynth too the Romanes where he spea∣keth of the twoo twinnes Iacob and Esawe, at such time as they were yit in their moothers womb, before they had done eyther good or euill, too the intent that all shoulde come onely of the caller, and not of the worker: it is sayd, that the elder should serue the yonger. Wee see then how S. Paule declareth there more at large, the thing that he tou∣cheth heere briefly: that is too wit, that whereas God choze vs be∣fore the creation of the world, therein he sheweth sufficiently, that one man is not more woorthie or excellent than another, that he had not re∣spect too any deseruing. Therefore seyng that the putting of difference betweene Iacob and Esawe, was before they had doone eyther good or euill: it came not of the woorkes, but of the caller. Then must all praise bee yeelded vntoo God, and nothing at all bee reserued too man. And so yee see yit once ageine what wee haue too marke heere, when as S. Paule sayeth that wee were chozen before the makyng of the world.

He confirmeth the thing yit better in that he sayeth, that the same vvas doone in Iesus Christ. If wee had bin chozen in our selues, it myght be sayd, that God had found in vs some secret vertue vnknowen too men. But seyng that he hath chozen vs (that is too saye, 〈◊〉Page  14〈…〉 our selues: what shall wee reply too that? If I doo a man 〈…〉 bycause I loue him. And if the cause of my loue bee sought 〈…〉 bee for that wee bee lyke of conditions, or else for some 〈…〉. But wee must not imagine any lykelinesse in God, and 〈…〉 vs expressly heere: for S. Paule sayeth that wee were 〈…〉 Christ. Had God then an eye vntoo vs when he voutsafed 〈…〉? No: for then should he haue vtterly abhorred vs. It is 〈…〉 in respect of our miseries he had pitie and compassion vppon 〈…〉 vs: but that was bycause he had loued vs already in our 〈…〉 Christ. Then must God needes haue had his patterne 〈…〉 glasse before him wherin too behold vs, that is too say, he 〈…〉 haue looked vppon our Lord Iesus Christ, before he could 〈…〉 vs and call vs. And so, too bee short, after S. Paule hath 〈…〉 wee could not bring any thing vntoo God, but that he 〈…〉 of his owne free goodnesse, in choozing vs before the creation of 〈…〉 he addeth yit a more certeiner proofe: namely that he did 〈…〉ord Iesus Christ, who is as it were the trew booke of 〈…〉 Gods voutsafyng to chooze vs, that is to wit, his voutsafyng 〈…〉 it before all euerlastingnesse, was as it were a registring of vs 〈…〉 of Record. And the holy scripture calleth Gods election 〈…〉 of Lyfe. As I sayd afore, Iesus Christ serueth for a register: 〈…〉 whom wee bee ingraued, and in whom God acknowledgeth 〈…〉 children. Seyng then that God had an eye vntoo vs in the 〈…〉 of Iesus Christ: it followeth that he fyndeth not any thing in 〈…〉 wee myght lay before him, too cause him too elect vs. This 〈…〉 is the thing that wee haue too remember further.

〈…〉 afterward, that it is too the end we should be pure 〈…〉 before God, namely in Loue. This woord Loue 〈…〉 referred vntoo God: as if it were sayd, that wee shall fynde 〈…〉 reason why God voutsafed too take vs for his children, but 〈…〉 owne free loue. Or else (as it is verye lyke) S. Paule 〈…〉 what the trew soundnesse and perfection of the faythfull is: 〈…〉 too walk in all rightuousnesse before God. Wee cannot laye 〈…〉 the whole as now, but it shall suffyze too tell breefly whertoo 〈…〉 had an eye. For he sheweth heere that although Gods 〈…〉 free, and doo beate downe and put away all the woorthinesse, 〈…〉, and vertewes of men: yet notwithstanding it serueth not to 〈…〉 leaue too doo euill and too lead a disordered lyfe, or too runne Page  [unnumbered] at rouers, but rather too withdraw vs from the euil wherin wee were plundged. For naturally wee can doo nothing ese but prouoke Gods wrath, wickednesse will alwayes reigne in vs, & wee bee hild downe vnder the bonds and tyranny of Satan. God therfore must bee fayne too woorke, & too change vs: for all goodnesse cōmeth of his election, sayeth S. Paule. Yee see then that the thing wheruntoo he ment too bring the faythfull, was to make them knowe, that lyke as God choze them of his owne free goodnesse: so he gyueth them not leaue too yeeld themselues to naughtinesse, but intendeth too keepe and preserue them vndested too himselfe. For Gods chozing of vs and his calling of vs therwithall vnto holynesse, are things matched insperably togi∣ther:* accordingly also as S. Paule sayeth in another text, that wee be not called to vncleenesse & f••thinesse, but to be dedicated too God in all godlynesse and holynesse. Now forasmuch as we cannot lay foorth the whole at this tyme, let vs looke too make our profit of this Lesson. And seing wee bee now about too prepare our selues to the receyuing of our Lord Iesus Christs supper, which is a pawne vntoo vs as well of our election as of the hope of our saluation, and of all the spiriuall benefyts that come foorth of this welspring and fountaine of Gods free goodnesse: let vs consider that there he vttereth his riches vntoo vs, not too the end that wee should abuse them, but rather of purpose too be glorified for them at our hands, not only with our mouthes, but also with our whole lyues. And forasmuchas wee hold all things of him: let vs also learne too bee his, and too giue ouer our selues too the obey∣ing of him, that he may inioy vs quietly. And let vs alwayes shoote at this mark, namely too get a sure warrant that he taketh and auoweth vs for his children, by bearing his marks, & by shewing in bery deede that wee bee rightly gouerned by his holy spirit, in calling vppon him as our father. Thus yee see in effect what wee haue too marke in this text till the residew may followe.

Now let vs fall down before the maiestie of our good God with ac∣knowledgmet of our faults, praying him too make vs feele them in such wise, as wee may continually profit in his feare, and be strengthe∣ned more and more in the same: & in the meane whyle so to beare with our weaknesse, as wee may alwayes inioy his grace, euen till he haue set vs in possession of all things, at such time as he shall haue doone a∣way our sinnes, and blotted them quite out for our Lord Iesus Christs ake. And salet vs all say, Almightie God heauenly father. &c.

Page  15

¶The third Sermon vppon the first Chapter.

〈…〉 hath choozen vs in Christ, before the foundation of the 〈…〉: too the end vvee should bee holy and vnblamable 〈…〉 him, in Loue.

〈…〉 hath predestinated vs too adopt vs too himself by 〈…〉 Christ, according too the good pleasure of his vvill.

〈…〉 the praise of the glory of his grace, vvherethrough he 〈…〉 accepted vs in his vvelbeloued.

I Began too shewe you this morning that it is not lawfull for vs too take libertie too loocenesse, vnder colour that God hath chozen vs before the making of the world: as though it were meete for vs too giue o∣uer our selues too all naughtinesse, bycause wee cannot perishe, seyng that God hath taken vs for his children.* For wee must not put the thinges a sunder which he hath 〈…〉 toogither. Seyng then that he hath chozen vs too bee holy, 〈…〉 in purenesse of lyfe: our election must bee as a roote that 〈…〉 good fruites. For so long as God lettes vs alone in our owne 〈…〉 wee can doo nothing but all manner of naughtinesse, bycause 〈…〉 so great corruption and frowardnesse in ma••es nature, that 〈…〉 they thinke or doo, is contrarie too Gods rightuousnesse. 〈…〉 there is none other shift but too bee chaunged by God. And 〈…〉ommeth this chaunge, but onely of the grace that wee spake 〈…〉 for that he did elect and chooze vs for his children, before 〈…〉 borne intoo the world? Herewithall wee haue too marke 〈…〉, that God letteth his choozen ones go for a tyme, so as they 〈…〉 too bee strayd away & vtterly lost, & yit bringeth them home 〈…〉 too his flocke when it pleaseth him. And that serueth too 〈…〉 the more, and too make his goodnesse and mercy so much the 〈…〉 knowen too the whole world. If God should make all his 〈…〉 too walke in perfectnesse of conuersation euen from their 〈…〉: it should not bee so well discerned, that the same 〈…〉 of the grace of his holy spirit. But when wretched folke that Page  [unnumbered] lyued looely, and were giuen too all naughtinesse for a time, are quite chaunged: that cannot come too passe without Gods woorking & put∣ting too of his hand. Thus yee see that the cause why God delayeth the calling of those whom he had chozen, is (say I) too touche them too the quicke by his holy spirit, that he may make them too walke in his obedience. For when wee see them refourmed vpon the suddayne, and beyond the common expectation and opinion of men: therin we perceyue that God hath vttered his power in them, as I sayde afore. And agein on the other part, euery of vs is conuicted by experience, that wee bee beholden too God for all the good that is in vs. For when wee bee naturally inclyned too any vyce, and afterward the same is corrected: wee perceyue well that God hath looked mercifully vppon vs. Yee perceyue then that wee haue so much the more cause too hum∣ble vs, seyng wee were in the way of perdition, till he had drawen vs out of it. And it standeth vs in hand too mark that well: For there are some fantasticall heades, which imagin that God dooth so guyde his chozen ones by his holy spirit, that they bee sanctifyed aforehand, euē from the tyme that they bee borne intoo the worlde, as soone as they come out of their moothers womb: but the contrarie appeereth. And in good sooth wee see how S. Paule in another text speaking too the faythfull,* sayeth, some of you were plundged in couetousnesse, some were giuen too crueltie, some were scorners, some were whoremon∣gers and looee lyuers, and othersome were gluttons and drunkardes: and too bee short, yee were full of all vnclenesse: but God hauyng chaunged you, and made you cleane from such filthinesse and infection, hath dedicated you too himselfe. Agein he sayeth too the Romanes, you ught too bee ashamed of the lyfe which you led before he drewe you too himselfe. So then, whereas it is sayd in this text, that God choze his seruantes to make them walke in holinesse of life: it is not ment that he is bound too gouerne them with his holy spirit euē from their chyldhood forth. For (as I haue sayd alredy) experience sheweth that he letteth them runne astray, till conuenient tyme bee come for too call them. But yit must wee alwayes beare in mynd, that Gods choo∣zing of vs, was too the end too call vs too holinesse of lyfe. For if he should let vs alone still as wretched castawayes: surely wee could doo nothing but all manner of naughtinesse, according too the corruption that is in vs. The good then proceedeth of his free bestowed mercy, which he hath vsed alredy towardes vs before wee were borne, yea Page  16〈…〉 the world was made. Thus yee see in effect what wee haue 〈…〉 this streyne. And so the blasphemies of such as would 〈…〉 praise are repressed, which make a iarre, and as it were 〈…〉 Gods free election, and indeuer of dooyng well. 〈…〉, Hath God chozen vs? Then let euery of vs doo what 〈…〉 wee cannot petishe. And what shoulde wee passe of 〈…〉 good or euill, seying that our saluation is grounded vppon 〈…〉 grace, and not vppon any vertew. The answere 〈…〉 easie: namely that if Gods election were not, looke 〈…〉 thoughtes and appetites there are in vs, so many 〈…〉 should there bee ageinst all ryg••uousnesse: for wee tende all 〈…〉 euill, and wee bee not only inclyned too it, but wee bee as it 〈…〉 hot with it, and wee runne too it with frentik 〈…〉 cause the diuell possesseth all such as are not reformed by 〈…〉 spirit. And so we must needes conclude, that our giuing 〈…〉 too doo good, is for that God guydeth and leadeth vs 〈…〉 his holy spirit, and all bycause of his election. 〈…〉 erewhyle) wee must not separate the things that God 〈…〉 toogither. For wee bee not chozen too take leaue too doo 〈…〉 list, but too shewe by our deeds that God hath adopted vs 〈…〉 children, and taken vs intoo his keeping, too the intent too 〈…〉 by his holie spirit, and too knit vs too himselfe in all 〈…〉 ryghtuousnesse.

〈…〉 let vs mark also, that although God haue reformed vs, 〈…〉 in the good waye, and made vs too feele that he hath 〈…〉 vs alredie, to subdew vs to his word and to make vs serue 〈…〉 in all things: yit doth it not therfore follow, that we be 〈…〉 at the first day, no nor yit in all our whole lyfetyme. 〈…〉 sayes not that God bringeth his chozen and faythfull ones 〈…〉 poynt of perfection, 〈◊〉 he sayes that he draweth them 〈…〉 And so are wee but in the way thitherward euen vntill our 〈…〉 Therfore as long as wee liue in this world, let vs learne too 〈…〉 go foreward more and more, assuring ourselues that there is 〈…〉 somewhat amisse in vs. For they that imagin anie 〈…〉 are as good as bewitched with hippocrisie and pryde, or 〈…〉 no feeling nor feare of God in them, but mocke him 〈…〉 face. For he that examineth himselfe, shall alwayes fynd 〈…〉 of vyces, as he shalbee ashamed of them, if he consider them Page  [unnumbered] well. They then which say that wee can come too anie perfection whyle wee dwell in this mortall bodie, doo well shew that eyther they bee vtterly blynded with diuelishe pryde, or else that they bee 〈…〉 folk voyd of all religion and godlinesse. As for our part, 〈◊〉 vs mark (as I touched afore) that God hath chozen vs too the 〈◊〉 wee▪ should bee blamelesse: Howbeeit, that wee bee not able too bee so,* till wee bee quyte rd of all our infirmities, and departed 〈◊〉 of this prison of sin, wherin wee bee hild fast as now. And therfore when wee feele anie vyces in vs, let vs fyght manfully ageinst them, and not bee out of hart, as though wee were not Gods children, by∣cause wee bee not yit faultlesse before him, but that our sinnes are al∣wayes before our eyes, which make vs giltie. Although then that wee fynd neuer so manie miseries in ourselues too thrust vs out of the way▪ Yit let vs go on still, assuring our selues that as long as wee liue heere beneath vppon the earth, our waye is neuer at an ende, but wee 〈◊〉 alwayes go still forewarde, and wee can neuer come too our resting place. Lo how the faythfull ought too harten and strengthen them∣selues, although they bee not perfect. And let the same also cause 〈◊〉 too groe and sigh vnder the burthen which wee bee driuen too feele. For the perfection of the faythfull and of Gods children, is too ac∣knowledge their owne weaknesse, and too pray God not onely too a∣mend all their misdooings, but also too beare with them of his infinite goodnesse, and not too call them too account with extremitie and ri∣gor. Yee see then that the thing whereuntoo wee must resort for suc∣cour, is Gods mercy, whereby he couereth and buryeth all our sinnes, bycause wee haue not yit atteyned too the marke whereunto he calleth vs, that is too wit, too a holy and faultlesse lyfe. But howsoeuer the world go with vs, let vs go foreward still, and take good heede that 〈◊〉 step not out of the right way.

If the woord Loue bee referred too men, then S. Paule ment too betoken the trew right••••ousnesse of Christians, that is too wit, to deale faithfully and vprightly. For wee knowe that the hypocrites would content God with ceremonies and Gewgawes, as men terme them: and in the meane whyle some of them shalbee giuen too catching and snatching: some shalbe full of enuie, malice, crueltie and treason: some 〈◊〉 drunkard, and othersome shalbe whoremongers and looce 〈…〉 themselues the brydle too all naughtinesse. And yit for all 〈…〉 al is safe, if they may make a fewe moppes & mowes, Page  17〈…〉 some countenaunce of holinesse by vsing a fewe 〈…〉 Paule too cut of all such stuffe, sayeth that wee must walke in 〈…〉 is the bond of perfection and the fulfilling of the Lawe) if 〈…〉 too haue our lyfe allowed of God. And so yee see what wee 〈…〉 marke vppon that strey ne.

〈…〉 let vs marke, that in this place S. Paule exhorteth 〈…〉 acknowledge our selues beholden to God for all the vertew and 〈…〉 that is in vs. As for example, if wee haue any good zeale, if 〈…〉 ageinst our owne vyces, or if wee walke in the obedience of 〈…〉 whence commeth it? Euen of this welspring, that he purposed 〈…〉 is to wit, that he choze vs aforehand. Then let vs consider, 〈…〉 prayse thereof is dew vnto him, and let vs not defraud him of 〈…〉. For although wee lyued as perfectly as Angells: yit if we 〈…〉 fond as too thinke that the same commeth of our owne free 〈…〉 selfmouing: wee misse the chiefe poynt of all. For wheretoo 〈…〉 our good workes, but to glorify God withall? And if we take 〈…〉 spring of our selues, wee see they bee marred by so dooyng, 〈…〉 turned intoo vyces, so as they be nought else than stark 〈…〉 Yee see then that the thing wherat S. Paule amed in this 〈…〉 too bring vs alwayes backe too Gods free election, that wee 〈…〉 know how all goodnesse dependeth theruppon.

〈…〉 addeth immediatly that wee be predestinated in adoption in 〈…〉 through Iesus Christ, according too the good pleasure of 〈…〉 will. Wheras he sayth that God hath predestinated vs in 〈…〉: it is too shewe that if wee bee Gods children, it is not 〈…〉 nature, but through his onely grace. Now, this onely grace 〈…〉 respect of any thing that God foresawe in vs (as I touched 〈…〉:) but bycause he had erst marked vs out and 〈…〉 too such adoption, yea euen in such wyse as the cause thereof is 〈…〉 bee sought elswhere than in himselfe. And that is the cause why 〈…〉 addeth immediatly, that he did it in himself, and according 〈…〉 the good pleasure of his ovvne vvill. Also he repeteth the same 〈…〉 that I declared this forenoone, namely that all was done in 〈…〉 Christ. Yee see therfore that the thing which wee haue too marke 〈…〉 sentence, is, that none other cause maketh vs Gods children, 〈…〉 onely his choozing of vs in himselfe. For wee haue no such 〈…〉 by birth or inheritance, nother commeth it of fleshe and blud, 〈…〉 sayd in the first chapter of S. Iohn: insomuch that al that euer Page  [unnumbered] can bee sought in our our owne selues, is vtterly excluded and aboli∣shed. And that is too shewe vs, that if men bee let alone in their former plyght, they haue no intercommoning at all with God, but are vtterly cut off from his kingdome.* Trew it is that our first father Adam was created after the image of God, and that he was excellent in his first state: but after the comming in of sinne, wee were all vtterly forlorne. Insomuch that euen Adam had not any stay of himselfe, and his free will that was giuen him, serued him too none other purpose, but too make him the more vnexcuzable: For he fell wilfully and through his owe malice. But heereby we see what maner of constancie he had in him, sith he was no sooner made, but he by & by fell & drew vs downe intoo his fall with him.* Then as nowe wee bee all of vs borne the children of wrath, and are cursed of God.

And so, as long as wee abyde in our former state and plyght, there is nothing but endlesse death in vs. Therefore God must bee fayne too call vs home to him. For are wee able too purchace such preroga∣tiue? Where is the goold or siluer too buy it withall? Were are the vertewes wherewith to recompence God for so great and excellent a priuiledge?* Too bee short (as is sayd alredie vppon this sentence) it commeth nother of flesh nor of blud, that is too say, it commeth not of anie thing that wee can fynd in this world: but alonly of Gods adop∣tion. For the word which S. Paule vseth, betokeneth an appoynting of children: lyke as when a man adopteth a chyld, he choozeth him too bee his heire, and all the goods that he hath afterward, doo passe vnder that tytle. Euen so are wee heires of the heauenly lyfe, bycause God hath adopted and chozen vs for his children. Yea, but S. Paule is not contented too haue magnifyed Gods grace so farre foorth: but he sayth moreouer, that God had also predestinated vs, and appoynted the thing aforehand. Wee see the that S. Paule gtereth toogi∣ther all the things that may beate downe the fond imaginations, which wee myght conceyue of bringing aught vntoo God, or of a∣uauncing our selues towards him, too make our selues acceptable vn∣too him. Therefore all such thinges mut bee layd awater, so as Gods only grace may bee acknowledged in that behalfe. And that also is the cause why he repeteth, through Iesus Christ. Then if it bee demaunded why and how wee bee predestinated of God too bee his children: it is bycause he voutsafed too looke vppon vs in Christ: for (as I haue sayd afore) he is as it were the register, wherein wee Page  18〈…〉 too atteine too the heritage of lyfe and saluation. For 〈…〉 pitie our miseries: yit should we alwayes be hateful in his 〈…〉 Iesus Christ came not before him, bycause that all of vs 〈…〉 descended of Adam, are all of one mould and making, and 〈…〉 none better than other among vs. Now then the one sorte 〈…〉: and why is that, but bycause God looking vppon them 〈…〉 dooth mislyke them? But he choozeth vs in our Lorde 〈…〉 Christ, and looketh vppon vs there as in a glasse that he lyketh 〈…〉. And so yee see whereof the difference proceedeth. 〈…〉 the thing yit better, he sayeth that Gods choozing of vs 〈…〉himself. Trew it is that God doeth all good of himself. But 〈…〉 S. Paule ment too set out the thing which is not seene in all the 〈…〉 workes of God: that is to wit, that none other cause moued 〈…〉 chooze vs, than his owne will. S. Paule therefore taketh 〈…〉 all respectes, when he sayeth that God choze vs in himselfe. If he 〈…〉 any desert or woorthinesse, if he had found any disposition 〈…〉 if he had found any goodnesse or vertew, or (too be 〈…〉 had found any one drop of aught that he myght like and 〈…〉 he had not chozen vs in himselfe, but wee our selues shoulde 〈…〉 some partnership with him. Seyng then that S. Paule 〈…〉 all thinges in Gods purpose which belong too our saluation, 〈…〉 that our election also is shet vp there: it is all one as if he 〈…〉 saye, that men doo fowly ouershoote themselues, when they take 〈…〉 them too bee any thing woorth, or too haue bin furtherers or 〈…〉 of themselues too the receyuing of such grace. Therefore 〈…〉 bee caryed vp aloft, if wee will knowe whereuppon our 〈…〉 grounded, and what is the very originall welspring and the 〈…〉 only cause of the same. And so yee see what is ment by this 〈◊〉, that God did it in himselfe.

ut S. Paul addeth yet further, according too the good pleasure 〈…〉 owne will. If he had set downe no more but onely the woorde 〈…〉, it had bin ynough: accordingly as wee haue seene heertoofore, & 〈◊〉 declared vppon Sonday last, that S. Paule was chozen 〈…〉 too the will of God. And why so? Bycause he was nother fit 〈…〉 to haue such a prerogatiue, but that it pleased god to choze 〈…〉. S. Paule therfore braggeth not that he had gotten the 〈…〉 but with all myldnesse acknowledgeth it too bee the free gift of 〈…〉. Thus yee see what the woord Will betokeneth, and that not in Page  [unnumbered] any one place only, but throughout all the whole holie scripture. Ther∣fore whensoeuer Gods wil is mencioned, it is to shew that men cannot bring ought of their owne. Neuerthelesse S. Paule setteth downe heere a woord of ouerplus, and sayeth, according too the good plea∣sure. As if he had sayd, truly seing that Gods will is the cause of our saluation, wee should not fleete too and froo, and seeke other reasons & meanes therof: Howbeit forasmuch as men are so vnthankefull and malitious, that they would alwayes darken Gods glory: & so puffed vp with fond ouerweening, that they continually chalendge more too thēselues, thā belongeth vntoo them: therfore if they be not sufficiently perswaded of Gods wil, let them vnderstand that it cōmeth of the good pleasure of his will: that is too say, of a free inclined wil which depen∣deth not vpon any other thing (than it selfe,) nor hath any respect one way or other, but vousafeth too chooze vs freely, bycause it lyketh & ly••eth so too do. Now then wee see that such as serch out the cause why God hath chozen vs, woold (if it lay in them) ouerthrowe his e∣uerlastyng ordinance: for the one is vnseparable from the other. If God haue chozen vs as it is shewed vs heere: then can nothing hang vppon our deserts, nor vppon aught that wee myght haue too comme, but God wrought it according too his owne free inclyned will, and found not any other reason (to moue him therto) than his owne good pleasure. If any mē think this to be strange geere, it is bycause they would be haylefellow with God. And heerin appeereth their diulish malapertnesse, that they cannot suffer God to raine freely, as the thing that he lyketh myght bee receyued as good, iust, & ryghtfull, without geynsaying. But let such folke barke lyke doggs asmuch as they list, yet is this sentence definitie vnable too bee repealed, which the holie Ghost hathe vttered heere by the mouth of S. Paule: namely that it is not for vs to searche any further cause of our election, than the good pleasure of God: that is to say, than his owne free inclyned wil, wher∣by he hath chozē vs, though we were not worthy in none other respect than for that he listed too say, so it pleaseth me. And so yee see in effect what wee haue too gather vppon those words of S. Paules.

Now he sayeth immediatly, that it is too the prayse of the glorie of his grace. Heere he sheweth the finall cause that God looked at in c••zing of vs: namly that his grace myght bee praysed by it, and that not after a cōmon and ordinary manner, but with a certeyne glorie: for he hath cuppled those twoo things togither, to the intent we should Page  19〈…〉 when wee see how God hath drawen vs out of the bottom 〈…〉 open vs the gate of his kingdome, and too call vs too the 〈…〉 saluation. Heere wee see yit ageyne the thing that I treated 〈…〉: namely that all such as woold put awaye Gods 〈…〉, or are loth too heere it spoken of, doo therin shewe 〈…〉 bee mortall enemies of Gods prayse. Too their seeming 〈…〉 & vanisheth away. Yea, but who is the competent iudge 〈…〉 they themselues wyzer than God, who hath spoken the 〈…〉 too that which they alledge? O (say they) that were the 〈…〉 to open the mouthes of many mē to blaspheme God. 〈…〉 the wicked, it is certeyn that they wil alwayes find wherat to 〈…〉 they cannot be letted so too doo.* But yit for all that God shal 〈…〉 wherwith to iustifie himself,* and all they that doo so spyte 〈…〉 his rightuousnesse, shall bee confounded. Howsoeuer the cace 〈◊〉, it is not without cause sayd heere, that God is then dewly glo∣rified▪ 〈◊〉 his praise maynteyned, when wee acknowledg that he hath 〈…〉 whome he listed, & that there is none other cause of 〈…〉 betweene man and man (than only his wil:) so that they whō 〈…〉 doo perishe, bycause they be woorthye of it, and they 〈…〉 calleth too saluation must not seeke the cause therof, elswhere 〈…〉 the sayd free bestowed adoption.

〈…〉 by those twoo woords, S. Paule ment also too stirre 〈…〉 a greater and feruenter earnestnesse of praysing God. For it 〈…〉nough for vs too confesse coldly, that our saluation springeth of 〈…〉 good will: but wee must bee as it were inflamed too 〈…〉 selues wholly too his praise, as if wee were wholly wedded to 〈…〉 as S. Peter sheweth,* that forasmuch as wee bee drawē 〈◊〉 darknesse of death, it is good reason that wee should be 〈…〉 the vnvtterable prayses of God.* And hereby he dooeth vs too 〈…〉, that when the faythfull haue streyned themselues too the 〈…〉,* too discharge themselues in praysing Gods goodnesse: yit 〈…〉 neuer compasse it, bycause it is a thing incomprehensible. 〈…〉 well therefore what wee haue too beare in mynd. And so, vpon 〈…〉 or grace wherof he speaketh, it behoueth vs too gather 〈…〉, shall neuer yeeld God his dew glory, till they bee vtterly 〈…〉, so as there remayneth not any thing at all in them for too glory 〈…〉 vs put the cae that Gods election were neuer thought of: 〈…〉 he therefore ceasse too bee praysed? No: but he shoulde haue Page  [unnumbered] some peece of his prayse still. For if men should say no more but that God causeth his daysunne too shyne vppon them,* that were a cause too prayse him. And when we open our eyes too looke vpward and down∣warsd vppon the wonderfull woorkes that he sheweth vs, the same is a large prouocation too exercise vs in his praise all our lyfe long. More∣ouer, when his Gospell is preached vntoo vs, there also wee haue whereof too praise him, though no mention at all bee made of his elec∣tion: I say there is ynough as in respect of vs, but then should he bee robbed of his chiefe prase, and wee should yeeld him but a peece of that which is dew to him. And why so? For the faythfull should thinke that they haue fayth of their owne selfmouing and free inclyned will. I told you this morning, that fayth is a fruite of election. For there is none other oddes betweene vs and the vnbeleeuers, but that God rea∣ched vs his hand, and drewe vs too him by a secrete meane, at such time as wee turned our backes vppon him, and were straungers too him.* Too bee short, it is not for naught that S. Paule sayeth heere, that Gods praise shall neuer bee glorifyed as it ought too bee, till wee acknowledge his election too bee the cause of all the benefites which he bestoweth vppon vs, and that if he of his infinite mery adopted vs not of set purpose from euerlasting, wee should haue a peece of the prayse too our selues which is dew vntoo him. And so should God bee diminished and abridged of so much of his ryght. Too bee short, wee see well ynough how it is sayd heere, that men must bee vtterly aba∣ced, too the end that God may haue his right, and no man bee made copartener with him, but all men confesse that he is both the begin∣ner and the accomplisher of our saluation.

Also wee must marke well how S. Paule addeth, that of his owne grace he hath accepted vs in his vvelbeloued. By this he vttereth yit much better, why our saluation is grounded vppon Gods mere e∣lection and free bestowed goodnesse. For men will neuer giue ouer their foolishe ouerweening, if they bee not so vanguished as they haue not one woorde more too reply. S. Paule therefore too bring vs too such reason, telleth vs that wee bee damned & lost in our selues. Now when such a thunder bolt lighteth vppon our heades, it is not for vs too stand checking any more. Then if men will bee so foolishe as still too hunt about with wyndlasses too haue somewhat alwayes belonging and reserued too themselues besides the onely grace of God: there needeth no more but this saying too turne them from it, namely that Page  20〈…〉 not in Gods fauour, till wee were in Iesus Christ, bycause 〈…〉 damned and accursed in our owne selues. This matter 〈…〉 declared already, if wee were not ouer••owe in 〈…〉 thing that is so needefull, and which ought too be so cleere 〈…〉 And in good sooth, euen experience ought too teache vs in 〈…〉. And surely if hipocrisie blynded vs not too much, 〈…〉 well perceyue that there is nothing but wickednesse 〈…〉 Gods wrath would strike vs in such feare, that wee shoulde 〈…〉 wittes end with it. But God must bee fayne too compell vs 〈…〉 by strong hand, or else wee cannot fynd in our hartes too 〈…〉 all praise vntoo him. Therefore let vs marke well what is 〈…〉 this speeche, where it is sayd that wee were taken too fauour 〈…〉 Christ,* bycause he is the welbeloued. And why is Iesus 〈…〉 Gods welbeloued, according as he is termed in the xvii. 〈…〉, and in other places, and also is shewed too bee so in the 〈…〉?* Thereby it is shewed vs, that God dooth iustly hate 〈…〉 vs, so long as wee abyde in our owne naturall plyght. For 〈…〉 were not peculiar too Iesus Christ, then was it sayd in 〈…〉 is my welbeloued sonne in whom I am well pleased.* But 〈…〉 too Iesus Christ, then can none other creature claime 〈…〉 that although. God loue his Angels, yit can they not bee 〈◊〉 beloued of him, but by the meanes of Iesus Christ. And as 〈…〉 is a farre other respect. For (as I haue sayd alredy) wee 〈◊〉, and Iesus Christ is the mediator or spokesman too set 〈…〉 at one with God, insomuch that there should bee no 〈…〉 constancie in them,* if they were not vphild by him. And 〈…〉 their rightuousnesse should not bee perfect, but that they 〈…〉 and chozen in him. Let that serue for one poynt.

〈◊〉 for vs, seyng wee bee estraunged from God through sinne: he 〈…〉 take vs as his enemyes, and be an aduersarie too vs. 〈…〉 therefore is the onely welbeloued among men: and as for 〈…〉 of vs, God vtterly misyketh and disclaymeth vs, yea euen 〈…〉,* that he sayeth he repenteth him that he made man. Which 〈…〉 of his importeth that wee bee not woorthie too bee of the 〈…〉 Asses, Dogges, and other beastes. For they continue still Gods 〈◊〉 in the same plyght that he made them: but we bee so leawd 〈…〉, that wee deserue too bee razed out, and too haue our 〈…〉 cursed and hatefull before God. Nowe let vs go brag Page  [unnumbered] and boast and seeke armes too innoble our selues: for wee see how the holy Ghost disgradeth all such as thinke themselues too bee aught woorth. Wherfore let vs consider that if wee bee enemies vntoo God, wee bee in woorser taking than if wee had neuer bin created.

Heeruppon S. Paule telleth vs, that God hath accepted vs in his welbeloued. Seing then that our Lord Iesus Christ is receyued of God his father too bee the beloued, not only in his owne person, but also in respect of the loue that is extended too all the members of his bodie: by that meanes wee bee called home agein, and God imbraceth vs for his children, wheras erst wee were his enemyes and vtterly ha∣ted of him. But howsoeuer the world go, wee must alwayes come backe too the election that wee haue spoken of before. For the grace that is communicated too vs by our Lord Iesus Christ, dothe issewe lykewyse out of the same spring. Theruppon going foreward with the matter that I haue touched alredie, he sheweth vs howe greate neede wee haue too bee welbeloued in Iesus Christ. For if it were not proued too our faces, wee woold neuer graunt (I meane vnfeynedly) that wee bee beholden too God for all things. For wee bee alwayes laboring too aduaunce our selues some way or other, and euery of vs seeketh how he may reserue somewhat too himself, though it bee but the mountenance of a pinnes poynt. But contrariwyze S. Paule tel∣leth vs, that God must be fayne too loue vs out of our selues, and that if he lyke well of vs, it must not bee in respect of our owne selues. And why? For wee be prisoners and bondsaues of sin, wee bee hild downe vnder the yoke and tyrannie of Satan, and finally wee bee shet vp in the bondage of death, till wee bee raunsomed by our Lord Iesus Christ. Now then wee see that the summe of this lesson is, that men are admonished too depart out of themseles, and too seeke their sal∣uation in Gods only goodnesse, euen by holding the meane that is shewed vs heere, which is too resort too our Lord Iesus Christ. For there are two euill extremities wherof wee must beware.* The one is, that in comming too our Lord Iesus Christ, wee must not imagin that there is anie woorthynesse in vs, why he should make vs parta∣kers of his benefytes. And how may that vyce bee corrected? Euen by being led too Gods free election. For the verye cause why men presume so much vppon their owne free will, and the very ground also wheron they build the opinion which they haue conceyued of their owne deserts and woorthinesse, is that they know not how they bee no∣thing Page  21 in any other respect, than for that God hath accepted them of his owne mere free goodnesse, bycause he had chozen them alredie in his owne euerlasting purpose. Therfore wee cannot by any meanes father the beginning of our saluation vppon God, except wee confesse that which is shewed vs heere, namely that wee were vtterly damned and accursed at such tyme as he adopted vs, & that the verie originall cause of his adopting of vs, is for that he had predestinated vs before hand, yea, euen before the making of the world. Marke that for one poynt. The other euill extremitie whereof wee must likewyze beware, is speculation. Many fantasticall folke will say, As for mee I shall neuer knowe whether God hath chozen mee or no, and therfore I must bee fayne too abyde still in my destruction. Yea, but that is for want of comming too Iesus Christ. How knowe wee that God hath chozen vs before the making of the world? By beleeuing in Iesus Christ. I sayd heeretofore that faith sprinketh of election, and is the fruite of it, which sheweth that the roote is hidden within. He then that beleeueth, is therby assured that God hath wrought in him: and fayth is as it were the copie or counterpane which God deliuereth vs of the originall re∣gister of our adoption. God hath his euerlasting purpose or determi∣nation, and that he keepeth alwayes too himselfe as a chiefe president or originall record, whereof he gyueth vs a copie by fayth. I speake heere after the manner of men, for wee knowe that God vseth nother paper nor parchment too ingroce vs in: and I haue told you alreadye, that too speake properly, the register wherein wee bee inrolled, is our Lord Iesus Christ. Neuerthelesse God reserueth too himselfe the knowledge of our election, as a Prince would doo an originall Presi∣dent, Register, or Record: but yit he giueth vs copies or counterpanes of it, autenticall ynough, in that he imprinteth it in our hartes by his holy spirit, that wee bee his children. Yee see then that the fayth which we haue in our Lord Iesus Christ, is ynough too warrant vs our elec∣tion: and therefore what seeke wee more? I tolde you euen now that Iesus Christ is the looking glasse wherein God beholdeth vs, when it is his will to lyke well of vs. Likewyse also on our side he is the glasse wheruppon wee must cast our eyes and lookes, when wee mynde too come too the knowledge of our election.* For whosoeuer beleeueth in Iesus Christ,* is Gods chylde, and consequently his heire, as I haue declared before. Then dooth it followe, that if wee haue fayth, wee bee also adopted. For wherfore doth God giue vs fayth? Euen bycause he Page  [unnumbered] choze vs before the creation of the world. This therefore is an infasti∣ble order, that inasmuch as the faythfull receyue Gods grace and im∣brace his mercy, holding Iesus Christ for their head, too the intent too obteine saluation by his meanes: they knowe assuredly that God hath adopted them. Trew it is that election is of it selfe secrete: it is so deepe & hidden a determination, as it behueth vs to honor it. Yit not∣withstanding God sheweth it too vs so farrefoorth as is requisite, and as he knoweth it too bee for our benefite and welfare: and that dooeth he when he inlyghteneth vs with the beleefe of his Gospell. Thus yee see why that after S. Paule had spoken of Gods euerlasting election, he setteth foorth Iesus Christ, as the partie too whom wee must resort, too bee assured that God loueth vs and auoweth vs for his children, and consequently that he had adopted vs before wee knewe him, yea and before the world was made.

Moreouer we haue to gather vppon this sentence that the doctrine of predestination serueth not too carie vs away intoo wandering spe∣culations: but to beate downe al pryde in vs, & the fond opinion which wee conceyue alwayes of our owne woorthinesse and deseruings: and too shewe that God hath such free power, priuiledg, and souereyn do∣minion ouer vs, that he may refuze whom he listeth, and chooze whom he listeth: and that by that meanes wee bee led too gloryfye him, and therwith too acknowledge that his choozing of vs is in Iesus Christ, too the end wee should bee hild fast vnder the fayth of his Gospell. For if wee bee his members and take him for our head, according too the couenant and holie vnion that is betwixt him & vs, which can neuer bee broken so long as wee beleeue his Gospell: wee must repayre too him too be made sure of our saluation, bycause we see and feele by ex∣perience, that God had adopted and chozen vs, and that he presently calleth vs, & telleth vs that the assurance which he hath giuen vs and dayly giueth vs by his Gospell, namely that he will bee our father, & specially his ingrauing of it in our harts by his holy spirit, is no de∣ceytfull thing. For the Gospell may well bee preached too all men, yea euen too the castawayes: but yit for all that God is not so graci∣ouse too them, as too touch them too the quicke. Therfore when wee haue Gods adoption ingrauen in our harts, then (as shalbee declared further herafter) wee haue a good and vndeceyuable gage, that God will guyde vs vntoo the end, and that sith he hath begunne too lead vs intoo the waye of saluation, he will bring vs too the perfection wher∣untoo Page  22 he calleth vs, verely bycause that without him we could not con∣tinew so much as one day.

But now let vs fall downe before the maiestie of our good God, with acknowledgment of our faults, praying him too make vs per∣ceyue them more and more, that being vtterly ashamed of them, wee may hate our vyces, and al our whole lyfe, with the naughtinesse and frowardnesse therof, & resort to him who alonly is able to remedie the same, & not swarue one way or other from him, as he communicateth hymselfe too vs in our Lorde Iesus Christe: but keepe on right foorth too hym, acknowledging that as we be chosen in hym, so also wee bee mainteyned and preserued for his sake, and that he wyll vtter his po∣wer more and more in vs, vntyll wee haue finished our race, and bee come to the heauenly heritage, wheruntoo wee bee going: beseechyng him that although we be yit farre from it, yit he will voutsafe too giue vs a stedie and inuincible strength to hold out continually, till we haue fully renounced the world, & being quyte consumed in our selues, be so renewed in the image of God, as the same may shyne perfectly in vs, vntill wee bee made parttakers of the glorious immortalitie, which he hath bought deerely for vs. That it may please him too graunt this grace, not only too vs, but also too all people and nations. &c.

¶The fourth Sermon vppon the first Chapter.

God hath accepted vs in his welbeloued.

7. By vvhose blud vve haue redemption, that is too vvit, for∣giuenesse of sinnes, according too the richesse of his grace.

8. VVhereof he hath sheaded out abundance vppon vs in all vvisedome and vnderstanding,

9. By making vs too knovv the secrete of his vvill, (according too his good pleasure which he purpozed in himself.

Page  [unnumbered]10. Too the intent too deale it foorth vvhen the tyme were full come,) that is too vvit, too gather all thinges toogither by Christ, as vvell the things in heauen, as the things on earth, in the selfsame.

I Haue declared alredie that wee cannot bee beloued of God, but by the meanes of his onely sonne. For if the Angells of heauen bee not woorthy too bee taken for Gods children, but by the meanes of a head and mediator: what shall become of vs that ceasse not too prouoke Gods wrath dayly by our wicked dooynges, as folke that doo in deede fyght ageinst him? God then must bee fayne too looke vppon vs in the person of his onely sonne, or else he must needes hate vs and abhorre vs.* Too bee short, our sinnes doo set God and vs so farre at oddes, that wee cannot so soone come towardes him, but by and by wee feele his maiestie vtterly ageinst vs, and as it were armed too put vs too vtter confuzion. But now remayneth too see, how God receyueth vs intoo his fauour by meanes of our Lord Iesus Christ. That is the thing which Saint Paule meaneth in adding, that in him vvee haue redemption through his blud, that is too vvit, forgiuenesse of our sinnes, according too the riches of Gods grace Heere wee bee first of all doone too vnderstand, that the enmitie which God beareth vs, is not in respect of our na∣ture, but in respect of our corruption. I say, it is not in respect of na∣ture: for as in respect that God hath creased vs, it is certeine that he cannot hate vs. But inasmuch as mankynd is vtterly marred and gy∣uen ouer too all naughtiness, God must needes bee as a mortall ene∣mie too vs, and as an aduersarie ageinst vs, till the rememberance of our sinnes bee buryed out of his sight. For wee bee subiect too euerla∣sting death, till wee bee restored agein: by reason whereof, God being the fountaine of all iustice and rightousnesse, dooth vttely hate and abhorre the euill that he seeth in vs. Therefore vntill such tyme as our sinnes bee blotted out, it is vnpossible for vs too hope that God should eyther fauour or loue vs. But let vs marke heere how S. Paule vseth twoo woordes, too expresse how wee bee reconcyled too God: First, he setteth downe the Raunsom or Redemption, which is all Page  23〈◊〉: and afterward the forgiuenesse of sinnes. Howe commeth it ••en too passe that Gods wrath is pacifyed, that wee bee made at one ith him, yea and that he accepteth and auweth vs for his children? t is by the pardoning of our umes, sayeth S. Paule. And further∣ore, bycause redemption is requisite thereuntoo: he matcheth that ith it also. Trew it is, that as in respect of vs, God wypeth away our ••mes of his owne free goodnesse, and sheweth himsefe altoogither ••untifull of himselfe, without respect of any recompence for it at our ••ndes. And in good soothe what man were able too make amendes 〈◊〉 the least fault he hath committed? Then if euery of vs should im∣loy his whole lyfe in making satisfaction for any one fault alone, and 〈◊〉 that meanes seeke too winne fauour at Gods hande: it is certeine ••at the same dooth farre surmount all our abilities. And therfore God ust bee fayne too receyue vs too mercy, without looking for any re∣ompence or amendes at our handes. But yit for all this, the attone∣ent which is freely bestowed as in respect of vs, did cost the sonne of God very deere.* For he found none other payment, than the sheading f his owne blud, insomuch that he made himselfe our borrowe both in ody and soule, and answered for vs before Gods iudgement, too get 〈◊〉 our discharge. Our Lord Iesus Christ (say I) imployed himselfe holly both body and soule. For it had not bin ynough for him to haue ••ffered so cruell and slaunderous a death in the syght of men: but it houed him also too abyde such horrible anguishe in himselfe, as i God had bin become a iudge too him: for he came too that poynt, that 〈◊〉 susteyned the person of all sinners too make full amendes for them 〈◊〉. And so yee see why S. Paule hath matched those twoo woordes ogither in this streyne.

Therefore wee haue too marke first of all, that wee can obteyne no 〈◊〉 at Gods hand, nor be receyued of him, till our sinnes bee ••yped 〈◊〉, and the rememberance of them cleane put away. The reason hereof is (as I sayd afore) that God must needes hate sinne wher∣••euer he seeze it. So then, as long as he considereth vs as sinners, he ust needes abhorre vs: for there is not any thing in our selues, nor in 〈◊〉 owne nature, but al maner of naughtinesse & confuzion. Then are 〈◊〉 enemies and aduersaryes vntoo him, till wee come too the reme∣ie that S. Paule sheweth vs heere, which is, too haue our sinnes for∣giuen. Heereby wee see that no man can bee loued of God for any oorthinesse that is in himselfe. For wherein lyeth the loue that God Page  [unnumbered] beareth vs: I haue tolde you already, that he must bee fayne too cast his eye vpon out Lord Iesus Christ, & not too looke a whit at vs. But yit therewithall it is declared further, that God dooth neuer lyke well of vs, till he haue released vs or dettes, and adopted vs too bee his children, notwithstanding that wee bee woorthy of death before him. Thus yee see that the assurance of our saluation (as is sayd in the song of zacharie) is that God bee mercifull too vs and forgiue vs our sinnes whereby wee were become his enemies.* Howbeit, let vs also beare in mynd, that the cleere release of our sinnes through Gods free good∣nesse, is not doone without the raunsome that was payd by our Lord Iesus Christ,* not in golde nor siluer (as sayeth S. Peter in his first E∣pistle) but in such wyse that he which was the vnspotted Lambe, was fayne too serue that turne his owne selfe. Wherefore whensoeuer wee intend too seeke Gods fauour and mercy, let vs fasten all our wittes vpon the death & passion of our Lord Iesus Christ, that we may there fynd wherwith too appease Gods wrath. And furthermore seyng that our sinnes are done away by such payment and satisfaction: let vs vn∣derstand that wee cannot bring aught of our owne, for the which wee should bee reconcyled vntoo God. Wherin wee see how the diuell hath by his syghtes cut of all hope of saluation from the world, by bearing men in hand that they must euery man raunsome himself, and make his owne attonement with God. And that is the very thing which men all good woorkes, merites, and vertewes in Papistrie. For too what ende tend all the inuentions which they haue forged? Why martir they themselues after so many fashions, so as men neuer make an end day nor night, but are euer still making of new wyndlasses and cour∣ses: The marke that all these things ame at, is too pacifie God. And so all the good woorkes which are so counted in Papistrie, are nothing else but meanes whereby too make amendes for sinne. Howbeit that is but a defacing of the raunsome whereof S. Paule speaketh heere. For there is (as yee would say) an inseparable bond betweene these twoo things, namely that God putteth our sinnes out of his remembe∣rance, and drowneth them in the bottom of the sea: and moreouer recei∣ueth the payment that was offered him in the person of his only sonne. Therefore wee cannot atteyne the one without the other. Wherforeif wee intend too haue Gods fauour, let vs consider that wee bee his ene∣myes till he haue pardoned all our sinnes of his owne free goodnesse: and yit notwithstanding, that our Lord Iesus Christ must bee fayne Page  24 too step in betweene him and vs. For the sacrifyze of his death serueth too purchase vs an euerlasting attonement, so as wee must alwayes flee thither for refuge. Trew it is that the whole lyfe but of Lord Ie∣sus Christ is become our raunsome▪ for the obedience which he yeel∣ded too God his father in this world, was too make amends for A∣dams offence, and for all the iniquities wherthrough wee bee ronne in arrerages. Howbeit S. Paule speaketh heere purposely of his blud, bycause it behoueth vs too resort too his death and passion, as too the sacrifyze which is of power too blot out all our sinnes. And for that cause hath God represented in figures vnder the lawe, that men could not bee reconcyled vntoo him but only by that meane. Now it is trew that Iesus Christ did not only shed his blud, namely at his death: but also feele the feare and terrour which ought too haue lyghted vpon vs. But S. Paule dooth heere vnder one parrell comprehend the whole after the ordinarie maner of the holy scripture. Too bee short, let vs repose all our right••usnesse in Gods shewing of himselfe mercifull towardes vs of his owne free goodnesse: and let vs not presume too face him with any vertew of our owne, thereby too bynd him vntoo vs: but let it suffize vs that he receyueth vs intoo his fauour, freely without any desert of ours, onely bycause the rememberance of our sinnes is buryed out of his sight. And agein, let vs vnderstand, that the same can∣no bee doone but by the death and passion of our Lord Iesus Christ, and that that is the thing wheruppon wee must wholly rest.

Heeruppon S. Paule addeth, that all is done according too the richesse of Gods grace. No without cause dooth he heere magni∣fye Gods mercie which he vttereth in receyuing vs too fauour. For wee see on the one syde how men doo wilfully ouershoote themselues through their foolish ouerweening: For most men haue alwayes i∣magined, that they myght make their attonement with God by their owne satisfactions, and I wote not what shiftes besydes. Seeing then that men are so farre ouerseene in their owne imaginations, S. Paule too exclude all such dealing, sayth that wee must bee rauished in loue with the richenesse of Gods goodnesse. He could haue sayd simply that God dooth all according too his grace: but he setteh downe heere his greate treasures, too the intent that men should not bee so fond, as too bring as it were but a farthing, for the discharge of ten hundred thousand crownes. And truly when the Papists prattle of their satisfactions, they say not that they bee able too doo it throughly Page  [unnumbered] in all poyntes: but they are of opinion that with the death and passion of our Lord Iesus Christ, they also are able too bring somewhat of their owne, and too doo so much by patches and peeces, that God shal∣bee satisfied and contented. Thus yee see what a diuelish opinion reigneth in papistrie, for they will needes found masses, they will needs bable many prayers, they will needs gad on pilgrimage, they will needs keepe this feast and that feast, they will needs performe I wot not what deuotiōs, they wil needs weare sack cloth next their skin: and all too help foorth the death and passion of our Lord Iesus Christ: as who should say, it were not sufficiēt ynough of it self. But S. Paule telleth vs that Gods goodnesse as it is shewed vs in Iesus Christ, is so greate a treasure, that all other things must needs giue ouer and be thrust vnder fote. And seing that God vseth so greate bountifulnesse as wee ought too bee wholy rauished at it: is it not too outrageouse a presumptuousnesse, when wee will needs bring our owne pelting trash, as though our going on pilgrimage, & our dooing of some other deuotions were of any valew or estimation? Is it not al one, as though the blud of Iesus Christ were not a sufficient pryce, I say a sufficient pryce and raunsome for our saluation? Yee see then on the one syde, how S. Paule ment heere too cut of all occasions of the fond imagina∣tions that men conceyue in surmizing themselues able too pacifye Gods wrath by their owne satisfactions and paymentes: and on the other syde how he purpozed too succour our feeblenesse. For although wee bee giuen too beleeue wonderous well of our owne vertuosusnesse, and too beare ourselues in hand that God is greatly beholden vntoo vs: yit notwithstanding, when it commeth too the calling vppon God in good earnest, and too the putting of our trust in him: then if Satan egge vs too despayre, and that wee bee tossed with trubbles and temp∣tations: we be so dismayed, that all the promises of the holy scripture, and all that is said vntoo vs of the death and passion of our Lord Iesus Christ, cannot make vs too haue any hope. S. Paule therfore too re∣medie this vyce of vnbeleefe which is too deepely rooted in vs, doth heere set before vs the greate treasures of Gods goodnesse, too the end that all the distruste which wee can conceyue, may bee as it were swal∣lowed vp, seing that God voutsafeth too vse so greate bounteousnes towards vs.

And heeruppon he addeth, that he hath made the same grace too abound towards vs in all wisdom and vnderstanding. By these Page  25ords he doth vs too wit by what meanes wee come by the thing that he had specifyed afore. Behold, all our happinesse and all our souerein velfare consisteth in being at one with God, so as he may take vs for hs children, and it may bee lawfull for vs too call vppon him as our father with full libertie. But how shall wee obteyne that thing, from which we be so farre wyde? It is sayde, that although wee bee naught worth, ne naught can doo: yit wee shall finde all thinges in Iesus Christ which are wanting in our selues, and that his death & passion will bee a sufficient sacrifyze, too put away the rememberance of all our misdeedes. Howbeit dooth it followe therefore, that all men are parttakers of this benefite which is purchaced for vs by our Lord Ie∣sus Christ? No: for the vnbeleeuers haue nother part nor portion in it. Then is it a speciall priuiledge for those whom God gathereth too himselfe.* Also S. Paule sheweth, that eyther wee must haue fayth, or else Christ shall not boote vs at all. Although then that Christ bee ge∣nerally the redeemer of the whole world, yit dooth his death and passi∣on aduauntage none but such as receiue the thing that S. Paule shew∣eth heere. And so wee see that when wee once know the benefites that are brought vs by Christ, and which he offereth vs dayly by his Gos∣pell: we muste also bee knyt vntoo hym by faith. For the Turkes, Iewes, and Papistes, and all other lyke are cut of and estranged from Christ, & rot away in theyr owne filth, bycause they presume to worke wonders of themselues. For it is a common principle among the pa∣pistes, Iewes, Turkes, and all the Heathen men that euer were, that they must appease Gods wrath. And how? By a great sort of meanes of their owne deuising, and of euery mans imaginyng in his owne brayne. Such men therfore haue no part in Christ. Wherfore if faith be the key that openeth vs the doore to inioy the treasure whereof S. Paule spake euen now: then is that the next way too make vs riche, so farre forth as shalbe requisite for our saluation, so as we shal not want any thyng, if wee bee knyt vnto Christ by fayth.

Notwithstanding, it is not for nought that S. Paule hath heere set downe this twoo wordes of wisdom and vnderstanding. For they doo vs too wit, that the lerning of the Gospell is ynough too bring vs to all perfection, and that whatsoeuer is added moreouer, is but dung, filth, and rottēnesse. Too be short, S. Paules intytling of the Gospell with those twoo honorable termes, is too the ende that euery man should quietly giue eare to the things that God teacheth him by the Page  [unnumbered] meanes of his only sonne, and that wee should yeeld our selues s teachable vntoo him, as not too take vpon vs to know aught, than tha which commeth out of his mouth, but simply receyue whatsoeuer he speaketh, and continew in the same to the end, though the whole word despyze vs, and all men set themselues ageynst vs, and not passe for 〈◊〉 the sieyghts of the world, as many men doo, who haue tching ears and are alwayes desirous too heere somme new thing. Too the end therfore that wee bee not so wauering, nor ouerled by foolish desyre of knowing more than is lawfull for vs too knowe: let vs marke well how S. Paule sayeth here, that if we haue once profited throughly in the Gospel, we shall find there all wisdome to the full, so as we may reiect all other things, not only as needlesse, but also as noysome, by∣cause that by them wee shalbee turned from the pure doctrine, wherby it is his will too haue vs knit vntoo him. Too bee short, S. Paule ment to shew heere, that God dooeth vs an inestimable good turne, when he voutsafeth to call vs too the knowledge of our Lord Iesus Christ his only sonne, and that when we haue him, wee must dispyze all other things, and not bee trubbled with a foolish desire of knowing this or that, bycause that (as I haue sayd alredy) the full perfection of all our knowledge is there, that is to wit, in our Lord Iesus Christ. And here yee see also why it is sayd to the Colossians,* that he had bin a faithfull teacher, yea euen too bring men too the perfection of wis∣dome.* Indeede he confesseth that he was rude and homely of speech, and that he had nother the wisdom nor the eloquence that was hyghly commended in the world: but yit he declareth, that if his doctrine were receyued, there should bee found a full substance in it for the full ••rrishment of mens soules, and that there needeth not any more too be added vntoo it. When we heere these things now adayes, we must take warning to brydle our selues, & to represse the fnd ouer curious∣nesse that is rooted too deeply in vs, that wee may hold vs too the pure doctrine of the Gospell, & rest wholy therupon. Thus yee see in effect what wee haue too gather vppon that streyne.

Heerewithall let vs marke the thing that I haue touched alredye: namely that as oft as the Gospell is preached, so oft is Gods grace spred out vpon vs. If we acknowledge his goodnesse and liberalitie, which he maketh vs too perceyue by his moystening of the earth, too the end it should yeeld vs fruits too the sustenance of our bodies: much more may wee vnderstand, that when God sendeth vs the woord of Page  26 saluation, he not only watereth vs too the welfare of our soules, but al∣so giueth vs so largely therof too drink, as wee may bee throughly sa∣tisfyed therwith. For S. Paule thinkes it not ynough too say, that wheras wee bee barren wee haue some refresshing by the Gospell: but he sayeth, that it is as if God should poure downe al undance of water vppon vs, and that wee myght bee so watered and refreshed with it, as wee myght gather substance and lustinesse of it too hold out to the end. And so yee see in what wyse we ought to esteeme of Gods goodnesse, when he voutsafeth too drawe vs too him by meanes of his Gospell, and that therwithall wee enter into possession of the benefites that haue bin purchased for vs by our Lord Iesus Christ, according as he offereth them too vs by his woord, and will haue vs also to receyue them by fayth.

Nowe for a larger openyng of the matter, he addeth immediately, That his so dooyng is, bycause he hath vttered the secrete of his vvyll vntoo vs, euen accordyng to his ovvne good pleasure vvhich he had purposed afore in hym selfe. Loe heere an other thing which ought to aduance the dignitie of the Gospell yit more: whiche is, that there we haue the secretes which were hydden heretofore in God. And it is not here onely that S. Paule speaketh after this maner: but wee shall see yit a larger discourse of it in the second chapter.* And not only in this Epistle,* but also euerywhere els, he sheweth howe wee ought to bee as it were rauished at the preaching of the Gospell, bycause God dooth there open the things that were incomprehensible to all men be∣fore,* and which no man would neuer haue beleeued, or once thought of. For he seemed too haue chosen the onely lyne of Abraham,* in such wise as if he had cast away all the world besides. Therefore it was a won∣derful thyng when he poured out his grace in commō vpon al nations. Yit notwithstanding wee knowe, that at suche tyme as Iesus Christe came intoo the worlde, the very selfe same people were growen out of kynde, and Gods doctrine was so corrupted, that there was no∣thing but superstition among the Iewes. It seemed then that all had bin past hope of recouerie, when sodenly beyond the opinion of al men, behold, saluation was offered too all nations. Beholde, Christe which had erst byn hidden in deepe darknesse, yea, and in so deepe darkenesse, as there was not any hope that euer he shoulde haue comme out of it, rose vp as the Daysimne of rightuousnesse,* to giue light to the worlde. For this cause therfore dooth S. Paul say, that in the Gospell wee bee Page  [unnumbered] made priuie too the secrets of Gods wyll. Trewe it is, that at the first sight there seemeth to bee nothyng but simple stuffe in the Gospel. And that is a cause also why many scoffers thinke that the things which are conteyned in the Gospell, doo serue but for idiots: and they beare them¦selues in hande, that they are able too deuize many wyttier thynges in theyr owne dreames and dotages, than all the doctrine is that concer∣neth Iesus Christe. But such folke are vnworthy to taste of the thyng that is shewed vs heere: for theyr pride dooth vtterly blynde them, and make them starke doltes. Notwithstandyng, how seuer they fare, yit the faythfull perceyue fll wel, that there is a diuine maiestie in the do∣ctrine of he Gospell. And for that cause S. Paule doeth giue vs to wyt in this same text, that our commyng thyther must not bee to learne any common thyng, but too lyft vp our selues aboue the world. For we shall neuer bee good scollers to Godward, nor neuer be in any toward∣nesse to proit in his schoole, except we mount aboue the world, and re∣uerence the things that God speaketh with his owne holy mouth. To be short, the beginnyng and entrance of our fayth, is lowlynesse. But how can men wel humble thēselues, vnlesse they know that the thinges which God telleth them, doo farre surmount theyr owne wyt and capa∣citie? Ye see then that the thyng whereat S. Paul amed, is, that wee should reuerence the Gospell, assuring our selues, that it is not for vs to iudge whether God haue spoken well, or yll. For it becommeth vs too be fully resolued, that all that euer commeth from hym, is infinite wise∣dome, yea and such wisedome as is vtterly faultlesse. To the end ther∣fore that all glorying may be beaten downe in our selues, & wee learne to reuerence soberly and modestly the doctrine that is preached too vs in Gods name: S. Paule hath purposely set downe this secret.

And too the end wee should knowe how much wee be bounde vntoo God, he repeteth this woord, According to his good pleasure, which he had set downe before. And that is doone too put awaye, and too shet out all opinion which men might conceiue of their owne woorthi∣nesse. For Gods good pleasure can haue no place, vnlesse men be bar∣red from al deseruyng, and repayre to hym vtterly empty. For so soone as wee presume too bring any thyng at all vntoo God, surely it is an aduauncyng of our selues too the defacing of Gods grace, so as it may haue no more beautie nor preheminence among vs, as it ought too haue. Too the end therfore that men should forbeare such presumptu∣ousnesse, S. Paule sendeth vs styll backe too Gods good pleasure: as Page  27 if he should say, that there was none other cause of the preaching of the Gospell too the world, than the only franke and free goodnesse of God. Yit notwithstanding, too represse all ouerboldnesse of men, he addeth, that God had purposed the said ordinaunce, and the said high in∣comprehensible determination of his wyll aforehand in hymselfe. For what is the cause that men take so great libertie of questionyng, disputing, and going to lawe with God, but for that (to their seemyng) they treate of matters which ought to be open & manifest vntoo them? So then, S. Paule perceiuyng vs too bee so foolishe and rashe, as to presume ouer boldly to be inquisitiue of Gods purpose, saith it is a sea∣led letter, and that God hath his purpose in hymselfe, and that it is not lawfull for creatures too mount so high, and that if they doo so, it is the next way too cast them downe, and too breake their neckes. Trewe it is, that wee may well apply our whole indeuer too knowe Gods wyll: howbeit, that must bee no further than he hath vttered in his woord: for his woord is our light. But if God doo once holde his peace, he will haue vs too brydle and as it were too imprison our selues, and not too start out any further, for if wee woulde needes knowe more than is graunted vs, that is too say, more than wee ought too know, & more than is imparted too vs by his woord: it were but an entering further and further intoo a maze, or rather intoo the bottome of hell. Therfore let vs marke well, howe S. Paules meaning in this text, is that whē∣soeuer God keepeth his purpose to himself, it becommeth vs to stoope, and too holde our selues contented too bee ignorant of it. For it is a cursed wisdome, and such a wisdome as sendeth vs too the pit of hell, when wee take leaue too knowe more than God hath taught vs. And contrariwise wee bee wyzer in our ignorance than all the wyze men of the world, when wee take not vppon vs too knowe any thing further than Gods woord guydeth and gouerneth vs. Trew it is that there is not any mo than onely one single will in God. Neuerthelesse he vtte∣reth the same vntoo vs according too our capacitie, and so farre foorth as is expedient and profitable for vs. As for example, wee haue seene that the forgiuenesse of sinnes is a poynt that wee cannot ouerpasse nor forbeare: and therefore zacharie calles it the knowledge of saluation. Agein, it standeth vs on hand too knowe where the forgiuenesse of our sinnes is too bee sought for. For if wee haue not Iesus Christ,* wee con∣tinue still enemyes vntoo God, wee haue no agreement nor rest in our selues, and Gods iustice must needes pursue vs: but Iesus Christ is Page  [unnumbered] our peace. Furthermore, whē we know the things that are witnessed to vs by Gods woord, wee must therwithall reuerence the misteries that are hidden from vs, as hath bin sayd alredy, and must hereafter be said agein, when wee come too Gods election. And S. Paule dooth yit a∣gein set downe heere the woord of foreordeyning or forepurpozing, to hewe that God had predestinated vs before the making of the world, and yit that the same was hidden. Yea verily: but nowe is the same discouered vntoo vs, sayeth he. Thus yee see in effect, that the thing which wee haue too beare in mynde, is that wee bee not called too the knowledge of the Gospell by our owne towardnesse, nor for that any of vs putteth foorth himself too it of his owne accord, nor for that wee haue bound God vntoo vs by any vertue of ours: but for that God of his owne infinite goodnesse listed too inlyghten vs. And he hath not doone it bycause it came sodeinly in his mynde too doo it, as men are woont too doo, who are caryed with sodeine braydes: but bycause he had determined the same in his owne purpose, euen from before all tyme. And if our wittes bee ticklish and prouoke vs too bee inquisitiue and too say, How so? Had God chozen vs aforehand? And why then did he not vtter it vntoo vs sooner? How happeneth it that it was not perceyued ere this? too the ende wee should not so ouershoote our sel∣ues, S. Paule sayeth that this purpose was after a sort locked vp in God, till it was vttered vntoo vs. And so, too bee short, it is not law∣full for vs too knowe any more than is vttered vntoo vs in the Gospell: and looke what is shewed vs there, it behoueth vs too reuerence it. And for the same cause it is added, that his so dooyng vvas too set foorth the same in the fulnesse of tyme.

Now heerin he sheweth, that men may wel vexe themselues, but yit shall they come short of their purpose, and all their witts & imaginati∣ons shall fayle them, if they go about too knowe more than God hath giuen them leaue to know. For if any man demaund why God hasted no rather too do it: therin he sheweth that he would be wiser thā God. And is not that a diuelish pride? Is the creature woorthie to go vpon the groūd, when it aduaūceth it self so hygh? For this cause S. Paule sayeth, that the appoynting therof belongeth vnto God. For if a man may set order after this maner, in his owne house & say: I will haue my folke to fare thus, I will haue them to drinke such drinke, I will haue them too eat that kynd of bread, I will haue them lodged after this maner: how much more ought we too let God doo so? why should Page  28 he haue lesse priuiledge than woormes of the earth? Therfore let vs giue God leaue to dispose of his church, & of the welfare of his chozen, as lyketh best himself. And as for the tyme, let vs take that for the full tyme which it shall please him too shewe vs. For it is not for vs too be eyther iudges or vmpers in this cace, too measure the tymes, yeares, oonethes, or dayes: but it ought too content vs, that God listeth too aue it so. Some man will argew the cace and say: what, I pray you? Behold, fower thousand yeeres passed betweene the fall of Adam and he commyng of Christ: and could not God haue remedyed the matter y sending the redeemer of the world sooner? See what a number of retched folke wandered away in darknesse: behold the destruction f mankynd as awaterflud that swalowed vp all thyngs: and yit in 〈◊〉 meane whyle Iesus Christ was hiddē. Bysids this, a small nūber f men tasted of him, alonly by figures & shadowes. For none but the ••ewes wayted for the redeemer, to obteyne saluation by his meanes: 〈◊〉 yit euen they were faine to vse calues & sheepe & other brut beasts, to asserteyne them selues of the forgiuenes of their sinnes, and that God was mercifull to them. If a mā aske how this cōmeth to passe: let vs repayre too that which is sayd here in one word: namely that the time was not yit fully come. And why? Bycause God had so appoynted it. And this is the very selfsame thing that we haue seene alredy in the Epistle to the Galathians, wher S. Paule repressed all the foolish ga∣ings,* wherthrough men wander away in mounting vp hygher than is lawfull for them to do. Therfore let vs conclude, that it is Gods pe∣culiar office too appoynt tymes and seasons, and that wee must not think any other too be the dew, than that which he appoynteth. For albeit that winter and sommer bee ordinarye with vs euery yeere: yit if sommer come ouer late, wee must brydle our selues, and not grudge ageinst God. Wee may well say, alas, if it pleased God too send vs heate, it should bee well welcome. But yit in the meane while wee must fully resolue our selues thus: It belongeth too God too gouerne, and all souereintie and authoritie perteyne too him. If wee ought too behaue our selues so modestly as in respect of the order of nature which is common among vs, and wherein God shewes himselfe familiarly vntoo vs: what ought wee too doo when wee come too the scanning of he heauenly secretes, as of the euerlasting saluation of our soules, and of this hygh misterie that the sonne of God is come too set the thinges n their state agein which were lost and perished? Doth it not become Page  [unnumbered] vs too stoope in that cace, and humbly too take in good woorth what∣soeuer God telleth vs, and too lyke of that which he lyketh? Thus ye see why S. Paule spake heere expresly of the fulnesse of tyme, as if he should say, that wee can neuer profit in the Gospell, till wee yeeld God so much honour, as too hold our selues contented with his onely will, so as wee step not foorth too reply ageinst him, nor face him with our iangling, but glorify him by acknowledging his will too bee the rule of all wisdome, of all ryght, and of all equitie.

And for the better declaration hereof, he addeth immediatly, that it vvas too gather all thinges toogither, as vvell in heauen as in earth, by Iesus Christ, in himselfe. As touching this woord gather, S. Paule ment too shewe vs thereby how wee bee all of vs horribly scattered, till such time as our Lord Iesus Christ set vs in aray agein: and this is verifyed not onely of vs, but also of all other creatures. Too bee short, it is all one as if he had sayd, that the whole order of nature is as good as defaced, and all thinges decayed and disordered in the sinne of Adam, till wee bee repayred ageyne in the person of our Lord Ie∣sus Christ. For although wee beholde Gods woonderfull wisdome, power, goodnesse, iustice, and rightuousnesse in all creatures: yit not∣withstanding there are markes of sinne both aboue and beneath, and all creatures are subiect too corruption, and all is disordered by reason that God hateth and reiecteth vs.* Needes therefore must a restore∣ment bee made by Iesus Christ. And that is the thing that is ment by the gathering toogither that S. Paule speaketh of heere, too the ende wee would learne too mislyke of our selues, and too bee ashamed of the disorder that is in our selues, and wherwith the whole world is fylled through our sinfull lyfe: and moreouer learne also too magnify Gods goodnesse so much the more. Then on the one side the holy Ghost war∣neth vs in this text, that not onely wee our selues are out of order, but also that wee haue brought the whole world too the same poynt, and doo keepe it still at the same stay dayly by our sinnes, and that there is none other remedy thereof, but that Iesus Christ must bee fayne too a∣mend all agein, and make such a gathering and vnion, as wee may bee knit agein too our God. And so yee see the first poynt that wee haue too marke vppon this text. Truly this thing is spoken in fewe words: but it had neede too bee muzed vppon more at length. For it is the thing wheraboutes wee ought too occupie our selues both earely and late, that when wee looke intoo our selues, wee myght bethinke vs in Page  29 this wise: who art thou o wretched creature? for thou seest thou art se∣parated from thy God euen from thy birth: behold, thou art his enemy and inheritour of his wrath: and on the other side there is nothing in thy selfe which tendeth not too naughtinesse and frowardnesse: & thou oughtest not onely too feele this disorder in thine owne person, but al∣so too perceyue that all thinges else are out of order through the whole world by reason of thy frowardnesse. Therefore let vs sink downe and bee ashamed of it, and therwithall confesse how much wee bee indet∣ted vntoo God, for his voutsafyng too gather vs toogether in the per∣son of his onely sonne, euen vs that haue so torne a sunder the thinges that he had set in so goodly order.

And for the same cause S. Paule speaketh heere, not only of men, (which were estraunged from God afore by reason of sin): but also of all things that are in heauen and earth:* wherin he comprehendeth euen the verye Angells. For although Gods glorie shyne foorth in them, and that they were neuer yit separated from him: yit neuerthe∣lesse it stoode them on hand too be gathered toogither by our Lord Iesus Christ, and that after twoo sorts. For albeeit that they neuer swarued asyde, ne fell from that they were at the first, and that Gods ryghtuousnesse doo alwayes shewe it self in them, insomuch that they bee as it were mirrours and paternes of it: yit notwithstanding, if God lited too looke vppon them with rigour, they should fynd them∣selues farre short of the perfection of ryghtuousnesse that is in him, as it is sayd in the booke of Iob.* Furthermore, there is yit one other reason too bee matched with this: which is, that the Aungells should not hane such constancie and stedinesse as were requisyte, vnlesse Ie∣sus Christ had so stablished them as they myght neuer fall. Thus yee see one way how they were gathered togither. But this gathering wherof S. Paule speaketh heere, is in respect of their vniting agein vntoo vs. For wee knowe that inasmuch as wee were banished out of Gods kingdome, wee were cut of from all hope of saluation, so as the Angells were by and by fayne too become our enemies, and should bee so still, were it not for the attonement which wee haue with them a∣gein, by meanes of the head which is common too vs both. And heere yee see also why that in the ladder that was shewed vntoo Iacob,* it is said that God stood vppon the toppe of it, and touched both heauen and earth, and that the Angells went vp and downe on it. Now our Lord Iesus Christ is the trew liuing and euerlasting God which touched Page  [unnumbered] both heauen▪ and earth, bycause that in his persone God hath knit his owne diuine being (or substance) and the nature of man toogither. Thus therefore yee see that heauen is open, so as the Angells begin too acquaynt themselues with vs,* yea and too become our seruants, as is sayd in the Epistle too the Hebrewes, bycause the care of our soules is committed vntoo them, and they (as is sayd in the thirtie and foure Psalme) incamp about vs,* and watch vs, and are our keepers. Yee see then how wee bee vnited agein too the Angells of heauen by our Lord Iesus Christ.* And that is the cause also why he sayd, from hensfoorth yee shall see the heauens open, and the sonne of man comming downe in his maiestie with his Angells. Whereby he doeth vs too wit, that heauen was shet ageinst vs, and that wee also were vnwoorthie too fynd any fauour at Gods hand, & that yit notwithstanding, now that he is come too bee our head, and hath made the attonement betweene his father and vs,* and taken vppon him the office of mediator, & is become the head, not only of the faythfull, but also of the Angells: he hath ga∣thered all toogither agein in such wyse, that wheras the diuells make warre ageinst vs and practize our destruction without ceassing: the Angells are armed with infinite power too maynteyne vs. And al∣though wee see them not with our eyes: yit must wee certeynly beleeue that they watch for our welfare. Otherwyse what a thing were it? For wee knowe that the diuell is as a roring Lion,* and seeketh nothing else but too deuoure vs. Wee see what a number of ••yghts he hath too wynd about vs with. Needes then must the Angells haue an infi∣nite power too defend vs withall. Also it must needes bee, that wee bee preserued vnder the protection of our Lorde Iesus Christ, who is both their head and ours too. Thus yee see briefly that the thing which S. Paule ment too tell vs in this Text, where he saith that we are gathe∣red togither agein, is, that wee were scattered asunder before, & that wee bee not onely reconciled to God by the death and Passion of our Lord Iesus Christ, but also now henceforth knyt ageyn vntoo the An∣gelles, so as they are become our brethren and fellowes, and God hath giuen them charge too guide and mainteyne vs in all our wayes, and to watche ouer vs,* and to be in continuall battell for the withstandyng of all the enemyes that make warre ageynst vs, tyll wee be gathered all together intoo the rest of heauen.

Now let vs cast our selues downe before the maiestie of our good God with acknowledgment of our faultes, praying him too make vs Page  30 so too feele them, as it may drawe vs too trew repentance, and make vs to continue the same all the tyme of our lyfe, and that yit notwith∣standing wee may not ceasse too trust in him, and too offer our selues boldly in his sight, forasmuch as our sinnes are scoured out by the blud that was shed for the washing of them: and that wee may so frame our selues too this doctrine, as wee may all the tyme of our lyfe acknow∣ledge, that seyng he hath purchaced vs so deerely, wee ought too giue our selues wholy too his seruice: and that seyng he hath shewed him∣selfe so good a redeemer towardes vs, wee may not doubt but he wyll continue his goodnesse from day too day, too the full finishing of the thing that he hath begunne, and strengthen vs in all assaultes, tyll he haue deliuered vs from the crueltie of Satan and of all his vpholders, yea, and quyte and cleane taken vs out of the world, too make vs part∣takers of the happie blissednesse whereuntoo he calleth vs. That it may please him too graunt this grace not onely too vs, but also too all people and nacions. &c.

The fifth Sermon vpon the first Chapter.

13. You also doo trust in Christ, vppon the hearing of the word of truth, that is too say, of the glad tydings of your saluati∣on, by beleeuing vvhereof you also are sealed vvith the holy spirit of the promise.

14. VVhich is the earnest penny of our inheritance, vntoo the redeeming of the purchaced possession, too the prayse of his glory.

WEe haue seene heeretoofore how S. Paule hath declared, that there is none other grounde of our saluation than Gods free goodnesse, and that wee must not seeke any where else for the cause why he choozeth the one and forsaketh the other. For it be∣commeth vs too holde our selues contented with his onely will, purpose, & vnchaunge∣able determination. And whosoeuer goeth any further, must needes stumble intoo such a dimgeon through his Page  [unnumbered] owne rashnesse, as he shall feele that such as cannot honour Gods ma∣iestie and euerlasting ordinance with all lowlynesse and reuerence, must euery one of them (say I) come too shame. Therefore whenso∣euer we come to the serching of the cause of our saluation, let vs learne too father it altoogither vppon God. It is trew that too bee Gods children and heires it behoueth vs too bee of the body of our Lord Ie∣sus Christ, which thing is doone by fayth: but yit can wee not beleeue the Gospell except God drawe vs theretoo by his holy spirit. Nowe wee see that he dealeth not alyke with all men. For he could very well inlyghten all the world, and bring too passe that there should be no vn∣beleeuers at all: but wee see the contrary. Therefore let vs assure our selues, that be choozeth whom he listeth. For if a man should aske the reason why he dooth it: it were too loftie a presumptuousnesse, and that is the very cause that maketh so many ouerweening folke too breake their owne neckes, for that they cannot fynd in their hartes too graunt, that God gouerneth men according too his owne will, as of good ryght he may full well. Furthermore also S. Paule hath hereto∣fore set the Iewes and Gentyles both on one euen ground, and that is a thing that requyreth yit longer discourse. For seyng that God had chozen Abrahams ofspring, it myght haue bin thought that there had bin some woorthinesse in them. Surely if wee haue an eye too the spe∣cial fauour that God shewed too the Iewes, they bee well worthy too bee preferred before all the rest of the world. But if a man take them as they bee of themselues: he shall fynd them voyde of all ryghtuous∣nesse. For wee must alwayes come backe too this poynt, that God is not bound nor beholden too any man at all: and his receyuing of the Iewes by free adoption, is not for that they were better woorth than other men, or for that they myght make any maner of vaunt at all of themselues. Therefore yee see why S. Paule sayeth expresly, that they which beleeued in Iesus Christ in tymes past, are cōprehended vnder Gods election, as well as the others, & that the others cānot boast thē∣selues too bee more worthy, or too haue deserued more than they, but that all must come too this poynt, that as well of the Iewes as of the Gentyles God choze whom he lyked and listed, too the ende that no∣thing should bee considered in that behalfe but his onely mercy, and that all mouthes myght bee stopped, and no man bee able too alledge that be brought any thing of his owne. Howbeit, when S. Paule en∣tereth intoo this comparison betweene the Iewes and the Gentyles, Page  31 he sayeth that if a man haue an eye too Gods accepting of the Iewes for his owne peculiar heritage, they were a holy linage, and he had giuen them his Lawe and promises, by meanes whereof they were in more excellent and hygh degree, than all the residew whom he had forsaken and shaken of. But if wee haue an eye vnto God, all mannes glory must needes bee layd awater. But S. Paule in that place spea∣keth alonely of the forgiuing of our sinnes, and of our imbracing of Gods grace by fayth: which things he sheweth cannot bee fathered vppon any other cause, than onely Gods pitying of vs. Also wee haue eene heretoofore in the Epistle too the Galathians,* howe S. Paule ayd vntoo Peter, wee bee Iewes by nature. For inasmuch as it was a common opinion, that the Iewes were a holy lynage, bycause they were descended of Abrahams race: very well (sayeth he), howsoeuer he cace stande, wee haue none other refuge nor assurance of saluation, but too beleeue in Iesus Christ: for he wist well that men are vtterly fordoone and lost in themselues, bycause they bring nothing with them but Gods wrath and curse. Therfore lyke as in those textes S. Paule hath shewed that men beguyle themselues, if they imagin that they haue any desert or woorthinesse in them: so now for the better confir∣mation of the same doctrine, and too take away all disputing, and too beate backe all replyings, he bringeth vs too this welspring, namely, that God not onely giueth fayth too whom he listeth, but also hath elected and chozen vs before the making of the world. Yee see then that the thing which wee haue too marke in effect, is that all men from the most too the least are indaungered vntoo God, and there is none so holie or excellent, that can exempt himselfe from that generall state of men.

Nowe hereupon S. Paule magnifieth Gods goodnesse, in that the Ephesians were gathered toogither, and made all one with those that were hild and accounted afore for Gods people, and for the housholde folke of his Church. Before the Ephesians beleued the Gospell, there was great diuersitie betweene them, as shalbe declared yit more at large in the second Chapter. But notwithstanding that the beleuyng Iewes which had alredy bin cōuerted to our Lord Iesus Christ, were as brethren too the Angels of heauen, for so muche as they were mem∣bers of the head that was common too them both, wheras in the meane while the Ephesians were poore wretches, shet out from al hope of sal∣uation, enemyes of God, and plunged in all cursednesse: beholde, God Page  [unnumbered] tooke away that diuersitie, and raundged them both in one aray. Gods goodnesse therfore was so much the more manifest, in that he did so 〈◊〉 them backe which were drowned in the bottome of hel, to match them with his owne children, and too make them fellowes and heyres of his heauenly kingdome. That therfore is the cause why S. Paul hauing spoken of such as had beleued in Iesus Christ afore, telleth vs expresly, that God hath gathered and stablished his Churche in such wise, as it wel appeareth that the greatest depend wholy vpon hym, and haue not any other thing to rest vpon, than his only mercy: and that those which were after a sort caste away, yea and abhorred, haue cause to glorifie hym, seeing he hath deliuered them from the confuzion wherein they were. And herewithal S. Paule sheweth, that the thing whiche hee had said afore, is verified vntoo vs by the effectes of Gods grace. For (as I haue said afore) our election is a secret thing, yea and incompre∣hensible. When men haue inquired of it as much as is possible, sure∣ly they must needes quaile in their owne imaginations, if they mynde to enter intoo the sayd euerlasting ordinaunce of God. And therefore it is not lawful for vs too seeke any further than the Scripture guideth vs, and sheweth vs the way. Yee see then that Gods choozing of vs, is hidden in hym selfe: but yit he yeeldeth vs recordes of it by the gifts of grace which he bestoweth vpon vs, as by faith, which is a gyfte of the holy Ghost. Marke that for one poynt.

Nowe, were it but suche a gyft, as when he maketh his Sunne to shyne both vpon good and bad, or as when he causeth the earth to bring foorth fruit indifferently for all men: the same ought also too bee recke∣ned among the gyftes and benefites of God. But faith is a singular gift, which is not bestowed commonly vppon all men, but is reserued of God as a Iewell for those whom he liketh well of. And what is the cause of it? Wee are all of vs the chyldren of Adam, and we are all of one mould. Why then inlighteneth hee the one sort, and letteth the o∣ther alone in their blyndnesse? There is none other cause but his owne choyse. So then although we can not conceyue nother by wyt nor by reason, howe God hath chozen vs before the making of the world: yit wee know it by his shewing of it vntoo vs, and experience it selfe auoucheth it sufficiently, in asmuch as we be inlightened by faith. What is the cause that I receyue the Gospell, and sticke to it, and in the meane whyle others abyde styl in their beastly blockishnesse, or ra∣ther beare a spiteful rancour ageynst the doctrine of saluation? If I Page  32 imagine that it commeth of myne owne towardnesse, I am a traytour too God. For wee must alwayes come backe to that which wee haue seene alredy,* and say, Who is hee that hath made thee to excel others? S. Paule then dooth in that saying pull downe all loftinesse of man, to the end that no man should aduance hymselfe, nor alledge that he hath ught of his owne. Wee must not thinke (saith he) that wee haue any woorthynesse of our selues, but that euery whit of it commeth of God. Therfore in this Text S. Paule sheweth by experience, howe the E∣••esians had byn chozen of God, & that it behoued them to haue their ••ole faith grounded thereupon, that is to wyt, vpon Gods free good∣••sse. And for proofe thereof (saith he) ye haue heard the doctrine of 〈◊〉 Gospell, and beleeued it. But how commes that to passe? He she∣••th that it must needes bee that they were confirmed by the holy Ghost. Now, if they were confirmed, it was of necessitie that the ho∣ly ghost must needes haue wrought beforehand. And so it is to no pur∣pose, to enter intoo so deepe a maze as Gods euerlasting ordinaunce. For he sheweth vs as it were with his finger, how he hath chozen vs, at least wise if we play not the churles with hym, but acknowledge the good that he hath done vs, and bee fully perswaded and resolued in our selues, that there is none other cause of it, than for that hee had giuen vs his marke from before all euerlastingnesse: that is too say, for that he had reserued vs too hym selfe, as his owne chyldren. Nowe then wee see S. Paules meanyng: and therfore let vs learne too leaue ma∣king of long raunges, when the cace concerneth our imputyng of all things to Gods onely mere mercy. For the faith that we haue, dooth shew it wel ynough▪ bycause that (as I hae sayd afore) the same com∣meth not from our owne moother witte, but as a gifte that commeth from aboue, & such a one as God communicateth not too all men with∣out exception, but onely so such as he lysteth.

Furthermore heere are many woords well worth the weying. For on the one syde S. Paule intendeth too magnifie the grace of the holy Ghost, by shewing that wee can haue no part nor portion in our Lord Iesus Christ, nor in any of all the benefites that he hath purchased for vs, except God put vs in possession of our saluation by his holie spirit. That therfore is one poynt. And yit notwithstanding S. Paule fay∣leth not too shew therwithall; the inetimable benyfite that wee haue by the Gospell, in that he termeth it the woord of truth, and the glad ydings of saluation. For first of all he ment too assure vs, too the in∣ent wee myght haue an infallible warrant too call vppon God with∣out Page  [unnumbered] doubting or grudge of conscience. For so long as wee bee in doubt whether God loue vs or hat vs, it is vnpossible for vs too praye truly vntoo him. And so by that meanes yee see how our saluation is vtterly defeated, according too that which is sayd by the Prophet Ioell.* And it is a common doctrine in the holy scripture, that wee cannot obteyne saluation, but by fleeing vntoo Gyd with prayer and supplication. But wee should be shet out from that, if wee had not the sayd warrant, as wee shall see more fully in the third chapter. Therfore it stands vs 〈◊〉 too be throughly assured, that God is our father, and that he accepteth vs for his children. And how shall wee bee warranted that vnlesse the doctrine of the Gospell bee so certeyne in all poynts, as it bee not law∣full for vs to bring it in question? That therfore is the cause why S. Paule sayeth that it is the word of truth. No doubt but there are other truthes also: for euen when God threatneth vs, he dooth it not in est nor yit in vayne: for as well his threatninges as his promises haue their execution sure and certeyne. Howbeeit forasmuch as the present cace concerned the correcting of al distrust in vs, as wherunto we be to much inclined: S. Paule hath termed the Gospell the doctrine of truth: as if he should say, my frendes, God is a faithfull witnesse vn∣too you of his owne wyll: for the Gospell is as much as if he laid forth his hart vntoo you: and therefore settle your selues vppon it. Moreo∣uer also he saith, that our saluation lyeth inclosed in the Gospell: and that it is too make vs too looue it, and esteeme it. For should we be so wirlesse, or rather starke mad, as to holde scorne of our owne welfare? But yit notwithstandyng he saith, that al this commeth of Gods mere mercy, and of his euerlasting electiō, which as in respect of our selues is farre of, and vnknowen too vs, but we haue knowledge of it by the Gospell, which is the meanes and instrument therof. For too what purpose were it that our Lorde Iesus Christ hath offered hym felfe in sacrifice too reconcile the worlde to God his father, vnlesse wee were made partakers of it by faith? Now, faith is not an opinion of mans conceyuyng in his owne brayne: but a setled beleefe, that God cannot lye nor deceyue vs, and that it is not to be feared, that our hope shall not come too good end, if wee wayt vpon hym. So then, too be short, S. Paules intent was to shewe, that if we haue the skyll to make our profit of the doctrine of the gospell, wee shall no longer stand in a ma∣mering and perplexitie, but shalbe able to call vppon God with open mouth, acknowledgyng our selues so bound and wholly indetted vntoo Page  33 hym in all things, as wee feare not but that he auoweth vs for his chil∣dren, and are accepted at his hande, and that hee heareth vs in all the prayers that wee make vntoo hym. Thus much concernyng the first poynt. Therfore according to S. Paules exhortation▪ let vs learne to rest in suche wise vppon the doctrine of the gospell, that it may bee as much too vs, as if God shewed hymselfe, visibly vntoo vs, and that the heauens were opened vntoo vs:* and let vs alwayes beare in mynde, howe it is anouched by the mouth of our Lord Iesus Christ hymselfe,* that when soeuer sinnes are 〈◊〉 by the preaching of the gos∣pell, the same is out of hand ratified in heauen. Thus ye see what cer∣tintie we ought to haue, that wee bee no more doubtfull whether God wyll heare vs, or no. But lyke as the gospell teacheth vs to beleeue, so also S. Paule sheweth vs that we ought too esteeme it as an incom∣parable treasure, for so much as it is the power of God, tendyng to the saluation, of all that beleeue, as hee speaketh of it in the first Chapter too the Romanes.* Seeing then that wee bee forlorne and vndone of our selues, and there is none other meanes too call, vs backe ageyn too God, but by the gospell: let vs set store by that treasure, and bee well aduized too make our profite of it. And in so doing let vs hardily des∣pize both the Diuell hymselfe, and all his temptations which he prac∣tizeth ageinst vs, seeing that God calleth vs, and hath given vs a suffi∣cient record of hys fatherly loue and good wyll towardes vs.

But let vs come too the second part which I glaunced at. For S. Paule sheweth that besyds Gods voutsafing no haue the Gospell preached vntoo vs, it behoueth him also too wooke by his holie spirit and by a speciall grace. And in very deede wee shall find many that will well ynough graunt that God was not moued to send vs his Gos∣pell vppon any other cause than his owne, mere free goodnesse. But therwithall they surmyze, that the cause why some receyue it and some receiue it not, is for that their owne free wils do rule the roste and by that meanes Gods grace is diminished. For God offreth vs not his grace, as a man shoulde offer an apple too litle 〈◊〉 so as hee that could ronne best, should come and haue it. If God should cast it out so, it is certaine that the greatest parte of our saluation shoulde proceede of our owne power and policie, and the commendation therof should redound too our selues. Now then, after S. Paul hath shewed that God hath called, and dayly dooth call vs too the inheri∣tance of his heauenly kingdome, and that his so dooing proceedeth Page  [unnumbered] of his own mere free goodnesse. He addeth further, that it behoueth vs of necessitie to be touched with his holy spirite. In deede he setteth downe but the one part of the grace of the holy ghost: & that is bycause he had set downe the other part before: for he hath not in this discourse forgotten aught that belonged to his matter: but he began with Gods free goodnesse wherewith wee bee all filled, and shewed that fayth springeth out of the said fountaine of free election. And nowe for the second part he addeth, that Gods inlightening of vs by his holy spirit, so that wheras we were blynd, he hath printed his grace in our hartes, and bowed and bent them to the obeying of hym, is not ynough for vs: but that moreouer he muste bee fayne to confirme vs, and strengthen our fayth, by geuyng vs an inuincible constancie too holde out too the end. Yee see then that the thing wheretoo S. Paule bringeth vs, is, that besides our receiuyng of fayth at the hand of the holy Ghost, and besides his inlightenyng of vs by his grace, wherof I haue spoken al∣redy: he dooth also stay vs in such wise, as wee fal not away. For the better vnderstanding hereof, wee must first call to mynd the thing that hath bin treated more at length alredy: that is too wit, that so long as God letteth vs alone in our owne state and plight, wee bee blind wret∣ches wandring in darkenesse, and what soeuer is preached or spoken vntoo vs, wee abide styll as blockes in our brutishnes. For the sensual man shall neuer vnderstand any thing that belongs to God,* or too hys owne saluation. Yee see then howe wee bee vtterly barred and exclu∣ded from the heauenly light, tyll God pitie vs, and giue vs the spirit of light and insight. Marke that for the first poynt. Howbeit, for asmuch as that poynt hath bin discussed heretofore: it suffizeth to doo no more but too put you in mynd of it.

Now there is yit another poynt, which is that when wee haue once imbraced Gods grace by fayth, so as wee knowe that our Lord Iesus Christ is he in whom wee fynd all that is requisite too make vs per∣fectly happie: it standeth vs on hand too be stablished in the same. For why? let vs marke how wauering men are. He that is best dispozed too followe God, shall by and by fall, bycause wee be so frayle that the diuell will ouerthrowe vs euery minute of an houre, if God hild vs nt vp by strong hand. And for that cause is it sayd that God vttereth his power in mainteyning vs, when he hath chozen vs, and giuen vs too our Lord Iesus Christ. For if he fought not for vs, alas what woulde become of vs? wee should bee confounded out of hand, and we shoud Page  34 not take one or twoo falles, but infinite falles, as I sayde afore. As soone then as we were in the way of saluation, by & by should we sure∣ly bee tuned out of it by our owne frayltie, lyghtnesse and vnconstan∣cie, vnlesse wee were hild backe, and that God wrought so in vs, as wee might by his holy spirit ouercome all the assaultes of the diuell and the world. Thus dooth Gods spirit woorke dubble in vs as in re∣spect of fayth. For he inlyghteneth vs to make vs vnderstād the things that else should bee hidden from vs, and too receyue Gods promises with all obedience. That is the first woorking. The second is, that the same spirit is fayne too continue in vs, and too giue vs perseuerance, that wee quayle not in the middes of our way. That then is the thing hat S. Paule treateth of as now. As if he should say, my friendes, yee haue knowen Gods grace, and yee haue had experience of it, and that he hath drawen you too the obeying of his Gospell: For you had neuer rome vntoo it, if he had not shewed himselfe pitifull towardes you. But yit assure your selues, that he dubbleth his grace, in that he giueth you power too hold out in the same. For had ye continued but two or three dayes, or two or three yeeres, yea or more: needes must it bee that God had helped you therein, for else yee should alwayes haue bin in a mamering, yea, and as poore wretches at your wittes ende, without any certeintie at all, but that God hath promised too haue a care of you, and too guyde you continually till you bee come too your wayes end, and haue accomplished your course. That therefore is the cause why he sayeth heere, that they were sealed or signed by the holy Ghost. Now it behoueth vs to marke well the similitude that S. Paule vseth. For wee know that euidences are made authentik by sales: and that hath bin in all tymes. Trew it is that men did not set them too in such maner as they doo now adayes. But yit notwithstanding in stead of signing them with their owne handes, they deliuered their seale or a ring, and that was the maner of the publication of Testamentes, and of other euidence, and of all bargaynes and couenants. In this respect S. Paule sayeth that wee must bee sealed in our hartes. Trew it is, that too speake properly, he should haue sayd that the Gospell was sea∣led. Howbeit, too the end too doo vs too vnderstand that the fault com∣meth and springeth from our selues, and that the Gospell is a doctrine of sufficient authoritie of it selfe, he mynded too shewe vs, that Gods sealing of his truth is in respect of our hard hartednesse, and vncon∣stancie, for that we be shaken with euery wynd lyke wouering reedes, Page  [unnumbered] vntill such time as he haue strengthened vs. But howsoeuer the cace stand, let vs marke that the holy Ghost is as it were the scale where∣with he ratifyeth and warranteth his truth vntoo vs. Nowe I haue told you alredy how greatly wee stand in neede thereof. For although wee graunt that Gods word deserueth to be admitted without geyn∣sying or reply: yit ceasse wee not too doubt of it, and that doo wee fynd well ynough by experience. For whensoeuer any trubble or vexa∣tion commeth, wee e as folke dismayd, wheras if wee were through∣ly perswaded of Gods goodnesse in such wyse as he assureth vs of it, it is certeyne that wee should not bee in any such feare. All the tempta∣••ons then which shake vs, doo shewe well ynough that wee profit not as wee ought too doo in the Gospell. And therefore God is fayne too warran it on his behalfe by his holy spirit, and too print it so surely in our hartes, as wee may bee stedfast, and as the same stedfastnesse may not bee beaten downe by all that euer the diuell can woorke or deuise too ouerthowe 〈…〉. But wee shall vnderstand this thing yit bet∣ter, by making continually such examination of our owne weakenesse, as I haue spoken of before. For take wee all the reasons of the world, and yit shall wee neuer bee certifyed so fully and perfectly as is requi∣site, that God will bee mercifull too vs and defend vs in the middes of all the perills of this world. For wee bee heere as it were in a sea, the wyndes and stormes assayle vs euery minute, and wee be still in daun∣ger of swallowing vp. How then may wee despise Sathan, bing as wretched shéepe vnprouided both of armour, weapon, and all other meanes of helpe? How can wee be merye both in life and death, know∣ing that Satan might doo any things ageinst vs: if wee were not wel sealed, and after an authentical manner. So then, besides that in this tete wee bee warned too rid our selues of all presumption and ouer∣weening, that onely God may bee prayzed and magnified: wee may also gather therwith vppon S. Paules woords, that wee haue armor and weapon wherwith too incounter and fight well, and that although our enemy bee mighty and sturdie, yit he shal neuer ouercome vs, so wee take the aduauntage of that which is sayd heere, namely that Gods spirite sealeh the truthe, and the certeyntie of the promises of the Gospell in vs.

And S. Paule addeth yit one similitude more, saying that Gods spirit is as an earnest peny. And let vs not thinke it straunge that S. Paule hath so myghtily confirmed this doctrine, forasmuch as the di∣uell Page  35 hath neuer ceassed frō the beginning of the world, to puffe vp men continually with some fond opinion of their owne wisdome & vertew. The cause of Adams fall, was that he would needes aduaunce himself hygher than was lawfull for him, and be wyser than God: which thing God gaue him not leaue to doo. Euen so standeth the cace with vs, & the diuell pursueth his chalendge still. For behold he ouerthrew man∣kynd by that sleyght, and all his indeuour yit still is to make vs beleue that wee be able too doo this and that. Therfore it stoode S. Paule on hand too rid men of that false and cursed opinion of their owne reewill and selfuertew, and too shewe them that they are beholden too the holy Ghost for all. Mark that for one poynt.

Secondly, we be so grosse and earthly, that we had neede too haue the doctrine chawed vntoo vs, and wee cannot conceyue any more of Gods gratious giftes which are inuisible, than we see with our eyes, and touche with our hands. Therfore it was requisite that S. Paule should by similitudes declare how it is Gods holie spirit that putteth vs in possession of the Gospell, and of all the benefits conteyned ther∣in, and which holdeth vs in them vntoo the end. Now wee knowe that bargaynes are confirmed by giuing of an earnest penny, which men doo cōmonly call a Gods penny. For asmuch then as in buying eyther Lands, houses, inheritaunces, or wares, although a mans bare word ought to suffyze, yit notwithstanding mē are so yll dispozed, that if they perceyue any disaduauntage to themselues in the matter, they will not bee ashamed too eate their woord: therfore was this ceremonie of gi∣uing an earnest penny, added: and it is all one as if the payment were fully performed, so as the bargayne were vtterly past calling backe a∣geyne. S. Paule then meaneth heere, that Gods spirit serueth to war∣rant our saluation too the full. And too what end? For your inheri∣taunce (sayeth he) too the day of your redemption. It is trew that we be Gods heyres euen in that wee bee his children. But wee must note how it is sayd in the eyght too the Romanes,* that our saluation s shet vp vnder hope. So then, wee cannot see it, nor inioy it as now, according too the third of the Colossians,* where it is sayd, that wee be lyke dead men that are departed out of this world, and that our lyfe is hidden with God in Christ. Therfore although wee be Gods children, yit haue wee not the full inioyment of it as yit. And it is all one with that which S. Iohn sayeth in his cannonicall Epistle.* Wee nowe (sayeth he:) wherby he sheweth that our fayth is not doubtfull: Page  [unnumbered] but yit he addeth that it is not yit seene, (or it dooth not yit appeere,) but wee must wayt for the day wherin wee shalbee lyke vntoo God, & thē we shal haue lyght to see the thing perfectly, which we doo but be∣leeue as now. Ageyne, wee haue seene how S. Paule sayd in the se∣cond too the Corinthians,* that as long as wee bee in this earthly pil∣grimage, wee bee (after a sort) absent from God. For why? wee walk (sayeth he) but in hope, and wee see not the thing as if it were present, but wee see it by fayth.* Too bee short, although wee bee passed from death too lyfe (as is sayde in the fift of Iohn:) yit do we fyght ageinst an infinite number of deathes, bycause wee be beseeged by them. And S. Paule dooth well match bothe toogither in this text. For on the one syde he sayeth wee bee not yit come too our redemption and hery∣tage: and yit therwithal he sheweth, that we bee neuerthelesse sure of it for all that, and that nothing but our owne vnthankfulnesse letteth vs too glory fuly in God, and too say with full mouth, that wee doubt not of our comming too the heauenly lyfe, forasmuch as wee haue an ear∣nest penny therof by the holy Ghoste, and are so knyt too our Lord Ie∣sus Christ, that all the goodes which he hath, doo belong vntoo vs, and are made common to vs by fayth. Therfore let vs mark well what is conteyned in these words of S. Paules. He sayeth that the holy ghost is our earnest penny. Seing it is so: wee must needs be sure of our re∣demption, wherof we shall haue the possession at the last day, yea euen to the full: & that doth the thing of it slf shew sufficiently. For we be but sillie wormes of the earth, wee bee compassed aboute with rotten∣nesse and corruption, wee bee beset with so many miseries as is pitie to see, the world rayleth vpon vs, and mocketh vs and our simplicitie, we bee fayne too indure hunger and thirst, it seemeth often tymes that God hath forsaken vs, and after a sort cut vs of, yea, and that he vou∣safeth not too pitie vs, as the most despyzed creatures of the worlde. Lo at what poynt wee bee too outward appeerance. And therefore it standeth vs on hand too haue a remedie, too warrant our selues withall in the middes of so many perplexities and hartgriefes. That is the cause why S. Paule sayeth purposely, that the holy Ghost is our ear∣nest penny. Although then that the world haue the brydle looce to tram∣ple vs vnder his feete, as they say: although our Lord keepe vs occu∣pyed with many temptations: although he humble vs in such wyse, as it may seeme that wee bee as sheepe appoynted too the slaughter, so as death bee continually betweene our teeth: yit are wee not vnpurueyed Page  36 of good remedie. For why? Seyng that the holy Ghost reygneth in our hartes, wee haue whereof too boast euen in the middes of all our temp∣tations, according as it is sayd in the viii.* too the Romanes, that be∣ing once assured that God taketh vs for his children, wee may not on∣ly call vppon him, but also although wee bee afflicted and tormented, yit wee ceasse not too bee alwayes fully and infallibly resolued that he is our father, too leade vs too the glory of heauen: for euen that also is 〈◊〉 meane whereby our hope is tryed.

Furthermore wee bee warned also too walk in pacience, and that seing God hath giuen vs his holie spirit for an earnest pennye, wee must not bee so hastie and impaciente as wee haue bin woont too bee. For if God handle vs roughly, by and by wee fall too grudging, and are very loth too suffer any thing: for wee see how tender and nyce we bee of nature. But wee must indure paciently, bycause God will not haue vs too come too his kingdome at one leape, as they say, but will haue vs too passe by this world through the midds of thornes and bre∣ers, so as wee shall haue much a doo to get through, and wee shalbee in greate distresse. Seing that he will haue vs led such a way, and yit notwitstanding giueth vs so good a remedie as ought to suffyze vs, which is that he strengtheneth vs in inuincible constancie by his holie spirit: let vs stand in a redinesse too fyght till the tyme of victorie bee fully come. It is trew that our fayth doth euen now alredy get the vp∣per hand: but wee receyue not yit the fruite of it, nother doo wee fully inioy it. Therfore wee must determine with our selues too sygh and grone continually, and yit therwithall too reioyce also. For (why? too reioyce in our hartes, and also) too cry with S. Paule, alas wretched wyght that I am, who shal deliuer me from this prison of my bodie, are things that may match verye well toogither. Therfore let euery of vs moorne, yea and bee greeued at the hart, for that wee bee still so much giuen too our wicked lusts, and too the number of vices that are in vs. And yit notwithstanding let vs ceasse also oo say that wee thank God, and too bee contented with his giuing of such portion vto vs as ought too suffyze vs, and too tary his leyzure till he accomplish and performe the thing that he hath begunne, seing wee haue his holie spi∣rit so dwelling in vs, with a promis that wee shall, neuer bee destitute of him vntoo the end. Thus yee see how wee bee heere incoraged too take hart of grace, and too walk in such constancie, as all the miseries of the world may not stop vs of 〈◊〉, till wee bee ••me to our ra∣ces Page  [unnumbered] end. And that is the cause why S. Paule speaketh purposely of redemption. It is trew that wee bee redeemed by our Lord Iesus Christ,* and he is giuen vs for our redemption or raunsome, as is sayd in another text: yit notwithstanding wee haue not the effect and full fruition of it as yit.* Then is there a dubble redemption: one which was accomplished in the person of our Lorde Iesus Christ, and ano∣other which wee wayte for, and which shalbee shewed vppon vs at his comming ageine.* According wheruntoo S. Paule sayth in the viii. too the Romanes, that although wee grone and bee hild downe in an∣guish, yit wee must not bee dismayed at it, nor think it straunge: by∣cause all creatures (sayth he) doo beare vs companie, yea and bee as a woman that trauelleth of child. For wee see that all the world is sub∣iect too corruption through the sin of Adam. Seing then it is so: let vs not quayle in our gronings, but let vs so measure our affections as too hold vs contented in that we haue our redemption purchaced in the person of our Lord Iesus Christ, and thereuppon trust that he will accomplishe the same thing in vs and in our persons, which he hath brought vs in his owne. The thing therefore that S. Paule ment too say, is that Gods spirit is our earnest penny duryng the tyme that wee wayte too be taken out of this transitorie lyfe, and too bee set free from all miseries, specially from the bondage of sinne, which is the heauyest burthen that can bee. Untill such tyme then as wee bee deliuered from all those thinges, wee must rest vppon this, that Gods spirit dwelleth in vs.

And as touching the redemption of purchace: it may well bee taken for purchaced redemption: for it is a very ryfe maner of speech: lyke as when it is sayd, the spirit of promis, it is ment, the spirit that assureth or warranteth al the promises: The spirit of the feare of God, bycause it is he that maketh vs obedient too his rightuousnesse. So lykewise when he speaketh of the Redemption of purchace, it may well bee sayd that it is the redemption which was purchaced for vs, too shewe that if wee feele the effect of it in our selues, so as wee be out of all doubt of the things that Iesus Christ hath doone for vs, we must not mistrust that he hath suffered in vayne. For surely his suffering were too no purpose at all towardes vs, vnlesse it came vntoo vs, so as it myght redound too our profit, and wee inioy it. That therefore is the thing that is purchaced in the person of our Lord Iesus Christ. And yit in the meane season, as in respect of our selues he reyneth vs short, Page  37oo the ende wee should not through our owne vnthankfulnesse refuze the benefite that God offereth vs, that is too wit, our reioycing in our afflictions, bycause wee knowe that our saluation is sure, nor repyne a∣geinst God and blaspheme him, but walke on quietly till wee bee de∣liuered from this prison wherein wee bee, and till wee bee fully set free by beyng gathered togither in our Lord Iesus Christ.

Now let vs cast our selues downe before the maiestie of our good God, with acknowledgment of our faultes, praying him too make vs feele them more and more, yea euen so farre as too bring vs too vtter mislyking of the wretchednesse that is in our selues, so as wee fynding that there is nothing in vs but a dungeon of all naughtinesse, may learne too resort too his righteousnesse, and to seeke it at the well head, and too acknowledge that he hath shewed himselfe a mercifull father towardes vs, not doubting but that thereby he ment too assure vs also that he had adopted vs before the beginning of the worlde, too the in∣tent wee should continue in calling vppon him with trew stedfastnesse and neuer giue ouer. And so let vs all say, Almightie God heauenly father. &c.

¶The sixth Sermon vppon the first Chapter.

15. For this cause I also hauing herd of the fayth vvhich yee haue in Iesus Christ, and of the loue vvhich you haue to∣vvardes all the Saintes,

16. Ceasse not too giue thankes for you, making mention of you in my prayers.

17. That the God of our Lord Iesus Christ, the father of glory should giue you the spirit of vvisdome and reuelation, too haue knovvledge of him.

18. That is too vvit (too haue) the eyes of your mynde inlyghte∣ned, that you might vnderstand vvhat the hope is vvhich yee ought too haue of his calling, and vvhat are the riches of the glory of his inheritance among the Saintes.

Page  [unnumbered]WEe haue seene already howe Saint Paule brought the Epesians not onely to the chief but also too the onely cause of their saluati∣on, and shewed that they must of necessitie father all the whole vppon God, without mingling of any foolish presumption ther∣withall, as who should say that they them∣selues had furthered Gods grace which they had receyued, eyther by their free wil, or by any good intent in them. Saint Paule therefore hath shewed in effect, that not onely the Ephesians too whom he spake, but also they that had bin Gods Church before, ought all without exception to con∣fesse, that all their welfare proceeded of Gods onely free goodnesse, not onely bycause they were all redeemed by meane of our Lord Iesus Christ, but also bycause he had called them too the beliefe of the Gos∣pell, according too his choozing of them before the creating of the world.

And nowe he warranteth all the sayd doctrine by the recorde which it yeeldeth vnto God, in that it doth euen then magnifie his goodnesse, when he is as it were separated from mannes eye, and from the sight of all witnesses. Trewly the doctrine of the Gospel oughte not too bee the lesse esteemed when it is preached and published in the open face of the whole woorld: but yit it behoueth him that speaketh it too haue it throughly printed in his hart, & to say the same thing in himselfe be∣fore God and his Angels, which he speaketh before mē: for otherwise it were but a iangling, or rather an vnhalowing of Gods word: if a mā should step vp intoo the pulpet too talke lyke an Angell, and in the meane while haue no such meaning in his hart, nor bee perswaded of the thing that he speaketh. It were better that a man were drowned a hundred times, than too beare abrode the most excellent record of sal∣uation & of Gods truthe: and in the meane season not too bee perswa∣ded in himselfe of the thing that he preacheth, so as God and his An∣gells might knowe that he hath the same thing printed in his harte. Therefore it is not without cause, that after S. Paule hath preached Gods free goodnesse in choozing whom he lyked, and in calling them too the knowledge of his Gospell when he had chozen them, & in con∣firming them with his strong hand, and by giuing thē inuincible con∣stancie and stedfastnesse whē he had called them: nowe he addeth that Page  38 God knoweth his witnessing therof too bee in good earnest and vnfey∣nedly. For he protesteth heere concerning the prayers which he ma∣keth alone by himselfe, when no man could know his thought nor what he sayeth and vttereth with his mouth: that euen then he auoweth the same doctrine before God, inasmuch as he prayeth him to voutsafe too accomplishe the thing that he hath begunne. Heere therfore wee haue too marke first of all, that such as mynde too haue their labour profita∣ble too the edifying of the Churche, and such as haue any trew zeale, must not onely giue themselues too teaching, but also therwithall pray God too woorke with them by his power and grace. For oftentymes t befalleth, that wee doo but beate the water, (yea though wee haue he tongues of Angells) bycause wee pray not God to further the doc∣rine that wee preach. For of our selues wee bee but vnprofitable in∣struments: and when he hath giuen vs vtterance, he must also make it effectuall,* according as it is sayd, that he which planteth is nothing, and he that watereth is nothing, but it is God that giueth the increase. Seing it is so: Let such as haue the charge of teaching Gods Church walke fearfully & carefully, & not onely indeuer to win men vnto God, 〈◊〉 also humbly acknowledge that they can doo nothing of themsel∣ues, and that they should but cast foorth a sounde intoo the aire, which would vanishe away out of hand, if God wrought not with them by the secrete power of his spirit. That therefore is the thing that wee haue too remember vppon the woords that S. Paule speaketh heere.

But euerye of vs also ought too apply it generally too his owne vse. Therfore when wee come too bee taught Gods woord, or when any of vs readeth it alone by himselfe: let vs not imagin our witts too bee sut∣tle ynough, and that wee bee able ynough too vnderstand whatsoeuer the scripture telleth vs: but let vs acknoweledge our own beastlinesse, and praye God too make his doctrine too preuaile in such wyse with vs, as it may not slip frō vs. But this thing will be perceyued the bet∣ter by the processe that S. Paule holdeth on heere, if wee wey well all the woords that he vseth. He sayeth that he yeeldeth thanks vnto God without end or ceassing, for the fayth which he hearde to bee in the Church of Ephesus, And for their loue towards the Saints: & yit notwithstanding he continueth his praying vntoo God, that he should inlighten them more and more, and bring them too the perfecti∣on which all the faythfull ought too labour too attayne vntoo, till God haue taken them out of this world. Now, in that he sayth that he cea∣seth Page  [unnumbered] not to giue thanks vnto God, wee see by his example wherabouts the faythful ought too spende their time. For in very deede the cheife sacrifyze that God requireth and alloweth, is that wee shoulde honour him for all his benefits, and yeelde him his deserued prayse for the same. And it is not too bee thought that that can bee doone (as yee would say) by starts or by patches: but lyke as God on his side ceasseth not too poure out his benefits infinitely, so also behoueth it euery of vs too inforce ourselues, too blesse and prayse him without ceassing. For S. Paule speakes heere vnfeynedly: and when he blessed God for the Ephesians, he ment as much for all other Churches. What an vnkind∣nesse then were it, if a mā should not thinke at all vpon the benefits that he hath receyued at Gods hand? Wee are all of vs bound too prayse God for our neighbours. If wee heare it reported that God hath pros∣pered his Churche, or shewed mercie too his people a hundred leages of, and too bee short, if wee heare of any thing that ought too make vs glad: it becometh our mouthes too be open to prayse God for it. Now if wee bee bound too doo this for the good turnes that wee see not, but which our neighbours feele, though they bee distant in far Countryes from vs: what is too bee thought of vs when God filleth our mouthes (as it is sayd in the Psalme),* and yit in the meane whyle wee haue no mind at all too yeelde him thanks? And wee haue too note further, that if wee bee bound too prayse God for our meate and drinke, and for all the things that belong too this flightfull life: he bindeth vs to hym much more without comparison, when he calleth vs too the hea∣uenly heritage, and when he blisseth and inritcheth vs with spirituall gifts of grace, which serue too leade vs farre further than this worlde. Seing then that God vseth such bountifulnesse towards vs: what ex∣cuse can wee haue, if wee followe not the example that is shewed vs heere in S. Paule? which is, that all our life long wee must occupy our selues continually in praysing the name of God.

Now heerewithall he sheweth that faith and charitie are the verye giftes of God, & come not of our selues, as men doo alwayes imagine through a diuelishe pryde. I told you afore, that S. Paule playd not the Hypocrite in geuing thanks too God for the fayth and charitie of the Ephesians. If euery man could beleeue, and had faith of his owne inclination, or cold get it by some power of his owne: the prayse ther∣of ought not too bee giuen vntoo God: for it were but a mockerye too acknowledge our selues beholden too him for that thing which wee Page  39 haue of others than of him. But heere S. Paule blisseth Gods name for inlightning the Ephesians with fayth, and for framing their harts vntoo charitie. Therefore it is too bee concluded, that all the whole commeth of God. The heathen men bringing in their owne freewill, th••ght themselues beholden too God for nothing, but for their good fortune, as they termed it: for they surmyzed that they had all things by theyr owne power and pollicie. The Papits also will well graunt that Gods grace must bee fayne too help vs in pare: ub yet 〈◊〉 all that they wyll haue man too bee still exalted, and too attayn too ••yth by his owne motion. eere S Paule shetteeh out all these di∣••lish opinions, and sheweth (as wee haue seene heertofore) that when∣soeuer there is any Churche in the world, or any people too al vppon 〈◊〉, which are setled and grounded vppon the beliefe of the Gopell: God deserueth to hae the whole glorie therof. And why? For his hand must needs hae wrought in that cace, bycause men woold neuer in∣clyne too any goodnesse, if they were not guyded and gouered to it, yea and euen drawen too it perforce by the holie Ghost. For there is so greae 〈◊〉 usnesse in vs, that wee not only bee weake and feble, as the papists imagin, but also vtterly contrarie too God, vntill such time as he haue clenzed vs. And this is the thing which he meaneth in saying by his prophet Ezechiel, that the hartes which were stony be∣fore, shall bee turned intoo fleshly hartes, namely that he will sofen them, and bow them to his obeysance.

Furthermore vnder theis twoo woordes of Fayth and Loue, S. Paule hath comprehended the whole perfection of Christians. For the marke wherat the first table of the Lawe ameth, is that wee should worship one only God, and hang vppon him for all thinges, acknow∣ledging our selues too bee so indetted vnto him, as wee ought to flee to him alone for all refuge, and indeuer too spend our whole lyfe in his sruis. That is the summe of the first table of the Lawe. The con∣tentes of the second are nothing else, but that wee should liue toogither i equiie and vpryghtnesse, and deale in such wyze with our neygh∣bours, as wee should streyue our selues too helpe all men without hur∣ting of any man. And wee bee sure that God hath set foorth so good and perfet a rule of good 〈◊〉 in his lawe, that nothing can bee added vntoo it. Seing it is so not without cause dooth S. Paule in this place set downe fayth in Iesus Christ, and charitie (towards our ney∣••or as the summe of whole christen comes 〈◊〉, shewing wherunto Page  [unnumbered] wee ought too frame our selues, and which is our rule. But herewith all wee haue also to marke, that vnder this worde Fayth, he compre∣hēdeth the whole seruis of God. For it is imposible that wee should not be wholy rauished in loue to our heauēly father, being once acquainted with his goodnesse, as hee hath shewed it vs in the person of his only sonne. Behold, God draweth vs out of the dungeon of confuzion and death, and openeth vs the gate of the heauēly kingdome, and telleth vs that he will take vs for his children. Now can we heare and beleue this, but that wee shalbe wholly geuen ouer vnto him, forsaking the world, and hating the euill that is in our selues, bycause it separateth vs from him. Yee see then how the woorde fayth importeth a full yeel∣ding ouer of our selues wholly vnto God. Ageine, faith is not an ydle thing: it importeth that wee should resort vnto God, and that whenso∣euer wee bee steyned with any blot, wee should pray him to redresse it: for there is not any necessitie in the world, which is not as a dash with a spurre, which God giueth vs to make vs comme vnto him. Fayth therfore importeth prayer & supplication. It importeth moreouer that it cannot be but we must halow the name of God by resting our selues vppon him, and by yeelding him the whole glorie that belongeth too him, when wee knowe that hee giueth vs all thinges of his owne free goodnesse, looking for othing at our handes but only the sacrifyze of thanksgiuing. Thus yee see howe fayth importeth all that is contay∣ned in the first table of the Lawe. Trew it is that the part is put for the whole: howbeit it is too bee considered that the thinges which wee haue spoken of, cannot bee put asunder. Now then it standeth vs on hand too liue vprightly & indifferently with our neyghbors, as it is said in the sixtenth Psalme,* that we bee beholden to God for al things, and that wee cannot yeeld hym any recompence agein, and that when wee haue streyned our selues too the vttermost, too bestow aught vpon ym, all that wee can doo, is nother here nor there too hym. What re∣quireth he then? That wee should bee giuen too dooing of good to his poore faithfull ones, according as S. Paule also nameth the Saintes expresly in this Text. Trewe it is that wee ought too vse charitie to∣wards all men without exception: for wee cannot bee the children of God, who maketh his Sunne to shine both vpon good and bad, except wee loue our enemies, and streyne our selues too succour & helpe them. That therfore is the marke that we must ame at. Yit notwithstanding this hindereth vs not to loue all Gods children with a brotherly loue, Page  40 bycause they be knit vnto vs with a streyter bōd. That is the cause why it is said aswel in my forealleged text of the sixtenth Psalme, as in this present one of S. Paule, that wee muste haue loue towardes all the faithfull. Yea and S. Paules hym selfe in an other place doth well dis∣cusse the doubt that may bee cast in this behalfe. For he wylleth vs too haue charitie too all men in generall,* and chiefly too such as are of the houshold of faith. God then wyll haue vs too becomme lyke hym 〈◊〉, and to folowe his example in doing good too al men, yea euen too 〈◊〉 as are not woorthy of it, in so much that wee shoulde too the vtter∣ost of our power, procure the welfare of those which seeke nothing els but to picke out our eyes. Moreouer, for as much as he hath set his ••arke vppon all the faithfull, and commended them vntoo vs, he wyll 〈◊〉 vs too beare a certaine special brotherly loue towardes them. For ods gyftes are too bee esteemed wheresoeuer they bee seene,* accor∣ing too the fifteenth Psalme, where it is said, that wee must loue such as feare God, and abhorre such as are wicked. Then if wee see the to∣kens that God hath put intoo his faithfull, whereby he commeth neere them: is it not meete that wee also on our side shoulde be stirred vp too loue them? Too bee short, wee see that S. Paule hath comprized heere the whole rule of good and holy conuersation: that is tooo wyt, that first of all we must giue ouer our selues wholy to our God, to stick stedfastly vntoo him: And secondly lyue euenly and vprightly with our neighbours, absteynyng from all euyll doyng, and indeuoring too doo good too all men, accordyng too our power and abilitie. And howe may that come too passe? Euen by knowing our heauenly father, and by acknowledging the infnite good turnes which he hath done vs, and wherof he voutsafeth too make vs partakers dayly, so as all our whole lyfe depend vpon hym, & he onely be the party at whose hand we looke for euerlasting saluation, by callyng vppon hym, and by yeelding hym thankes all our life long. Let that serue for the first poynt.

Ageyne, as touching the second, it is not possible for vs too loue our eighbors, but wee must also lyue soberly without shewing any euyll ••ample, and looke in such wize too our behauiour, as no man maye haue cause too complayne of vs. For what charitie is there in a whore∣onger that goes about to dishonest another mans wyfe? or in a theefe that seekes too steale another mans goodes? Ageyn, seeing that our lyfe ought too be guided with all honestie: when soeuer any man bru∣steh out intoo drunkennesse, blasphemie, or such other things, it cannot Page  [unnumbered] bee, but that in so doing there must be some trubbling of poore folk••, some robbing them of their goodes, or some starting out intoo all ma∣ner of extorsions and excesses. So then, if wee haue charitie, and loe towardes our neighbor, wee shall lyue a sounde and vpright lyfe with them, and wee shall rule it in suche wize, that wee shall not buzie or selues about vayne fancies, as the Papistes doo: for they take 〈◊〉 paynes in their Ceremonies, and they call it Gods seruis too bab••e much, and too gad heere and there on pilgrimage, and to doo this 〈◊〉 that: and in the meane while they doo but plonder away in their owe imaginations: and that is onely for want of knowing wherunto God calleth them. Too the ende therefore that wee take not labour 〈◊〉 vayne, let vs marke what God alloweth, and let vs holde vs too that. For wee cannot misse, if wee abide continually in the way, as he she∣weth it vs by his worde, specially sith he sheweth vs in so small room, what is requisite too the leading of such a lyfe as becommeth vs. For were the volumes long, and without end, wee would excuze our selues that wee were no great Clerkes, and that wee could not beare away so many things. But now seing that our lord vttreth his whole demaūds in twoo or three words? we must needs grāt, that if we beare not away so short and eazie a lesson, we be to peeish and froward, and stop our eares 〈◊〉 wilfully, least wee might heare what he sayth vntoo vs.

Finally it is too bee noted vppon this woord Fayth, that S. Paule dooth not without cause say, the fayth in Iesus Christ: for that is the thing which we must looke at. The fathers of old tyme had alwayes the image of God before their eyes: for they myght not make sacri∣fize but before his merciseate: they myght not hope that God herd them,* or was mercifull too them by any other meane. They then had the visible image of the Arke of couenant:* but wee haue now Iesus Christ the image of God, which was inuisible of himself: for not with∣out cause dooth S. Paule say, that God is incomprehensible till he manifest himselfe in the person of his sonne. Therfore sith wee haue Iesus Christ who is the expresse image of God, it behoueth vs to looke thither. And heere yee see also why it is sayd, that he is the expresse i∣mage of the power of God his father. For although the persones bee distinct:* yit dooth he represent vntoo vs the thinges that are belon∣ging and requisite too ou saluation, so that in knowing the sonne, wee knowe the father also, as sayeth S. Iohn: and he that hathe not the sonne, renounceth the father, what protestation soeuer he make of go∣ing Page  41 too him. So then, wheras it is sayd heere,* that wee must beleeue in Iesus Christ: let vs bethinke vs of the warning which he giueth to his disciples. Beleeue yee in God (sayeth he?) beleeue ye also in me. There hee sheweth that the auncient fathers which liued vnder the Lawe, had but a dark teaching, vntill the tyme that he was manifested too the world. Trew it is that they woorshippid the liuing God, yea and that they had none accesse vntoo him but by meanes of the media∣or. Howbeit, that was but vnder shadowes and figures, nother had hey any such lyght as wee haue nowadayes vnder the Gospell. And 〈◊〉 that cause also told I you that he is called the image of God, who is of his owne nature inuisible, so as wee could not knowe him, vnlesse he ••tered himself by such meanes. Too bee short, let vs mark that wee oo nothing else but wander, till wee haue our fayth settled in Iesus Christ. And this wil bee the better perceyued by the errors wherwith he world hath bin imbrewed vnto this day. For the Papists will pro∣est well ynough that they beleeue in God: as much doo the Turkes & the Iewes also. Trew it is that the Papistes and Iewes seeme too come neerest the truthe: for the Iewes protest that they worship the liuing God, euen the same God that gaue them his Lawe by Moyses. But what for that? In the meane whyle they reiect Christ, who is the end and substance of the Lawe. As for the Papistes, although they •••fesse Christianitie, & auowe Iesus Christ to be their sauiour: yit is 〈◊〉pparant that they make warre ageynst him, for as much as they 〈◊〉 set vp seruing of God after their owne lyking, so as there is no∣thing but disorder in all their doings. As touching the Turkes, they can wel ynough say, Almyghtie God the maker of heauen and earth: but shall wee thinke that God will renounce himselfe, or vnsaye that which he hath sayd, which is, that no man can come vntoo him but by his welbeloued sonne, whome he hath ordeyned too bee the mediator ••tweene him and men? Ageyn wee see how the papistes will well y∣••ugh say, that they beleue in God: but yit therwithall they wil needs 〈◊〉 patrons and aduocates too bring them too his presenc. Agein, 〈◊〉 not ynough for them that they bee bought with the blud of ou〈◊〉 Iesus Christ: they must also put too their owne merits, and ••••some themselues by their owne satisfactions: and when wee haue offended God, we must haue such meanes and such. Then if a man list too examin the papistes beleefe, surely he shall fynd that they eleeue their owne dreames, and that all that euer they doo, is 〈◊〉Page  [unnumbered] confuzed maze. For with Iesus Christ they mingle whatsoeuer com∣meth in their owne head, wheras wee know that he ought to continue whole aone by himsefe. Wee see then how S. Paule leadeth vs to the trew tyal of our fayth: which is by resting vpon Iesus Christ, so that wee feele our selues vtterly voyd of all goodnesse, and that wee m••t draw from out of his fulnesse, too be filled with all good thinges, or else o wil bee vnto vs. For if wee had all the Angels in heaen on our syde (if it were possible:) yit is it certeyn that all should go too wecke, if wee haue not the sayd head, as S. Paule sayeth in the first and second chapters of the Epistle too the Colossians.* And so yee see what wee haue too gather vppon that sentence.

Now after S. Paule hath sayd, that he thanketh God for the things that he sawe alredie in the Church of Ephesus: he addeth that 〈◊〉praeth too him also. This is too shewe vs that when wee see God bestowe his excellent giftes vppon his children, wee had neede too be∣seche him still to contnewe and go forewarde with the same, and that for twoo causes. For he that standeth, may happen to fall, and againe, God had neede too increace his grace more and more. For euen they that are the perfectest shall haue cause too bee ashamed, if they looke well intoo their owne wantes. Yee see then that the thing wheretoo S. Paule bringeth vs, is that when wee prayse God for the gyftes which he hath bestowed vppon his chozen children▪ wee ought too match prayer also with our thanksgiuing. And why? For it is in hi onely too bring too passe the thing that he hath begunne: and it beh∣ueth vs too lay alwayes this ground, Lord thou wilt not leaue the woorke of thine owne handes halfe vndone.* And the same thing whih wee ought too doo for others, is also requisite for our selues. Too bee short, wee bee heere warned too magnifie God in such wyse for his goodnesse and gyftes which wee haue felt already, as wee must per∣ceiue that there is still much default in vs, and that it standeth vs on hand that he should giue vs perseuerance too the ende: and moreouer that he should correct our vyces, and augment his grace in vs, till wee bee come too full perfection, which thing will neuer bee till wee bee rid of this mortall body. Yit notwithstanding wee see howe Satan dooth now adayes possesse such as surmyze a hellishe perfection, and make but the three first petitions too their father, saying, that it is y∣nough too pray God that his name bee hallowed, that his kingdome come, and that his will bee done: and so they cut of all the rest of the Page  42 prayer which our Lord Iesus hath left vs. And for this matter I haue the signing of their owne handes which theyr disciples know, wherby those diuells shewe that they must needes bee vtterly without wit, se∣ing they bee caryed away so farre, as too refuze too yeelde God this glory, that euen now wee bee yit still ouer loden with the burthen of our infirmities, hild downe with store of corruptions, and hemmed in with abundance of vyces, and that God must bee fayne too clenze vs of them more and more, yea euen from day too day, vntill he haue brought vs too the perfection wheruntoo he calleth vs. And it standeth vs so much the more on hand too marke this doctrine well: bycause the Papistes are not so farre ouershot in the errours of their supersti∣ions and Idolatries, as these varlets are, which doo now adayes sowe abrode their poysons in their priuie meetings and lurking holes. But howsoeuer they fare, let vs marke well what is shewed vs heere by the holy Ghost, when S. Paule sayeth that he prayeth God. And why? I haue tolde you already, that the Ephesians had profited, and that the giftes of God and of his holy spirit were augmented in them: He hath shewed that. Now too knit vp the matter, he sayeth further, that he prayeth God too giue them that which they haue not, & which they want as yit. Sith it is so: let vs marke that the more wee haue profited, the more cause haue wee too humble our selues, and with all myldnesse too beseeche God too finishe the thing that he hath begunne, 〈◊〉 too increace his giftes in vs, till wee neede no more too go any frther, which shalbee at the meeting, whereof wee shall speake more in the fourth Chapter.

But yit must wee mark well the woords that S. Paule vseth. For he sayeth, the God of our Lord Iesus Christ, the father of glorie, or the glorious father, (for the speeche father of glorie, is put in the He∣brew tongue, for glorious father) giue you the spirituall reuelation too haue knowledge of him. Now when as S. Paule sendeth vs heere too Iesus Christ, saying, that the God whom he calleth vppon, is the same which is the God of our Lord Iesus Christ, yea and his father too: it is too shew the trust that he had too be heard, and that the Ephe∣•••ns should take hart too follow the same fashion and rule of praying, ••d that when they haue any occasion to resort vntoo God, they should hld the same way that he did, and keepe by the streit lyne of comming 〈◊〉 our Lord Iesus Christ. But now if a man demaund how God is aboue our Lord Iesus Christ: the question is easye too bee resolued, if Page  [unnumbered] wee haue an eye too the person of the mediator,* which is abased in our stead and degree, too bee the meane betweene God and vs. Trew it is that Iesus Christ is all one with his father, and when wee speake of the liuing God, it behoueth vs too acknowledge that the whole fulnesse of the Godhead dwelleth in him. Therefore wee must not separate our Lord Iesus Christ,* as though he were a new God, and some othe than the same that was shewed too the fathers from the beginning (as some diuels say now adayes, which haue stirred vp that stining villa∣nie and abhommination:) but it is the selfsame only one God which hath shewed himselfe too vs in the person of the father, so wee seeke him in Iesus Christ. For in Iesus Christ wee haue too consider the office of the mediator, in that he so abased himfelse. Not that he for∣wnt any whit of his maiestie, nor that he was any whit abridged or diminished of his eternall glory, there was no such thing at all. But as in respect of vs he was abaced, yea and vtterly emptyed. And wee must not bee ashamed too say, that Iesus Christ was abaced, seing it is sayd that he was emptyed: for that is the very woord that S. Paule vseth too the Philippians.* Therfore when wee speake of Iesus Christ as he is ioyned too vs, too the end too bring vs too his father: so is he vnder God his father, namely in respect that he hath taken our nature vppon him, and is become our fellow. And that also is the cause why he sayd to his disciples (as S. Iohn reporteth in his twentith chapter) Go yee too my brethren and tel them,* I go too my God and your God, too my father and your father. Lo how Iesus Christ ioyneth himself in such wyse with his faythfull ones, that he sayth he will haue one self∣same God with them. Yea verily but in what sort? For is he not God himself? Yis: howbeeit forasmuch as he is clothed with our flesh, and inasmuch as he voutsaued too bee made fleshe, too the ende that wee myght bee members of his bodie: that is the cause why he hath one God with vs. And that is the cause also why the Apostle applyeth this text of Esayes too his person:* Lo heere am I with the seruants which thou hast giuen mee: so as Iesus Christ commeth there as a captein that presenteth himself before his king and prynce,* saying, Lo here I am with the companie of children which thou hast giuen mee. Howsoeuer the cace stand, wee see that Iesus Christ draweth vs too God his father, too the end wee should repayre too him with ful trust, and he receyue vs. For otherwyse who is he that durst bee so bold as too hight himself that his request should be heard? What grace could Page  43 wee obteyne,* if the gate were not opened vs by Iesus Christ, and that he performed not the thing that he hath spoken, namely that he is the way:

Howbeeit too the intent wee myght the better knowe what neede wee haue too bee guyded by our Lord Iesus Christ: S. Paule setteth heere before vs the infinite glory of God. How dare wee then bee so bold as too offer our selues intoo Gods sight, but for that we haue an aduocate which maketh vs a way in thither? For if the sunne doo dazle mennes eyes, and the heate of it sindge vs though wee bee very farre of from it: what will become of vs when wee will preace vntoo God? For what else is the sunne than a little power which he hath breathed intoo it? And must wee not needes bee as it were swallowed vp, when wee preace to the incomprehensible maiestie that is in God? Yit not∣withstanding if wee haue Iesus Christ, wee haue too vnderstand that God is not onely the father of glory, but also the father of mercy, and that he looketh with pitie vppon such as are most miserable, and are had in reproche and disdeyne of the world. Lo whereuppon wee ought too rest in praying vntoo God.

S. Paule prayeth God heere expresly too giue the Ephesians the spirit of wisedome and reuelation. It is certeine that God had alredy reueled too them the truth of his Gospell, as it is seene. And verily wee could not haue one sparke of fayth, or of lyght, except God had wrought in vs alredy,* according as it is sayd to Peter in the sixteenth chapter of S. Mathew, Flesh and blud hath not opened these thinges vntoo thee, but my heauenly father which is in heauen. And yit for all this, Peter sheweth afterward, that he knewe not any whit of Christes spiritual kingdome. Then although he were but as a silly nouice sat his A. B. C. yit is it witnessed of hym, that the smal taste of the Gos∣pel which he had, was a gift from heauen. Hereby wee see how God must be faine too increase his giftes more and more in vs: and in that respect is our life termed a way, bicause wee must alwayes go on fore∣wardes, tyl our race bee ended. And who soeuer imagineth any per∣fection in this worlde, is possessed of Satan, and vtterly renounceth God grace. Yit notwithstanding let vs not surmize that God chan∣geth his purpose, (for he is not variable) or suffereth his grace too bee chopt out in gobbets and cantles, at mens pleasures: but he hath ap∣poynted this order, that wee shoulde growe from day too day, and yit therwithal learn to acknowledge soberly our wantes, and too grone Page  [unnumbered] for them, and to mislike of them, & to hold our selues alwayes in awe. Ye see then that these two thinges agree very wel: namely that the Ephesians had alredy receyued the spirite of Reuelation, and yit that they needed to haue it giuen them of God. For although there be but one spirit, yit are the gyftes diuers, and they be distributed to euery of vs in measure, and as it pleaseth hym to giue them. There is none but Iesus Christe whiche hath receyued them fully. He onely is the fountaine that can neuer be drayned dry, it is he vpon whom Gods spi∣rit reteth: to the end that we should al of vs bee made partakers of it. And for our owne parts let vs acknowledge, that the wizest of vs haue neede too bee alwayes scolers, and too learne styll euen to our dying day. Howbeit, by the way let vs marke that this woorde Reuelation condemneth vs of al blyndesse. For wee haue our eyes open too dis∣cerne betweene white and blacke: wee see the Sunne and the Moone, wee see these worldly things, and are able to iudge of them: wee neede no newe Reuelation for that geere, for wee haue it of nature. True it is that our eyes are instrumentes of Gods power and goodnesse, wher∣by he maketh vs to inioye the light: but that is a common thing. But heere S. Paule sheweth vs, that wee bee blynd, and that we conceyue not any whyt of Gods spirituall grace, except he open our eyes, and take away the kercheefe or veyle that is before them, yea and giue vs a newe sight, which wee haue not. For wee haue our eyes woorse thā stopped, vntyl he inlighten them by his holy spirit. Thus ye see what wee haue too beare in mynde. And that is the thing which he procee∣deth styl withal. Namely (saith he) too haue the eyes of your vnder∣standing inlightened. But a man might reply, If wee haue the spi∣rit of Reuelation alredy, why haue wee neede of it? Uerily as who should say, you sawe nothing at all. True it is that you see partly: but you haue your eyes styll too much dymmed. And this may be said ge∣nerally of al men,* according as it is saide, that in this worlde wee see thinges but d••ly, and as it were through a glasse, tyll wee bee able to behold God in his heauenly glory, at which tyme we shalbe fashioned lyke vntoo hym. Ageye, too the intent that men shoulde not alledge (and say) Mst God then reuele thinges in suche wise vntoo vs, as if wee were in such taking that wee could see nothing at all? And shall a man bee as a brue beast without discretion or iudgement? To an∣sweare heereunto, it is true that wee haue some wyt, but yit are wee blynd for all that, bycause wee be corrupted by sin. God therfore must Page  44 bee fayne too giue vs new eyes, as I sayd afore. And he addeth the woord wisdome, the better too beate downe the fond ouerweening that men conceyue in themselues, when they will needes flye without wings too come vntoo God. For there is not that man which woulde not bee wyse. If wee desyred trew wisedome by seeking it at Gods hand: it were a good and well ruled desyre. But there are twoo faults in vs: for wee will needes bee wyze after our owne conceyt. Am I not wyze ynough too gouerne my selfe, wyll a foole say? And in the meane whyle wee despyze Gods word, and euery of vs will needes haue the rydle layd looce in our necke, and haue leaue giuen him too doo what he thinketh good. But that is too great an ouerweening. The other vyce is, that in reading the holy scripture, wee still imagin too come too the knowledge of the things that are conteyned there, by our owne discretion. But heere both twayne of them are excluded by S. Paule. For when as he desyreth God too giue his faythfull ones the spirit of wisdome, he sheweth that they haue no discretion, no more than brute beastes, except it bee by the guyding of our Lord Iesus Christ, of pur∣pose too come too the kingdome of heauen. For euen in ciuill matters and worldly affayres, God giueth it not too any, but too such as he thinketh good. Now if he keepe his speciall goodnesse alwayes too himselfe, too giue discretion too whom he listeth, too guyde himselfe withall in these bace things of the world: then dooth he make the vn∣beleeuers too bee well syghted: and therefore when the cace concer∣neth the heauenly lyfe, there is no preparation in vs. And so S. Paule presuppozeth the thing which I haue sayd already, namely, that wee must bee taught at Gods hand, too know him by the doctrine of truth through the record of the Gospell, for without that, wee shoulde bee lyke these fantasticall fellowes, which roue vnder the pretence of ha∣uing the reuelation of Gods holy spirit: howbeeit, that is not after the maner that S. Paule taketh the word Reuelation, when he pray∣eth God too giue it too his children. As for example, when Iesus Christ speaketh of his spirit, he doth not separate it from the doctrine that he had preached. When the spirit commeth (sayeth he) he shall tell you all truth.* And how is that? Had not the Apostles receyued it alredy? Yis: but he addeth, he shall shewe you the things that you heare now of my mouth. Too bee short, it is the peculiar office of the holy Ghost to teach vs in such wise, as the word which we heare, may therwithall haue his course & place, and as we may profit in the same.

Page  [unnumbered]And theruppon S. Paule sheweth also wherin lyeth all our light and knowledge: namely in knowing God in the person of his onely sonne. That (say is the thing wherwith we must content our selues. For if wee haue iklishe wits too bee inquisitiue of the things that passe our capacite: Let vs consider a little how weake and rawe our vnderstanding is. And if our wits be so grosse & heauie: how shall wee doo when wee would sye aboue heauen and earth? Are wee able too comprehend all that in so small a roome? Yit neuerthelesse we see how men take vnmeasurable leaue to bee inquisitiue of this and that, & to put foorth questions in way of pleading and disputing ageinst God. For this cause S. Paule sheweth vs here, that if wee mynde too bee wize, it behoueth vs too bee sober: that is too wit, we must vnderstand what manner a thing God and our Lord Iesus Christ is, as he him∣selfe will shew anone after, that when wee be once come to that poynt, wee haue so much as ought wel too suffize vs, and if wee presume too go any further, it is but a wilfull ouerthrowing of our selues. S. Paule then wil shew that more at length hereafter: but it ought to suffize vs, that as wel in this text, as in all the whole holy scripture, we ought too learne which is the God whom wee ought too serue, what is his will, how we may haue our trust in him, what entrāce we may haue to pray too him, and too flie too him for succour at all times. That is the thing wherunto we must imploy our selues. But that cānot be doone, vnlesse al that euer we haue neede of, and is auaylable to our welfare, be too bee had in Iesus Christ, in whom God hath manifested himself. For in it selfe the maiestie of God is too high a thing, and wee should bee vndone a hundred times before wee could come nere him, if it were not that he is come downe vnto vs. But if wee once haue Iesus Christ▪ there wee haue a lyuely image of him, wherein wee may behold what∣soeuer is requisite for our saluation. For there we vnderstand that God is our father, and that wee bee clenzed from all our sinnes too be trans∣formed intoo the glorye of God. There wee see how God accepteth vs for rightuous, and that wee bee reconciled too God ageine. There wee perceyue how he hath raunsomed vs, and that wee shall neuer bee left destitute of the grace of his holy spirit, till he haue brought vs too the ioying of our inheritaunce. Thus doo wee knowe all these things in our Lord Iesus Christ.* And that is the cause also why S. Paul say∣eth in another place, that he desired not too knowe any other thing than Iesus Christ, and that it is he onley of whom he intended too boast. Page  45 According whereuntoo wee haue seene heretofore, how he forsooke all things to abyde vnder the Crosse of our Lord Iesus Christ, and that althoughe the same hath too the worldward nothing but shame and re∣proch: yit he protesteth that he had giuen ouer al that he had esteemed afore, and that he estemed them but as hinderaunce and losse, yea and as filth and dung, too the intent too cleaue too our Lord Iesus Christ, and too shewe that such as are possessed with the fond opinion of their owne deseruings, do separate themselues from our Lord Iesus Christ, and that if wee will bee knit vntoo him, wee must giue ouer all that we imagine our selues too haue of our owne, and offer our selues vnto him oyde of all goodnesse, too bee filled at his hand: And here ye se also why S. Paule sayth, that he had leuer come too the hauen of saluation poore and starke naked, then too liue in the mids of the Sea, and too bee there swallowed vp. For although he were taken for an holy man, and as halfe an Angell: yit made he no reckening of all that, so he might bee partaker of the remission (of sinnes) that was giuen him in Iesus Christ, and of the grace which he hath communicated too all his members. Therefore let vs learne too magnifie Gods grace in such wyze, as wee may vtterly forget all the toyes wherwith the diuell de∣••iueth the vnbeleeuers, by puffing them vp with I wote not what manner of pryde, and come vtterly emptie too our Lord Iesus Christ oo beg his grace. For wee cannot receiue one drop of it, but by con∣fessing our selues too bee vtterly vnworthie of it.

And now let vs fall downe before the maiestie of our good God, with acknoweledgment of our faults, praying him too make vs per∣cyue them more and more, and that the same may so humble vs, as wee may bee stablished in his grace, and labour too come nerer and nerer vntoo him, that being beaten downe in our selues, wee may bee rayzed vp by him through his mere mercie, and depending altogither vppon him, resort vntoo him as too 〈◊〉 father, and continewe in so do∣ing till he haue taken vs out of the prizon of sinne, and ioyned vs per∣fectly too himselfe. That it may please him too graunt this grace, not onely too vs, but also too all people. &c.

Page  [unnumbered]

The seuenth Sermon vpon the first Chapter.

17. I pray for you, that the God of our Lord Iesus Christ, the fa∣ther of glorie, giue you the spirit of wisedome and reuelati∣on, too haue the knoweledge of him:

18 That is too wit, too haue the eyes of your vnderstanding in∣lightened, too the end ye may know what the hope is which you ought too haue of his calling, and what the riches are of the glory of his heritage among the Saintes.

ALl men haue naturallye some vnderstan∣ding. Not that it sheweth itself as soone as they bee borne: but in processe of tyme all haue some discretion of good and euill. And for that cause are thei reasonable crea∣tures. But the vnderstanding which wee haue of nature, is not ynough too bring vs too the kingdome of heauen. For wee stop farre short when mattes that concerne the heauenly life doo come in question: Wee see that euery man hath wit in matters and affayres of the world: and euery man will looke about him. Agein although dyuers could fynd in their harts that their owne consciences were dead: yit notwithstanding God hath so graued a kynd of feeling in their harts, as our liues must needs bee brydled, and euen the wickeddest and woorst natured of vs all, shall of force haue some remorse or hartbyting, and bee constreyned whether they will or no, too allow the good, and condemne the euill. Trew it is that when they haue committed any fault, they will labour too hyde it with vayne excuces. But if a man aske them whether murther, extortion, robbe∣rie, whoredome, deceyt, and forswearing bee vertewes or no: thy will say, they bee vyces woorthy too bee condemned. Euerie man will talke so. For it is Gods will that there should bee such a knowledge printed in mans harte, too the end that all should bee condemned with∣out excuce, and bee inforced too bee thir owne iudges. But (as I said afore) this is not ynough too leade vs vntoo God, and too open vs the kingdome of heauen in such wise, as wee may knowe how too bee sa∣ued, Page  46 or howe too call vppon God. Then are wee starke blynd in that behalf: for our insyght reacheth not beyond the world. Therfore God must bee fayne too woorke in vs, and too giue vs new eyes too spye out the things that are requisite too our saluation. And that is the cause why S. Paule prayeth vntoo God heere too giue them inlyghtened eyes. Wherin he presuppozeth that men haue alredie some enterance, not too atteyne so hygh as is requisyte: but too haue some seede of Re∣ligion in them, and too perceyue that there is a God: Furthermore God must bee fayne too giue a greater lyght, and such a one as wee be quyte voyd of, by reason of Adams sin: for wee bee plundged in such darknesse, that we go cleane awk frō the ryght way, till God haue rea∣ched vs his hand. Yee see then that the thing which is conteyned heere, is that God hath doone more for vs in giuing vs the eyes of vn∣derstanding, than in making vs men, and putting vs intoo the world? bycause that therby he reformeth vs, and giueth vs a cleere and sure insyght, as to those whom he hath chozen. For it is a priuiledge which is peculiar too his owne children, and not common too all men. And truely wee see that when God vttereth his power, it is not knowen but onely too such as haue inlyghtened eyes, according too this saying of Moyses,* Thy God hath not giuen thee a hart too vnderstand, nor eyes too see, euen vntoo this day. Wee knowe that miracles were wrought in the sight of the people: yit notwithstanding the passing of the red sea, the issuing of the water out of the rocke, the falling of the Manna downe from heauen, the thicke cloud by day, and the fiery pil∣lar by night, the abundaunt comming of the fleshe vntoo them, and the horrible punishments that God layd vppon the rebells, and vppon such as had giuen full scope too their owne lustes, all this geere the people vnderstoode not. Moyses telling them that they had neede too referre themselues too God, that they might bee inlightened by his spirit, sayeth, I see that euen vnto this houre Gods gracious dooings haue bin buryed among you through your vnthankfulnesse:* but that is bycause men are blockish, and doo neuer vnderstand aught that be∣longeth too their welfare, till God haue wrought in them. Therefore it standeth you on hand too rid your selues of all ouerweenyng, and too craue vnderstanding at Gods hand, acknowledging your selues too bee vnable too reache so hygh as too iudge ryghtly of Gods woorkes, and too profite your selues by them, vntill he haue gyuen you a hea∣uenly syght in your myndes. This is the summe of the thinges that Page  [unnumbered] wee haue too marke in this streyne.

Now hereupon it is easye too gather, how the wretched world hath bin beguyled by the opinion of freewill, which hath bin put into their heades. For the Papistes will wel ynough graunt, that without Gods grace we cannot walk as we ought to doo: but yit they say therwithal, that we may well further Gods grace by our owne freewill: & so they make a medly of thē togither. Whē they mynd to defyne freewill, they say it is a mingled thing, so as wee haue reason and wit too chooze the good, and too refuze the euill, and that therwithall we haue also power and abilitie, to performe and put in execution the thing that wee haue purposed. But wee see after what manner S. Paule speaketh heere of mamies reason, which they terme the Queene that ouerruleth and brydleth all our thoughtes and deedes. He sheweth that shee is starke blynd, vntill God haue renewed hir, and not that he dooth but supply our wantes where any bee, as though there were some peece of power in vs. Had it bin so, S. Paule would haue sayd, that God furthereth our light, or that he increaseth it, or that he addeth too it whatsoeuer it hath neede of. Howbeit he speaketh not so: but he sayeth, God giue you inlyghtened eyes: shewing therby that it is a free gift, & not only that our Lord must bee fayne too beare with our infirmities, and too put some further portion theruntooo: but also that we being blynd can see nothing at all, till he haue opened our eyes, and that wee bee guy∣ded and gouerned by the sayd manifestation of his holy spirit, which wee haue touched heertoofore. And now forasmuch as men runne al∣wayes flinging ouer the feeldes, & buzie their heades about many vn∣profitable things: S. Paule sheweth vs wherto we ought too apply all wholy both our vnderstāding & wit, namely about the seeking how too knowe what the hope of our calling is. I haue told you alreadye, that men are as yee would say, borne to curiositie, and that they roue & raunge, and frame many wicked gazes (in their heades:) & that is the cause why many men doo martir themselues out of measure,* euer lerning, ad neuer atteyning too the knowledg of the truth, as sayeth S. Paule. Therfore let vs mark well, that all the trew knowledge which wee must seeke, is too atteyne to the hope wheruntoo God hath called vs. For the scripture serueth not too feede vs with vayne and superfluous thinges: but too edifie vs too our welfare: that is too wit, to make vs perceyue Gods goodnesse, that wee myght be ioyned vntoo him, and he bee our trew happinesse. And hereuppon wee may Page  47 gather also, that vntill such tyme as our Lord haue inlightened vs by his holy Spirit, wee can find nother waye nor path too come neere the heauenly lyfe, no nor so much as gesse what it meaneth. Wherfore it is for our behoofe, that our Lord should put vs in possession of our saluation, by the power of his holy spirit. I told you heertoofore how that fayth serueth too giue vs an enterance intoo the kingdome of hea∣uen, and intoo the heritage that is purchased for vs by our Lord Iesus Christ, and that God must bee fayne too giue it vs by his holy spirit. Then sith it is so, let vs marke that wee haue neede, not only too haue he Gospell preached vntoo vs, but also that God bore our eares, so as wee may hearken too the things that are conteyned in the same, and he open our eyes too see the thinges that he sheweth vs: and too be short, that he may both begyn all, and bring all too passe. Howbeit for as much as men (as I saide afore) doo by their fond imaginations take more vpon them than they ought too doo, and on the other syde despize Gods giftes: S. Paule magnifyeth heere the hope whereof he had made mention before, saying: VVhat the richesse of the glorye of his heritage are among the Saintes. No doubt but that when there 〈◊〉 any speaking of God, and of our Lorde Iesus Christ, wee will say, ••ey be high thinges: howbeit that is but too exempt our selues from ••em, if wee coulde scape: soo as wee coulde bee contented to knowe ightnought of the things that concerne our saluation. Wee bee vn∣aciable when any body feedes vs with vanities and leazings: but if God call vs too his schoole, wee shrinke backe as muche as wee can ossibly, yea and wee set this afore vs as a shielde, that wee bee rude, nd that wee haue but a smal and ouer grosse vnderstanding, & that the secretes of Gods word are too deepe and incomprehensible for vs. We haue skyl inough too say so: and yit is al but hypocrisie and feyned∣nesse. And for proofe therof men wyl alwayes iudge after their owne liking, so as if any thing be propounded to them frō out of Gods word: Is it so, say they? And howe is that possible? They reason, they scan of it. Beholde, it is God that speaketh, and yit wyll not they without gainsaying, receiue the thinges that are shewed them in the name of God. Wee see then that they doo but lye, in saying that they bee dull and grosse witted: for they thinke the cleane contrarye. The starkest idiots (say I) and the veryest doltes of them al will styl bee wizer than God. Ageine, on the other syde, what causeth the Gospel too bee des∣pized, but that a number of per and fantastical felowes, thinke it too Page  [unnumbered] bee but a simple doctrine, and that it hath not finenesse and suttletie ynough for them? So much the more neede therefore haue wee too bethinke vs of the thing that is shewed vs heere by S. Paule: which is, that the glorious heritage wheruntoo God hath called vs, is an in∣fiite riches. For besydes that wee bee nothing else but myre and rottennesse, s••• shetteth vs out from all hope of saluation. And so long as wee bee Gods enemyes, what can wee looke for at his hand but vtter confuzion? Yit notwithstanding it pleaseth him too make vs fellowes with the Angells of heauen, yea and more than that too: for we be made members of our Lord Iesus Christ, to the end we should bee parttakers of his lyfe and glory. How excellent riches are these? When wee shall haue imployed all our wittes about them, ought wee not too bee tootoo much ashamed, seyng that God hath vttered so in∣estimable goodnesse towardes vs? So then, S. Paule too waken vp mennes drowzinesse, and to rebuke and correct their vnthankfulnesse, for that they commend not the hundreth part of Gods grace, as they ought too doo: telleth vs that if wee thinke better vppon it, wee shall fynde that his speaking after that maner, is too stirre vs vp too pray God too inlyghten vs, bycause that without him, wee should not bee able too come any thing neere fayth, nor neere any knowledge at all.

Thus wee see now S. Paules meaning, which hee pursueth and continueth much more in adding, what the excellencie of his power is in vs that haue beleeued. And ageyn, according too the effectual voorking of the strength of his power. He gathereth and heapeth vp many woordes heere toogither, which import all one thing. Ne∣uerthelesse it is as it were a correcting of mans leawdnesse, which la∣bour too deface Gods goodnesse as much as they can, insomuch that wheras they bee not able too deface it altogither, they diminish it in such wyse as it appeereth not, as if it had but a sparke wheras it ought to haue full light. But by the way let vs mark, that wheras S. Paule setteth downe here the Saintes and beleeuers: he meaneth the faith∣full whom God hath already called too him. And therein he sheweth that euen when wee haue fayth, all our holynesse proceedeth of Gods mercy, and men bring nothing of their owne growing. Truely this ti∣tle of Saintes is very honorable: but yit it behoueth vs to go to the wel∣spring of holynesse: for in our selues we haue nothing but vnclennesse. Gods children must nedes be holy: yit must they consider from whēce they haue it, whether they haue of their owne purchace and polliie, or Page  48 of Gods gift. S. Paule sheweth here, that the prayse thereof ought too bee yeelded simply vntoo God.* For it is not for nought that he sayeth so oft, I am holy. And agein, wee know that Iesus Christ was sancti∣fied for vs, too the intene that wee might bee washed and scoured from all our vnclenenesse. Thus much concerning the first poynt.

Afterward followeth the cause of our fayth: namely that men atteyne it not otherwise, thā by the drawing of a secret motion,* according as it is sayd, hat we must learne of God, not only bicause his woord contei∣neth all wisedome, and God doth thereby teach vs faithfully the things that are for our behoofe: but also bicause our Lord expoundeth it more∣ouer, saying, he that heareth it of my father. He himself spake it,* which was the wisedome of God: and yit he sheweth that the things which e vttered with his mouth, could not preuaile, except God spake with∣•• a man by his holy spirit. Now if Iesus Christ could not profot men by his teaching, further foorth than Gods spirit wrought within their harts▪ what shall the preaching doo which wee heare at the mouthe of mortall men, who are nothing? men then must plant and water, and God must giue increace,* as S. Paule sayeth in the third Chapter of the first Epistle too the Corinthians.

Furthermore, as I haue told you, that wee must drawe all our holy∣nesse frō out of Iesus Christ, in whom we shall finde al the fulnesse and plentie of it: so also let vs vnderstand, that by that saying we bee war∣ned, that wee bee not called too filthinesse, too take leaue too doo euill: but too bee as it were sholed out too the seruice of God. Most men can well ynough brag that they bee faythfull, and that word runnes round∣ly vppon euery mans tongue: but fayth is a preciouser thing than wee thinke: for it 〈◊〉 our harts (as it is sayd in the foftenth of the Acts) too the intent wee should bee as it were sholed out and set a side,* too giue our selues wholly too Gods seruice. But herby it is ment, that men are as it were of a corrupt and infected lump, till God haue draw∣en out the one sot from the other. Then differ wee nothing at all from hem that are as deepely plundged as is possible, in all manner of euil and wickednesse. Wee bee all alike (say I) as touching our nature. But they that beleeue in our Lord Iesus Christ, must bee as it were orted out from the rest of the worlde, as S. Peter also sayeth in his first Epi••le. Agein, wee haue seene heeretofore, that wee bee clenzed by the bud of Iesus Christ, too the intent too bee drawen out of this worlde,* according also as he sayeth in S. Iohn, where he prayeth too Page  [unnumbered] his father, not too take vs out of this world, and out of this transitorie lyfe, but too keepe the naughtinesse of the world from bearing rule in vs, and too exempt vs from it. Yee see then that the thing which wee haue too beare in mynde, is that holynesse is the trew recorde of ou fayth. And therefore whosoeuer is called a Christian, ought too fee consecrated vntoo God, and not too intermeddle or defyle himself with the vnclenenesse and f••thinesse of the world. Trew it is that our holy∣nesse shall neuer bee perfect, so long as wee bee in this world: for wee doo alwayes drawe the lynes too vs, and although sinne ouer mayster vs not, yit dooth it dwell in vs, and wee keepe continuall battell a∣geinst it, to get the vpper hand. But howsoeuer the world go, yit when God once hath sanctified vs, we must apply our selues to his seruice, we must indeuer too clenze our selues more and more from all vyces, and wee must giue our selues wholly vntoo him, so as wee bee no more as worldlings, which take leaue too doo what they list. This in effect is the thing that S. Paule ment too say.

Moreouer, no do••• but that in this place he maketh comparison be∣tweene such as are drowned in all ignorance, or rather are so hardened, that they haue no mynd at all too submit themselues too the obedience of the Gospell, but doo fyght furiously ageinst it: and the faythfull which are as sillie sheepe, herkening to the voyce of the good shepherd. S. Paule then condemneth heere all scoffers and scorners which des∣pyze God, and are as Doggs or brute beasts, without any feeling of religion. When wee see these things, they are all of them mirrours vntoo vs, too make the heares stand vp vppon our heades, by making vs too knowe what wee should be, if God pityed vs not. And therfore when we see folkes scorne God so openly, and rush forth at randon in∣to al leaudnesse, let vs acknowledge the infinite goodnesse of our God, in that he hath separated vs from the companye. Wherefore when wee see one sort sotted in their vnbeleefe, and an other sort full of pryde, bitternesse, and stubbornnesse ageinst the Gospell: let vs vnderstand that wee our selues should bee lyke them, but that God hath reached foorth his arme vppon vs.

But now let vs marke well the woordes that S. Paule vseth heere∣in, saying, the excellent greatnesse of his mghtinesse, according to the effectuall vvoorking of the povver of his strength. It should seeme that the holie Ghost ment too thunder downe vppon this diuelish opinion wherwith the world hath at all tymes bin besotted▪ that is too Page  49 wit, of freewill. For the heathen men presumed so farre, as too say that God had in deede created them too bee in the world, and that it was in his power too giue thē good or bad fortune, as they termed it: but that it was in euerye mans owne power and freechoyce too follow vertew, and too behaue himself in such wyse, as no fault myght bee founde in him. Loe how the heathen men parted the stake betweene God and themselues. The lesser matter, which is the setting of vs heere beneath too crawle heere lyke frogges, they left vntoo God: but the greater matter, namely our atteyning vntoo heauen, and the ruling of our selues in all vertew, that sayd they, was in mans owne abilltie, and belonged only too himself. The Iewes and Papists haue not bin altoogither of this mynd: for (as I haue touched alredye) they confesse that we haue neede of Gods helpe: But yit for all that, they will haue vs too mingle some peece of our owne holinesse with Gods grace, and too bee able too woorke ioyntly with it, as they say, insomuch that when it commeth too the reckening, the cheef part shall alwayes bee found in our selues.

But let vs see how the holy Ghost speaketh of it. Too what end v∣seth he all these terme of hyghnesse, power, strengh, effectual vvor∣king, and myghtinesse? wherfore heapeth he vp all these toogither, but too shewe that men bee mad when they will take more vpon them than becōmeth them? Ther is not that woord heere, which serueth not to abate our cackling, if wee boast of neuer so little a drop of goodnesse. For if men say, I haue yit some good mouing in mee, I haue some peece of vertew: behold, S. Paule speaketh of Hyghnesse: as if he ment to shew that all the goodnesse which we haue, is aboue the world, and hath not his roote nor spring in our selues, but cōmeth from aboue, as S. Iames sayeth.* Agein, if men say, wee haue some power too withstand our owne vyces, and to fyght ageinst temptations: S. Paul sayeth heere, that our strength, our power, and our myght commeth of God, and that he must bee fayne to vestowe it vppon vs, and we to re∣ceyue it of him. If men say still, yit by streyning our selues we may be able too doo somewhat: S. Paule telleth vs, ther is no effectuall wor∣king, ther is no bringing of the thing to passe, vnlesse God giue it vs, according too his speaking of it in the second to the Philipians, where he sayeth,* that it standeth vs on hand too walke in feare and warinesse, bycause it is God which giueth both the will & the abilitie to performe the will, according too his owne good pleasure: that is too say, he be∣ginneth Page  [unnumbered] the woorke, and bringeth it too the end and knitting vp. Too bee short, let vs marke, that looke how many woordes there are heere, so many great thunderclappes and lyghteninges are there too beate downe and too sinke all the pryde of man, too the intent that being con∣founded in our selues, wee myght giue God the glory which he deser∣ueth, and with all lowlinesse frankly and freely yeeld our selues giltie, acknowledging that al goodnesse commeth of him, & that we be behol∣den to him only for it. Thus yee see how the effect of the matter which wee haue too marke vppon this streyne, is too imbace our selues in such wyze, as wee myght haue no desyre too part halues with God, too saye that he dooth but helpe vs, and that there is some portion of his grace and holy spirit in our owne freewill: but too yeeld him purely and simply the whole prayse of our saluation.

Furthermore, let it also make vs too despyze the world, that wee may content our selues with the hope of the euerlasting lyfe which is purchased for vs by our Lord Iesus Christ. For wee knowe that al∣though men bee generally subiect too many afflictions, and that this lyfe of ours bee notwithout cause termed a vale of wretchednesse: yit god exercizeth his owne childrē with greater abundāce of aduersities, than he dooth the other sorte: for they also haue neede too bee alwayes put in mind to renounce the world. If wee should liue heere to much at our ase and pleasure, what woold become of vs, seeing wee misse not too fall a sleepe heere, notwithstanding that God doo pricke vs and quicken vs vp so many wayes, to passe hence in poste without esting heere bylowe? yee see then in fewe woordes, howe God will exercyze vs many wayes after he hath called vs too the fayth of the Gospell, for else wee would bee weery of seruing him, and it would seeme too vs that his loue were but a very slender thing, if wee should not learne to giue ouer all other things as little or nothing woorth, and too imbrace Iesus Christ. Therefore let vs learne that S. Paules intent heere, is too drawe vs in such wyse vntoo God, as nothing may let vs too walke in our calling: and that if wee haue not all thinges to our lyking in this world, wee may lerne too esteeme the inestimable benyfites of our God better than wee haue doone, that wee may say with Dauid (as he speaketh in his sixtenth Psalme) I haue myne heritage, which suffizeth me: seeing that God hath giuen himself too mee, I haue so ex∣cellent a portion,* that I passe not for going through all the afflictions of the world, Pouertie, sickenesse, reproche, feare, & threatinings, all Page  50 these thinges shalbee sweete too mee, so I possesse my God, and he make mee to feele that he hath chozen mee, and reserued mee too him∣selfe, and is mynded too haue mee partaker of all his goodes. Thus you see in effect, that by this text wee may bee hartened and strengthe∣ned vntoo pacience, too beare myldly all the afflictions and aduersities of the worlde, and not too bee greeued or out of conceyt: and that al∣though God make vs now and then too drinke of a bitter cup, and giue vs cause too sigh and lament, yit wee must not fall too repyning and grudging, but assure our selues that God hath giuen vs a good com∣fort, in that he hath called vs too bee parttakers of his kingdome, and so vttered his power already in vs, as wee ought as it were too ad∣uaunce our selues aboue all earthly thinges, and too looke downe at them as at our feete.

And for as much as wee doo not yit perceyue such fulnesse of Gods grace, as were to be wished, therfore S. Paule sendeth vs to the per∣son of our Lord Iesus Christ. And surely if he had not added, that God hath vttered his power in his only sonne, after such maner as we haue herd it: what a thing were it? For we myght alledge in way of reply, howso? where are these riches of God? For we be not only bereft of the goods of this world, but also we be as a dry & barrein grōud in respect of the grace of Gods holy spirit. If there bee any portion of it in vs, it is so smal, as wee ought too bee ashamed of it: and yit for all this, wee bee moreouer plundged in our infirmities. If yee speake of Gods power, it ought too get the vpper hand of all sinne in vs. But wee bee so weake, that wee bee as good as beaten downe. Agein, it were meete that Gods image should shyne foorth in vs, and wee beare such store of fylthinesse and such blemishes about vs as is pitie too see. Wee should bee wholly consecrated too God, but the worlde holdes vs backe, and wee bee as it were snarled in it. Loe how the faythfull myght bee a∣basshed when any talke were ministered concerning Gods grace, if they stayed there, and were not led foorth too Iesus Christ. Not with∣out cause therfore doth S. Paule adde here, that God did then vtter the excellencie of his power, when he rayzed our Lord Iesus Christ from death. And he speaketh purposely of his resurrection, bycause that in his death wee see nothing but astonishment. For there appeered no∣thing but weaknesse: but by his vanquishing of death he shewed him∣self too bee the sonne of God, yea and the Lord of glorie and lyfe, who ad all power in himself. And that also is the cause why S. Paule Page  [unnumbered] sayth, that God did set him at his ryght hand. For it had not bin y∣nough for Iesus Christ to haue bin rayzed agein, except he had a con∣tinuall and abyding dominion. Trew it is that euen in his (only) re∣surrection, wee haue a record that he is the sonne of God: but yit for all that, wee must passe one step further, namely that he had not a blast of power and away, but that by his ryzing agein, he atteined such superi∣oritie, that all the world is gouerned by him, and he is now set downe at the right hand of God his father, to maynteyne and preserue his ser∣uantes that call vppon him, and put them selues intoo his keeping, and hath sufficient power to ouercome Satan and al the world, and all our enemyes. Now then wee see S. Paules meaning: that foras∣much as wee myght bee cast downe, and our fayth at least wyse sore shaken, if wee should looke no further than too our selues: therefore he setteth Iesus Christ before vs, as the trew patterne, wherin wee may see the thing that as yit is vnseene in our selues: that is too wit, Gods inestimable power which surmounteth the whole world. For first he is rayzed from death: and secondly he is set at the ryght hand of his father. Now the speaking of Gods ryght hand is a resemblance ta∣ken of men. It is certeyne that God hath nother ryght hande nor lefte, for he is infinite, and fylleth both heauen and earth, and agein, he hath no body, but is a spirituall beyng. Therefore wee must not imagin any place certeine, when Gods ryght hande is spoken of. And wehn as it is sayd, that Iesus Christ sitteth there, it is too shewe that he filleth all the world with his power. Trew it is, that as in res∣pect of his manhood, he is in heauen: and it is one of the Articles of our fayth, that he is ascended into heauen. But yit notwithstanding, although he bee absent from vs in his body: and that there is a great distaunce betwixt vs: it is no let but that he filleth all things with his holy spirit, and dwelleth in vs himselfe, and that wee bee nourished by his owne substaunce,* according to this saying, that his flesh is our meate, & his blud our drinke. Yee see then how that Gods right hand is not some certeyn place for Christ to sit in, but the souereinty which he hath obteyned too gouerne the whole world. And (as I sayd afore) it is a similitude borowed of men, as when a prince maketh his vice∣gerent, he setteth him at his right side, as who should say, Loe here the second person (of my Realme) whom I will haue men too obey. God then in the person of our Lord Iesus Christ,* ment too shewe that he is our father. Trew it is that the whole fulnesse of the Godhead is in Ie∣sus Page  51 Christ. Howbeit forasmuch as wee bee heauie and sothfull, and vnable too atteyne too the maiestie of God, therefore it is sayde, that Iesus Christ hath obteyned all souereintie, so as wee bee sure that he hath vs in his protection, & that being vnder his hand, wee be safe, and all the diuels of hell (doo what they can) cannot preuayle at al ageinst vs. For who is it that hath al power? It is euē our head. Although thē that we which are his members be weak: yit is there strength ynough in the head, which is the chiefe part of the body. And so ye see for what cause it is sayd, that Iesus Christ is set at the right hand of God his father: namely too shewe vs that wee neede not too seeke farre for his help, seeing he gouerneth all things both aboue and beneath, and wee ee committed too his charge here. He sayeth that God hath vttered his high and infinite power in vs. Howebeeit forasmuch as that suf∣fizeth not, by reason of the infirmities which wee feele, & for that there is so much amisse in vs still, and wee bee not yit come too the full mea∣sure, no nor too the hundreth part of it: therefore too the intent we may bee the better assured of all the things that wee want, wee must con∣sider them in Iesus Christ: Are wee then subiect yit still vntoo death? Behold Iesus Christ is receyued vp intoo euerlasting life: for the ve∣ry cause why he became a mortall man as wee bee, was that the life which he hath, might belong vnto vs. Doth sinne dwell still in vs? Be∣hold, Iesus Christ hath no spot nor blemish in him. Are wee weake? He is the power of God his father, and looke whatsoeuer he receyued in his manhod, which he tooke of vs, was for our sakes and too our be∣hoofe. Too bee short, looke whatsoeuer wee want, and whatsoeuer may comfort or quicken vs, we shall fynd it in our Lord Iesus Christ, bycause wee should not bee in care and perplexitie, as though we were excluded from the benefites that S. Paule hath made mention of here∣toofore. Finally wee should neuer haue any settled trust, except wee knew that the things which are wanting in our selues, are in our head. For the measure of Gods gracious giftes is very fimall, yea euen in the perfectest folke, and in such as are forewardest▪ and haue profited most of all. Sith it is so then, wee should alwayes hang in a mame∣ring and doubt. But when wee know that all is accomplished in our Lord Iesus Christ, and that he is as it were the first fruites, and that wee were sanctifyed in him, and that in his person wee haue receyued the things aforehand, which shall bee 〈◊〉 vs in all plentifulnesse hereafter when he hath taken vs out of this world: there verily lyeth Page  [unnumbered] our certeintie, wheruppon wee ought too rest, that wee bee not shaken downe with any temptation. Too bee short, wee bee taught by this text, that although Gods grace bee weake in vs, that is too say, al∣though he haue put but a small beginning of it in vs, and not so large an abundance as were requisite or too bee wished for: yit notwithstan∣ding the same giueth vs a taste and sauer too trust in him. For there cannot bee so little grace of his holy spirit in vs, but that (as sayeth S. Paule in the eyght too the Romanes) we know the same is as a gage or earnest penny aforehand, of the lyfe that he hath promised. Trew it is that this lump of sinne dwelleth still in vs: but it ought too content vs that God voutsafeth too bestowe neuer so little of his holy spirite vppon vs.

Furthermore, for asmuch as wee can not be sure of all these things, consydering the slendernesse that is in our selues, and the infirmities and wantes which wee haue: therfore wee must lift vp our eyes to Ie∣sus Christ. Yea, what auaileth it vs, that wee may fynd all perfection in hym? for wee bee tootoo farre of from hym. Wee bee farre from hym as in respect of distance of places, & in that respect doth S. Paul say, that wee bee absent from hym, bicause we walke but by faith, and not by open eye syght and beholding. But yit for al that, wee he mem∣bers of his body. Then seeing it is so: like as a roote cannot bee se∣parated from the tree, but sendeth foorth his sap intoo all the boughes and braunches of it: Euen so let vs vnderstand, that the end wherunto our Lord Iesus Christ hath in such fulnesse receiued the spiritual gifts that belong too the heauenly life, is too communicate them too vs so farre foorth as needeth, euen from degree too degree, according as w shall haue profited in the faith. And heerewithall let vs continually beare in mynd, that wee must stoope and humble our selues, and (bee contented too) bee still farre of from the perfection whereuntoo it be∣commeth vs too aspyre, and too bee as hungrie folkes, so as wee fee∣ling our owne necessitie and lacke, must runne too our God too beg at his hand, knowing that he is able too increace it from day too day, and that if it were not so, wee should bee vndoone out of hand, and al should go too wrecke and vanishe away, but that he continueth the thing that he hath begunne. Yee see then how it standeth vs on hand too bee ioy∣ned too our Lord Iesus Christ, and too knowe that there is an insepa∣rable bond betweene him and vs. And inasmuch as he once became poore too make vs ryche, as it is sayde in another place: that is the Page  52 very meane wherby all the riches that are in him, are at this day com∣municated vntoo vs. Not that wee haue the full fruition of them, as I sayd afore: but bycause it is ynough for vs that wee haue some small portion of them, too make vs taste the loue of God, and too knowe that he will not fayle vs in any thing, but that sith he hath giuen vs a war∣rant that he is come neere vntoo vs, and dwelleth in vs by his holy spi∣rit, as wee haue seene in the second too the Corinthians: he will also ll vs euen vntoo the end. His vsing of the woord Inriche, is too shew that there shall alwayes be want & needinesse in vs.* Neuerthelesse let vs trust boldly to this promis, that he which hath begun the good work in vs, will go through with the same, yea euen vntoo the day of our Lord Iesus Christ. And that is sayd too giue vs some refreshing when our lyfe is (too our seeming) ouerlong, and wee would fayne that the sayde perfection were alreadie shewed openly in vs, and that Iesus Christ were come agein. But it is sayd that vntoo that day wee must alwayes bee iourneying, and go on still foreward further and further, and beseeche God that he suffer vs not too quayle. Sure wee bee that wee shall neuer fayle too susteyne want and necessitie: but yit will he succour vs in such wise, as wee shall perceyue that if he haue once vout∣safed too behold vs with the eye of his mercie, it is too accomplish the oorke of our saluation throughout, and (too doo vs too wit,) that he hath not knit vs too our Lord Iesus Christ for nought, but that his so dooyng hath bin, too the ende that euery of vs myght euen now, accor∣ding too the measure of his fayth, possesse the goods that are peculiar too him, till he haue fylled vs too the full: which shall bee when he hath knit vs fully too him.

But now let vs cast our selues downe before the maiestie of our good God, with acknowledgment of our sinnes, praying him too make vs so too feele them, as it may drawe vs from them, and cause vs to direct our lyfe obediently according too his commaundements, so as we may shewe by our deedes, that he hath not bought vs so deerely in vayne, but that wee giue ouer all our owne fleshly lustes, and yeeld our selues wholly too the seruice of him that hath once adopted vs for his heri∣tage. And therefore let vs all say, Almyghtie God our heauenly fa∣ther. &c.

Page  [unnumbered]

The eight Sermon vpon the first Chapter.

19. And that you may knovv vvhat the excellent greatnesse of his povver is tovvardes vs beleeuers, according too the vvor∣king of the myghtinesse of his strength,

20. VVhich he vttered in Iesus Christ vvhen he raised him from the dead, and made him too sit at his ryght hand in the hea∣uenly places.

21. Aboue all principalitie, and myghtinesse, and povver, and Lordship, and aboue all names that are named, not onely in this vvorld, but also in that vvhich is too come.

22. And hath put all things vnder the feete of him, and set him ouer all things, too bee the head of the Church,

23. VVhich is the body of him vvhich filleth all in all.

I Began too tell you this morning, howe God hath sufficiently declared vntoo vs, that if we haue and possesse his only sonne Iesus Christ, wee haue the full perfection of all good things, so as if wee cast our eye vppon him, wee may see all that is too bee wished. And therefore that although there bee many thinges blame woorthy in vs, yea and that we fynd nothing but frayltie in our selues: yit wee shall haue a sure and substantiall stud too leane vntoo, in that our Lord Iesus Christ calleth vs too him, and telleth vs that the things which he hath receyued of God his father, are common too vs, and that although wee inioy them not as yit too the full, yit wee cannot bee disappoynted of them. Too bee short, I told you also that our Lord Iesus Christ is set at the ryght hand of God his father, too the ende that wee myght bee sure that all things are vnder his hand, & that he rules the whole world, and that all good things are of him, and he is able too disappoynt all anoyances, insomuch that if we be vnder his protection, wee may defye the diuell and all our enemyes.

And now too the intent wee should lerne too content our selues the better with Iesus Christ alone, and not wander heere and there as we Page  53 be woont too doo: S. Paule addeth expresly, that he vvas set aboue all myghtinesse, souereintie, principalitie, and povver. No dout but that he meaneth the Angells: howbeit he hath vsed this maner of speeche, to hold vs the better too our Lord Iesus Christ, that no fancy myght turne vs from him: as if he should say, although God haue im∣parted some portion of his glorie, dignitie, and power among the An∣gells: yit dooth it no whit diminish, that which he hath giuen too Ie∣sus Christ: and therefore, wee shall fynd in him all things that are needfull, so as wee neede not too gad heere and there for them, nother is it lawfull too ioyne any companion with him, bycause all preemi∣nence, and whatsoeuer else may bee thought or deuyzed too bee moste noble and excellent, is there, that is too say, in our Lord Iesus Christ, and he (only) is too bee sought vntoo, as Paule himselfe sayeth also in the first too the Colossians. For it is not now alate that the world hath sought occasion too turne away from our Lord Iesus Christ, vn∣der colour of seeking too the Angells of heauen. Wee see how Gods creatures are alwayes drawen too some superstition, and men make Idolls of them, bycause God executeth his souereintie by the Angells,* and they be as it were his handes, his officers, and his instrumentes. That is the cause why men think them selues too haue doone much in betaking themselues too S. Michaell,* or too S. Gabriell, or too I wote not whom else. For (as I sayd) it is not a vyce newly deuyzed: the diuell who is the father and author of lying, hath intangled men at all tymes with such fancies, yea and euen the Christians haue fo∣lowed the example of the heathen mens doings in that behalfe. For the heathen men haue alwayes surmized the Angells too bee as halfe goddes, and thought too haue them as their mediators, wherby too come vntoo God, bycause they were not woorthie of themselues. And euen after the same maner, talk the Papistes at this day. Now, the selfsame abhominations began too be buylded vppon the earth euen in S. Paules tyme. And for that cause he sheweth that it is not lawfull too match any thing with Iesus Christ, but that although the Angells ee magnifyed, and bee called vertewes, powers, Lordshippes, and dominations, and men giue them what other tytles they lit: yit must they stoope and bee inferiour too the head, and the cheefe dignitie must bee reserued too Gods sonne,* bycause that all knees must bow before him,* not only of worldly creatures, but also of heauenly. Wee see then that the cause of S.* Paules packing toogither of so manie woordes in Page  [unnumbered] this place too expresse the Angells withall, is that wee should the bet∣ter bee hilde too our Lord Iesus Christ, and rest wholly vppon him, without wandering one way or other, vnder pretence that the Angells haue excellent and noble giftes. And so wee see and may gather vpon this streyne, that all the dotage of the popedomme in imagining of Patrons, Aduocates, and mediators vntoo God, sprang vp euery whit of it of none other cause, than for want of knowing of our Lord Iesus Christ, and of the things giuen vntoo him by God his father: For wee haue no mynd too repoze our selues vppon him, except wee know too what ende he is come. But the Papistes haue on the one syde imagi∣ned themselues too bee separated from our Lord Iesus Christ, not knowing that he is become our brother, too the end wee should repayre familiarly vntoo him: and on the other syde they haue robbed him of his office which is allotted him in the holy scripture, and made but a dead thing of it. So much the more therefore behoueth it vs too marke wel these sayings, that we be made al one, & gathered togither into one body with the Angells of heauen, and with the holy fathers that lyued vnder the Lawe, and that wee and all the Prophetes, Apostles, and Martirs, must with one common accord glorify our commō head Ie∣sus Christ, and resort vntoo him, and that he must bee set vp on hye for euery man too looke at, and that wee must not wilfully put blyndfol∣dings before our eyes, but take away all impediment, that his glorye be not in any wyse dimmed. The very meane then to ouercome all lets that Satan shall cast in our way too stop vs from comming too Iesus Christ, is too consider that there is no dignitie or worthinesse in the whole world, neyther aboue nor beneath, which is not made too stope, too the end wee should all of vs bee ioyned vntoo him, with one accord. Thus you see in effect what wee haue too gather vpon this text.

Trew it is that by those wordes, wee be doone too vndestrand also, that God distributeth offices among his Angels as pleaseth him, so as one hath a greater charge than another. Yit notwithstanding it is not in our power too knowe how the case standeth with them. Let vs bee contented too knowe it according too the measure of our fayth, and onely giue eare too Gods woord, and in all sobernesse learne of him, without giuing brydle too our owne fond curiositie, as a number doo, whom wee see disputing finely of the Angels, as though euery of them would bee marshal of Gods house, too place euery of the Angels according too his degree. For there is not a more diuilish malapert∣nesse, Page  54 than too babble in that sort of Gods secrets, further than God hath made vs priuie too them by his woord. Therefore let vs hold our selues contented, that the Angels (how noble so euer they bee) are or∣deyned too be the ministers of our welfare, by meanes of Iesus Christ. And whensoeuer wee intend too haue the familiaritie (or acquintance and helpe) of them: Let vs not doo as the Papists doo, which haue their peculiar prayers too make vnto them: but let vs repayre too Ie∣sus Christ: for by that meanes shal all things become common be∣tweene them and vs. When hauing spoken of the Churche, wee say, I beleeue the communion of Saincts: it is certeyne that the Angels are comprehended therin, seeing that God imployeth them too doo vs seruice. And why doth he so? It is not for that wee bee worthye of it: but bycause he hath gathered vs all toogither vnder Iesus Christ. That therefore is the verye bond of concorde and brotherhood be∣tweene vs and the Angels.

Now hereupon S. Paule addeth, that Iesus Christ hath obteyned a name, (that is too say, a maiestie) which is aboue al names, as vvell in heauen as in earth. Here S. Paule sheweth vs briefly, that all our wisdome is to know the benefits that are brought vnto vs by the sonne of God, and which wee possesse in him alone, so our fayth bee settled wholy vppon him, according as it is sayd in the Acts of the Apostles,* that there is none other name giuen vnder heauen, whereby wee must bee saued. For (as I told you this morning) inasmuch as God is incomprehensible, and dwelleth in light which wee cannot approche vntoo,* (as S. Paule termeth it:) Iesus Christ must as it were step in betwixte him and vs, too the end wee may preace boldly vntoo him, and know that he is not far distant, nor farre separated from vs, wher∣fore let vs marke that whereas here is mention made of Name: it is bycause God wilbee knowen in the person of his onely sonne.* It is sayd herewithall,* that there are not manie Godheads. As touching the essence or being, wee haue but onely one God: and yit in Iesus Christ wee haue the liuely and expresse image of the father,* so as ther wee finde whatsoeuer is expedient and requisite for our saluation.* It is said that wee ought too glorye in our knowing of the onely one God: but yit that is accomplished in the person of our Lord Iesus Christ, bycause that when men go about too seeke God, they enter intoo a terrible maze, vnlesse Iesus Christ bee their way and leader. Thus wee see now whereat S. Paule amed.

Page  [unnumbered]And it is added also, that the same is not onely for this worlde, but also for the other: wherby is ment, that the knoweledge which wee haue of Iesus Christ, will suffize vs for the heauenly lyfe. Nowe it should seeme at the first blush, that there is some contrarietie bee∣tweene this Text, and that which is sayd in the fifteenth Chapter of the first Epistle too the Corinthians. For there he sayeth, that at the latter day when the worlde shalbee iudged, our Lord Iesus Christ shall yeeld vp the kingdome too God his father, of whom he holdeth it: and here he sayeth, that Christ is stabished in all aucthoritie, yea e∣uen for the worlde too come. But these twoo agree very well. For wheras he sayeth, that Iesus Christ hath a name aboue al names, and that he is the image of God his father: that is bycause of our rude∣nesse and infirmitie, according also as when he is called Gods liue∣tenant, that is, bycause we could not bee in rest, except wee knewe that God hath his hand stretched out too succour vs at our neede: and wee perceiue that the better in Iesus Christ, inasmuch as he is come neere vntoo vs, and is become our brother. God than dooth not so reigne by the meane of Iesus Christ, that he shoulde giue ouer his owne offyce, and sit ydle in heauen himselfe: it were a leawd dotage too thinke so. And truly wee see how our Lord Iesus Christ speaketh therof in the fifteenth of S. Iohn: my father and I (sayeth he) haue alwayes our hand at woorke. There he sheweth that the ordeyning of him too bee ruler of the worlde, was not too the ende that the father should in the meane whyle sit vnoccupied in heauen: but it is saide so in respecte of vs, too the intent that we should not doubt but that God is continually neare at hand too vs, when wee seeke hym in faith. At the latter day, and after the iudgement, wee shall haue new eyes, as saith S. Iohn. And for as much as wee shall bee like vntoo God,* and be transfigured intoo his glory, wee shall see hym as he is: whiche thing wee can not doo now, bicause wee haue too dull wits. Wherefore it is ynough for vs nowe,* that wee behold hym as in a glasse, and darkely (as saith S. Paule) and that wee knowe hym in part. You see then, that the yeel∣ding vp of the kingdome by our Lord Iesus Christ vntoo God his fa∣ther, is that wee shal behold Gods maiestie and substance which is in∣comprehensible too vs as nowe. For wee shal haue our nature chan∣ged, and wee shalbe newe fashioned in the heauenly glory, and we shal be quite and cleane rid of al the corruption wherewith wee be compas∣sed about as now. And yit for al this, it is not ment that Iesus Christ Page  55 shalbe abaced: for hee shalbe then muche better in his perfection, ac∣cording as it is said in the third too the Colossians, that our life is hyd in God with Iesus Christ, and that when Iesus Christ appeareth, thē shal our life bee discouered likewise. Too be short, when wee be come too the souerein blisse, that is purchaced for vs, then shal wee haue the thing that lieth as yit but in hope, & Iesus Christ shal gather al things too hym selfe, so as wee shal be then partakers of his glory, euery man according too his owne degree and measure. Thus yee see how these two Textes agree very wel: namely (that God hath giuen Christe a name aboue all names, and also) that he shal yeeld vp the kingdome to God the Father. And why? for wee shal then see his heauenly maie∣stie, which we bee not able too conceiue as now, bicause wee be flesh∣ly. Also wee shal perceiue, that wheras Iesus Christ is appeared vn∣too vs a mortal man, he hath bin so glorifyed in his humane nature, that in very deede he is God, of one selfe same substance with his fa∣ther. This (say I) shalbe fully knowen then, wheras nowe wee haue but a litle shadow of it. Furthermore, let vs learne, that when Iesus Christ was exalted by God his father, it was too the ende that his ad∣uancement should serue too our euerlasting saluation. And therefore in the .ix. of Esay he is called the father of the worlde too come, too the end wee might knowe, not only that he is giuen vntoo vs for this tran∣sitory life, but also that the substance of the faith which is grounded in hym, is in heauen, and that there wee shall feele the fruite of the thing that is now hidden, and which wee taste as yit but in part, and that wee shal enter intoo full possession of all the goodes that are giuen too hym already. Thus yee see why S. Paule hath purposely made expresse mention of the world too come.

He addeth immediately, that God hath put all thinges vnder his feete, and made hym head of the Church aboue all thinges. His speaking here of the subiection of the whole worlde, is too shewe, that what soeuer thing wee haue neede of, if wee can resort too our Lorde Iesus Christ, he is able too succour vs, for he hath wherewith too doo it. Yea and wee must marke well how it is sayd in the eyght Psalme, that God hath care of all thinges, yea euen vntoo the sheepe, too the byrdes of the ayre, and too the fishes of the sea. Too bee short, al crea∣tures are put vnder his feete. And too what end? For the holy Ghost ment too drawe vs therby, as litle babes, and to shew that the spiritual benefites (which wee ought too haue in greatest estimation) are com∣municated Page  [unnumbered] too vs by our Lord Iesus Christ. His saying then is, that wee might not eate one byt of bread, saue in respect that wee bee mem∣bers of Iesus Christ. For it is all one as if he intended too traine vs vp higher by an Apcie, in as much as all thinges are giuen too our Lord Iesus Christ, with condition, that if wee bee members of his bo∣dy in deede, al things that he hath, doo belong vntoo vs, and that if wee separate not our selues from him, he wyl hereafter make vs partakers of farre higher and excellenter goodes: that is too wit, that we shalbe named Gods chyldren, and bee taken so too bee, and become the tem∣ples of his holy Ghost. And what a thing is that? What a thing is it, that wee may come freely vntoo hym, and cal vppon hym boldly, as our father? What a thing is it too bee inriched ageine with the giftes that wee were bereft of by the sinne of Adam? What a thing is it too bee matched in felowship with the Angels, in stead of being vnder the tyrannie of Satan, and vnder the thraldome of sinne? Howe can wee haue these so high and noble thinges, sith wee can not clayme so much as a morsel of bread as our owne, without theft, sauyng in that wee be members of our Lord Iesus Christ. Now then wee see whereat S. Paule amed, in saying that all things are made subiect too our Lorde Iesus Christ. So then let vs learne now too giue God thankes in the name of his onely sonne our lord Iesus Christ, whom he hath sent, not onely too feede and nourishe our bodyes, but also too bee foode too our soules, that they may lyue euerlastingly. And by that meane let vs learne too inure our selues, to acknowledge that our Lorde Iesus Christ hath wherwith too succour al our necessities. Then if the diuell make so violent assault vpon vs, as we may be afrayde of vtter quay∣ling: let vs vnderstand that our lord Iesus Christ hath an inuincible fortresse wherwith too defend vs ageinst hym, and armyes wherewith too make vs inuincible in al battels. Therfore when wee bee weake, let vs resort too his strength: when wee want any grace, let vs desyre him too giue vs what he thinketh necessary: when our enemyes play the mad beastes, and it seemeth that wee shoulde be quite and cleane swallowed vp as it were in gulfes, let vs beseech our lord Iesus Christ too hold vs vnder his protection, and too hold Satan as it were chay∣ned with al his vpholders, so as he suffer vs not too be ouercomme of of them. Yee see then how all thinges were made subiect to our lord Iesus Christ, not for his owne vse: (for what neede had he of them?) but for our sakes, too the end he should giue vs what soeuer he knoweth Page  56 too bee for our behoofe, and that wee also shoulde learne too seeke all thinges at his hand, and that when he seeth our enemyes haue the ad∣uantage of vs, he should represse them, as he wel can.

Furthermore, wheras S. Paule sayeth heere, that he was ordey∣ned head in the Church (or ouer the Church) in all thinges: it is a continuing in his matter, too bring vs wholly too Iesus Christ. As if he should say, It is trew that Gods gracious giftes are delt abrode, yea and that the Angelles and mortall men also may bee ministers of them vntoo vs: but yit howsoeuer the cace stand, we must alwayes re∣sort too the welhead. The veynes that are dispersed throughout the whole bodie, may well giue strength too euery part, for they bee as it were the Cunditpypes of the blud: but yit howsoeuer the world go, the brayne must alwayes be the welspring of lyfe. It is wel to be seen, that in a tree the sap is spred throughout: and yit notwithstading albeeit that the roote ascende not vp too giue nurrishment too euery braunche and leafe: all the nurrishment commeth of the roote. And if any man woold say, that the whole tree is maynteyned alyue by any one braūch: the cleane contrary is seene. It is trew that a great bough may well giue nurrishment to the braunches and twigges that are about it: but is it meete that that should preiudice the roote therfore? (No surely:) no more than the members of a mans body ought too preiudice the heade▪ though euery member doo his dewty. Here S. Paule sayeth that our Lord Iesus Christ was giuen to the Churche to be hir heade aboue all thinges, as if he should say, it behoueth vs all too resort vntoo him. In this cace ther is nother S. Paule, nor S. Peter, nor the virgin Mary, nor S. Michaell that haue ought of their owne. For they are all needie & hungery, sauing so farforth as Iesus Christ filleth them: & therfore al of thē, as well che great as the small, must be fayne to draw out of his plentie. And that is the cause why that in the selfsame text which I alledged out of the first to the Colossians,* S. Paule sayeth, it pleased God the father that all plentie or fulnesse should dwell in him. For the tytle of Head is not alonely a style of fleeting honour: but it serueth too expresse the power of our Lord Iesus Christ so much the better. Therefore lyke as a (naturall) head not onely hath superiori∣tie and preeminence aboue the whole body, but also yeeldeth nurrish∣ment too the whole, and keepeth the man alyue: euen so is it betweene our Lord Iesus Christ and vs, in so much that all should go to wrecke, if wee depended not vppon him. Although (say I) it seeme that wee Page  [unnumbered] haue receiued ryght excellent giftes at Gods hande already: yit not∣withstanding all is but wynde and smoke, vnlesse wee holde out in the vnion of our Lord Iesus Christ. Herewithall it behoueth vs too note also, that inasmuch as Christ is called a heade, it is meete that all o∣thers should obey him, and that wee should yeelde vntoo his doctrine, that he may rule all things as the head ruleth all the rest of a mannes body. For the feete go, and the handes stirre, and too bee short, there is no part which is not willing and forewarde too doo whatsoeuer the head shall appoynt it. The lyke must bee doone in the Church: Iesus Christ must rule, and all men must quietly obey him. And so we haue too marke in this text, first that our saluation dooth so depend vppon Iesus Christ, that there are nother Angells nor men, how holy soeuer they bee, which haue not neede too receyue at his hand, the thinges that they want in themselues. And therefore when wee stand in neede of any thing that is requisite, eyther for the present lyfe, or for the hea∣uenly lyfe, eyther for our bodyes, or for our soules: there is no running too S. Peter, nor too S. Paule, but wee must go streyght to our Lord Iesus Christ. Marke that for one poynt.

Secondly also let vs lerne too suffer our selues too bee ruled, and too bee hild in awe by the hand of our Lord Iesus Christ, that therby wee may shewe our selues too bee trew members of his bodie. And he cannot bee our head, but he must needes therwithall bee our Shep∣herd too, and haue all authoritie ouer vs. But lyke as I told you that the diuell hath labored too deface the glorie of Gods only sonne, vnder the pretence of Angells: so on the othersyde, he hath sent vs an ydole intoo the world, too bee a barre in our way, that Iesus Christ myght bee as it were separated from vs. For the Pope is not ashamed too spew out this blasphemie, that the Chruch should bee but a headlesse bodie, if he himselfe reygned not ouer it, ne had the vniuersall domini∣on of it, so as euery man looked at him, and his seate were aboue the whole world. And that is as much as if he should say, that Iesus Christ hath no more too doo here, but ought too hold him contented with heauen, and let his successor alone too rule in his stead. But here∣in wee see how he uershoots himselfe, to abolishe the whole souerein∣tie of the sonne of God. So much the more therefore doth it stand vs on hand too beare well this Text in mynd, wherein S. Paule sayeth, that Iesus Christ is appoynted too bee head of the Churche aboue all things. It is trew that the Pope will affirme himselfe too bee but as Page  57 an vnderhead, and therefore that Iesus Christ is not thrust out of his place. But let vs looke backe too that which I haue touched alrea∣die: which is, that Iesus Christ will haue no imaginatiue title, but will haue his power reserued vntoo him, which belongeth vntoo him. For a head requireth not onely too bee set hyghest: but also too haue all men too receyue all things from him: and it behoueth vs all too vnderstand, and that he is the very roote of our life, and the fountayne from whence it behoueth vs too draw, notwithstanding that he send foorth his spirituall benefits and goods among vs, by such chanels or undits, as he thinks good. Thus yee see what wee haue yit further briefly too beare in mynd.

This matter is layd foorth more at large in the first Chapter too the Colossians. For S. Paule sheweth there, that our Lord Iesus Christ,* was appoynted too bee the head euen from the beginning of the world, forsomuchas all things were created in him, and not alonly forsomuchas he is our redeemer at this day. For put the cace that A∣dam had not falne intoo the ruine wherintoo he hath drawen vs with him: yit had Gods sonne bin alwayes still as the first borne of al crea∣tures. Not that he himselfe is a creature, but bycause he is the founda∣tion, according also as S. Paule addeth the reason thereof, which is, that in him the Angels were created, and in him they haue their be∣ing or abiding. Yee see then that the sonne of God should not haue ceassed to haue had all preheminence both aboue and beneath, though wee had not falne with our father Adam intoo such confuzion as wee bee in. But now our Lord Iesus Christ must bee our head after ano∣ther manner: that is too wit, too make vs at one agein with God his father, aud too gather vs toogither agein vntoo him, from whom wee were estraunged by sinne, so as he was our deadly enemie, til we were brought in fauour agein by meanes of Iesus Christ, by forgiuing vs our sinnes. And besides this, S. Paule declareth in the same Text, that Iesus Christ was ordeyned head of the Churche, too the end that all fulnesse should bee in him. Thus wee see how wee ought too be knit with the Angels, with the auncient fathers, and with the Pro∣phets, with condition that our Lord Iesus Christ must neuerthelesse not onely continew the first and chiefe, but also haue all things refer∣red vntoo him, and wee communicate in such wise toogither, that euery of vs keepe his place, and bee all members of one body, and that there bee no mo heads thereof but onely one. For if we adde any fellowe Page  [unnumbered] to Iesus Christ, it is a bereeuing him of the thing that God his father hath giuen too him alone. Let vs bee contented that he maketh vs partakers of all his benefits, vppon condicion that wee acknowledge all things too come from him, and seeke all things in him. For in the fiue and fortith Psalme it is well shewed,* that we are al of vs fellowes with Iesus Christ, and that we receyue some portion of all the good things that were giuen vntoo him. But yit for all that, it is not too bee sayd that he is fellowe and fellowelyke with vs, and that he can∣not bee discerned from his Apostles as the papists prate in their (pe∣uish) prouerbe, but it is too the end that wee should knowe, that none of all the good thinges which wee can wishe, are farre from vs, but that they bee offered vs by him, and that he is so liberall, that he de∣syreth nothing else at our hands, but that we should receyue the things that are for our owne welfare, according as he himselfe sayeth, Come vntoo mee all yee that are a thirst,* come drinke water, yea euen with∣out money or moneyes woorth, drinke your fyll of water, wyne, and mylke. There our Lord sheweth howe it is he that wee must resort vntoo, and that if wee looke vppon him, his maiestie is too hygh and too farre of from vs. Iesus Christ therefore must bee as our meane, and forasmuch as he is come downe too vs: let vs also repayre vntoo him,* according as is sayd in the seuenth of S. Iohn, come vntoo mee all yee that are a thirst:* and whosoeuer drinketh of the water that I wyll giue him, he shall haue his belly so full, that fountaines of water shall flowe out of him. Condicionally that men seeke faythfully in Iesus Christ for the things they haue neede of, he will giue vs not on∣ly so much as shall serue the turne of euery one of vs for himselfe: but also so much as wee shall bee able too bestowe vppon our neyghbours too, and too succour their want.

Now for a conclusion S. Paule addeth, that the Church is the bo∣die, and accomplishment of him that accomplisheth (or perfor∣meth) all things in all men. In terming the Church the body of Ie∣sus Christ, he sheweth the thing that I haue touched already: that is too wit, that wee neede not too make long windlasses or harde iour∣neyes too get the things that wee haue neede of. For sith wee bee vni∣ted and ioyned too the sonne of God: what require wee more? Wee must needes graunt this principle, that we haue nother lyfe, nor glad∣nesse, nor any good thing, but onely in God alone. That beeing con∣fessed, let vs see by what meane wee may atteyne too him: and that is Page  58 by the meanes of our Lord Iesus Christ. And so yee see the cause why it is sayd heere, that all fulnesse dwelleth in him, & that it is his charge too vnite vs vntoo God, and too drawe vs backe from the scattering, wherein wee bee. Therfore wee cannot swarue aside one way nor o∣ther too conuey any peece of that thing to S. Peter, or too S. Powle, which is reserued too Iesus Christ alone, but that wee must rob God of his dew. Trew it is, that wee will not bee acknowen of it: but yit shall not our Hipocrisie serue too acquit vs before God. Wee may well pretend many starting holes, but yit doo wee giue sentence of condemnation vppon our selues, in confessing that wee ought to seeke all our welfare at Gods hand. Well then, if wee alledge that wee be not woorthye too preace intoo Gods presence: it is trew, and if wee aske how wee may bee able too fly without winges: that is trew too. And if wee say, then must wee repayre too S. Peter or too S. Paule, that wee speake of our owne head. For God sayeth the cleane con∣trarie. I send you too myne onely sonne (sayth he:) for in him shall you fynde all that you want: and feare not that yee shall haue any scarcitie, if yee bee once fylled with the grace that I haue put in him, and which abydeth in him. And that is the cause why the Prophet Esay* speaketh purposely of Wyne, Water, & Milke: as if he should say, wee haue all fulnesse of lyfe in Iesus Christ. As for those then which gad too S. Peter and too S. Paule, and will needes haue Pa∣trons and Mediators: they not onely doo wrong too Iesus Christ, in cantling out the thing by peeces and gobbets which is giuen wholly vntoo him: but also rob God of his honour. For sith it is his will, that all fulnesse should dwell in Iesus Christ, accordyng as I haue alled∣ged afore: it is certeine that wee go about to defye him openly, when wee abyde not within the boundes which he hath set vs, in putting vs in subiection too that person which he hath giuen vntoo vs, too the end that he should giue vs all that wee haue neede of.

But yit the thing which he addeth ought too be a greater and lar∣ger comfort to vs, when he saith, that the Chruch is the accomplish∣ment of him that accomplisheth all. Now, by this woord Accom∣plishment, he meeneth that our Lord Iesus Christ, yea and also God his father account them selues as vnperfect, except wee bee ioyned vn∣too him. And that (as I sayd) is a record of Gods infinit goodnesse, wherat a man can neuer maruell ynough. First and formost, God needeth not too borrow at other mens handes: for he is perfect of him∣self: Page  [unnumbered] nother wanted he aught euen before he made the worlde. And when he made it, did he it for his owne profit, or too his owne aduaun∣tage? No: it was alonely too the intent that wee should knowe his goodnesse, power, wisdome, and ryghtuousnesse, and bee witnesses of it. For he hath set vs heere as on a stage, too the end wee should see his glorie in all his creatures: and yit notwithstanding he could verye well forbeare vs. But put the cace that God should borrowe of others too perfect himself withall, and that he were lyke too mortall men, of whō none is able to forbeare companie: put the cace that God were such a one: What are wee? What can he fare the better by being ioy∣ned vntoo vs? It is all one as if the sonne were matched with a qua∣myre. For what haue wee but infection and filthinesse? what are we else than things so corrupted by Adams sin, as it is horrible too think? How then can wee bring any such perfection vntoo God? Although there bee nothing but frayltie in vs: although wee bee froward and leawd: although there bee nothing in vs but all manner of filth: and too bee shorte, although wee bee lothely in his syght: yit notwithstan∣ding it is his will to haue vs ioyned to him, yea euen vppon condition that he should bee perfected in vs by his and our ioyning after that sort toogither. As if a father should say, mee thinkes my house is emp∣tie, when I see not my child in it. A husband man will say, mee thinkes I am but half an man, when my wyfe is not with mee.

After the same manner speaketh God, that he thinkes not himselfe full and perfect, but by gathering of vs too him, and by making vs all one with himselfe. He taketh his whole pleasure in vs, and will haue his glory too shine foorth in vs, so as his beames may sheade out on all sides. And although the whole glory bee in himselfe: Yit will he haue it seene, how it is his will that wee should haue our part and portion of it. Thus you see in effect what S. Paule ment by cal∣ling the Churche, the accomplishment of God and of Iesus Christ. Now then, can wee bee excuzed before God, when wee say that wee cannot come at him, seing wee bee his bodie in the person of our Lord Iesus Christ? If one of our feete being diseased, would runne I wote not whither, and raunge vp and downe, saying, I go too seeke re∣medie so••e where else: and for performance thereof, would bee cut of from the bodie: if (say I) that the members of a bodie had any vn∣derstanding and discretion, and could speake after that maner: were it not a madnesse that the foote should say, he would bee rent from the bo∣die, Page  59 too seeke else where the thing that it wanteth? Euen so when the Papistes and other Idolaters alledge that they must bee fayne too serue their turne by the Saynctes, and too haue diuers mediators and meanes too bring them too God: it is all one as if they should say, Ie∣sus Christ is nobodie, nother haue wee any successe or enterance vntoo him. Yea, are the membes separated from the head? Of a truthe, S. Paule hath heere accused and condemned all those of vnthankeful∣nesse and vnkyndnesse, which vnder colour of vnwoorthinesse too come vntoo God, doo deuyze themselues new meanes, and separate them∣selues from Iesus Christ, and diminish his power, and rend it in pee∣ces. S. Paule condemneth them for that they cannot fynde in theyr hartes too accept the benefyte and priuiledge that is offered them, in that our Lord Iesus Christ hath voutsafed too become all one with them, as with his owne body. Nowe then let vs lerane too haue such familiaritie with our Lord Iesus Christ, as too resort vntoo him at all times whensoeuer wee bee warned of our defaults and wantes.

Furthermore too the intent his maiestie shoulde not bee defaced thereby: S. Paule addeth, that he ceasseth not too accomplishe all things in all men. For wee see on the one side, that when men are once indewed with Gods giftes, they fall too thrusting of themselues intoo his place, and would bee esteemed in his stead. After that ma∣ner doo wee deale, and wee beare our selues in hand that the gyftes which God hath bestowed vppon vs freely, are as a pray or bootie too boast of, and too aduaunce our selues more than is lawfull. Agein, on the other syde, when wee heare Iesus Christ spoken of, how he was a∣baced for our sakes, how he went downe intoo the dungeons of death, how he voutsafed to bee subiect to all reproche: it seemeth too vs that wee may well despyze him. S. Paule therefore too beate downe all pryde, and too shew that Iesus Christ was not so abaced, that his glo∣rie was diminished: sayeth, that yit neuerthelesse hee dooth all in all things. Wherefore let vs learne too receyue the blissing, grace, and benefites which are giuen vs by our Lord Iesus Christ. And there∣withall let vs acknowledge, not only that we be made of nothing, and that our lyfe is but a flyghtfull and vanishing shadowe: but also that all the vertue and excellencie which wee weene our selues too haue, is but lyke a greene flower, which withereth out of hand as soone as God breatheth vppon it. And therefore let vs not imagin our selues too bee riche, wheras wee bee poore: let vs not vaunt our selues of our Page  [unnumbered] owne free will: let vs not presume vppon our owne desertes, nor vpon any other of the flimflammes which the diuel hath deuyzed in poperie: but let vs draw, let vs draw of the foūtaine that cannot be drained dry, that wee may fynd wherwith too staunche our thirst whensoeuer we be dry. Finally there are two meanes wherby God doth all in all things. For like as he himselfe created the worlde: so also must all thinges bee guided and gouerned by his hand. If it bee demaunded who causeth the Sunne too ryse and set euery day, who guideth the whole order of nature, who ordreth the dayes, moonethes and yeares, and who maketh the intercourse of day and night: It is God, who dooth all in all things. As much is too bee sayd of all other things which we perceyue in the vniuersal gouernement of the whole world. There∣fore wee must not imagine that God was a Creator but for a minute of an houre: but that he dooth also hold on in mainteyning the things that he created. Howbeeit S. Paule speaketh here of the spirituall goods which are, as yee would say, the peculiar heritage of Gods children. God then doth all things in vs: Yea, but not alonly by the common order of nature: but by inlightening vs with the beleefe of the Gospel, in that he halloweth vs, and clenzeth vs from the vices and wicked lusts of our fleshe, in that he draweth vs from the world, and to bee short, in that he pruideth vs all things requisite too our welfare and saluation. And so yee see how he doeth all in all things. As if S. Paule had declared in one woord, that the faythfull are not any thing, ne can doo any thing, ne haue any thing of themselues. Then spea∣keth he not here, nother of the sunne, nor of the moone, nor of the trees in the fieldes, nor of any other frute: nother speaketh he of beasts, no nor yit of men, as in respect that they be the children of Adam: but of those whom God hath begotten agein by his holy spirit: so that what∣soeuer concerneth saluation, or belongeth too the heauenly lyfe, is not to bee had but onely at his hand which hath all things in himselfe, and dooth all in all things, as is sayd of him here. And therefore let vs learne too emptie our selues, and too offer our selues in sacrifize too God with trew and right humilitie, too yeeld him his deserued praise, so as none of vs separate our selues from him through our owne vn∣kindenesse, but all of vs doo him such honour, as too confesse that wee hold all of him, and that wee bee ioyned too him by our Lord Iesus Christ, who is our euerlasting God, acknowledging that it is he from whom all good things come, and that it is he also too whom all 〈◊〉Page  60 ought too bee yeelded and rendered.

Now therefore let vs cast our selues downe before the Maiestie of our good God, with acknowledgment of our sinnes, praying him too make vs perceyue them more and more, and that the same may cause vs too haue such a mislyking in our selues, as wee may earnestly and hartily seeke too giue ouer our selues wholly too our Lord Iesus Christ. And that forasmuch as he hath called vs already too him by his Gospell: wee may so frame our selues thereafter, as too renounce all superstitions, and too assure our selues that all that euer wee can imagin too bring vs too the kingdome of heauen, are but deceytes of Satan, and that it is ynough for vs too haue Iesus Christ alone too make our recourse vntoo: that lyke as it was the fathers will too ad∣uaunce him on high, too the intent that all men should looke at him: so also wee may haue our eyes fastened vppon him, and apply our whole myndes in such wyse thitherwarde, as wee may haue none other way nor preparation than by him alone, nor swarue one way nor other: but when wee bee once brought intoo the ryght way, holde on continually towardes our marke, till we be fully come thither. That it may please him too graunt this grace, not onely to vs, but also too all people. &c.

The nienth Sermon, which is the first vppon the second Chapter.

1. Euen then when you were dead through your offences and sinnes.

2. VVherin yee walked for a tyme, according too the course of the world, after the Prince of the power of the ayre, which is the spirit that worketh now in the chyldren of vnbeleefe.

3. Among whom vvee also had al of vs sometyme our conuersa∣tion, to vvit, in the lustes of our flesh, dooyng the vvyl of the flesh, and of the thoughtes, and vvere by nature chyldren of vvrath, as others vvere.

4. But God vvho is rich in mercy, through his great loue vvher∣vvith he loued vs,

5. Euen vvhen vvee vvere dead in sinne, hath quickened vs too∣gither vvith Christ, by vvhose grace you bee saued.

Page  [unnumbered]WEe haue seene already heretoofore, that too knowe Gods infinite goodnesse throughly, wee must alwayes consyder what wee bee our selues, and what our state is tyll God haue pitied vs too succour our wretched∣nesse. For vntyll men haue so examined them selues, howe wretched and miserable they bee, surely they wyl neuer yeelde God the hundreth part of the honour that he de∣serueth. Wherefore let vs beare wel this lesson in remembrance, that too yeeld God the prayze which is due too hym, euery of vs must consi∣der wh•• he were of hym selfe, if God had not reached out his hand vn∣too hym. And in good faith, what is our nature in generall? It is too thinke nothing but al maner of euyll: and that is the matter which S. Paule treateth of as now.

In the first chapter the matter which he treated of continually, was that wee cannot sufficiently exalt our God, considering the mercie that he vseth towardes vs. And now too expresse the same yit the better, and to touch vs the more to the quicke with it: he sheweth vs as in a picture or in a glasse, what men are til God haue preuented them with his grace, and called them backe too himselfe. Therfore he sheweth that wee be pludged in so horrible a dungeon, that the very thinking of it ought to abash vs, and make the heares stand vp vpon our heades: for it cannot bee but that theruppon wee must needes bee moued and inflamed too blisse Gods name, for that he hath sought vs so in in the bottome of Hell,* too drawe vs vp too the kingdome of heauen. And our Lord Iesus Christ, too shew in what cace he findeth vs, sayeth that he is come to the end that the deade should ryze at his voyce. Yee see thn that the office which the sonne of God taketh vppon him, is too draw vs from death too lyfe, by the doctrine of his Gospel. According wherunto he addeth, that such as beleue in him, are passed from death wherin they were hild downe, and are entred into the heauenly lyfe. Not that the faythfull doo inioy it heere alredy, but bycause they pos∣sesse it in such wyse by hope, as they be throughly assured of it. Now wheras our Lord Iesus Christ sayeth, that his voyce hath power too rayze the dead: he taketh it by a similitude. For what lyfe soeuer wee sumyze or selues too haue: yit notwithstanding if we be separated from God, weel bee in a spirituall death, howsoeuer the vnbeleeuers Page  61 imagin themselues too be more than alyue in their owne wisdome and vertue. And therein doo they harden themselues and make their brags of it too the vttermost. But let vs see where the welspring of lyfe is. It is in God, and they bee alienated from him. Also let vs see what is the trew lyfe of man. It is not that he should bee sttle and fine wit∣ted, and bee able too compasse his matters well in this world by his owne cunning and pollicie, or too purchace himselfe renoune, or too bee wittie and well aduized too giue counsell too all other men: it is not that he should excell in all humane sciences and in all arts: nother is it that he should bee esteemed and renouned as a ma of noble co∣rage, or as one that hath the other vertues that are commendable a∣mong men: but it is a hygher thing that wee must begin at, namely to knowe that God is our father, that wee bee defended and preserued by the light of his word, & inlightened by fayth too knowe the way of saluation, and too assure our selues that our whole welfare lyeth in him, so as wee seeke it there with al lowelynesse: and also too knowe the meane whereby too atteyne too it: that is too wit, by hauing our Lord Iesus Christ in whom the whole fulnesse of grace is offered vs.

Thus you see what the spirituall lyfe of man is, and where it lyeth: that is too wit, in the lyght of Gods woord, and in the woorking of his holie spirit, so as wee be new fashyoned agein according too the image that was lost, and vtterly defaced in vs by Adams sin. And is that too bee found among worldly men? Yea euen among those that are most honored? No surely. Then is it not without cause that our Lord Iesus vseth this similitude, saying, that wee bee raysed from death by meanes of the Gospell. For florish wee neuer so much, beare wee ne∣uer so fayer a glosse before men, and seeme wee too haue neuer so much wherfore too bee had in estimation: yit are wee but wretched carions, there is nothing but rottennesse and filthinesse in vs, God lotheth vs, wee bee damned and forlorne before him, the Angells abhorre vs, all creatures curse and ban vs, and all things aske vengeance vppon vs, bycause wee defyle them. For there is such corruption in man, that heauen and earth must bee infected with it, vntill God haue chaunged them.* The thing then which our Lord Iesus Christs saying impor∣teth, is, that vntill wee bee renewed by the Gospell through the fayth that proceedeth of it: wee bee but as dead men, there is not one drop of lyfe in vs that deserueth the name of lyfe. And too bee short wee bee as good as buryed in our graues, and must bee fayne to go out of them Page  [unnumbered] agein, whereby wee bee doone too vnderstand, that wee bee cut of from Gods kingdome, and consequently that there is nothing but filth in vs: and yit notwithstanding that God voutsafeth too bee knit and vni∣ted vntoo such as put their trust in him and in his goodnesse. That (say I) is our rysing agein. Too bee short, wee must alwayes consi∣der, that man bringeth death with him euen with his birth: not only bycause he is mortall, but also bycause he is separated from God. We bee mortall wyghtes, and it were but in respect that wee must needes passe through this world, and depart thence whensoeuer it pleaseth God: but wee bee also dead afore hand. And how is that? Bycause our soules are altoogither sinfull.* There is nother thought nor affec∣tion in vs, which tendeth not too euil: all is repugnant or rebellious a∣geinst God, and ageinst the rule of his ryghtuousnesse. When wee i∣magin eyther one thing or other, wee can neuer deuyse any thing in our myndes, but sin and vnryghtuousnesse, according as it is sayd in Genesis, that God knew that all that euer man had in his thought and imagination,* was sin. Now sith it is so, let vs vnderstand that al∣though wee had knowledge of good and euill,* and that wee had farre greater skill and discretion than wee haue: yit are wee so marred, that all our desires and lustes rebell ageinst God, as it were too make warre ageinst him. Seyng then that we be so corrupted in our soules, and that there is nother thought nor affection which is not vtterly naught: let vs not thinke it straunge, that God with his owne mouth auoweth vs too bee dead, notwithstanding that through our owne fond ouerweening, wee imagin that there is some lyfe in vs. And that is the very thing which S. Paule treateth of as now, in saying that the Ephesians were parttakers of the aboue mentioned grace, though they were deade through their owne sinnes and iniquities. As if he should saye, Too the intent yee may the better esteeme the valew of Gods grace, and what it bringeth with it: thinke not only vppon your present state, but consider that if God had left you such as you were of your selues, and had not succored you at all, but had let you followe your owne swindge: you had bin vndoone. Consider what your na∣ture is, for yee were dead, and there was no hope that euer you should bee quickened agein, bicause it is not in the power of mans owne free-will, too giue himselfe lyfe agein when he is once dead. Knowe yee therfore that God did draw you out of the dungeon of all destruction, yea rather out of the bottom of hell, when he voutsafed too adopt you Page  62 too bee his children, and too call you too the knowledge of his Gos∣pell. Wee see that this saying of Saint Paules, is conformable too the doctrine and recorde of our Lorde Iesus Christ.

So then, let vs alwayes runne backe to the welles head, whensoeuer we be tempted too glory in our owne vertewes, and imagin our selues too haue I wote not what too aduaunce vs withall: let vs resort too our naturall state, let vs consider that wee had bin vndoone, and that wee were vndoone yit still at this day, if God of his infinite mercy had not drawen vs out of the confuzion wherin wee were, and deliuered vs from it by the meanes of our Lord Iesus Christ. And it is purposely sayd in offences and sinnes: too stoppe all mennes mouthes, that no man myght make profer too withdrawe himselfe from the common a∣raye, nor think that any thing is so greeuous as the corruption of our nature, which cannot bee stayed but by death. It S. Paule had set downe but one of the words, eyther offences or sinnes: by and by there woold haue bin answearing and replying. For some woold haue thought themselues too haue bin of the common aray. And other some would haue said, Uery wel, though there bee some synne in vs, though there bee some fault in vs, it doth not therfore folowe, that wee bee vt∣terly condemned and cursed of God: for wyl he vse suche rigour and extremitie ageinst vs? But S. Paule hath ioyned both the woordes toogither, too shew that there is nothing in our nature, but all wicked∣nes and sinne: and at a woord, that there is not one drop of life too bee found in it. Therfore it is al one, as though he ment too aggrauate or make the thing heynous, which men on their part would make light. For if wee haue neuer so smal a portion of vertue, yea, or but a shadow of it: wee wyll needes exalt it aboue all the mountaines of the worlde. But if there bee any vices in vs, though they bee neuer so grosse and apparant, yit wee make but very light faultes of them. Therefore it stood S. Paule on hand too beate downe this fond presumptuousnesse of men, and too shew them that they bee wholly saped in sinne. For al∣though he speake heere too the Ephesians, yit speaketh he generally too all men. And in good sooth, he expresseth it yit better, in saying, that vvee vvalked according too the trade of the vvorld: for the euyll lurketh vnespied, tyll it bewray it selfe by his fruites. And the cause why men cannot humble themselues before God as were requi∣site, is that they flatter themselues till they bee conuicted, and bee com∣pelled 〈◊〉 stoope and too hold downe their heades spyt of their teethe. Page  [unnumbered] For wee see what hipocrisie is in vs, insomuch that wee woold beare our selues in hand that blacke were whyte, and neuer fynd our selues faultie, so long as our misdeedes could not bee layd open too our faces, nor any man stop our mouthes, by witnessing them too our heads. Too haue many wicked thoughtes, or too bee tempted too doo this or that euyll, wee thinke it no sinne at al. Too bee short, S. Paule hath iustly set downe, that the Ephesians walked in their sinnes: too the intent too shewe, that he speaketh not of a thing which ought too bee vnknowen too them. For in beholding their owne lyues, and in beholding what they had bin, and what trace they had followed: they should be driuen too confesse that they were vtterly forlorne & cursed afore God. Ther∣fore when soeuer our hypocrisie hindereth vs from submitting our sel∣ues vnto God, and from beating of our selues down by acknowled∣ging of our synnes: let vs learne too looke intoo our life. Truely, al∣though wee perceyued a whole million of faultes which wee haue cō∣mitted: yit is it nothing in comparison of that whiche God knoweth. Yit notwithstanding too waken vs the better, that wee may not be de∣ceiued by our owne selfe soothing, as wee haue bin woont too bee: let vs alwayes iudge of the roote by the fruites of it. Seeing then that wee bee gilty of offending God so many wayes, let vs conclude there∣upon, that there is nothing but frowardnesse in our nature. And too shewe the better that he speaketh not here of any one sort of men, but of al mankind: S. Paule addeth, that it vvas according too the trade of the vvorld. The woorde that he vseth here, betokeneth the course of tyme. As if he should say, Euen as wee see the Sunne dooth day∣ly ryse and go downe, and as wee see Winter and Sommer followe one another: so is it an ordinarie custome, yea and euen the nature of man too bee vtterly froward, spytefull, and rebellious ageinst God, and there is nothing in him but all maner of leawdnesse and corruption. It is not for men too say, ush, euill custome hath gotten the vpper hande: and agein, this serueth for some men, but all doo not so: there are some nations more sinfull than othersome, and there are some mē more stub∣borne and malicious than others, but yet there will alwayes some ver∣tew bee found in some other men. Nay, sayeth S. Paule: for it is the common course of the worlde. As if he should saye, it is so naturall (too all men,) as there is no disputing whether one man bee bad, ad another good.* For like as fishe is made too suck vp water: so ar we suckled, or rather made starke drunken withall maner of iniquities Page  63 and sinnes. Wee be so filled and stuffed with them, that we burst agein. Thus yee see how S. Paule ment heere, not too rebuke some one sort of men, but too shewe all men without exception what their state is, till God haue redressed it. Therefore let vs open our eyes, and looke intoo the thing that S. Paule sayeth, and wee shall perceyue that all our woorthinesse and noblenesse is decyphred vntoo vs heere, heere are our armes blazed: that is too wit, that wee bee but dead men, till God quicken vs by his mere grace. Agein, too the end wee should knowe that this death proceedeth not from elswhere than of our owne sinnes: it is sayd, that wee bee all corrupted, that there is nothing in vs but faultes, sinnes, and offences, and that all our whole lyfe beareth record thereof, so as the fruite sheweth what the roote is. And on the other syde, that our starting aside is not for once and no more, but that wee tend wholly thither, that is too say, too euill: wee bee inclyned there∣untoo, nay rather wee bee caryed headlong thereuntoo, yea and wee bee driuen with such a rage, that wee neuer ceasse stryuing ageinst God, tyll he haue broughte vs in subiection too him by his holye spirit.

And S. Paule thinkes it not ynough to saye so: but addeth things which ought to make vs too tremble yet more, saying, that it is accor∣ding to the prince of the aire, according as he hath all power in the vvorlde, according too the spirit that ruleth all the vnbeleeuers. His talking after that maner, is too shewe, that till God haue quicke∣ned vs by meanes of our Lord Iesus Chryst, & vntill he haue gathered vs vnto him: the diuell hath dominion ouer vs. See I pray you what the dignitie of men is, vntill Iesus Christ haue raunsomed them. They dye not once and away, (but euerlastingly:) and he must bee fayne by his Gospell to make them parttakers of the saluatinn which he hath purchased for them. Then vntyll God haue wrought in vs by his grace, whose are wee? The diuels: he is our prince. Too bee short, he hath all authoritie ouer vs, and ruleth vs with such tyranny, as there is nothing but haling of vs too him by force. But S. Paule vseth this word Spirit purposely, to shew that the diuell ruleth all our thoughts, all our affections, and all our desyres, that he possesseth vs, and that wee bee all wholly his bondslaues. At a woord, wee cannot stirre one finger, wee cannot once moue, wee cannot thinke one thought, but the diuell is at our elbowe, and haleth vs in such wyse, as wee vtterly be∣come deadly enemyes too God. When wee heare these things, it is Page  [unnumbered] no time for vs too fall a sleepe and too flatter our selues, nor too bee so lustie and presumptuous, as too go too lawe still with God, as though there were some goodnesse in vs, & that he were boūd to acknowledge our vertues. Must not men needes bee too farre out of their wittes, when they continue still in their hipocrisie, and will needes stand too their tackeling ageinst God, and win him by their replying, after that the holy Ghost hath thundred so dreadfull and horrible a sentence vp∣pon our heades? Then if a man bee considered in himselfe and in his owne nature, what shall he bee able too say? Behold, a creature cur∣sed of God, and woorthie too bee cast out of the common account of all other creatures, yea euen of woormes, flyes, lyce, and vermine. For there is more valour in any vermin in the world, than there is in man. For man is a creature wherein Gods image is defaced, and the good that he had put in it, corrupted: there is nothing in it but sinne, inso∣much that wee bee the diuells limbes, and he not onely ruleth vs, but also possesseth vs and is our prince. Bee wee once throughly perswa∣ded of this in our hartes, shall wee not on the one side haue cause too runne quaking too our Lord Iesus Christ, and too holde vs shrowded vnder the shadowe of his winges? And on the other syde, must it not needes bee a beastly blockishnesse, if wee bee so thanklesse as not too magnifie Gods goodnesse, in that he hath drawen vs out of such a dungeon vntoo himselfe, too make vs fellowes and brethren not onely of the Angells of heauen, but also of our Lord Iesus Christ, who is the Lord of glory, thereby too put away all reproche, and in stead of be∣ing hatefull too all creatures, too make vs beare his marke, and too bee honored, and too bee imbraced of the Angells, as their brethren, and too bee auowed of our Lord Iesus Christ as members of his bo∣die? So then, now wee see S. Paules meaning.

And further, too the intent that all replying should ceasse: he shew∣eth what the power of the diuell is. For he could haue sayd in one woord, yee haue liued after the maner of the world, that is too say, diue∣lishly, for so doeth the thing that he speaketh import: but in sted of na∣ming the diuell in one woord, he sayeth first, according too the prince that hath his povver in the aire, and the spirit that vvoorketh euen novv in the rebellious children. In saying, the prynce that hath his power in the aire, he disappoynteth vs of all starting holes. For it is not for nught, that the diuell is named the prince of the world: and yit it is not for that he reygneth ouer the sonne, the moone, the starres, Page  64 the skyes, and the earth: but for that he holdeth vs captiue in his bondes: bycause wee bee not woorthie too bee gouerned by God. For had Adam continued in the soundnesse wherin God created him: God woold haue hild vs as his children. But after the fall of our first father, God left vs, and Satan tooke vs in possession. True it is that Satan cannot doo any thing at all without Gods leaue: for wheras he is named the prince of the woorld, it is not ment that he fyghteth in such wyse ageinst God, as it cannot bee knowen who is the stronger: that were a cursed blasphemie, and lyke these heretikes, which seeing such phrases in the scripture, haue imagined that the diuell dooth now and then resist God, and that he hath such force and power, that God is fayne sometymes too giue him place. But such woordes are stark madnesse. Neuerthelesse this souereintie of Satan is Gods iust ven∣geance, according as it is sayd, that he deliuereth vs intoo the handes of our enemyes, when wee cannot abyde that he should reigne ouer vs. And so is that thing fulfilled and verefyed in vs all. Forasmuch as God hath printed his mark in vs, wee ought too bee gouerned by his spirit: but our father would needes exalt himselfe, he would needes set vp his bristles ageinst God, and he was not contented with his owne state and boundes. Forasmuch therfore as he rebelled in that wyse, and could not fynd in his hart too abyde the souerein dominion of God: he was giuen vp too the diuell, and made subiect too him: and forasmuch as he could not abyde that God should reigne ouer him, he was fayne too haue another mayster, and that subiection must reach vntoo all men in generall. So then let vs marke that the souerenitie & tyrannie of the diuell, is a iust vengeance of God vppon men for their sinne. Let that serue for one poynt. And therfore let vs not imagine that the diuell hath the reynes of the brydle layd looce in his necke, or that he hath libertie too doo what he liste, though God withstand him: but that wee bee left vp and giuen ouer vntoo him. And too the in∣tent wee may yit better knowe this subiection, S. Paule sayeth that he is in the aire, as he will speake more at large ageyn in the ende of the Epistle. He could haue sayd simply, according too the prince that hath great power, according as our Lord Iesus sayeth,* that he is the strong man which possesseth the world in peace. Yee see then that the diuell is called a prince, bycause he hath such power as wee bee not able too withstand.

And besides that: S. Paule giueth him his place in the ayre. Not Page  [unnumbered] that the diuels are inclozed in a place certeine, for wee our selues see that they enter intoo mens bodies, yea and into the bodyes of Swyne, after as our Lord giueth them leaue and power.* But he speaketh pur∣posely of the ayre, too make vs vnderstand that they bee aboue our heads. If wee haue an enemy, wee will see if we can ouerthrowe him. But if he haue his foote vppon our throte alreadye, if he treade vppon our bellyes, if he bee already gotten vppon vs: what remedie is there then? None at all on our part. That is the cause why S. Paule speaketh here expresly of the ayre: as if he should say, that men may well brag and lifte vp their nebbes, and bee brazenfaste in auauncing themselues: but yit is the diuell aboue them with all that he can make. Too bee short, he sheweth that wee bee vtterly giuen vp too that cur∣sed bondage. And to make the matter the playner, he addeth, accor∣ding too the spirit. For what is the cause that wee perceyue not the state which he speaketh of, but bycause wee be fleshely▪ If there reyg∣ned a tyran ouer vs that would lay a subsidie vppon vs too day, and a tax to morrow, and sacke mens houses: & the next day cut this mans and that mans throte, and rauish mens wyues, and commit other enor∣mities and outrages: wee would well ynough perceyue it. And why? Bycause wee be quicke of feeling in the things that touche our fleshe, and so earthly, as wee cannot perceyue any thing, except it concerne this present lyfe. That is the cause why wee perceyue not our owne miseries: for they bee inuisible. Wee thinke not that the diuell is such a Tyran, nor so horrible as he is: bycause wee see him not. But S. Paule telleth vs, that we must looke higher then this world, and that wee must haue other eyes than those that beehold visible things: and that it standeth vs on hand too looke vppon the diuell, though he bee ghostly: & that although he haue nother armes too strike vs with, nor legges too go with, nor any such other things: yit he fayleth not too be the woorst tyran that can bee deuized in the whole woorld. And why so? For he entreth vnseene. If there were a man that could enter into other mens heads and harts, yea and intoo their thoughts and affecti∣ons, without swoord or staffe, without venim or poyson, without threa∣tening, or any thing else: or if he had an hundreth deathes in his hand, and could make them enter without feeling how: I pray you were not such an enemy much more too bee feared, than such as come fur∣nished with great force, and make a great noize? Yis surely. Now S. Paule telleth vs, that the diuell is such a one: for he is a spirite, Page  65 sayeth he. So then, let vs not to be so fleshely as we haue bin wont too bee, nother let vs iudge according too our owne rude and fond fancye, when the sayd spirituall enemye is spoken of: But let vs assure our selues, that he is able too doo vs much more mischiefe without al com∣parison, then if wee could see how he came towards vs, and how he entered intoo vs. So then forasmuch as he is a spirit, let vs bee so much the more afrayd of him. And too the intent the faythfull should bee the better dispozed too come too this foresayde poynt, that is too say, too know their owne confuzion, till God haue prouided for it: S. Paule addeth yit one confirmation more of his saying. For as soone as wee haue receyued the fayth, and bee inlightened by Gods holy spirit: if wee haue any desire too doo well, wee shall by and by inde∣uer too serue our God. And it will seeme that that were inough. But if a faythfull man looke intoo himselfe, he shall finde ynough to mislike and too sighe and groone for: according as I haue tolde you before, that euen S. Paule confesseth himselfe too haue bin vnhappy,* and cri∣eth out, who shall set mee free from this prison of death? The faythfull then shall alwayes fynd ynough in themselues wherfore too morne be∣fore God. Yit notwithstāding forasmuch as God hath put some good∣nesse, some wel meaning, and some good intent intoo vs: the same doth halfe couer the leawdnesse of our nature, so as wee knowe not a long time after that it were requisite, howe wretched our state is, so long as wee thinke but vppon our selues, I say, vppon our selues, such as wee bee after that God hath partly reformed vs by his holy spirit. That is the cause why S. Paule sendeth vs too behold what the vnbeleeuers are. If wee looke vppon the worlde, wee shall see some giuen too co∣uetousnesse, and some too pilling and poulling, and not onely the little theeues that are whipped and hanged: euen such as are robbers, I say, not in woods and forests, but in houses, in markets, and in places of Iustice. Wee shall see that there is nother fayth nor loyaltie among most men, but that all men are giuen too pilling and pouling, with∣out any respect of equitie or vprightnesse. Wee shall see some rushe out intoo whoredome and dishonestie, some intoo drunkennesse, and some intoo other leawdnesse and looce behauiour. Wee shall see men rap out othes, periuries, and other cursed things.

Agein, wee shall see secret conueyances, impoysonings, spytings, malicings, treasons, and wicked practizes. Too bee short, wee shall see some so diuelish, that they fling them selues headlong altoogither, Page  [unnumbered] as though they ment too make warre wilfully ageinst God. These are things that may astonish vs: And although wee bee dull, yet ought wee too haue some remors, when we see things so farre out of order in the world. Neuerthelesse S. Paule sayeth that if we consider what is doone, and how all thinges are turned topsiteruie, and what libertie the world taketh too withstand God: it behoueth vs too apply the same too our selues, and too conclude thus: the same should betyde mee, yea and euen as much as I see in them that are moste wretched. For when wee looke vppon the diseases that are abrode, how some are eaten with cankers and other filthie diseases, and othersome haue as terrible sick∣nesses as can be: we must prie vpon them and say, as ill, yea & worse to, should lyght vpon me, if God pitied me not. For all of vs doo carye the seede of them about vs: & that not only in our bodyes, (but also in our soules) for there may be some diuersitie of cōplexions, so as some shal∣be stronger and lusyer than other some: but the soule of man is vtterly corrupted and marred. So then the sinnes that reigne in vs, are all of them warnings to make vs cast downe our eyes, and too be ashamed before God and his Angells, yea and too make vs hate and vtterly ab∣horre our selues. Thus yee see why S. Paule hath added here, that the diuell woorketh now still. He vseth the woord Now: as if he should say, my frendes, if in looking vppon your present state, you fynd any thing well, and that the same keepeth you from humbling of your selues throughly, and from feeling how miserable yee shoulde haue bin, if God had not shewed pitie and mercie towards you: see what is doone about you, see how the vnbeleueres behaue themselues, and you shall fynd them to be as wyld beastes, and enemyes of their owne saluation: you shall fynd them stark mad ageinst God, and ageinst all ryght. Too be short, yee shall see so great enormities, as shall abash men, & make them too say, Alas, is it possible that it should bee thus? And so yee see what yee bee. Say not: fy on thee naughtipacke. Yee may well fynd fault with such a one, but ye must therwithal adde by & by for a sauce to season it, how greate hath Gods mercie bin towards me? Then let vs neuer condemne the sin that wee see euerywhere in other men, without cōsidering therwithal, that if God had not brydled vs, we had falne as deepely as wee see others too haue falne: and therfore let it stirre vs vp immediatly too pray God that he leade vs not into temptation,* and let vs acknowledge Gods infinite goodnesse, in that it pleaseth him too reyne vs in such wyse, that wee fall not intoo the horrible falles Page  66 which wee see about vs. For when wee looke vpon the wickeddest in the world, yea and euen vpon such as wee bee driuen too abhorre as monsters: wee must (as I said afore) conclude thus with our selues: Alas, as much should befal vs, if God remedied it not.

And so yee see how wee ought to put that lesson in vre. And S. Paul speaketh expresly of the rebellious children, too shewe that there wil∣bee no obedience in vs, except God put it intoo vs, and reforme vs, and both chaunge the naughtinesse whereuntoo wee were giuen afore, and continue and increace the goodnesse that he hath begunne: for else Saan hath so taken possession of vs, as he must needes drawe vs lyke brute beastes. Trew it is that S. Paule addeth anon after, that this serued not only for the heathen, (howbeit that Gods grace was most apparant in them:) but that euen the excellentest men were com∣prehended therin, and (which more is) that the Iewes, (who thought themselues too haue a singuler priuilege of exemption from the com∣mon cursednesse of men,) were also forlorne and damned, till they were redeemed by our Lord Iesus Christ. Wherin wee see yit better the thing that wee touched not long since: that is too wit, that heere is no mention made of any one sort of men alone, but that the holy Ghost thūdereth vpō al men, to the end that al of vs shold be beaten down frō the least to the the most. But this cannot be discoursed as now. Ther∣fore we must for conclusion take that which S. Paule treateth: which is that God hath quickened vs. Wherby he dooth vs too wit, that we bring not lyfe with vs from our mothers womb, but that by reason of sin we bee in death, when wee come intoo this world, which is worse than if wee were not at all: yea and that there is no geynsaying too it, bycause wee shall not find any thing in our selues but corruption and wickednesse, and bycause that the more a man stirres it, the more it stinketh, and wee shall bee the more loth too see the great and deepe dungeon of all iniquitie which is in vs. Therfore it standeth vs on hand too bee quickened, and too haue lyfe giuen vs, not of nature, bu of the grace of our Lord Iesus Christ, bycause wee bee renewed by him: yea and too knowe that God hath taken vs out of a wretched and cursed state, and theruppon too forget all vayn glorie. And Let vs not think that euer wee shall yeeld vntoo God the prayse that hee deser∣ueth, till wee abhorre all our owne wretchednesse, & bee come too the poynt (to know) that the deuill reigneth ouer vs, till God pluck vs out of his pawes, and set vs free from his cursed tyranny. For is there any Page  [unnumbered] thing more irksome than too say, that wee bee subiect to the diuell, and that he reygneth, not only ouer our bodyes, as somme worldly tyran myght doo, but also ouer our soules, and ouer all our thoughts? For he is a spirit, and there is not that thing in vs which is not corrupted by him, & filled with his poyson. Sith we know this: let vs consider also that God hauing found vs in that plyght, hath notwithstanding not disdeined vs, 〈◊〉 leted for all that too succor vs, according also as S. Paule vseth the sme reason,* when he sayeth, that wee were Gods deadly enemyes, at such tyme as Iesus Christ redeemed vs. And so let vs conclude, that God respecteth nothing but our miseries, when he calleth vs too him. Hee looketh not whether wee seeke him or no, for how were that possible? wee drawe cleane arsward. He looketh not whether wee bee able too doo him any seruis or no: for wee bee rank rebells ageinst him. He looketh not whether there be any good toward∣nesse in vs: for al our thoughtes & lustes are deadly enemyes fyghting ageinst his ryghtuousnesse. Wherat looketh he then? What moueth him too succour vs? Euen the infinite number of miseries that he fyn∣deth in vs, and the horrible confuzion wherein wee bee: those are the thinges which inclyne God too shewe vs mercie. So then, let all mouthes bee stopped, and let vs not presume too bring any thing in this behalfe, as thugh wee had bound God vntoo vs, or that he found aught in vs wherefore he should shewe vs fauour: for he must take all things of his owne, and doo all of his owne infinite goodnesse, bycause he seeth vs miserable, damned, and vtterly forlorne, and let that stirre vs vp too doo good, and too prouide remedie, not onely for our diseases, but also for our death. For if wee were but corrupted with sinne and vyce: the maladie were alreadie vncurable. But besides that, there is a death, yea and a spirituall death, which cannot bee recouered by all the meanes and remedies of the world: God must bee fayne too put too his hand, yea and that so myghtily, as it may bee knowen that he aueth vs by myracle.

And nowe let vs cast our selues downe before the maiestie of our good God, with acknowledgment of our sinnes, praying him to make vs so too feele them, as we may forsake them, and bee rid of them day∣ly more and more, and that in the meane season he of his goodnesse will beare with vs, and not eamine vs ouer streytly, but by little and little abae and correct the naughtinesse that reigneth too much in vs, and not suffer vs too bee saues vntoo Satan, but set vs free by our Lord Page  67 Iesus Christ, of whom wee holde all our spirituall freedome. And so let vs all say, Almyghtie God heauenly father. &c.

The tenth Sermon, which is the second vppon the second Chapter.

3. VVee also vvalked vvith the disobedient, dooyng the plea∣sures of the fleshe and of the thoughtes, and vvere by nature the children of vvrath as others are.

4. But God vvho is rich in mercy, through his great loue vvher∣by he loued vs,

5. Euen at the tyme vvhen vvee vvere dead by sinne, quickened vs toogither vvith Christ, by vvhose grace you bee saued,

6. And rayzed vs vvith him, and made vs sit vvith him in hea∣uenly places in Iesus Christ.

I Began this morning too shewe you how S. Paule ment too stretch out Gods good∣nesse vntoo all men, too the intent that none should haue cause too boast of himselfe, as though he had any woorthinesse alone by himself. And truly if euer there were any nation in the world aduaunced aboue o∣thers,* it was the Iewes: forsomuchas God had accepted them for his owne houshold,* and called them a holie linage and his owne inheritaunce. In that re∣spect therfore the Iewes seemed well woorthie too haue preheminence aboue others.* Howbeit too the end that none should darken the grace of our Lord Iesus Christ, he sayeth, that euer they also were the chil∣dren of wrath, so as it stoode thē on hand o lie drawen out of the dun∣geon of confuzion, wherof I spake this morning. Too bee short, S. Paule sheweth heere, that euen those whom men woold deeme too bee the excellentest, can bring nothing wherof too brag, or too purchace themselues estimation before God, but are all receyued too grace too bee made heires of the heauenly lyfe, by meanes of our Lord Iesus Christ.

Page  [unnumbered]Now heere myght a question be demaunded, why S. Paule setteth the heathen men on euen ground with the Iewes, seing that God had set such oddes betwixt them. For it myght seeme that all the promises were disanulled: and that were a dooing of wrong vntoo God, rather than vntoo men. If wee graunt (as of necessitie and reason wee needs must) that Gods choozing of Abrahams ofspring, was not in vayne, and that his telling of them, that he accepted them too bee of his hous∣hold & Church, was not too deceyue them: they must needes be neerer & more familiar vntoo God, and they must needes haue some marke wherby too bee gathered vntoo him. It seemeth then that S. Paule should not haue abaced the Iewes after that sort. But in another place he sheweth, that all this geere agrees full well, if wee consider the Iewes (on the one syde) in the state of (Gods) chozen and peculi∣ar people: and (on the other syde) what they bee (of themselues) and what they haue deserued before God. For in the Epistle too the Ro∣mans,* after that S. Paule hath giuen sentence vppon the whole world, shewing that there is not any one which is not damned and for∣lorne: he moueth this question: Seing then that God gathered Abra∣hams linage, and dedicated it wholly too himself, what shall become of them? Shall there bee no holinesse in them? For it seeemeth else that God had but dalyed, and that his saying in the holie scriptures, that he had not delt so with any other nation, was nothing woorth. But S. Paule sayeth,* that of a truth men ought too commend the grace that God voutsafed too shewe foorth vppon his people: and so consequently that they are too bee preferred before all the whole world, so farre foorth as they be indewed with the benefytes which they had by Gods promises. Hewbeit he addeth foorthwith, that in asmuch as they bee descended of Adams race, and are sinners, as well as all other men, and there is nothing in our whole nature, but corruption and froward∣nesse: all men must bee fayne too stoope, and all of vs must needes acknowledg, that one of vs cannot bee sholed out fom another, accor∣ding as wee haue seene heetoofore in the second chapter too the Gala∣thians,* where S. Paule told S. Peter thus: Yea, wee bee Iewes by nature, and it seemeth that wee ought too go alone by our selues, seing that God is our King, and hath sanctifyed vs, and voutsafeth too dwel among vs. Well then, it seemeth at the first blush, that wee should shake of the Gentyles, as vncleane persons, and such as haue none acquaintance with God. But let vs come too account (sayeth he) a••Page  68 there is none of vs all but he is indaungered vntoo God, & must needes perceyue himselfe too bee a wretched sinner. Sith it is so, God must bee the iudge of all men, and we must needes sinke before his maiestie, till wee bee reconcyled vntoo him by our Lord Iesus Christ. Too bee short, S. Paules meaning in this text, is not too deface Gods grace, but too shewe that the Iewes had not any other meane in themselues whereby too obteyne the saluation and heritage of heauen, than onely by beyng members of our Lord Iesus Christ, and that they must al∣wayes bee fayne too take themselues first for cursed and damned. For the woorthinesse which they haue is but as a wyndfall, & they be borne in sinne, and subiect too cursednesse, no lesse than all other men, and Gods accepting and choozing of them too himself, was a speciall and (as they saye) a supernaturall gift. Yee see then that by nature the Iewes are forlorne as well as the rest of the whole world, and yit ne∣uerthelesse that God hath also receiued them too mercy.

By the way wee must marke, that vnder the word Nature, Saynt Paule sheweth, not only that wee bee sinners by custome, so as euery of vs thrusteth his fellowe out of the way, and wee bee too much incly∣ned too followe the euill, rather than the good: but also that there is a further matter in it, which is, that euery of vs bringeth sinne with him euen from his birth. Too eate and too drinke are things that accom∣pany vs: but yit is sinne more rooted in vs, than all the things that be∣long too this lyfe. Truely the heathen men will thinke it straunge, that the young babes which are not able too discerne betweene good and euill, nor haue any discrecion or will, should alreadie bee sinners and damned before God, according too S. Paules saying, who calleth them the children of wrath: but yit must wee needes yeelde our selues too condemnation whether we wil or no. As soone as babes bee able too make any signe, it is certeyne that they will shewe inough and too much, that they bee froward and naughtie, and that there is a secrete poyson lurking in them▪ And that although they cast it not out at the first, yit they bee as a broode of serpentes. Sith it is so, let vs vnder∣stand that Saint Paule dooth not without cause call vs the children of wrath, as well as the Iewes, not excepting the very infantes out of the number, whom men terme innocents, and take them so to bee: For wee must not regarde our owne opinion, nor the things that wee see before our eyes, but wee must giue glory vntoo God, who is the com∣peteent iudge thereof, although wee finde it incomprehensible. How Page  [unnumbered] soeuer the world go, wee must alwayes come backe too that which is sayd in the one and fiftith Psalme,* namely that wee not onely offend God dayly in diuerse manners: but also are lothsome too hym before∣hand, yea euen before wee haue eyther done or thought any thing, by∣cause wee were begotten in sinne and cursednesse. And by that word Children of wrath, S. Paule meaneth that wee bee the heyres of death, and that God must needes bee our enemie, yea euen as soone as wee bee conceyued. Yit is not God cruell, nother hateth he the things that are of his owne making. That is trew, if we had such pure∣nesse in vs as was in our forefather Adam, according too this saying, that all things which God made were good, God then should hate his owne workemanship in vs. But wee must conclude, that sith he hateth vs, and is as it were armed to take vengeance on vs all, we haue well deserued it. And that although sinne cannot be poynted out with the inger, as yee would say: yit dooth God know it well ynough, and wee must hold our mouthes shet at it. That is in effect the thing that wee haue too gather vppon this Text, in applying it too S. Paules meaning. For if the Iewes, which seemed too haue or ought too haue some peculiar prerogatiue, are neuerthelesse included vnder the generall state of men: what can wee alledge which are borne Gen∣tyles, if wee will presume too bring any brauerie before God? So then wee haue well wherwith to be confounded dubble, seing that they, in comparison of whom wee bee nothing, haue notwithstanding no enterance intoo the kingdome of God, but by his only free mercie, an by being reconcyled by meane of our Lord Iesus Christ.

But there is yit one question or doubt more. For how should the Iewes be Gods enemies, seing he had auowed himself alredye to bee their father? Some man will say, that the seeing of the things that were figured, and the truthe nd substance of them remayned as yit too bee accomplished. But wee haue too marke yit further, that although God had adopted the Iewes in Abraham: yit they were receyued in Iesus Christ, and that that grace was grounded vppon him, accor∣ding too this saying, In thy seede shall all nations of the earth bee blis∣sed.* And wee haue seene in the Epistle too the Galathians, that the sayd seede must bee referred too our Lord Iesus Christ: for without him there is no vnitie,* but vtter sattering asunder. Sith it is so, it is not too bee marueiled, that the receiuing of the Iewes into the Church, as well as the receyuing of the Gentyles, is fathered heere by Saint Page  69 Paule vppon the onely free bestowed goodnesse of God.

Howbeeit, there is yit a second poynt, which is not too bee forgot∣ten: which is, that although the Iewes had obteyned such grace, yit they abode in suspens till the comming of the Redeemer. And for that cause wee shall see in another place, that those which were neere, and those that were farre of, were reconcyled by him. For wee know that there is no attonement too bee made with God, without sheading of blud. Now the Sacrifizes of the Lawe could not put away sinne,* nor pacifye Gods wrath and cursing. When men offered the blud of an Oxe, or of a Calfe, or of a Lamb, it was not too make attonement with God, there was no such power in the brute beastes: for the thing that is corruptible, atteyneth not too the soule. Therfore it is too bee con∣cluded, that the Iewes were Gods children by hope, and yit that they were vtterly separated from him, till the attonement was made in the person of the Redeemer. And by that meanes did God shew himself fauorable towards them, as he did towards the rest of the world. And for that cause also dooth S. Paule adde, that God being rich in mer∣cie, hath quickened them, as he did the Gentyls, euen according too his great loue vvhervvith he loued them.

The cheef poynt (as I told you this morning) that S. Paule handleth, is, that wee should lerne too bee ashamed, yea and too lothe our owne wretchednesse, by resorting too our originall, and by consi∣dering in what plyght God findeth vs, and out of what a dungeon wee passe, when God reacheth vs his hand. And the second is, that wee should magnifie his goodnesse so much the more, bycause it is an vn∣credible thing, that he should voutsafe too cause the doctrine of lyfe too come downe too the bottome of hell too quicken vs: for wee were sunk downe thither. Thefore wee must marke well these wordes, where it is sayd, that God being rich in mercie, quickened vs when wee were dead, according too the great loue which he beareth vs. Trew it is, that this tytle myght alwayes agree vnto God, bycause he nother abateth nor increaseth: and so shall God bee euermore rich in good∣nesse. But we must therwithall marke the circumstance of the place, and the matter that S. Paule treateth of heere: which is, that God hath vttered the inestimable treasures of his mercie vpō vs according too the greatnesse of our miseries. And For that cause also he addeth, the great loue wherwith he loued vs. For needes must there haue bin such a goodnesse in God, as is able to rauish vs, seeing it surmoun∣teth Page  [unnumbered] all our capacitie, and that wee bee not able too taste the hundredth parte of it, though wee giue our selues neuer so much vntoo it. And why? For when S. Paule sayeth that God loued vs, he speaketh ex∣presly of himself, and of such lyke, which had bin chozen from among that people, when as the greater part of them was cut of. For al∣though the Iewes were the first borne, and had preheminence aboue vs, as by ryght of inheritance, & that we be but as silly things borne out of season,* as S. Paule speaketh of himself: yit notwithstanding wee see that they bee now banished from Gods kingdome, and are be∣come as a president that ought too make the heare stand vp vppon our heades, when wee behold the wrath and vengeance of God that is vt∣tered vppon them. Therfore wheras S. Paule and some small num∣ber mo were chozen from among the Iewes: it was through Gods loue which had the greater apparance towardes them. Lykewyse nowe adayes, if the Gospell were preached purely throughe the whole world, & fayth giuen indifferently too all men, soo as there were none but he should be touched immediatly with the holy Ghost, and all of vs were alyke: it woold seeme to be as the course of nature. And lyke as meat and drinke are common to all men, so it woold seeme that wee had this of our owne naturall motion, and that it were not a spe∣ciall grace of God. But when wee see so manie Countries hunger∣starued, so as there rayneth not one drop of good doctrine vppon them, but rather the wretched people are fed with Lyes and trumperies of Satan: and that on the other syde God inlyghteneth vs heere, and wa∣tereth vs with his woord: whereof commeth that, but of the great loue whereof S. Paule speaketh heere? Agein, many men haue their eares beaten with the Gospell, and yit it is apparant too mennes eyes, that they become hard harted by it, and waxe woorse and woorse. For it is certeine that a man shall not see so horrible monsters in the papacie, as where the Gospell is preached and professed, for they will say they bee reformed, and yit they seeme too bee diuells incarnate: and wee neede not too go farre to see such syghtes. So then, let vs marke heere, that wee must not surmyze that any of vs hath aught wherwith too please God, more than his felowes, nor presume too make any account of our selues: but that we must alwayes repayre too the fountaine that annot bee drayned dry, and not go too the pits that are full of holes and can holde no water, or rather which haue nothing but sid & filth in them, (for all the gloriousnesse and brauerie of men is no better) but Page  70 drawe of the sayde loue of our God, & confesse that God must not bee perswaded or moued by other folkes, but onely that it pleased him too loue vs freely, by receiuing vs vntoo him, and by inlyghtening vs with his holy spirit in the fayth of the Gospell. And so yee see what Saint Paule ment too note heere.

Now on the other side, to the end that men (who are alwayes suttle witted, in seeking some shifts and starting holes or other: should not excuze themselues by being vnder the Tyrannie of the diuell, nor alledge that the same ought not too bee layde too their charge: Saint Paule sheweth that the sayd bondage ceasseth not too bee wilfull. I shewed you this morning, that notwithstanding all our free choyze, and notwithstanding our reason and will, yit we be as it were fettered too Satans seruice, so as wee can doo nothing but all naughtinesse, nother should wee bee any better by nature, than the arrantest theues in the world, if God had not pitied vs, accordingly as Saint Paule setteth forth al other men vntoo vs as a looking glasse, yea & euen such as despyze God and all order, and are driuen by Satan intoo all out∣rage: saying, that wee should bee lyke them, if God had not bin merci∣full too vs. But now there are many which grudge ageinst God, and which go too lawe with him, saying: If free will bee so defaced, what shall become of vs? If men were able too giue themselues vnto good∣nesse, and yit notwithstanding made none account of it, but gaue them∣selues too euill: surely it were good right and reason, that they should bee hild for giltie. But if they cannot but doo euill: why should God condemne them? At leastwise they ought too bee borne withall, seing it is apparant that they bee hild vnder Satans dominion, euen from their mothers wombe. Loe what many men alledge, in hope to washe their handes. Yea, and they bee not contented too iustifie themselues by vayne shifts, but they doo also rayle ageinst God, as though he were the cause of their damnation. But S. Paul to preuent such saunders, sayeth, that they which are vnder the bondage of Satan and of sinne, ceasse not for all that too be condemned by good right. For they be not constreyned theruntoo by force: they bee subiect in deede, but that is with their owne good will. And that is the cause why he sayeth, that euen such as are brought backe agein to our Lord Iesus Christ, haue walked in the lustes of the fleshe: that is too say, that before God had chaunged them, and brought them too his obedience by his holy spirit, they walked in their owne wicked lusts. True it is that men will Page  [unnumbered] graunt their nature too bee sinfull, but yit they say, it suffizeth that the will bee otherwyse. All men will graunt that it is the will which put∣teth the difference betweene vice and vertue: But when the philoso∣phers spake after that fashion, they were of opinion that wee haue a francke and free will. And that is the thing that deceyued them, by∣cause they knewe not that wee were marred by the fall of Adam, and yit notwith••anding ceasse not to be iustly accursed, forsomuch as our offending of God is with our owne good will. And therfore also he addeth agein, dooing the desires of our fleshe, and of our thoughts. As if he should say, that they which are possessed of Satan, and hild vnder the saurie of sinne, cannot alledge any compulsion. For why? it is their one will that dryueth them thereuntoo. Thus yee see in effect, how S. Paule ment too stop the mouthes of all misspeakers, too the intent, that men should not picke any quarrells too God, by preten∣ding that they ought not too bee shent for their naughtinesse, seing they bee subiect too it by nature. But let vs marke heerewithall how S. Paule hath matched thoughtes with the fleshe, too the end wee myght knowe that sinne reacheth throughout vs, and that wee haue no peece of vs cleane and pure, wherintoo infection is not spred. For the Pa∣pistes will well ynough confesse that wee bee corrupted in Adam: but they say, that wee doo in deede tend alwayes vntoo euill, when wee bee tempted vntoo it, and yit neuerthelesse, that if wee herken vnto reason, and brydle our lustes by ruling them well, then wee shall see playnely that wee bee not altoogither vnable too doo good. And so the opinion of the Papistes is, that mans free will is not of such force as it was at the beginning, but that it is wounded, yea and sore maymed, howbeeit, that it hath yit still some lyfe, that is to say, some vertuousnesse, as they imagin. But wee haue seene this morning, that the determinate sen∣tence of the holy Ghost is more generall: that is too wit, that wee bee not onely sicke, but also dead, till wee be rayzed agein by Iesus Christ. Nowe S. Paule confirmeth the same thing, saying, that our wicked lustes, and the affect os that are termed the sensual appetytes, wherin wee resemble the brute beastes, are not the onely things that harrie vs heere and there: but that we must take the matter more strictly. What are all our thoughtes, all our determinations, and all that euer is dee∣med too bee best in man? They bee (sayeth S. Paule) starke wicked∣nesse. For if God should let vs go after our owne thoughtes: it is cer∣teine, that there is not a more horrible confuzion, than that would bee. Page  71 So then, wee see that men are not humbled heere by halues, too con∣fesse onely their frailtie, and that they haue partly neede too bee suc∣cored and helped at God hand: but wee see they bee vtterly damned before him, sit their thoughtes are heere called wicked and froward, and that they haue nothing in them which prouoketh not Gods ven∣geance ageinst them. So then, let vs on the one side yeelde our selues giltie, assuring our selues that wee were iustly bereft of all Gods gra∣ces in the person of Adam: And agein, on the other side let vs not take the same for an excuse, in hope too scape by such shifte, as who should say, we were not the bōdslaues of sinne, nor wee our selues any whit too blame for it, bycause wee bee hild downe in Satans snares and nettes euen from our birth. But it behoueth vs to consider alwayes, that euery of vs shall fynde the welspring of his disease in his owne conscience. Men may hold plea as much as they list: but if they enter intoo them∣selues, and aske their owne consciences, yee shall see them condemned and confounded without any nay. When a man hath babled what he can, so as he thinkes he hath wonne the gole, by saying that he hath no free will of his owne, nor abilitie too resist God: there needeth no more but thys one woorde: what thinkest thou too bee the thing that prouoketh thee too euill? Ho, it is the diuell. Thou sayest well. But yit marke a little whether that dooth so fully excuze thee, as that thou perceyuest not ryght well, that thou wart stirred vp and driuen too it by thine owne selfmouing: knowest thou not that the welspring and roote of the mischiefe is in thy selfe? When thou art so rebellious a∣geinst God, that thy thoughtes are full of vntruth and vnbeleefe, and that so much the more bycause thy lustes are out of square, and imbat∣telled ageinst God and his rightuousnesse, euen too make warre with him: when thou seest all this, must thou yit hold plea further with him? So then, let vs not seeke any starting holes, seyng wee carie a sufficient iudge with vs, euen within vs, namely seyng that euery of our owne consciences rebuketh vs. That is the thing that S. Paule amed at in this streyne. And thereby wee also are wared, not too presume aught at all on our selues, but too brydle all our senses and imaginations, and all the vnderstanding and reason which wee weene our selues too haue. For vntill wee haue so renounced our selues, it is certeine that we shall neuer bee meete too apply our selues too the seruing of God.

And S. Paule sayeth expresly, that those whom God hath quicke∣ned, are by that meanes made felowes with our Lord Iesus Chryst: Page  [unnumbered] for it is euen he in whom they haue theyr lyfe. Trew it is that we ought too seeke it in Gods being: howbeeit forasmuch as that is too hygh for vs, so as wee cannot come at it, no nor any thing nere it: ther∣fore our Lord Iesus is called the way.* And he offereth himself, and taryth not till wee seeke him as though he weere farre from vs, but reacheth out his armes too allure vs too him, insomuch that in his Gos∣pel he sayeth, if any man bee ahirst, let him come vnto mee and drink. And this is fulfilled in his person,* as hath bin said erewhiles. So then let this speeche bee marked, where S. Paule sayeth, that those which were dead afore, were quickened agein by Iesus Christ. And heere wee see yit better the thing that I touched shortly this morning: which is, that S. Paule speaketh not of a visible death, wherof men may iudge by outward syght: but of the corruption that is in our souls: for he fyndeth fault with vs all. How then may wee atteyne too the heauenly lyfe. How shall we bee rayzed & quickened agein to possesse the heriage that is promised vs? Wee see on the contrarie part, how wee bee subiect too as many miseries as can bee. This therfore must needs bee ment of the newnesse of lyfe which he speaketh of in other places. Now it is certein that this lyfe is not yit perfeet in vs: there is but a little enterance of it, which serueth too leade vs further, and too bring vs too the end, (which shalbee) when wee bee come too the full glorie that he speaketh of heere. And wee see also how S. Paule set∣ting himself foorth for an example, alledgeth that he had giuen ouer all things for our Lord Iesus Christes sake, yea and euen the fond opi∣nion which he had of his owne ryghtuousnesse: insomuch that although men esteemed him as a little Angell, yit notwithstanding he knewe that it behoued him too bee saued by Gods free grace in Iesus Christ. And in sted of all his honour and riches: he had suffred so many repro∣ches, so many tortures, so many beatings, and so many imprisonings, that a man would haue said,* he had bin lyfted vp aboue the world: and yit notwithstanding he addeth, not that I am yit come too my marke, but I streyne my self foreward, and forget the tyme that is past. For if I stay vppon the things I haue done alredy, saying, I haue ouercome so many incounters, I haue delt thus valeantly, I haue not ceassed too preach the Gospell euery where, I haue wrought in such wyse, that the frute of my doctine is come to the whole world, I haue passed the sea, I haue bin among barbarus nations, where God and his Gospel were neuer erst heard of, I haue had a number of lets, and haue ouercome them all, I haue incountered with thus manie enemyes, and haue got Page  72 the vpper hand of them all: If S. Paule say, I had had all these con∣siderations with him, he had become cold: for it is an easye matter with vs too shrink away when wee once think with our selues, 〈◊〉, I haue doone ynough for my part, now let others marche on in their aray. And so euery of vs woold take his leaue, when he had some thing or other, I ot not what. But S. Paule sayth, that he forgets the tyme past, too the intent too cut of occasion of slothfullnesse, which myght come in his head, and sayeth, that he streyneth him self foreward, and holdeth his armes opē too atteyne vnto it. And how long tyme did S. Paule streyne himselfe foreward? Euen too the end. Then let vs mark well, that our glorie shall neuer bee perfect, that is too say, wee shall neuer throughly inioy the glorie that wee wayt for, vntill the end. And therefore it behoueth vs alwayes too take warning of our owne wretchednesse, too moorne for it before God, and too confesse that wee be beholden too his only goodnesse for all things. Now then, how∣soeuer wee fare, wee see that we be reformed vnto newnesse of lyfe by Gods spirit: and that although wee dwell among vnbeleeuers, & bee subiect too manie miseries, yea and haue sin dwelling in vs: yit there is none of vs but he feeleth that the handsells which God hath giuen vs of his holie spirit, are not vayne nor vnprofitable. If any man alledge, that before such tyme as Iesus Christ woork in vs, wee haue alredye some lyfe, as is seene: answer was made shortly this morning: that forasmuch as all that euer men haue by nature, is not able too bring them vntoo God, but maketh them too rest vppon this world: none of it ought too bee made account of, when the heauenly lyfe commeth in question. Then let men calp their hands at vs on all syds: yit are wee but dead men, when God layeth the brydle looce in our necks, and suffereth vs too walk after our owne fancie and lyking. Man may well haue some reason: but what can it doo so long as it is in the owne nature? It will fyght ageinst God, and ageinst all truthe. Yit notwith∣standing, man, say they, hath a will: howbeeit, that the same will bee wicked. Trew it is (as I haue sayd alredye) that it hathe no strength in it. Yit notwithstanding forasmuche as man is wicked and froward, and hath the cursed roote of rebellion in himself, so as he cannot but doo euill, he offendeth God willingly. And seing it is so, let vs boldly con∣clude, that wee bee in death, till wee bee made partners of the lyfe of our Lord Iesus Christ,* and that he deale vntoo euery of vs the spirit which he hath receyued, in such measure as he listeth: according as it Page  [unnumbered] is sayd that Gods spirit rested vppon him, and was giuen vntoo him in all plentie, and that as nowe he must deale it too euery one of hys faythfull ones. Therefore according as our Lord Iesus Christ maketh vs too taste of his holy spirit, and according as he strengtheneth there∣by: so are wee quickened in him and with him.

Now heeruppon he addeth, that he hath made vs too sit in the heauenly places vvith our Lord Iesus Christ. This serueth too mag∣nifye the grace that we haue hithertoo spoken of, yit so much the more. If he had sayd in one woord, that wee were qickened: it had bin ynough, and it ought well too haue inflamed our hartes to sing Gods prayses, and too occupye our selues therin, and too apply al our inde∣uers theruntoo. But heere is a greater vehemencie, bycause of our coldnesse and lazinesse. For S. Paule hath shewed on the one syde, that wee were dead and hild in bondag vnder the tyrannye of Satan. Alas, these are terrible things. And now he setteth downe on the other syde, that God hath not only loued vs, but also glorifyed vs in himself, and that wee bee lifted vp from the bottom of hell, aloft vntoo the kingdome of heauen, where he hath lodged vs, and giuen vs seates a∣mong his Angells. Seing then that wee heare this, needes must wee bee to much doted, & our witts too much brutish, if we make not in good earnest too glorifye the inestimable goodnesse of our God, and too con∣clude, that wee bee so beholden and bound vntoo him, that although wee should doo nothing else all our lyfe long, but preache the grace that wee haue felt by experience at his hand, yit it were nothing at all. And so yee see why S. Paule hath purposely set downe, that wee be lifted vp too heauen wih Iesus Christ. And heeruppon wee haue a very profitable exhortation too gather, which is, that although we bee heere in the myre, and do but craule lyke poore frogges: yit ought we to beare this state paciently, for somuch as on the other syde God hath lyfted vs vp so hygh, euen vs that were nothing, yea and cursed crea∣tures too. And therfore whensoeuer wee be fayne too suffer hunger & thirst in this world, or be mocked by vnbeleeuers, or put to the abiding of manie outrages, let vs resort too that which is sayd heere: namely, that yit neuerhelesse wee be set alredy in heauen with Iesus Christ, howbeeit not in such wyse, that it is apparant vntoo our eyes. For in this behalfe wee must giue place too hope, and vntoo that which is sayd in another text,* namely that our lyfe is hid, and that we must hold our selues quiet, till it appeere at the comming of our Lord Iesus Page  73 Christ. Thus then you see in effect, how it beehoueth vs too vnder∣stand the things that are spoken heere of the diuers state of Gods chil∣dren, after they bee called too the fayth of the Gospell. But by the way, we must not imagin an earthly paradyse in this world, where we shall haue nother trubble nor greef: wee must make our reckening, that wee shall neuer liue heere at our ase, but wee must make roome for fayth, as I sayd afore. And besydes this, wheras the holye Ghoste auoucheth by the mouth of S. Paule, that wee shalbee lifted vp on hygh: i standeth vs on hand too cast downe our heades, and too suffer our selues too bee oppressed by our enemyes, and too bee ouer∣maystered by them with all pryde: we (I say) must suffer these things, and yit in the meane whyle bee fully perswaded, and throughly resol∣ued of this doctrine, that wee for all that shal not fayle too inherit the kingdome of heauen, for it is vnpossible that the head should bee sepa∣rated from the mmbers, and our Lord Iesus Christ is not gone thi∣ther for his owne sake alone. Wee must alwayes repayre too that principle. Our confessing that Iesus Christ is rizen from the dead, and gone vp intoo heauen, is not alonly too glorifye him in his owne person. Trew it is, that first of all it must come to passe,* that all knees must bow before him, and that all creatures both in heauen and earth, yea and euen in hell, must doo him homage. But yit notwithstanding, the vnion wherof wee haue treated heertoofore, is fulfilled in this, that Iesus Christ hauing gathered vs intoo his bodie, hath begunne that thing in himself, which he intendeth too performe in vs, namely when conuenient tyme commeth. So then, Iesus Christ is gone vp intoo heauen, too open vs the gate in these dayes, which was shet ageinst vs by Adams sin: and that is the verye maner of our sitting with him al∣redye. And therwithall S. Paule sheweth in one woord, what he in∣tended. In deede this saying shalbee declared more at lenth in his dew place, where S. Paule himself will treat of it more at large in the next Sermon. Yit notwithstanding wee may see wherat he amed, too the end wee may haue a sure and ryght marke too shoote at: which is, that wee bee saued by grace, and that noman is able too clayme any thing of his owne. Neuerthelesse it is not ynough for vs too haue con∣fessed in one woord, that our saluation commeth of Gods free fauour, and too haue felt it also within our selues: but wee must also therwith∣all bee taken in loue with the infinite greatnesse of the same grace, by considering what wee bee, how all euill commeth of our selues, and Page  [unnumbered] that there is no saying nay, bycause our faultes doo too much conuic vs, in somuch that if God should execute a hundred tymes more rigour ageinst vs than he dooth, wee could not contend with him, nor dispute with him, but that wee should alwayes haue this record of our owne consciences, that wee bee iustly woorthie of death, and that the same is dew vntoo vs by our desert. Then seeing it is so, let vs hold fast this doctrine, for wee shall haue profited greatly for our whole lyfe, if wee once know, that there is not only some one naughtie touche, but an in∣finit number of euils in vs. Therefore let vs lerne too mislyke of our selues, and too hate and abhorre our selues, and afterward when wee bee come too the grace that is shewed vs in our Lord Iesus Christ, let vs vnderstand, that without that, the diuell should needes haue full and whole possession of vs, and reigne ouer vs, as he had doone afore. Also let vs beware that wee profit our selues by such grace, so as it may serue too put away all our cursednesse. And then let vs assure our selues, that not only all our miseries shall turne too our benefyte by our Lord Iesus Christ, but also that he will giue vs such strength, as wee may well glorie in our state: and although wee bee driuen too fyght ageinst manie temptations, and that wee bee frayle on our owne behalf: yit neuerthelesse wee shall ouercome them in such wyse, as wee shall haue cause too yeeld God thankes by our Lord Iesus Christ, insomuch as being ioyned vntoo him, wee cannot fayle too come too the full perfection of all good things.

Now let vs cast our selues downe before the Maiestie of our good God, with acknoweledgement of our faults, praying him too make vs so too feele them, as it make vs not onely too confesse three or foure of them, but also too go vp euen too our birth, and too acknowledge that here is nothing but sinne in vs, and that there is no way for vs too bee reconciled to our God, but by the blood, death, and passion of our Lord Iesus Christ. And therefore as oft as wee feele any hartbytings too urne vs aside from the grace of God, too cite vs too his iudgement sate, let vs haue none other refuge, than too the sacrifize wherby our Lord Iesus Christ hath made attonement betweene God and vs. And wensoeuer wee bee weake, let vs desire him too remedie it by his ho∣ly spiri, which is the meanes that he hath ordeyned too make vs par∣••kers of all his gracious giftes by: and let vs so continue in the same, as wee may bee an example vntoo others, and labour too drawe them 〈◊〉 vs too the fayh and vnitie of the doctrine, and by our life and Page  74 good conuersation shewe that wee haue not gone too schoole in vayne, in so good a schoole as the schoole of the Sonne of God. That it may please him too graunt this grace, not onely too vs, but also too all peo∣ple. &c.

The eleuenth Sermon, which is the third vppon the second Chapter.

8. Surely you bee saued by grace through fayth, and that not of your selues: it is the gift of God:

9. Not by woorkes, least any man myght boast.

10. For wee bee his vvoorkmanship, created in Iesus Christ, too good workes which God hath prepared for vs too walke in.

SSaint Paule hath shewed heeretoofore, that our saluatiō is the true looking glasse, wherein too behold the infinite glorye of God: for it is his will, too be knowne by his goodnesse aboue all things. And for that cause also hath he shewed, that God choze vs before the making of the world, howbeeit not in respect of any thing that could bee found in vs: but too content his owne onely mercie. Here therefore he concludeth that matter, and sheweth what he ment when he told vs, that our adoption hangeth and proceedeth of Gods chozing of vs in his owne euerlasting purpose, that is too wit, too the intent wee should be as it were cleane defaced, and confesse that whatsoeuer wee bee, and whatsoeuer goodnesse wee haue, wee hold it all wholly of God and of his onely free goodnesse. That is the cause why he sayeth, that wee bee saued by grace, not of our selues, but by Gods gift, and not by works. It had bin ynough ••o haue excluded all the goodnesse and vertue that man could imagin. But for asmuch as it is hard to beate downe the pride wherto wee bee too much giuen: S. Paule reherceth this matter agein, too the end it might bee the better vnderstoode, and confirmed more at large. And therwithall wee haue too mark, how he matcheth fayth ageinst it, as well too shewe the meane wherby too come too saluation, as also too Page  [unnumbered]〈1 page〉Page  75〈1 page〉Page  [unnumbered] more therfore doth it stand vs on hand, too marke well the thing that is sayd in this streyne, which is, that wee bee saued by grace, and that wee doo nothing at all too it, but that God giueth vs all that euer belongeth too our saluation. And why? Bycause wee can doo nothing at all: we haue nother good workes nor deseres too alledge for our selues.

Furthermore, this speech is well worth the weying, when he saith, least any man myght boast. For theruppon wee haue too gather, that it is not ynough for vs too father some part of our saluation vpon God: but that we must come to that poynt, & yeeld so farre, as not too make any countenance too it at all, but abyde too haue all our owne glory so abaced, as only God may haue all preheminence, as wee haue seene in other textes, and specially in the place of Ieremie, where it was alledged,* that God is not glorified as he ought too bee, nother is it possible for vs to glorie in him, till all that euer wee think our selues too haue of our owne, bee cast downe and doone away. For nother the vertue, nor the wisdome, nor the abilitie, nor the ryghtuousnesse of man mut bee put foorth, if wee intende that God should keepe still that which is his owne, and which he reserueth too himself. Now therfore wee see that all the partnershippes which the world woold make with God, are but fond dotages, yea and illusions of Satan, who laboreth too make vs beleeue that wee are able too doo somewhat of our selues, too the intent too plucke vs therby quyte and cleane from ou God. For so long as a man imagineth himselfe to haue any one drop of goodnesse of his owne: he will neuer giue ouer himself vntoo God, but bee puffed vp with vayne presumption, and rest vppon himself. Satan therfore hath wonne much at our handes, when he hath once perswaded vs, that wee bee able too doo any thing of our selues, or that wee can make any meanes to atteyne too saluation: for his drift is, too make vs leaue seeking of the thinges in God, which God offereth vs. And by that meanes wee abyde emptie still, according too the virgin Maries song,* where it is sayd, that such as are so filled with ouerwee∣ning, shall abyde still hungrie, and God will laugh their vayne pre∣sumption too scorne. Then can wee not bee fed with Gods grace, ex∣cept wee long for it, and feele our owne lacke, according too this say∣ing of the Psalme,* Open thy mouth, and I will fill it. So then, let vs marke well, that men shall then bee dispozed to receyue at Gods hand all that is requisite for their saluation, when they reserue nothing too themselues, but acknowledge that all self boasting must bee put away. Page  76 And (as I sayd afore) by that meanes the partnershippes which the world pretendeth too make with God, doo fall too the ground. For the Papists are driuen too confesse, that without Gods helpe they can doo nothing, and that they bee too weake too withstand Satan, if they bee not strengthened by the holy Ghost. They can fynd in their hartes too graunt, that they cannot deserue aught at all, except God supply their wantes, and also that they haue neede of the forgiuenesse of their sinnes. But yit for all that, they cannot abyde too giue ouer their free∣will, but imagin verily that they can partly further themselues. Ther∣uppon they are alwayes buylding of some desert, and although (they graunt that) Gods grace preuent them at the first, yit they alwayes mingle therwith some indeuer and good will of their owne, and when they flee vntoo God for release of their sinnes, they bring him their owne satisfactions for the same. And so yee see, that the Papistes will not in any wise freely and wholly yeeld and gyue ouer vntoo God the prayse of their saluation, but keepe backe some part of it, commonly the one halfe or more, too themselues. But S. Paule passeth further here, & sheweth that we doo wrongfully alwayes defraud & bereue God of his glory, till wee haue forgotten all the false opinions wherwith the world deceyueth it selfe. Therefore the onely way for vs too glorifye God, is too acknowledge that wee bee nothing of our selues. And so, humilitie or lowelynesse is not a feyning or false pretence, as many suppoze, which thinke themselues too haue contented God by saying in one woord, that they bee wretched sinners, and as weake as is possi∣ble: but wee must bee fully resolued, that all that euer men imagin in their owne braynes concerning desertes, freewill, preparation, helpe, or satisfaction, is euery whit but leazing & trumperie of Satan. When we once know this, then will we submit our selues as we ought to doo, & then shall God keepe his estate, as he deserueth, & we also shall yeeld him such honour as is dew to him. But this cannot be done (as I sayd) vnlesse all that euer men conceiue & imagin concerning good workes, wherewith too deserue well at Gods hand, bee vtterly razed out.

Moreouer let vs mark therwithall, that if wee wil bee partakers of the saluation that God offereth vs, wee must bring nothing with vs but only fayth. For (as is sayd in another place) fayth taketh no help of good woorks. Although it haue record of the Lawe,* yit dooth it not bring aught vntoo God, wherby too bynd him 〈◊〉 vs, but rather witnesseth that wee bee vtterly emptyed, and that wee haue none other Page  [unnumbered] hope than only in his free goodnesse. But lyke as a man that is pin∣ched with great distresse, so as he can scarsly stirre a fynger, and hath nothing but his tongue too cry out, alas that some body woulde helpe me, & pitie mee: euē so must fayth ryd away al the ouer weenyng which wee haue in our selues, that wee may receiue what soeuer God offereth vs, so as al the prayse thereof bee reserued vntoo hym. That therfore is the thing that wee haue too beare away.

And heerby wee bee warned, not too bee vnthankfull when God calleth & alureth vs so gently: but too run vntoo him as poore hungry soules, & to haue an earnest mynd too bee succored at his hand, bycause it pleaseth him. For what is the cause that our Lord Iesus Christ pro∣fiteth not a great number, but for that they haue deaf eares when God incorageth them too come too him? And veryly some of them are so beastlyke, that they passe not for the heauenly lyfe, so they haue heere wherof too feede and too drink lyke Swyne, or wherewith too wal∣lowe in their owne delyghts and pleasures: as for the spirituall goods (which wee ought too labor for) they bee nothing with them. Yee see thē that the one sort shet God out of the doores, bycause they bee dulled with the allurements of Satan, and drunken, or rather vtterly be∣witched with the delyghts of this world, eyther in pomp and honour, or in riches, or else in whoredome and other loocenesse. And the other sort think they haue wherwith too make God beholden too them, as wee see manie hipocryts doo, which cannot giue ouer the vayne self-trust wherwith they bee swolne lyke Toads. Wherfore too bee short, let vs marke well this woord fayth, that the pleasures and ease of this world hold vs not backe from lifting vp our harts vntoo God. And that is the very way too fasten our anker in heauen. For wee can neuer haue the sayd substancialnesse of fayth, which S. Paule speaks of, except wee passe swiftly through the world, and know that our heri∣tage and resting place is elswhere than heere: and moreouer shake off all vayne imaginations that may come in our heads: for they serue but too turne vs away from Iesus Christ, so as wee may not come at him, nor he haue any entrance at al vntoo vs. That is the thing which wee haue too gather vppon that text.

Now for further confirmation, S. Paule addeth hereuppon, that vvee bee Gods vvorkmanship. He meanes not this of Gods crea∣ting of vs, and of his setting of vs in this world: but his meaning is, hat men, as they bee borne in Adam, are vnmee for the heauen∣ly Page  77 life, and that if they thinke too get any thing by that, they deceyue thmselues too much, bycause they bee but as dead creatures, and as caryos wherein is nothig but rotten ilthynesse. For proofe hereof wee neede too seeke no further matter than this present Text, where he sayth, that wee bee created in Iesus Christ. Here therefore S. Paule maketh a comparison of the dubble birth that is in al the faith∣full. For wee haue all of vs one generall creation, wherby wee liue in this world: and God createth vs new agein, when he voutsafeth too giue vs newenesse of life by his Gospell, I meane when he printeth it in our harts and mynds by his owne secret working: for the word a∣lone were not ynough too doo it. So then, as in respect of our first creatiō, there is no differēce betwene the Iewes, the Turks, the Hea∣then men, & vs. Wee are al of vs taken out of one Lump, wee are al the children of Adam, yea wee are all heyres of Gods wrath, and cur∣sed by nature, as wee haue seene alreadie heretoofore. Then if men examine them selues, and searche what they bee by their first birth: they shal finde how there is nothing in vs but sinne and wickednesse, & that the wisedome which wee weene our selues too haue, is but beastly∣nesse: and that the light whiche wee thinke wee haue too discerne betweene good and bad, is but stubbernesse and starke spytefulnesse ageinst God: and so yee see wee be corrupted in all parts of our soule.

Now then what can wee doo too finde fauour at Gods hand, and too make him beholden vntoo vs? for if wee can doo nothing but euil, it is but a kindling of his wrath more and more ageinst vs. Wee bee worthye of endlesse death alreadie before wee come out of our mothers wombe: in somuch that although wee perceyue not the sinne that is in a yong babe: yit hath he the seede of it within him, and God auow∣eth that all of vs deserue too bee drowned in the bottom of hell: Then if the little babe bee so rightfully condemned afore hand, euen ere he haue seene the light of the world: what is too bee sayd of vs when we bee come foorth, and doo shewe that wee bee naughtie (in deede) and that our nature is altoogither sinfull: And when wee bee come to age, what can we do (as I said afore) to fal to cōposition with God, so as we might helpe foreward his grace, and that our so dooing might bee a meanes too further our saluation? Loe what S. Paule meaneth by this Text, where he sayth, that wee bee Gods woorkmanship. As if he shoulde saye, poore creature, thou thinkest too play the dutie fel∣lowe in this behalfe, by putting thy selfe foreward too alledge some de∣seruing, Page  [unnumbered] and that thou art able too begin and too approche vntoo God, so as he on his syde must bee fayne too bee beholden vntoo thee: When begannest thou that? If thou say, thou begannest it before thou wart borne: thou deseruest that men shoulde spit in thy face. If thou say, it was afterward, betweene the age of seuen yeeres, and the age of twen∣tie or thirtie yeeres, at what tyme thou wart inlyghtened with the Gos∣pell: thou art on the contrarie part sufficiently disproued, that thou couldest not haue one drop of willingnesse too doo good, but that all thy thoughtes and desires were vtterly rebellious ageinst God, and as men of warre fyghting ageinst his rightuousnesse. Therefore thou hast doone nothing else but fyght ageinst God, euer since thou wart borne. Agein, if thou take it too bee from the time that thou wart a little babe, vnable too discerne betweene whyte and blacke: yit wart thou of the cursed race of Adam. And so turne thee on which syde thou wilt: and reason must needes driue thee too perceyue, that thou wart vnable too doo any thing too Godward, and consequently that all that euer he hath wrought for thy welfare, ought too be fathered vppon him alone, with∣out chalenging any drop thereof too thy selfe.

Thus wee see now why Saint Paule dooth in this text call vs the woorke or woorkmanship of God, according also as it is saide in the Psalme,* that they which were the houshold folke of his Church, were also his flocke. For there the Prophet sholeth out the children of Is∣raell, whom God had gathered toogither of his owne mere goodnesse, too set them asyde from other heathen nations. For it is certeine, that God found none other cause too keepe that linage too himself, or too preferre them before others, saue only that he of his own mere mer∣cy had them theruntoo. As much is to be sayd of vs at this day. And that which he addeth, namely that wee were created in Iesus Christ, ought too touche vs yit the more too the quicke. For there he shew∣eth that the creating of vs in Adam, is but a bringing of vs too de∣struction: and therfore that it standeth vs in hand too bee fashyoned and creted new agein, namely euen in Iesus Christ, who is the se∣cond Adam, as he him self termeth him in the first too the Romans, and in the fifeenth of the frst too the Corinthians. Yee see then that this woord create, is ynough too stoppe the mouthes, and too put a∣way the cackeling of such as brag of the hauing of any woorthinesse. For when they say so, it is a presupposing that they were the makers of themselues. He that chalendgeth too himself any fredome of will, Page  78 and taketh vppon him too haue any meane or abilitie to doo good (of himself:) it is certein, that his meaning is, too step intoo Gods place, and too shew himself too bee a Creator. But there is noman which abhorreth not such blasphemie. The blyndest betles and maddest bedlems in the worlde, account the woorde Creation, as a holie and sacred thing, & will say, that God is the verye Creator or maker of all things, and thou Hipocrite confessest the same with thy mouth, and yit thou doost but lye, forasmuch as thou thinkest that thou hast some freewil too further thy self too welfare & saluation. And so thou denyest the first article of our fayth: for thou makest God but half a creator, So then they will well ynough confesse with their mouth, that God is the Creator, yea and as farre as the lyfe of this world comes too, they will say, they holde it of him. But now is there a much excellenter lyfe, namely which wee hope for, and which wee possesse alredye by fayth, howbeit that wee inioy it not alredye now presently. And how much more precious and woorthie is that lyfe wherin wee shallbee parttakers of Gods glorie, than this wayfaring which wee make in this world, that is but a shadowe that vanisheth away out of hand? Now if yee aske the Papistes of whom they haue the (heauenly) lyfe, wee haue it partly of Gods grace (say they) and partly of our owne feeewill. Forasmuch then as they father some peece therof vppon themselues, and thinke too part stakes after that fashyon with God: wee must conclude that they bee their owne creators. But heeruppon they will reply, and protest that they neuer ment any such thing, and that they had leuer dye, than too vtter any such blasphemie. Yea, but in the meane whyle, which is the thing of greater valew? too create a mans self too bee a mortall man in this world, or too purchace euer∣lasting lyfe? S. Paule telleth vs, that if wee can doo any thing by our owne freewill and power, God is not fully our creator. But he sayeth, wee bee his woorkmanship and of his making, yea euen in respect of the heauenly lyfe: it behoueth vs too beare that alwayes in mynd: for S. Paule speaketh not of this transitorie lyfe, but of the inheriting of the kingdome of heauen. Wee see then that the Papistes defye God in their pryde, lyke villanous blasphemers as they bee. And therefore for our part, if wee mynde too bee parttakers of the grace which is purchaced for vs by our Lord Iesus Christ, wee must bee rid cleane of all selfweening, and acknowledge that our beginning too doo well, springeth of Gods voutsafing too call vs too him, and of his preuen∣ting Page  [unnumbered] of vs through his owne free goodnesse. Too bee short, S. Paules meaning is, that all they which thinke themselues too haue deserued aught at Gods hand, doo beare themselues on hand, that they bee men of great abilitie, wheras in deede they bee already dead, & are nothing at al. What can a dead man doo? And surely wee bee dead (as I haue declared heretofore) till God uicken vs agein by the meanes of faith, and by the woorking of his holy spirit. Now if wee bee dead, what good can wee doo, or whereuntoo can wee dispoze cur selues? Agein, wee bee nothing at all: for the woorde Create, importeth that all that uer is in vs, is of Gods putting intoo vs. Lyke as when it is sayde that he created the worlde of nothing, it is as much too saye, as that where as there was not any thing at all before, he gaue beyng too that which was not. Euen so as in respect of the spirituall lyfe, that wee bee creted, is as much too say, as that wee were nothing at all before. Now, if wee bee nothing, shall wee bee able too bynd God too gyue vs this or that? Are they not things vtterly ageinst nature? Then let vs marke well, that too knowe how wee bee saued by mere grace, and that wee haue all thinges of Gods gift, and of his free goodnesse, wee must bee fayne too come too this poynt, namely that God gaue vs our beyng, according as it is auouched by the example of Abraham in the fourth too the Romanes.* For in Abrahams body wee see what is in our soules. When Iesus Christ was promised too Abraham in his sonne Isaac,* yee knowe he was a man altoogither drooping and bar∣rein: and his wyfe also was farre striken in age. And therefore that eyther he on his syde should beget, or his wyfe on hir side brede a child, are things impossible. But he beleeued God, which calleth foorth the things that are not,* and giueth them beyng. Seyng then that Abra∣ham was as a withered blocke, and had no srength nor lustinesse in him, and yit notwithstanding receyueth the promis that was made vn∣too him: therein it behoueth vs too behold that wee cannot bee partta∣kers of Gods grace, except wee acknowledge our owne vnabilitie, and bee first of all vterly abaced in our selues, that our Lord may begin our lyfe, & continue the same, till he haue brought it too ful perfection.

Furthermore let vs marke well, that his saying in Iesus Christ, is too sende vs backe too the corruption which wee haue by inheri∣••unce in Adam. For wee can neuer fynde in our heartes too yeeld our selues giltye, tyll wee feele it proceed in our selues. And moreoer it serueth too shewe, that this benefyte is not common in∣differently Page  79 to all men, but only to those whom God hath chozen, accor∣dingly as wee haue seene alredie, that we were chozen before the ma∣king of the world. Now then this extendeth not generally too all A∣dams ofspring, but only too so many as are renewed in Iesus Christ. And therfore it is all one as if S. Paule should shewe, that wee had neede of a remedie, for somuch as wee bee alredye forlorne and dam∣ned, at such tyme as God by the meanes of Iesus Christ plucketh vs out of the dungeon wherin we were. And this serueth too confirme yit better the thing that we haue seene heertoofore, which is, that wee can not be faythfull, except God make vs new agein, so as wee hold of him all things that belong to the heauenly lyfe, and all the spirituall goods which wee haue. Now seing wee bee created in Iesus Christ, it is all one as if it were sayd, that all the ryghtuousnesse, all the wisdome, all the vertue, and al the goodnesse that is in vs, wee drawe it from out of that fountaine, and that God scattereth them not abrode at aduenture, but hath put the fulnesse of all things belonging too our saluation, into Iesus Christ, in somuch that when wee bee once made members of his bodie,* wee be allso made parttakers of all his benefyts, and that with∣out him, wee bee cut of from all parts of our saluation, as though wee were rotten and stinking wretched carkesses, and that there were no∣thing in vs but filth, as I haue declared before. Thus yee see what wee haue too mark further, when S. Paule sayeth, that wee bee not only Gods woorkmanship, but also created in Iesus Christ.

Now he addeth, too good vvoorkes vvhich he hath prepared for vs to vvalke in. His setting down of good woorkes in this place, is to shew, what a follie, or rather what a madnesse and frentiknesse it is in men, too beare themselues in hand that they can bring good workes on their behalf, as who should say, they had thē in their sleeues, or as if they were of their owne growing. For needes must God haue prepared them (sayth he) and that wee should haue them at his hand. And it is all one as if he should say, go too, shew heere your prowesse and vertewes: enter a litle into account with God: seeing your pryde will not bee daunted, but yee haue all wayes some bristles set vp still, bring foorth all that yee think may make for yee. Well, say you, and wee will bring our good workes, as the Papistes are wont to doo: who alledge in this wyse: what? how now? shall we not be saued by our owne merites, and by our good workes? And whence draw ye them, sayeth S. Paule? Haue yee coyned them in your owne shop? or Page  [unnumbered] haue ye some gardin of your owne planting, whence too gather them? or spring they, I wote not how, of your owne trauel and pollicie, so as you may further your selues by them? No, but contrarywyse, knowe yee that God hath prepared them. And is it meete that you should fall too replying ageinst him, when he hath pityed you, and shewed himself bountifull towardes you? Is it meete that yee should presume too step foorth too pay him, as though yee had wherwith of your awne? When a man hath bin well kept and tended, and his host hath lent him mo∣ny at his neede, and he hath receyued it at his hand (too pay him with∣all:) shall he afterward boast, that he hath payd his hoste? There is an hoste, that not onely is contented too doo his charitie vpon a man, but also after he hath found hym both at bed and at boord, wyll say too hym, Hold here wherwith too pay: too the intent it may not seeme too you, that my charitable dealing hath bin too make an vnderlyng of you, I wyll receyue payment for it at your hand, yea, ut yit the same shall come out of myne owne purse. Nowe, shall he too whom suche franknesse hath bin vsed, go and say, he hath wel payd his host? Yea, and with what money? Euen with the same money that was put in∣too his hand. So standeth the cace with those that put forth theyr good woorkes, too say, that God hath not saued them freely, but that they them selues were a helpe too it. Yea, but where come they by those good workes? That was the thing that S. Paule amed at, when he sayd that God prepared the good woorkes. Trew it is that God pre∣pareth mennes conuersations by the Lawe, wherein he gyueth vs a certaine rule how too walke according too his will: and it is all one as if he prepared the way for vs too go in as wee ought too doo. But that would nothing boote vs, except wee receyued the good woorkes them∣selues at Gods hand. When God commaundeth vs any thing, wee may well haue our eares beaten with the sound of it, but it will neuer enter intoo our hartes, for wee bee full of pryde and naughtinesse, and too bee short, it is impossible for vs too obey God, till he haue softened our hartes, and vtterly chaunged them.

And that is the thing which is declared too vs by the Prophets, and in all the holy scripture. God therefore must bee fayne too make ano∣ther preparation: that is too wit, when he hath taught vs, and told vs what is good, and what he lykeeh of, afterward he must reforme vs, and so guide and gouerne vs by his holy spirit, as there may bee one accord betweene our life and his lawe. Then vntill such time as God Page  80 prepare good woorks after that fashion, that is too say, till he giue vs them by shewng vs his will, and also make vs to do them by his po∣wer: wee must needes bee vtterly vnprofitable Now sith it is so, let vs learne too humble our selues before God, both for that is past, and also for that that is too come. For that which is past, let vs acknow∣ledge that God hath plucked vs out of the gulf of hell, and that where∣as wee were by nature damned, he hath voutsafed too haue vs too bee his children, and therfore let vs not bee so ouerweening, as too thinke that wee haue this or that, but let him be gloryfied as he deserueth, and let vs assure our selues that he hath pulled vs backe from death, to the intent, that the beginning, welspring, roote, and onely cause of our saluation, should proceede of his onely free bestowed goodnesse. Thus ye see in effect, that it is a poynt of trew humilitie, to giue all the glory of our saluation vntoo God. And for that which is too come, it beho∣ueth too knowe that wee could not stirre one of our little fingers too doo any good, except wee were gouerned by God, and receyued the good works them selues at the hand of him, and of his holy spirit. So then, as oft as wee feele our owne weakenesse, let vs flee too him for refuge: and when wee haue doone any good, let it not puffe vs vp with any pryde, but let vs alwayes thinke our selues so much the more straytely bound vntoo God, yea euen by dubble. He that is yit very weake, must confesse him selfe exceedingly bound vntoo Gods mercy, for bearing with him: but he that goeth afore others, and is as a mir∣rour of all holinesse, must confesse himselfe much more bounde vntoo him. For why? He hath nothing of his owne, he holdeth all things of God, and of his onely free goodnesse. Wherefore let vs all our life long walke in such sort, as wee may still from yeere too yeere, from mooneth to mooneth, from day to day, from houre to houre, and frō mi∣nute too minute, continually acknowledge our selues bound vnto God for the goodnesse which he hath giuen vs of his owne mere mercy, and let vs thinke our selues beholden too him for all things.

And let vs marke by the way for a conclusion, that S. Paules in∣tent here, is not to decypher al the causes of our saluation one by one, but too abate mens lustinesse, that they might not make any bragges, or any countenance 〈◊〉 God is in their debt. Therefore it is ynough for S. Paule to haue stopped all mens mouthes in such wyze, as they may not take vppon them too haue aught of their owne. For contra∣riwize whensoeuer God giueth vs good works, although they bee the Page  [unnumbered] fruites of his mere goodnesse: yit can they not purchace vs any thing at his hand: for wee must alwayes ground and settle our selues vppon the forgiuenesse of our sinnes. There lyeth all our rightuousnesse.

Too bee short, there are twoo things requisite in yeelding God the prayse that is dew for our saluation: first that wee acknowledge our selues too haue all things of him: and secondly that wee acknowledge that all the good workes, and all the good will which he hath giuen vs already, serue not too purchace vs fauour at his hand, nor for vs too trust vppon: but (too shewe vs) that he had neede too vpholde vs, and too burye and forget all our sinnes, and that by that meanes wee bee iustifyed before him, bycause he acquitteth vs, notwithstanding that wee deserue too bee condemned a hundred tymes. So then, too be shor, when it is tolde vs, that there is nother freewill, nor any thing else in man: it is too the ende wee should learne too gyue all glory vnto God, and not haue any cause too vaunt our selues any more. And that after∣warde vppon the knowing thereof, wee should vnderstand that wee should bee in continuall trubble and perplexitie, were it not that wee bee sure that wee shall alwayes obteine grace and mercy, by comming too God with teares and lamenting. And how so? Bycause he vout∣safeth too acquit vs, and although he could thunder downe vppon 〈◊〉, and drowne vs: yit he buryeth our sinnes by meanes of ur Lord Ie∣sus Christ, and receyueth vs alwayes too mercy.

Thus then yee see how men ought in all poyntes, and in all caces too bee confounded in themselues, and too bee ashamed of their owne leawdnesse, that they may glorifie God: and therwithall ackowledge that they should alwayes bee in doubt and anguish, but that God dooth euermore pitie them, and the death and passion of our Lord Iesus Christ, is the sacrifize wherby wee be reconcyled too him. That ther∣fore is the trew way too vphold and auow God too bee the Sauiour of the world: & that also is the way for vs to father all things vpon the grace of our Lord Iesus Christ, as he deserueth: namely by rayzing and putting quyte away all the glorying which we pretend to haue in our selues, and theruppon too confesse, not only that all the goodnesse which is in vs, is of Gods putting intoo vs, but also that he must bee fayne too beare with our infirmities, bycause wee ceasse not too pro∣uoke his wrath, till he make that satisfaction auaylable, which was made by the death and passion of our Lord Iesus Christ.

But now let vs cast our selues downe before the maiestie of our Page  81 good God, with acknowledgment of our sinnes, praying him to make vs too feele them more and more, till wee bee so pulled downe, as there may bee no more showe of sin in vs: and that in the meane whyle, wee may neuerthelesse seeke the ayde and helpe of our Lord Iesus Christ. And that forasmuch as he hath partly inlyghtened vs alredy by his holy spirit, it may please him too increace his grace in vs more and more, till he haue communicated it wholy vntoo vs: and in the meane tyme so vphold vs and gouerne vs by his holy spirit, as our whole in∣deuer may bee nothing else but too frame our lyfe after his holy lawe: and he not passe vppon the great number of our sinnes which we com∣mit, neuer ceassing too stray away too our owne vndooing, but hold vs backe by his secret power, vntill he take vs away out of this world, and ioyne vs with our Lord Iesus Christ, who is the fountayne of all perfection, that wee also may bee perfect in him. And so let vs say, Al∣myghtie God heauenly father. &c.

The twelfth Sermon, which is the fourth vppon the second Chapter.

11. VVherfore remember that you vvhich vvere sometime Gen∣tiles in the fleshe, beyng called vncircumcision, in respect of that vvhich is called circumcision, made by hand in the flesh:

12. VVere at that time vvithout Christ, straungers too the com∣mon vveale of Israell, and straungers from the couenants that conteyne the promise, vvithout hope, and vvithout God in the vvorld.

13. But novv in Iesus Christ, you that vvere erevvhyle farre of, are made neere by the blud of Christ.

ALthough the things that are preached vnto vs generally cōcerning Gods grace, ought too moe vs too magnifie his name, and to acknowledge the benefyts that wee haue receyued of him: yit notwithstanding if a thing bee doone priuately vnto vs, then ought wee to bee touched yit the more ther∣with. The same order keepeth S. Paule here. For wee have seene this morning, Page  [unnumbered] how he made cleane riddance of all that is in man, that there myght bee but only one ground woork of saluation, that is too wit, the mere goodnesse of God. Now hee applyeth the same particularly too the Ephesians, willing them too bethink themselues of their plyght wher∣in God found them: as if after his speaking of all mankynd, he should send euery one of vs too his owne experience. And in verye deede, that which is spoken heere too the Ephesians, concerneth vs also, lyke as if a man hauing told vs of the forlornnesse wherintoo wee bee tumbled by Adams fall, should say: Consider also what you were, and after what sort you liued in all beastlinesse, before such tyme as God called you too the knowledge of himself. The thing then which wee haue too mark, is, that S. Paule hauing shewed how that all mē from the grea∣test too the least, ought too confesse that they haue their saluation through Gods only goodnesse, addeth another particular declaration, wherin he sheweth the thing that euery one of the faythfull ought too knowe in himself. Trew it is that the thing which he hath sayd for that tyme, would not agree in all poynts too our dayes: but yit shall S. Paules answer alwayes haue his course, and serue too good purpose. For although wee haue bin baptized from our infancie, yit come wee of such as erst were cut of from Gods Churche. For the Iewes were sholed out from all other nacions of the world, as a people whom God had ordeyned too himselfe, wee were then all Heathen, (I meane as in respect of our forefathers,) before the Gospell was preached too the world. But now agein wee see what confuzion is come vppon vs, through the vnthankfulnesse of such as were called too the truthe of the Gospell, and how wee haue strayed away after such a sort, that wee haue bin as good as cut of from Gods Churche agein. For the baptim that wee receiued in our chyldhod, stoode vs in none other sted, but too make vs dubble giltie before God For they that were plund∣ged in the superstitions of poperie, and in all the Idolatries that are committed there, had as good as renounced their baptim, and were become renegats: and wee can not excuze our selues too haue bin for∣sworne vntoo God, seing wee were start away from his obeysaunce. Therfore it is not for vs too make any boasting, or too seeke any ex∣cuce too couer our wretchednesse withall: but rather too confesse free∣ly that wee were as deadly enemies too God, and woorthie too haue bin vtterly giuen ouer of him, bycause he had reached vs his hand too bring vs backe agein too the way of saluation. So then, first wee take Page  82 this text as it lyeth, to apply it to the Ephesians, and afterward looke too take profit of it our selues. Now then let vs see the contents and substance of these woords, Bethink your selues, and remember how yee were sometyme Gentyles.

First he putteth a difference betweene the Iewes, and those whom God had suffered too walke on still in their owne darkenesse. For it was a speciall priuiledge that God gaue vntoo Abrahams ofspring, when he adopted them, too say too them, you shalbee my people whom I lyke of, as though yee were of myne owne houshold. Those then which came not of Abrahams lyne, were as good as banished from Gods kingdome and Church. And he addeth, in the fleshe. Not as he speaketh in dyuers other places, where he vseth that woord in re∣proche: but too shewe that God had shewed by a visible fashion, how wretched their state was, and that they needed not any greate deepe∣nesse of wit too perceyue it. For circumcizion (sayeth he) serued as it were too rid men of their vncleannesse. And furthermore that Sa∣crament was ordeyned of God, too shewe that all the seede of man is cursed, and that wee cannot bee ryghtly made holy and pure, but by the cutting of, & putting away of the thinges that wee haue by nature. Too bee shorte, lyke as nowe adayes wee bee taught by Baptime too renounce whatsoeuer wee haue by birth: so also was circumcizion a token to shew how all men were filthy and lothsome, till they had for∣saken their owne kynd. Now then, S. Paules meaning is, that the sayd visible signe, shewed well too all the heathen, that they were (as yee would say) vnwoorthie too preace vnto God, and that he voutsafed not to receyue them into the companie of the faythfull. For the Iewes had not inuented circumcizion of their owne brayne: but (as I haue sayd afore) God had sholed them out from the rest of the world, & all was by reason of the priuiledge of his owne mere grace & goodnesse.

Theruppon S. Paule addeth further, that they were at that tyme vvithout Christ. And this serueth too shewe yit better, that men are horrible scattered, and can do nothing but runne astraye, till God haue knit them toogither in the bodie of his sonne, and adopted them too bee his children. For wee knowe that Iesus Christ is the lyght of the worlde, and that all ryghtuousnesse dwelleth in him, and that he is our redemption and lyfe. So long then as wee haue none acquayntance with him, wee must needes bee as poore blynd men in the darke, wee must needes bee as good as dead, wee must needes bee naked of all ho∣lynesse, Page  [unnumbered] ryghtuousenesse, power, and all goodnesse. And forasmuch as our freedome dependeth vppon him: wee must needes bee hild vn∣der the tyrannie of the diuell and of sin, till he haue raunsomed vs from them. For this cause therfore doth S. Paule send vs heere vnder the person of the Ephesians, too Iesus Christ, too the end, that they which are not parttakers of Gods sonne, should knowe that it were better for them too bee drowned a hundred tymes, than too continew alwayes in that state. And why? For sith wee can haue nother lyfe nor soule health nor ryghtuousenesse, nor ought else that is allowable, but in Iesus Christ: it is all one as if he sayed, that wee haue nothing but vtter naughtinesse and destruction in our selues.

He addeth thereunto, the common weale of Israel: shewing there∣by that all the promises which were made too the Iewes, were groun∣ded vppon Iesus Christ. And therefore they that belong not too his body, are foorthwith depryued of all Gods promises, and cannot con∣ceyue any hope of lyfe, but onely by imagination, wherin they beguile themselues. And verily he addeth, the instrumentes (or couenantes and conueyaunces) of the promises: as if he should say, that God had not called the Iewes as it were in hudder mudther, but had passed a solemne conueyance or euidence, which serued too leaue all the world in condemnation. Therfore forasmuch as God had aduaunced Abra∣hams linage, it must needes bee that the rest of the world was so much the more confounded, like as if some Princes or some Cities should make a league, all others that are not comprehended in it, are as good as depriued of the benefite that is conteyned in it. And when God de∣clared that he tooke the Iewes too bee his flocke, and that he would be their father and sauiour: he declared also that no part thereof could come to the Gentiles, whom he had after a sort forsaken, and to whom he had not voutsafed too shew the like mercy. Finally he sayeth, that they had bin vvithout God, which is the full measure of all mischief. For what shall become of man, when his God hath so shaken him of, as there is no accesse for him, nor no comming too him agein? And that not onely he is forsaken of his God, but also cannot but plundge himselfe deeper and deeper intoo the bottom of hell, and make warre ageinst God, as though he were at defiāce with him, bicause he is stub∣burne and rebellious ageinst all goodnesse? Thus yee see, that the thing which S. Paule setteth forth here, too the intent that the Ephe∣sians should profit themselues, by the things that he had sayd this mor∣ning Page  83 concerning the onely cause of our saluation: is that there is none other thing for vs too trust vntoo, but onely Gods meere grace.

But now let vs come too or selues. I haue alreadie declared breif∣ly, that our fathers were in the same state that S. Paule setteth downe here. And therefore wee haue no cause too brag of, as oft as we thinke of what roote and originall wee spring. For if the very Iewes bee at this day a record of Gods wrath and horrible vengeance, which he layeth vppon them for their vnbeliefe: is there not much more cause for too cast downe their eyes, which are but as things borne out of tyme? For the Iewes are of the holy roote that God had chozen, and wee bee but graffed intoo it in their steade. If God hath not spared the naturall braunches,* what will he doo too vs that haue bin brought in as it were ageinst nature? Loe how S. Paule exhorteth vs too lowelinesse, too the end wee should lerne to submit our selues alwayes too Gods meere goodnesse, and frankly and freely confesse that our welfare consisteth therin. Also I told you secondly, not onely that our fathers were straungers to the hope of saluation, bicause they were not adopted as well as the Iewes: but also that the horrible scattering which came vppon the whole world, and which reigneth in it still at this day, ought too beate downe al pryde and presumption, that Gods grace may shine the brighter vppon vs. Now then (as I sayd) al∣though wee bee baptyzed, and haue the badge of Gods goodnesse and free adoption: yit, notwithstanding we haue bin wretched idolaters, and were gone away from our Lord Iesus Christ, and the things that wee had in greatest estimation, turned too our greater damnation, in steade of being for our welfare. Therefore wee haue good cause here too bethinke our selues.

Furthermore for asmuch as wee bee short witted in magnifying Gods grace, let vs wey well this woord which S. Paule vseth heere to bring vs to remembrance of the things which wee myght forget. For when wee bee indewed with Gods grace, and it hath pleased him too giue vs some good desyre too walk in his feare, & he hath wrought so in vs by his holye spirit, as men may perceyue that there is some goodnesse in vs: it maye make vs too forget by and by what wee were afore, by meanes wherof Gods grace is as good as buryed. Too the intent therfore that our present plyght hinder not our continuall praysing of God, and our esteeming of his goodnesse and grace as it deserueth: let no length of tyme darken the benefites that we haue re∣ceyued Page  [unnumbered] of God, but let vs as it were enter intoo examination of them e∣uery day. And although God haue chaunged our state at this day, so as wee bee no more the men that wee were afore: yit notwithstan∣ding let vs beare in mynd, that before God had pitie vppon vs, wee were as seely sheepe that went astray, and as beastes that are vtterly lost, and that without the same small beginning, wee had bin damned ten hundered thousand tymes erst, had not God preuented vs, and gi∣uen vs remedie for the cursed state wherin wee were. Yee see then, that the thing which we haue to consider vpō the sayd speech, wherby S. Paule putteth the Ephesians in mynd, what they were afore, is, that although God had put awaye the thing that shoulde haue made them ashamed, and marked them afore hand with his holy spirit, so as they were become as precious perles: yit notwithstanding he will haue them too bethink themselues, (lyke as in very deede it is, the frutes of repentance which the scripture setteth downe,) that when God hath reached vs his hand, and brought vs home agein from our straying, wee ceasse not too beethink vs of our (former) sinnes, euen in such wyze as wee may bee sorye, abashed, and ashamed of them.

Whereas he sayeth, that the Gentyles haue good cause too hold downe their heades, bycause they were sometyme without assurance of Gods goodnesse and loue: therby wee bee put in mynd, that wee re∣ceyue a singular benefyte at Gods hand, when wee haue the vse of his Sacramentes, which are as warranes, that he taketh and auoweth vs too bee of his household and Church. Trew it is, that if wee a∣buse them, wee shall pay deerly for it: but yit whatsoeuer come of it, when the Sacramentes are put too the end wheruntoo they were or∣deyned, it is certein, that they bee as it were inestimable treasures, as I sayd afore. For although wee haue Gods promis that he taketh vs for his children, euen from our comming out of our mothers womb: yit is there nothing but vnclennesse in our flesh. Now then, haue wee baptim? There it is shewed vs that God washeth and clenzeth vs from all our vnclennesse, that he pulleth vs out of the confuzion wher∣in wee were with our father Adam: and that he will haue vs clothed with Iesus Christ, too bee parttakers of all his goods, as though they were our owne.

Wee see then what baptim importeth, and consequently how much we ought too esteeme this grace of Gods comming vntoo vs in such wyse, and of his shewing of himself too bee our father after so homely Page  84 maner. As much is too bee sayd of the supper. For there it is shew∣ed vs visibly, that Iesus Christ is the trew foode of our sules, that like as our bodyes are susteined & nurrished with the bread and wyne, so wee haue our spirituall lyfe of the verye substance of Gods sonne. Seing then that our Lord Iesus dooth as it were from hand too hand shewe vs, that he giueth vs his bodie and blud too bee our spirituall meat and drink: is it not a thing much more worth than all things that are too bee found in this world? And herin wee see how malicious and frowarde most men are: for as touching the Lords Supper, manie come to it, which rush thither lyke wretched beasts, not knowing why it was ordeined. Some agein make but a custome & ordinarie vse of it: & although thei haue bin taught to what purpose it auaileth vs: yit they do but wring their mouth at it, & all is one to thē, when it is once past with thē. And othersome defyle it euen wilfully. And as touching bap∣tim, we se how the world goeth with it. For wheras we ought to think dayly, & not only once aday, but euery houre of the day, both vpō Bab∣tim, & also vpon the Lords supper, to confirme our selues the better in Gods grace: so little dooth any man sett his mynd that way, that if baptim bee minnistred in the Church, men make none account of it. Scarsly can one bee found among a hundred, that can fitly tell and vt∣ter what that signe of our adoption betokeneth. And yit yee see what disdeyne is matched with that ignorance. Must not God after his long suffering of vs, and his pacient wayting for vs, be reuenged of such dishonour, when his grace is so lyghtly esteeemed among vs? So much the more therfore dooth it stand vs in hand, too marke well what S. Paule telleth vs heere, when he sayeth, that the Gentyles being depryued of the Sacramentes which God giueth too his children for a warrant of his goodnesse and loue, are in miserable taking, too the end wee may lerne too make much of the priuiledge which he hath gi∣uen vs, not too boast folishly of it, as hipocrytes doo, who abuse Gods name continewally: but too make vs too fare the better by a thing of so greate pryce and valew, and too make vs knowe that wee bee no whit better than they which are as poore hungrestarued soules, a∣geinst whom God shetteth the gate still, and too whom he voutsafeth not tooo impart those pledges of his, wherein he sheweth and witnes∣seth that he will bee our father. Yee see the Turkes haue circumcisi∣on as well as the Iewes, and yit is it nothing woorth, bycause there is no more any promis of God goyng with it: and yit notwithstanding Page  [unnumbered] wee come of Adams race as well as they. Wherefore haue wee Bap∣tim, but bycause God intended too shewe himselfe the more pitifull to∣wardes vs, and too vtter the riches of his goodnesse? Agein, the Pa∣pistes will needes bee called Christians, and haue Baptim as well as wee. And yit in the meane whyle they bee bereft of the holy Supper, yea and they haue the abhominable Masse, wherein they renounce the death and passion of our Lord Iesus Christ. And what cause is there why wee should bee so preferred before them, sauing that God would haue vs too bee as myrrours of his infinite mercy? So much the more therefore behoueth it vs too walke in awe and warenesse, and too set store by the things which God sheweth vs too bee of such woorthinesse and excellencie, that wee may fare the better by them. Wherefore marke it for a speciall poynt, when S. Paule speaketh heere of Cir∣cumcision and vncircumcision.* For although he say in other places, that Circumcision is nothing, (howbeeit that was but bycause it was abolished, and the vse therof ceassed, as of all other figures of the Law:) yit notwithstanding, at such tyme as God ordeyned it, and so long as the Iewes vsed it holily, it was a sure warrant to them of Gods adop∣tion, as if he had clenzed them from all the filthinesse that is in Adams race, and appropryed them vntoo himselfe.

After he hath sayd so, he addeth, that they vvere vvithout Christ, and vvithout promises. Here he sheweth that the Sacraments take and borrowe their force of Gods woord. For if there were nomore but the bare signes, it were no matter of great importance. If Circumcizi∣on had bin giuen too the Iewes without any doctrine or instructiō: too what purpose had it serued? Surely they had bin neuer the better for it. But when as God sayeth, I am the God which sanctifyeth you, you shalbee my children, I will receyue you, and therwith all take you for myne heritage: and on the other syde also I giue my self too you, and wilbee your lyfe: forasmuch as Circumcizion had such promises, it was as an inestimable treasure too the Iewes, bicause the foundation (that is to wit, our Lord Iesus Christ) was layd sure, wheron the pro∣mises were setled, and as yee would say, confirmed. That then is the cause why S. Paule ioyneth heere the common weale of Israell, and the instruments of Gods promises, and our Lord Iesus Christ al toogither. Howbeeit in speaking of the common weale of Israell, he sheweth, that God had chozen one certeyne linage which he would haue too bee holie: and so was it too bee concluded, that all the rest Page  85 were vnholie. In speaking of the instruments of the promises, he shew∣eth (as I haue touched alredie) that wee must not looke vppon Cir∣cumcision in it selfe, but wee must direct it too the ryght end of it. It becommeth vs too knowe wherefore God would haue it vsed among the Iewes: for otherwyse it is but an Apes toy, as the number of fond deuotions which the Gentyles had, whereby they hoped too haue had holynesse: but all of it was but abuse and trumperie, bycause they had no promis of God. Lykewyse they say now adayes in the papacie, that they haue many Sacramentes, and therewithall as many murli∣mewes and gewgawes as can bee: but all that God disalloweth, is but pelting trash. And why? for there is no woorde that sanctify∣eth them. So then let vs marke well, that too profit our selues by the Sacramentes, wee must alwayes be taught them by Gods doctrine. And thereby wee may iudge, that manie are cut of from the Church of God, who notwithstanding are now adayes thought to bee hyghest in it. For in the meane whyle where is the instructiō, which they should haue too be partakers of the benefytes that God offereth them? They will alledge their Baptim, and they will say, they receyue the Lordes Supper. If a man ask them too what end: they vnderstand nothing at all, and that is as an vtter abolishing of the power of the Sacra∣mentes. So much the more therfore dooth it stand vs on hand too come backe too this poynt, namely too lerne of the Gospell, too what end Baptim was ordeyned, what frute it yeeldeth vs, and which is the ryght and lawfull vse of it: and also too consider whertoo the holie Supper auayleth vs. For if wee haue not Gods woord: our Lord himselfe telleth vs, that the Sacramentes which we receye, are as it were imbaced, and there is nothing but falsehod in them. And lyke as if a man should set a (Princes) seale to a letter that had nothing therin, or which had but imaginations and dreames contryued in it, it were an offence woorthy of death: so also forsomuch as the Sacramentes are as Seales too warrant Gods promyses vntoo vs, and too make them of authoritie among vs: if wee separate them from his woorde, it is certeyne, that wee bee falsifyers before God and his Angells. That therefore is one thing more which wee haue too marke vppon this streyne.

And wee must marke also, that Iesus Christ is set downe with the common weale of Israell, and with the Sacramentes and promises, too shewe that it is he on whom all of vs depend. For it is certeyne Page  [unnumbered] that God neuer commeth at men without the mediator. For sith he hateth vnrightuousnesse, & all men are cursed in Adam: it was requi∣site that our Lord Iesus Christ should step in, that wee myght haue some enterance and accesse vntoo God.* And that is the cause why S. Paule sayeth also, that he is the yea and the Amen of all Gods pro∣mises. For there shall neuer be any certeintie of Gods promises with∣out Iesus Christ.* And for the same cause also all things were dedica∣ted in the Lawe with blud, yea and euen the booke of the Lawe it selfe. When the couenant was red openly,* and published solemly too the people, the booke was besprinckled with the blud of the sacrifize, too shewe that all the doctrine conteyned in the Lawe, and all the promy∣ses wherby God adopteth those too bee his children, whom he hath ad∣mitted intoo his Church, must bee confirmed by the blud of our Lord Iesus Christ. So then, will wee haue the promyses too bee sure and infallible? Will wee bee assured of them, that wee may freely call vp∣pon God, and fyght ageinst all temptations? Wee must resort al∣wayes too Iesus Christ. It is much when God telleth vs with his owne holy mouth, that he will reserue vs for his owne: but yit must we needes tremble continually at his maiestie, till wee haue cast our eye vppon our Lord Iesus Christ, and knowe that God lyketh well of vs for his sake, so as our sinnes bee buryed, and shall neuer come too ac∣count. Thus yee see how the promises, the Sacramentes, and all that euer wee haue, must bee ratifyed by Iesus Christ. Too bee short, (if I may make an humane comparison, and speake grssely) he is the trew sauce too make all things sauerie that belong too our saluation. For without him, wee should continue euermore as men in a swound, and (as I haue sayd alredye) wee could conceyue no hope at all, nor haue our myndes so settled, as wee myght resort vntoo God for refuge. Not without cause therefore doth Saint Paule say, that such as haue no Circumcision, nor other Sacramentes whereby too bee consecrated vntoo God, nor any prmyses of saluation, are without Christ.

And now he addeth a thing which may seeme hard & straunge at the first sight, when he saith, that the Ephesians were vvithout God. For it is certaine that although they were wretched Idolaters, yit they had a certeyne opinion that the world was not made of it selfe: for wee k••we that all men haue continually hild soe seede of Religin, and euen they which ouershoe them selues so farre, as too wype out all knowledge of God, are first most vgly monsters, and secondly although Page  86 they striue too thrust all knowledge of God vnder foote, yit must they needes haue harthitings, that sting them in spyte of their teeth, and they bee driuen too feele that they cannot scape the hand of God. How∣soeuer the cace stand, wee bee naually inclyned too knowe that there is a God. And the heathen men haue alwayes had their deuotions and deuine seruices (as hey termed them) to shew that they worship∣ped some Godhead. How then doth S. Paul say here, that they were without God? Wee haue to note, that it is not ynough for men to con∣fesse that there is some certeyne Godhead, and to indeuer to discharge themselues of their duetie by seruing of a God: but they must also haue a certeyne settled beleefe, that they wander not too and fro after the manner that is spoken of in the first Chapter too the Romanes,* where it is sayd, that such as deuyze straūge shapes of God, doo vanish away in their owne foolishe imaginations. Now it is certeyn, that all such as are not taught by Gods worde, by the lawe, by the Prophets, & by the Gospell, are out of the right way, and after a sort, at their wittes end, so as they bee tossed too and fro like wauering reeds that yeeld too euery wynd, and theruppon make sundrye shapes of God. For eue∣ry man buildeth and forgeth crooked conceytes in his owne brayne, and wee knowe that mans wit is as a shop of Idolatrie & sperstition, in somuch that if a man beleeue his owne conceyt, it is certeyne, that he shall forsake God, and forge some Idoll in his owne brayne. Lo what wee bee. And it may right wel be sayd, that we be without God, when wee wander away after that fashion in our owne imaginations, and in our false opinions. And that is the cause why S. Paule sayeth, that such as haue had a mynd too worship some vnknowen Gods, haue woorshipped nothing but Idoles and fantasticall imaginations, and that God belongeth not at all vnto them, and so consequently, that they were vtterly forsaken of him, lyke as they were become renegates, & had renounced him before. Somuch the more then behoueth it vs too trauell and take peyne too knowe which is the God whom wee ought too worship. I haue told you alreadye, that it is not ynough for a man too alledge that he hath a good intent, and that he ment too worship God: that will go for no payment: for God lyketh not of the libertie that men take too make themselues beleeue this or that. Sith it is so, wee must present our selues before God with all warenesse, that be may shewe vs the way too come vntoo him. For else wee shall but go astray, and he that runneth swiftest, shalbe furthest of frō him, yea & in Page  [unnumbered] the end breake his necke. Lo in what cace wee bee till God haue rea∣ched vs his hand, and set vs in the ryght way, that wee may not bee as poore wandering beasts all the tyme of our lyfe.

Agein, for asmuch as he hath giuen vs a record of his maiestie in the holy scripture: it becommeth vs too hold our selues short therunto, and not too couet too knowe any thing which is not shewed vs there. What must then bee our lodestarre too knowe God by? Too suffer our selues too bee taught by his woord, and too bee so discret, as to receyue whatsoeuer is conteyned there, without geynsaying, and not too pre∣sume to adde any thing at all thertoo. And wee ought so much the more to haue that care,* sith we knowe how S. Iohn auoweth, that he which hath not the sonne, hath not the father. Then lyke as I haue told you, that bycause God reueleth himselfe in this woorde, it behoueth vs too seeke him there: so also forasmuch as our Lord Iesus Christ is his liue∣ly image, let vs not enter intoo ouer hygh speculations, to knowe what God is: but let vs repayre too Iesus Christ, acknowledging that it is his office too bring vs too God his father, and that it is he by whome wee must bee guyded, and so shall wee bee sure that wee shall not bee without God in this world. Now if they that take so much peyne, and trott vp and downe too serue God, bee condenmed heere too bee with∣out God, bycause they haue not hild the trew rule, but haue bin beguy∣led in their superstitions: what shall become of the dogges and swyne that haue no awe at all of God, specially sith they bereue themselues of all knowledge, and degenerate intoo beastes, after they haue had some vnderstanding of the truth, by hauing their eares beaten with the ho∣ly Scripture: Of which sort wee see a great number nowe adayes, who too take the aduauntage of the tyme, and too make good cheere at their pleasure, could fynd in their hartes too quench, or too darken the lyght that God had caused too shyne vppon them, yea euen too the vt∣ter defying of Gods maietie, as though there were no more instructi∣on at all. Wee see how this cursed eede is dispersed abrode at this day through all the whole world. But (as I sayd afore) if the poore ig∣norant sort, which neuer had any certeyne way, but haue bin as blynde wretches wandering heere and there too seeke God, and yit he hath not sewed himselfe vntoo them, haue none excuce at all, but are condem∣ned at Gods hand, bycause they had not a trew roote: what shall be∣coe of the vnhappie wretches that despyze God in that wyse, and 〈◊〉 ageinst him, saying, wee knowe no more what the trew doctrine Page  87 and Religion meane. So much the more then ought wee too humble our selues, and too knowe that sith God hath reueled himselfe vnto vs, now that he is ioyned too vs with an insepaable bond, and hath shew∣ed himselfe a father too vs, and hath voutsafed too make vs members of the bodie of our Lord Iesus Christ, and made vs one with him, with condition that whatsoeuer he hath, belongeth now vnto vs: we ought too lerne too magnifie that grace, and too acknowledge what we haue bin, and what wee should bee still, if God had not shewed himself mer∣cifull towardes vs.

Heruppon a man myght demaund what S. Paule ment by the woord VVorld: for it should seeme that out of the world they were not without God. Howbeeit, that was too aggrauate the matter so much the more, by saying that the Ephesians had inioyed the lyght of the Sunne, all the Elementes had serued them, & they had receyued so manie commodities of Gods gift in all his creatures, and yit had not knowen him. For what else is the world but an open stage wheron God will haue his maiestie seene? Let vs lift vp our eyes: doo not the Sunne, the Moone, and the Starres, leade vs too him that gaue them the vertewes which wee perceyue in them? For behold, the sonne is farre of from vs, and yit he giueth vs lyght. Agein, he causeth the earth too bring foorth frutes, also wee see the dubble course that he keepeth: and although he wander now on the one side, and now on the other, yit notwithstanding he keepeth his compas continually, and neuer foget∣teth how farre he ought to go on the one side or on the other, as huge a masse as he is. If a Ball or a Boule were too bee hild vp, it woold neede some help: but behold, the Sunne hath nothing to hold it vp, but the secret power of God: and yit notwithstanding he is so huge and infinite a masse, as exceedeth all the whole earth. Mount he vp, or go he lowe, turne he, or returne he, on the one side or on the other: yit kee∣peth he his course stil euery day through the whole world, & euery yere also on the contrary part, and yit for all this he misseth not in any of all those thinges. Too bee short, when wee behold the skyes, wee ought too bee rauished with desyre to go vnto God. Agein, when we behold the thinges that are neerer vs, namely the varietie of the good things that God bestoweth vppon vs: (wee haue cause too doo the lyke.) Finally without going any further, let vs but enter intoo our selues. If a man looke but vppon one of his fyngers, what workmanship and what goodnesse of God is there? Wee then are in the worlde where Page  [unnumbered] God vttereth such abundance of myracles, wherby it is his meaning, too bee knowen and worshipped: and yit notwithstanding wee play the beastes, and go on lyke blockeheades without any vnderstanding, not knowing the God that made vs and fashyoned vs, euen him that vttereth and sheweth himselfe in all his creatures both aboue and be∣neath. Is not this ynough then too bereeue them of all excue, which play the beastes in their ignorance, lyuing heere but only too deuoure Gods benefytes, and in the meane whyle repayre not too him, too doo him honour, or to offer him their seruice? Then is it not without cause, that Saint Paule addeeth yit further this saying, that such as were so destitute of the knowledge of the Gospell, were without God in the world.

Now thereuppon on the other side, he setteth downe the grace of God, which they had receyued, too the ende, they should knowe that it was not of their owne purchace, nor obteyned by their owne pollicy and abilitie, but that they ought too consider well how greatly they bee bound vntoo God, for rayzing them vp too heauen from the deepe dungeons of hell. If God had but lent vs his hand to lift vs vp when wee were falne but too the ground, and so let vs alone in our owne state, wee should be beholden to him for it. For when we bee falne, and some body helpes too lift vs vp agein, wee will cun him thanke, & so ought we too doo. Behold now, God hath not only lift vs vp from the ground, but also drawen vs out of the gulf of hell. And his so doo∣ing, is not too make vs crepe here beneath vpon the earth, or to make vs too inioye the benefits that he offereth vs here presently: but too ad∣uaunce vs too the kingdome of heauen, as wee haue seene heretofore, how wee bee put in possession of it alredy by fayth, and are set in the person of Iesus Christ in the glory that he hath purchaced for vs, for he is entred into it in our behalf. The seeing it is so, haue we not cause too magnifie Gods grace so much the more? So haue yee Saint Paules meaning, in that he sayth, that novv by Iesus Christ you be come nere vntoo God, euen you (sayeth he) vvhich vvere farre of before. Therefore at a word (forasmuch as the whole, cannot be layd foorth at this tyme) let vs vnderstand, that whereas men seeme to haue some worthinesse in thēselues, they cannot but stray away to their own destruction, so long as they bee separated from God, bycause that by nature they ee straungers vntoo bim, yea and quite cut of from him. Moreouer let euery of vs knowe for his owne part, how wee had for∣gotten Page  88 God, and were quite turned away from him, till he called vs agein vntoo him. When wee knowe this, let vs learne too magnifie his grace for voutsafing too reconcyle vs too himselfe, and too put a∣way all the enmitie that was betwixt him and vs, and too make vs his children of his deadly enemyes, assuring our selues, that all this is done by meanes of our Lord Iesus Christ, too the intent wee should out of that fountayne drawe all that belongeth too our saluation. And furthermore let vs consider also, what furtherance wee haue by the helpes that God hath giuen vs too come too Iesus Christ by, and too confirme vs in him, too the end wee may haue a resolute and sure doc∣trine. As for example, when the Gospell is dayly preached vntoo vs, Iesus Christ is offered there vntoo vs, and he on his side calleth vs vntoo him. Too he short, he hath his arms stretched out to ibrac vs. Let vs vnderstand that: and afterward let vs adde the Sacra∣ments theruntoo, and seeing that Iesus Christ hath not onely com∣maunded the open preaching of the Goswell, 〈◊〉 he sheweth him∣self too bee our Shepherd, and that he will haue vs too bee his flocke, but also confirmeth the same by Bapti••, & by his last Supper: let vs take good heede that we make not those signes vnauaylable through our owne malice and vnthankfulnesse: but let vs (rather) consider to what end God hath ordeyned them, and let vs so vse them, as wee may growe more and more in fayth, and bee thereby in••amed with such zeale, as wee may indeuer too give our selues wholly vntoo God, sith it hath pleazed him also too giue himselfe vntoo vs.

And now let vs fl downe before the maiestie of our good God, with acknowledgment of our faults, praying him, not only too make euery of vs too knowe the vyces wherwith wee bee atteynted, but also those which he hathe voutsafed too cleze vs of, and specially that wee may come too our originall, and consider that euen from our moothers wombes wee bring nothing but 〈◊〉, and that wee ceasse not too increace the 〈◊〉 and more, that when wee knowe it, wee may blisse his holie name for the knowledge which he hath giuen vs, and bee so prouked too repayre vntoo him, as wee may hold the ryght way, without swaruing from our Lorde Iesus Christ, bycause that without him wee must needs bee anited the kingdome of 〈◊〉, and shut qute and cleane out of it. So then, let vs hold that way, and call vppon this good God of ours ine••antly, that he voutsafe to make vs feele by experience, that his calling of vs vnto him, is not in vayne: Page  [unnumbered] that wee fynding such frute of our prayers, may bee so much the more incoraged too flee too him for our refge, and also to giue him thanks for all the benefyts which wee receyue at his hand. That it may please him too graunt this grace, not only too vs, but also too all people. &c.

The .xiii. Sermon, which is the fift vppon the second Chapter.

13 Novv in Iesus Christ, you that erst vvere farre of, are mad neere by the blood of Christ.

14 For he is our peace, vvhich hath of both vvayne made one, and broken dovvne the vvall that vvas betvvixt them,

15 That is too vvit, the emnitie, through his flesh, aboolishing the lavve of the commundements vvhich vvere in ordinan∣ces: too the end he might set them both in himself, to make one nevv man of them.

WEe haue seee heeretoofore howe wee bee all enemies of God by naure, bycause we bee gone away from all rightuou••••sse, through the sinne of Adam, so as there is nothing in vs but leawdenesse and rebel∣liousnesse. And although men soothe and flatter themselues, it is certayne, that they cannot bring any thing before God, which shal not prouoke his 〈…〉 God then must needes disclayme vs for his 〈…〉 wee must bee fayne too bee guyded by our Lord Iesus Christ: for wee cannot come vntoo God but by that meane. 〈…〉 had some familiaritie with God, bycause he had adopted them: in re∣spect whereof it is sayd, that Abrahams ofspring was holy: not that they had more woorthinesse than the rest of the worlde: but bycause of Gods goodnesse who had voutsafed too chooze them. And there∣fore before suche tyme as our Lorde Iesus Christ came intoo the Page  89 world, the one were in comparison neerer, & the other were further of from God. Not that the Iewes were better woorth than the Gen∣tyles, as I sayd afore: but bycause it had pleased God too accounte the as of his owne house. Yee see then that they were nygh, bycause it was sayd vntoo them, that God ate among them, and that they were a priestly kingdome, whereof they had also as it were a visible signe by the recordes that were giuen them, as by the Sanctuarie and by all the appurtenances therunto belonging. Now S. Paule fra∣ming heere his matter too the Gentyles, sayeth, that they haue chaun∣ged their state, bycause that wheras they were farre of from God, they were made neere him by the crosse of Iesus Christ: And that serueth too the magnifying of Gods grace the more. For as I haue decla∣red heertoofore, if wee consider not in what plyght God fyndes vs be∣fore he reach vs his hand too draw vs too him: wee shall neuer knowe how much wee bee beholden and bound vntoo him, nor how great his mercy is towardes vs. But when it is shewed vs, that euen from our birth wee bee cursed, and the diuell holdeth vs vnder his tyranny, and wee bee in thraldom vntoo sin, and God is as it were armed ageinst vs, too bee our iudge with all extremitie: when this geere is set before our eyes, and it is added further, that God hath drawen vs out of the dungeon of hell, too aduaunce vs to the kingdome of heauen, assuring vs that wee haue our inheritance there, which cannot fayle vs, and al∣so it is shewed vs, that wee haue the certeintie of all these things in Iesus Christ: then must wee needes bee rauished too woonderment, considering that Gods goodnesse surmo••teth all our vnderstanding. This is the thing that S. Paule goeth forward withall heere ane. And this matter is well woorthie too be often remembered: nother is it too bee feared, that it is but needlesse talke too put vs in mynd too yeeld God his dew honour, and too haue a stedfast setlednesse, so as wee may call vppon him freely, being throughly perswaded and resol∣ued, that he will alwayes bee a father too vs, and accept vs as his chil∣dren, namely if wee bee members of his only sonne, as knitte vntoo him by beleefe of the Gospell. Yee see then that the thing which wee haue too marke in the first place, is, that by the meanes of our Lord Iesus Christ, bycause he hath reconcyled vs too God his father by his death, wee bee now come neere too the kingdome of heauen, from whence wee were farre of, yea and without hope too haue any accesse or enterance thither. And although S. Paule haue spoken but too Page  [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page  89〈1 page duplicate〉Page  [unnumbered] one nation: yit is his matter generall. And so the holie Ghoste ex∣horteth vs at this day by the same doctrine, too consider our owne mi∣serie, that wee may be abashed in our selues, and receyue the inestima∣ble benefyte that is offered vs by the Gospell in the person of Christ.

Hereuppon he addeth, that hee is our peace, making both one, yea euen those that were farre of, as well as them that were neere. Lyke as in the forerehearced sentence S. Paule ment too humble the Gentiles, and shewed howe muche they were indetted vntoo God: so heere he addeth a warning for the Iewes, to pull downe their pryde, that they myght not think themselues too bee better than other men, bicause God had chozen them. For acording as men are alwayes giuen to auaunce themselus beyond measure, that people abused Gods grace, and bare thēselues in hand that the linage of Abraham was as a linage of Angels. Too bee short, when it was told them, that the Church should bee vnited togither both of Iewes and Gentyles with∣out exception: they thought that God did them great wrong and iniu∣rie. In somuch that it was oftentymes told them, that Gods choo∣zing of them, was nother for their vertue, nor for their nobilitie, nor for any thing else that he found in their persons: but bicause he had loued their fathers without any desert of theirs. Often tymes therfore were they warned by Moyses and the Prophets, too chalenge nothing at al too them selues, but too goe too Gods free goodnesse, too spye out them selues there, too the ende they myght confesse, that if they had any prerogatiue aboue others, that was not of themselues, nor for their own sakes, but bicause it was Gods good pleasure too keepe them to himself for his owne heritage. And yit for all that, S. Paule sheweth heere, that the Iewes renounce their own saluation, if they match not with the Gentiles in true brotherhood. For why: Although the Iewes were neere God alredye, and had witnesse that he hild them for his children: yit notwithstanding, the matter hung in suspence til the com∣ming of our Lord Iesus Christ. Then behoued it them too bee knit to God by the mediator, or else they should haue had no peace in their consciences. For when men examin themselues, they must needs con∣clude by and by that God is iustly their enemye. And for proof therof, what haue wee in our thoughts, in our lusts, in our soules, and in our bodies, but vtter corruption? Therfore it ought to make vs to quake as oft as wee thinke what wee bee. But the Iewes had the Ceremo∣nies and shadowes of the Law, which were assurances of Gods grace Page  90 vntoo them. Yea, but if they had stayed there, what a thing had that bin? For the blud of brute beasts could not scoure away their spottes, nor set them in Gods fauour. Therefore it stoode them on hand too resort too Iesus Christ. And that is the cause why S. Paule sheweth, that the Iewes ought not too too bee so puffed vp with pryde, as too shet the heathen out of the doores, as though they were not woorthie too bee of Gods Church. For Iesus Christ is the mediator as well of the one as of the other, vntoo God his father. In so much, that with∣out him, all of vs are shet out from the hope of saluation. No man then ought too despyze his neyghbour in this cace, nor too looke ouer the shoulder at him, as the prouerb sayeth. But wee ought too imbrace one another in rew vnitie of fayth and loue, knowyng that euerychone of vs from the greatest too the least, should ryghtfully bee cutte of from Gods Church, but that he of his owne mere goodnesse gathereth vs too him. After the same maner dooth S. Iames exhort the great men of this world too glory in their smalnesse,* bycause God hath taken a∣way the blyndfolding that letted them too know their owne wretched∣nesse. For wee knowe that men doo wilfully abuse their greatnesse, and beleeue them selues too bee marueylous wyghtes, tyll they come too knowe God. Therefore the great men of this worlde haue their eyes blyndfolded, and that deceyueth them, and maketh them too take leaue too doo what they liste. Now Saint Iames sayeth, that they haue cause too glorye of their smalnesse, for that our Lorde discoue∣reth them too bee creatures out of all hope, as of themselues, and yit neuerthelesse taketh them intoo his fauour of his owne mercy. And let the little ones (sayeth he) reioyce in their nobilitie, bycause God hath exalted them: in somuch that whereas they were but as wretched woormes, and had nothing but reproche in them, God hath taken them vp, and made them new creatures. Yee see then that the meanes too vnite vs as wee ought too bee, is, that euerye of vs in his degree ac∣knowledge himselfe too bee in a wretched and miserable plyght: an that when he hath yeelded all too Gods mere mercy, he acknowledge that the same is spred ouer all at this day, and that it is not for vs too stint or too brydle him, but in asmuch as he hath chozen vs, it is our dewie too receyue those intoo our fellowship, whom he hath set in the same aray and company with vs. That (say I) is the thing that Saint Paule amed at, in saying that our Lord Iesus Christ is the peace of all men, yea euen as well of them that were mere afore, as of them that Page  [unnumbered] were yit farre of. But yit (as I tolde yee afore) he had an eye too the foolishe ouerweening of the Iewes, which woulde haue driuen away the Gntyles from the kingdome of God. And he telleth vs, that if wee mynd too haue Iesus Christ too bee our mediator, too giue vs en∣terance too God his father, and too guyde vs thither, and that all this should bee grounded vppon Gods mere mercy: let vs not bee so folish as too clayme aught too our selues, as who should say, wee were better than other men, or ought too bee preferred before them: but let euery of vs acknowledge that all of vs had neede of Gods infinite mercye,* bycause all of vs were shet vp vnder sinne, as S. Paule sayeth in ano∣ther place.

Now must we apply this well too our owne behoofe. For some thinke that men are aduaunced the rather, bycause some of them haue bin of an honest and vnblamable conuersation to the worldward: some borne of honorable houses, and othersome indewed with ex••llent ver∣tewes, or with some skill and cunning. Too be short, euery man ser∣cheth and seeketh as much as is possible, too alledge some thing why God hath accepted him rather than his neyghbours. But let vs lerne, that although wee were neere God in outward appeerance, yit notwithstanding, the only way too bee in his fauour, and too bee able too call vppn him, and too hope that he will hold vs in his fatherly loue euen too the end, is, that Iesus Christ bee our head. And how may that bee?* It is certeyne that he is come to saue that which was lost. And agein, (as it is sayd in another place) it is a sure and infal∣lible saying,* that our Lord Iesus Christ came too call agein too salua∣tion, the sinners that were in damnation.* Sith it is so, let vs learne too humble our selues with all modestie, and not only too shrinke in our hornes,* but also too bee vtterly abaced and brought vnder foote, that God may bee glorified as he is worthie, and that one of vs perke not aboue another, but make all one bodie, for that is the condicion wher∣ppon wee bee called.

Furthermore, the tytle that S. Paule giueth vntoo our Lord Iesus Christ, namely that he is our peace, ought too bee well considered: for without that wee should alwayes be as a straught, or as blocks, for they that haue any feeling of theyr sinnes, cannot bee in rest without feeling of sore orinentes, but are so out of quyet, as it were better for them too bee sunken vnder the earth, than to see thēselues so cyted before Gods iudgment seate euery minute of an houre, and too bee distressed in such Page  91 sorte. Then if wee haue not Iesus Christ for our peace, surely the ••∣kening vp of our consciences must needes daunt vs, and hold vs as it were vppon the Racke, by making vs too eele that God settes him∣self ageinst vs as an enemy, or else it mst needes vtterly 〈◊〉, vs, and make vs brute beastes, so as we shal not only fal〈…〉 but also bee so bewitched by the diuell, as wee shall feele no more gref nor remorse for them. And so this lesson, where it is sayd, that Iesus Christ is our peace, cannot bee 〈…〉. For first it war∣neth vs to bee touched to the quicke with out 〈◊〉, so 〈…〉 sory for them, considering that Gods 〈…〉 ac∣cordingly as he calleth none vnto him, but such as are 〈…〉 ty∣red. Agein, when we once know that: wee may ouerleape all distrust & doubting, bycause that wheras we haue prouoked Gods wrath: i is appeased ageyn by our Lord Iesus Christ: wheras we haue 〈◊〉 with God, and kept continuall warre ag••yn•• him: Iesus Christ 〈◊〉 made agreement betwixt vs: and wher as God 〈◊〉 vs for our sinnes, and for our naughty and froward nature: Iesus Christ putteth all that away, too the ende that God may take vs, not onely as his creatures fashyoned after his owne image, but also as his deere chil∣dren, whom he hath adopted too bee heires of his kingdome. And so yee see what wee haue too gather vppon that 〈…〉.

And were this poynt throughly 〈…〉 worlde should not flote so continually, nor 〈◊〉 so as it dooth. 〈◊〉 most men now adayes are caryed est one & est another, & doo nothing else but wander. The Papistes on the one syde haue their pryde too keepe them from contining ryghtfoorth vntoo God: they will 〈◊〉 haue their freewill, and their 〈…〉 what the grace of Iesus Christ 〈…〉 themselues frō it as much as they ran: And God in the meane season payeth then as they bee woorthie. For as for thē that are so fore pos∣sessed with that diuelish selfmeening, that they can dispose their lyfe in such wyse, as too bee able and came vnto God, and too deserue some∣what at his hand, and again, haue their 〈…〉 with him, when they haue done 〈◊〉: when they haue such things too themselues, all slippeth away lyke wynd, & they 〈◊〉 vnto the other extremitie, saying show shall wee bee 〈…〉 if wee haue not 〈…〉 And so are they 〈…〉Page  [unnumbered] wherof Iesus Christ is all the whyle vnregarded: they make them by∣wayes, and go not too Iesus Christ who is the trew way. For asmuch then as they leaue the ryght way which cannot misleae them: they must nedes wander now 〈…〉 one syde, and now on the other, and af∣ter long tyring of themselues, breake both their armes and leggs, and in the end fynd that the further they proceede, the further they go back from God. So much the more therfore dooth it stand vs on hand too wey these woordes of S. Paule, where wee bee warranted that wee shalbee receyued louingly at the hand of our God, if wee haue Iesus Christ for our peace, and rest wholly theruppon. And for the same cause 〈◊〉 ioyne thertoo the 〈◊〉 of the text, by mee alredie alled∣ged, namely,* you shall fynde rest too your foules. Wherby our Lord Iesus Christ dooth vs too vnderstand, that all such as separate them∣selues from him, and are not contented too haue hi for theyr media∣tor, shall euer benquie, and although they assure themse••es, and beare themselues in hand with this and that, yit neuerthelesse they are afterward afrayd, and find no resting place too stay their foote on, no∣ther haue they any safe harborough wherin too eschew the storme. Therfore it standeth vs vppon too go too our Lord Iesus Christ, and too hee throughly resolued that he is our peace, if we intend too cal vp∣pon God freely and without anie doubting. Finally all men 〈◊〉 exception must come thither, as wel they that are neere God, as those that are farre of. If there bee any that think there is any valour or worthinesse in themselues, surely they will neuer repayre too our Lord Iesus Christ, till they haue layde that imagination vnder, foote. A∣gein on the other yde, though wee bee a thousand tymes past hope in outward apperance, yit let vs assure our selues, that our Lord Iesus Christ is of sufficient abiltie too wype away the rememberance of all our iniquities, so as God shal receyue vs into his fauour▪ accordingly as S. Paule hauing sayd, that Iesus Christ came too saue wretched sinners,* addeth, that he himself is an example therof: in somuch that e which had bin a persecuter of the Church, an enemy of the 〈◊〉, yea and a sheader of giltlesse blud, was neuerthelesse receyued, not on∣ly intoo the common aray, but for an Apostle, too beare abrode and too publishe through the whole world, the message of saluation, from the which he had erst bin out of. Seeyng then that God hath vttered foorth the treasures of his goodnesse vppon him: wee may well assure our selues that if wee trust in our Lord Iesus Christ, and seeke too bee at Page  92 one with God his father, by eaes of his death and passion 〈◊〉 wee were in teh bottom of hell, yit should wee bee or aswen from thence, and Jesus Christ would shew in deed 〈◊〉 that that yle was not 〈◊〉 him by imagination. And so yee see what wee has too gather more vp∣pon chose wordes of S. Paule.

Now he •••eth, that Iesus Christ hath broken dovvne the vvall that vvas betvveene them. And he vseth that 〈◊〉, too declare that the Ceremonyes and figures are abolished, so as there is now o let but that wee may bee knit together in concord and brotherly loue. And anon after he compareth the Ceremonies of the ae too 〈◊〉 em∣nitie. For lyke as we now 〈◊〉 dayes haue Baptim, which separateth vs from the heathē: so when God choze the Iewes, he gaue them Cir∣cumcision. Now then, when we bee one 〈◊〉 baptized, we beare the marke wherby God will haue vs knowen too bee of his Church, and of the flocke of his sonne Iesus Christ. The lyke be〈…〉 and vse had Cir∣cumcision in the tyme of the lame. The Sacrifizes witnessed 〈◊〉 them, that God forgaue them their sinnes. Forasmuch 〈◊〉 vs 〈◊〉 priuiledge was not giuen too any 〈◊〉 to Abrahams linage 〈◊〉 sayth, it was as a wall 〈◊〉〈◊〉; lyke as if some ground were paled about too keepe sheepe in, or as if some stable were made to kepe cattell in. Euen so was it then. For God (as is shewed in the song of Noyses) had stretched out his lines too hold the linage of Abraham separated from the rest of the world. There ••en was Gods pathe, and the Ceremonies were as walles or pa〈…〉s too hold in that people vnder the keping and the protection of God. And what were the e〈…〉yles? They went on at aduenture, yea and euen in destruction, accor∣ding as it is sayd, that God had not voutsafed them the fa〈…〉 too ma∣nifest his rightuousnesse vntoo them. And S. Paule also sheweth 〈◊〉 pre〈…〉y, that God had suffered them too walke on in the 〈◊〉 and that they had bin as wretched beasts in taht behalf. Now wee 〈◊〉 S. Paules meāing when he speaketh of the Ceremonies, how they were as a wa〈…〉 too deuyde the Iewes from the Gentiles. But now are they all broken downe, bycause that Iesus Christ 〈◊〉 is the trueth & verie substance of them, is come too put away all those shaddowes. For the giuing of the ceremonial la〈…〉 was not to the 〈◊〉〈◊〉 the peo∣ple shouuld 〈◊〉 themselues wholly about that, and put their 〈◊〉 in it, as hypocrits doo, which peruert Gods meaning, that oo the intent they should pply the absence of 〈◊〉〈◊〉 Iesus Christ, as S. Paul Page  [unnumbered] speaketh of them in the second too the Colossians. The Iewes had not yit the pledge that is giuen vs in our Lord Iesus Christ, and therefore it was needefull that they should bee vphild in good hope, till he were shewed to the world. Wherefore not without cause were all those things cast downe by his comming: for he is now vntoo vs as the day sonne of rightuousnesse. And therefore it is no reason that wee should ee led any more as it were by darke shaddowes. For by that meanes the emnitie is done away, bycause that at this day we bee ioyned too that linage which God had dedicated too himself, and there is no more diuersitie at all. Forasmuch then as wee bee made the children of Abraham by fayth, there is but one spirituall kired among vs.

But let vs marke that Baptim, and the Lords Supper (which are the Sacraments that Christ hath ordeyned) are not a diuision lyke too the figures of the lawe. For although wee bee separated from the vnbelee•••s, and from such as neuer came yit within in Gods Church: yit is there not any one certeyne nation of the world, which 〈◊〉 ac∣cepteth peculiarly by it self, but he will haue his grace spred 〈◊〉 o∣uer all. There is not then any such distin••ion as there was before, that it can bee sayd, wee come of the linage of Abraham, wee bee they whom God voutsafed too adopt. None can say so: for there is now nother Iewe nor Gentill any more, as it is sayd in many places of the scirpture. Therefore whosoeuer calleth vppon Gods name pure∣ly, of what nation so euer he bee, the same is well lyked and accepted of him, as sayeth S. Peter in the sixtenth of the Acts, and also in his first Epistle. And Baptim and the Lords Supper serue now a dayes too vnite the whole world. For let the barbarousest sort that can be, come, and God will receyue them: Baptim shalbee ministred vntoo them, bycause it belongeth to all such as are kni togither intoo the bo∣dy of the onely sonne of God.

Now herewithall let vs looke too applye this Text too our dif∣cation. And first of all let vs vnderstand, that the abolishing of the Ce∣remonies, namely as touching the vsing of them, was the very key to open vs the kingdome of heauen. For the accomplishment of them was fully shewed in our Lord Iesus Christ, so as it is knowen better than euer it was, that they were no trifles nor vnprofitable 〈◊〉: but yit for all that, it is not for vs to vse them, seeing wee haue the full perfection of them all in Iesus Christ. And by that meanes wee see Page  93 how God hath powred out his goodnesse vppon those whom he had shaken of afore. That is the meanes whereby we belong too him at this day. In that respect is the Gospell published indifferently too all the world, so as our forefthers, which were heathen men, were re∣ceyued intoo the Churche, and wee bee succeeded in their roomes. For although it bee seene that the world hath bin vtterly forlorne, and that there hath bin an horrible desolation in it: Yit hath God made the thing effectuall which is spoken in his Lawe,* namely that he conti∣neweth his mercy too a thousand generations. Thus yee see what wee haue too remember in the first place.

Secondly although baptim serue not peculiarly for any one people, Citie or Countrie: yit are wee as yee would say, marked out by God, when he giueth vs the vse of his Sacraments, to assure vs of his ad∣option, and too nurrish the hope that he hathe giuen vs by his Gos∣pell. It is trew that they which shrink away from our Lord Iesus Christ, doo after a sort make theyr baptim vayne: but that shall cost them ryght deere, because the pledge and earnestpenny which God gi∣eth vs, too shewe that wee bee ioyned too our Lord Iesus Christ, and are clothed with him (as it is sayd in the xii. Chapter of the first too the Corinthians) is too precious a thing (too bee so misused.) And ther∣fore all they that inhonour themselues with the name of the Church, and yit notwithstanding are disordered and dissolute persons, shall one day feele what a trayter •••nesse it is too haue so vnhallowed their baptim, which God had ordeyned for their saluation. But let vs on our syde ake heede, that wee walk as folks sholed out from the filth of the world:* for (as sayeth S. Peter) the verye cause why our Lord Iesus Christ hath gathered vs vntoo him, is, that wee should glorifye him for deliuering of vs out of the darknesse of this world and of the diuell, intoo his owne lyght. And wee haue seene heertoofore in the Epistle too the Galathians, how Iesus Christ will haue his death serue, too drawe vs from all the vnclennesse and filthinesse of the world. Lyke∣wyse in the first too the Thessalonians S.* Paule sayeth, that wee bee not called too vnclennesse, but that wee ought too bee pure, and too de∣dicate our selues too our God in purenesse, so as wee may shewe in deede, that wee intende too honour him with all that euer he hath gi∣uen vs. The thing then which wee haue to gather vppon those words of S. Paule, is, that wee must not runne astray lyke wyld and mad beasts, nor yit kicke ageinst him, but quietly beare the yoke of our Page  [unnumbered] God, and approch vnto him with true obedience, and moreouer 〈◊〉 our owne wandering lusts, too the end wee may walk lyke holie peo∣ple, lyke people that are dedicated too God, & finally as his heritage. Thus yee see how this text is too bee prac••sed of vs at this day.

Now he addeth purposely, that Iesus Christ hath doone it in the flesh, meaning in our nature, too the end that wee myght bee sure that in his personne wee bee aowed too bee Gods children. For lyke as in Adam wee bee all lost: so by our Lord Iesus Christ the second Adam, wee bee restored too the hope of saluation. And in deede after the self∣same maner dooth the Apostle shewe vs, that wee may boldly trust that God will alwayes bee or father for his fake.* For he hath not taken on him the nature of the Angells (sayeth he) but the seede of A∣braham. And although Mathew in the Genealogie of Iesus Christ, beging at the person of Abraham, as at the welspring & roote: yit doth S. Luke leade vs further, and telleth vs, that Iesus Christ appeared not alonly for the Iewes. Truely S. Mathew dooth it vppon very good reason, namely too shewe that Iesus Christ came specially too performe the promises that had bin made of old tyme. But S. Luke sheweth the same thing that S. Paule declareth heere: namely that when wee haue gone vp as farre as to ur first father Adam, wee shall fynd, that our Lord Iesus Christ was yit stil before him. Trew it is, that he was conceyued by the secret and woonderfull power of the ho∣lye Ghoste, in the womb of his mother: but yit for all that, he ceassed not too bee the trew linage of Abraham, and of Dauid, and also of Adam, and there is no doubt but that wee bee ioyned too God by 〈◊〉 meane, seing he is our trew brother, and wee neede not to seeke farre, bycause wee bee bone of his bone, and flesh of his fleshe, as wee shall see hereafter in the fift Chapter. Thus yee see in effect what S. Paule ment by adding this saying, that the fulfilling or performing of all these things was doone in the flesh of Iesus Christ. For if wee should consider nothing else in Iesus Christ, but his heauenly glorie and di∣uine maiestie, what would come of it? Wee would bee abasshed, and wee myght say, he were too farre of for vs too come vntoo him. But now seeing he hathe of the same flesh that wee haue,* and is become very man, lyke vntoo vs in all things, sauing only sin, so as he vnder∣t••ke our passions or sufferings,* and our wants and wretchenesse, 〈◊〉 haue pitie of vs, as the Apostle sayth: wee may assure our selues, th•• when wee offer our selues vntoo God, wee shalbee ioyned vntoo him in Page  94 the person of his only sonne. For lyke as he is verye God, so on the other syde he is a kin too vs, bycause hee came downe hither, & refuzed not too bee in this state of bondage, too the intent that wee myght bee glorified by his meanes for lyke as he not only abaced him self 〈◊〉 al∣so emptyed himself vtterly: so will he also lift vs vp intoo his heauenly glorie. And for that cause also is he called our brother: This only one saying ought too breake off all distrust, when wee bee in dout and per∣plexitie whether God will accept vs or no. For seeing wee haue this record, that Iesus Christ is our brother: what would wee haue more? So then wee may wel conceyue out of what filth and defylements, yea and out of what a gulf God hath drawen vs, seing he hathe assured vs of his fatherly loue, wheruppon our saluation is grounded, yea and that in the person of Iesus Christ. For wee see how the wretched papists wote not too which Saint too vow themselues: yea and too barre themselues of all excuce, so as there may neede none other pro∣cesse too condēmne them: they make a common proueth of it. For euen in that one saying that they wote not too which Saint too bow themselues, they shewe themselues too bee faythlesse and destitute of all aduyce and stay of themselues, and too bee as stray beastes. For they haue such a multitude of theyr Sainctes, that they haue made whole warreines of them. It is trew, that all of them haue the Uir∣gin Mary for their aduocate: they catch holde of Saint Michaell, or of Saint Peter, for their patrone, or of some other Saint, after as their superstitious mynd leades them heere and there. Howbeeit, all that they doo is with vnquietnesse of mynd, and they shall neuer fynde rest, bycause they haue no woord of God too stay vppon. And when they fynde themselues hampered in any perplexitie, they bee lyke wretched forlorne caytifes, that are vtterly at their wittes end, bycause they see well ynough that they fynde no ease at all, when they haue ossed and turmoyled neuer so much. But now, seeyng that wee bee sure of the hope which wee ought too haue, bycause 〈◊〉 Lord Iesus Christ is our yeare, and is 〈…〉 vs, too vnite vs too God his father: let vs vnder stande that the same is an inestimable benefyte, for the which wee ought not too bee afrayd too suffer ten hundred thousand deathes, if neede were. And S. Paule saith consequently, that the Law consisted in ordinaunces and Decrees, too shewe that God abolished not the lawe of good and holy conuersation, when he mynded too call the Gentyles oo saluation: but that he 〈◊〉: away only the ceremo∣nies Page  [unnumbered] that serued peculiarly for the present tyme, and were not giuen but only too the linage of Abraham. Yee see then what was abolished. And therefore let vs leaue the figures of the Lawe, as Circumcizion, Sacrifizing, feastfull dayes, as they were kept then, the difference of meates, Lyghtes, Perfumes, and all that is set downe in wryting by Moyses: for all those thinges must bee vanished away at the comming of Christ: and yit for all that, let vs hold still the Lawe that God hath giuen vs, which is inuiolable: that is too wit, let vs woorship him purely, let vs call vpō him, let vs put our trust in him, let vs do him ho∣mage for all the benefites that he hath bestowed vppon vs, and let vs hallowe his name. Agein, let vs aduyze our selues too walke in pure∣nesse of lyfe, and with such conscience towardes our neyghbours, as we may doo no man wrong or harme: and finally let vs withdrawe our selues from all the defilements of the world. Heere yee see that the Lawe which God hath giuen vs too rule our lyfe by, must continew still: for that is not abolished, but only that which consisted in traditi∣ons, and in the figures that serued but for the tyme, and were too haue an end by Iesus Christ. Now seing it behoueth vs too giue ouer the shadowes that were vsed, and had their full scope in the tyme of Moy∣ses and the Prophetes: it is much more reason that the Christian Church should not now adayes bee burdened with mens inuentions. According wherunto S. Paule elleth vs, that we must content our selues with Gods Lawe, which serueth too shewe vs how wee may be vnblamable, that is too wit, by walking in ryghtuousenesse, Iustice, faythfulnesse, and mercy, and specially by calling vppon God purely, and after a spirituall manner. Marke that for one poynt.

Agein, he sayth that the shadowes of the Law should in these dayes, not only be superfluous, but also as a curtaine to keepe vs still in dark∣nesse, and too let vs from seeing our Lord Iesus Christ, as wee ought too doo, in the mirror of his Gospell. Therfore let vs conclude, that the ryghtuousenesse which God requyreth at our handes, is another ma∣ner of one, than that which the papistes haue imagined: for all the thinges which they terme Gods seruice, are but starke gewgawes. Yea and wheretoo serue they all, but onely too deface the peculiar ope∣ration of our Lord Iesus Christ? For the poore ignorant soules are hilde fast too them, and stand poring altoogither vppon them. When I speake of ignorant soules, I meane the ablest sort of them, euen thos that thinke themselues too ee of greatest capacitie: for they are all Page  95 intangled lyke wrechd beastes. And therefore let vs learne too holde vs too the singlenesse of the Gospell, and too looke vppon our Lord Ie∣sus Christ there, lyke as he also 〈◊〉 familiarly vntoo vs, too the intent wee myght bee aduaunced by him, and boldly call God our fa∣ther, and flee too him for refuge, not doubting but that he wil bee neere vs, whensoeuer wee cal vppon him in truth.

Now let vs cast our selues downe before the Maiestie of our good God, with acknowledgement of our faults, praying him that his ma∣king of vs too feele them more and more, may cause vs too forsake them by true repentaunce, and too walke continually aright, and too giue our selues too holy conuersation. And that forasmuch as wee bee so weake, that there will alwayes ee manie vices in vs: it may please him too hold vs vp till he haue taken vs out of he world, and throughly fashioned vs lyke too his owne image, according too the ground worke which he hath begun in vs. And so let vs all say, Al∣mighty God heauenly father. &c.

The .xiiii. Sermon, which is the sixth vppon the second Chapter.

16 Iesus Christ hath reconcyled vs both in one body, too the end, too knit both the one and the other vntoo God by his crosse, killing the enmitie therby.

17 And being come, be preached peace too you that were farre of, and too them that were nere hand.

18 For by him both twayne of vs haue accesse too the father in one spirit.

19 Therfore yee be no more straungers and forreyners, but fel∣lowe citizens with the Saints, and household folke of God.

Page  [unnumbered]WEe haue seene this morning, how S. Paul hath told vntoo such as were erst without hope of saluation, that they were so much the more bound vntoo God for his calling of them too bee of the number of his chil∣dren, seeyng it was not a common and or∣dinarie thing, nor a thing that was looked for. On the other syde he did also beate downe all pryde, too the intent that the Iewes myght not thinke in themselues, that the priuiledge of adopti∣on was of their owne purchacing, nor vaunt themselues though God had preferred them before all the rest of the world. And now goyng foreward still with the same matter, he sayeth, that wee vvere recon∣cyled, as vvel the one syde as the other, by the death of Iesus Christ, and that in so dooyng he hath knit vs toogither intoo one body, putting all enmitie too death by his crosse. This serueth too ex∣presse better the thing that wee haue seene already. He had sayd that wee must come vntoo God by the meanes of our Lord Iesus Christ: for without him wee bee all a farre of, as well Iewes as Gentyles, by∣cause wee bee all sinners, and God in an enemye too vs, till his wrath bee appeazed towardes vs. Now S. Paule sheweth, that that is done by his bearing of our sinnes vppon his crosse. For it is by his obedi∣ence, that all our iniquities are put awaye, and it is by his sacrifyzce, that our sinnes are washt away.

To bee short, were it not for the death and passion of our Lord I∣sus Christ, wee should stand bound still in the hand wryting that is spoken of in the second too the Colossians.* For if wee should come too reckening, who durst open his mouth too excuze himself before God, or (looke too) scape the damnation that all of vs haue deserued? For if wee should go about too alledge but one poynt, there would bee a thou∣sand too stop our mouthes, so as wee should bee driuen too stand still all confounded, till wee came too the remedie, that is too wit, that Iesus Christ hath by his death made so full satisfaction for all our dettes, that wee bee quitted and released. That then is the thing which S. Paule handleth as now, too the end wee myght knowe what maner of accesse it is that he speaketh of. For, too preace intoo Gods pre∣sence, in cace as wee bee of our selues, were too great a boldnesse. But when it is told vs, that God wil not lay our sinnes and misdeeds to our Page  96 charge, bycause Iesus Christ hath put them all away by his death: then is it no rashnesse at all for vs too go vntoo God with our heades bolt vpryght, but we haue a good foundation, and a boldnesse that God lyketh well of. Therfore as oft as wee haue occasion too pray, or too fyght ageinst anie temptations, let vs learne too knowe that wee haue neede too bee incoraged too patience, and too bee asserteyned of the e∣uerlasting lyfe, and too repayre all wholly for refuge too the death and passion of the sonne of God, knowing that vntill such tyme as wee bee dipped in his blud, and washed by the woorking of his holie spirit, wee shall euermore bee lothely, and God will iustly shake vs of, and bee al∣wayes a iudge too vs in sted of being our father. And it is not ynough too knowe that Iesus Christ hath made amendes for vs, yea and that all things requysyte too our saluation, were fully accomplished and performed by his death and passion: but wee must also therwithall receyue the benefyte thereof in such maner as it is ministred vntoo vs. For what shall it auayle the Iewes, Turkes, and other lyke, that Gods sonne vndertooke the condemnation that belonged too vs? They shal rather bee hild dubble giltie, bycause that by their vnthankfulnesse they bereeue themselues of the benefyte wherof they myght haue bin parttakers, if they had receyued the promises of the Gospell by fayth. But the Iewes on the one syde blaspheme our Lord Iesus Christ, the Turks on the other syde laughe him too scorne, and count him but as a night ghost. And the Papists labour with tooth and nayle to deface his power, and too rob him of the greatest part of his graces. These therfore shall fynde that the death which the sonne God hath suffered, serueth too increace their cursednesse, and too kindle Gods wrath so much the more ageinst them. Yea and euen they also which neuer heard of the Gospell, are vtterly excluded from this treasure.

And for that cause S. Paule addeth, that Iesus Christ hath prea∣ched peace to them that vvere neere, and too them that vvere farre of. Wherby he sheweth, that whē the Gospel is preached, we be dayly put in possession of the saluation which was purchaced for vs by our Lord Iesus Christ, at eastwyse if wee lay holde on him by trew fayth that hath taken lyuely roote in our hartes, too bring foorth good fruite. Therefore there are twoo things requyred. The one is, that wee know how that the matter and substance of our saluation is in Iesus Christ: and the other is, that the same bee declared too vs by the Gospell. And too the intent wee may bee the surer of this doctrine: S. Paule sayeth, Page  [unnumbered] not that Christ hath sent his Apostles, or set vp a great sort of 〈◊〉 too bring vs such message: but that Christ himselfe is come too bryng tydings of peace too all men. Nowe it is certeyne that our Lord Ie∣sus Christ hath not executed the office of preaching since his Reur∣rection, sauing onely among his Disciples, that they myght bee fur∣nished aforehand too preache euery where the doctrine that was com∣mitted vntoo them. But S. Paule sayeth, that he preached too such as had erst bin farre of from God. He did not this in his owne person. Then is it certeyne that S. Paule speaketh of that preaching of the Gospell, which was doone by the Ministers that were appoynted by God, and by our Lord Iesus Christ.

And yit notwithstanding he sayeth, that it was Christ himself that preached, namely too the end wee should yeeld the greater reuerence too the Gospell, and hold it as the truthe authorized by God, and eue∣rye of vs submit himself too it without any geynsaying or replying. For if wee haue any doubt of it, let vs not thinke that Iesus Christ shall boote vs any thing at all. Therfore wee must assure our selues of it, yea and (as wee haue seene in the first Chapter) Gods promises must bee sealed in our harts by the holie Ghost, who for the same cause is called the earnestpennye of the lyfe that wee hope for, and the verye signe, manuell, or seale that God printeth in vs, too the end, that our fayth should bee in full certeintie. Wee see then wherat S. Paule a∣med in this text, in saying that Iesus Christ being rayzed from the dead, and hauing performed the charge that was inioyned him by God his father, was our Redeemer, and also the bringer of the same me∣sage vntoo vs, not for once and away, but by continuall preaching of it, insomuch that he will haue his mouth still open euen too the end, too witnesse vnto vs, that in him wee shall assuredly fynd all that wee can wish too bring vs too the heauenly lyfe. Now then must wee not bee very blocks, if we be not touched too the quicke, at the hearing of these woords? It is trew that the sonne of God fleeteth not from place too place, nor is conuersant heere beneath among vs in visible fashion, nother were that requisite. But yit for all that, the doctrine which wee preache in his name, ought too haue lyke anthoritie, as if hee spake to vs himselfe mouth to mouth. And for the same cause also dooth hee say,* Hee that heareth you, heareth mee, and he that receyueth you, receyueth mee:* and likewyse, he that reiecteth you, reiecteth mee. And agein,* by this meanes is God my father honored, euen by your Page  97 beeleeuing of the Gospel. And contrariwise he hath great wrong and reproch doone vnto him, when the things are douted of that are so wel certifyed there. The Pope & al the rabble of his Clergie alledge this for the mayntenance of their tyrannie. But our Lord Iesus Christes meaning was, too warrant vs the message that concerneth the for∣giuenesse of our sinnes, wherwith our eares are beaten continually. For wee shall alwayes hang in a mamering and doubt, if wee bee not throughly perswaded and resolued, that all thinges conteyned in the Gospell, are hild of Iesus Christ, who is the infallible truth it self. For if wee haue an eye too men, wee shall bee euer wauering and doubtfull. And for proofe thereof, what can they bring vs of their owne growing, but vtter vanitie and leazing? So then, although our Lord Iesus Christ abyde still in his heauenly glory, and wee bee absent from him in body, yea and that it bee a straunge thing to vs, too say, that he dwel∣leth in vs,* and that wheresoeuer twoo or three bee gathered toogither in his name, he is in the middes of them: yit notwithstanding wee must bee fully assured of this poynt, that when the pure doctrine of the Gospell is preached, it is all one as if he himselfe spake vntoo vs, and were familiarly conuersant heere among vs. Then too bee short, our fayth must ame at him, as at the very marke or butte of it, and we must rest vppon him. And seeyng that God his father hath sent him too bee a faythfull witnesse, looke whatsoeuer is old vs truly in his name, wee must receyue it without any geynsaying.

Furthermore, as wee haue heere wherwith too strengthen vs in trew constancie of fayth, and too arme vs ageinst all the assaultes and alarumes that Satan can giue vs: so it is a great shame for vs when wee bee deafe at the hearing of the Gospell, or let it alone as a thing hanging in the aire, taking it too bee but as a fable or a thing of no valew. And yit for all that, most men now adayes doo eyther despyze the Gospell, or else are so besotted, that they discant of it, as of a tryfle, or else make but a mocke of it. Some hauing heard Sermons, or ha∣uing bin taught at some Lecture, or by some other meanes, will per∣chaunce say, it is possible that this may bee trew: and as for mee, I wil not say nay to it: but forasmuch as I am no clerk nor diuine, it is al one too mee, I will let it alone still in his ordinarie course. Some o∣ther will say, Tush, I will hold mee too the fayth of my forefathers: For it is too daungerous a matter to chaunge. Some agein say thus: How so? It is a new doctrine, that wee neuer heard of before. And Page  [unnumbered] othersome being not contented with such scornfulnesse, adde outragi∣ous crueltie, and fight openly ageinst it, in so much that they could find in their hartes too plucke God out of his seate, wheruppon they fall to sheading of innocent blud, indeuoring to the vttermost of their power, too wype away the remembrance of the Gospell. But in the meane whyle, let vs vnderstand, that whensoeuer the message of our saluation is set foorth vntoo vs, if wee despyze it, wee shalbee giltie not only re∣iecting a benefite that was brought vs by a mortall creature, but also of shetting the gate ageinst Gods sonne, when he came too seeke vs to our saluation. And therfore too quicken vp our slothfulnesse, and too correct the cursed stubbornnesse that myght hinder our full and obedi∣ent yeelding too the Gospell: let vs mark that the preaching therof is not a thing doone by haphazard, nother doo men come of their owne selues, as sayeth S. Paule also too the Romanes:* but Gad himself vi∣siteth vs, and commeth vntoo vs, and our Lord Iesus Christ perfor∣meth still the dewtie of a shepeherd, and calleth vs too him with his owne voyce, bycause he seeth vs too bee as sheepe that go astraye. And although wee bee peaked asyde heere and there: yit his mynd is too gather vs togither agein to be of his flocke. Were this well printed in our hartes, surely wee should bee better disposed, not only to receyue the doctrine of the Gospell with all humilitie, but also too bee inflamed with such a zeale and earnestnesse, that the whole world should be no∣thing in comparison with vs. Too bee short, Gods woord would bee as sweete as honnie to vs, and more precious than all goold and siluer, considering that the sonne of God being in the glory of God his father, doth neuerthelesse make vs to heare his voyce, and that not as one that speaketh a farre of, or with a sound that vanisheth away in the ayre, or in such wyse as wee haue no certeine record of the thinges that he spea∣keth: but as one that commeth and preacheth too vs himself. For looke what is done by his authoritie, and according to the commission that he gaue and commited too his Apostles: it becommeth vs too re∣ceyue it for his sake, as I haue declared afore.

Moreouer S. Paules intent here, is to prouoke vs too receyue the Gospell with all obedience, not onely for the worthinesse of the per∣son of our Lord Iesus Christ: but also for the things that are contey∣ned in the Gospell it self: for it is the message of peace, sayth he. Let vs consider what it is to haue warre with him that made vs and fashi∣oned vs. If wee haue an enemy in this world, although he be but a Page  98 frayle man, and haue no very great credit: Yit will wee bee afrayd least he shonld practize some pollicie or spight ageinst vs, or reuenge himself by force. Too bee short, wee would euer bee vnquiet, so long as we had any enemies in this world. Must we not then needes be tootoo brutish, seeing wee fall a sleepe when God sheweth himself too bee a∣geinst vs, and that he is armed too take vengeance vppon vs? If we considered well what it is too haue warre with God, (as in deede our sinnes ceasse not to prouoke him to displeasure) we should finde on the contrary part, what a benefite it is too haue peace and attonement with him. Now seeing that this is brought vs by the Gospell, wher∣by wee enter possession of the attonement that was made by Iesus Christ, whe he offered himselfe in sacrifize by his death: it is a thing that ought too inflame vs in such wise, as too make vs imbrace the Gospell with earnest zeale, and too giue ouer our whole minde thereuntoo. So then considering the coldenesse and lazinesse that is in vs, let vs so much the more thinke vppon this saying, and applye the same too our vse, namely, first too knowe that the sonne of God re∣fuzeth not too teache vs, and too be or scholemaster, so wee bee con∣tented too bee his schollers: and secondly that wee shall haue a doc∣trine which is more too bee desired, than all the pleasures, honour, and goods of the world: that is too wit, that wee bee at peace with God, and that being sure of his fauour towards vs, wee may haue recourse and accesse vntoo him, and bee receyued as his children at his hand. Well ought wee too note that: for S. Paule ment too shewe which is the trew peace, bycause many men thinke themselues well at ease, which notwithstanding haue no peace with God. For some are puf∣fed vp with diuelish self weening, as the Monks and Fryers in the popedome, who perswade themselues that they haue deserued so well at Gods hand, as there can no fault bee found in them. They then which ground themselues after that manner vppon their owne ver∣tues and good deedes, thinke that God is bound vntoo them, and they may well bee luld asleepe, bycause Satan besotteth them with the foolish self trust which they haue conceyued: and that is bycause they ame not at God, but haue forged an Idoll in their owne head. And in good fayth, what are the things that they would content God withal, but gewgawes and baggagely trifles, as if they would still babes with them? The Papists must take a sprinkling of holy water, they must all too be crosse themselues, they must fast this wake, and that Page  [unnumbered] wake, they must gad on pilgrimage, they must forbeare eating of flesh vpon such a day, they must babble thus many Paternusters, they must set vp a candle to such a saynt, they must here thus many masses, they must say thus many meaculpaze. Too bee short, when a man hath raked them all on a heape, it is certeyne that they be but the scra∣pings and offals of all filthinesse. And yit to their seeming, God is wel payd with them, as who should say, he were an Idol, or a little babe, as I sayd afore. Wee see then that none of all those hipocrits that are so puffed vp with presumption, can haue any peace with God. But forasmuch as they fetch such windlasses and looke not at God, but a∣skewe, and though they make countenaunce of approching vnto God, yit their offring themselues vntoo him is it not with siglenesse and substanciall soundenesse of hart: they do but beguile them selues with their fond flatterings. Also there are a sort of these scoffers, which doo but nod their heads when men speake too them of their saluation, saying, it is ynough, if wee may giue but one good sigh, but let vs not ceasse in the meane whyle too make frolicke chere, for what a thing were it too passe all the tyme of our life in such dumpishnesse? That would doo vs no good, & therfore let vs play the good fellowes. Here∣upon they fall to vnthriftinesse, some after one fashion, & some after a∣nother. They haue a thousand wayes too destruction, and all confede∣rate themselues ageinst God as much as is possible. Therefore for bycause there haue alwayes bin so many, yea and to many, that bring their owne consciences a fleepe: S. Paule in this place (lyke as also in the ••ft too the Romanes*) setteth downe the trw peace: which is, that when wee come vntoo God, and must present our selues before his Maiestie, wee bee sure that he will pitie vs, and not lay our sinnes to our chage, but receyue vs as his owne children. Then if we intend to enoye this spirituall peace, which passeth all the goods of the world: let vs earne too haue warre with our selues. And how is that? It is, first too knowe that wee bee damned and forlorne, and that there is no hope of remedie for vs, wherby too get out of the pit of destructi∣on agein, except wee bee recouered by meanes of our Lord Iesus Christ. When wee bee so bereft of all vntoward selftrust in our own deserts, and knowe that wee bee emptie and starke naked: let vs re∣payre as poore beggers vntoo God: that is the thing that is requisite for the atteynment of trew peace. And by the way also let vs not thinke too gayne any thing by being blockishe▪ so wee should fallPage  99 sleepe in this world: bnt let vs vnderstand, that forasmuch as wee haue no certeyne tyme (appoynted vs,) it is our duetye to summon our selues euening and morning before God, and too examine our sinnes throughly, and too bee both sorie and ashamed of them. When wee haue once learned too make warre thus ageinst our owne vyces, and too plye it throughly without Hipocrisie and counterfetting: then are wee in the hygh way too the peace which our Lord Iesus Christ dooth publish and preache vntoo vs euery day by the Gospell. And that is the very cause why S. Paule sayeth expresly, that by him wee haue enterance in vntoo the father. As if he should say, that no vnbeleeuers, no heathenish worldlinges, no mockers of God, no dullardes which thinke not of their euerlasting saluation, can by any meanes taste of what valew the peace is, which wee obteyne by the Gospell, or (con∣ceyue) how precious and amyable it is. And why? For they put too many scarfes before their faces, too keepe them from beyng abashed at Gods Iustice, and from beyng striken with terrour of their sinnes. Too bee shorte, they make themselues wilfully drunken, that they myght haue a senslesse conscience, and they bereue themselues of all vnderstanding, as though they were brute beastes. But when wee consider that all our welfare consisteth in beyng able too haue all our recourse vntoo God, and that our comming too him is certeine also, yea and that the way is open for vs too go thither familiarly: surely then will wee forget all other things, and long too bee made partta∣kers of our Lord Iesus Christ, and too bee vnited intoo his body, too the ende that God may receyue vs, and wee call vppon him with full trust in our necessitie, and settle our selues vppon the loue that he bea∣reth vs, not doubting but that whatsoeuer is offered vs in the Gospell, is all one as if God vttered his hart among vs.

Now S. Paule hauing spoken of the preaching of the Gospell, addeth purposely, In one Spirit. He had sayd afore, that wee bee all knit toogither in the flesh of our Lord Iesus Christ, namely▪ for that he tooke our nature vpon him, & by that meanes abolished and tooke away the cursednesse that was in Adam. Neuerthelesse, the dooing therof in the person of the sonne of God were not ynough, if the Gospell wer not as a meane to him. Now therfore for a third poynt, S. Paule addeth, that wee must communicate all of one spirit. For although the Gospell bee preached, yit are there manie stubborne per∣sons, and others so benarled in this world, that they thinke no more Page  [unnumbered] of the heauenly lyfe, than doggs and Swyne doo. Othersome agein are so saped in their hipocrisie, that although God doo call vs all and allure vs sweetly too him in the person of his sonne, the number of them that come vntoo God is verye small. For this cause S. Paule sayth, that wee must haue Gods spirit. For it is certein, that by nature wee bee variable, and not only euery one of vs will needs haue his opinion by himselfe, but also wee change euery minute of an houre, by meanes whereof, wee bee so farre of from beeing all of one ac∣corde, that none of vs abydeth setled in his opinion, from morning to nyght, except he bee gouerned of God. It standeth vs then on hand, when wee heare the Gospell preached, too haue Gods spirit to guyde and gouerne vs, soo as wee may throughly imbrace our Lord Ie∣sus Christ, and by him haue accesse too the father. Now therfore wee must beare in mynd, first that when our Lord Iesus Christ exhorteth vs by his ministers (according also as S. Paule sayeth in the second too the Corinthians:) wee ought too bee well dispozed too come vnto him,* yea and to runne vntoo him, euen with inforcing our selues aboue all power of man. For (when wee haue doone what wee can) yit shall wee haue none accesse vntoo him, but all our indeuer shall rather bee a retyring backe, than a going foreward, vnlesse his spirit guyde vs. So much the more then doth it stand vs on hand too pray God too touch vs with his holy spirit, & to cause him to make vs way vnto him, as is sayd in the eyght to the Romans,* and as we haue seene also lyke∣wyse too the Galathians. For there S. Paule putteth a difference betwixt Gods children,* and the Reprobats. Wee (sayeth he) haue the spirit of adoption, wherby wee crye, Abba father. Wee should not knowe him of our selnes (sayeth he) bycause there is nothing in vs but infirmitie: and it were too great a rashnesse in vs, too call God our father. But when God hath once sealed the truth of his Gospell in vs by his holie spirit, and inlyghtened vs inwardly, so as wee know it is he that speaketh: and thertoo hath assured vs of his goodnesse and mercie: then may wee freely and with open mouth crye out, that he is our father. And soo yee see in effect what wee haue too beare in mynd, too the intent that none of vs trust too his owne brayne, when the Gospell is preached vnto him, but that in cosideration of the rude∣nesse and weaknesse that is in vs, wee suffer our selues too bee gouer∣ned by Gods spirit, which is the chefe kye wherby the gate of paradise is opened vnto vs. And for that cause also is it sayd, that wee must be besprinckled with the blud of our Lord Iesus Christ,* as S. Peter ter∣meth Page  100 it in his first Epistle. For the same cause also the Apostle in the Epistle to the Hebrewes sayth,* that Iesus Christ was offred vp in spi∣rit: meaning that his sacrifyze wherby he purchaced vs ryghtuousnes, should still be as a vayne thing to vs, if the holie Ghost wrought not in it by his powre. And S. Paul going forward with the matter that hath bin declared hertofore, addeth also, that as vvell they that vvere farre of, as they that vvere neere hand, had heard the sayd message, & that the same is set afore vs also at this day, to the end we myght bee confir∣med in it more and more. And (as I haue sayd alredy) by those that were neere, he meaneth the Iewes who had had some familiaritie with God theretoofore, bycause he had acquaynted himselfe with them, by giuing them his Lawe, telling them that he receyued theyr linage too be the protector thereof. Howbeeit, that was not too knit them throughly vntoo him, till he had pardoned their sinnes, which was doone by the meanes of Iesus Christ. For the Lawe could yeeld them nothing but terrour and anguish of mynd, & curse them through∣out, and sink them downe too the bottom of hell, as S. Paule sayeth in the third too the Romans,* and specially in the third Chapter of the se∣cond Epistle too the Corinthians. Therfore it was requisite that the Gospell should bee added thereuntoo. Now it is certein that Dauid & the other holy Prophetes, and lykewyse all the kings and the faythfull that liued vnder the old Testament, had not the Gospel so manifestly as we haue: but yit in very substance God declared vnto thē, that he of his owne free goodnesse receyued them too mercie, for the redeemers sake in whom they trusted. If the Lawe bee separated from the Gospell, it not only profiteth them not at all which rest vppon it: but also ser∣ueth too beate them downe, and too thunder vpon them, and too shewe them how dreadfull Gods maiestie is. It is in the Gospell then that wee haue peace: and therefore it stoode the Iewes in hand too bee made partakers of that doctrine. And as for vs that come of the Gen∣tyles, wee ought (as I sayd this morning) too acknowledge so much the better, the dubble recognisance wherin wee stand bound vnto God, for that he hath voutsafed too make vs fellowes (with his peculiar people,) vs (I say) that were as things borne out of tyme, and too put vs in the companie of those whom he had chozen and adopted afore, in such wyse as the recordes of the Prophets are now fulfilled, wherin it is sayd,* yee Gentyles and Nations, glorifye yee God with his owne people: wherby the holie Ghost foreshewed that there should be such Page  [unnumbered] a melodie, that all men should sing Gods prayses, euen as well the Gentyles as the Iewes, when they were once knit toogither, and ga∣thered from out of the scattering wherin all of vs are, as is sayd alre∣die, and as wee haue seene afore.

Wee see then wherat S. Paule amed, in saying that the Gospell was preached too all men, as well them that were farre of, as them that were neere.* And that is it which he treateth of in the tenth too the Romans. For there he sheweth that wee should euer bee scan∣ning, and neuer resolued of our fayth, if wee knew not that the prea∣ching of the Gospel proceeded of Gods authoritie, & of his vnchaunge∣able ordinance. It is not for men (sayeth he) too put foorth themelues, except God send them. And God hath begunne too teache the worlde at all tymes heeretofore,* though not by preaching or wryting, yit by the onely sight of the world it sele. No maruell therefore (sayeth he) though God haue voutsafed at this time too extend his grace too all Nations, by making them too knowe that he would bee their father. Now then, lyke as on the one side, it stoode the Iewes on hand too knowe howe great neede they had too bee reconcyled too God by Ie∣sus Christ, and not too bee deceyued by trusting too theyr birthryght, or too their Circumcision, or too any of all these shadowes of the Law, but that it behoued them too flee too the onely meanes that I haue trea∣ted of, namely, that God receyued them too mercy, for the eternall sa∣crifyzes sake which Iesus Christ offered: so let vs on our syde learne too magnify Gods goodnesse, seeyng he hath voutsafed too cast vs too bee of his houshold and Church, notwithstanding that wee were cut of and banished from it before. And therefore let vs looke too our selues, that wee let not this benefite vanish away, ne be depryued of it through our owne vnthankfulnesse. For what excuce will there bee for vs, if when God calleth vs too heauen in the person of his onely sonne, so as Iesus Christ telleth vs, that it is he himselfe which commeth too seeke vs, as oft as it is tolde vs, that God will be mercifull to vs for his sake: wee runne not apace vntoo him, both hot in zeale, and earnest in care∣fulnesse, too shewe howe wee knowe that all our welfare, ioye, happi∣nesse, and glory, consist in beyng ioyned too our God? which cannot bee but through his free goodnesse. Agein, when wee refuze too re∣ceyue this peace, let vs bee afrayde that Iesus Christ will chaunge his voyce: for it is certeine that the Gospell dooth alwayes behyght dan∣nation too such as frame not themselues too Gods will. And it is not Page  101 for nought that the scripture speaketh of binding, as wel as of loozing for our Lord Iesus Christ ment too shewe vs,* that it is the very nature and dewtie of the Gospell, too plucke vs out of the bondage and pri∣son wherin wee bee hild, vntill he hath set vs free: and so is it his owne office also,* as he himselfe sayeth in the eyght of S. Iohn, where he de∣clareth the same thing, howbeeit, he addeth, that there are bondes also prepared for those that take him not for their redeemer, ne suffer them∣selues too bee set free by him. And that is it which he meaneth in S. Iohn,* when he sayeth, whose sinnes soeuer yee release, they bee relea∣sed vntoo them, and whose soeuer yee withhold, they be withhild. Then dooth he shewe, that when wee preache the Gospell, wee must first of all declare the message of Reconciliation, which thing is spoken of in the first too the Corinthians, in the place by mee before alledged. Thus yee see that the thing which wee haue too doo continually, is too shewe that God hath bin so kynd vntoo vs, as too bee at one with vs in the person of his sonne, yea and too receyue vs too bee himselfe, that we myght washed and scoured from all our filthinesse, and bee accepted for ryghtuous before him.* Lo how wretched soules are vnbound, lo how poore captiues are let out of prison, Lo how they that erst were plund∣ged in darkenesse of death, are brought out ageyn too the lyght of lyfe. But on the other syde, wee haue also commission too withhold sinnes, by threatening the despyzers of Gods woorde with Gods horrible wrath, (and by telling them) that when they haue shaken their eares, and thinke themselues too be scaped, the doctrine that they haue heard, must bee as ropes and fetters too bynd them withall. According wher∣untoo S.* Paule sayeth expresly in another place, that wee haue venge∣ance ready for all such as et themselues ageinst our doctrine. Yea though they bee the hyghest in the world, yit if they set vp their bristles ageinst God, and depyze him, they shall not scape the damnation that is threatened them, at leastwyse when the faythfull haue once perfor∣med their obedience. And in deede when an enemie summoneth a people, there is trembling for feare, least they shall fynde no mercy, if reasonable conditions should bee refuzed: and what then shalbe doone, when God commeth, not onely too will vs too yeeld our selues vntoo him, but also too offer himselfe too vs, and will haue vs too possesse him and all his goods in the person of Iesus Christ? What shall become of vs, if wee refuze such grace, when he vseth such kyndnesse towardes vs? Must not horrible damnation lyght vppon so villanous pryde and Page  [unnumbered] scornfulnesse, when men voutsafe not too receyue him, euen him which not only procureth their saluation, but also created them, and by whom they bee mainteyned? Then let vs learne too marke well this doctrine wherein peace is spoken of, too the ende wee prouoke not God any more, ne turne our bread intoo bane, and our meate intoo mortall poy∣son: but that wee may bee quickened truely by the grace which God offereth vs dayly.

And for that cause Saint Paule concludeth, that they which are so touched with Gods spirit, to obey the Gospell simply and substanci∣ally, are no more straungers, but rather fellovvcitzens vvith the Sayncts, and Gods houshold folk. And this tendeth still too the end that I haue noted afore: that is too wit, that Gods name should bee glorified as it deserueth, and that wee should not step lyghtly too him as wee bee woont too doo. For wee thinke too discharge our selues with one woord, by saying that Iesus Christ is our redeemer. But let vs alwayes call to remembrance what wee haue bin, and in what taking we were, til Iesus Christ drew vs out of the dungeons of death. For the worde straungers, importeth that which wee haue seene heer∣toofore: namely that before the Gospell was preached, the Gentyles were without hope of saluation, cut of from Gods fauour, without pro∣mises, without God in the world: insomuch that although they liued heere, although they were fed and susteyned by the good thinges that God gaue them, although they inioyed the lyght of the sunne: yit ne∣uerthelesse they were without God. And at the same poynt are all vn∣beleeuers. So then, S. Paules rehercing what our redemption was when Iesus Christ came too find vs, & reached vs his hand to guide vs too God his father, is too the end that wee should learne to yeeld hym the whole prayse of our saluation. Heeruppon he sayeth, that wee bee citizens of heauen, companions with the Angelles of Paradise, and fellowes with the holy kings and Prophets. When there is any talke of the Prophetes and Apostles, or of any of the Saynctes and Mar∣tyrs, wee haue them in admiration, and good reason wee should so: but in the meane whyle wee regard not wherfore the holy Ghoste setteth them before vs. The Papistes make Idolles of them, and (too theyr seeming) they haue honored S. Paule and S. Peter well, when they haue decked them with Gods fethers. But contrarywyse it is sayd here, that when God setteth foorth the grace that he gaue vntoo them, it is too the ende that wee shoulde bethinke vs of the benefite that he Page  102 bestoweth vppon vs, in that he mustereth vs in their band. According wherunto the Apostle in the* .xii. to the Hebrewes, sayth, that they might to be vnto vs as a great & thicke cloud of witnesses, that we myght fol∣lowe their example the more cherefully, and walke on in the way that they shewe vs. Agein, when God hath made vs too perceyue the in∣estimable good which he doth vs, in matching vs with the Prophetes, Apostles, Martyrs, and all the faythfull, let vs go yit further, (and con∣sider) that he hath made vs fellowcitizens with the Angelles of heauen. A man would take great labour for a citizenship, Freedenizonship, or Burgesship of this world, and yit notwithstanding they be but incoms of this lyfe: And what is this lyfe of ours? A flyghtfull shadow which fleeteth away out of hand. Behold, God calleth vs, not only to soiorne in his Church as straungers, but also too assure vs that he admitteth and accepteth vs for his children, so as wee may with trew trust, and as it were with one mouth boldly call vppon him as our father, and keepe one tune and melodie with all the Saints. That therfore is the thing which we haue to remember vpon this streyne: which order the Apostle vseth also in the end of the Epistle too the Hebrewes,* saying, that we be no more vnder the law, which could do nothing but fray vs, bycause there was nothing too bee heard there, but thunderings, and lyghteninges, which were terrible signes of Gods anger. But wee (sayeth he) are come too mount Syon, where wee heare the sweete voyce of God our father, who matcheth vs with his holy spirites, with his Angelles, and with the soules of his faythfull ones, so as wee bee now of their crew, and may speake vntoo God as it were all with one mouth, bycause wee haue one common head. This is in effect, the thing that wee must beare in mynd. And although wee inioy it not as yit: yit notwithstanding wee bee sure, that by the meanes of fayth wee may walke through this present lyfe as straungers too the world, and that God will not fayle too auow vs for his children and heyres: and that although wee bee yit wrapped heere in many vyces and imperfec∣tions, yit notwithstanding, all the Saincts of Paradyse doo acknow∣ledge vs for their brethren, and imbrace vs for our Lorde Iesus Christes sake.

Now let vs cast our selues downe before the Maiestie of our good God, with acknowledgment of our faults, praying him too make vs so to feele them, as we may mislike them more & more, & on the other side set our whole mind too the considering of the infinite grace which he Page  [unnumbered] extendeth toowards vs, in calling vs vntoo him, too the intent we may not be so spitefull, nor yit so witlesse and blind, as not to hearken when he speaketh, but rather that wee may obediently through fayth yeelde vntoo the doctrine which he setteth foorth vntoo vs, wherein lyeth all our welfare and saluation: and that the same may plucke vs backe from all the leaud lusts of the world, and from all the froward affecti∣ons that thrust vs aside, & turne vs away from him, so as we may grow more and more in his feare and loue, too be fashioned lyke his image, vntill we bee come too his heauenly glory, wheruntoo he calleth vs. That it may please him too graunt this grace, not only too vs, but al∣so too all people. &c.

The .xv. Sermon, which is the seuenth vppon the second Chapter.

19 Then are you no more straungers and forreyners, but fellowe citizens with the Saints, and the household folke of God▪

20 Buylded vppon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets wherof Iesus Christ himselfe is the head corner stone.

21 In vvhom the whole building being knit toogither, groweth intoo a holy Temple too the Lord:

22 In vvhom you also are builded togither, for a dvvelling place of God, in spirit.

WEe haue seene here alreadie, how the holy Ghost by the mouth of S. Paule, setteth vs out a looking glasse wherin too behold the infinite goodnesse of our God, in pul∣ling vs backe from the d•••eons of death, to make vs his children and heires of the heauenly lyfe. For this cause it is say▪ that when we be receyued into the Chrch, it is all one as if we were made Citizens, not of some earthly Citie, but euen of heauen, too bee companions 〈◊〉 all the 〈◊〉 and faythful seruaunts of God, yea and with Page  103 all the Angels of Paradise. And bycause the Churche is called not onely Gods Citie, but also his house: therefore Paule addeth, that we bee his houshold folke, therby too inhaunce the grace and fauour that God hath vttered towards vs. For, 〈◊〉 gathered intoo Gods house, and too haue him neere vntoo vs, and too haue familiar accsse continually vnto him, is much more for vs than if wee were but gene∣rally of some Citie of his. Wee see then, that bicause men doo neuer sufficiently esteeme the spirituall good that wee receyue by our Lord Iesus Christ: S. Paul ment to shew here, how it is good reason that we should make more account of the adoptiō wherby God hath so ga∣thered vs toogither by meanes of our Lord Iesus Christ, that we may now be familiarly conuersant with him by hope: than by al the whole world.

And he addeth another similitude, which is, that we be builded to be the temple of God. Sometymes the holy Scripture sayth, that euery faithful man is the Tēple of God, bycause he dwelleth in vs by his ho∣ly spirit. But when it is spoken vniuersally of the whole Churche, then are wee as lyuely stones, and the building is so bound and clozed toogither, that euery of vs serueth too the perfectting therof. Then is not the one contrarie too the other. For euery faythfull bodye alone is the Temple of God, bycause he ought too bee giuen too all ho∣linesse, by the woorking of the holie Ghost, and (as I sayd afore) God abydeth in vs. Howbeeit for asmuch as wee ought not too bee sepa∣rated asunder, but rather to bee knit toogither in vnitie by the bond of fayth▪ it agreeth very well also, that wee should be named stones, and that lyke as a building is made of manye stones, wherof there is none but it serueth too some purpose: so wee should suffer our selues too bee ioyned too our Lord Iesus Christ by beleef of the Gospell, that God may dwell in vs, and bee there purely woorshipped, and wee bee fully assured, that whensoeuer wee call vppon him, wee shall alwayes fynd him at hand too heare vs, and that when wee bee gathered toogither in his name, wee shall euermore haue him among vs. That is the thing which S. Paule treateth of heere, when he sayeth, that they which had bin heathen men, and cut of from all hope of saluation, were builded vp by the Gospell to bee made a Temple for God.

Now we see better than afore, how God will take vs for his house∣hold: that is too wit, if wee bee taught purely by the doctrine of the Gospell, that God auoweth vs for his Temples, that he is contented Page  [unnumbered] too bee worshipped of vs, and that he taketh our seruis in good worth. Therfore vntill such tyme as wee haue the doctrine of the Gospell too giue vs enterance too that excellent benefyte which is vtterly vnesti∣mable, wee cannot bee called nother Citizens of heauen, nor children of God, nor belongers too his household. And it is added, as well too make vs perceye what reuerence the Gospell deserueth, as also too shewe vs that wee neede not to make farre iourneis too seeke it. For God offereth vs the prerogatiue of entring into his house, the doore is set open for vs, at least wyse if wee receyue the promises that he ma∣keth. Wee neede not too go about heauen nor earth: God telleth vs and assureth vs, that hee hathe adopted vs, too the intent wee should leane all wholly vnto him. And so ye see how wee may bee familiar with him, and he bee ioyned vnto vs.

But therwithall hee sheweth also where wee should seeke for his woord. For faythlesse men are so spytefull, that they seeke all maner of krinks too shift themselues from God. And surely wee see, that ma∣nie make as though they were willing too serue God, so it myght bee apparant too them, that it is he which speaketh: but therwithall they doubt whether the Lawe came of him or no, and whether the Gospell bee his truth or no. Lo how men would shake of Gods yoke too the vttermost of their power, by their shrinking aside, and by their starting holes and shifting. They make protestation with full mouth, that their intent is too humble themselues vnder him: and yit they knowe not, nother can they discerne which is his woord. And why is that? Euen bycause of their malice and vnthankfulnesse. S. Paule therefore too barre all such tryfling excuces, telleth vs that inasmuch as God hath spoken by Moyses and his Prophets, and finally by his Apostles, wee ought too assure our selues, that al that euer is couteyued in the Lawe, and in the Gospel, is the truthe it self, and that we ought not bee afrayd too bee be guyled or deceyued. Wee shall heare manie Replyes, for euery man imagineth whatsoeuer commeth in his fancie. But God authorized his woord sufficiently, when he published his Law. Agein, he gaue sufficient authoritie too his Prophets: and finally his Gospel was ratified and sealed with miracles ynow. Therfore it is not for vs too say, wee knowe not whether it bee Gods woord or no: For it is in our mouth, it is neere at hand to vs, insomuch that God hathe vout∣safed to feed vs lyke littel babes with it, by sending vs mortall men to speake it too vs face to face. So then let vs learne first of all, not to sorPage  104 in the ayre, when the receyuing of Gods woord commeth in question. Let vs bee contented that he hath giuen vs sufficient record of his wil by his Prophets and Apostles (and so shall wee yeeld him obedience) though it hath pleased him too vse such instrumentes of his holy spirit: for our fayth cannot bee without humilitie, and God taketh a tryall thereof, in making mortall men too bee the meanes wherby he com∣municateth himselfe vntoo vs. Take it therefore for a principale, that it must not greeue vs though God appeere not in visible shape, or though he send vs not his Angells from heauen. For it ought too suf∣fyze vs, that wee knowe that the Prophetes and Apostles are suffi∣cient witnesses, chozen and ordeyned too bring vs the message of sal∣uation. And by the waye Saint Paule sheweth, that there is very good agreement betweene the Lawe, the Prophetes, and the Gos∣pell. In deede wee haue seene heretofore, that the vse of the ceremonies is at an ende: but yit for all that, the substance of them continueth still. And when God caused the Gospell too bee preached openly too the woorld, it was not for that he was vnconstant, nor for that he intended too teache men after a new and straunge fashion, wherwith the Lawe was nothing acquaynted: for the Lawe and the Prophetes bare wit∣nesse continually too our Lord Iesus Christ. And therby also are wee put in mynd, too further our selues by all the things that are conteyned in Moyses and in the rest of the Prophetes. For now adayes there are some fantasticall folk, which think that for all doctrine, wee ought too haue no more but the new Testament, and that all the rest is super∣fluous. It is trew indeede,* that al perfection of wisdome is through∣ly conteyned in the Gospell: but yit dooth it not therfore followe, that wee ought not too bee edifyed by the Lawe and the Prophetes: for wee see that the Apostles themselues confirmed their doctrine by their testimonies. And heere when S. Paule sayeth, that wee must bee builded vppon their foundation, he sheweth sufficiently, that whatsoe∣uer things our Lord betooke vntoo them in old tyme, is profitable for vs at this day, and wee must practize it, and put it in vre. Lykewyse S.* Peter sayeth, that they serued not only for their owne tyme, but al∣so for ours. Trew it is, that they gaue some tast of our Lord Iesus Christ, and of the good things that are imparted to vs by his meanes: but yit it is wee that are come too the fulnesse of the tyme▪ as sayeth S.* Paule in another place. And the same is also a verifying of S. Peters saying, that is too wit, that the doctrine of the Prophetes Page  [unnumbered] poynteth at vs, and wee haue more ful fruition and greater fruite of it, than they that heard it spoken. For wee haue so great a lyght in Iesus Christ, that the things which were then darke, are now manifestly o∣pen and knowen vntoo vs. So then, let vs studie the Lawe and the Prophetes, knowing wel that they leade vs to our Lord Iesus Christ. For he is the marke that is set before vs, and wherat wee leuell at this day,* accordingly as it is said, that Iesus Christ is the end of the Law, and also the patterne that Moyses sawe on the mountain. It is sayd, that the Lawe and the Prophetes beare witnesse of him,* and euen our Lord Iesus Christ himselfe vpbraydeth the Iewes, (telling them) that forasmuch as they boasted of the Lawe, they were so much the more blame woorthie and lesse too bee excuzed afore God, and their of∣fence was so much the more heynous and vnreasonable, bycause they reiected him, to whom the Lawe sendeth vs, and too whom the Lawe would holde vs backe.

So then, hereuppon wee haue too gather, that too profite well in the holy scripture, wee must alwayes resort to our Lord Iesus Christ, and cast our eyes vppon him, without turning away thence at any time. Yee shall see a number of folk that Martir themselues excee∣dingly in reading the holy scriptures, they doo nothing else but turne ouer the leaues of it: and yit at the end of halfe a score yeares, they are as wel seene in it, as if they had neuer read line of it. And why? By∣cause they doo but roue vp & downe, & ae not at any certeyn end, yea and euen in worldly learning, yee shall see a great sort that take paine ynough, and yit all is to no purpose, bycause they kepe nother order nor measure, nor doo aught else then make a raking toogither on all sides. By meanes wherof they bee euer new too seeke, and can neuer bring any thing too perfection, and although they haue gathered togi∣ther a number of sentences of al sorts, yit is there no hold at all in thē. Euen so is it with them that labour in reading the holy scripture, and know not which is the poynt that they ought to rest vpon:* namely how it is our Lord Iesus Christ. For lyke as it is sayd that all our per∣fection is in the Gospell: so on the other side it is said, that our Lord Iesus Christ is giuen vs too bee the wisedome of God his father,* as sayth S. Paule in the first too the Corinthians. And lyke as it is sayd of the Lawe,* This is the waye, walke yee therein: so also it is sayd of our Lord Iesus Christ, that he is the trew way. Agein, as it is sayd,* Lord, thy word is a Lanterne too guide my steppes by: so our Page  105 Lord Iesus Christ sayeth,* I am the light of the world, he that walketh in mee, cannot go amisse. We see then that all that euer is treated of in the holy scripture, is now verified of our Lord Iesus Christ, to shew vs how that he is the onely thing that wee haue too take hold of.* And in very deede, it is not for nought that he is called the lyuely image of God his father.* For although there bee nothing but light in God: yit shall wee neuer bee able too come too that light, till our Lord Ie∣sus Christ come downe too lift vs vp thither,* and giue vs enteraunce intoo the place that was shet fast ageinst vs afore. Yee see then that the thing which wee haue too gather vppon those words of S. Paule, is, that the Prophets & Apostles were chozen and ordeined to bring vs to God, by meanes of our Lord Iesus Christ: who is his very image, and therefore that the onely thing wheron we must settle all our sen∣ses and myndes, is too bee edified in the holy scripture.

And on the contrary part alos, let vs conclude, that all such as giue themselues too vayne curiosities, and will needes bee wyser than God gyues them leaue too bee, must abyde still in confuzion, and in steed of goyng foreward, go more and more backeward, whereof wee see ma∣ny examples, as I sayd fore, and it standeth vs in hand too profit our selues by them. For what is the cause of all the corruptions in the world? what is the cause of the great number of errours, of the great abundance of vngodlynesse, & of the great store of superstitions which raygne euery where, but for that men are ticklish in their owne foolish lutes and fleshly lykinges, and can neuer bee contented with the sim∣plenesse of Iesus Christ, as it is set downe in the Gospell? So much the more therefore ought wee too beare well in mynd the thing that is tolde vs heere: which is, that wee must alwayes set our Lord Iesus Christ before our eyes, and in our sight, if wee purpose too haue an in∣fallible resting stocke in the holy scripture, and too further our selues in it. And heerewithall wee see also, that we neede not too seeke heere and there for Gods woord: for wee bee sent too the Prophetes and the Apostles, as if it were told vs, that they bee our 〈◊〉 within the which wee must keepe vs, and that our fayth hath no leaue too start out on the one side or on the other, but must bee hilde brydled vnder the obedience of Gods woord, as it is conteyned in the holy scripture.

Now had this text bin well vnderstoode, surely the wretched world should not bee in such disorder, as wee see it is. For what is the cause th•• men haue deuized so manie wayes of saluation, but for that they Page  [unnumbered] haue not knowen the power of our Lord Iesus Christ, as it is shewed vs heere? And in good sooth let a man looke vppon all the inuentions of the Papistes, and he shall fynd that there is no end of their supersti∣tiousnesse: and yit in the meane whyle they haue as good as forgotten Iesus Christ, or rather buried him in such sort, as they haue had no re∣gard of him. And was it not a corrupting and falsifying of Gods truthe, when men knew not whertoo it tended, nor too what end it was giuen, namely how it was giuen too keepe vs wholly too our Lord Ie∣sus Christ,* that wee myght cleaue to him, and fynd rest too our soules, as he himselfe sayeth? Agein, on the other syde, whereuppon doo the Papistes ground themselues at this day? Euen vppon their Coun∣cels, vppon their decrees, vppon the things that men haue inuented of their owne brayne: and yit they would needes beare vs on hand, that all perfection is too bee had there. For as for the things that Ie∣sus Christ and his Apostles haue taught, they be but enterances, saye they: yea and they bee not ashamed too say, that those things are but as an Apie, and that Iesus Christ forbare too speake of the things that were more hygh and excellent, so as the holy scripture is but as a Catechisme for little children, and that too atteyne too the age of perfection, wee must haue holy Councels, wherin God reueleth the mystiries that were vnknowen afore. Now seing that the diuell hath so vtterly bewitched and blynded them, that they haue labored too thrust Gods woord vnder foote, too the end wee should stray and wan∣der heere and there without any good direction: wee haue so much the more cause too beare in mynde the thing that S. Paule telleth vs heere, which is, that wee must mislyke whatsoeuer is added too the ho∣ly scripture, assuring our selues that God hath giuen such charge too his Prophetes and Apostles, as he forgat not any thing that was pro∣fitable or expedient for our saluation: and that if wee desyre too pro∣fit in his schoole, we must not puttoo any morsels or coluppes of our owne, nor fall too borrowing of things heere and there, that are con∣trarie too that pure doctrine, but must vtterly mislyke all such dea∣ling, yea and abhorre all maner of patching, as leuen that sowreth, and marreth the whole batch of dowe, bycause God condemneth whatsoe∣uer men take vppon them too adde vntoo the Lawe and the Gospell, from the which wee must not in any wyse turne away: for it is not without cause sayd:* This is the way, walke in it. And wheras Ie∣sus Christ sayeth, he is the way, and the lyght of the world: it is too Page  106 the end that wee should abyde in him, without swaruing asyde in any wyse, eyther too the ryght hand or too the left. Another thing which wee haue further too consider vppon this text, where Gods doctrine is spoken of, and the Prophetes and Apostles are named the Messen∣gers of it, is this: that wee knowing what their office is, should not consent too bee taught by such as God neuer made priuie of his wyll, and whom he disauoweth, when they go about too adde any one illable too the things which he will haue too bee noted and hild without geyn∣saying. Trew it is, that the Church cannot indure without the dayly preaching of the doctrine of the Prophets and Apostles in it:* and that all they which are ordeyned too teache, are called Masons, Carpen∣ters (and builders) of Gods house. Therefore in that they bee buyl∣ders of the Churche, they bee all one with the Prophets and Apostles. Yit notwithstanding, it followeth not therefore that they may take what they list of the Lawe, or take libertie too preache their owne in∣uentions: but they must drawe (their matter) out of the pure fountaine that is offered vs in the holy Scripture, that wee may bee hilde conti∣nually too the simplicitie of the Lawe and the Gospell, and not bee at∣teynted with any wandering opinions in sted of the obedience of fayth, which contenteth it selfe with the meane that God hath set. Agein, wheras S.* Paule sayeth, that Iesus Christ is the foundation and the head corner stone: it is not ment, that it is lawful too mingle any thing with Iesus Christ, as though he shoulde but make some one peece of the buylding, and the rest bee supplyed by others: but it serues too shewe that wee must bee buylded vppon him, according as Saint Paule exhorteth vs in the thirde Chapter of the first Epistle too the Corinthians, where he sayeth, that no man can lay any other foundati∣on, than that which is layd already, that is too wit, than Iesus Christ. Heereby S. Paule dooeth vs too vnderstand, that men cannot set forth any thing wheron too ground and settle their saluation: there is (sayth he) none other foundation but Iesus Christ. Agein, wee know his do∣minion extendeth euery where: and therefore all of vs from the most too the least must yeeld vntoo him, and not forsake the great number of benefytes which he offereth vs, and which wee possesse by his meanes.

But yit shall wee neuer vnderstand how Iesus Christ is our only foundation,* except wee knowe too what end he was sent, according too the forealleged text, where S. Paule sayeth, that he was giuen vs too Page  [unnumbered] bee our wisdome. And not only that, but also he addeth further, that he was giuen vs too be our rightuousenesse, redemption, and holinesse. As if he should say, that Iesus Christ is our wisdome, wheruntoo wee mut wholy hold our selues, bycause wee may there see, that he is the welspring of all welfare, & hath in him whatsoeuer is requisite to our saluation. Then if we once know to what end Iesus Christ was giuen, and the infinite benefites wherof he will make vs partakers: wee will forsake all other foode: that is to say, all that euer man setteth afore vs, shalbee too vs but as vanitie, yea and euen as dung and filth, bycause wee shalbee fully satisfied with our Lord Iesus Christ. Now then, that wee may conceyue how he is the foundation of the Church, and that wee ought too bee settled vppon him: let vs marke that it is by∣cause God hath reueled himself fully vntoo vs by his only sonne, and put all thinges intoo his hand which are requisite too our saluation, or worthie to be desired, to the end that wee myght drawe of his fulnesse, as is sayd of him in the first Chapter of S. Iohn. And this in effect is the maner how wee ought too put this text in vre, where it is sayd, that our Lord Iesus Christ is in such wyse the cheef stone, that he beareth vp all the whole (building) in the corner: and we knowe that the grea∣test weyght of a building lyeth vpon the corner.

But by the way, let vs marke also, that S. Paule ment not too set Christ alone in a rowe by himself, and to couch other stones with him, that should haue maystership and authoritie as well as he: but simply too shew, that there is no more diuersitie betweene the Lawe and the Gospell, as touching the substance of them, but that our Lord Iesus Christ is the end of all, and that wee bee so ioyned and knit togither by his meanes, that all of vs are made the Temple of God, and belong by vnitie of fayth too the spirituall building, wherin God intendeth too dwell. Yit notwithstanding, if our fayth rest not wholy vppon our Lord Iesus Christ, it is certeyne, that wee cannot bee builded vppon this foundation. For whereas the Papistes inuent Patrones and Aduocates too get them fauour at Gods hand, and heape vp a number of meanes too merit withall: it is all one as if they made themselues straungers too Iesus Christ. Now whosoeuer turneth away from him, and it bee but a finger bredth, must needes fall intoo destruction. for▪ it is the propertie of a foundation too beare vp the whole building. Now if the buildig bee too wyde, and ouerhang it, it must needes fall downe. Euen so goeth it with vs. If wee bee not builded vppon Ie∣sus Page  107 Christ, so as our fayth bee lined and leueled vntoo him, and wee sticke too him without adding of one thing or other: he must needes disauow vs for any of his, and cast vs quyte away. And in good fayth, the Papists & their lyke doo well be wray their greate vnthankfulnes, by their wandring here and there, and by their adding of new meanes at their owne pleasure. This wrong and outrage which they doo too our Lord Iesus Christ, deserue wel that we should tumble them downe and cut them quite off from Gods Church. Therfore if wee mynd too inioy the benefite that S. Paule setteth foorth to vs heere, let vs be∣ware that our fayth bee so framed too the Lawe and the Gospell, as too reiect whatsoeuer thinges man shall haue inuented, assuring our selues that it is the next way too drawe vs too destruction, and that wee can∣not bee grounded vppon Iesus Christ too stand fast vpon him for euer, vnlesse wee addmit all the thinges that are spoken and witnessed of him in the Lawe and the Gospell, without making of it Lawfull for men too adde any thing at all too it. Yee see then in effect, that the thing which wee bee warned of in these woordes of S. Paule, is, that wee belong not too our Lord Iesus Christ, ne can bee of Gods Church, ex∣cept it be by following the pure doctrine of the Lawe and the Gos∣pell, and by forsaking (as yee would say) all the filth and abhominati∣on that men haue deuyzed by their owne dreames and dotages, how fayre colour of wisdome soeuer they beare. For they will fynd store ynough of fyne pedlery, too make folke beleeue that their adding of so many gewgawes, is not without cause. But howsoeuer they fare, if wee couet too bee ioyned and vnited too Iesus Christ, we must so abyde in him, as too make none account of any other thing.

And therwithall wee see also, that too bee taken for Gods children, wee must giue our wynds too trew concord. For S. Paule setteth downe bothe twayne of them heere: and in verye deede, they be things inseparable, that Christians being taught Gods word purely, should with one hart and one mynd receiue the things that are so set forth vnto them, and haue brotherly concord among them, too speake as it were with one mouth, and too make one pure and simple confession. Then lyke as hithertoo wee haue seene that we must be builded vppon Gods pure woord alone: so it is shewed vs heere, that wee must not euery of vs bee bent too his owne opinion, but frame our selues too the vnitie of fayth, accordingly as S. Paule speaketh therof in the third too the Philippians, saying▪ if ye intend too bee perfect, ame yee all at one Page  [unnumbered] mark, and be yee knit truly toogither in one. For wee know how am∣bition tickleth vs continually, and euery man would fayne haue some∣what by himself, too set out his owne estimation withall. For the very cause wherof came al the heresies that euer were, is this pryde so depe∣ly rooted in mennes harts, that wheras all of vs ought too bee lerners, euery of vs will needs bee teachers. And in verye deede he that is to teach other folks, must not set foorth any thing of his owne, but purely impart vntoo them the things that he hath learned of our Lord Iesus Christ. And soo bycause men are so froward, that they couet alwayes too knowe more than is lawfull for them: therefore they misbehaue them selues, and euery man would keepe a schoole, too make a showe of hym selfe. But it is said (heere) that in stead of this dealyng, wee must bee knyt toogither, that wee may speake all as it were with one mouth, and confesse that wee haue but one God, and one Father, by shewing our selues too haue no mo maysters, but onely Iesus Christe. Neuerthelesse, it is true that such a concord would not bee ynough: but I haue told you already, at what ende wee must begynne: that is too wit, at the pure instruction which wee receyue of the Prophetes and Apostles. The Papistes brag too too much of theyr agreement: and so may they do ful wel, for the diuel possesseth thē in such wise, that they be wholly sotted in it. In deede there is ianglyng & iarryng ynough a∣mong thē, & they snatch one at another lyke Curdogs, when they bee in theyr own Synagogues: but yit they sticke toogither lyke Burres, in the mayntenance of all vngodlynesse. We see their diuelish madnesse & wilful stubbornnes when they reason for the mayntenance of their own lies ageinst gods truth. But S. Paul sheweth vs after what maner we ought to agree▪ namely not in dreames & dotages, nor in the things that men haue put foorth of their own store: but in the doctrine of the Pro∣phets & Apostles. Now seing that the Papists haue banished the holy scripture, & although they make coūtenance to receyue it, doo neuerthe∣lesse deface it, yea & vtterly falsifie & corrupt it by their own inuētions: therby we see they be farre of frō their reckening, in that they vant thē selues with open mouth to bee Gods Church: for seeing they haue not the doctrine of the Prophets and Apostles, they haue no marke 〈◊〉 the church at al. Although men were redie to receyue al things that are in the holy scripture, euē without geinsaying: yit if they fal to mingling of their own fancies therwithall: Christianitie is therby alredy corrupted & cōfo••ded. Now, they not only intangle Gods truth with their own Page  108 inuentions: but also vtterly ouerthrow al: in somuch that Gods seruice is vtterly corrupted by thē, poore soules are harried to & fro, & our Lord Iesus Christ is robbed, so as they make but a fantastical cōceit of him, & attribute his offices to this man & that mā, as it were the dealing of some pray or bootie. Forasmuch thē as we see the papists so malapert∣ly & madly turne Gods word vpsyde downe after that fashion: we may well conclude, that although they boast thēselues neuer so much to bee the Church, yit God disauoweth them, yea & vtterly abhorreth them: & that if a mā get him not out of that den of theeues, it is impossible for him to be ioyned to our Lord Iesus Christ. Thus yee see that the thing which we haue to beare in mynd, is, that to be ioyned to God by mea∣nes of his only sonne, & to be companions with the Angels of heauen, & brethren of the Patriarks, holie kings, and Prophets, wee must be banished out of the Hellish Sinagogs that are in the popedome, where it is apparant that Antichrist reigneth, and that Iesus Christ is vt∣terly dispossessed of his right and souereintie. And veryly we see their cursed presumption, in that they haue bin so bolde as too say that the See of Rome is the foundation of the Churche. For they abuse these woordes of our Lord Iesus Christ in the sixteenth Chapter of S. Ma∣thew: Thou art Peter, and vpon this Stone will I buyld my Church.* Now seeyng that Iesus Christ sayeth, that Peter shall bee buylded vppon himselfe (that is too say, vppon Iesus Christ:) he meaneth not too resigne his offyce eyther too him or too any other body: but therby it appeereth, that among the Papists there hath not bin any reuerence of the holy scripture, nor any desyre too bee taught, but that all was one too them, so they myght set vp a tyrannye too oppresse the king∣dome of our Lord Iesus Christ, and too make cleane riddance of it, if it were possible, and that they haue made no conscience of manifest blasphemie, insomuch that euen little children ought too haue spit in their faces, considering the grosse beastlinesse that is, and hath bin a∣mong them. And herein also it is too bee seene, howe the diuell hath raigned in full darkenesse, that Gods woord was buryed, yea and vt∣terly defaced, and the wretched world quite and cleane beeft of it for a tyme, notwithstanding that it was their ordinary foode. So then, let vs abhorre all those blasphemies, assuring our selues that wee can∣not bee grounded in but our Lord Iesus Christ, and that when wee bee once faythfully instructed in him, wee neede not too borrow elsewhere, bycause he hath brought vs whatsouer is requisite for our saluation. Page  [unnumbered] And it is not meete that wee should doo him so great dishonour, as too seeke any supply one where or other: but that wee should hold our sel∣ues all wholly vntoo him. That therfore is the meaning of the things that S. Paule speaketh heere.

Theruppon he addeth, that it behoueth vs all too bee buylded, and too growe intoo a spirituall building, euen too God, and in the spirit. First, whereas he sayeth, that wee must bee builded: it is to stirre vs vp so much the better to growe dayly more and more in faith. He vseth also the word Growe: and he meaneth in effect twoo things. The one is, that wee must not thinke our selues too bee so perfect as neede were that wee should bee, as some fantasticall heads do, whom yee shall see so puffed vp with ouerweening, that they imagine them∣selues too be wize ynough, and disdeyne too looke vppon Gods word, or too giue eare vntoo it to be taught by it. But wo worth such pryde: for wee cannot bee disciples of our Lord Iesus Christ, but by know∣ing that it behoueth vs too bee grounded in him, and too profite in him al the tyme of our life.* For Gods word is of such height, bredth, and length, that if a man should forbeare eating, drinking, and slee∣ping, and buzie himselfe all wholly about that: yit should he neuer knowe all. So then wee ought too trauell in it al our life long, know∣ing that God intendeth as now but onely to set vs in the way, and that wee must go foreward by little and little, and bee hid continually in humblenesse and modestie.

Agein, S. Paule sheweth vs, that too bee setled in our Lord Ie∣sus Christ, and too bee furthered in all the good things that are giuen vs by him: wee must haue his word, that wee may bee builded vpp•• it, and growe vppon it more and more: and that too bring the same too passe, wee must bee teachable: and from day oo day labour too seeke new helpe there too strenghthen our fayth withall, which shal neuer be perfect in this world, as we fynde sufficiently by experience. Thus yee see what S. Paule ment by that▪ which he sayeth here, con∣cerning our growing and going forward in the sayd building, howbeit vntoo the Lord, sayeth he: shewing therby that too haue a goodly show, is not all (that is reuired at our hands) but that the cheife point is, that God like well of vs, and that wee bee wholly giuen vntoo him, so as he haue place and roome in vs, and dwel in vs as in his Temple. For the Papists wil make a farre greater showe then wee on the 〈◊〉 side: they haue great multitudes, wherwith they bee pffed vp 〈◊〉 the Page  109 vttermost. Ad theruppon they despyze vs, bycause wee bee but a handfull of men (in comparison of them.) What, (say they) dooth not Christendome extende through all Europe, Greece, and Affricke? And yit see how these rascals that haue nother authoritie nor credit, nor any thing else in them, will needes be counted the Chruch. Yee see then that the Papists shake vs of with diuelish pride & malapertnesse, bycause they haue on their syde great pomp, and all manner of riches, insomuch that if a man go intoo their temples, he is rauished at them, as if he were in an earthly paradice. But al is not gold that glistereth. And although their pompe bee able too bleare the eyes of poore ig∣norant soules, whom we see too bee caryed away in deede with such things: Yit are they all no better but abhomination before God. And so S. Paule sheweth vs that wee must not spite the Papistes, though they be very many in number, and greatly multiplyed: for they bee but a head without a body, or rather but a bumbasted and counter∣fet body. Too bee short, that which the Papists terme their Church, is a very monster. For it hath no head, bycause Iesus Christ hath not preheminence ouer it, no nor any part or portion in it. Too the end therefore that wee might knowe how wee should growe: it is sayd vntoo vs, that wee must grow vntoo the Lord, and in Spirit, sayth S. Paule. Heere he draweth vs backe from all worldly superstitions, dooyng vs too vnderstand, that they bee but pelting trashe, yea and ve∣ry dung before God, who abhorreth them.

Therfore wee must growe in spirit. And verily wee see that the shadowes of the Lawe •••assed immediatly as soone as wee had the accomplishment and substance of the body, that is too wit, our Lord Iesus Christ. And now that he is come, wee must not gaze any longer vppon those figures. Sith it is so, wee ought much rather too giue oer the things that men bring in. How hygh and excellent so euer they be, let vs cast them from vs, as filthinesse, & hold our selues cōtent with this, that our Lord Iesus Christ wil haue vs to build in him after a spirituall manner. And so yee see how his doctrine ought too bee sweete and amiable too vs, yea and too rauish vs all wholly in loue with it, so as wee may giue vp the world with a free harte, and giue our selues too our Lord Iesus Christ. But on the other syde also let vs beware, that the iudgment which he threatneth vnto such as cast a∣syde this stone, lyght not vppon our heades, according too this saying, Behold,* I lay a precious stone in Sion. Seing then that Iesus Christ Page  [unnumbered] is giuen vs too bee our foundation, wee haue there a precious stone, whervppon if wee bee builded, wee may bee sure of our saluation. And wee neede not bee afrayd that he is not strong ynough too vphold vs, so as he will neuer fayle vs. But if wee fall to iustling ageinst that stone, it is cerein that wee shall not bee able too stand ageinst it, but wee shall sink downe vnderneath it, and in the end it shall brooze vs, and beate vs all too peeces. Therfore let vs take heede that our Lord Iesus Christ turne not intoo a stone too stumple at, after the manner of the world which now adayes maliceth him, insomuch that euery man settes vp his bristles proudly and rebelliously, too come rus∣shing ageinst him: but let vs bethink our selues well, and be meekely dispozed too yeeld our seruice too him, that he may maynteyne vs vn∣too the end.

And although wee see Iesus Christ too bee reiected of the world, and it may seeme straunge vntoo vs that men should fyght so ageinst him, and that he should bee as a whyte to shoote at: yit let vs not ceasse too take him still for a precious stone, as Saint Peter counselleth vs in the second Chapter of his first Epistle.* Yee see then that when wee heare these promises which Saint Paule telleth vs of, wee ought on the one syde too bee drawen too our Lord Iesus Christ, too giue our selues wholly vntoo him, and too forge all the things that seeme most excellent in the world: and on the other syde too beware that our vn∣thankfulnesse bee not punished for disdeyning too receyue him as a precious stone, sith that God telleth vs that all our welfare lyeth in this, that is too wit, that wee bee his Temple, and that he bee called vppon at our handes. Therefore let vs profit our selues by so great and inestimable a benefite, and let vs still growe and increase therin more and more, vntill wee come too the heauenly heritage, where wee shall haue full fruiion of all the good things which he maketh vs oo feele as yit but by fayth.

And now let vs fall downe before the Maiestie of our good God, with acknowledgement of our sinnes, praying him too voutsafe too wye out the rememberance of them, so as they may not come too ac∣count before him: and that therwithall he so correct vs, as wee may cleaue fully vntoo him, and he so beare with our infirmities, as wee may not ceasse too resort vntoo him freely at al tymes, though wee bee not woorthy of it. And so let vs all say, Almighty God heauenly fa∣father▪ &c.

Page  110

The .xvi. Sermon, which is the first vppon the third Chapter.

1. For this cause, I Paule beyng the prisoner of Iesus Christ, am an Ambassadour for you Gentyes.

2. Surely you haue heard the dealing forth of Gods grace, which vvas committed too mee on your behalfe.

3. How that by Reuelation he hath giuen mee knovvledge of the mistery, (as I haue written vntoo you briefely heeretofore.

4. By the reading vvhereof you may vnderstand the knovvledge vvhich I haue in the mystery of Christ,)

5. VVhich vvas not knovven too the children of men in times past, as it is novv discouered too his holy Apostles and Pro∣phetes by the spirit.

6. That is too vvit, That the Gentyles are fellovvheires, and of one selfsame body, and parttakers toogither of his promise in Iesus Christ by the Gospell.

ALthough euery of vs confesse that the doc∣trine of the Gospell brings alwayes trub∣ble and persecution, bycause the world ha∣teth it, and yit for all that, that wee ought not too bee dismayed nor shrinke away: yit notwithstanding it is so hard too put the thing in vre which wee confesse, that there is almost none of vs all which is not vexed, and in maner shaken downe, when Gods e∣nemyes offer any vnquyetnesse, or when wee see the silly faythfull sor cruelly vsed at their handes. Neuerthelesse it ought too serue for a strengthening of our fayth, when wee see men which are frayle of their owne nature, not afrayd too hazard their lyues in bearing record of Gods truthe. Seeing then that the power of Gods spirit appeareth most manifestly, if we were not to 〈◊〉 blynded with vnthankfulnesse, it ought too assure vs so much the more. But forasmuch as wee ad∣uauntage our selues very euill by it: we haue neede too bee incoraged, as S. Paule also dooth in this text. When wee see the diuell stirre vp his vnderlinges too execute all tyranny ageinst Gods children: let Page  [unnumbered] it not shake our fayth. And specially if the faythfull indure paciently al that can be, for the maynteynance of Gods truth which they knowe, and that they doo also hold out too the end. Without swaruing: that (as I sayd) ought not too bee lost. And for the same cause dooth S. Paule in other places say,* he suffereth for the welfare of the Church. Not that he could purchace them forgiuenesse of sinnes, or any grace by his death:* but bycause the Gospell is Gods myghty power too the welfare of all that beleeue, and the further that wee go forward in it, the neerer it maketh vs too come vntoo God, and vntoo euerlasting lyfe. S. Paule then suffred for the example of those whō he had taught afore with his owne mouth. For (therby) they knew that his speaking too them had bin in good earnest, seeing he spared not his owne blud and his lyfe, too seale and confirme the doctrine that he had brought them. As much is doone in this text.

For he sayth, he was an Ambassadour for the Gentyles, yea euen though he were the prisoner of Iesus Christ. Surely these twoo things seeme too bee as contrarie as fyre and water. For could not Iesus Christ honour them better whom he sendeth in his name, and which represent him, than too put them too all the shame and reproche of the world?* But S. Paule as well heere as in other places, hathe not sticked too glorie in his imprisonment and bands. In deede he was kept in ward as an euill dooer: bt in the meane while he had record bothe before God and also before man, that he suffred wrongfully, for executing his office, and finally for seruing God faythfully. Therfore let vs not think it strange, that on the one syde he calleth himself priso∣ner, and on the othersyde the Ambassadour or messenger of the Liuing God, euen as representing his person and dignitie. And it is not for nought that he addeth the name of Iesus Christ. For imprizonment generally myght haue bred some euill opinion of him, bycause euill dooers are punished with it by order of Iustis. But the cace putteth a difference betewne euill dooers, and the witnesses of God and of our Lord Iesus Christ. That is the rause why S. Paule calleth not him∣self a prisoner simply and without exception, but also sheweth the cause why: saying, that Iesus Christ auoweth him, as thugh he were an hostage (or pledge) for him. So then, by this saying wee bee war∣ned too reeyue S. Paules doctrine with the greater authoritie, seing hee hath rati••ed it so well. If he had but onely executed his 〈◊〉n in preaching, wee ought too haue made acount of the obedience Page  111 that hee yeelded vntoo God. But he also wrought miracles, he inu∣red a number of trubbles and incomberances, and finally he suffered imprisonment and death. Now when wee see that for all this he ceas∣sed not too go through stedfastly, and too ouercome all the assaults that Satan and the wicked world were able too stir vp ageinst him: surely wee haue the greater confirmation of the doctrine, which ser∣ueth at this day too our vse.

And therfore when wee bee told of Saint Paule, and of the great number of incounters that he indured: let vs not think it is more than needeth. For it is alwayes a more certayne ratifying of the doctrine, too the end wee myght vnderstand how it is not of the doctrine of any mortall wyght, but the doctrine of the liuing God, who also strengthe∣ned him with inuincible constancie by his holie spirit. Now as this is well spoken of the persons of Saint Paule: so must it also bee exten∣ded further. For God wissed and ordeyned, that the rest of the Apo∣stles should suffer as well as hee. And it is sayd of Saint Peter,* that when he was growen old, he should bee girded after another fashion than he had bin woont too bee, so as he should bee tyed in streyt bonds, and bee led whither he would not, at leastwyse as in respect of fleshly infirmitie, though he had a spirituall disposition of mynd to obey God. We see then in effect, how Gods seruants suffered, not a two or three of them, but so as there myght bee as it were a great and thicke cloud of them, as the Apostle sayeth in the twelfth too the Hebrewes. Sith it is so: let vs make our hand of such helpes. For it is certeyne, that God ment too susteyne our feeblenesse, by adding such helpes too his woord (which ought too bee of sufficient authoritie of it self,) too the intent it should no more bee doubted of, nor called in question. Thus yee see how the thing that wee haue too beare in mynd, is that the blud of the Apostles and Martyrs that hath bin shed too confirme the doc∣trine of the Gospell, is as good as a hūdred seales, yea as a whole mi∣lion of seales, too warrant vs all the thinges fully, which are conteyned in the Gospell. Trew it is, that our fayth ought too bee grounded vp∣pon the authoritie of the holy Ghost: and that although God had ne∣uer a Martyr, too shewe that the truth of the Gospell is firme and cer∣teine: yit it ought too suffyze vs, that it is he which speaketh it. Agein, wee haue seene heeretoofore, that the truth shall euer bee doubted of, ill the holy Ghost haue sealed it in our hartes. And for that cause is he called our earnestpennye,* bycause he insureth vs of the heritage Page  [unnumbered] which wee hope for, according too the promise which hath bin pur∣chaced so deerely for vs with the blud of our Lord Iesus Christ.

Now for the last step, wee must come too the experience that wee haue in these dayes. For the blud of Martirs is shed still at this day, & God could well let that the wicked should not runne so vpon the brydle ageinst the faythfull: he could well chaunge all their mischeeuousnesse and rebellion: and wheras they bee rauening wolues, he could make them as sheepe and Lambes: surely he could doo so. But on the one syde he ordeyneth Satan too driue them and stirre them vp too such rage, and agein he giueth them licence and leaue too trubble the fayth∣full. And why? Too the end that wee should knowe what the power of his holy spirit is, when it pleaseth him too guyde and gouerne vs. For (as I haue declared alredy) the weaknesse of men is such, that there needeth but the falling of a leafe from a tree too make them quake, & a∣geyne wee knowe that death is horrible of it self. Therfore wee must conclude, that God vttereth a wonderfull grace, when he strengthe∣neth his seruantes in such wyse, as they bee not dismayed with any threateninges, nor at the syght of fyre, when the enemyes and tirantes are not contented with single death, but adde thertoo the most tyranni∣call tormentes that can bee deuyzed. Now then when the Martyres perseuer in such constancie, therin men perceyue that God hath put to his hand. Wherfore when wee heare that they bee handled so cruelly for Gods word, and that some, if they scape, are notwithstanding redye too dye, and othersome knowing their death shall bee precious in the eyes of the Lord, offer them selues in sacrifize with a cheerful corage: let vs not suffer their blud too fall too the ground. (I say,) when wee heare of all these things, let vs beware wee suffer not that thing too pe∣rish, which God hath ordeyned for our edifying, and for the better con∣firming of vs in our fayth. For although wee ought too bee (suffici∣ently) instructed by the preaching (alone) yit must it needes be a great strengthening too vs, when Gods word is not onely preached, but al∣so sealed after that fashion. Then is it not too bee called in question, or too be disputed of, as an vncertayne matter: but they to whom God hath graunted the grace, and are led so farre by his holy spirit, as too suffer for his truth: are faythfull wittnesses that their blud serueth too giue a full sealing vp too his word, too the intent that wee should bee the better resolued of it. Thus yee see what wee haue to gather vppo this streyne. And although the enemies of the Gospell make a tri∣umphing, Page  112 and spit fire, and keepe a great coyle too deface all that belongs too God: yit let not vs ceasse too gloryfie God alwayes, see∣ing that all the battels which are prepared by Satans pollicie ageinst the faythful, are turned of God into Crownes and Garlands, & he ma∣keth them to ouercome all things that seeme to make to their vndoing and destruction. The thing then whiche wee haue yet further too mark, is this in effect, that we must not bee thrust out of the way when we see the wycked sorte, and the despyzers of God, and al worldlynges scorne our simplicitie, at suche tyme as our brethren suffer persecution: but must consyder that the pryzons where they be kept, & the reproche∣full fires are of much more worthinesse and excellencie, than all the seates where those Iudges sit, that are as Satans vnderlings or vp∣holders, and as ranke murtherers: yea & more excellent than al seats of Kings and Princes, though they make neuer so much adoo of their greatnesse.

Now hereuppon S. Paule addeth, you also haue heard the dea∣ling foorth of Gods grace which was committed too mee, as I haue written briefly vnto you, according as he declared the mistery ther∣of vntoo me▪ and you may better vnderstand the knowledge which I haue of the mistery of Iesus Christ. Here S. Paule intendeth too proue, that he was ordeyned an Apostle, not as one that had thrust in himselfe through rashenesse or folly, nor as one that had bin aduaun∣ced by fauour of men, nor as one that had light intoo it by haphazard▪ but as put in by Gods free goodnesse. And it is not here only that he stryueth for the maintenaunce of his calling, that is too wit, to shewe that he was an Apostle sent and allowed of God: but he standeth vp∣on that poynt in many other places.* It is trew, that he passed not for his owne person: but the certeynty of the faythfull depended therupon. When wee come too heare the Gospell, if wee bee not throughly perswaded that he is sent of God: surely wee may well conceyue some wandring opinion, but we shall neuer bee sure, nor haue any rest. This then must go first: Namely, that such as teach vs bee allowed, and that wee knowe them too bee imployed of God to our saluation, and that they bee instruments of his holy Ghost. For otherwise a man may say, what is he? for there is nothing in vs by nature, but vanitie and leazing. And on the other side, were a man neuer so well learned and sound, so as there were nothing in him but substantianesse and soundnesse, yit should he not bee able too assure vs of the forgiuenesse Page  [unnumbered] of our sinnes: it is too great and high a thing too warrant vs attone∣ment with God, and that he taketh vs intoo his fauour, wheras there had bin nothing but deadly emnitie before. If the Angels of heauen should say it with one mouth, they could not warrant it vs, except they were authorized of God.

So then let vs marke well, that S. Paules labouring so much too shewe that he thrust not in hym selfe too bee an Apostle, but that he was sent of God, and had that office at Gods hand, and that in all hys dooyngs he attempted not any thing vppon presumption, or through rashnesse, but according too our Lorde Iesus Christes choozyng of hym, bycause it was his wyll too bee serued of hym after that maner: is not causelesse. That therefore is the grounde that he goeth vppon in this Text.

Now he sayeth also, that the Ephesians ought too haue knowen well the misterie or secret that had bin reueled vntoo him, namely too the end they myght haue bin sure that he was ordeyned and appoyn∣ted too deale foorth Gods grace, and too preach euerlasting saluation of their soules, too such as had erst bin cut of and banished out of the kingdome of heauen. And heere wee haue too marke first of all, that too heare and too vnderstand the things that are preached too vs con∣cerning the Gospell, is not all that wee haue to doo: but that wee must mount vp yit a little hygher: that is too wit, that God would haue vs too bee certifyed of his good will by the record of men. For were it a thing deuyzed heere beneath, it wre too weake stuffe. And therefore let vs marke, that the preaching of the Gospell and our common mee∣ting toogither too bee taught, is not a policie or order of mans deuy∣zing, nor a fancie, or inuention of man, but an ordinance of God, and an abyding Lawe, where ageinst it is not lawfull for vs too attep any thing at all. Sith i is so, wee ought too come so much the more soberly and aduyzedly thither as too Gods schoole, and 〈◊〉 as too a mans schoole, too heare the preaching. Trew it is, that wee ught too examin the doctrine, and that wee must not receyue all things indif∣ferently that are preached, nor at least wyse bee as bruce eastes in that behalf, after the maner of the Papists, who terme it simplicite, to be without, any vnderstāding at all: but yit must wee beare such honor too Gods name, that when the doctrine of the holy Scripture is set foorth vntoo vs▪ wee 〈…〉 our selue & from the world, and forsake our owne reason, too submit our selues with trew obedience Page  113 and 〈◊〉, too the things which wee knowe too haue proceeded of God. When wee come thither with such mynd so prepared, surely God will neuer suffer vs too bee receyued, but he will so guyde vs by his holy Ghost, as wee shalbee certifyed that our fayth conneth of him, and is grounded vppon his power, ad tha it commeth not of men. Let that serue for one poynt.

Agein, wheras Saint Paue sayth, that the calling of the Gentyles too the knowledge of the Gospell, that they myght be ioyned to them that were neere alredye, was a misterie or secret: wee haue too note, that God purpozed to humble the world, and too hold it (as yee would say) brydled, too the end that wee should lerne too honour his proui∣dence, notwithstanding that the reasons thereof bee vnknowen too vs, and the meanes therof hid from vs. God could haue published the Gospell immediatly vppon the creating of the world, or streight after Adams fall: but he did put it off by the space almost of twoo thousand yeeres: and afterwardes agein after the flud, although the world were renewed agein, yit draue he it of agein. So then there passed a six∣teene hundred yeeres or theraboutes before Abraham was called. And when God choze him and all his linage, it was not yit the Gos∣pell. Neuerthelesse God tooke one man in his old age, that was al∣redie passing and halfdead, yea and euen as good as buried, and in the meane whyle letteth the whole world go too destruction. Now after that foure hundred yeeres more were spent, the Law was published, howbeit, that was but too Abrahams linage only. The Gentyles be∣ing the farre greater number, were neuerthelesse excluded. This matter seemeth strange at the first syght, and they that would hold God brydled to their lust, wil fynd matter ynough heere to iangle at, & so doo they in deede. For they would needes haue God bound to call all the world alyke without exception. But that will he not doo. Agin, is the Lawe giuen? Then passeth there a long tyme before Iesus Christ come intoo the world. Too bee short, for the space of almost foure thousand yeeres, there passed an infinite number of people, wandering heere and there lyke blynd wretches, and walking in the shadowe of death, and God did let them still alone, as it is sayd i the seuenteenth of the Actes.* Sodeinly the Trumpet 〈◊〉 and the wall was broken down, and God gathered toogither 〈…〉 est strayed from him, and had despyzed his name. He recey••• them too fauour by meanes of our Lord Iesus Christ,* in whose person the Page  [unnumbered] souerein dominiō of God is extended ouer al the world. These then are things that could not enter into our conceyt, as I said afore. Therefore it is not without cause that S. Paule nameth that order of dealing, a mysterie that had bin vnknowen to al ages, & was reueled in his time.

But first and formest wee must resolue a question that myght bee put heere, bycause the Patriarkes were not vtterly ignorant what should insew, and the prophets bare record of it. For when there is any speaking, that the Gentyles should bee matched with the people whom God had chozen and adopted before: it is said, that Moyses fore∣told and vttered,* and that all the Prophets sayd, that the straungers should come too woorship God, and too honour his maiestie. Then was it not a thing vtterly vnknowen at that tyme, as Saint Paule speaketh of it: but yit let vs marke that all those prophesies ceas∣sed not too bee darke, bycause the meanes were hidden. It is true that the hope of the faythfull was, that God woulde one day gather toogither the world that was scattered after so horrible manner as we haue seene: but as touching the knowledge of the tyme, that Circum∣cision, and the figures of the Lawe should bee abolished, that God should bee serued after another better knowen fashyon, that Iesus Christ should bee as the daysimne of ryghtuousenesse, that men should content themselues with him, that there should be no mo visible signes but Baptim and the Lords Supper, too confirme vs withall in all the ghostly gifts which wee obteyne at this day:* all this (say I) was vn∣knowen. Yea & euen the very Apostles thēselues continued still in that grosse ignorance, notwithstāding that our Lord Iesus Christ warned thē of the things that were at hand.* In deede whē he sent them abrode into the Country of Iewrye, he sayd vnto them, Speake not yit too the Gentiles. But that was bycause the cōuenient tyme was not yit come.

When he drew towards his death,* I haue other sheepe (sayd he) that are not of this fold, which must bee gathered toogither. Ther he sheweth that manie were chozen of God his father, who neuerthe∣lesse were not compryzed in the nation of the Iewes. And when he was rizen agein from the dead,* he sayd, Go preache the Gospell too all creatues. Heere then is commaundement first gyuen them too preache the hope of saluation too such as were vtter straungers too it before. Now when S. Peter was aduertized that God would send him too a heathen man,* he was so amazed at it, that the heares stoode vp vppon his head. And how is that possible? God was fayne to Page  114 send him a vision from heauen, too make him go too a man whom he tooke too bee vncleane.

So then it is not without cause, that S. Paule speakyng heere of so high and great a secret, saith, it was vnknowen too the Patriarkes and Prophetes. They had in deede some incklyng of it: howebeit, that was but accordyng too theyr measure, and vnder shadowes and figures. There was not then any certayne knowledge, tyll God had vttered the thing in effect, which he had kept in his owne determinati∣on. And soothly S. Paule thought it good too repeate the woord My∣sterie, or Secrete, too the intent that one of vs should not prouoke ano∣ther too bee wylful in opinion, as we bee woont too bee. For if a thing bee hard, one wyll say, this passes myne vnderstandyng, and another makes none account at all of it. And by that meanes men turne away from obeying God, and cast as it were a stumbling blocke in folkes wayes, so as their way and passage is stopped vp, and none comes neere Gods truth, which would be euident ynough, so men woulde giue eare vntoo it. But wee bee forepossessed with this opinion, that it is too hygh and profound a matter, and theruppon it seemes too vs that God speakes it not for vs. And that is a cause which maketh vs too hold scorne of his woord, & to let it alone as a thing that belongs not at all vntoo vs: yea and the boldnesse and lewdnesse of men is such, that they condemne all things that mislike them. Here S. Paule too amend that fault, sayth, that the thing which is vnknowen to vs, is neuerthelesse full of Maiestie before God. For shall wee take vppon vs to measure Gods secrets by our imagination? What a presump∣tuousnesse were that?* It is sayd, that his iudgements and dooings are so deepe a gulf, as is able too swallowe vs vp a hundred thousand times. Therfore let vs learne so to magnifie Gods wisdome, as though his meaning bee darksome vntoo vs, yi wee may not therfore shake it of, but honour it with all humilitie. Trewly euen the things tha seeme most common, ought too bee eceyued in such wise of vs, as too vnderstand that God giueth vs but a taste of them, and that wee haue not the perfect knowledge of them: I meane the whole docrine of the Gospell. There is not any poynt there which seemeth to bee of so small importaunce, which passeth not all our vnderstanding. And there are some other matters, wherein God reserueth the reason to himself, meaning therby too hold vs short, too make vs confesse that all his dooings are rightfull, although wee cannot agree too it of our owne Page  [unnumbered] naturall wit, nor conceyue in our minde the reason why it should bee so. Now if euer this doctrine were too bee put in vre, it hath neede too bee put in vre nowe a dayes. For wee see how the wretched vnbe∣leeuers doo generally shet them selues out of doores from comming vntoo God. What is the cause that the wretched scules in the pope∣dome doo welter in their owne ignoraunce, and for any thing that is told them, do shewe still that they be as it were bewitched by Satan? They say, that Gods word is too high a thing. Yea, but dooth it fol∣lowe therefore that wee haue iust cause too reiect it? Wee should ra∣ther consider how it is sayd,* that Gods wisdome is comprehended a∣lonly by humilitie. And seeyng that God voutsafeth too teache the lowely and little ones, all pryde ought too bee beaten downe in vs, and then should wee fynd that our Lord gaue not his woord in vayne. Now then, seeyng that in these dayes wee see a number that fynde no taste in the Gospell, bycause it is as a straunge language vntoo them: Let S. Paules saying and declaration moue vs too receyue modestly whatso∣euer God ••lleth vs, yea though the same bee too hygh for vs: and let vs pray him who hath all lyght in him, too giue vs therof as he know∣eth too bee for our behoofe. For lyke as God speaketh too vs, and maketh his doctrine too ring in our eares: so also dooth he woorke in∣wardly in our hartes by his holy Ghost. Wherfore let vs submit our selues too him, and bee ready too receyue whatsoeuer is taught vs tru∣ly in his name. Thus yee see what wee haue too remember vnder the woord Mysterie, or secrete.

Now therfore when wee fynd any thing in the Gospell that shall seeme hard and vneasie too brucke, let vs not doo as a number of mad¦folks doo, which reiect whatsoeuer is not too their owne lyking: but (as I sayd) let vs reuerence the thing that is hid from vs as yit, way∣ting till God further vs, and come familiarly too vs, and increae the measure of our fayth. And so ye se how that in reading of the holie scrip∣ure, wee must haue the modestie too hold our selues in awe, (and too say thus:) I vnderstand not such a text: but yit is it not for mee too giue it ouer so, as though it were too no purpose: and therfore I will pray God too beare with myne ignorance, and too open mee the gate when he sees it tyme, and that he which hath the kye of all knowledge and vnderstanding, will shew mee so much as he thinkes meete, and as may bee for my benefite. Agein, lykewise when wee come too a Ser∣mon, if wee vnderstnde not all th•• is spoken too vs, let vs stay our Page  115 selues, and in the meane whyle honour our God, and reuerence him in the things that are too hygh for our wit too reache vntoo. And heerein wee see, that such as would stoppe the mouthes of all Gods trew ser∣uantes, that they should not speake of the thinges that seeme too hygh for them, are very diuells incarnate. For what a madnesse is it, that bycause wee vnderstand not why God hath chozen some, and forsaken othersome, how God gouerneth the world, that the diuell himself can∣not doo any thing without leaue, that the wicked are the instrumentes of Gods Iustice: wee woormes of the earth, and stinking caryons should take such authoritie vppon vs, as too say, that the thing ought too bee rased out of the holy Scripture, which not onely was reuealed too vs by the holy Ghost, but also sealed with the blud of Gods sonne? Must it not needes bee that they are wholly possessed of the diuel, when they presume so farre? Therfore let vs abhorre such monsters, & pray God too lay his hand vppon them, and too shewe that they bee no bet∣ter than lyce, fleas, punices, and other the most vyle and despyzed things of the worlde, when they fall too iustling so ageinst God, euen with tyrannicall and passing barbarous furie. But as for our part, let vs vnderstand that the honour which wee owe too our God, is this: that whensoeuer wee heare any of the secretes of Gods woord, which can∣not bee knowen or vnderstoode of man, except it bee by the reuelation of Gods spirit: wee must wayt paciently till God increace the know∣ledge that he hath giuen vs. Agein, when one man hath a greater mea∣sure of fayth, and more vnderstanding than other men, let him frame himselfe too the lesser sort, and beare with them, and labour too further them more and more: and let the lesser sort on their side haue the mo∣destie too hold themselues within their compasse, and not passe theyr boundes,* but put in vre this saying of S. Paule in another place: If yee thinke otherwise, tary till God shewe it you, & in the meane while liue in concord, and let there bee no trubble among yee. And so yee see what wee haue too gather vppon that streyne.

Herewithall let vs mark, that God by that meanes intended too set the greater glory vppon his mercie: for when in the end he publyshed the doctrine of his Gospell, then did he vtter the infinite riches of his goodnesse towardes vs. And although wee knowe not all the reasons that God had in his mynd, when he deferred and put off the publishing of his Gospell so long tyme: yit notwithsta••ing it is very eazie for vs too iudge, that he intended too open our eyes, and too waken vs, and Page  [unnumbered] too quicken vp all our wits, too the end that euery of vs should apply himself the better, too knowe how much wee bee beholden and bound vntoo him. For are wee better than our fathers? Or when the Gos∣pell was published through the worlde, were the Gentyles more teachable than before? No: but it seemed that wickednesse was then come too his full measure, so as there was nothing but contempt of God. Now when the world was so diuelish throughout, then came Iesus Christ, then was the message of saluation brought too all men. Yea and when S. Paule (speaking to the Corinthians) had told them that Murtherers,* whormoongers, drunkardes, Theeues, forswearers, and such like folke, yea which had committed yit more heinous crimes, should not inherit the kingdome of heauen: he sayth vntoo them, you also haue bin lyke them: too shewe that the Gospell was not preached at Corinth, for any vertues that were there, nor for that the inhabiters had bin more giuen vntoo God, or deserued aught at all: but all pro∣ceeded of Gods only free goodnesse. Thus yee see that the secret which S. Paule speaketh of, is too bee applyed after this maner: namely that it was Gods will that there should be sin in al men with∣out exception, the remedie wherof he hath sent by his grace. Lykewyse also wee in our tyme cannot say, that wee bee better then our forefa∣thers, as I tolde you before. For if yee haue an eye too the common state, there was more faythfulnesse among men a fiftie yeeres ago, than is now: there was more modest conuersation: there was lesse ex∣cesse and superfluitie of pomp: and too bee short, men were not lyke Dogges and Cattes, as they bee now adayes. It is trew, that they had alwayes a smatch of their owne nature, which is nothing woorth: but yit Satan seemed too bee then cheyned vp. But within these thirtie yeeres, things haue gone from wooorse too woorse, and so farre out of square, as is horrible too see. And theruppon, behold, Gods grace is preached, forguienesse of sinnes is vttered, God calleth those that were a hundred thousand tymes forlorne. Now what can bee sayd too it, but that Gods will was too giue the greater beautie too his grace and mercye by such an after deele? Wherfore let vs consider, that the way too aduauntage our selues by Gods woonderfull secretes, is too reue∣rence the thing that wee know not, and too receyue the things that God vousafeth too shew vs, and too admit the things without geyn∣saying, which wee knowe too come of him: and specially too haue regard that our fayth bee edifyed, and too consider whether wee ought Page  116 not too bee the more inflamed with the loue of God, for that he hath voutsafed too sende the Gospell abrode now adayes as it were out of a deepe dungeon: and for that after wee had strayed heere and there lyke wretched wandering beastes, and had bin plunged in superstition & idolatrie, so as wee scarse had any more vnderstanding of religion: he hath appeered vntoo vs agein, not in person, but by his doctrine which is preached too vs at this day, which had bin vtterly buried.

Let vs then haue regard of that: And although the world perceyue not at the first dashe why God woorketh after so straunge a fashion: let not vs ceasse therefore too profit our selues by it, nother let vs passe for our owne state too bee assured of the will of our God: but let vs resort too the head, that is to wit, to our Lord Iesus Christ, and vnderstand, that sith wee bee knit vntoo him agein by the Gospell, God dooth al∣wayes auow vs for his children: and although wee haue bin the wret∣cheddest in the world, and bee yit still at this day woorthie too bee ba∣nished from his house, and cut of from his Church, yit notwithstanding let vs not ceasse to hope still that he will call vs too the heritage which he hath promised vs from tyme to tyme. Therefore it ought too suffyze vs, that God will gather vs intoo his bodye, yit notwithstanding that wee haue bin scattered heertoofore, and that he will performe his pur∣pose towardes vs, if wee suffer our selues too bee gouerned by our Lord Iesus Christ. And forasmuch as he is ordeyned too bee our King: let vs doo him homage willingly, submitting our selues to him with trew obedience of fayth, not doubting but that he will reueale vn∣too vs the things that were hid afore, so as wee may perceyue how it is not causelesse that Saint Paule sayeth in the second too the Corinthi∣ans, that although God haue his secret purpose, wheruntoo wee can∣not atteyne: yit notwithstanding he declareth such things in his Gos∣pell, as are incomprehensible too all men, vttering there his harte vn∣too vs, and reueling his will fully vntoo vs, till wee may come too the full inioying of the things which wee doo now hope for.

And now let vs fall downe before the maiestie of our good God, with acknowledgment of our sinnes, praying him too make vs profit more & more in his holy word, & that the same may serue, not too puffe vs vp with presumption and ouerweenig, but to drawe vs stil more and more to him in trew humilitie, that we forsaking all that is of our own brayne, and which wee bee able too bringfoorth of our owne deuyzing, may desyre nothing but too lerne the things that are shewed vs by his Page  [unnumbered] woord, and to admit the same without geynsaying, and too stoope and sbmit our selues obediently and simply too the Gospell, that Iesus Christ may bee honored, and so throughly heard among vs, as we may neuer start from him: and that wee may bee so beaten downe in our selues, as wee may neuer seeke too bee exalted but by his hand. That it may please him too graunt this grace, not only too vs, but also too al people. &c.

The .xvii. Sermon, which is the second vppon the third Chapter.

7. I am made a minister of the Gospel, according to Gods grace, vvhich is giuen mee through the woorking of his povver.

8. This grace is giuen too mee, which am the least of all the Sainctes, too preach among the Gentyles the incomprehensi∣ble riches of Christ.

9. Too open vntoo all men vvhat the communicating of the mysterie is, vvhich vvas hid from the beginning of all times in God, vvho created all things by Iesus Christ.

I Haue tolde you heeretoofore how S. Paul had an eye too twoo thinges, shewing that he was certeinly appoynted too publishe the Gospell through the whole world, and specially among the Gentyles. For no man ought too go about too vsurp any of∣fice in the Church, but God ought too haue that authoritie: and according to the euer∣lasting order which he hath set downe, let vs looke too followe the same, so as they that go about too aduaunce themselues,* may bee put downe, and no man take any degree vppon him, but he that is called. Therfore marke it for a speciall poynt, that S. Paule ment too excuze himselfe of rash∣nesse, by shewing that he did not thrust himselfe in too bee an Apostle, but had good and sure warrant that God had appoynted him thertoo. Page  117 And therewithall also he ment too assure the Gentyles, too the intent they shoulde receiue the message of their saluation, as proceeding of God, and not of man. For wee must alwayes bee at this poynt, that the forgiuenesse of sinnes is too precious a thing for vs too bee assured of by the authoritie of man. Then must wee bee fully resolued, that it is God which speaketh,* too the end we may conclude, that whatsoeuer is vnbounde on earth,* is vnbounde also in heauen. And forasmuch as S. Paule had erst bin an enemie too the Gospell, and had persecuted the Christians,* and blasphemed God: it seemed that that should haue impeached the receyuing of him for an Apostle, and the yeelding of such reputation too him as was requisite that he should haue. There∣fore he preuenteth the things that might bee alledged too bereeue him of all reuerence, and sayth, that they must not haue an eye too his owne person, nor too his deseruing, but too Gods aduauncing of him by his grace, and by a power that is not ordinarye among men. It is trew that S. Paule dooth alwayes humble himselfe as much as may bee, that men may the better knowe Gods free betowed goodnesse. And that also is the rule that wee must holde, bycause God will haue all mouthes stpped, and none of vs all too haue aught whereof too boast. For it is certeyne, that wee shall euermore but rob God of his honour, if wee confesse not that wee bee beholden too him for all thinges, and that wee haue not any thing at all of our owne. But (as I haue tou∣ched already) he ment heere too put away all lettes, too the end that no man myght vpbrayd him, that he was vnwoorthie of so excellent and great dignitie, as too bee of the number of the Apostles. His intent then was, to shewe that Gods grace surmounted all the impediments that could bee in him before. First he setteth downe Gods grace. It had bin ynough for him too haue graunted God so great prerogatiue, as too holde all things of him: but he setteth downe twoo wordes m, too exclude all that myght bee demaded of him. How now? (might some man haue sayd:) such condition, and such ought too be in an Apo∣stle: hast thou such vertew? And so yee see why he was not contented too set downe simply the gift, but also would needes adde, free bestow∣ed. And afterward he magnifyeth the same gift yit more, saying, that God vvrought therein according too the woorking of his povver. Too bee short, hee giueth men too vnderstand, that they ought to espye a singular and woonderfull goodnesse of God in him, and therwithall a power not ordinarie among men. Those are the twoo poynts which Page  [unnumbered] wee haue too marke.* Now forasmuch as in the first too Timothie he sayeth also, that he himself both is, and ought too scrue vs all for a loo∣king glasse, let vs learne too apply the same vntoo vs.

And first of al, whatsoeuer wee aske of God, let vs vnderstand that the same must issew vntoo vs from the welspring of his only mercie and free bountie, too the end wee should forget all selfdeseruing. For it is the next way too shet vs out of the doore, when wee come vntoo God, if wee imagin too bring aught of our selues. Mark that for one poynt. And secondly to amend all distrust, let vs hope that God will doo more than all our wits can conceiue. For it is not in vs too measure his infinite power: and therfore whatsoeuer he hath giuen vs alreadye, let vs think ur selues beholden too his goodnesse for it, let vs doo him homage for it, and let vs yeeld him the prayse of it, as meete is wee should. And so yee see, that the thing which wee haue too gather vppon Saint Paules example, is, that we must with al humilitie besech God too worke so in vs by his owne mere grace, as his name may bee glori∣fied therby, bicause there is no deseruing to be foūd in vs. Also let vs be out of dout, that his power passeth all our capacitie, so as wee may euery way giue him place and enterance, and not shet him out from vs through our vnbeleef. nowe wee once that? Hath God shewed vs his mercie and power, and made vs too feele them by experience? Let vs put them in vre to the vttermost of our power, and let vs not seeke to deface his glorie, vnder colour that he hath made vs more excellent than others, as though wee had deserued aught of our selues, but let vs yeeld him his dew, and that which ought too bee his peculiar owne.

And herewithall, too continue his matter, he addeth, that this grace was giuen too him, (euen) too him the least of all the Saincts. This serueth too expound that which hee had sayd concerning the gift of grace. Now heruppon wee haue too mark, that if wee intend too yeeld God that which wee owe him, wee must be vtterly abaced in our selues. For so long as men fall too parting of staks with God, and will needs bee somwhat of themselues: it is all one as if they would set themselues ageinst God, and bee their owne keruers. Too bee short, God neuer hath his full right, except wee be rid quyte and cleane of all. Thefore a man cannot discerne how Saint Paule hild al things of Gods mere grace and free gift, but by considering his (former) slendernesse, that is too say, by considering what manner a one he had Page  118 bin, and what his estate had bin before. And this is a poynt of greate importance: for wee see how men couet alwayes too reserue somwhat too themselues. And although they graunt, that God deserueth too be exalted without end: yit can they not finde in their harts too forgo the the whole prayse of the thinges that he hath giuen them, but would fayne be esteemed and had in some reputation for them. Seeing that wee bee so much giuen to vaynglorie, and that there is not a harder thing for vs too doo, than too humble our selues with such lowelinesse as God requireth: it standeth vs on hand too mark this doctrine so much the more, wherin we see, that God shall neuer bee honored as he deserueth, till wee be thrust downe vnder his feete, and haue not any thing wherfore to bee estemed, but bee become lyke wrethed crea∣tures that haue nothing in vs but miserie, wherby God may haue oc∣casion too shewe forth his mercie vppon vs. Lo how Saint Paul yeelded the prayse of all things vntoo Gods freegift without hipocri∣sie, by acknowledging himself too bee the least of all others.

And let vs marke also, that S. Paules so dooing, was not a fey∣ned modestie, after the maner of most men, which wil commonly say, and make as it were a prouerbe of it, O sir, I am the meanest and least able of all men: and yit in so saying with their mouth, they ceasse not too haue theyr hartes puffed vp with pryde. In so much that in very deede, if a man should answere them, I beleeue it wel: they would bee as hot as a toste, and had leeuer too bee found lyers, than too gyue ouer theyr selfeweenyng, wherwith they bee so ful fraughted. S. Paul vsed no such Ceremonie full of vntruth, but protested truely the thing as he thought it, accordingly as in another place to the Corinthians,* he sayth, he is not worthie too bee named an Apostle, bycause he had persecuted Gods Church, and withstood his truth. And agein, when he setteth foorth himselfe for an example in the first too Timothie,* too the end wee should not doubt but that God sheweth himself mercifull towards vs: he sayth,* he had blasphemed the Gospell, and bin full of crueltie, seeking to shed innocent blud. There then S. Paule sheweth well ynough, that there was no counterfetnesse in his confession, and that his lowelinesse proceeded from his hart. For he would haue cho∣zen too haue bin out of estimation too the worldward, and too haue receyued all manner of reproche too himselfe, yea and too haue bin ta∣ken for a cursed caytife: than to haue disgraced Gods goodnesse. And like as his doctrine was too indure for euer: so ment he too haue his Page  [unnumbered] wants knowen in all ages and all tymes vntoo the worlds end, refer∣ring al things to this poit, namely, that men might knowe how God had set him as it were vpon a scaffold, to warrant vs that he will shew himselfe as free harted towards vs also at this day: and that on the o∣ther side wee should not bee ashamed too bee acknowne of our owne wretchednesse, too the intent that Gods grace may haue the greater glosse in vs. Wherfore let vs remember vppon this Text, that wee doo then offer God such sacrifize of prayse,* as he deserueth, when wee protest truly and vnfeynedly, that al the good which is in vs, commeth of his grace, who hath bestowed it vppon vs, and that wee cannot cha∣lendge any thing at all too our selues: but that when wee haue exa∣mined all that is our owne, wee shall finde none other things at all, than such as may cause vs too cast downe our eyes, and make vs asha∣med. After this manner (say I) must wee followe the thing that S. Paule sheweth vs heere. Yea and let nother spyte nor vayneglory, hinder vs too humble our selues among our neighbours. For here S. Paule hath not only shewed that he was indetted to God for al things, & that he was bound to him for al the good things that he had, bycause they ame of his oly mere goodnesse and free gift: but also therwith∣all abaceth himself, in comparison of the rest of the Apostles. Now then, let vs rid away this cursed affectiō which is ouer deeply rooted in our nature, namely, of desiring to perk vp in such wyze, as men should looke at vs aboue othe men, and commend vs more than others. For we see how S. Paule, who was so excellent, did notwithstāding stoop too that lownesse: wherfore let vs indeuer too fashion our selues like too him. And let vs thinke well vppon this saying of our Lorde Ie∣s•• Christ,* that he which wil be exalted of God, must bee brought lowe in himelfe. So then, let vs bee little ones of our owne accord, and then it is certein that God will reache vs his hand. And although he send vs nother statelinesse nor dignitie: yit will he giue vs so much thereof as shalbee needefull, at least wise if wee haue the trew meeke∣nesse of seeking nothing else but too be gouerned by his hand.

But heere it myght bee demaunded, how Saint Paule acknow∣ledgeth himself a little one, seing he hath done more than al the rest, as he himelf sayeth in the forealledged place of the first too the Corinthi∣ans.* Saint Paule was not ignorant of the gracious giftes that he had receiued at Gods hand, nother ment he too imbace them in his mouth as Hipocrytes doo, which say, I am nthing at all: for he wist Page  119 well that God had indewed him with great 〈◊〉, and it is not a poynt of humilitie too say, I haue nother skill nor wit, nor any thing woor∣thie of prayse: for if wee speaks 〈◊〉, wee bee vnthankfull too God, as they that burye his benefites wherin his glory ought oo shyne foorth. Saint Paule then ment not heere too shew, that he was a man with∣out knowledge, and without the giftes of the holy Ghost, or that he had receyued lesse portion of them than other men had: but his calling of himself the least, was in respect of that which he had bin before he was a member of the Churche.* For our Lord Iesus Christ had in his lyfe tyme chozen and sholed out the twelue, too whom he gaue Com∣mission too publish the Gospell through the whole woorld. And now in the meane whyle what was Saint Paule? He was not only a pri∣ate person, but also banished, and cut of as a rotten member rm the companie of the faythfull. And besydes that, Satan draue him fore∣ward too all crueltie, so long as Gods spirrite was not in him. He had in deede a kynd of zeale, but that was starke madnesse, for he ceas∣sed not for all that too fyght ageinst God in his owne misbeelefe: he did it ignorantly, but yit could not that excuze him. So then wee see that his terming of himself the least, was not without cause, according wheruntoo he sayeth in another place,* that he was as an vntymely birth, and that it i was not too bee thought that euer he should haue come too the spirituall lyfe, wherof he was a minister. For he was as a rootten carkesse, and there was no lykelyh•• that euer he should haue come too the grace of our Lord Iesus Christ, seing he was runne so farre 〈◊〉, and had bin as a tempest in thundering vppon the Church, and as a allening Woolfe, that ought nothing else but too 〈◊〉 his pray. And so wee see how his confessing of himself to bee the least of the Saintes, was vnfeyned, namely as in respect of his for∣mer state. But God, who not only exalteth the thing that is small and low, but also maketh what he listeth of nothing, vouasafed too change him after that fashyon, too the end that that miracle sho••d a∣maze vs as oft as we thinke vpon it, & wee not only lerne too magni∣fye Gods goodnesse in that deede, but also apply the same too our owne vse: and therwithall euerye of vs bethinke himsel aduyzedlye, and returne too our former state, (I meane not too bee such as we were in old tyme,) but consider welll of it, 〈◊〉 too examin our selues throughly, that Gods infinite grac and goodnesse may app•••• the more in vs. That then is in 〈…〉••ing that wee hau too re∣member Page  [unnumbered] concerning Saint Paule. And therfore as oft and whenieuer the great treasures of Gods mercie which are imparted too vs in our Lord Iesus Christ, are preached vntoo vs: let vs bee s••e that euerye whit therof was warranted too vs in Saint Paules person, and that he spake not as of things vnknowen, but that he had sure ex∣perience of them, and that in his person we may see still with our eyes, the thing that he vttered with his mouth.

Now let vs come too the gracious gift that he speaketh of, which is the publishing of the incomprehensible riches of our Lord Iesus Christ, by the Gospell. It was a great matter that Saint Paule had bin receyued too bee a sheepe:* but God thinking not that too bee y∣nough, did put him in office of a Shepherd. The thing then which he meaneth heere, is, that wheras he had bin a Woolf full of crueltie, he was not only chaunged too become a Lamb, too obey the voyce of our Lord Iesus Christ, and too bee quiet in his flocke: but also exal∣ted of God too a much greater and hygher diginitie, insomuch as he was ordeyned a Messenger of mans saluation, and a dealer foorth of all the riches of our Lord Iesus Christ,* which neuerthelesse are in∣comprehensible: not that wee ought not too seeke them, but bycause the measure of them dooth vtterly exceede our capacitie. Now then wee see the effect of that which Saint Paule teacheth heere: going foreward still with the thing that he began with heeretoofore, name∣ly that wee must vnderstand that he thrust not himself foorth through folish ouerboldnesse,* too take vppon him the office of an Apostle, but that he was called too it from on hye, and set in that degree by God. And further let vs assure our selues, that this doctrine was not put foorth intoo the aire at all aduenture, but leueled at vs by Gods holy Ghost, and by his woonderfull forepurpose, as wee shall see anon af∣er. Therfore let vs not thinke that Saint Paule hath spoken only for those whom he presently taught, & that in the the meane season th same doctrine belongeth not too vs: but let vs rather vnderstand how it was Gods will, that Saint Paules labour should bee too our be∣hoof at this day, and that wee should receyue profit by it. That is it which wee haue too remember concerning the processe of th text.

And therfore let vs vnderstand, that whensoeuer the Gospel is prea∣ched vntoo vs, wee haue there inestimable riches, insomuch that when wee haue throughly set al our wittes too the boulting out of the know∣ledge Page  120 of the things that are offered vs 〈◊〉, wee may well haue 〈◊〉 tast therof, but wee shall neuer prceyue 〈◊〉 how free 〈◊〉 God is towardes vs, howbeit it i ynough for vs hat we can after some sort perceyue his goodnesse, and bee a••ured 〈◊〉. It is trew that wee ought too bee rauished in loue with it: but yit ••wsoe∣uer wee fare, wee shall neuer get past half our way, in somuch that e∣uen he that hath as good as quyte giuen ouer the world, and forgotten al the intycementes and pleasures heere beneath, and is (as yee would say) led by an Angelicall mynd too aspyre too the kingdome of heauen, shall notwithstanding haue comprehended but a smal portion of the riches of ou Lord Iesus Christ. This is a thing which ought to make vs esteeme the Gospell otherwyse than wee haue doone. 〈◊〉 on the other side, it will bee a horrible condemnation too our nthank∣fulnesse, if wee thinke the things that are set foorth in the Gospell, to bee but odinarie matters, seey••g that our Lord Iesus Christ vttereth there the infinite treasures of his goodnesse. And moreouer also wee must vnderstande, that when wee once haue our Lord Iesus Crit, wee may wll gyue ouer all other thinges as needelesse and supeflu∣ous.

For if wee bee a the poynt that the Papistes are, who can well y∣ough say, Iesus Christ our Redeemer, and therwithall thrust him in∣too the throng of their Hee saynctes and Shee saynctes, so as Christ is as it were but a little fellowe shuffled in among the rest: I say, if wee bee at that poynt: surely wee renounce Iesus Christ, in disguizing him so through our leawdnesse. So much the more then dooth it stand vs on hand too wey well this text, where it is sayd, that his riches are incom∣prehensible, that wee may set our whole mindes theruppon, and inforce our selues euen beyond our power, too knowe the good things tha are communicated too vs by Iesus Christ: for it is cereyne, that the measure of our fayth shall neuer atteyne too the vttermost. Sith i is so, let vs assure our selues (as I sayd afore) that our Lord 〈◊〉 Christ ought too suffyze vs throughly once for all: for we shall 〈◊〉 in him whatsoeuer we can wish. And as soone as we sware from him▪ wee may well surmyze wee haue wonne I wote nre what, bt it shal∣bee but wynd, which shall ill vs too no purpose. So then, let 〈◊〉 Lord Iesus bee knowen as he is, that is too wit, with the whole 〈◊〉 of his benefytes. For it is certeyn▪ that by him wee obteine 〈◊〉 that euer wee can aske at Gods 〈…〉Page  [unnumbered] where else,* it is a straying out of the way: for it is sayd, that he is the way, and that by him wee haue accesse vnto God his father. In 〈◊〉 that it is his office too guyde vs too God his father, therby he sheweth vs that wee shalbee satisfyed of all that euer wee neede, and that we shall 〈◊〉 too our sluation, so wee rst wholy vppon him. And on the contrary part, that when we wander out on the one syde or on the other, it is a playne renouncing of all the benefytes that are offered vs in his person: and therfore wee bee well wrthie too starue when we 〈◊〉 needes adde any thing at all too our Lord Iesus Christ, seing that God hath shewed himself so bountifull in him, that he hath not forgot∣••n any of all the things that belong too the fulnesse of our felicitie, ioy, nd glorie. Also wee bee warned by S. Paules example, that the more that any of vs is exalted at Gods hand, the more he should hum∣ble himself, acknowledging how much he is bound vntoo him. Tre it is, that euen they which are furthest of all behynd, haue case ynough too magnify Gods goodnesse, for his calling of them into his Church. For what a thing is it for vs too bee reckened as Gods children,* as heires of his kingdome, ad as members of our Lord Iesus Christ, to be partakers of the glory wherinto he is entered? Now the Christi∣an that is (as yee would say) an vnderling too all others, an 〈◊〉 in a little nooke, a raseall and an idiot which hath nothing but scorning in this world: is neuerthelesse adopted of God intoo the number of his children, too bee of the body of our Lord Iesus Christ. So then, euen the least haue ynough wherfore too glorify Gods grace: but they th•• are aduaunced too any degree of honour, haue so much the 〈…〉, if they hnour not God for the thing which it hath pleased him 〈◊〉 be∣stowe vppon them aboue other men. As for example, if a 〈…〉 knowledge and grace too serue the Church withall, it is certin, th•• he is dubbl giltie, if he acknowledge not himselfe so much th more 〈◊〉 vntoo God for it. Also they that by their strength or 〈◊〉 are able too doo more than other poore men, that haue no more than wherwith too gouerne themselues, ought also of dewtie too 〈◊〉hemselues before God, and too stoope in such wyse as there may 〈◊〉 no presumptuousnesse nor ouerweening in them, too puffe them vp withall. To be short, looke as euery man hath receyued grace thought Gods goodnesse, so ought his marke alwayes too bee that God 〈◊〉 honored, and too confesse that wee bee the more beholden and 〈◊〉 vntoo him, for that he hath 〈◊〉 so liberally with vs. That is 〈◊〉Page  121 thig more which wee haue too gather vppon the example of Saint Paule.

But forasmuch as he had spoken of the riches of Iesus Christ, he telleth vs, that those riches were then vttered, when Gods misteries were published to such as had bin blynd wretches before. And I haue alredye expounded vntoo you this woord Mistery, Secret, or pri••tie, according too Saint Paules applying of it in this text. I sayd in ef∣fect, that all Gods woorks▪ being well considered, haue wherwith to draw vs too wonderment. And why? Bycause they proceede of his ryghtuousenesse, Iustice, goodnesse, and wisdome, which are all of them things infinite. When wee speake of Gods wisdome, power, or Iustice, they bee not things that wee can defyne▪ as though wee had full knowledge of them, 〈◊〉 as wee can doo of the things that wee see heerebeneath. Yee see then how that all Gods woorkes, when wee come too the cosidering of them from whence they proceede, are won∣derfull too vs. Well then. And are not all the things that wee see in the order of nature, Gods woorks too? Yis: but wee partly see what they bee, and partly our wits come shrt of them. As for example, if it bee demaunded by wha mans the earth bringeth foorth fruits, we know it dooth so, bycause it is common among vs▪ But if the cause therof bee demaunded, surely there all our wits vanish away. For is the earth able of her self too yeeld foorth corne? Is it able to make the things too liue agein, which were as good as dead? Whence come the leaues and blossoms of trees▪ and all such lyke things, after that Winter hath put all out of fashio? Agein, how can fruits, Corne, and wyne nurrish men, seing they haue no lyfe of themselues? Then if wee fall too seeking out the groud of Gods woorks, it is (as I sayd) a bottomlesse pit, and wee 〈…〉 fayne too confesse, that God hath in himselfe an infinite wisdome, wheruntoo wee cannot atteyne. How∣beeit Gods 〈…〉 now and then 〈◊〉 more wonderfull vntoo vs, when we fynd the cause of them 〈◊〉 to our naturall wit & vn∣derstanding. As for example, wheras it is sayd, that it was Gods will that the Gospell should bee preached vppon the soodein through the whole world: it was (too see too) a verye mad kynd of dealing, if wee iudge of it after our owne imagination. For some man will demaund why God bethought him 〈…〉 to the hope of saluation, sith he had shet them out from 〈…〉 Behold, the world which had continewed so long tyme afore▪ was renewes agein at the flud. And Page  [unnumbered] wee see how God suffereth the heathen folk too walk in destruction. When all maner of wickednesse was come to his ful heigth, and ouer∣flowed the world as a horrible flud, then suddeinly God showed him self. And is not that a secret too astonish men withall? Now lyke as the wicked, and al such as despyze God, and al worldlings are dazeled at these things, and so farre out of conceyt with the straungenesse of them, that they could fynd in theyr harts too go too Lawe with God: so the faythfull are taught too kno, that Gods wisdome is incompre∣hensible.

Agein, S. Paule speaking hereof in the fourth Chapter of the se∣cond too the Corinthians, sendeth vs backe too the Creation of the world, saying, that if wee thinke it straunge that God should inlighten blynde wretches, and that such as were but wandring beasts afore, should bee brought intoo the way of saluation by the doctrine of the Gospell: Wee should consider how the light was created at the be∣ginning. What was there in the confuzed lump, whereof it is sayd, that God created the Heauen and the earth? There was nother beau∣tie, nor order,* nor aught else▪ darkenesse couered all, as it is sayd in Moyses. But God commaunded that light should bee made, and so he drewe light out of darkenesse. Therefore (sayeth S. Paule) al∣though the world was in iksome darkenesse, & that the Gentiles had their eyes as good as stopt vp, so as there was not any knowledge of saluation at all: Yit God at the comming of his onely sonne, shewed how his promising by his Prophets that he would gather the world too him,* was not for naught. And so yee see, how he bringeth light out of darkenesse new agein. Howsoeuer the cace stand, wee must al∣wayes come backe too this poynt, that the drawing of the Gentiles too the hope of saluation by the doctrine of the Gospell, was a secret of God. And he speaketh of the communicating therof vntoo them, by∣cause God had kept it secret too himself, and therefore he addeth, that it had bin vnknowne in al tymes and all ages. And how so? For God kept it secret too himself.

Wee bee warned new agein in this Text, too reuerence Gods in∣comprehensible ordinaunce, when we heare speaking of our saluation, and too consider that it is a worke which passeth all our capacitie, and that if wee mind too haue such knowledge of it, as is good and profta∣ble too glorifie God withall: Wee must be as it were at our 〈◊〉 end, too say, it is a thing that I cannot vnderstand aright. Trew it is, Page  122 that wee ought too set our whole studie theruppon: and it behoueth vs too exercise our selues in it all the tyme of our lyfe, as wee see in the other Text. But howsoeuer wee deale, yit must the finall knitting vp of it alwayes bee, that God hath not compassed the worke of our saluation, according to our slender capacitie and weakenesse, but ment too humble vs, too the end wee should bee abashed in our selues. And when we haue reuerenced his euerlasting ordināce, which is hid from vs, let vs imploye all the power and abilitie which wee haue, too the praysing of his holy name. This is the thing that wee haue to beare in mynd: and looke what is spoken too all men generally, that must euery of vs apply particularly too himselfe. For S. Paule treateth here of the comming of the Gospell, vntoo vs which come of the race of the Gentiles, and sayeth, that the same is a secret of God. Now if euery of vs looke intoo himself, and demaunde this question of him∣self, how comes it too passe, that I am made partaker of the Gospel? how haue I bin brought intoo the Churche? I say, it wee consider well these things, wee shall all of vs from the greatest to the least con∣fesse, that our Lord hath wrought after an vnaccustomed fashion. For it is not of the order of nature, that God hath so reformed vs and crea∣ted vs the second time, too the end we should be his children, and beare his image: but it is a very Miracle which ought too rauishe vs and amaze vs, as I haue sayd alreadye. Let that serue for one poynt.

And besides that, forasmuch as I must bee fayne too reserue that which followeth, till another time: let vs note for a conclusion, that whē there is any speaking of Gods secrets, it is good reason that we should bee sober, and suffer our selues too bee ignorant in the things that God hath not reueled vntoo vs.* That is the thing which wee haue too con∣sider vpon the woord Communicate, For euen very experience shew∣eth, what the end of them is, which giue head too their owne curiositie, and will needes knowe all things, and serch out all Gods secretes by percell meale. They that mount vp intoo such ouerweening, shall in the end be confounded. And the hygher that they clymb, the more hor∣rible shall their fall bee, and God must needes cast them downe vtterly. Therfore let vs learne too knowe no more than God disclozeth vntoo vs: for it is meete for him for too shew vs so much of his power and purpose, as he thinketh good. When it pleaseth him too open vntoo vs the things that were straunge afore, then let vs learne them of him, Page  [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page  122〈1 page duplicate〉Page  [unnumbered] and not say, this is too darke: but let vs pray him too giue vs such vn∣derstanding by his holy Ghost, as wee may perceyue whatsoeuer he sheweth vs by his woord. Yee see then how wee ought to bee diligent and heedfull in receyuing the things that God hath voutsafed too teach vs in his holy Scripture, and the things that are preached too vs in his name. But therwithall let vs also tarry till he impart vntoo vs what he thinkes good, and let vs not thrust in our selues at al aduenture too knowe more than is lawfull for vs, but let vs bee contented with that which God sheweth vs, assuring our selues that it is not for any enuy that he suffereth vs to knowe no more, but for that he hath regard what is expedient and behoofull for vs, and therfore giueth vs such lyght as he thinkes meete, in measure and proportion. Thus yee see in effect, how S. Paule ment that the Gospell was communicated vntoo him: and also that the Gentyles receyued their part of it by his meanes, insomuch that all men knew the things that were as good as buryed from them before, till God brought them foorth to lyght. Like∣wyse let vs at this day vnderstand, that whensoeuer it pleaseth God to rayze vp men of skill which haue the gift too teache vs, it is a sure to∣ken that he hath pitied vs aforehand, and is mynded too call vs too the inheritaunce of saluation. And therfore let vs bee teachable, let vs suffer our selues to be taught by the woord that is preached too vs, and let vs coue no further, but let vs rest vppon that which God shewethshe vs. For the only meanes too satisfye vs, is too bee cotnented with the free goodnesse which he hath vttered towardes vs, which (as I sayd a∣fore) is infinite, bycause the treasures of his mercie which he hath powred out vpon vs, doo passe all mans capacitie, insomuch that our vnthankefulnesse shalbee tootoo vnexecuzable, if our owne desires and lykynges leade vs too knowe more than is reueled vntoo vs.

Now let vs fall downe before the maiestie of our good God, with acknowledgment of our faules, praying him too forgiue them, and too blot out the rememberance of them, & to giue vs the grace too frame our lyues too his holy will and commaundementes, so as wee may shewe by our deedes, that forasmuch as he hath adopted vs too bee his children, wee also doo honour him as our father. And therfore let v all say, Almyghtie God heauenly father. &.c.

Page  123

The .xviii. Sermon, which is the third vppon the third Chapter.

9. The grace vvas giuen too mee, too manifest too all men what the communicating of the mysterie is, vvhich vvas hid from the beginning of all tymes in God, vvho created all things by Iesus Christ.

10. Too the end that Gods vvisdome vvhich is diuers in all sorts, myght bee manifested too principalities and powers in hea∣uenly places by the Church,

11. According to the determination of all tymes, which he made in Iesus Christ our Lord.

12. By vvhom vvee haue assurance and accesse in trust, through the fayth which wee haue in him.

LIke as I sayd this morning, that all Gods woorkes in generall, deserue well too bee reuerenced at our handes, bycause God hath printed in them some markes of his infinite goodnesse, Iustice, power, and wis∣dome. So also there are some woorkes more woonderfull than the rest, and woor∣thie too bee aduaunced aboue the common rate, forsomuch as God oftentymes woor∣keth after such a sort, that men (euen whe∣ther they wil or no) are inforced to bee abashed and astonished at them. Of this sort is the doctrine (of the Byble.) For all that euer is contey∣ned in the Lawe and the Gospell, is a wisdome which it behoueth vs too worship, bycause that without that, wee should neuer vnderstande any thing, insomuch that it is sayde, that God will bee the teacher of the little and humble ones.* Yit notwithstanding some part of the thinges that are shewed vs in the scripture, may well bee vnderstoode euen of the rudest and ignorantest sort. Agein, there are there hygher or deeper matters. And those are they which S. Paule meaneth now, by calling the preaching of the Gospell a Mysterie or secret, in com∣parison of all the rest. For albeit that God had euermore determined in himselfe too call the whole world too saluation: yit he kept the exe∣cution Page  [unnumbered] of his purpose secret too himselfe, till the comming of ou Lord Iesus Christ: & when it was dooe, the newnesse of i seemed straunge. That therefore is the thing that wee haue too consider, when S. Paule sayth, that he was appoynted an Apostle, too comunicate the se∣cret that had bin hyd••n before in God. And by those woordes hee dooeth vs too vnderstand, that although too mans sight the publishing of the Gospell was a new and vnwoonted thing: yit God did nothing vppon the suddein nor in hast, but onely shewed then by effect, the thing that he had aredy determined and purpozed vppon afore, euen from the ceation of the world.

Wherfore when wee looke vppon Gods workes, let vs learne not too thinke he did the things at abrayd (as men say) which were erst id from vs: but let vs reserue his secret purpose too himself, and when we see the things come too passe, let vs vnderstand, that it must needes haue bin so, bycause God had purpozed vppon it. And this serueth too humble vs by all meanes: First too make vs knowe the smalnesse of our capacitie, that we may reuerence the things which passe the reach of ou wit. And secondly, wee haue also wherwith too hold vs in sus∣pence as concerning the execution of Gods ordinance: for wee can∣not gie sentence of things too come, without fond rashnesse, and God will laugh vs too scorne, according as wee see how all such as take vppon them too prophesie (at lestwyse of theyr owne heade, and without Gods calling of them to that office) bewray their owne shame∣lessenesse, and are worthie too bee mocked of little children. Yee see then that it becommeth vs too restreyne our iudgmentes, in the things which our Lord hath not disclozed by effect, and that when wee see the thinges come too passe, wee must vnderstand, that therin he dooeth not any thing at aduenture, but had ordeyned it so before. And after the same manner must wee iudge of the chaunge that was seene at the tyme that our Lord Iesus was sent intoo the world. If it bee de∣maunded why God delayed it so long tyme: men aduaunce themselues too much in such curiositie. If it bee demaunded why the heathen were then matched with the Iewes, and set in equall degree with them, seing tat God had cut them of from his Church afore: we must also honour this secret ordinance, whereof Saint Paule speaketh heere. And therwithall let vs vnderstand that God had so determined it afore. Could wee haue that sobrietie with vs, wee should learne too profite our selues much better by Gods woorkes, than doo these hea∣henish Page  124 folke, which barke at them, though they cannot byte them. And now adayes we see that many are stirred vp with diuelish rage, to murmur ageinst all Gods dooings, bycause they conceyue not the rea∣son of his purpose, insomuch that thervppon they spew out their hor∣rible blasphemies, as who should say, it were not free for God too re∣serue any thing too himself, but must call men too counsell, and make himself their vnderling. Seing then that a number doo so farre ouer∣shoot thē selues through that villanous pryde, to thrust God as it were vnder their feete: it standeth vs the more on hand too put this doctrine in vre, that wee may reuerence Gods secret ordinance, and therwithall receyue the things that are vttered vnto vs, without geynsaying, as good and ryghtfull, and doone with such wysdome, as is not too bee founde fault with.

And now Saint Paule thinkes it not ynough to say, that God had his secret purpose hidden in himself: but also sayeth, that his vvill vvas, that this vvisdome vvhich is diuers in many sortes, should be knowen. This tytle deserueth too bee well marked, where he sayth, that Gods wisdome is (as yee would say) of dyuers sortes. Not that God is variable and chaungeable in himself, nor that there is any snarling or intangling in his deuyces: there is no such thing at all in God, nother can there bee: but Saint Paules speaking after that manner, is in respect of our vndersauding. Therfore if wee would comprehend Gods wisdome, wee should bee confounded and dazeled at it, bycause it is infinite: and besydes that, it hath things in it which are able too amaze all our senses, yea and too swallowe them quyte vp, so as wee should neuer discerne anie thing certeynly, too say, Loe, this is it. But this had neede too bee layd out more at length, that wee may vnderstand it, and fare the better by it. Now and then wee see some looking glasses, wherin wee thinke we behold a hundred, yea or rather an infinite number of images before vs: and when wee see them, wee bee at our wits end. After the same manner hath Saynt Paule spoken heere of Gods wisdome, namely, as giuing vs warning of the weakenesse and rudensse that is in our vnderstanding, too the in∣tent wee should not bee too inquisitiue in serching the things that passe our capacitie, and the matters that God hath purposed in himselfe. Then if wee will needes so stye vp hygher than is lawfull for vs, and thrust our selues foreward with foolish presumption, too bee priuie of Gods counsell, and too inquyre particularly what he hath determined: Page  [unnumbered] our wittes must needes fayle vs ere wee come halfe way there, and we shall fynde so many things there, that wee must of necessitie quayle of our selues, and (bee driuen too) confesse that it is not for vs too reache the bottome of so great and deepe a gulfe.

Therfore if a man demaund here, how then can wee confesse God too bee ryghtuous, wyse, and almyghtie, sith wee bee so daunted at his woorks? for it is said, that it is the wisdome of men too serche out Gods woorks, and too set theyr mynds wholly vppon them:* and he hath al∣so ordeyned the world too bee as a stage, wheron too behold his good∣nesse, ryghtuousnesse, power and wisdome: and therfore there seemeth too bee some contrarietie (betweene these twoo,) that wee should bee diligent and heedfull in considering Gods woorks, and yit notwith∣standing that our wits are dazeled at the thinking vppon them: the answer thertoo is verye easye: which is, that if wee desyre soberly, too knowe but the things which God voutsafeth too reuele vntoo vs,* and which are for our profite: wee shall haue vnderstanding ynough, and wee shall well perceyue that he enuyeth not the teaching of vs by his woorks, that wee myght come vntoo him, and put our whole trust in him, too knowe how too call vppon him, to discerne betweene good and bad, and too walke according too his will. Then if wee giue not head to our foolish and vnordinate lusts, but herken lyke good scollers to the things which our mayster voutsafeth too declare vntoo vs: wee shall in Gods woorks vnderstand all things that are for the furthe∣rance of our welfare. And that is the cause why it is sayd in the booke of Iob,* that wee shall haue done very much, if wee can espye but the vtmost borders of Gods woorks. Then may wee taste of Gods wis∣dome, ryghtuousenesse, power, and goodnesse, by considering allonly the ••sts or vttermost bounds of Gods workes. But if we will needs fall too gaging of them too the bottom, there wee shall fynd the fore∣sayd gulf which is able too swallow vp all our vnderstanding. Too bee short, first it is too bee vnderstoode heere, that as well Gods woord, as his woorks, are vntoo vs woonderfull secrets, and such as passe all our wit and capacitie. Insomuch that if wee haue an eye to his works, there are yit further miracles in them too daunt vs withall, than the things that wee see euery day, & which are in common vse among vs. Lykewise in the holy scripture, there are somwhat secreter poynts, & which are not very easye to be vnderstoode. Konwe wee that once wee haue first of all to humble our selues, and to pray God to inlyghten vs Page  125 by his holie spirit, that wee may profit our selues by all his woorks and woords. And moreouer let vs lerne the things that he sheweth vs, and bee contented with the measure that he appoynteth vs, with∣out coueting too knowe anie more than that which wee may lerne in his schoole. Thus yee see what wee haue to beare in mynd.

Furthermore when wee once haue such meeldnesse, surely our Lord will giue vs a sure resting poynt: and although his priuities bee in∣comprehensible, and the doctrine of the Lawe and the Gospell bee se∣crets aboue the the reache of the world: yit shall wee bee taught by them too our welfare and saluation. And so there is no mingling, no confuzednesse, no intangling for vs, bycause God will guyde vs by his holie Ghoste, and giue vs wisdome and discretion too knowe what∣soeuer he seeth too bee for our behoof. Mark that for one poynt. But if wee bee vnteachable or vnruly, and will needs play the looce colts too serche further than wee haue leaue: surely Gods wisdome wil bee alwayes variable vntoo vs: that is to say, there wil be such diuersitie of things, and so manie stoppes in it, as wil make vs at our wits end, and wee shall abyde as vtterly confounded. Yea and euen the fayth∣full shall well perceiue the thing that Saint Paule sayeth heere, that they may euer bee put in mynd too walke in awe and feare, and not giue themselues the brydle too much, nor take too much leaue to know more than our Lord will haue them too knowe. Now then, the dout which myght haue bin cast, namely how God wil haue vs too bee aba∣shed at his works, is remoued. And yit will he not haue vs too bee abasshed at them, so wee suffer our selues too bee taught by him.

Theruppon wee may gather also, that it is a diuelish statelinesse when these Ruffians take so highly vppon them,* as too reiect whatso∣euer they cannot conceyue the reason of. If a man tell them that God dispozeth al things by his secret ordinance, and that the things which wee terme fortune, chaunce, azard, casualtie, happe, aduenture, and such lyke, are al determined before the making of the world, insomuch that euen the heares of our heads are numbered,* and one litle bird shal not light vppon the ground,* without Gods prouidence: they step forth and obiect, how can that bee? And whereas God telleth vs in his Lawe, that he will haue this and that done, shall wee say, that he hath mo wils than one? Then should he bee vnconstant, and that were too make God chaungeable, and so should he seeme subiect too all manner of lightnesse lyke a mortall creature. But (as I sayd afore) such men Page  [unnumbered] do ill knowe their owne abilitie. For they imagine that if God bynd not himself in all poynts too the things which he hath reueled to vs by his word, he is contrarye too himself, and hath a dubble will, and that moueth them too gabble after that fashion. But too bee short, Gods will is alwayes one, and single, and agreable in it self: howbeit that to our seeming it bee diuers, and haue many kinds of it, as if wee sawe a hundred sundry shapes which dazeled our eye sight or vtterly dimmed it. Whereas S. Paule sayth, that Gods wisdome is diuers in many sorts: it is as if a picture had a thousand coloures in it, so as a man could not distinctly discerne one from another. Neuerthelesse, S. Paul in saying so, ment not that Gods wisdome is so wrythed in it self, that there is any contrarietie or stryfe there. No: but he sheweth, that al∣though God haue alwayes one euen meaning, & keepe on still in one trace and in one rate,* although there bee no chaunge nor variablenesse in him, and although there bee but one light wherein there is no dim∣nesse at all: yit notwithstanding when men will needes preace vntoo him, their wits are alwayes as it were astray and dazeled, and if they go foreward, and step foorth still with too great boldenesse, they must needes bee confounded in the end, and God must vtterly ouerwhelme 〈◊〉. After that manner therefore must wee take the things that are spoken in the holy scripture concerning Gods prouidence.

Trewe it is, that wee haue our lesson, where God telleth vs, that he will not haue any man too trouble his neighbour, nor too ommit robbery, extortion, couetuousnesse, deceyt, or any manner of naughtinesse: he telleth vs those things, and therewithall commaun∣deth vs too liue chastly, and too absteyne from all violence. Now when warres are moued in the world, when blud is shed, when infinite ra••shments and robberies are committed; shall wee say, that such things are don, without Gods forcasting in his mind what was good? Thinke wee that he suffereth fortune too rule the roste here beneath, as though he himself were asleepe in heauen, or repozed himselfe there in his pleasures? What a blasphemie were that? Wee would make God as an Idoll. Agein, what would become of vs, if it were so?* for Satan is as a roring Lion, seeking to deuoure vs as his pray, and wee should bee continually as it were in his pawes and betweene his teeth. Then if God ordered not all things in this world, nehild Satan and all the wicked brydled: surely wee should bee a hundred 〈◊〉 forlorne, and perish euery minute of an houre. Agein, if we knew Page  126 not that warres, and such other lyke things are Gods iudgementes, wherby he chastizeth our sinnes: it is certein, that we would neuer bee drawen to repentaunce. Now then, let vs learne the thing that is told vs here, I meane according too our small abilitie: that is to wit, that God hath but one will, & that the same is certeyn & throughly agreeing with it self, and hath no lightnesse nor inconstancie in it: and yit neuer∣thelesse, that we must therwithall reuerence his secret determinati∣ons, which are as now so high and profound, as wee cannot reache vn∣too them. And if wee cannot resolue our selues of al the doubts which the diuell will cast in our wayes (making vs too thinke) How is it possible that God should be cleare from sinne, and not be the author of euill,* seeing he serueth his turne both by Satan and by all the wic∣ked, and imployeth them too aduaunce them selues one ageinst ano∣ther? how is it possible that he should bee blamelesse? When any of these fancies come in our heads, or if any of those dogges which belke out their blasphemies in that wyse ageinst God, assault vs: let vs bee armed with sobernesse, knowing how it is sayd here, that Gods wis∣dome is diuers in many sorts, and that although his will also be di∣uers in many respects, yit notwithstanding it is alwayes one still. That is in effect, the thing that wee haue too beare in mynd vppon this streyne.

Now therupon S. Paule applyeth the ground which he handleth, vntoo the matter which he hath spoken here in generall: that is too wit, that God created all things by our Lord Iesus Christ, too the end, that this wisdome should bee knowne to the powers and prin∣cipalities in the heauenly places, by the Church. In sayng that God created all things by Iesus Christ, he bringeth vs backe agein to the beginning of the world, where he speaketh of the renewment that was made, when God repayred the things that were decayed and scattered by Adams sinne, according as wee haue seene heretofore, how it was Christs office to gather toogither all things that were scattered afore. For Adam had peruerted and marred all order by his fall, so as there was nothing but confuzion both in heauen and earth,* till al was men∣ded agein by Iesus Christ. Now then, the restitution that was made by our Lord Iesus Christ, may well bee referred too this second crea∣tion, as though that at his comming God had set the world in his for∣mer state agein, which had bin as it were crazed afore. Howsoeuer the cace stand, both wayne of them were doone by Iesus Christ, that Page  [unnumbered] is too wit, as well the first creation as the second. And the conueyance is not amisse, in that S. Paule leadeth vs from the one too the other, by the similitude which he setteth downe heere. Let vs marke well therefore that all thinges were created in Iesus Christ, when he was ordeyned too bee head of Angels and men:* yea and that although wee had had no neede of a redeemer, yit had our Lord Iesus Christ neuer∣thelesse bin stablished for our head.* There remayned no more too doo, but too clothe himselfe with our nature, and too offer himselfe in sacri∣fyce for the redemption of sinners: but yit for all that, he fayled not too beare the office already of reconcyling men vntoo God, and of ioyning them with the Angels of heauen. After that manner then were all things created in our Lord Iesus Christ. But heere S. Paule ment purposely too leade vs too the restorement, which was made at such tyme as Iesus Christ was giuen vs too bee our redeemer. For al∣though the world ceassed not too haue some shape still, so as the sunne and Moone shone bryght, and the earth brought foorth hir fruites: yit notwithstanding, wee knowe, that (as S. Paule sayeth in the eyght too the Romanes) all creatures grone, and are as a woman trauey∣ling of child, bycause they see themselues subiect to corruption through Adams offence,* for the which he was accursed.

Too bee short, wheras God had shewed himself our enemye, he be∣ame our father: and wheras the things that were created too our vse, had vin turned away by Adams sinne: all was restored agein at the comming of our Lord Iesus Christ. So then, by that meanes he gathered all things toogither agein,* that had bin scattered asunder be∣fore, and then was the world after a sort chaunged, as the Prophets had spoken of it afore. For although they ment not too incloze the said renewment within any certeyne tyme: yit notwithstanding when they preached of the comming of our Lord Iesus Christ, and of the grace that shuld bee giuen to the Church at that tyme, they vsed such speech as this: Behold, I make the heauens new, and the earth new. After that maner dooth God speake by the Prophet Esay: and it is not on∣ly once, but it is, as yee would say, a common speech among al the pro∣phets. Nowe then, Saint Paule following the common phraze of the Scripture, sayth, that all things were created new agein in Iesus Christ: howbeeit that is in respect of the Church. The world it self was not renewed: but as in respect of vs, wee bee parttakers alredye of the re•••rement that is promised vs. For by our Lord Iesus Christ Page  127 wee inioy Gods creatures wherof wee were depryued afore. Wher∣as the sunne and moone shyne vppon vs, and wee be nurrished by the sustenance of the earth: wee knowe that those things belong vntoo vs, bycause wee bee Gods children. And how is that? Euen bycause he hath adopted vs in Iesus Christ. For the matter which wee haue sung in the Psalme concerning man,* must bee applyed to the person of Gods sonne, as sayeth Saint Paule himself, who is a faythfull ex∣pounder. Not that he restreyneth it too him alone:* but forasmuch as the things which he speaketh concerning the vncorruptnesse of man∣kynd, is not too bee found in it now, but all is marred and corrupted: therfore wee must bee fayne too repayre too our head, by whom wee bee set in good plyght agein. So then, wee could not bee blissed of God, nother in our meae nor in our drinke, nor in the inioying of any of all his creatures, were it not for the restorement that is made by our Lord Iesus Christ, and that he hath caused the world too bee giuen vs hensforth in heritage, too the end wee myght with a good and cleere consclence, inioy all the gifts which hee hath bestowed vp∣pon vs. And so yee see, that the creating of al things in Iesus Christ, is Gods reforming of his Churche, and our parttaking of the purcha∣ced heritage, for his sake and by his meanes.

Now hauing sayde, that wee bee so created agein in the person of Gods sonne, and that he is our head, inasmuch as wee bee knit vntoo him by fayth: he addeth, that it is a vvisdome vvhich the very An∣gels haue not knovven, insomuch that they fare the better by our sal∣uation, and haue cause too honour God for preferring them so too the thing that was after a sort buryed from them before. Some thinking this too bee straunge stuffe, haue bin of opinion, that S. Paule spake of the diuels. But he speaketh expresly of the heauenly places, and mea∣neth too put a difference betwixt the chozen Angels, & the castawayes. And ageyn, too what purpose were it for the diuells, too knowe Gods wisdome i our saluation? It were too no purpose at all. There are others, which beyng not able too rid themselues of this text of Saint Paules: haue thought that the Angels are heere among vs, too bee as schollers, and to heare the preaching of Gods woord. But that is too fond and chyldish an imagination: for wee know, that as well the doc∣trine, as the vse of the Sacramentes, are allotted peculiarly vntoo vs of God, bycause of our rawnesse. The Angels of heauen haue nothing too doo, nother with Baptim nor with the Lordes Supper. And why? Page  [unnumbered] For the Angels bee altoogither spirituall. But forasmuch as wee creepe heere beneath, therefore wee haue neede of such meanes as are conuenient for our infirmitie, too make vs come by little and little vn∣too God. Therefore the doctrine that is preached among vs, serueth not for the instruction of the Angels. How then shoulde it bee vnder∣stoode, that the Angels were taught by the things which they see pre∣sently in the Church? Let vs marke first of all, that although the An∣gels behold the face of God:* yit is it not ment that they bee come too the perfection which is promised vs: for that is reserued too the latter day, when all things shall bee fulfilled.

The Angels then knowe not things yit but in part. Trew it is that they must not bee mustered in our state and taking: for lyke as they bee neerer God than wee, so bee they taught more familiarly. But howsoeuer they fa••, yit must they bee fayne too hyde their eyes, as is shewed vs in the sixth Chapter of Esay, in the vision that is giuen him there. Albeit then that the Angels be heauenly spirites, and be fa∣miliarly conuersant with God, as houshold seruants of his kingdome: yit haue they their eyes couered, too shewe that they vnderstand not all things as yit, and that their knowing is but in part. For God must shewe them that they bee but creatures, that they myght therby bee hild in continuall awe, too humble themselues before him, and to keepe themselues in their degree. According heeruntoo, it is sayed, that the Angels of heauen knowe not when the last day shalbee:* that is hid from them. And why? Too the intent that men should humble them∣selues the more, and not be ashamed to be ignorant of the things which God hath not reueled vntoo vs. Too the end therfore that it may not greeue vs that God concealeth many things from vs: the very Angels are set afore vs, as not knowing all things as yit. Then is it not with∣out cause sayd, that they knewe not what should befall and come too passe at the comming of the sonne of God, that is too wit, that all peo∣ple without exception should bee called too the truth of the Gospell, and bee all adopted of God,* too bee made the spirituall children of A∣braham. Trew it is, that the Angels knewe well that Iesus Christ was the head of all mankind: but how that should bee doone, or at what tyme, or by what meane, that was hidden from them. That is the maner wherin S. Paule sayth, that they profited, namely by beholding our Lord Iesus Christ too shed foorth his grace in that wyse. For it was not ynough too say, that men should woonder at such a miracle as Page  128hat God should take those intoo his house, that were strayed away be∣fore, and alye himself with those that were erst his mortall enemyes, & allure them to him, whom he before abhorred. If it had bin sayd, that men ought too bee astonished at it: that had not bin ynough. But when as S. Paule sayeth, that euen the Angels fynde it straunge, and are fayne too maruell at it, seeing how God vttereth so great treasures: it serueth well too shewe vs, that whensoeuer there is any speache of our calling, that is too say, of the mercie that God hath shewed vs in for∣getting what wee were, and in fashioning vs anew after his owne i∣mage, insomuch, that wheras we were lost, and forlorne, yea and vtter∣ly drowned in the bottome of hell by Adam, he hath set vs vp ageyn, and taken vs vp too the kingdome of heauen, and is not contented too shewe vs his bounteousenesse in this world only, but also intendeth too make vs partakers of his endlesse glory, and too giue vs the crowne of lyfe in his kingdome: it is a thing for vs too lerne too woonder at, too the end wee may receyue so great, so hygh, so excellent, and so worthie benefites, with such reuerence as they deserue.

And Saint Paule not onely heere,* but also in other places calleth the Angels, Principalities, too shewe vs, that wee cannot deuyze any thing so hygh and noble, which is not inferiour too Iesus Christ, as is declared more fully in the first too the Colossians. For in asmuch as many men did euen at that tyme magnifye the Angels, too deface the maiestie of our Lord Iesus Christ: S. Paule sheweth, that although the Angels bee as it were Gods powers or vertewes,* and his armes wherwith he executeth his woorkes: and although they bee domini∣ons and powers: yit notwithstanding Iesus Christ ceasseth not too haue all preheminence and authoritie ouer them: but lyke as the sunne darkeneth the lyght of the Starres, so must all the dignitie of the Angels bee layd downe, that it hinder not Iesus Christ too bee looked at of all men, and to bee the onely Loadestar, and too bee know∣en that it is only he in whom lyeth the fulnesse of all good things: and so is he in deede, as is sayd in the same text. And it is a poynt well woorthie too bee marked still. For wee see how it is ynough now adayes among the Papistes, too alledge the vertewes of the Apo∣stles, or of the Uirgin Marie, or of the Sayntes, too make ydols of them. And it seemeth too them on the contrarie part also, that if men doo not woorship them, and pray vntoo them, and yeeld them the seruis which belongeth alonly vntoo God: they bee vtterly vndoone. Page  [unnumbered] For thus doo they alledge: How now? Why should not the Uirg•• Marie bee our aduocate, seing shee liued so holy a lyfe, that shee was as a mirrour of all perfection, and so hyghly in Gods fauour? Ueily as who should say, that the excellencie which God hath put intoo his creatures, should serue too bereeue Iesus Christ in such wyse, that he should bee put backe therfore. So then let vs vnderstand, that what∣soeuer can bee sayd or preached of the vertewes and woorthinesse of the Uirgin Marie, of the Apostles, and of all othe men, yea and of the Angells of heauen, serueth not too diminish the maiestie of our Lord Iesus Christ, nor too turne vs away from him, nor too cause his offices too bee delt away too this man and too that man. Wheretoo then? Too doo vs too wit, that vertewes are so distributed to al Gods children,* as there is none other fountayne of all goodnesse, but Iesus Christ, who is the (only) party too whom wee must resort, and that the creatures are neuer the more impayred, though Iesus Christ ouer∣peere them as their head. That then is in effect the thing which wee haue too marke vppon Saint Paules woordes, where he taunteeh such as would needs exalt the Angels without end or ceassing. For he sayth: very wel, I graunt they be powers, vertues, & principalities: but yit is our Lord Iesus Christ still their head, and they bee so groun∣ded vppon him, that they fare the better by our saluation. Now then, what an vngraciousnesse were it, if wee should leaue Iesus Christ, and go seeke too the Angels, seeing that euen they doo woonder at the riches which God hath vttered in knitting vs intoo the bodie of his sonne, and consequently in calling vs too him too bee his owne chil∣dren by that meanes? Thus yee see how the woondering of the An∣gells at our saluation, ought too frame vs the better too our Lord Ie∣sus Christ, & make vs to sticke fast vnto him, without swaring from him any manner of way. And for that cause is it added in the end, that by him vvee haue boldnesse and enteraunce in hope, through the beleefe vvhich is in him.

Heere S. Paule ment shortly to blame the vnthankfulnesse of such as are not contented with the hauing of Iesus Christ, but thinke that he should haue some helpes added too him. Therefore he sayeth, what desire wee more than too bee knit vntoo God? Is not our full happi∣nesse there?* Now it is so, that by beeleeuing in Iesus Christ, we hau confidence that wee may reace vntoo God: the accesse is giuen 〈◊〉 And whereas trust or confidence is not ynough, wee haue also bol••nesse Page  129 too come vntoo him with our heads vpright, not as preuming any whit of our selues, nor yit too come thither rechlesly, but we must alwayes practize this saying of the Psalme,* that although we rest vp∣pon Gods goodnesse, yit must we euermore worship him with feare. Notwithstanding, we may alwayes come boldly vntoo Gods throne, assuring our selues that his Maiestie shall no more bee terrible to vs, seeing he sheweth himself a father toowards vs in the person of his onely sonne. Wee see then how S. Paules meaning is, too hold vs fast too Iesus Christ. And therein wee see also what our frowardnes is. For it is certeyn, that the care and zeale which S. Paule had too make vs cleaue fast too the sonne of God, came of the wisdome of the holy Ghost, who knew our frailtie and vnstedfastnesse. Had we (as yee would say) but one drop of settled wit, it were ynough too doo vs too vnderstand, that by the Gospell we may possesse Gods sonne, who giueth himself vntoo vs, and that hauing him, we haue all that euer we can wish.* It were ynough too haue spoken this in one word, as S. Paule hath shewed already: but wee see how he dubbleth and confir∣meth his saying, as though it were a hard thing too bee beleeued. And of a truth, it is verye hard, bycause wee bee too much giuen too dis∣trust and vnbeleefe. Agein, too beleeue for one day, is not all that wee haue too doo: it is required that wee should hold on still, which is a ve∣rye rare thing too bee found in this world, bycause wee bee alwayes isking. By meanes whereof, men doo as it were wylfully bereue themselues of the thing that was giuen them. Furthemore, forasmuch as all the world is at the poynt, and wee cannot bee wonne or per∣swaded but with great peyne, too come too our Lord Iesus Christ, and too rest vppon him, let vs vse the remedie that Saint Paule setteth vs downe heere.

And first of all wee must marke well,* that Iesus Christ is the doore too open heauen vntoo vs: for wee knowe that at his death the vyle of the Temple was rent asunder, and that in such wyse, that wee may now enter familiarly intoo the Sanctuarie of God, not of such a mate∣riall Temple, as was then: but (euen of heauen,) so as wee may preace intoo the presence of our God, and resort vntoo him for refuge, as if a child should cast himself into the lap of his father or mother: for it is certain, that God surmounteth all the fathers and mothers of the world, in all kyndnesse and fauour. Seeyng then that wee know that: what cout wee more? Woulde wee haue some better or excellenter Page  [unnumbered] thing than God? Then must wee go seeke it in the bottom of hell. For when wee haue made our vagaries as much as wee list, wee shall al∣wayes fynde, that there is nothing in any of all the creatures eyther a∣boue or beneath,* that is woorth a strawe, in comparision of God, as sayeth the Prophet Esay. So then, seeyng that God hath giuen him∣selfe vnto vs in the person of our Lord Iesus Christ, and that the whole fulnesse of the Godhead dwelleth in that great Sanctuary,* which was figured by the visible Sanctuarie of the Lawe: ought wee not too bee fully satisfyed when wee haue that, and too rest our selues wholy there∣uppon? And although our wittes & our affections bee fickle, yit ought they too bee hild in awe as prisoners, so as we may say, Let vs cleaue, let vs cleaue too our God,* according too this saying of Dauid, behold, all my felicitie, and all my ioy is too be ioyned too my God. Likewise he sayeth in another place,* he is the welspring of lyfe and lyght. Agein, wee haue sng this morning,* he is my portion, I cannot haue a better lotte, I must needes take all my delight in him. Thus yee see what w haue too remember in the first place.

Secondly, let vs mark well the degrees that Saint Paule setteth downe here: wherof the first is, that we must haue fayth. For although Iesus Christ haue opened the way and passage by his blud,* too make vs enterance vntoo God his father: yit is not the gap opened for all men:* for the vnbeleuers cannot inioy that benefite, whereof he is the kye. Trew it is, that the doore is neere hand, and the opening therof is easye, when we haue the kye: that is to say, if wee receyue the Gos∣pell in trew obedience of fayth. And soo yee se why Saint Paule tel∣leth vs, that it is not ynough for vs that Iesus Christ hath layd foorth the tresures of the infinite goodnesse & mercie of God his father: but that it standeth vs on hand on our syde, to receyue the same by fayth. Not that wee dan doo it of our owne power, nor yit that wee can come vntoo Iesus Christ, or bee partakers of the benefits which he offereth vs by the Gospel, except wee haue fayth in him. And from beleef we must procede too trust, that is too say, wee must bee fully perswaded, that God will alwayes receyue vs, and that wee shall fynd fauour at his hand, and that although wee bee wretched sinners, and vnwoor∣thie too liue vppon the earth: yit neuerthelesse wee shall fynd him still fauorable too vs when wee come too heauen. Lo how fayth is linked with trust. And therof springeth this stoutnesse of mynd or boldnesse, which is as it were the hyghest step, soo that although wee must needs. Page  130 bee as it were dis••ayed, when wee consider what we bee of our selues: yit we ceasse not to offer our selues vnto God with our heads vpryght. And why so? Bycause he looketh vppon vs in the person of his only sonne.* And therfore it is sayd, that he is his welbeloued, howbeeit, not for himselfe (onely), ut (also) for our sakes that are members of his bodie. Ye see then how we haue too gather vppon this text, that by receyuing the doctrine of the Gospell with trew obedience of faith, wee possesse our Lord Iesus Christ, and by his meanes shalbee led vn∣too God his father, too come too the perfection of lyfe, lyght, and all goodnesse. And by the way wee bee warned too go foreward in fayth, till wee be throughly perswaded, that in fyghting ageinst all the temp∣tations that can assayle vs, we shall get the vpper hand by the meanes of fayth,* and finally that wee may brag (specially as S. Paule dooth in the eyght too the Romanes) both ageinst lyfe, and ageinst death, and ageinst all powers both aboue & beneath, & despyze all distresses, knowing full well that nothing is able too disappoynt vs of the loue that Iesus Christ hath shewed vs, and which God his father also hath vttered towardes vs in his person. And theruppon also dooth it come, that our prayers must bee grounded vppon full certeintie. For (as sayeth S. Iames)* he that thnketh too obteyne any thing by doubting, deceyueth himselfe. Therefore wee must assure our selues by the pro∣mises of the Gospell, that God is readye too receiue vs too mercy, whensoeuer wee come vntoo him. And thereby wee perceyue, that S. Paule sayd not for naught, that if wee haue fayth, wee must not seeke any thing more than Iesus Christ, but he must bee all our treasure, by∣cause that in him wee haue all things that are requisite too our ioy and contentation.

Now let vs fall downe before the maiestie of our good God, with acknowledgment of our sinnes, praying him to make vs so too feele them, as wee may myslyke them more and more, and yit notwithstan∣ding not ceasse too bee glad, in that he hath shewed him self so pitifull towardes vs in the person of his only sonne, that he hath voutsafed too drawe vs out of the gulfe of hell, too giue vs enterance intoo his king∣dome: and also too graunt vs the grace too come theruntoo with trew fayth, and too withdrawe our selues from all worldly intycementes, which serue too turne vs away from him, so as wee may forsake all vaynglory, & for as much as we be voyde of all goodnesse in our selues, seeke all our wantes in him, which is the trew fountayne of all good∣nesse, Page  [unnumbered] that can neuer be drawen dry. That it may please him too graunt this grace, not only too vs, but also too all people. &c.

The .xix. Sermon, which is the fourth vppon the third Chapter.

13. VVherfore I beseech yee faynt not for my trubbles, vvhich I endure for your sake, which is your glory.

14. For the vvhich thing I bovv my knees too the father of our Lord Iesus Christ:

15. (Of vvhom all kinred is named in heauen and in earth.)

15. That according too the riches of his glory, he graunt you too bee strengthened vvith povver by his spirit in the invvarde man.

IT is a woonderfull thing that men hauing so many meanes too come vntoo God, la∣bour too go from him as much as is pos∣sible, and euery strawe makes them too turne head: and yit notwithstanding think themselues too haue a very reasonable ex∣cuce, if they can say, I was letted by this and that (which shalbee nothing at all,) but the least occasion that can bee, wyll serue, bycause their seeking alreadye is too shrinke away from God. And this is too common now adayes. For they that are desyrous too iustifye themselues, bycause they reiect the doctrine of the Gospell, will alwayes fynde fault with the causes of offences. O say thy, this trubbleth mee, this maketh mee too mislyke the doctrine of the Gos∣pell, this maketh mee too forsake it vtterly. All that euer they can al∣ledge shalbee but tryfles, but yit had wee neede too labour so much the more, too ouercome all the lettes and stoppes which the diuell indeuo∣reth too cast in our way, so as wee may still keepe on our trade and course. And that is the thing whereat S. Paule ameth heere, exhor∣ting the Ephesians not too bee thrust out of the way, but too holde on still truely and constantly in the fayth of the Gospell, notwithstanding Page  131 that they might be offended too see him a prisoner, and as good as con∣demned already. Now it is certein, that Saint Paules suffering in mayntenance of the thinges that he had preached, was not too make them swarue from Gods pure truth: but contrariwyse he protesteth, that it was too their glory, so as they myght tryumph aforehand, con∣sidering the inuincible constancie that was giuen him. But (as I haue sayd already) besydes the thing that I haue touched alredy, there is such a naughtinesse rooted in our nature, that wee bee well appayd, if wee can haue any outward colour too shrinke away from God, and we beare our selues on hand, that we bee quite and cleane discharged. Howbeit S. Paule spake not this for that one people, but he giueth heere an instruction that ought too serue vs at this day: which is, that although the most part of the world bee mad at the Gospel, and fight as much as they can, too quench the rememberaunce of our Lord Ie∣sus Christ, and although the faythfull bee persecuted, diffamed and tormēted: Yit must we not swarue aside, nor be out of hart, considering that it ought to confirme our fayth the more in our Lord Iesus Christ, and that wee haue wherof to glory, seeing God holdeth vp his Church by strong hand, so as it is not vtterly oppressed and ouercome. If the Gospell were receyued without geinsaying, and with one common accord, surely we should haue cause to blisse God for it, and there should bee a melodie betweene heauen and earth, so as both men and Angels might with full mouth magnifie Gods goodnesse so shining foorth vppon all men: But yit the fighting of men ageinst the Gospell, is a sure recorde vntoo vs, that God is the author of it, inasmuch as they that are imprisoned for it, and drawen euen vntoo death, ceasse not for all that too stand stedfastly in it.* God then vttereth there a wounder∣full power, and it appereth, that for all that euer Satan can doo, wee neuerthelesse haue proofe that God is on our side, and fighteth for vs, and vpholdeth vs by his power. Not that he exempteth vs from affliction, but he will alwayes giue vs victory, and that ought to suffize vs. Thus the thing which wee haue too remember vppon this Text of S. Paules, is, that wee must bee readie too receyue all the alarums that Satan shall make vppon vs, and that although wee see the doc∣trine of the Gospell ill receyued of the world, so as it is not only de∣spyzed and disdeyned, but also hated, and the vnbeleeuers are infla∣med with a diuelish rage too destroy it: Yit notwithstanding we must not beare it the lesse reuerence, for wee must not measure Gods ma∣iestie Page  [unnumbered] by the opinions of mē. Put the cace that God were euery where despyzed, according as most men are in deede so churlish and vnthank∣full, that they bee as monsters shaped ageinst kind, yit must not God loze the right that wee owe him. For notwithstanding the rebellious∣nesse of such as would wrap God with them in their iniquities, wee ought too honour him with all humilitie. Euen so is it also with the pure doctrine of the Gospell. Although then that the world set them∣selues ageinst it, & many men trample it vnderfoote, so as some mocke at it, some gnashe their teeth at it, and fires are kindled for it: Yit let vs still quietly and obediently receyue the things which wee knowe to come from our God. Thus then yee see how our fayth ought always too keepe on his way, and that although many practizes and enter∣prizes bee attempted ageinst the faythfull, and a man shal euery where heare of nothing but confederacies, threatenings, outrages, and such other things: yit wee must not ceasse too fight stoutly vnder Christs banner,* & to possesse our soules in pacience. And heereunto ought this saying of S. Paules to serue, that it is our glory: for our fayth should bee as good as dead, if God tryed it not. Neuerthelesse when wee see the faythfull so examined, wee haue alwayes so much the better war∣rant of the doctrine that is giuen vs of God. Trew it is, that it ought too bee grounded in heauen, that is too say, vppon the aucthoritie of God alone, without hauing respect too any creatures. For the very Angels of heauen were not able too authorize the Gospell: Gods ma∣iestie must bee fayne too come foorth for vs too leane vntoo, and then shall wee neuer bee shaken downe. Notwithstanding, when the Mar∣tirs sticke not to giue their liues in the witnessing of Gods truth: then (as I sayd afore) wee bee, or ought too bee the more stirred vp too re∣ceyue the doctrine, and it is as it were sealed vp in our harts. Foras∣much then as persecutions serue too confirme the doctrine the better: therfore S. Paule sayeth, it is our glory, and that wee ought too tri∣umph at it, seeing that God dooth so mainteyne and strengthen them whom he sendeth intoo that battell.

For it is certeine, that in respect of the frayltie of the fleshe, they shoulde quayle by and by. But that they get the vpper hand, let vs mark, that it is Gods dooing, who woorketh after so manifest a fashi∣on, as wee haue cause too glorifie him for it. Now if when wee bee trubbled, wee bee tempted too shrink, and too giue ouer at euery brunt that is put too vs: it is a token that wee haue not the skill too profit our Page  132 selues by the meanes that God giueth vs, too drawe vs to him, and to make vs sticke too him with trew stedfastnesse. Therfore let vs fyght ageinst our own weaknesse, and ageinst the naughtinesse of our nature, that when wee see how the diuell practyzeth too ouerthrowe the Gos∣pell in maner euery where, wee may consider, that God forgetteth not those that are his, but strengtheneth them in such wyze with his power, that their fayth getteth the vpper hand, to the end that we shold hope for the lyke, and that when wee bee at ease and rest, wee should not ceasse too prepare our selues after their example, that when it shall please God too reach out his hand vppon vs, and too make vs take our turne and course, wee may bee fenced a long whyle aforehand, and not bee possessed with such imagination as some bee, which beare themselues on hand, that they shal neuer feele any greefe or trubble: but that wee may alwayes be redy armed to fyght. Herewithal S. Paule sheweth, that it is not ynough for vs to be only taught: for we should not ceasse for all that, to be alwayes fretting, and to be as men more than half out of their wittes, vntill God made his doctrine too take such place, as wee were touched too the quicke with it.

Now then, hauing exhorted the Ephesians, he sayeth, I bowe my knees before the father of our Lord Iesus Christ. If exhorting too the end that euery man myght be of courage, had bin ynough: S. Paul would not haue added that which he speaketh heere of prayer. But to the intent too shewe what the Ephesians had too doo: he falleth intoo the way before them too giue them an example. And therfore let vs marke, that when wee shall haue had our eares beaten with Gods woord, to shewe vs our dewtie, and thertoo not only bin instructed, but also exhorted and spurred forward: yit will there alwayes bee some sloth, coldnesse and rechlesnesse in vs, so as the doctrine shal stand vs in smal stead, vntill God touch vs with his holy spirit. And this serueth too beate downe al pryde in vs. For a number thinke themselues able too woork woonders, who feele themselues beguyled, when they come too the pinch. Wee see what happened too Peter. He promised, yea euen vnfeynedly,* that he would not shrinke from his Mayster, though he should dye for it. Yee see how Peter made a stout brag. Surely he made it not but of a zeale, which a man would say, is good and holy, and he ment too haue had the same intent so settled, as too haue shewed it at the neede: and yit notwithstanding, the stout wordes of a sillye wenche made him too deny Christ, and he was redy too haue denyed Page  [unnumbered] him a hundred tymes, insomuch that he fell to cursing & banning. See∣ing wee haue such a looking glasse, let vs acknowledge our owne weaknesse in Peters person, and (as S. Paule sheweth vs heere) let vs resort too him that hath all power in him. For it is not ynough for vs too knowe our disease, vnlesse wee seeke the remedie of it. First of all then, let vs rid our selues of al foolish opinions, wherwith the world is imbrewed, as that a man may bee able too ouercome all temptati∣ons by his owne free will: and rather let vs learne too abace our selues vtterly, knowing that when as God is so gracious to vs, as too teache vs by his woord, the same is not too inable vs too doo it, but onely too hold vs the more giltie and conuicted therof, too the end wee should not make a sheeld of ignorance. Let that bee one poynt.

Yit notwithstanding, let vs not stay there: but for asmuch as we be weake of our selues, and Godhath all strength in him: let vs repayre vntoo him. For it is certein, that he calleth and allureth vs vntoo him. And therfore let vs not thinke that wee shalbe disapoynted, when we cast our selues downe so as half dead, or rather as starke dead at his feete, not doubting but that he will lift vs vp agein. And so Saint Paule speaking of his praying too God heere, was not alonly too pro∣test that he discharged his dewtie: but too the intent that the same should serue for an example too all the faythfull, that vppon the know∣ing of their wantes: they myght resort only vntoo God, knowing that he holdeth vs vp continually by strong hand, and that after he hath once giuen vs fayth, he addeth also such inuincible constancie, that wee stand out too the end. This is it in effect which wee haue too beare in mynd. And therfore let vs take warning, not too trust too our owne wit, nor too presume anie whit vppon our own power and strength, when wee come too heare Gods woord: but too desyre our God, that lyke as he hath voutsafed too haue his woord preached vntoo vs by the mouth of a man, so he will also speake vntoo vs inwardly, and in secret by his holy Ghost, that by that meanes the doctrine which wee haue heard, may take roote, and bring forth profit and fruite. And moreouer, sith wee see by experience, that God requyreth more of vs than our power and abilitie can auoord: let vs desyre him too supply our wantes, according too the example that I haue set downe alredye, which is, that it is cleane contrarie too our fleshly reason, that wee should go too death if neede bee, and forsake the world and our owne lyfe. This is not too bee found in man, if he followe still his owne Page  133 reason and will. God therfore must bee fayne too woorke in this cace, and too remedie our infirmitie. But although that too suffer for the Gospell, and too go too death as it were with blyndfolded eyes, and not too bee turned away, nor striken downe for anye thing, bee verye hard things, and such as passe all abilitie of man: yit will God stand by vs in such sort, as wee shall ouercome all distresses, if wee arme our selues with the weapons that he giueth vs: that is too say, if vpon the knowing of his will, wee being vnable too walke as he commaun∣deth vs, doo pray him too giue vs legges, and too strengthen vs in such wyse as wee may ouercome all. This doone, a man cannot say, that this doctrine is vnprofitable. For why is it that our Lord giueth vs those things by his holy spirit, which we haue not by nature? Euen too make the doctrine auaylable, so as it may not disappoynt vs. They then which doo slaunderously say, that if wee cannot followe God of our owne freewill, it were better too forbeare preaching, bycause it is but lost labour: they (say I) wote not what order God keepeth too as∣sure vs too himself. And experience sheweth well ynough, that the preaching of the word is but an instrumēt wherby God worketh in se∣cret. If wee bee fully resolued of that, then shall wee verye well per∣ceyue, that God agreeth very wel with himself, in that he will haue the Gospell preached too vs, and yit telleth vs, that it should stand vs in no stead, except it pleazed him too woorke in our hartes by his holie spirit. Now in saying that the Gospell is an instrument, it is all one as if a man should say, that a plowman with his Plowgh 〈…〉 and all other things,* were an instrument, and yit not therfore the cause why the earth bringeth 〈◊〉 fruites.* And why? For God keepes that too himself: and in that respect doo wee aske him our dayly bread. For wee must vnderst••d, that as a father hath care of his children, and as yee would say, puts the meate intoo their mouthes: so will God haue vs too receyue our sustenance at his handes. And for that cause he sayeth, that when the people should bee come intoo the land of Canaan,* although they should till and manure the ground, yit should they not say, this haue I gotten with my owne hand, but all acknow∣ledge that they were mayteyned by the woord that proceedeth out of Gods mouth,* that is too say, by the inward grace which God giueth too his creatures, so as wee bee fed therby. For all the labour of man can nothing auayle, vnlesse God blisse it. And what then shall wee saye of the thing that is much more excellent? For is not the foode Page  [unnumbered] of our soules much preciouser than that which serueth but for our bo∣dies? therfore let vs not thinke, that it is ynough for vs to come to a ser∣mon, or too reade (Gods woord) euery man by himself: but wee must also resort vnto God, that he may giue vs increace. And for the same cause dooth Saint Paule set downe this similitude,* that he which planteth, is nothing, nor yit he that watereth, but that it is God that giueth the increace from aboue. And he speaketh not there of the laborers of the ground, but of the sowers of Gods woord, and of such as manure his Church with continuall exhortations. Albeit then that wee take neuer so great payne: yit shall wee doo no good at all with our labour, except God woorke with it by his holy spirit. But when he woorketh with vs, then is our labour auaylable, and then it is sayd,* that the Gospell is the power of God too the saluation of all that beleeue. For God dooth so vtter the power of his holy spirit, that the preaching of the Gospell, and the secret and inwarde woorking of the holy Ghost, are things so ioyned toogither, as they cannot bee separa∣ted. And so yee see in effect what wee haue too remember vppon that saying of S. Paule.

Now hauing spoken of praying, he sayeth, That yee may be streng∣thened in the inward man, by the power of his holy spirit. Here he sheweth vs the weaknesse that I spake of afore: for if we perceyue not our owne neede, we will neuer voutsafe too resort vntoo God lyke poore beggets. We know that man being left to himself, will neuer acknowledge his owne pouertie, except it bee proued too his face. To the end therfore that wee should come vntoo him vnfeynedly, and with trew lowelinesse: it is for our behof too feele by experience, that we can doo nothing at all, and that wee bee vnprofitable in respect of all goodnesse, vntill our Lord haue renewed vs. That is the thing which Saint Paule intended too make vs too vnderstand. For though all the world generally doo seeke help at Gods hand, yit is there scarce one too bee fonnd among a hundred, that dooth it truely and without hipocrisie. For if a man could serch what is in some, he should fynd them redye too burst lyke Toads, with pryde and filthinesse, and that they presume woonderously vppon themselues. They will go seeke succour at Gods hand, and yit thinke they haue their seeking in them∣selues. Surely it is too excessiue a leaudnesse, but yit is it a vyce that reygneth too much. Howsoeuer wee fare, if wee desir God too reache out his hand too succour vs: let vs lerne first of all too abace our selues, Page  134 and let vs know, that wee haue not sufficient strength of our owne na∣ture, but that the same must bee fayne too come from aboue, and from his holie spirit, as S. Paule hath expressed heere. That yee may bee strengthened (sayth he) by the power of his holy spirit. No doubt but he maketh comparison here of things cleane contrarie. For so long as a man can doo ought of himself, Gods spirit needeth not to supply the roome. But forasmuch as all power proceedeth of Gods free good∣nesse: therin it is shewed vs, that wee can doo nothing of our selues, and that all the strength which wee surmyze our selues too haue, is but smoke that vanisheth away, and a starke illuzion of Satan, who see∣keth too holde vs fast in some fond selfweening, too the intent wee should not repayre too our God, and so be left vtterly destitute. And besides this, Saint Paule sheweth further, that it is a free bestowed benefyte, that is too saye, a benefyte that proceedeth of Gods onely free gifte, too the intent wee should not imagin, that when God suc∣coreth vs, he hath an eye too any thing else than our wretchednesse, or that he dooth it for any good disposition that he sawe should bee in vs. And that is the cause why he succoreth vs in all our needes. And ther∣fore Saint Paule sayeth heere, that it standeth vs on hande too bee strengthened by the power of his holy spirit, and that the same is a free gifte.

Now he sayeth, acording too the richenesse of his glory. Wher∣fore is it, that he magnifieth the riches of Gods goodnesse so much, but to beate downe all the fond opinions wherwith men besotte them selues, in weening too bring, I wote not what, of their owne, and by that meane too make themselues haylefellowe with God? Therfore it behoueth vs to beare this thing wel in mind. For S. Paul speakes too such as had shewed great strength already: but yit was it meete that God should alwayes haue the prayse of it. They were in great forwardnesse, and had fought already for the Gospell: and yit Saint Paule wisheth, that they might bee strengthened. Heerein wee see that wee bee so farre vnable too begin too doo good, that euen when God hath set vs in the way, when he hath reached vs his hand, yea and when he hath continud his grace in vs from day too day:* Yit if he do but turne away his hand one minute, wee bee quite quayled. And so wee be warned (as wee haue seene afore) that as God is the beginner of our saluation, so is he the worker of it throughout, and there is no∣stedfa••nesse in vs, furtherfoorth than wee bee vphild by him, and by Page  [unnumbered] his holy spirit. And therfore wee ought too bee prouoked too pray dayly all the tyme of our life. For they that forget themselues, and fall aseepe, shall soone fele themselues bereft of Gods grace. And why? They bee not worthy of it, bycause they seeke it not with con∣tinuall care. Therefore too waken vs throughly both from our slouth∣fulnesse and from our rechelesnesse, wee must beare in mind, that see∣ing God hath called vs into his Church, and touched vs to the quicke, to receyue his Gospel with trew obedience: the same ought to streng∣then vs so much the more too the end. Let that serue for one poynt. Agein, let vs vnderstand, that God must needs shewe the riches of his glory, when he increaseth so his holy spirit in vs by degrees. For must there not needes bee an infinite treasure of his goodnesse, when he draweth vs so to him at the first sight? In what plight we are when God chozeth vs and taketh vs too him? He draweth vs not onely out of a stinking puddle, but out of the bottom of hell. For behold, the thing that we bring with vs by inheritaunce from our mothers womb, is cursednesse, and to be as enemies to God, and too haue nothing but starke malice and rebelliousnesse in us, and too be blynd wretches, and (at a word) too bee giuen too all euill, so as Satan reigneth ouer vs, and wee bee his bond slaues, and are hild downe vnder the tyranny of sinne. Now then seeing that God hath pitied vs, in respect that we were so miserable creatures: Needes must it be, that he vttered the great riches of his goodnesse in that behalfe, and meete it is that he should bee glorified for the same. And (as I haue sayd already) wee ought too be the better touched therwith, that like as he hath adopted vs for his children, so wee may shewe our selues willing too take him for our father. But howsoeuer wee fare, although he haue reformed his image in vs, yit must he bee fayne too vtter the riches of his good∣nesse, and too increace his gifts in vs, and too make vs too go on still with our course. And it standeth vs so much the more on hand to beare this doctrine in mind, bycause wee see the worlde hath bin beguiled with these toyes and opinions, that euery man myght well put foorth himselfe through his owne freewill, or at leastwyse prepare himselfe too come vntoo God. And agein, that Gods ading of grace vppon grace, is, bycause men haue vsed well the grace that he had giuen and bestowed vppon them before. Now as touching the first poynt, how is it possible that wee should bring aught of our selues too win Gods fauour withall? seeyng wee bee lyke poore dead men, and as otten Page  135 carkesses, what preparation can wee make too purchase fauour at Gods ha••: Must not men need as bee woorse than be witched, when they conceyue such •••yes? Wherefore let vs learne too father the beginning, continuance, and end of our saluation vppon God, and too shim all those diuelish illusions, (which seeme to maynteyne) that God in adding of grace vntoo grace, hath a regarde how euery of vs hath deserued it. For contrariwyse S. Paule telleth vs, that in this care we must haue nothing before our eyes, but Gods goodnesse in shewing himself so liberall towardes vs, that he neuer ceasseth too doo vs good. He is not lyke mortall men, which will say, I haue doone thee good ynough already, content thy self: but lyke as he hath shed out the gifts of his holy spirit intoo vs, so he is moued too increace the measure of them, till wee bee come too the full heyght of them, that is too wit, too full perfection.

Now hereunto Saint Paule addeth expresly, the inward man: for wee would fayne that God should alwayes strengthen and increace vs in this world, but in the meane whyle the heaue••y lyfe is as no∣thing with vs. For some would shewe themselues valiant, and they bee so rauished in their owne conceyt, that they weene themseles too bee as Angels, so as men may speake of their deeds of prowesse, and that they may bee taken for proper men, and purchace themselues re∣putation. That is one kynd of strength that men desire. Others de∣syre too increace their substance by merchandyse, or too get riches and possessions by any meanes howsoeuer it bee. Othersome couet too bee in credit and authoritie. Too be short, the meanes wherby wee would haue God too shewe himselfe bountifull towards vs, is in pleasing our sensualitie and earthly lusts. But on the contrarie part, Saint Paule bringeth vs too the inward man, that is too say, too the spiritu∣all lyfe, which is vnseene of vs, sauing that wee haue record of it. For after the same maner dooth he speake of the inward man lykewyse too the Corinthians,* saying, that the outward man corrupteth, but yit the inward man is renewed. What is it then that Saint Paule meaneth by the outward man? Riches, bodily health, honour, credit, authori∣tie, and (at a woord) all that wee couet of our owne nature. Those are the things that are ment by the outward man. Now (as I sayd afore) wee would fayne bee strengthened in those things, but in the meane whyle we despyze the inward man, that is too say, the things that be∣long too the heauenly lyfe. And why? For wee see them not, bycause Page  [unnumbered] wee bee grosse witted, and intangled in this world. Therfore Saint Paule sheweth vs heere, that if God list too diminish vs too the world∣ward, wee must be are it patiently, and he sayeth the lyke in the Text which I am about to alledge. For when the faythlesse and heathenish sort which haue their treasure in this world, doo see themselues go too decay: they sygh and say, alas, where are the armes that I had in time past? where bee the leggs? & therupon they fall too repyning ageinst God. Agein, if a man that was riche bee diminished, and God cut of the things that he possessed: he is in horrible vnquietnesse, and hee had leuer too bee alredye buryed, than too see his wings clipped after that fashyon. Agein, they that are led with ambition, and seeke no∣thing but honour & estimation in the world, if they be once out of their accustomed credit, they thinke all is lost: But on the contrarie part, Gods children, which shet their eyes willingly at all the things which haue a fayre glosse here beneath, and behold the heritage of heauen by fayth, are not so vexed when they see themselues diminished euen in eysyght, & that God maketh them to drop away by little & little: they take al in good worth.* And why? For they haue an eye to the chaunge: which is, that by that meane God reneweth them, too giue them the thing that is vnseene, and too make them take corage agein, as though the kingdome of heauen were hard at hand. So then, the thing that Saint Paul sheweth vs now, is, that looke as euery of vs is caryed away with his owne foolish lusts, so would hee haue God too yeelo to his fondnesse. And contrariwyse, by his praying bnto God to streng∣then vs, he sheweth vs, that it must not greeue vs, though wee decaye as in respect of our bodyes, so wee haue the spirituall cheerelynesse that maye make vs too drawe neerer and neerer vntoo our God, and too looke still too the kingdome of heauen, which cannot fayle vs, assuring our selues, that the bringing of vs lowe, is too the end wee should bee exalted on hygh,* and that although we must go downe into the graue, yit it is not too perish there altoogither, but too bee renewed agein. Wherfore let vs suffer our selues too bee so abaced, that wee may bee set vp agein by the power of our God. And although wee be poore despyred creature in this world, let vs suffer it patiently, and therwithall let vs not ceasse too warrant our selues that God will woork in vs as he promiseth.

And furthermore let vs mark wel, what S. Paule setteth downe heere: for he vseth not the single name of God, but sayeth, The father Page  136 of our Lorde Iesus Christ, of whom all kinred is named in heauen and in earth. Now hereby hee sheweth vs first of all, how familiarly wee may go vntoo God, as hath bin touched alredye. And the last sunday this text was declared sufficiently,* where he shewed vs, how we may come vnto God. But there he did set fayth in the first place. See∣ing then that wee haue assurance that the gate is opened for vs, wee may bee bolde too go in vntoo God. And this fayth ingendereth trust in our hartes, and trust giueth boldnesse. These are the three steppes that Saint Paule did set downe there. And heere he sheweth vs how wee obteyne that priuiledge: that is too wit, bycause God hath not on∣ly his heauenly Maiestie too bee worshipped of vs: (for although wee ought too honour him in that respect, yit would it so astonishe vs, as too make vs shun his presence as much as wee possibly could:) but also addeth the tytle of father, and sayeth, that he taketh vs for his children, by meanes whereof wee hee no more afrayde of him, but may come fa∣••larly too him whensoeuer occasion serueth, forasmuch as he hath his armes open too receyue vs. This is an article well woorthy too bee mynded. For if wee cannot call vppon God, what will become of vs? in what plyght shall wee bee? It is sayd, that all our welfare ly∣eth in hauing our recourse vntoo God. Now if wee thinke that God wil heare vs,* when wee pray doubtingly and debatingly: wee beguile our selues, as sayeth S. Iames. Therfore wee must nt bee as reedes that are shaken with euery wynde, or lyke the waues of the sea. But wee must bee well and throughly assured, that God which calleth vs too him will not disappoynt vs. Wherfore when wee pray vnto God, it must be with trust, that wee shall not loze our labour. But how may we come by that? For behold, God hath 〈◊〉 incōprehensible 〈◊〉, & what a distance is there betweene him & vs? Though we could 〈◊〉 aboue the cloudes, yit could wee not come nygh God, by reason of the infinite hyghnesse that is in him, for the heauens comprehend it not.

Then should wee bee as folke forlorne and vainshed away,* if Iesus Christ were not there as a meane to make vs way. And that is it which S. Paule meaneth heere, when he sayeth, that he prayeth too the fa∣ther of our Lord Iesus Christ, too the end wee might 〈◊〉, that he is not farre from vs, if wee hold the way that he sheweth vs, that is too wit, if wee make Iesus Christ our aduocate, to beare word for vs,* and speake as it were by his mouth. For he is entred intoo the Sanctuary of the heauens, too present himselfe there on our behalf, Page  [unnumbered] that it might he all one, as if he bare vs vppon his shoulders, and boh wee and our prayers bee accepted and allowed of God, and wee bee sure that they vanish not away intoo the ayre, but that God 〈◊〉 them as well as if he were hard by vs, according to his promise made in the Psalme, which is, that he wilbe neere at hand to all such as call vpon him in truth.* Had this bin well considered, the wretched world had not troubled it self so much, in seeking too Hee Saints and She Saints, too bee their patrons and aduocats. As for example, when the wretched Papists say, that they must haue the Uirgin Mary & S. Michaell for their intercessors, and other Saints, whom they haue deuyzed of their owne brayne: ho (say they) wee bee not woorthy too come in Gods presence. It is very trew: but his vnworthinesse of ours ought also to make vs too seeke the remedye which God hath appoyn∣ted for vs, that is wit, too repayre too our Lord Iesus Christ, who is the way that leadeth vs too his father, according too this saying of his, I am the way,* the truthe and the lyfe: and whatsouer yee ask of Go my father in my name, shalbe graunted you. There our Lord Iesus promiseth, that whatsoeuer we ask of God his father in his name, shal∣bee doone vnto vs: and therby he warranteth this doctrine. Therfore let vs mark at a woord, that in asmuch as our Lord Iesus offereth and putteth foorth himself too bee the way too lead vs vnto God his father, wee must not go raunging vp and downe, but if wee will needs seeke any other way, wee shall but stray, and neuer bee at any certeinetie to come vntoo God. Furthermore, too the intent wee may bee contented with Iesus Christ alone: let vs beare well in mynd how he sayeth, that all our requests shalbe heard, if they bee grounded vppon his 〈◊〉. Yee see then, that the thing which Saint Paule ment too shewe 〈◊〉 first place, is, that as oft as wee pray vntoo God, wee must assure 〈◊〉 selues, that although wee bee vnworthy too come vntoo him, yit not∣withstanding he ceasseth not too accept vs, and our prayers are a sa∣crifyze of good and acceptable sent vntoo him, when we acknowledge him too bee the father of our Lord Iesus Christ.* But yit must 〈◊〉 also adde, that which the Gospell sheweth vs, that is too wit, that 〈◊〉 bee members of his only sonnes bodie. For had wee no allyance 〈◊〉 Iesus Christ, we should gayne nothing by knowing him too bee the sonne of God. But forasmuch as wee bee made one with him, and he boutsafeth too communicate all his goods vntoo vs: therfore wee may well call God our father. And for that cause also did he saye 〈…〉Page  137 disciples, I go my way too my God and your God, too my father and your father.* Thus much concerning the first poynt.

And heerewithall wee must marke well also, how S. Paule addeth for a larger declaration, that all kinred both in heauen and earth is named of him. In saying so, first he sheweth that the Iewes ought to be ioyned vnto the Gentyles, and that for asmuch as the Trumpet of the Gospell is blowen, Gods grace must bee preached abrode euery where, that men of all Countries and Nations may call vppon God: And therby also it is shewed vs, that although wee come of the hea∣then which were erst cut of from the kingdome of God:* yit wee bee now made his household folke, and registred among the Citizens of heauen, and God auoweth vs too bee so. And so yee see that by the father of our Lord Iesus Christ, an also bycause Iesus Christ is made our head, and hath receyued vs for his body: yee see (I say) that all kinred is named of him, bycause God voutsafeth too take vs too him, yea euen vs poore wretched creatures, which are not woor∣thie too bee of the number of the woormes of the earth, yit notwithstan∣ding he not only voutsafeth too admit vs intoo the companie of the Iewes,* which were a holy linage, the chozen people of God, and his owne inheritaunce:* but also hath taken vs intoo the fellowship of the Angels of heauen.* For Saint Paule is not contented heere with setting downe a kinred among men, too shew that he meanet of the faythfull is matched with Abraham, Dauid, Peter, and Paule: but he sheweth, that he is matched euen with the Angels (of heauen too.) And soothly we may well haue that digniti•• seeing that Iesus Christ himselfe voutsafeth too bee our brother, and hath knit himself to vs in the bond of brotherhood. Thus yee see how wee should bee guyded in praying vntoo God, that wee may coine vntoo him in feare and reuerence, considering his maiestie which is infinite, and more∣uer not too bee abashed at it, ne too turne away, but vnderstand that in∣asmuch as God hath voutsafed too take vs for his children, and our Lord Iesus Christ is ordeyned our mediator, too the intent wee 〈◊〉 come vntoo him▪ wee may come with full trust before 〈◊〉 of grace, and not sticke too cal God our father with open mouth, ••cause he hath shewed,* that he taketh vs for his children, and wee haue Iesus Christ for our brother by adoption,* and wee neede not too doubt but that all the Angels of heauen acknowledge and auow vs for their bre∣thren, when wee come too God so ioyned too our Lord Iesus Christ: Page  [unnumbered] lyke as on the contrarie part also if we swerue from that marke, wee must needes bee cast of, and the Angels must beecome our enemyes and aduersaries, and set themselues ageinst all the prayers that wee can make.

Now let vs fall downe before the maiestie of our good God, with acknowledgment of our faultes, praying him too voutsafe too re∣forme our lyfe in such wyse, as wee may shewe by our deedes, that wee haue not lost our tyme in going too his schoole, and indeuer and in∣force our selues too please him in all things: and that forasmuch as wee bee not able too serue him alwayes in perfection, he will voutsafe too beare with our infirmities, & to beare them vp in the meane whyle, so as wee may not ceasse too resort still vntoo him, seeing the neede and necessitie wherwith wee bee pinched. And so let vs all say, Al∣myghtie God heauenly father. &c.

The .xx. Sermon, which is the fifth vppon the third Chapter.

14. For the vvhich thing I bovv my knees too the father of our Lord Iesus Christ:

15. (Of vvhom all kinred is named in heauen and in earth.)

16. That according too the riches of his glory, he graunt you too bee strengthened vvith povver by his spirit in the invvard man.

17. And that Christ may dvvell in your hartes by fayth.

18. And that yee may bee rooted and grounded in Loue, too the intent yee may comprehend vvith all the Sainctes, vvhat the wydenesse, and the length, and the deepth, and the heyght,

19. And knovve the louingnesse of Christ, vvhich passeth all knovvledge, that yee may be filled vvith all fulnesse of God.

Page  138WEe haue seene this morning by what en∣terance wee must offer our prayers vntoo God, if we intend too be heard at his hand, and too haue full assurance that our pray∣ers shalbee well lyked: namely that Iesus Christ bee our guyde and aduocate, and make intercessiō for vs, so as we speake not but as it were by his mouth. Now he hath set it downe for a rule in praying vnto God,* that wee must call him father. And how dare men bee so bolde or presumptuous, as to call God their father? Surely wee can alledge no ryght wherby too clayme any such digni∣tie. For not euen the Angels haue it, but by meanes of our Lord Ie∣sus Christ. Then is it vnpossible for vs too pray too God, as he com∣maundeth vs, and after the manner which he teacheth vs in his woord except Iesus Christ bee our aduocate. For on whether syde are the Angels akyn too vs? shall the Uirgin Mary be found to bee our greate Aunt or Graundmother? What are the Apostles? Too bee short, wee must resort too our Lord Iesus Christ, too haue his spirituall kinred, wherby God avoweth vs for his adopted children. And when wee once haue that, wee must no more doubt whether God will heare our prayers or no, seeing wee come not to him vppon a foolish rashnesse, by presuming vppon our owne naturall reason or selflyking, but with o∣bedience too his commaundement. Agein, wee haue his promis, which can neuer deceyue vs. Contrarywyse all they that thinke too obteyne fauour at Gods hand by any other meane, doo but run astray, and haue shet them selues out of the doore already. And therfore there is now none excuce, but that wee must simply hold the way which the Gospell sheweth vs, to come vnto God by, that is too wit, in the name of our Lord Iesus Christ, without adding of any other creature, as we see doone by the whole world. In deede they that pester vp a throng of patrons and aduocates, (as they terme them,) hope too bee well welcome vntoo God. But by what warrant? Who hath promised them, that God will accept their deuotion, and all that they offer vntoo him? For it is not in vs too appoynt officers in heauen. In a Court of Iustice of the world, it myght well bee a matter of course (as they terme it,) and it myght lie in the power of a Iudge, too giue leaue too whom he listeth, too pleade mens caces, too the intent there myght be Page  [unnumbered] no confuzion. But if wee will make aduocates at our owne pleasure, and vppon our owne head (in heauen:) it is all one as if wee would rob God of his authoritie and souereintie. Yea, and wee must bethink vs how S. Paule sayeth, that all our prayers and supplications, shall neuer be aught worth, but vtterly vnprofitable and vayne, if they be not conformable to Gods word, so as we take our rule frō thence. For how shall wee call vpon a God (saieth he) whom wee knowe not, at all ad∣uenture? And how shall we knowe after what maner we should pray, and what style and speeche wee should vse?* Wee must come too hea∣ring, not of the things that men shall bring vs of their owne brayne, but of the things that God commaundeth vs. So then, wee must vse this modestie and sobrietie, and not speake at randon when wee pray vntoo God, but simply obey his word. Yea and we know that prayer is the cheefe sacrifice that God requireth. For whereas it is sayd, that wee must worship the only one God:* it is not alonly with ceremonies, as with kneeling downe before him. In deede that is requisite: for it is meete that wee should honour our God both with our body and with our mynd, bycause they bee both his. Howbeit in worshipping him, wee must acknowledge truely that wee hold all good things of him: and that doo wee in praying too him. For wee come thither as poore soules vtterly destitute of all thinges that are meete for vs, knowing that without him wee bee woorse than miserable. It is sayde in the lawe, that in offering sacrifyze too God, men must not doo any thing at all of their owne head, but follow his ordinaunce, insomuch that it was forbidden them too take straunge fyre too vse vppon the aulter: whereby it was ment in a figure,* that men should vtterly forbeare all their owne deuotions, when they intend too offer any thing vntoo God. Likewyse they were forbydden too offer sacrifyze without salt,* there∣by too shewe that wee ought too haue a sure instruction, so as all the offerings which wee offer vp too God, bee sauced or poudered with his woord: for without that, there will bee nother taste nor sauour in them. But seeyng that wee now adayes haue the substance and truth of the figures of the Lawe: whensoeuer wee offer our prayers and supplica∣tions vntoo God, or yeeld him prayse and thankes, let vs doo all by our Lord Iesus Christ,* as the Apostle too the Hebrewes exhorteth vs. This serueth too finish vp the matter that was begunne this mor∣ning.

And wee must call to mynd what S. Paule told vs this morning: Page  139 namely, that in praying vntoo God, wee must not bee giuen too our wordly affections, but seeke that God may bee glorified, and that the residue may bee but as an appurtenaunce too it. That is the cause why he spake purposely of the inward man. For if God should giue vs the brydle too aske whatsoeuer came in our head, or if wee on our side should take such libertie: what a thing were it? If he should giue vs al our owne asking, it would turne to our ruine and confuzion. For we haue our lusts further out of square, than litle children or sick folks. And all of vs generally doo by experyence find in our selues, that wee bee fast settled heere bylowe, and would fayne bee hild continually in this world: wee hang our heads groueling downeward, and cannot lift them vp. So much the more therefore doth it stand vs on hand, to mark wel the thing that S. Paule sheweth vs in this sentence: name∣ly that wee ought too pray God to renew vs, and too strengthen vs by his holy spirit, and too increace his giftes in vs more and more, that in passing through this world, we may alwayes ame at that mark, and bee heere but as wayfarers, too the end that our Lord may auowe vs for his children, and the heritage be kept for vs, which he hath promi∣sed vs, and bought so deerely for vs by the death and passion of our Lord Iesus Christ.

Now heereuppon S. Paule inferreth, that Iesus Christ may dwel in our harts by fayth. Wherby he sheweth, that without Christ wee shall neuer bee made partakers of any one drop of Gods grace. It is trew, that God hath the whole fulnesse of life, light, rightuousnesse, and all goodnesse in himself. But where is the head welspring? It is vtterly hidden, & we shall neuer be able too come at it of our selues. And if wee think too doo any good by our owne inuentions: it is but a deceyuing of our selues: wee shall but dig pits continually, yea euen such pits as are full of holes, and haue no springs of water in them. Behold,* the thing that men gayne by following their own inuentions, is, that they make much trotting vp and downe, and are neuer the nee∣rer. But our Lord Iesus Christ is a fountayne wherout we may well drawe ou fill: yea and wee neede too make no long windlasses too come vnto him, bycause he offereth himself, saying: All you that are a thirst come vnto me & drink, for whosoeuer drinketh of the liuing wa∣ter that I giue him,* shall haue ynough, both for himselfe, and also too make it flowe 〈…〉 his neighbours. Now then, for as much as our Lorde Iesus Christ doth so 〈…〉 and bountifully offer vs Page  [unnumbered] the benefits which wee receyue of God his father: therfore S. Paule sayth, that he must bee fayne too dwell in our harts, that wee may bee reformed by Gods spirit. And let vs mark, that Iesus Christ hath the full perfection of all goodnesse in him, not onely in respect that he is the euerlasting sonne of God, but also euen in his humane nature which he tooke of vs, and wherein he became our brother, hath he also receyued all fulnesse, according too this saying of the Prophet Esay, that vppon him shall rest the spirit of wisedome,* the spirit of vnder∣standing, the spirit of the feare of God, the spirit of rightuousnesse, and the spirit of strength. And too what end? Is it for his own vse? He had no neede of it: but (as it is sayd in another Text) it was to the end that he should distribute it vntoo all his members, and wee all of vs from the most too the least drawe of his fulnesse, not fearing that fountayne can dry vp. Seeing then that our Lord Iesus Christ dooth by the Gospell dayly communicate and offer vntoo vs the things that wee want, and are needefull for our saluation: it is not for nought that S. Paule hauing shewed that wee can do nothing furtherfoorth than wee bee vphild by Gods grace: addeth, that God must bee fayne too dwell in our harts.

Now vppon these words, wee haue too gather first of all, that God thinking it not ynough too remedie all our defaultes and misdooyngs, and all our wantes, hath voutsafed too giue himselfe too vs in the per∣son of his onely sonne. If it were told vs that wee bee restored too the former state from whence our father Adam fell, that were very much, and therein wee should haue an excellent record of the goodnesse of our God: but he hath not onely giuen vs both heauen and earth, that is too say, all things that are fit for vs both in respect of this flyghtfull lyfe, and of the euerlasting saluation of our foules: but also he hath giuen himselfe vntoo vs. And how is that? Euen by giuing vs our Lord Ie∣sus Christ, as is sayd of him in the nyenth of the Prophet Esay. And all the Scripture also leadeth vs thither, when it sheweth vs how God giueth himselfe vntoo vs, and how wee possesse him, and haue full frui∣tion of him. And theruppon wee must conclude with that which S. Paule sayeth, in the eyght too the Romanes, namely, that inasmuch as Gods sonne who hath all excellence and dignitie in him, is giuen vnto vs? shal any thing else be withhild frō vs: Seeing that God hath graunted himselfe so frfoorth vntoo vs, as too haue his sonne to dwell in vs: shloud we now doubt (of the obteyning) of the things which ee Page  140 knoweth to be for our profite and behoof? Thinke we that▪ they shalbe denyed vs? Yee see then that the thing which we haue to remember in the first place, is, that God hath shewed himself so bountifull too∣wards vs,* that he hath not thought it ynough too put vs in possession of all his goods, but hath voutsafed too become our portion and cup himself, as the scripture sayeth, which vseth such similitudes, to shew, that as a man seeketh his ordinary repast, and is well appayd when he hath meate and drinke, bycause he is refreshed by it: so must we re∣sort vnto God, too haue the trew foode: and wee must hold our selues contented with him, when he giueth himself so vntoo vs. And heere∣withall let vs euer beare in mynd what I haue sayd, namely, that wee neede not too sore in the ayre, nor too make any farre fetches for the possessing of God, bycause he hath knit himself too vs in the person of of our Lord Iesus Christ, and in him we are made partakers both of him and all his benefits. And S. Paul setteth downe the word fayth, too shewe vs how deere the doctrine of the Gospell ought too be vntoo vs. For it is not ynough too haue sayd, that Iesus Christ dwelleth in vs, bycause wee will alwayes haue our replyes (and say) How may that bee? For wee cannot stye vp so high. He is in the glory of hea∣uen, and wee bee crawling heere in the world, subiect to miseries with∣out number. Seeyng then that there is so long a distance betweene him and vs: howe may he dwell in vs? Now S. Paule addeth pur∣posely, that the Gospel is of such power, as too vnite vs to Gods sonne, at leastwyse so wee receyue it by fayth: for it behoueth vs too consider the contentes and substance of the things that are preached vntoo vs, concerning the grace of our Lord Iesus Christ. It is not onely sayd, that it was Gods will too haue him offered in sacrifyzce, too the in∣tent wee myght bee reconcyled, and all our sunnes bee wyped out, so as they myght neuer come too account, and (too bee short,) that full amendes myght bee made for all our sinnes by his death and passion, and that he was rayzed agein for our iustification, as S. Paule sayeth in the fifth too the Romanes: not onely those things are sayd of Iesus Christ, but it is also said, that he is our head, as we haue seene already, & that we liue of his owne substance, as a tree draweth his sap from his roote, and that as the head of a mā sheadeth foorth his power through all the body, so haue wee a secret vnion, and such a one as is woonder∣full and farre aboue the order of nature, bycause that although Iesus Christ bee in heauen, yit he fayleth not too dwell in vs. And soothly if Page  [unnumbered] the Sunne can so cheere vs vp by his beames without fleeting out of his place, insomuch as wee see that euery morning wee bee as it were refreshed and comforted (by his ryzing,) yea and euē sicke folkes feele some cheerlinesse by him though they lye a long in their beddes: see∣ing that a creature which is not onely transitorie and corruptible, but also senslesse and vnmoueable of it self, hath notwithstanding such force and propertie giuen it of God, too reioyce and refreshe vs after that fashion: what shall our Lord Iesus Christ doo, who is ordeyned too haue the fulnesse of the Godhead dwelling in him,* and to shed foorth all the gracious giftes of God his father vppon vs, too deale them vn∣too euery of vs according too his measure, as is sayd of him in the .xiiii. Chapter of Saint Iohn? Then if wee come too Christ with beleefe in him, that is too say, if wee receyue the promises of the Gospell: let vs assure our selues that he will dwell in vs, euen by the meanes of fayth. But hereof wee shall treate more fully in the fifth Chapter. Notwith∣standing, this text could not haue bin vnderstoode, vnlesse I had noted the thing that I haue briefly touched euen now: that is too wit, that Iesus Christ dwelleth in vs by fayth, and that our receyuing of him as he offereth (himselfe with) all his grace by the Gospell, is not alonely too looke vppon him aloofe, or too haue it tolde vs, that he hath offered himselfe in sacrifyze for vs once for all: but too the end he should dwell in vs by the power of his holy spirit, and wee bee knit vntoo him, and feele that he dooth truely execute the office of a head towardes vs, so as we bee members of his body, and liue of his proper substance. That then is the cause why S. Paule added the woord Fayth, when he sayd, that Iesus Christ ought too dwell in vs.

Neuerthelesse wee must not go about too plucke Iesus Christ out of his heauenly glorie, too the intent too bee the neerer vntoo him, as the vnbeeleeuers doo, who will needs dwell euer still beneathe, and transfigure God after theyr owne lyking. And wee see what is doone in the popedome. For there is no God among them, but a sort of puppets which they call Images and remēberances. And moreouer, bycause they see well that those are but dead stocks and stones: they haue made another God, whom they haue shet vp in a box, and too him they resort as too a liuing God. In deede if they had the supper of our Lord Iesus Christ according too his institution, in stead of the abho∣minable Masse which they haue brought in on their owne head, Ie∣sus Christ woulde bee present among them: howbeeit not as they Page  141 imagine. For in the Supper wee doo truely receiue the bodie and blud of our Lord Iesus Christ, too bee fed of him, and of his owne sub∣stance, so as he performeth the thing which he speaketh by his woord, namely,* that he is our spirituall bread and drink, and hath wherwith too satisfie vs too the full. Yea, but yit are the bread and the wyne of the Supper, as pledges that our Lord Iesus giueth himself too vs, to the end wee should seeke him aboue after a spiritall fashyon. So then, Saint Paule sheweth vs, that if wee will haue Iesus Christ ioyned vntoo vs, wee must not bee giuen too our owne beastlinesse, but our harts and mynds must bee lift vp aloft too seeke him aboue, as hath bin declared alredie.* It is trew, that he commeth downe too vs by his woord, and by the power of his holie spirit: but that is too the end that wee should mount vp thither too him.

Howbeeit there is one thing more which wee ought too mark well in Saint Paules saying, that Christ must dwell in our harts. For manie men haue him in their mouth, yea and also in their brayne, as they vnderstand him, and they think themselues well discharged, when they can babble of him: but in the meane while there is no lyuely roote in them. Then is it not ynough for vs to haue some rouing knowledge of Christ, or too gaze at him in the aire, as they say, and too bee able too talk of him with full mouth: but he must haue his seate in our harts within, so as wee bee knit too him vnfeynedly, and with a trew affecti∣on. That is the meanes for vs to be made parttakers of Gods spirit.

And too bee short, wee may see here, that all such as weene too ob∣teyne aught at Gods hand but by the meane of our lord Iesus Christ, doo but raūge and wander in vayne, and shal alwayes fynd themselues emptie: insomuch that when they think themselues too bee full fed, it shalbee but with wynd, that is too say, with vayne and tryfling imagi∣nations, as I told you this morning. They therefore which deuyze patrones of their owne head, and surmyze that God will fauor them for it, and in the meane whyle let Iesus Christ alone: must vnderstand, that they bee so farre of from obteyning their requests, that God dooth rather abhore them, insomuch that when they once swarue from the ankerhold which is set foorth for vs in the scripture, (that is too wit, from hauing our Lord Iesus Christ for their lodesman) the Angels of heauen must needs forsake them, and the Saints also, to whom they behighted themselues, must needs deny them, yea & al of them must set themselues ageinst them as aduersarie parties. For there is no means Page  [unnumbered] for vs too bee matched with the Angels, Prophets, Apostles, and Martirs, till wee haue trew concord with them. And how shall wee haue that? By fayth: that is too say, according too the pure doctrine of the Gospell. Not that it is ynough for vs too haue our eares beaten with it: but that wee must receyue the things that God promiseth vs there, so as wee abhorre all that euer Satan can set afore vs, and haue none other guyde than only our Lord Iesus Christ, who hath told vs, that he is the lyght of the world,* and that whosoeuer walketh in him, cannot stray. But by the way wee must serche and examin our selues narrowly, that wee take not a vayne cloke vnder the name of Iesus Christ, as we see manie doo now adayes, which protest themselues to bee Gospellers. And euen among our selues, what a number are there which will shew signes greate ynough, that they bee willing too fol∣lowe Gods woord? But they think too discharge themselues with petie tryfles: and when they haue once giuen eare (too the doctrine) and spoken a fewe good words: then, too their seeming, God is hygh∣ly bound vntoo them. But heere it is shewed vs, that wee haue none acquayntance at all with him, vntill Iesus Christ dwell in our harts. And that is the verye meane wherby too bee filled with his benefits, and too haue his holie spirit dwelling and reigning in vs. For vnlesse we feare God, and walk in his obedience, so as wee behaue our selues according too his will, and all our wits and desyres ame thitherward: it is a token that wee liue after the flesh,* as Saint Paule sayeth too the Galathians. Therefore wee must shewe by our outward fruites, that wee bee truly ioyned too Iesus Christ,* and that he hath made vs parta∣kers of his holie spirit.

Now hereuppon Saint Paule addeth further, that vvee must bee rooted and grounded in charitie. This woord Charitie or loue, may bee taken as well for the loue that God beareth vs, as for the mu∣tuall loue which wee ought to beare one towardes another. But the verie trew and natiue sense of Saint Paule heere, is, that he ment too haue vs knit toogither. For as he spake heeretoofore of Gods free loue towardes vs, so now he sheweth how fayth importeth that wee should haue brotherly loue one towards another. And the holy Scrip∣ture bringeth vs alwayes to that poynt: insomuch that when there is any speaking of the full perfection of good lyfe: fayth goeth before, & then comes Charitie next vntoo it. For the end that wee must begin at, is the vtter abacing of our selues, too the end wee may seeke all our Page  142 welfare at Gods hand, and that our seeking of it there, may bee, first too acknowledge that he giueth vs all things in the person of his onely sonne: and secondly, too call vppon him too settle our fayth in him, too flee wholly for refuge too his mercy, and after as euery man feeleth himfelf bound vntoo him, (as all of vs are exceedingly,) so to acknow∣ledge by our thanksgiuing, that he is our rightuousnes, our holynes, our victorye, our ioy, our glorie, and our happinesse, that wee may performe the thig which is sayd in Ieremie, whosoeuer glorieth, let him glorie in the Lord,* bycause it is he that woorketh ryghtuousnesse, Iustice, and mercy. Yee see then that wee must rest wholly vppon our God, or else all the vertuousnesse which wee seeme too haue before men, shalbee but filth and dung. Now then, haue wee fayth? Chari∣tie must be matched with it, and wee must liue euenly and vpryghtly one with another, & euery of vs acknowledge thus, I was not created for my self, nor to seeke myne own priuate benefyte & commoditie, but for the benefite of my neighbours also. And therfore let vs absteyne frō al guile, wrong, outrage, and malice, and indeuer to serue eche others turne, according too our abilitie. That is the perfection of good lyfe.

Saint Paule hauing spoken alredie of fayth, addeth now, that wee must also bee grounded in Charitie: as if he should say, wee must not haue alonly some fit (or pang of loue) as manie men haue: but there must bee a stedfastnesse and euen holding on in it all our lyfe long. For a thing may giue a greate blaze, and yit quayle anon after. Behold, a huge building may be ouerthrowen with one blast of wynd, if it be not set vppon a sure foundaton. Also a man may set vp a greate tree: but if the roote bee cut asunder, what will come of it? It must needes fall downe out of hand, or else if it haue some hold a the one ende for a tyme, it must needes wither at the heate of the Sunne. Euen so is it with vs, when we haue a greate zeale which is not well rooted in our hartes: for it wilbee but as a maske or a gay showe before men. That is the cause why Saint Paule exhorteth vs purposely too bee groun∣ded in charitie, too the intent too correct the vyce of louing, by startes or fits (as they say) which is too common a thing. Neuerthelesse, it were a fondnesse too conclu•• therefore, that our saluation were grounded vppon our good woorkes. For heere he treateth not of the cause of our saluation, but nly how wee ought too rule our lyfe. A∣gein, wee knowe there is but one onely foundation of the Church, as S. Paule sayeth in the third chapter of the second Epistle too Cori∣thians, Page  [unnumbered] and as wee haue seene alredie in this selfsame Epistle, and spe∣cially as Iesus Christ himself declareth in the sixteenth chapter of Saint Matthew. And which is that foundation? It is Iesus Christ, and no man can lay any other than that which the Prophetes and A∣postles haue layd, and wee must hold our selues too it at this day, and euen vntoo the worldes end. And yit may wee not ceasse too bee roo∣ted in loue by meanes of our Lord Iesus Christ. When men demaund what is the cause of our saluation, by what meane wee be brought into his fauour, and how wee may come vntoo hym, and cal vpon hym with full trust:* (wee must answeare) it is, bycause our Lord Iesus Christe is giuen vs, and it is he in whom the fulnesse of the Godhead dwelleth. Now wee bee yit farre of from such perfection: Howbeit, forasmuch as wee bee grounded vpon our Lord Iesus Christ, wee haue a steady∣nesse that continueth all our life. So then let vs marke, that Saint Paule exhorteth vs here too true stedfastnesse, too the intent we should neuer bee weery of wel doing, though wee haue neuer so many occasi∣ons too thrust vs aside. For euen such as are best mynded (too see too) doo neuerthelesse take pritch at it, when men shewe themselues vnkind towardes them: and when they consider, that for their well dooing men wyll requite them with all euyll, they bee sore greeued at it, and be∣come quite out of hart. And that is a cause why so fewe continue in the feare of God, and walke as they ought too doo: for it seemeth too them, that they haue lost their labour in doing well. Agein, there fo∣loweth this inconuenience also, that the wicked take occasion too rush out so much more intoo all maner of harmfulnesse: so that if a man liue in simplicitie, and beare the wrongs paciently that are doone vntoo hym: all men wyll bee dooing with him, and euery man would eate hym vp, as if he were a sheepe among an hundred Woolues. Such as are easily intreated too giue of their goodes too their neighbours, seeme too bee set out too the spoyle, and euery man wyll bee catching al that euer he can from them. When men see so leade dealings in th world, it maketh euery man too take out his owne share, as men say. But contrariwise it is told vs heere, that if wee bee rooted and grounded in charitie, although men thrust vs aside, and discorage vs by their vnthankfulnesse: yit wyll wee not ceasse too hold out in well dooing, bicause wee haue a good and deepe roote.

And S. Paule hauing spoken so of the good will that wee ought 〈◊〉 beare towardes our neyghbours, returneth too his matter of fayth. Page  143 And surely the cheef poynt for vs, is too knowe that God auoweth vs for his children, and that our sinnes are forgiuen vs, so as he taketh vs for ryghtuous. If wee haue not that, how can we fynd any sweetnesse in seruing and honoring of him? And how or with what corage can we pray to him? What prayse can wee offer to him? Too bee short, it standeth vs on hand too bee certified of the infinite good that is doone vs by our Lord Iesus Christ, too the end wee may bee rauished in loue with our God, and inflamed with a ryght zeale to obey him, and holde our selues short vnder his awe, too honor him with all our thoughtes, with all our affections, and with all our hartes. The cause then why S. Paule contineweth this matter, is to prynt it in the myndes of the faythfull, where their saluation lyeth, and how they may bee sure of it. And so much the more doo wee see what the wretchednesse of the world is. For there is none other assurance, than the calling vppon God on this groundworke, so as a man bee lifted vp by fayth too offer himself into his presence. But on the contrary part, we see how men haue gone too worke. And in deede they haue not bin ashamed in the popedome, too say, that wee ought too bee alwayes doubtfull of our saluation, and that wee cannot haue a sure beleefe of it. And it is not the ignorant sort which say so: but all the doctors of their Sinagoges hold it for an article of their fayth, that wee ought too bee alwayes in a mamering and doubtfull. And that is euen as much as too cast men vp at aduen∣ture vntoo Satan. So much the more therfore behoueth it vs too beare well in mynd the doctrine that is conteyned heere, that is to wit, that when wee once knowe the loue that God beareth vs in our Lord Iesus Christ, and in such wyse as he hath witnessed it too vs by his death and passion, and dooth still dayly warrant it by his Gospell: wee haue the perfect knowledge, and such as shall giue vs full happinesse. And that is the cause why he sayeth, too the end yee may learne with all the Sayncts, what his heyght, & depth, and wydnesse, and thick∣nesse is: that yee may knowe all this, sayeth he. How now? Ment S. Paule too make vs Carpenters or Masons, that he speaketh heere as of the heygth of a buylding? Intendes he to teach vs th science of Masourie, that he speaketh thus of wydenesse? No: but he openeth his owne meaning by & by, saying: It is the Loue that hath bin shevved vs in Iesus Christ. Therfore when wee once knowe how well God loueth vs, and how inestimable the mercie is, wherof he hath giuen vs so good a pledge, in the person of his only sonne: wee haue all that can Page  [unnumbered] bee, sayeth he. Let vs inforce all our wittes both vpward and downe∣ward, let vs stye aboue the cloudes, let vs pierce too the Centre of the earth, let vs go downe too the bottoms of the deepes, and let vs rake ouer sea and land, yit shall there bee nothing but vanitie and leazing. When wee haue ended all our wyndlasses, surely weee may perad∣uenture discourse lyke folk that are verie suttle, & haue learned the vn∣derstanding of manie things: but yit shall there bee no substance in vs. But when wee once knowe that God is our father in Iesus Christ, and how that commeth too passe, and by what meanes wee obteyne so greate a benefyte: that is the thing (sayeth he) whertoo wee must hold vs. For it is the trew measure of our fayth, they bee the bondes of it, and whosoeuer couers too knowe more, dooth but go astray, as though he would wilfully enter intoo a maze, wheroutof he could ne∣uer wynd himself agein. Wherfore let vs hold our selues contented with Iesus Christ as he is, and as he vttereth himself by his Gospell, and then shall wee bee filled full, sayeth S. Paule. With what filling? Euen with the fulnesse of God, sayeth he. As if he should say, Wret∣ched folke as wee bee, there is none of vs but he coueteth knowledge, and it is a naturall desyre which burneth all men. Insomuch that wee shall see many which consume all their goods, and spare nother their bodyes nor their lyues. And what too doo? Too get knowledge. Wee shall see othersome trot from place too place. And what too doo? Too get knowledge. All men then haue that desyre, some more, and some lesse, and there is not so ignorant a person, which would not faine come too knowledge. Now then, seeyng wee bee all inclyned thertoo of nature: let vs learne which is the trew knowledge. In deede there are sciences which are behoofefull too passe this world withall, and requi∣site it is that men should haue artes and trades, and also the liberall sciences, as they be termed. All these are good, if they bee referred too their dew endes. But yit notwithstanding wee must come too the Science of Sciences: for that is it which will neuer fayle. For when a man shall haue trotted all the earth ouer, (about other Sciences,) what profyt wyll come of it? It will bee but vanitie, as I sayde afore. Wherefore let vs not seeke any thing out of Iesus Christ, but let vs rest wholly there, and not swarue any whit at all from him.

And heere wee see first of all, the thing that I haue touched alrea∣dy heeretoofore: namely, that if wee knewe wel what our Lord Iesus Page  144 Christ is, wee would easly giue ouer all other things, according as it is sayd in the third too the Philippians,* that S. Paule counted all his former high esteemed things as losse and dung, to the end he might hold himself too Iesus Christ, and that he went forewarde therein all the tyme of his life, yea and did as it were hold his armes stretched out too catch it, as he himself protesteth. Yee see then, that the thing which wee haue too marke heere, is, that when wee once knowe that Iesus Christ, and the benefits that he bringeth vs, namely that wee may resort too God in his name with full trust: we shall no more haue our mynds so vexed with vnquietnesse, but wee shal stand fast and stedy in pure simplicitie of the Gospell. Howbeit, for the better vnderstan∣ding hereof, let vs see how men speake of our Lord Iesus Christ. In deede they wyll call hym the sonne of God, and they wyll take hym for theyr Redeemer: but in the meane whyle they wyl make a doale of his offices, and part them here and there as a pray. The holy Scripture calleth him the onely Priest, bycause it belongeth alonly vntoo him too reconcyle vs vntoo God. And how many doo now adayes take that vppon them? Euen as many Moonks, Freers, Masse Priests, and Hipocrites as bee in the world: for they sell their prayers, as though Iesus Christ had resigned his place vnto them. And vnder pretence therof, they deuoure all the wealth of the world, and in the meane whyle Iesus Christ is thrust a great way of. Agein, it is sayd, that by the one sacrifize which he offered once for all, he hath gotten vs grace and saluation, yea euen for euer, so that his death and passion appeaseth Gods wrath, bycause that therby we haue full rightuousnesse. But yit for all this, the Masse is brought in, as though the sacrifize that Iesus Christ offered in his owne person, were but a bare figure, and that the thing which the Papists haue inuented, were the only meane (as they say) too purchace fauour at Gods hand. For the whoremaster goes thither too pay his raunsome: so does the drunkard, the wicked swea∣rer, the looce liuer, the piller and poller, the quareller, the glutton, the eater vp of his neighbour: all these resort too the Masse for their raunsome, and beare them selues on hand, that God is well appayd.

And in the meane whyle what becommeth of the sacrifize of Iesus Christ? Tush, that must be thrust vnder foote. Agein, it is sayd, that Iesus Christ is our onely Aduocate, which maketh intercession for vs vntoo God his father. Yit notwithstanding, in the Popedome there are whole warreins and Swarmes of Patrons, which euery man Page  [unnumbered] hath forged of his owne brayne. And they bee not contented alonly with the Apostles and Martirs: but they must also haue their S. Chri∣stopher, & their S. Catherin, which are night Ghosts that were neuer borne in the world: but looke whatsoeuer the diuell did put in their heads,* it was receyued. Agein, it is sayd, that Iesus Christ is our rightuousnesse. But what for that? Yit neuerthelesse euery man takes vpon him too make attonement with God by his owne woorks. And therevppon sprang the ground worke of merits and of all the rest. Agein,* it is sayd that Iesus Christ is our loadestarre, and the way wherby wee must come too God his father, and finally too euerlasting saluation: and yit will they needes haue whatsoeuer commeth in their owne imagination. O (say they) mee thinks this is good, and seeing I doo it of a good intent, why should not God take it in good worth? Thus they make God a pretie fellow to stoope at their appoyntment, and as a Iacke to creepe vnder their sleeue (at their pleasure.) See how proud men are, whē they once turne away from Gods pure truth vnto their own foolish inuentions, so as there is not so pure and sound a thing, which they corrupt not. What is then the cause that all things haue bin turned vpside down in Poperie? It is for that they knew not Iesus Christ for such a one as he is set forth in the Gospell, but onely haue made, I wote not what, a dead and vnauaylable thing of him, and kept no more but the bare name and titles of him.

Then is it not ynough for vs to say, we beleeue in Iesus Christ, and that wee take him for our redeemer: but wee must also knowe to wha purpose hee is sent vs of God his father, and what benefts hee hath brought vs. When wee once knowe all this: then shall wee bee filled with him. We shal not neede to go bibbling heere and there, nor to lap or licke vp mudde and stinking water one where or other, for want of meate ad drink that is fit for vs. Our Lord Iesus Christ hath told vs, that wee shall fynd both meate and drinke in him, so as wee may throughly satisfye our selues both with meate and drink that is good & wholsome for the nurrishmēt of our soules. So much the more therfore behoueth it vs to go thither: & when we reade the holy scripture, let the mark that we looke at, be alwayes too know what the grace of God is which he hath shewed vs in the person of his onely sonne: and when wee once know it, wee shall haue profited very well in Gods 〈◊〉, & may well cast away all other things as filth & poyson. In deede 〈◊〉 doctrines will haue some sauor at the first syght, for wee see 〈…〉Page  145 doo alwayes follow that which Saint Paul speakes in the second too the Colossians, that is to wit, that bycause theyr dreames and dotages haue some showe of wisdome,* therfore they giue themselues vntoo them. But we must vnderstand that there is no trew foode, but that which God giueth vs, and that it is his will to prouide vs of all things which he knoweth too bee needfull for vs. Will wee then bee filled without him? Thinke we, that if wee seeke too the Uirgin marie, and call hir the moother of grace (after the maner of the papists, which doo commonly giue hir that title): wee shall there fynd the things that we want: Surely it is all one as if we would go seeke foode, & snatch here a bit & there a bit by morsels & gobbets. But Iesus Christ sayth, Come vnto me, & ye shal fynd all that you haue neede of: according wherunto, it is sayd, that al the treasures of wisdome & knowledge are inclozed in him.* Thē if we once know the loue that God his father hath shewed vs in his person: we shal haue the fulnesse of all wisdome, we shal no more neede too trot heere and there, wee shall no more neede too go vp nor downe, nor farre, nor wyde: for wee shall haue wholly whatsoeuer is good and requisite for our welfare. When wee heare this, must it not needes be, that wee be as good as bewitched, if wee beleeue not God, too rest wholly vppon his sayings, without flinging abrode after that fashyon, and without making of so manie wyndlasss to trubble and tyre our selues too no purpose? And that it is which is ment in the Prophet Esay, where he sayeth, Go tread in your owne wayes: and when yee haue compassed and gone about both heauen and earth,* what shall it boote yee? Then if wee bee so blynd as too stray out heere and there, and cannot keepe the way that is shewed vs, but will needs go dig pits at our own pleasure,* and forsake the spring of liuing water, which God hath set before our eyes: it is good reason that wee should bee both a∣hungered and athirst, & ly broyling in our owne foolish lusts, to trot to and fro like women with chyld, which long too eate char Coales, and had leuer drink the water of some puddle, thā the water of a fayre clere spring. If wee fall too gadding in that maner after Satan, and bee ∣gre of his illuzions and trumperie, and cannot content our selues with the good that our Lord setteth afore vs: must it not needes be, that we be worse than bewitched, and that the diuel hath made vs stark beasts? So then, let vs vndestand first of all, that all things which men can bring vs of their owne behalf, are but tryfles or rather illuzions of Sa∣tan. And secondly, that when the oriture etteth Iesus Christ afore Page  [unnumbered] vs, it is not for nought told vs, that wee must rest wholly vppon him, and hold vs too him, when wee be come thither, bycause he hath the fulnesse of all goodnesse in him, and therfore wee neede not too bee ha∣led too and fro, or too take too greate peyne in seeking the things that are needfull for vs, nor finally too wander any more abrode, but to stick wholly vntoo him, as too our perfect and souere in blisfulnesse.

Thirdly, we must consider in Iesus Christ, the infinit grace that is brought vs, and imparted too vs by his meanes. And Saint Paule in saying heere the Loue, sendeth vs too the wellspring. For though wee knew all Gods secretes, and were priuie too the rest of his will: what were it, till we were perswaded of the loue that he beareth vs? For wee see that when any man speakes of God too the vnbeleeuers, it dooth so greeue them, that they wote not where too become, and it is but a matter of heauinesse too them, bycause they conceyue nothing but rigour in him. But when his grace and fatherly goodnesse is vt∣tered vntoo vs, as he hath shewed it in our Lord Iesus Christ: then come we boldly vntoo him, and wee bee no more afrayd of his seate, but haue familiar accesse to it: and therin he dooth vs an inestimable good turne, such a one as surmounteth all that euer wee can wish in this world, according as S. Paule setteth vs it downe heere. And so yee see what this saying, the Loue of God, importeth. And he sayeth purposely, in Iesus Christ, bycause that without him wee could not bee beloued of God. For let Iesus Christ bee (as yee would say) let alone, and let vs put the cace that wee thought vppon God, and that wee did apply all our wits theraboutes, and therwithall that wee bethought vs of our selues also: what were all this? Wee shall fynd such an in∣comprehensible maiestie in God, as shall swallowe vs vp lyke a deepe gulf. Agein, his Iustice is so perfect, as it wilbee much lesse possible for vs to stand before it, than for Snowe to abyde ageinst the Sunne. Now when wee come too our selues, wee must needes see a sea of all miserie before vs, that is to wit, that our senses are blynd, that wee bee vtterly vnfurnished of all vertew, that wee bee giuen too all euill, that wee bee hild downe vnder the thraldome of sin, and that nothing in vs (no not euen of the excellentest thinges that wee thinke our selues too haue) which is not lothsome before God. Therfore when we once know these twoo things, that is too wit, when we haue once conceyued a terrour of Gods maiestie, and bee drowned in despayre at the syght of our selues, then let vs afterward go seeke al the meanes Page  146 that can bee, and let vs call the Angels too help, and they will come neuer the neerer vs for all that. Let vs take the Hee sayntes and Shee sayntes, aud by what tytle can they belong too vs? Nay rather wee bee separated from them. And agein, will God who is the foun∣tayne of all purenesse receyue vs, vs (I say) which are so wretched cre∣atures? Thinke we that he will intermeddle himself with our filth and vnclennesse? No: but contrariwyse he must needes abhorre vs. So then, it is not without cause that Saint Paule hauing spoken heere ex∣presly of Gods Loue, to the intent wee myght know that he dooth iust∣ly hate vs, so long as he beholdeth vs in our owne naturall state: ad∣deth immediatly, that the same loue is grounded vpon the bludshed of our Lord Iesus Christ, too the end that all our spottes should bee scoured away thereby, and wee bee so clenzed, as wee myght not bring anye thing hensfoorth before God, which myght displease him

And by that meanes are wee discharged and quit of all our dettes, bycause he hath yeelded perfect obedience. Lo how our stubbornnesse is doone away, and shall neuer come too account, bycause he offered himself in sacrifice for vs. Lo how wee be set free from all thraldome, bycause he hath ouercome both the diuell and death, and sinne, too our benefite. Lo how wee at this day inioy his victory, and make our try∣umphe of it. And so wee see briefly, how God hath loued vs in Iesus Christ. Agein, when we know this, we must vnderstand also, that we must not make long fetches any more, ne trubble our selues in vayne, in stying vpward by our fond speculations, or in going downeward by our fantasticall imaginations, and in the meane whyle let Iesus Christ alone, as though he were too farre of from vs. For he commeth neere vs, yea he dwelleth in vs, he will haue vs knit ntoo him, so as wee should bee his body, and lyuely members of his owne substance. Sith it is so, let vs learne to hold our selues in such wise vntoo him, as nothing may turne vs from him. And although we may be tempted by our owne fancies, too shrinke away from him: yit let vs cut of all such occasion, and get the vpper hand by fayth. And when wee haue so doone, let vs vnderstand, that God will still shewe himselfe a louing, and kindharted father towardes vs, and that Iesus Christ also will doo the dewtie of a shepherd towardes vs, if wee herken too his voyce, and rest wholly vppon him, not doubting but that he will preserue vs, so as wee shallbee safe vnder his protection, as he himself protesteth, saying, Page  [unnumbered] that he will receyue all that are giuen him of God his father,* and so keepe them when he hath receyued them, as none of them shall perish, but he will rayze him vp agein, at the last day.

Now let vs cast our selues downe before the maiestie of our good God, with acknowledgment of our faultes, praying him too make vs perceiue them more and more, that our miseries may driue vs to seeke the good things that he offereth vs, euen with trew singlenesse of fayth, and that we may not wander here & there, in our owne fond speculati∣ons and gazes, but abyde so settled vppon his word, as it may bee our only leaning stocke, and take such roote in our hartes, as it may not on∣ly make vs too walke in all purenesse before him, and too eeke his mercie in the person of his only sonne, but also make vs to liue vpright∣ly, and indifferently one with another, and that we may so profit therin, as wee may abhorre al the abuses of the world, assuring our selues that seeing wee haue Iesus Christ for our guyde, wee cannot fayle to come thither, as he is ascended alredy in our behalf, that is too wit, too the e∣uerlasting heritage which he hath purchased for vs, according as it is his will, that wee beeing made his fellowheires, should in the end come too the same perfection wherintoo he is gone afore vs. That it may please him too graunt this grace, not onely too vs, but also to all peo∣ple. &c.

The .xxi. Sermon, which is the sixth vppon the third Chapter, and the first vppon the fourth.

20. Novv vntoo him that is able too doo most abundantly aboue all things that wee aske or thinke, according too the power that vvorketh in vs,

21. Bee prayse in the Church through Iesus Christ throughout all generations for euer more. Amen.

The fourth Chapter.

1. I therefore vvhich am a prisoner in our Lord, vvarne you too Page  147 vvalkeas becommeth you in the calling vvhervvith yee be called.

2. VVith all lovvelinesse and meekenesse, vvith pacience. &c.

WHen God hath doone vs neuer so much good, although wee feele our selues behol∣den vntoo him, and bound too yeelde him his dew praise: yit can wee not discharge our selues of our dewtie with a free hart, except wee hope that he will holde on still hereafter, and shewe himselfe the same too the ende, which wee haue knowen him too bee heretoofore. Now, without fayth we cannot hope, and so is it vnpossible that God should haue his dew praise at mens handes. Put the cace wee had found Gods helpe at our neede, and whatsoeuer wee could wishe: and in the meane whyle wee thinke it was but a sodein brayd which is vanished away out of hand, and that hensfoorth wee may looke for no more at his hand, and that it shalbee in vayne for vs too requyre it: it is certeyne, that wee would come no more at him, bycause wee should bee pinched and pressed with heauinesse and griefe. Therefore, that wee may holde out in praysing Gods name, wee must cupple these twoo things toogither: that is too wit, that on the one syde wee bethinke vs of the good that wee haue receyued of him, and that on the other syde wee hope still that he will alwayes bee stedfast and constant in his pur∣pose vntoo the end, and neuer ceasse to doo vs good. And that is the or∣der which S. Paule keepeth heere, saying, Prayse and glory be yeel∣ded vntoo God. And how? vntoo him (sayeth he) vvhich is able too doo all things, beyond our asking, yea and beyond our thinking too. Now it is certein, that heere Saint Paule had an eye backe too that which wee haue seene before, which is, that God did then vtter the infinite riches of his goodnesse, when he voutsafed too haue the Gos∣pell (which is the message of saluation) published throughout the world. Neuerthelesse, he quickeneth vp the faythful, to discharge them∣selues cheerefully, by telling them that they must not mistrust that God will withdrawe his hand, as though his shewing of himselfe li∣berall towardes them, had bin but for once and away. His meaning then is, that God will go through with his woorke, and therefore that Page  [unnumbered] wee may giue our selues too the praysing of his name without any stop, as well in respect of the good that wee haue receyued already, as vp∣pon beleefe that he will holde on without euer fayling vs. That is the effect of the matter which wee haue too gather vppon this streyne.

Now his saying is, Let glory bee yeelded to God in the Church: wherby he sheweth, that it is not ynough that euery of vs doo priuate∣ly acknowledge the benefites that God hath bestowed vppon him: but that wee must also ioyne toogither in that mynd. For if the body bee well at ease, surely no member will bee so addicted too it selfe, but that it will haue regard of all the rest. Now then, when as God hath made his Church too prosper, so as the number thereof is multiplyed, and it is also increaced in spirituall giftes: not onely they that haue recey∣ued those benefites, must inforce themselues too praise God: but also all the rest of the body, for so much as it becommeth vs too bee knit to∣gither with the holy bond, whereof S. Paule will speake heereafter. That then is the cause why he speaketh purposely of the Church: as if he should say, that seeyng God dooth so vtter his goodnesse, euery man ought too bee inflamed too glorify him, bycause that looke whatsoeuer he dooeth too our neyghbours, wee ought too take it as doone too our selues. And verily he had an eye heere too that which myght hinder the praysing of God with one trew consent. For the Iewes had al∣wayes a certeine disdeyne ageinst the Gentiles, bycause they thought it was meete that themselues should keepe stil the birthryght, and that they had wrong, if any of those were made equall with them, which had bin vtterly shaken of afore. And likewyse the Gentyles percey∣uing the Iewes too bee giuen too foolish bragging of the lawe, which had taken an end, myght haue despyzed them on the other syde. Saint Paule therefore telleth them here, that inasmuch as God had called them as brethren too the heritaunce of saluation, it became them too agree in such wise in the praysing of him, as his prayse myght sound euerywhere.

And he sayeth, Let prayze bee yelded too God, yea euen for euer∣more, from world too world, and by Iesus Christ. Forsomuch as Saint Paule hath treated hertoofore of the grace that serued to guyde the faythfull too the kingdome of heauen: therfore dooth he of good ryght say, that men must not only prayse God for once and away, but also that there is cause too continewe the same, not the lyfe of one man but throughout all ages. Yea and moreouer S. Paule ment to doo Page  148 vs too vnderstand, that the Churche should bee preserued for euer, and that there should alwayes remayne some seede of it in the world, so as the record of sauation should neuer bee frutelesse, but there should bee some people still too bee gathered toogither, which should bee a loo∣king glasse, wherin too behold the inestimable mercie which our God sheweth vs in our Lord Iesus Christ. So then, wee see Saynt Pauls meaning, wherby wee ought too bee assured, that although Satan practyze all that is possible, too wype away the remembering of God, and too make hauocke in the Church, as the grace of our Lord Iesus Christ may bee as good as defaced: yit will God ouercome all by his power, so as the Church shall continew still, and the death and passion of our Lord Iesus Christ shall bee auaylable, notwithstanding the cru∣eltie of Tyrantes, and the practyzes of houshold enemyes, and of such as would ouerthrowe the whole buylding. And that also is the cause why Saynt Paule setteth vs downe the name of Iesus Christ. It is trew, that wee cannot yeeld God thankes but by that meane: for it is certeyne that wee should not bee meete too receyue one drop of good, but by the meane of our Lord Iesus Christ,* bycause wee bee enemyes too God by nature. Insomuch that although he bee freeharted euen too the vnbeleeuers: yit shall the same turne too their greater condem∣nation, so that they bee dubble accursed, in beeing partakers of Gods blissynges:* for too hym that is vncleane, all thyngs are vncleane, as sayth Saint Paule in an other place. And therefore wee can neuer giue God thankes but in the name of Iesus Christ, by whom wee re∣reyue all good things. Howbeit, Saint Paules meanyng was too doo vs too vnderstand in this Text, that Gods once shewing of hym selfe too bee a father too all men in the person of his onely sonne, by or∣deinyng hym too make the attonement, was too last for euer, and too continue world without end, insomuch that wee must assure our selues (as I sayd afore) that God will mainteyne his truth in this world, and by that meanes haue alwayes some flocke gathered vnto him, among whom his name shalbee called vppon.

But let vs come now too the second part. He sheweth that it is not ynough for vs too haue knowne Gods goodnesse by experience for the tyme past: vnlesse we be strengthened in such hope by it, as we doubt not but that God will shewe himself mercifull toowards vs euer after. And that is the cause why he sayeth, Too him that is able too doo al things exceeding abundantly, aboue our asking or thinking. Now Page  [unnumbered] wee see heere how S. Paule warneth vs, that if God haue vsed great mercifulnesse towards vs heeretoofore, wee must not doubt of his con∣tinuing of the same, bycause he is not lyke mortal men, which be fickle mynded: nother must wee bee afrayd that his fountayne will drye, when he shal haue bestowed great benefits vppon vs already. Why so? for he hath such store of them, that the more wee take to our conten∣tation, the greater abundaunce hath he still. Wee see then the meane too dispoze our selues too acknowledge the good that God hath done vs, at leastwyse too honour him for them, is too bee alwayes fully re∣solued and perswaded that wee shall euer fynd him a father, bycause he hath promised so too bee.

And wheras he speaketh of Gods power or myght: wee must not imagin it too bee an ydle power, as the worldlings doo. They will graunt well ynough that God is almyghtie: but yit in the meane whyle they trust neuer the more in him. Too their seeming he takes his rest in heauen, or else he dispozeth not things in this world, but (at starts) when he bethinks himself of them. But contrariwyse, when God speaks vntoo vs of his power, it is, too the end wee should make it our sheeld ageinst al the distresses, hinderances, and lets, which the diuell casteth before our eyes, too make vs distrust Gods promises. Lyke as when it is sayd, that Abraham beleued that God is almightie: it was not generally and confuzedly, but with an applying of Gods infi∣nite power too the thing that had bin promised him: which was, that in his seede all the nations of the earth should bee blissed. Abraham looking vppon himself, sawe he was a man as fast decaying as myght bee: He drooped, and (as yee would say) dragged his wings after him: too bee short, he was hard at deathes doore: His wyfe had bin barrein all hir lyfe long: she was past the age of teeming anie more, insomuch that the thing which was told him by Gods own mouth, seemed vtter∣ly vnpossible. And why is it that Abraham dooth neuerthelesse be∣leeue assuredly,* that God will keepe promis with him? It is, bycause he had an eye too his infinite power, which is able too ouercome all lets and hinderances. Wee see then how Abraham applyed Gods power too his owne behoof, assuring himself, that Gods truthe and his power are things inseparable.* After that maner also dooth S. Paule say, that he whom he hath put in trust with his gage, is myghtie. For he sawe himself too bee a poore and frayle creature, he sawe how hee was hunted at all hands, (he sawe) that he was shaken of and despyzed, Page  149 (he sawe) how the doctrine that he bare abrode, was hated and abhor∣red, he sawe how his lyfe hung as by a threede, and he had such a num∣ber of trubbles, as were able too ouerwhelm him, yea and finally too confound him and dispatch him quyte. And how ouercame he all this, & abode inuincible, yea & euen tryumphed ouer them, being in prison, & seing himself at deathes doore? How could he haue such victory ageinst so manie temptations and incounters? It was by knowing that God was the keper of his soule, whervpon he conceyued his infinite power, which is able too performe all that he appoynteth. Yee see then, that Saint Paule imagined not a power in the aire, but knew that God wrought so in him, as he should neuer fall but vppon his feete (as men say.) And why? For he had promis of it. Wherfore let vs learne to put this lesson as well in vre, as it is common in the scripture. The repeting therof so oft is not for nought. For wee see the frowardnesse that is in our selues, insomuch that although God haue promised too keepe vs, yit if neuer so little a blast of wynd come vppon vs, wee bee dismayed by and by. And howso? Surely if wee yeelded God the ho∣nour that hee deserueth, and acknowledge him too bee almightie (in deede:) we should boldly defye all that seemeth too bee ageinst vs. And why? For if God bee on our syde, who shalbee ageinst vs, sayeth Saint Paule?* And wee see also how Dauid defyeth, both all his enemyes, and also death, saying: though I should walk in the shadowe of death, & within the graue:* yit should I be safe, bycause God is my shepherd, and hathe his sheephooke too guide mee withal. And in a∣nother place he saith agein.* Though I were beset round about with a million of enemyes, yit should I not shrink. And why? for God is with mee. Were wee then as well perswaded of Gods almyghti∣nesse, as wee confesse it with our mouth: surely wee should not bee so soone dismayd, nother should our fayth bee shaken at euery brunt. So then let vs conclude, that inasmuch as wee bee so weake, and euery thing of nothing, will scare vs out of our wits: there is nothing but hipocrisie in vs, and our confessing that God is almightie, commeth not from our hart. So much the more therfore behoueth it vs too put this lesson in vre, and too exercyze it nyght and day, that wee may taste it throughly. And that is the cause why it is so often mentioned vn∣too vs, for wee take it not too bee a matter of so greate importance. But when our Lord dooth so often tell vs, that he hath al things in his hand, that he disposeth of his creatures (as he listeth himself), and that Page  [unnumbered] nothing is able too let his determination, nor the performance of the things that hee hath promised: it is too the end that wee should yeeld vntoo his promises, that which they behyght vs: that is too say, when∣soeuer wee shall seeme too bee at the poynt of vndooing, and the diuell shall giue vs so whole skirmishes, as we shall see no way too escape, nor any end of our distresses: let vs think thus with our selues, who is he that hath spoken it? Who is he that hath promised too bee our de∣fender? Is it not he that is almyghtie? Could not he with one blast blowe away all that the diuell practizeth? Though all the world were ageinst vs, what could it doo, so our Lord voutsafed too maynteyne our part? After that maner must wee aduaunce Gods power aboue the whole world, that wee may rest vppon his promises. For (as I haue sayd alredye) Gods woord, and the power of bringing too passe the things conteyned therin, are things vnseparable. And wee blas∣pheme God, as oft as wee bee in dout and perplexitie, whether he bee able too performe his defending of vs or no. For sith he hath promi∣sed it: out of all doubt he wyll perfourme it, or else should his power bee shortened, which is impossible. And so yee see why Saint Paule hath spoken heere of Gods power. And that also is the cause why the prophets, in speaking of the succour which God hath alwayes in re∣dinesse, too reskew the faythfull withall from death, when they bee plundged in it,* haue commonly sayd, Is it not the God which hath made both heauen and earth? This should seeme too bee farre fet. For the cace is, that I am in some trubble, and haue none other refuge, but onely Gods pitying of mee, whereof I seeke too bee assured: and he telleth mee, I haue created heauen and earth. He seemeth too send mee very farre, and too make mee leape out of Gods blissing intoo the warme sunne. But Gods telling of vs that he created heauen and earth, is too doo vs too vnderstand, that it belonges too him also too rule his creatures, that he hath a care of vs as of his children, that there is not any thing aboue or beneath, which is not subiect too him, and that he turneth all things round about, & too and fro as he listeth. Sayeth he so? Then must wee out of hand apply it too our benefyte, so as wee doubt not but that his power hath such preheminence, as he is well able too roote out whatsoeuer seemeth too bee ageinst vs. And so yee see how yee must alwayes haue the sayde cheyne to tye Gods promyses, & the truth of the brynging of them to passe togither.

And S. Paule sayeth, that he can doo all things aboue our as∣king, Page  150 and our thinking. Not without cause hath he inclozed heere all that belongeth too our saluation. For he that trusteth in God for one thing, will not misse too enter into debating, whether he will adde a second benefite, or a third. That therfore is the cause why S. Paule will haue vs too looke for all things at the hand of our God. And he sayeth, Aboue our asking. Trew it is that wee must not fall asleepe, when wee would bee succored and gouerned at Gods hand, or be filled with his benefites: but if wee beleeue in his woord, we must also bee moued too pray: for it is a trew proof of our fayth, when wee resort so vntoo our God.* And for that cause is it sayd, that the faythfull must discharge all their cares intoo his lappe. For it is the trew record of it, when at all tymes of our neede, wee resort too him, who will haue vs too seeke all our welfare in him alone. The faythfull therfore must be diligent in praying,* according as S. Paule sayeth in another text, wher he exhorteth vs too prayer and supplication, and setteth downe this diligence also, too the intent wee should haue no slothfulnesse too plucke vs backe. But albeeit wee giue ouer all our wittes too pray∣ing vntoo God: yit notwithstanding, considering the necessities that compell vs too resort vntoo him, God must bee fayne too outgo our re∣questes, and too doo much more for vs than wee requyre. And for proof therof, when any (of the faythfull) feeles his owne infirmities, he will streyt wayes humble himself, and theruppon repayre vntoo God, and that not for once only, but euery minute of an houre. And af∣terward he will resort to him both for his body and his soule, and think thus: Alas, yit want I such a thing, I must too him agein. Lo how the faythfull doo throughly sift out the miseries and wantes wheruntoo they bee subiect, therby too prouoke themselues too pray vntoo God. But doo not wee think that the diuell hath a hundred thousand wyles which wee perceyue not? And God must bee fayne too prouide for them, or else what would become of vs? For although wee feele that diuerse things doo pinch vs, yit are ther many other things that are vn∣knowen and hidden from vs. So then it will alwayes bee found trew, that God outgoeth all our prayers, and all our wishes. Mark that for one poynt. Therfore let vs doo what wee can, and indeuer too resort continewally vntoo God: and yit therwithall let vs bee fully perswa∣ded, that he must bee fayne too watch ouer vs, and too bee much more sharp syghted than wee, in espying what wee haue neede of, and the meanes also that are fit too compasse it to our behoof: all these things Page  [unnumbered] must God bee fayne too looke too. And so must wee cast all our cares vppon him,* as I alledged afore out of the Psalme.

And soothly his adding of aboue our abilitie too thinke, is too shewe that although men bee inlyghtened by the Gospell, too distrust themselues, too walke in feare, yea, and too bee abashed at the syght of their owne wretchednesse: yit perceyue they not the hundreth part of it, but must bee fayne too referre the residew vntoo God, and too looke for more at his hand, than they can wishe. And herewithall S. Paul sheweth vs, that wee cannot passe measure, in trusting vntoo God, and in asking him the things that wee haue neede of. In deede wee must not vse a foolish libertie, too pray too God too giue vs this, or that, as our fleshly desyre prouoketh vs. For wee must referre our selues who∣ly vntoo him: and specially we must in praying, fyght ageinst all our owne lustes, that wee bee not too importunate in them. And in good sooth, weee see what hath befalne too such as would needes haue God too graunt all their demaundes too pleasure them withall. The chil∣dren of Israell were fed with flesh,* and were glutted with it, till they were redye too burst: but whyle the meate was yit in their throtes, Gods wrath and vengeance fell vppon them. It had bin much better for them, that their request had bin denyed, than graunted. Therfore when wee pray, wee must not take such libertie, as too say, that God should bee subiect too our affections and desires, but wee must aske him the things that he hath promised vs, assuring our selues that hee will lyke well of our requestes. And (as I sayd afore) let vs not feare that wee shall bee too excessiue, for wee see that he will doo yit more, and so had he neede too doo. And let vs not bee afrayd too bee blamed of any presumption or malapertnesse, in assuring our selues of his pro∣mises. In deede if men warrant themselues more than Gods woord will beare them out in, or beare themselues on hand that they shall ob∣teyne whatsoeuer they imagine in their owne brayne: all such hope shall doubtlesse bee a sope. But if wee ground our selues vpon Gods truth, which is sure and vndeceytfull: let vs hardily reache out the trust farre and wyde which wee haue in him, and let vs not doubt but he will performe it too the full, yea, and much more too, as S. Paule sheweth vs heere. Yee see then, that the summe of the things which wee haue too remember in this streyne, is, that wee must behold Gods benefites, not onely those which wee haue had experience of, but also which are seene through the whole world, that they may moue vs to praise Gods Page  151 name, and that there may bee such an agreeable melodie among all the faythfull, as they may honour God for all the benefites which he bestoweth generally vppon the whole body of his Church. And agein, that wee must hope that he will go through with all that euer he hath once begunne: and that inasmuch as wee haue already felt how mer∣cifull he is vntoo vs, so that he hath sought vs out when wee were stray∣ed away from him, and pulled vs out of the bottome of hell: wee must not doubt but that he will hold on still, and increace the benefites more and more which wee haue felt already in part: And furthermore that in praying vntoo him, wee must haue an eye too the great number of necessities, which moue and constreyne vs too come vntoo him, and theruppon consider, that he will doo much more for vs, than wee can wishe, and that wee bee so weake witted, and so vnskilfull, that we wote not what is meete for vs: howbeeit that he remedyeth the same twoo wayes, namely, by stirring vp vnutterable gronings in vs, as is sayde more fully in the eyght too the Romanes:* and on the other syde by sup∣plying such vnskilfulnesse, so as he taryeth not till wee craue his suc∣cour, but preuenteth vs through his mercy, notwithstanding that wee welter in our wretchednesse, and perceiue not the tenth part of the things that wee want.

Now heervppon Saint Paule exhorteth the faythfull, too vvalke as becommeth their Calling, vvherin they bee called. This is not only too the intent they should thanke God with their mouthes, as he warned them too doo: but also too profit themselues by the spirituall giftes which they receyue, and too put them too such vse as God may bee glorifyed by them. For if wee should set foorth all Gods pray∣ses, and in the meane whyle men could perceyue no zeale of honoring and seruing him in all our lyfe: it were but a feyning, and such a con∣fession were but an vnhalowing of Gods name, when our lyfe were not answerable theruntoo. Not without cause therfore dooth Saint Paule adde heere, that men should walke according too the calling wheruntoo they bee called. And theruppon wee haue too marke, first that forasmuch as wee bee slowe, and there is euer too much sloth and coldnesse in vs: wee cannot deuyse a better way, nor which may touch vs more too the quicke, too make vs go on forewarde in the obedience of God, than too thinke vppon his infinite mercie which he hath shew∣ed towardes vs.* According wheruntoo, Saint Paule in the twelfth too the Romanes, intending too win the faythfull too teachablenesse, Page  [unnumbered] and too put their trust in God, setteth before them the mercie that they had receyued at his hand. As if he should say, that whensoeuer wee heare of the stone that ought too bee remoued, or thinke vppon the in∣estimable goodnesse which God hath vsed towardes vs, in that he spa∣red not his only sonne, but gaue him for our saluation, voutsafing too haue him offered vp in sacrifize, too put away the rememberance of our offences and misdeedes: it ought too clyue our hartes asunder. Therfore in this text he setteth Gods calling of vs before our eyes. Truth it is that wee bee sufficiently bound aforehand by nature too serue and honour God: for wee haue our lyfe of him, and we liue heere at his cost: and wee see how all his creatures serue vs. That there∣fore is bond great ynough whensoeuer the ruling of our lyfe accor∣ding too Gods will, commeth in question. But seeing he thinkes it not ynough too haue set vs in the world, and too giue vs sustenance for our bodyes, but also taketh vs too bee his owne children, too bring vs vp in his Church, which is his house, and vpon his adopting of vs be∣hyghteth vs the inheritance of heauen, and too assure vs of it, hath gi∣uen vs the pledge that I spake of, that is too wit, our Lord Iesus Christ: seeing wee knowe that God hath so manie wayes vttered the infinite loue that he bare vs: ought it not too inflame bs too runne vn∣too him, too the end that by renouncing our selues more and more, wee may▪ indeuer too giue our selues so vntoo him, as he may quietly haue the vse of our whole lyfe, and wee mynd none other thing than the exal∣ting of his name? Yee see then wherat Saint Paul looked, when he sayth, that he warneth the Ephesians too walke agreeable too the vo∣cation wherein God had set them. So then, wee haue too gather vp∣pon this text, that to correct the slothfulnesse that is in vs, and specially to subdew the stubbornnesse that hindereth our pleasing of God in all poyntes, (for it is certeyn, that all our thoughtes, and all the dispositi∣on of our nature are inclyned vnto euill, & doo both draw vs back and driue vs farre of from the obedience which wee ought too yeeld vntoo our maker:) (I say) too correct all this throughly, and too come vntoo God, we must learne to lift vp onr senses too the infinite grace that God hath, shewed vs, in making vs parttakers of the spirituall goods of our Lord Iesus Christ, by voutsafing too hane vs too bee members of his bodie, and too adopt vs too bee his children and heires.

Furthermore let vs consider the end whereat he amed, too the in∣tent God complayne not of vs, as he doth of the Israelites by his Pro∣phet Page  152 Esay,* bycause of the vnthankfulnesse which they had shewed to∣wardes him. He sayeth, that he had taken them as his Uyneyard, or as a costly heritage. And he telleth them, that for all his manu∣ring of them, they had brought him foorth nothing but wyld Grapes and bitter frute. Let vs beware (say I) that God haue not iust cause too blame vs now adayes, as well as he did them. For if the people of Israell receyued excellent giftes: much more are wee bound vntoo God now adayes since the comming of our Lord Iesus Christ. For loke what he gaue too the Fathers of olde tyme in figures and sha∣dowes: that haue wee at these dayes in truth and substance, wee bee in the ful tyme wherin it was Gods will too powre out al his benefites vppon vs too the full. Sith it is so, wee shalbee the lesse excusable, if wee bee vnthankefull, and acknowledge not the good that God hath doone vs. That is the thyng which wee haue too beare in mynde.

And moreouer,* let vs consider that (as sayeth Saint Peter) our Lord hath drawen vs out, and reskewed vs from the tyrannye of death, and called vs too his kingdome of lyght, too the intent that wee should blaze abrode his vertewes, and bestowe our whole lyfe in magnify∣ing him too the vttermost: according too this present text, where it is sayd, that wee must walke according too the vocation that God hath called vs vntoo. Now this importeth a gathering and drawing of vs out by our selues, as though God ment too make a new world of vs. And in verye deede the thing whertoo the death and passion of our Lord Iesus Christ tendeth, is, that we should bee sholed out from the vnclenenesse of the world. Seeing then that wee bee as it were sor∣ted out by our selues, and God hath dedicated vs too himself, intending too haue vs for his inheritance: let vs learne not too disappoynt him of his purpose. And if wee bee the children of lyght, (as he sayth in a∣nother place:*) let vs walke no more in darknesse, as the vnbeleeuers doo, but let vs make the grace effectuall which wee haue receyued. That is it in effect which we haue to remember concerning the woord Uocation or Calling. Too bee short, we shalbee much more blame-woorthie than the sisie ignorant and blynd soules, if we indeuer not too hold our selues as it were locked vp vnder Gods hand, and vnder his guyding. Truth it is, that at this day there is no corner of the world, but it is so corrupted, as is horrible too see: insomuch that euen they that haue had no tast at all of the Gospell, but haue bin nuzzeled and Page  [unnumbered] imbrewed continually with superstition, shal not fayle to be iustly con∣demned at Gods hand. And as for vs, it is certeyne, that wee shall haue a much harder account too make, for that God inlyghtneth vs with his woord, and wheras other folkes stray and wander in de∣struction, he sheweth vs the way of saluation, calling and alluring vs daylye vntoo him. Seeing then that wee haue such a priuiledge: wee ought too bethinke our selues well, that wee quench not the lyght, by thrusting it vnderfoote, and so put away the speciall grace that was graunted vs, and which God voutsafed too direct vntoo vs, too the end wee should bee the more prouoked too serue him.

But by the way wee must marke well how S. Paule sayeth, that this must bee doone with all submission and lowelinesse, with pa∣cience and meeknesse. Hereby he ment too expresse that it is not ynough for euery man too imploye himself too the dooing of his dew∣tie: but that we must also reach out our hands eche one too his neygh∣bour and brother, so as God may bee serued with one common con∣sent among vs. Let vs marke well therfore (forasmuch as the resi∣due cannot bee dispatched at this tyme) that S. Paul speakes not heere too euery man seuerally, but that he comprehendeth al the whole bodie and companie of the Churche. As if he should say, my frends, it is not ynough for euery of vs too withdrawe himself and too abstein from all euill, and too shewe himself well mynded and zealous too liue in the feare of God, and in all vprightnesse: but wee must also haue a mutuall care one of another, and bee fully resolued that it is no ser∣uing of God, if we indeuer not by all the meanes wee can, that others may doo the lyke. And so wee see heere how it is the rule of all the faithful (first) that euery man looke too himself, and though all the world bee mad in doing euill, yit notwithstanding that he which is taught in Gods schoole, doo hold himself in awe and vnder subiection, and consider whertoo he is called: and therwithall that if there bee many of vs, and God haue shed out his grace so as he hath gotten him∣self a Churche, wee must to the vttermost of our power, seeke to ioyne with them whom God calleth, as well as vs, so that he which goeth formest, reache his hand too him that is next him, and say, let vs goe altogither, and one of vs incorage another, that he which goes faint∣ly and hath infirmities in him, bee taryed for by those that go swifter, and bee borne vp also if neede be, so as wee may all bee drawen vntoo God. And this must not onely bee doone in euery towne and village, Page  153 but also wee must looke yit further of, and consider that they whom we knowe not are neuerthelater of the body of our Lord Iesus Christ, and therfore wee must serue them for looking glasses and examples, and confirme them so much the more too leade a godly conuersation, by shewing them the way that they may followe vs. And let vs also profite our selues, so as if wee see any other men more vertuous, zea∣lous, and constant than wee bee, euery of vs may bee ashamed of it, and saye thus too our selues: How now? Is it meete that thou shouldest lag behynd, when other folkes marche on so fast afore, and runne so cheerefully toowards God? Yee see then that the thing in effect which wee haue too beare away heere, is that inasmuch as God hath not called vs eft one man alone, and eft another, as though he ment too sette vs a sunder, but directeth his voyce too all, and will haue it serue for a holy bond vntoo all: wee also must aunswer him, not onely with our mouth, but also with our whole lyfe, and there must be trew vnitie among vs, and we must indeuer to bring to passe, that God may bee purely worshipped euery where, and consider that sith wee bee called all too one inheritaunce, there ought too be a ryght brotherhood among vs, and that sith wee call vppon God as our fa∣ther, it becommeth vs as his children too bee ioyned too our head, that is to wit, to our Lord Iesus Christ. And when wee bee so ioyned vn∣too him, it is certayn that wee shal not bee cut of from those whom he will haue too bee of his body, nother shall the hand despyze the foote, nor the foote holde scorne of the hand: but forasmuch as wee knowe that our lyfe resteth onely in Iesus Christ, wee shal indeuer as much as wee can too vphold one another, and pray too God too strengthen vs ageinst all Satans assaults, & ageinst all that he can practize to set vs at ods, that wee may mainteyne the battell, and with inuincible constancie followe still the way which God hath shewed vs, vntill wee attayne too the heritage which he hath promised vs, and purchaced so deerly by our Lord Iesus Christ.

Now let vs cast our selues downe before the Maiestie of our good God, with acknoweledgement of our sinnes, praying him to drawe vs too trew repentaunce, so as wee may bee vtterly cast downe in our selues, too bee set vp agein too serue him, and that not for one day, but so as wee may hold out too the end, that as his grace neuer fadeth, so wee on our side may neuer ceasse too serue him, but according as he in∣creaseth his gifts in vs, so wee also may bee more and more inflamed to Page  [unnumbered] come nerer too him, and too bee throughly knit vntoo him. And so let vs all say, Almighty God heauenly father. &c.

The .xxii. Sermon, which is the second vppon the fourth Chapter.

1. I therfore which am a prisoner in our Lord, vvarne you too vvalke as becommeth you, in the calling vvhertoo you bee called,

2. VVith all lovvelinesse and meekenesse, vvith pacience, bea∣ring one vvith another in charitie,

3. Being diligent too keepe the vnitie of the spirit through the bond of peace.

4. Be yee one body and one spirit, euen as ye be called in hope of your calling.

5. There is (but) one Lord, one Fayth, one Baptim.

WEe haue seene this morning howe Gods children ought too bee linked toogither, so as euery man may helpe his fellowe, and harten and strengthen him, and all of vs in∣deuer with one accord too serue God. Now for performance hereof, wee haue neede to correct the vyces that are in vs. For on the one side wee see how men are well neere all inclyned too loftinesse, selfsoothing, and selfweening, whereof by and by breedeth scornefulnesse. For he that couets too aduaunce himself, must needes abace his fellowes, too make himself their superiour. Then is it im∣possible that there should bee agreement among vs, vntill wee haue rid our selues of this pryde and ouerweening, wheruntoo wee bee too much giuen. But if wee bee once knit toogither: then will wee also bee meeke. For what is the cause that wee bee so sterne towardes our neyghbours, and that there is nothing but rigor and roughnesse with vs, but for that euery of vs coueteth too ouermayster other? That then is the cause why there is no gentlenesse among vs. And therefore Page  154 S. Paule hath matched meekenesse with lowelinesse: for lowelinesse is the moother of meekenesse. Last of all, he setteth downe pacience or sufferance, in bearing long with mens infirmities and vyces. For if wee will needes serche out by parcell meale whatsoeuer wee shall see to be amisse in euery man: surely we shall haue occasion to reiect both great and small: for there is not that man which is not blemished with some euill. But haue wee once abated the pryde that I spake of, and thereuppon conformed our selues too meekenesse, and gentle∣nesse, so as wee can fynd in our hartes too bee warned and too beare with others: and none of vs is so hindred by his infirmities, but that he can abyde too make account of other men as of his brethren: then shall the Church by that meane abyde alwayes in good plyght.

Now hereuppon S. Paule addeth, that if wee intend too keepe the vnitie of spirit, wee must liue toogither in peace. For wee know, that when any fyre of strife is kindled, euery man would haue his enemyes drowned in the bottom of hell. So soone then as wee giue the brydle too our affections, so as wee fall too spyting of this man or that man, and there groweth any hartburning or grudge ageinst vs: then fol∣loweth parttaking in the Church, too the breache of all concord. Ther∣fore if wee desyre too bee at one (as wee eedes must, if wee will be Gods children) let vs take good heede that Satan set no oddes or va∣riance among vs, and let vs bee quiet, and indeuer too preuent trub∣bles where wee see any likelyhood of them. And so yee see, what we ought too obserue, if wee mynde too helpe our neyghbours, and too bryng too passe that God may bee honored among vs with one accord.

And heere wee haue too mark first of all, how Saint Paule in spea∣king of Lowelinesse, meekenesse, and pacience, warneth vs, that if we be not ware, and euery man brydle himself, the diuell shall alwayes haue easie accesse and entrance intoo vs, too trubble vs. And why? For as I sayd, euery of vs shall fynd the disease of ambition rooted in him, so as there is none of vs but he would fayne beare some coūtenāce of superioritie, at leastwyse till God haue layed his hand vppon him, and by his holie spirit beaten downe al pryde in him, and made him leane. But take mee all those that followe their owne naturall sway, & surely they are euer so hygh mynded, as thy wil not be contēted, except they bee exalted and much made of Saint Paule therfore thought good too warne vs hereof, too the end we should learne too mis••ke of Page  [unnumbered] that vyce, and indeuer too rid our selues of it, which thing wil not bee doone very easly, for it is a hard battell. But howsoeuer the world go, wee must not giue ouer, till wee haue gotten so much aduauntage of our selues, as too knowe that there is nothing in vs why we should be esteemed, but rather that he which thinketh himself too bee excellentest of all, ought (by that tyme that he hath sifted and examined himselfe throughly,) too bee ashamed and abashed at his owne wretchednesse. And for proof therof, when we haue throughly vewed al that wee weene our selues too haue, wherwith too win vs any fauour, dignitie or reputation among men: certaynly wee shall fynd that euery whit of it is the free gift of God. Now then, so much the more neede haue wee too humble our selues, seing that God byndeth vs so vntoo him. What hast thou (sayth S. Paul) too boast of aboue other men,* and to chalendge as thine own? It is certain that God hath giuē it thee, ther∣fore honour him for it, which thing thou canst not doo, so long as thou art puffed vp with pryde. So then, considering that al the vertues for which wee myght bee praysed, are all records of Gods goodnesse, and that he hath shewed himself a louing father towards vs, in that it hath pleased him to haue vs come neere him after that fashion: it ought too make vs cast downe our eyes, and too walk in all meeldnesse. And if wee compare our vertues with our vyces, surely wee shall fynd much more wherwith too beate downe our hornes, than wherfore too set them vp. For when a man hath cast his cards throughly: he shall perceyue that although he haue some good zele too serue God, yit dooth he but llmp and halt still in that behalf, and that he hath no vertue in him, which is not blemished with some spot, so as there is alwaies one thing or other in him, too put him in mynd that he ought not too bee proud. Agein, his vyces are euer mo in nūber a great way, thā his ver∣tues. What shall wee then doo, but be ashamed of our selues? For we doo after a sort defyle the holie things, when wee mingle our owne deformities in that wyse with the gifts of Gods spirit. And therfore he that dooth moste excell, hath cause too bee the more lowely, for that he is so much the more bound vnto God. Yee see then that they which are esteemed as peerlesse perles, and exalted as little woorse than An∣gels, ought alwayes too brydle themselues short, knowing that there is not so little a blemish in them, which ought not too bee taken for greeuouser in them, than in such as haue not receyued so great gifts, ne be so excellent. Besys this, there are also vyces in vs euen of our Page  155 selues (as I sayd afore): and if there bee any good in vs, God hath giuen it vs of his owne mere and freebestowed mercie. And therfore it is not for vs too presume, but wee must impute all euill to our selues. Hee then that maketh such comparison, will sone beate downe his o∣uerweening wherwith he was puffed vp or deceyued.

Now if the excellētest sort of al, haue not wherof to vaunt thēselues: what shall the meaner sort doo, and such as are dispyzed too the world∣ward, and haue nothing too set themselues out withall? They fyght a∣geinst nature, if they will needes vaunt themselues. Too bee short, a man shall alwayes fynd this auncient prouerb trew, that he which knoweth himself best, will esteeme himself least. But wee must passe yit further: which is, that we must vnderstand how we be not any thing of our selues, nor can doo aught that is any thing woorth, and that the good which God hath put intoo vs, ought too serue too teach vs meek∣nesse. When wee once know that well, then shall wee bee throughly humbled, say I. And the trew Lowlynesse or humilitie is not too make a fayre face, or too pretend a myld countenance, as many doo, who will speake gently and louingly, and looke rufully, and yit for all that, ceasse not too bee as full of pryd, as toades within. Too be short, humility importeth such a meekenesse, as pulleth vs downe in our sel∣ues, and suffereth vs not too aduaunce our selues for any degree of ho∣nour, nor too seeke estimation aboue our neyghbours. Now I haue told you, that wee shall neuer bee meeke, nor neuer haue any gentle∣nesse and myldnesse in vs, vntill wee bee brought lowe. For pryde doth euer hold scorne of all the world. And wee see also, that such as are ouerweening, and stand in their owne conceyt, beleeuing themselues too bee well woorthy, and too deserue too bee exalted aboue the com∣mon aray, doo therewithall become very straunge, insomuch that men dare scarce looke vppon them: they thrust away one, and driue away another a great way of. Therefore wee must haue learned too hum∣ble our selues, too the end wee imbrace such as are our trew brothers, specially sith wee knowe that wee haue neede too bee borne with at their handes. For behold, it is sayd of our Lord Iesus Christ, that he dooth easely let vs come vntoo him,* bycause he himself was tempted, and made lyke vntoo vs, and that he beareth with our weakenesse and infirmities, bycause he hath had experience of them in himself. Now it is certeyn, that our Lord had not any vyce in him, for he is the wel∣spring of all goodnesse. Yit notwithstanding, too the intent that wee Page  [unnumbered] on our syde should not sticke too resort too him familiarly, and too the end wee should bee heard of God his father for his sake, it is sayd, that he had compassion on vs,* bycause he had felt what man and mans in∣firmities are, howbeit, without any spot of sinne, as I sayde afore. Now then, how shall wee doo, if wee haue this foolishe beliefe, that wee bee throughly perfit? Seeing that pryde is so rooted in our na∣ture, how shall wee pitie such as wee see in myserie, if wee consider not first, that wee bee no better woorth than they? So then, let vs marke well, that too bee kyndharted, gentle, and freendly, all pryde must first bee beaten downe in vs.

Furthermore let vs marke also, that kinde heartednesse is the mo∣ther of pacience, and the continuall bringer foorth of that frute: and that if wee bee too sterne, it is a signe that there is crueltie in vs, and that wee be as wild beasts. And therby also we be conuicted of pryde and ouerweening, & that we haue not well learned the Lesson that S. Paule copyeth vs out heere. In deede wee ought too bee greeued at the faults of our neighbours, & wee must not feede them by our flat∣tery, as the common fashion of the world is. But yit must our zeale bee so measured, as we must beare with a great sort (for we our selues also haue neede too bee borne withall) and not bee hastier with other folkes, then we would that they should bee with vs, but alwayes kepe this naturall vprightnesse, of not dooing that thing to our neighbour, which wee would not haue doone too our selues, which is the summe of the Lawe and the Prophets as our Lord Iesus Christ sayeth. Yee see then how our zeale ought too bee mingled with kynd hartednesse:* for if it bee sauced altoogither with vineger, what will come of it? There wilbee no taste or sauour in it. Therfore it must haue some oyle put vntoo it. And so there must bee some temperature in all cor∣rections too sweeten them withal, that they bee not ouer rigorous. Too bee short, S. Paule ment too shewe vs heere, that although we ought not too bolster out any euill, but rather too be moued with God∣ly zeale to condemne such as deserue it: yit notwithstanding we must not reiect the weakelings, as though they were vtter reprobates or castawayes, but labour too winne them too our God, according as wee haue seene already, that that way ought too bee obserned. For there are two euill extremities: but looke whatsoeuer God hath or∣deyned by his holy spirite, that will alwayes bee found too bee for e∣uery mans welfare.

Page  156The one of these euill customes, is, that a man cannot be wel ta∣ken with the world, except he flatter. Who so intendeth to main∣teyne himself, must play the blinkard and shut his eyes, when he sees a number of things in his freends woorthy of blame. And yit in the meane while is not such silence a secret betraying? For we see, that they whom wee pretend to loue, are in the high way to destructi∣on, and wholly hardened in their naughtinesse: and yit notwithstan∣ding, wheras we ought to waken them, or else too set a looking glasse before them, that they might behold their leaudenesse, and be asha∣med of it, wee winke at it. In steade of so dooing, euery of vs dooth cokes other, and cloketh the things that ought too bee sharpely re∣buked: insomuch that those flatteries are no better but playsters too ease the sore, and in the meane whyle to feede the roote of it within.

The other euill extremitie, is when wee bee so rigorous, that e∣uery little fault is ynough too make vs too storme. Sith it is so, wee shall neuer haue the spirit of meekenesse aforesayd, if wee bee not gui∣ded and gouerned by Gods spirit (as I sayd afore.) And heerby a man may see and iudge, that there is a certeyne pryde lurking within vs, wherethrough we take to much vpon our selues. To be short, there is neuer any ouer great rigour without crueltie, nor crueltie without pryde. Whosoeuer dispyzeth his neighbors, setteth to much by himself: & he that cā beare with nothing, but is so terribly sterne, that al sinnes are (in his opinion) vnpardonable: sheweth also that there is no man∣hood or humanitie in him. So much the more therfore doth it stand vs on hand, to beare in mynd that which S. Paule sheweth vs heere, which is, too forgiue and forbeare. Not that we should allowe mens vices (as I sayd afore) nor that they should haue leaue too doo euill without rebuking, but that wee should paciently rebuke mens faults and bee sory for them, and in so dooing of our dewtie, not forget also to beare with the frayltie and weakenesse of our neighbours, so as we shame them not, ne stryke them intoo such eauinesse, that they fall in∣to dispayre, when they see there is no forbearing, nor any forgiuing at our hands. That then is the thing that wee ought to beare in mind. And it is the very cause why S. Paule addeth, that men should beare one with another in charitie or loue. As if he shuld say, that foras∣much as we bee brothers toogither, there should neede none other rule than that, too make vs as well kind hearted, as also pacient and lowe∣ly. And for proof therof he sayeth in the thirteenth of the first Epistle Page  [unnumbered] to the Corinthians,* that Charitie hath these three things: First, that it is gentle and kind hearted: Secondly, that it moueth vs too be lowely and meeke, and thirdly, that it is pacient, and suffreth al things. Those are three qualities which Paule attributeth vntoo louingnesse. For if wee demaund what is the rule of holy life:* the Scripture telleth vs, that loue is the full performaunce therof,* bycause it is the bond of per∣fection, and the end and fulfilling of the Lawe. Lo how these Texts doo teach vs Charitie. Agein, our Lord also intending too conclude the doctrine of the Law,* setteth downe these twoo poynts: Namely that wee should loue him with all our hart, with all our mynd, and with all our power and strength: and our neyghbours as our selues. Then if wee thinke too bee allowed of God, and charitie reigne not in vs, wee deceyue our selues. The world may like well of vs, but all our whole lyfe shall bee vtterly lothsome before God, vntill Charitie bee setled in our hartes, so as shee gouerne vs, and wee tend alwayes vntoo hir, yea and woorke all our woorkes by hir. Now then, seeing that loue is the trew perfection of the faithfull, and of all Gods children: let vs see what it importeth. For if a man brag that he hath it, and in the meane whyle haue nother lowlinesse, nor gentlenesse, nor pacience: he maketh the holy Ghost a lyer, who not without cause sheweth, what is betokened by Charitie or loue. For he hath not set downe the bare woord, and only sayd, be yee charitable: but he hath also shewed vs what is ment by it. Namely first of all, that wee must beate downe this pride which beguyleth vs, and maketh vs dosse with our hornes ageinst God, insomuch that it were right hard for vs too bee lowely mynded towardes men, when wee cannot hold our selues meekely in obedience vnder God. Now then, let vs fyght in such wyse, as all pryde may bee corrected in vs: and therwithall inforce our selues al∣wayes too humilitie, that wee may bee kynd harted and fellowlyke with the faythfull: which cannot bee doone but by bearing one with another. The very heathen men had the skill too say, that if wee had the wit and discretion too see the vyces that are in our selues, we should bee pacient toward others. For why? I haue neede too bee borne withall my selfe, and if I doo not the lyke too other folkes, how partial∣ly doo I deale? This consideration alone ought too tame vs suffici∣ently, though there were nother Lawe nor Gospell. Wherefore in as∣much as wee knowe that charitie importeth these three things: let vs learne too bee pacient, not onely when any wrong is doone vs, but also Page  157 when wee see our neyghbours too bee weake and feeble, and not yit come too such perfection as were requisite. And though they bee not so well foreward and settled in Gods woord (as wee would wishe,) yit let vs pitie them, and with all meekenesse indeuer too vse such correc∣tion towards them, as nother their vyces may bee nurrished, nor the parties themselues bee cast in despayre. Thus yee see what wee haue to mark vppon that streyne.

Now heervppon Saint Paule inferreth further, that (as I haue touched heertoofore) wee must keepe the vnitie of the spirit, or the bond of peace. For he setteth heere the vnitie of spirit, as a marke that is requisyte in the Church and flocke of God: insomuch that if wee bee at oddes among our selues, wee bee at oddes with God. And there∣withall he sheweth vs the thing that wee haue seene breefly before: which is, that if wee bee not at one among our selues, God disclay∣meth vs, and telleth vs wee belong not vntoo