Certaine sermons vvherin is contained the defense of the gospell nowe preached against such cauils and false accusations, as are obiected both against the doctrine it selfe, and the preachers and professors thereof, by the friendes and fauourers of the Church of Rome. Preached of late by Thomas by Gods sufferance Byshop of Lincolne.
Cooper, Thomas, 1517?-1594.
Page  207

¶ A Sermon made vpon this text, John. 8. 46.

Quis ex vobis arguit me de peccato, Si veritatem dico vobis quare non creditis mihi? Which of you can rebuke me of sinne, and if I say the truth why doe yee not beleeue mee?

WHen I was assigned to this place, and per∣vsed the Text of the Gospell for this day, seeing the first verse thereof to bee these wordes which nowe I haue recited vnto you, I could not but thinke it, to bee some part of Gods gracious prouidence, there-by, to put mee in minde, & giue mee full occasion, to speake* of those things, which in conscience, I thinke most necessa∣rie at this time, and in this place, to bee vttered. These wordes (deerely beloued) are a parte of that notable con∣ference, which was betweene our Sauiour Christ, and the Jewes Ioh 8. Wherein both of them, are so earnest in de∣fence of their part, as hardly the lyke is to be found, in the whole historie of the Euangelistes. The Jewes in defence of their Synagogue, denie Christ to bee the light of the world, that shoulde open the true way of saluation to men, but affirme, that he was an abitious, and vaine glorious man, bearing witnesse of himselfe, for his owne credites sake: yea they say, he is a Samaritane, a worker with di∣uells, a blasphemer of God, and therefore (lastly) take vp stones, and draue him by violence out of the place: A verye ryght paterne of the enemyes of Christ and hys Church. On the other part, Christ in deede mooued wyth the true zeale of Gods house, after hee had declared, that hee was the lyght of the worlde, which, hee that followed, should not walke in darkenesse, but see the truth of euerla▪ sting life, he euidently proueth, that the Jewes were not, as they pretended to bee, the right seede of Abraham, for▪ Page  208 then they would doe the workes of Abraham, nor the chil∣dren of God, for then, they would haue receaued him, who was sent vnto them from God, but earnestly affirmeth, that they are of the seede, and ofspring of Sathan, the fa∣ther of lying, and vntrothe, and therefore euen by very cor∣ruption of nature, they could not abyde the truth. Then Christes knowing, that they woulde obiect against him, that they denied not his doctrine, because it was the truth, as he charged them, but because he was an euill man, and a seducer of the people, and not like a person that should de∣liuer the truth vnto the people of God. Therefore Christ to preuent this obiection, wherewith they went about to deface, and discredite his doctrine, speaketh in such sorte as ye haue heard. Quis ex vobis, &c. Which of you can re∣buke me of sinne, &c. In which wordes you see Christ doth two things. First, he standeth to the integritie of his* cause, euen as well in the vpright dealing in his office, as in Innocencie of lyfe. Secondly, he iustifieth the truth of his doctrine, and therefore requireth them, to beleeue it, if they will shewe themselues to be of God in deede. This* dealing of Christ, all Christians generally, but especially, Byshops, Preachers, and all such as are called to the mini∣sterie of the word, ought to set before their eyes, as a right paterne of their doyngs, if they will be the true Ministers of Jesus Christ. And these two things, I meane wt Gods assistaunce to speake of at this time, and in this order. First,* I will declare what the office of a Preacher, or Minister is, by his calling, and what daunger hangeth ouer them, if they doe it not. Secondly, because men may deale wyth good consciences, and yet be subiect to great infamie, and sclaunders, for euen Christ in this place, notwithstanding his integritie, heard of hys aduersaryes, Nonne bene dici∣mus quod Samaritanus es, & daemonium habes? &c. i. Say we not well that thou arte a Samaritaine and hast the Di∣uell? Therefore I will let you vnderstande, what blame they deserue, and what daunger they are in, that falsely & Page  209 vncharitably, defame the Ministers, & Preachers of Gods worde, and truth, of purpose to discredite their doctrine. Thirdly, I will prooue that the doctrine of the Gospell, which we haue preached in this land, these. 20. yeeres and more, & which vnder hir Maiesties gracious protection, & authoritie of hir lawes, hath bene established, is the truth, and no truth of doctrine but that, and therefore yt it ought to be beleeued, receaued, and without exception, to bee con∣firmed, of all them that be of God.

As touching the first, S. Paul saith, Sic nos aestimet homo.*&c. Let a man so esteeme vs, as the Ministers of Christ, & the bestowers of his mysteries. The mysteries of God are the true doctrine of saluation in Christ Jesu, and al the other benefites, and commodities of his holy word, mentio∣ned by S. Paule to Timothie. A good Bishop therefore, and* a right Preacher, must out of y holy scriptures, teach true doctrine sincerely, he must confute error, superstition & ido∣latrie zealously, he must exhort to vertue earnestly, he must without respect of persons, reproue vice and wickednesse boldly and freely, he must comfort the afflicted conscience sweetely, and gratiously. This is the charge, that God layeth vpon vs in his word, very earnestly, with greeuous daunger, if we doe it not. In Esay▪ God speaketh in thys* wyse, Get thee vp into the high mountaine, thou that teachest in Syon, thou that preachest the Gospell in Hierusalem, lyfte vp thy voyce with strength, lyfte vp thy voyce, I saye, and feare not, tell the Cities, that the Lorde their God commeth. You heare that wee are commaunded, to tell the Cities, that is, the particular Churches of Christ, that the Lord their God commeth to visite them eyther in mercy, offering them his worde, and callyng them to repentaunce: or in iustice, to punish them,* for the contempt of his worde, and want of repentaunce. And this wee must doe, not in secrete corners, but in the face of the worlde, for wee must stande vppon the toppe of Page  210 the Mountaine, that we may bee seene, and shewe our sel∣ues not ashamed of the Gospell. We must not doe it slack∣ly, but zealously, lyfting vp our voyce with strength, wee must not doe it coldly, but boldly, fearing no authoritie of man, to Preache Jesus Christ crucified. Againe, in the same Prophet, Crie and cease not, lift vp thy voyce, as* a Trumpet, tell my people their iniquitie, and the house of Iacob their sinnes. So that with like earnest boldnesse, are wee in this place, willed to crie out agaynst sinne, and wickednesse, and to tell men plainely, of their ini∣quitie. In Ezechiell we are compared vnto watchmen,* that should alway stand in the watch tower of the Churche of God, & if wee espie either corrupt doctrine, or false wor∣shipping of God, or wickednesse of life by any meanes, ey∣ther openly, or colourably to thrust themselues into the Church of God, that wee presently, ring out the alarme,* & sound the Trumpet, to giue warning to the inhabitants of the Citie of God, the celestiall Hierusalem, that they take heede, and beware of themselues, otherwise, the blood of other that perish without warning, will be required at our handes. And that men may not thinke, that this charge belongeth to the Prophetes alone, S. Paule to Timothie, and by hym, of all other requireth the same. Preache the* worde. But howe? Bee earnest in season, & out of sea∣son: for no time is vnconuenient to Preach true doctrine. And he addeth, Reproue, intreate, rebuke with all pati∣ence and doctrine, so that if mens obstinacie bee such that they wyll not amend, wee must leaue it to God, and take it patiently. For wee are but planters and waterers, God must gyue the successe and increase. Nowe if our charge bee thus earnestlye required of vs, as wee are greatly to blame if we doe it not, so they that be of God can not mis∣like with vs, when wee doe it, though (happily) their owne persons be touched therewith. But we must not teach one∣ly: but we must liue also accordingly. We must be Exem∣plaria*Page  211gregis. Be thou, saith Paule to Timothie, an exam∣ple*to the faithful in word, in conuersation, in charitie, in faith. And to Titus, Aboue all things bee thou an ex∣ample of good workes, with vncorrupt doctrine, with grauitie, with integritie. And Chrisost. God (sayeth he) will not haue a Christian to be contented with himself, but to edifie other also, and that not in doctrine onely, but in life also. For men looke not onely what is spokē, but what is done. As there was neuer time more capti∣ous, perilous, and daūgerous, then these dayes are, so was circumspect walking, neuer more necessarie, yt our enimies take not a pretence, by our blemishes, to quarrell agaynst our doctrine. This if we doe, we shal be good Ministers of Christ, we shal walke in the house of God, wt good consci∣ence, we shal be able for any iust cause, to stoppe y enimyes mouthes, & force them to praise God in the day of visitati∣on: we shall be able for mans iudgement, to say wt Christ, Quis ex vobis, &c. Which of you cā rebuke me of sinne? But if we doe not this, our conscience must needes be hea∣uily burthened, Gods iudgementes (as he threatneth by his Prophetes) will bee greeuous against vs, he will rase vs out of the booke of Israell, he will set himselfe agaynst vs, he wyll feede vs with worme wood, and giue vs water with gaule to drinke: yea he wyl cry out, Woe and curse against vs, as he doth in Jeremie & Ezechiel. Woe (saith he)*to these pastors that hurt and destroye my flocke. And in Jeremie. 25. Howle ye sheepards and crie, and wallow your selues in the ashes, yee principall of the flocke, for your dayes of slaughter are accomplished, the flyght shall fayle from the sheepardes, the principall of the flocke shall not escape, &c. In which words, al∣thoughe the Prophet chiefely doth speake of Princes, Ma∣gistrates, and gouernous of the people of GOD, yet hee comprehendeth also those. that hee hath appoynted to di∣rect them, in doctrine and teaching.

Page  212What the Byshops & Preachers, and y Ecclesiasticall state of this Realme, haue deserued, I knowe not, but what the world speaketh of them, and howe men open their mouthes against them, I knowe, and with griefe of my* harte, I knowe it, and heare it. If wee bee such horrible offences to the Churches of God, as the common voyce of men doth make vs (as before I haue sayde in this place) Better it were that Milstones were tyed about our neckes, & we cast headlong into the Sea, as Christ spea∣keth of them, that giue offence to yt meanest of his churche. If wee bee so retchlesse, and negligent, that when wee bee made Byshops, and haue gotten the Rochet on our backe, wee forget howe to Preache, if we be so giuen ouer to the worlde, as wee haue eyther lyttle, or no care at all of our duetie and calling, (as men saye to our faces) our faulte must needes bee great, neyther can any excuse bee made. But if wee bee so, wee lyue vnder a Prince and lawes,* vnder Magistrates and gouernours, neyther doe wee challenge any exemption, as the annoynted of Rome did, but let our causes and crymes bee tryed, wyth suche in∣differencie, as other States woulde bee contented to bee iudged by, and then let euerye man carye his owne bur∣then, according to the weight of hys desertes. I desire na fauour, eyther for other, or for my selfe, although I knowe more faultes by my selfe, then I doe by other. Onely this I require, that gnats, bee not turned into Elephantes, and moulehilles be made Mountaynes, that is, small blemishes, no faultes in other, horrible and great crymes in vs, onely of affection to deface our calling,* and to discredite the Gospell which wee Preache. Sa∣than knoweth ryght well (and I feare his cunnyng bee too well learned) that there is no waye so fitte, to deface any kynde of doctrine, as by all meanes that maye be, to bryng the Ministers and Preachers thereof in discredite, hatred, and contempt.

Page  213There is in the Ecclesiasticall historye, a notable exam∣ple* of that noble Emperour Constantine the greate, who after that he had assembled the great Councell of Nice, for the suppressing of the Heresie of Arrius, and there were as∣sembled to the number of 318 Bishops, whereof the grea∣test number, were men of notable fame, as well for life as learning, yet by humayne frayltie, forgetting themselues, and the principall cause that they came for, they began to offer to the Emperour, Libels, and Bils of complaynt, one agaynst another, blazing euery man the others infirmities, which thing the Emperour greatly misliking, and forese∣ing the great inconuenience that might come thereby, to the Christian fayth, whiche lately before, hee had excepted into his Empire, he would not so muche as once looke into the Bils of complayntes, but wrapped them vp togeather and in theire sighte cast them into the fyre, with reuerente wordes exhorting them to forget those quarrels, & to bende themselues wholye to that matter, for whiche principallye they came. So that the Godlye Emperoure did rather indeuour with Sem and Iaphet, to couer the nakednesse of* those reuerend men, then with Cham to blaze their infyr∣mities, to the discredit of that religion, which they taught and professed. And yet is it a wonderfull thing to see, how* that same wise, noble, and Godly Emperour, was shortlye after abused by certayne pernicious flatterers, and con∣ning workers about him, in his Court, (which were infec∣ted with y heresie of Arrius) For they made such suggesti∣on agaynst that reuerend and great learned Father Atha∣nasius, that he sent for him, and not only condemned him, as an obstinate and stiffenecked man, that woulde yeelde to no conformitie, for quietnesse of the Church, but also cast him into banishment into Fraunce, where he remayned all the time of his Empyre afterward, vnto the very great hinde∣raunce of true Christian fayth, and to the aduauncing and spreading abroade, of that wicked and detestable Heresie of Arrius.

Page  214A verye not able Example for all Princes to take hede, howe by secrete Suggestions, they bee caryed to thinke euill, of the Ministers and Preachers of Goddes truth. Surelye I muste confesse, that the State of the Mini∣sterye of the Churche of Englande, is not so perfecte, by muche, as it oughte to bee, and yet I muste needes saye this, and in the feare of GOD, tell it you playne∣lye, that since Englande did beare the name of a Chri∣styan Churche, there were neuer so manye in it, so well furnished with Gods Giftes, nor so well able oute of the holye Scriptures to deliuer the true waye of Saluati∣on vnto his people, as there are at this daye, and I praye GOD make this Lande thankfull for it, otherwise, it will fall out to their heauy iudgemente. Neuerthelesse, I confesse that there be some that are to bee lamented, some that are to bee prayde for, and some for whom, men are bounde in Conscience to giue GOD▪ greate thankes for. And therefore great vncharitablenesse is it, to wrappe* them all in one Sentence of Condemnation, and con∣tempte. But the best canne looke for no better inter∣taynemente, in these miserable latter dayes, then beefore them the Prophets, the Apostles, and the Reuerende Fathers of the Primatiue Churche, hadde in theyre tyme, whiche doing their duetyes faythfullye, and God∣lye, were notwithstanding, burthened with most haynous, and cruel crimes: Yea that immaculate lambe of GOD* Christe our Sauyour, who in this place did and mighte iustlye saye. Quis ex vobis arguit me de peccato? &c. Which of you canne rebuke mee of Sinne? yet scaped not, and was amonge men contemned as a Drunkarde, as a Glutton, as a Friend and fauourer of Publicanes, and Sinners, as a Coniuror, and worker with Deuils, as a seducer of the people, as a Samaritane and Enimye to his Countrey, as a Traytor and Aduersary to the Prince, for, Si hunc dimittis▪ non esamicus Caesaris: If you let this*man go, you are not Cesars friende.

Page  215Therefore if they did this to the Maister of the housholde, the poore sillie seruauntes of the Familie, maye not dis∣dayne, if they haue no better curtesye. And yet the fault of them, that so abuse them, must needes bee verye greate, whereof I haue nowe nexte to speake. That is, what blame they deserue, whiche eyther maliciouslye, or vntruelye, or vppon anye other siister affection, by false reportes, seeke to discredite the Preachers of Gods worde.

And herein I will onelye note vnto you two or three poyntes, wherewith they vniustly and maliciously burthen Bishoppes, and other Preachers in these dayes, to the dis∣credite of the Gospell. As for priuate & euery seueral mens faults, I will not medle withall. If they be true, they must needes bee greate burthens to oure Consciences: if they bee false, for my parte, I smallye esteeme them, and so woulde I wishe the other to doe. Onelye I will touche those things, wherewith the Doctrine is more blemished, then we our selues discredited. The firste thing is, that* they blame vs for that, whiche oughte to bee our greatest commendation. For if in our Sermons we deliuer the truth of Doctrine vnto the people of God, and entring in∣to anye controuersie of Religion, somewhat zealouslye re∣prooue the erroures, superstition and Idolatrye, of late v∣sed in the Churche: Oh, saye some, in some places, (and happilye in this place too) What neede this vehemency, in these matters? these thinges bee banished by Lawe, and by Authoritie of the Prince. No manne dare auowe them, no man thinketh nowe, of the Supremacye of Roome, of praying to Sayntes, of praying for the deade, of Pardones, of Purgatorye, of Images, they are cleane out of mennes myndes: I praye you Sy exhorte to Vertue, and deterre from Vyce, so Preache that you maye make vs the better lyuers▪ Nowe GOD for his mercye sake, giue vs that grace, and poure into our hartes that mighte of his Spirite, that nowe yet at the length Page  216 after so many yeares, oure wordes maye worke in theire hartes, to that effect. I pray God also, that such speeches,* as they vse in this case, proceede not rather of a loathing to heare true Doctrine caught, then of a longing to learne better life. For sure I am there were neuer Preachers in any age, that either more directly, or soundly according to the rules of Gods worde, haue exhorted to vertue, neuer more terribly and boldly thundred agaynste vyce and wic∣kednesse, then (God be thanked) a number haue done in this Church, for the space of this 20 yeares. And yet I muste tell you playnely, I see as little fruite of that, as I doe of Doctrine, and lesse too. For in Doctrine they make some pretence, in amendment of life, none at all. And therefore seing both zeale of true doctrine decayeth, & study of God∣ly life nothing increaseth, no maruayle though God, eare it be long, shew his heauy iudgementes agaynste vs. And this I must say farther to them, that desyre vertue onely to* be preached of, and no doctrine, that they shall neuer haue that vertuous and honest life, that shal be acceptable in the sight of God, vntill the perswasion of true fayth, and righte religion be placed in their hartes. For, Without fayth, it is impossible to please GOD, and whatsoeuer is not* of Fayth, is sinne, thoughe it seeme neuer so goodly, in the sight of men. Neither is there any other true fayth,* then that which is grounded vpon true doctrine, out of the word of God. For, Fides ex auditu, auditus per verbum Dei,*Faith is by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, But happily these loathers of Doctrine, and louers of ver∣tue, be of this opinyon, that if a man liue well, hee shall* bee saued, howe soeuer hee beleeue, whether hee bee Jewe, Turke, Sarasin, or Papiste (for some there bee that thinke so) Quorum damnatio iusta est, Whose damnation is iust. For if that should be so, the wisdome of* God hath greatly ouer reached it selfe, the sonne of God tooke fleshe and dyed in vayn, the scriptures are false, our religion is voyde, and our fayth is frustrate. But surelye Page  217 these be those dayes, that S. Paule prophecied of. The* time shall come, fayth he, whē men shall not abide sound doctrine, but hauing itching eares, shall frame vnto thē selues preachers according to theire owne phantasyes, and shall turne their eares from the truth, For if we doe, as these men would haue vs to doe, leaue doctrine, & preach of manners, so that it bee done in generalitie, with some shew of eloquence, and enterlacing of fyne short senteuces, it is tollerablye thoughte of, and vsed somewhat lyke, as GOD speaketh of to Ezechiell, As a iest and song of a* pleasaunt Musitian. But so soone as the sweete tune, and note of the eloquence, is out of their eares, the Dittie and matter is cleane forgotten, and they remayne the same persons, that they were before, bee the thinge neuer so good that was spoken. But if wee speake of anye mat∣ter particularlye, and come so nigh them that they feele their consciences nipped and touched, then are they greued with this disease, Noli me tangere, Touche mee not. Then the Preacher rayleth, hee wanteth wisedome, hee hath neede to go to a Schoole of Discretion: hee med∣leth with those matters that he should not.

In deede I woulde not wishe, eyther Preachers, or any other Subiectes to enter into Councell Chambers, and o∣penly to deale in the consultation of Princes, or contro∣uersyes of the State, so long as they bee consultations, but if any matter breake oute in facte, contrarye to the Lawe of God, eyther in the fyrste or seconde Table, which toucheth eyther religion, and the true worshipping of god, or the order of iustice and charitie among Christians, I see not, but that euery good Preacher maye, and in duetye ought to speake agaynst them, and to denounce the perill thereof, euen to the face of the offendoures, vnlesse wee will bee contented, that the blood of them that perish with∣out warning, should be required at our hands, which is too heauy for any mortall creature to beare.

Therefore seeing the mynde of men in these dayes bee Page  218 so ouerthwarte, and waywarde, wee whome GOD* hath placed for the Ministerye of his worde, haue great cause to praye vnto him, that hee will assiste vs, not onely with that spirite of integritie, as well in office as life, whereof Christ here speaketh, that with confidence of conscience, wee maye bee able to saye (for the iudgementes of men) Quis ex vobis. &c. Which of you can rebuke me of sinne? But also that he will indue vs with that spiritu∣all strength, which in like case, he promiseth to his Pro∣phets Ieremy. and Ezechiell, that is, that he will make vs* strong cities, yron pillers, and brasen walles, agaynst them that oppugne in vs God and his truth: and if they do make stiffe their neckes, and harden their faces as stones agaynst* the Lord, & his preaching to repentaunce, that he wil make vs also, to haue faces of flinte or Adamante, that maye not blush or be abashed, to let them vnderstande it. For urte∣ous talking and shame fast speaking will not serue.

Another crime, that they lay agaynst vs, and that with* great daunger is, that wee are seditious and contentious men in common weales, daungerous to States and Prin∣cipalities, neuer contented, but still seeking alterations, and studying to bring al states to ySwizers cōmon weale, & here with charge they not only vs that be Preachers, but also all those y be true & sincere professors of the Gaspell. What the Swizers common weale is, I partly vnderstand, but I neuer yet hearde, nor reade, of any man that was of this opinion, that all principalities ought to bee broughte either to the forme therof, or any one other. Or if there be anye such, out of my knowledge I muste saye vnto him Anathema, if hee were an Aungell in Heauen. For the* Doctrine of GOD teacheth no such thing, but that all Christian Subiectes should content themselues with that forme of gouernemēt, vnder which God hath placed them, and by prayer, and all other honest, and Godlye meanes of obedience, studie to preserue and maintain the same. Ther∣fore they that laye this to oure charge, doe desyre malici∣ously, Page  219 to deface the word of God, and his truth. But this* is the olde meanes where with the Serpent Sathan, by his politique Instrumentes, hath alwayes indeuoured, to make odious to Princes and Magistrates, the Prophets, preachers, and Ministers of Gods word. So was it sayde of Helias, and Micheas, That they troubled Israell, that they were enimies to the King, & neuer spake any thīg that was pleasaunt to him. So was it sayde of Hieremi∣as, That he was a Traytor to his Countrey, that he had conspired with the Babilonians, and bare no good harte to the Prince. So was it sayd of Amos, That the earth* might not abide the words, that he had spoken to King Jeroboam. So was it sayde of the Apostles and Fathers of the Primatiue Churche, in so muche, that the name of a Christyan in those dayes, was in that state, as nowe in some Countreyes, the name of a Protestante or Gospeller is. That, is a sufficiente cause, to drawe men in daunger of goodes, Landes, lyfe, and al that hee hath, though there bee no other matter in the worlde to charge them. And these men studye to make their accusation probable, by those sturres, that of late yeares haue fallen out in Germa∣ny, Flaunders, Fraunce, Scotland, and (as they saye) here in Englande too. But it is a wonderfull thing to see, how af∣fection blindeth men, that either they cannot, or will not see* the truth. Were there neuer sturres, rebellions, or vndu∣tifull dealinges towarde Princes, in Flaunders, Fraunce, and Scotlande, before these late yeares of the re••ing of the Gospell? If they thinke so, they knowe nothing, and erre of ignoraunce, and by ignoraunce seeke to misleade other: but if they know it to be otherwise (as needes they muste, if they haue reade anye thing) then erre they of ma∣lice, and purposely seeke to deface God his Ministers, and* his truth. As for the Realme of Englande all men knowe, that for the spare of these fyftie yeares, or more, there hath scante bene two Princes so happy, as to scape wt one Rebellion in theyre tyme. To lette passe other, and to Page  220 speake of those thinges, that are in oure rememberaunce. Were they Protestantes that rebelled in the tyme of king Henrie? Were they all Protestantes that rebelled in the time of that blessed Babe, King Edwarde the sixte? Were they Protestantes that rebelled in the Queenes Ma∣iesties time, that nowe is? They cannot, nor (I thinke) they will not, say it for shame. The Messengers and sedi∣tious Fyrebrandes, that inflamed that styrre, are well knowne to be Englishe Romanistes, and Louanistes, as e∣uen nowe they doe indeuour the like. Is it vnknowne to a∣ny* man, that it is a principle of their Doctrine, that if a Prince be not a friend to the Sea of Roome, be his Title otherwise neuer so good, yet he is an vsurper, or if any mā be ignoraunt thereof, lette him looke into Saunders Mo∣narchie, and there beside shamefull, and detestable treason towarde her Maiesties person and state, he shall finde good ground of that opinyon layde, and yet forsooth Protestants* must be the daungerousts Subiects vnto Princes. I pray you of what professiō are they, that haue altered the title of al the principalities almoste in Europe? of Arragon? of Na∣are? of Italy? of Naples? of Sicyly? of Fraunce? of Germany? of the Empyre both of the Weaste and of the Easte? And what the Pope challengeth at this day for the principali∣tie of England, & Ireland euer since King Iohn his time, eue∣ry man that hath read the English Chronicles knoweth. Of what professyon are they that say they haue all tempo∣rall* power immediatelye of God, and all Princes to holde the same as feodaryes vnto them? And therefore haue they exempted their annoynted Clergye, from all secular power and authoritie, and haue so tyed Christian Princes, that they maye not drawe theire owne Sworde of Jus∣tice,* nor doe anye thing in theire owne Dominions, but at the becke and appoyntment of the Sea of Roome, and then mighte the Father drawe the Sworde againste the sonne, and the sonne agaynste the Father, and Brother against brother, & finally, all subiects against their Prince. Page  221 Yea in all Countries they did set shackles and fetters vp∣on* Princes to bridle them, that they might do nothing, but that was liking to them, I meane, they sette some of theire owne Court, in euery region, (as it were) to keepe vnder the Prince, and to see euen into his secrete dealings, such as Thomas Becket and Stephen Lancton, were in* this lande. Which I doubt not but godly and wyse Prin∣ces, and counsellers will consider, and specially, call to re∣membrance, that the honorable state, dignitie, and Maie∣stie of Princes, was continually troden vnder foote, vntill it was within this 40. or 50. yeeres, that it pleased God, to restore into the world, the light of his Gospel, and by the Preachers therof, out of his holy word, did let the Princes vnderstand, the right, & authoritie of their dignitie, which before was kept from them. Therefore great iniurie doe they in these dayes whosoeuer they bee, that seeke to per∣swade Princes, that the Preachers & professors of the Gos∣pell, be the most daungerous subiects, and the Papistes (or at least the good indifferent men, which passe not which way religion goeth, but keepe themselues safe for all chaū∣ges,) to be the best, most quiet, and assured faithfull sub∣iectes. But the euent wyll teach godly Princes, and wyse counsellers, the contrarie. But whatsoeuer others shall doe, I doubt not but that mightie, and mercifull God, that raised our gratious Soueraigne out of the dust of death, and pulled hir out of the Lyons deune, and out of y iawes of hir greedie enimies, gaping for hir destruction, & to our vnestimable comforte, and benefite, set hir in the Royall throne of this lande, to the ende that she might bee a nour∣sing mother, vnto the church of God; and this land a nour∣sery, for the Gospell of Christ, and a place of refuge, for the afflicted saintes of God in these miserable dayes, and for that ende, and purpose, hath myraculously defended, preser∣ued, and maintained hir, against all the deuises, and polli∣cies of our enimyes, and not onely s, but hath made hir, being but a woman, dreadfull to hir mightiest enimies, Page  206 and the especiall worldlye comforte, that the Saintes of God, and the true professors of his Gospell, haue in these dayes, against all the daungerous enimyes (then which things, greater honour could neuer be done vnto Prince.) And therefore I saye, I doubte not, but that the same God wyll also at thys time, lighten hir mynde, and direct, and strengthen hir heart, that by no colour of cunning, or flat∣tering counsell, shee shall be caried away, eyther to forsake* hir gratious Lorde God, as Salomon dyd, or conceaue hea∣uie displeasure against the Ministers of Gods trueth, as* vnkinde Joas dyd. And that this may bee so, wee haue all great cause, most earnestly to desire it of God, in our conti∣nuall prayers.

A third matter wherwith Preachers be vniustly burde∣ned in these daies, is, y they ar charged, not only with their* owne sinnes, and offences (which god knoweth are too ma∣ny) but with the slacknesse & wickednesse of al other. For vpon vs only they lay al the whole fault, of the smal fruite y the doctrine of the Gospell, hath taken here in this land, now for the space of this twentie yeares. Oh, saye they, if we had good and zealous Bishops, and godlye Preachers, such as the Apostles were, vndoubtly, this doctrine of the Gospel, would haue had better successe, and more woulde haue preuayled in mens hartes: For they are not zealous, nor seeme themselues to be moued with the spirit of God, therefore it cannot be, that they shoulde moue other. O (dearely beloued) though this reason seemeth plausible to some, yet I aduertice all them, that haue anye sparke of* Gods feare in their hartes, that they take heede of it, & be∣ware that they be not caryed awaye with it. For I neuer read, that the people of God among whome true doctrine hath in preached (as the Lord be thanked it hath bin with vs) did euer vse such allegation, for their owne defence, It hath bene alwayes the pretence of the reprobate, and wic∣ked, to excuse, and colour their owne obstinacie, and con∣tempt of Gods word, when they were offered the light of Page  224 the Gospell, and called to repentance. But that these men may not flatter, nor deceaue themselues, I let them vnder∣stand, that the Scriptures doe in no place teach them, that the offences, and faultes of the Ministers, and Preachers, are alwayes, the onely cause, why the worde of God, doth not take place in mens heartes. It is more commonly, and* almost alwayes imputed vnto the waywardnes, vnthank∣fulnesse, and obstinacie of the people that heare it. There∣fore it were good for all sortes of men, of what calling so¦euer, to looke into their owne oosomes, and carefully to consider, whether the fault thereof, bee not in themselues, for they knowe, the Maister may be learned and diligent,* and yet the scholler, not thriue, by reason of his owne dul∣nesse. The Phisition, may be honest, & skilfull, & the obsti∣nate patient, make light of hys wholsome Counsell. The seede may bee good, and the seede sower a painful & honest person, & yet the fruite not to bee aunswerable, to hys tra∣uaile, because of the naughtines, & barrennes of yt ground. This our sauiour Christ teacheth vs in the parable of the seedesower Matth. 13. The sower (saith he) went out to* sowe the seede, and some fell in the high way, that is, in∣to the harts of them, that were continually trampled with wicked and naughtie cogitations, so yt the seede, could not sinke into their harts, but by those birdes of ye Diuell, was caried away wtout fruit. Some fell in stonie ground, that is, into such hartes as wanted the good iuice, & moisture of gods holy spirit, & therfore when the heate of persecution ariseth, their zeale is withered, & they reuolt frō the truth. Some fell into bushie ground, that is, into the mindes of them, yt were troubled wt the eares of this worlde, with the loue of riches, & with ye pleasures of this life, which wholly chaked vp ye good seede of ye Gospel of Christ, so yt it coulde not in any wise prosper, & bring forth fruite. Here you may* perceaue, that for one fourth parte of good grounde, that yeldeth fruit of y doctrine of God, there are three greater partes of euil ground, wherin, it nothing at al prospereth▪ Page  224 I would to God there were lesse store of these euil grounds in this land, & then vndoubtedly should we see greater suc∣cesse of the Gospell, & more ample fruit of our Preaching. It were good for men, to looke that these quarrellings at other mens liues, be not one of those cords of vanitie that Esay speaketh of in the. 5. Chap. Woe bee to them, sayth* God by Esay, that drawe on iniquitie with cordes of va∣nitie,*and sinne, as it were with a Cartrope. That is: Wo bee to them that imagine excuses and coloures to nousle, & maintaine themselnes, in contempt of Gods worde, and want of repentaunce.

Let men take heede of such dealing, that such cordes of* vanitie, pull not on iniquitie, so fast, that it drawe men to vtter contempt, and derision of god, and his truth. For so it followeth, euen in the same place immediately, which saye in this manner in derison of the Preaching of ye Prophets, Let God make speede, let him hasten his worke, that wee may see it, and let the counsell of the holy one of Israel drawe neere, and come, that wee may knowe it. And in lyke manner say the wicked, and vnrepentant peo∣ple of the Iewes Iere. 5. They haue denied the Lord, and*said, it is not he, tushe, the sworde, and the plague, shall not come vpon vs, neither shall wee see it. The threat∣nings of the Prophetes, are but winde, and the true worde of God, is not in them, they vtter their owne phantasies, & these things shall come to themselues, and we shall liue here liuely, brauely, and gallantly, as wee haue before time. Euen with like contempt and derisi∣on many at these dayes abuse y Preachers of Gods word. If we exhort Princes, Magistrates, and Rulers to frame their purposes and deuises according to the worde of God, and in Gods causes to lay aside humaine pollicie, (because vnlesse God builde the house, in vaine he laboureth that* buildeth it, and if the Lorde keepe not the Citie, the watch∣man waketh but in vaine.) Oh, saye some of them, these Preachers lacke experience and discretion, they are fooles, Page  225 they are vnskilfull, they knowe not what pertaineth to the pollicie of gouernment. It is sufficient for Princes and rulers to shewe themselues Religious, although in deede they bee not. For so howled that Monster Machiuell, the poyson of Princes Courtes, and noble houses. If to con∣firme mē in the defence of Gods truth, we lay before them the assured promises of Gods assistaunce, that he wyll not suffer a heare of their heades to perishe, that for their safe∣tie, he will cause his Angels to campe aboute them, yea thoughe they were in the valley of the shadowe of death, yet they shoulde not neede to feare, because the Lorde is wyth them, thoughe people frette and fume, though Prin∣ces of great power consulte and laye their heades toge∣ther agaynst the Lorde, and agaynst his annoynted, yet he that sitteth in heauen wyll defeate their purposes, and laughe them to scorne (for ther is no power, there is no wysedome, there is no Counsell agaynst the Lorde:) these saye they bee the sweete dreames of doting Preachers, wherewyth they nusle Princes in idlenesse and securitie, and by vayne confidence in the prouidence of God, cause them to lay themselues open to the daunger of their eny∣myes, as thoughe euen in these dayes wee dyd not see the defenders of thys their Religion to haue sustayned greate ouerthrowes and slaughters, at their aduersaryes handes. When wee laye before men terrible threatnings of Gods wrathe and indignation, if they reuolte from the trueth of the Gospell, or suffer the same to bee betrayed into the handes of the enimye, saying, that GOD wyll forsake them, that hee wyll take hys defence from them, that hee wyll sette hys face agaynst them, that hee wyll bryng straungers vppon them to destroye theyr Coun∣trey, and possesse their great landes and goodlye buyl∣dynges: Manye crye, that the Preachers bee peeuishe, and for feare of theyr owne state raue in follye. For they thinke if Religion bee altered, that they shall first goe Page  226 to wracke, but they haue small care and prospect, howe to mayntayne the state of their Countrey in safetie. Thus doe they continuallye knitte Cordes of vanitie, to drawe them selues into iniquitie and contempte of GOD, and all this commeth to passe (as I sayde be∣fore) because they looke so muche vppon other mennes do∣inges, that they cleane forget their owne. They shall doe well to followe Christes Councell, that they fyrst Take the beame out of their owne eyes, and then shall* they better see to take the moate out of their brothers.

They maye not thinke that God is the God of the Ec∣clesiasticall* state onely, or that the Scriptures of GOD, doe prescribe onelye their dueties, with greeuous threat∣ning if they perfourme it not: Nay, he is the God of the whole people, and of all the states, and conditions thereof. Of Parentes and Children, of Maisters and Seruantes, of Husbandes and Wiues, of Lawyers & Counsellers, of Marchants & all other Occupiers, yea he is the GOD of Gentlemen and Gentlewomen, of Lordes and Ladyes, of Princes, Magistrates, Rulers, & Gouernours, & all their dueties in his holy worde hee prescribeth, and against all them he speaketh, and with terrible threates in hys Pro∣phetes, he thundreth, as much or more, then he doth against euill Ministers, and Preachers. And more oftentimes, he noteth their vices, & faultes, to bee the cause of those great plagues, & vtter desolations which he threatneth to bring vppon his people. Reade the. 1. 3. 5. 30. Chapters of Esay. Reade the, 5. 8. 21. 22. 25. of leremie, & almost all the parts of the Prophets, and you shal perceaue this to be most true. I woulde staye vpon some examples, but that I myght be thought, to touche some things too nyghly. Therefore all these sortes of people▪, as well as the Ministers of Gods worde for their vocations, ought to bee able to saye, wyth* Christ in this place, Quis ex vobis arguit me de peccato? Which of you can rebuke mee of Sinne? Which of you Page  227 is able to accuse vs, that we liue loosely, in chambering & wantonnesse, or riotouslye, in banqueting & drunkennesse, or contentiously, in striefe and enuie, or maliciously, see∣king to supplant one an other? Which of you is able to ac∣cuse vs, that wee pull downe Townes, and inclose whole fieldes, to feede wylde beastes, & famish a number of Chri∣stian people? or that we ioyne house to house, lande to land, with oppression of the poore, as thoughe wee woulde lyue alone vppon the face of the earth. Which of you is able to* saye, that wee wast the treasure of the lande, in feedyng three Cankers, riotously to consume the same, I meane, Monstrous Vanitie in Apparell, Needelesse pompe in Sumptuous building, and Excessiue charge in daintie feeding? Which of you, is able to say, that in all our do∣ings, we set not the feare of God before our faces, & make not his holy word the directiō of all our deuises? Which of you, I say, is able to accuse vs, in any of all these things? If all men, in all states and conditions, bee able with good conscience thus to say: Surely this lande is blessed. But Heauen and earth seeth, and the Lorde knoweth, that it is not so in a number, yet God forbyd, for that number, that we should condemne all. God hath his, in euery state and condition of man.

Nowe come I to the thirde parte, contayned in the se∣cond sentence of my Theame. Si veritatem dico vobis, quare non creditis mihi? If I say the truth why doe you not be∣leeue mee? Wherein I promised, to let you vnderstande, that the doctrine of the Gospell, which we haue Preached in this lande by the space of this. 20. yeeres, and that hath beene confirmed, and established, by the authoritie of the Prince, & lawes of this Realme, is the onely truth, & that there is no truth of doctrine but it, & therfore, yt you ought both faythfully without exception to embrace it, and con∣stantly, wythout reuolting to abyde in it. But mee thin∣keth I heare some say: Sir, if you coulde resolue vs, that it is the trueth whiche you Preache, wee would easilye Page  228 receaue it, but wee may iustly doubt of it. For ye are but men, and such men, as carie their blemishes openly in the sight of the world, ye may be deceaued, and deceaue others. As good Clarkes as you, and as honest men, for any thing wee see, teache vs the contrarie, and say their doctrine is the truth, or at the leastwyse, wee may iustly thinke, that those great contentions, that you make against yt Churche of Rome, are but for trifling ceremonies, and matters of small weight and importance, and therefore, that Christi∣an Princes, might do vere well, to see some order for those matters, and to force you to agree, for the residue, whether you will or no, that you may no longer trouble the worlde, as you haue done, these many yeeres, with these needelesse controuersies. Surely, that they wyll not receaue our doctrine with triall, I can not mislike it, for S. Iohn in his 1. Epist. 4. cap. giueth them the same Counsell, Deerely* beloued (saith he) beleeue not euery spirit that speaketh to you, but trie the spirites whether they be of God or not, for many false Prophetes are come into the world. Therefore I would to God all sortes of men, but chiefely, Princes, Counsellers, and Magistrates, would trie our doctrine, by the true touchstone of Gods word, as those no∣ble Conuerts of Berrhaea did, mētioned in yAct. 17▪ which* came to heare Paules Sermons, not of custome, and fa∣shion onely, But dayly searched the Scriptures, whether those things were true, that Paule spake, or no. If God* would moue them, so to doe, they should easily vnderstand, not onely, that our doctrine were the truth, but also that the controuersie betweene vs, and the Church of Rome, is not for trifling Ceremonies (as they saye) or matters of small weight, but for the very substaunce of our fayth, and ground of all Christian Religion, and that there can bee made no more agreement betwene our doctrine and theirs, then betweene light and darkenesse, truth and error, God and Beliall, Christ & Antichrist, which thing, it behoueth all Christians, and professors of the Gospell, deepely to Page  229 consyder. For as before time often, I haue sayde in this place, so now thinke I, the time draweth nigh, that Godds iustice, for our vnthankefulnesse, will pull vs to the tryall of our fayth, and therefore it behooueth vs to vnderstande, that we contend not for trifles, but for matters of principall importance, as I mean now to declare vnto you. And if som persons shall thinke these poyntes needelesse to be spoken of in this place, I humbly craue leaue, that for the confyrma∣tion of mine own fayth, I may declare vnto you y grounds of my conscience, that if euer I liue to be tempted, to for∣sake my Lorde God, and his truth, that this my protestati∣on made in this place, may bee a bonde vnto my conscience.

The rule that I will vse to prooue, that our Doctrine is the truth, and not that which commeth from Rome, shal be the same, that the Scripture of God layeth downe by S.*Iohn, in the place before mentioned, where after he hath, as you haue heard, admonished men to trye the Spirites, whether they be of God or no, hee addeth these meanes of triall. Euery Spirite that confesseth Christ to haue come* in flesh, is of God, and euery spirite, that denieth Christ to haue come in flesh, is not of God, but is the Spirit of Antichrist, of whome you haue heard howe hee shoulde come, and now already is he in the worlde. Nowe that you may vnderstande, I go not about to deceaue you with shewe of eloquence, and Rhethoricall amplifications, and with motions of affections, to leade you into erroure, ear you be ware, I will laye open myne argumente vnto you, nakedly, and barely that you may see euery ioynt thereof, and with your selues consyder of what force it ought to bee in any christian cōscience. And this I say euery spirit that confesseth Christ to haue come in fleshe, is of God, and tea∣cheth you the truth. And euery spirite that denyeth Jesus to haue come in fleshe, is not of God, but leadeth you into errour, and is that spirite of Antichrist: But wee, and the Preachers of the Gospell, in all Godly sence cōfesse Christ to haue come in fleshe, and our Aduersaries of Roome doe Page  230 not, therefore we, and not they, haue brought the truth vn∣to you. The 2. proposition. I know wil be denied, for both yt parts therof, which I wil proue vnto you, by this meanes. First I will let you vnderstand the causes why christ came in fleshe, and what benefites he procured to mankynde by the same. Secondly I will shew vnto you what it is to denye Christe to haue come in fleshe. The firste of these two shall confirme our truth: The seconde shall confound their error. As touching the cause why christ came in flesh.

When sinne had made separation betweene God and man, and the exceding great mercy of God, was not willing* vtterly to cast away man, and to ras him from the face of the earth, of his infinite goodnesse, and wisedome, he deui∣sed the sonne of God, the seconde person in Trinitie should descend from Heauen, and take flesh of the blessed virgine, that so being in one person, both very God, & very man, he might be a most fit Mediator to work recōciliatiō betwene God and man. The cause therefore why Christe came in flesh, was to worke the saluation of mankinde. For so saith*S. Paule, It is a sure saying & worthie of all men to be beleeued, that Christ came into the world to saue sin∣ners, And Christ himselfe sayth: that he came to saue that* which was lost.

The generall worke of our redemption, hath certayne principall branches, whiche are cheefe Articles of oure Fayth and groundes of all Christian religion. Firste, that he might be the reconciler, and attonement maker be∣tweene* God and vs, as S. Paule witnesseth, 2. Cor. 5. All things are of God which reconciled vs vnto himself in Christ Iesus. And immediately, God was in Christ recō∣ciling* the world to himselfe. And to the Colos. It plea∣sed him to reconcile all things, vnto himselfe by Christ, appeasing by the blood of his Crosse, all thinges whiche are either in heauen or in earth. God therefore appoyn∣ted him for euer to be our high Bishop, our Mediator, our Aduocate, our Intercessor which should cōtinualy appeare Page  231 before the face of God for vs, and make him fauourable to* sinners, that we might haue accesse to God by him, & by his intercession and merite, obtayne mercy and grace in oure necessities, these be the wordes of the scripture. And hee is* not onely our Mediatour and Aduocate, but Our onelye Mediatour and Aduocate, One God, and one Media∣tour of God and man, the man Christ Iesus. We haue an Aduocate with the father, Iesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sinnes. It is hee that ascended vp to heauen, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father, Ʋt interpellat pro nobis, That he may bee an In∣tercessour*for vs. The 2. cause of Christs comming into flesh, is, that he might be our redeemer from the tyrannye of the Deuill, and the purchazer of remission of sinnes. The* Sonne of god appeared to this ende, to dissolue the workes of the Deuill. And agayne: Yee are redeemed,* not with golde and siluer, but with the blood of the im∣maculate Lambe Christ Iesus. And agayne: Beholde the* Lābe of god, that taketh away the sinnes of the world, And S. Paule: In whome wee haue redemption, and by* his blood remission of our sinnes. We must not onlye be∣leeue that he is our Redeemer, but our Only Redeemer,* and the Only Purchazer of the full remission of our sinnes. For, Non est aliud nomen. &c. That is, There is no other name vnder Heaué, wherin we shold be saued, but only by the name of Christ Iesus, And S. Iohn. The blood of* christ hath washed vs frō al sinne. And S. Paule. He gaue himself for vs. that he might redeme vs frō all iniquitie. The 3. cause of Christes incarnatiō, & y 2. office of his eter∣nal Priesthood, is, to offer a ful & perfit sacrifice to appease y wrath of God, & to satisfie his iustice, & yt not according to y order of Aaron, which by imperfectiō did nede a Succes∣sion, but according to y order of Melchizedek, & y for euer. Thou art a Priest, sayth God, for euer, according to the* order of Melchizedek. Therefore it cannot bee borne •• christian religion, that Christ should haue any succession Page  232 in Priesthood, to sacrifyce after him. For by one oblati∣on* he made perfect all that be sanctified. And agayne: Christ was once offered for the extinguishing of the sinnes of many, And agayne: Hauing offered one Sa∣crifice for sinne, he sitteth perpetually at the right hand of God. And sundry times else where, the Epistle to the Hebrues affirmeth, Christ Semel, That is to say, once, to haue sacrificed himselfe.

The fourth cause of his Incarnation, and the thyrde of∣fice of his eternall Priesthood is, that he might be the only Prophet, Maister, Teacher, and instructer of his people, fully to open to them the knowledge of God, and the true way of Saluation: God, sayth Moyses, shall raise from* among you, a Prophet like vnto me, him do you heare, according to all thinges that he shall say vnto you. And God the father himself, at the baptizing of Christ, did with the visible presence of the holy Ghost, consecrate him Mai∣ster and teacher of his church, which only was to be heard. This is my dearely beloued Sonne, in whome I am well* pleased, him doe you heare. The same Consecration was confyrmed in the Mounte, at the transfiguration of Christ. And Esay the Prophet in the 55. chapter, or rather* God by Esay sayth: I haue giuen him as a witnesse vnto people: & preceptorem Gentibus, And a Maister and in∣structour* of all nations. And therefore Christ himselfe for∣biddeth his Apostles to be called Maisters, for sayth hee: Ye haue but one Maister which is Christ.

The fyfte cause of Christ his comming in flesh, is that he might be the Lorde of Lordes, and King of Kinges, the on∣lye head, ruler, gouernour, and defender of his vniuersall Church, ouer al the partes of the worlde according to the Prophecie of Dauid Psal. 2. Yet haue I annoynted my* King, vpon my holy hill of Syon, to whome for his inhe∣ritance, he gaue all the Nations of y world, and for his pos∣session, the vttermost bounds of the earth. And the Angell at his Conception, sayde: He shall raigne in the house of*Page  233 Iacob for euer, and there shall be none ende of his king∣dome. And Ephesians 1. He hath put all thinges vnder* his feete, and hath appointed him aboue al things head of his Church. And Coloss. 1. He is the head of his body* the Church, which is the beginning, the first of them that rise from death, Vt sit in omnibus primas tenens. i. That in all thinges hee might haue the preheminence. And Ephe. 5. The Husband is the head of the wife, as* Christ is head of the Church: But the wife may haue no* more heades but her husband, vnlesse she will be a wedlock breake, and so the Church can haue no other heade But Christ, vnlesse she doe in the face of the whole world forsake hir owne Spouse, who hath betrothed her to him alone. He is the only Sonne, whiche alone gouerneth the house of GOD his father, In all these Branches, I adde this worde (Onely) because Christ onelye, is alone that that he is: oure onely Mediatour, our onely redeemer, and purchazer of remission of Sinnes, our onelye high Prieste, to sacrifice for vs, oure onlye Maister and Teacher that instrueteth vs, our onely head and gouernour that guideth and defendeth vs. And herevnto I am mooued, not onelye with expresse wordes of the scriptures, but also with consi∣deration of the high and most excellent meanes of oure sal∣uation, deuised by the wisedome, and vnspeakeable mercye of God. For it should greatlye impeache the wisedome of God, if he should send downe his sonne, the seconde person in Trinitie, into the vale of miserye, here to take Fleshe, and in the forme of a Seruaunt, and abiecte man, to suffer most vile and reprochfull Death, to bee a partye redeemer, or a partie Sauiour, and to yeelde a great parte of the* honoure and glory thereof to other. No, no, he is GOD he giueth not his glory to other: He onely (onelye I saye hee) is our full and perfecte reconciler, and Redemer, and all the residue that I haue spoken of before. This is the Doctrine which we teache, this is the Gospell whiche we preache, and this is no new Doctrine, but that whiche Page  234 was conceaued in the bosome of the wisedome of GOD* before the beginning of the Worlde. For wee were chosen (sayeth Sayncte Paule) in Christe, Antequám iacerentur Fundamenta Mundi. i. Before the Foundati∣ons of the Worlde were layde. This is that Gospell, that GOD himselfe opened in Paradise, to our fyrst Fa∣thers, I will set enmitie, sayeth he, to the Woman, be∣tweene* thy seede and his seede: and thy seede, That is, one that shall come of a woman, shall breake the Serpents head, That is: ouerthrow the whole power of the Deuil, and delyuer mankynde from sime. This is that Gos∣pell that was renued to Abraham, and all the Patri∣arches: In thy Seede, shall all the Nations of the* earth be blessed. This is that Gospell, that was fy∣gured to the Jewes, by the Paschall Lambe, by Man∣na, by the Rocke, by all the Sacrifices, and Ceremo∣niall seruices of the Lawe. This is that Gospell, Where vnto all the Prophets beare witnesse, As Saynt*Peter sayeth, in the Actes: That all they that beleeue in him, shall haue remission of sinnes by his name. This is that Gospell, that Saynt Iohn the Forerunner poynted vnto, Beholde the Lambe of God. &c. This* is the Gospell that Christe himselfe preached and deliue∣red to his Apostles, and they to the whole Worlde. So GOD loued the Worlde, that hee gaue his onlye* begotten Sonne, that whosoeuer beleeued in him, should be saued. Therefore as I haue sayde: Our doc∣trine* is no newe Doctrine, but the moste aunciente Doc∣tryne, that euer was vpon the face of the Earth, neyther doe wee teache anye other Doctrine then this, and those that doe of necessitie depende vppon this, or bee groun∣ded vppon this. Neither doe wee impugne anye Doc∣trines in other, but suche as are repugnaunte to this Fayth, and eyther directlye or indirectlye impeache the same. For I protest before GOD and his Aungels and in the presence of this honourable Audience, for my Page  235 selfe and as many professoures of the Gospell as I know, that whatsoeuer Doctrine is agreeable to this, wee doe gladly receiue it, and with both armes imbrace it, though it come from the Churche of Roome. And whatsoeuer Doctrine is repugnant to this, and will not stande with it, wee doe reiecte it, though it come from an Aungell in Heauen. Seeing then wee haue nowe this 20. yeares taught you this vnfallible trueth, Why doe you not be∣leeue vs? &c.

Now as touching the second branche, what it is to* denye Christe to haue come in Fleshe, and who they are that denye it, you shall vnderstande that there bee two wayes to denye Christe to haue come in fleshe. The one flatlye and groselye, and in playne wordes, as Ebion, Erinthus, Marcion, Valentinian, Arrius, and a number suche other, in the Primatiue Churche, whiche denyed eyther the Deitie, or Humanitie of Christe. But in them Sathan shewed himselfe in his owne Coloures, like a blacke Deuill, and therefore the Heresyes beeing so grosse, were soone confuted, and confounded in the Churche of GOD. There is another waye more subtle, and perilous, vndirectly to denye Christ to haue come in fleshe, in whiche Sathan tourneth himselfe into an Aungell of lighte, and as Cyprian sayeth, Vn∣der the name of Christe, confounding the Religion of christe. That is, While in wordes they confesse the Incarnation of Christ, by peruerse Doctrynes in effecte they deny it, by denying those causes, for which the Sonne of GOD was Incarnate, attributing the effect of oure Saluation, to other thinges. And after this* sorte, the Teachers of the Churche of Roome, very plain∣lye and perilouslye denye Christe to haue come in fleshe, as I wil particularly lette you vnderstande by the Bran∣ches of our saluation before recyted. As touching the fyrst cause of Christe his Incarnation, that Christe is the onelye Page  236 reconciler, mediatoure and attonement maker, betweene God and vs, and for that cause sitteth at the right hande of* God, perpetualy to appeare before his face for vs: Against this Article they teach blasphemous Doctrine of Inuoca∣tion of Saintes, that they are our mediatours and reconci∣lers, that by their merites and prayers, we haue accesse vn∣to God, and are for their sakes, heard, receiued and accep∣ted into the fauour of God agayn, euidently displacing the son of God, frō the cheefe office of his eternall priesthood, & setting his creatures in his place and dignitie, and yt with out any warrant of scripture, eyther by word, or by exāple.* This Doctrine is ioyned with two other foule erroures: Firste, that they conceaue of Christ, as of a dreadfull God, and terrible iudge, and not as of a mercifull Mediatour, & therefore that wee haue needs of other spokesmen, to make the way to him for vs, though he himselfe most gratiously, and mercifully cryeth vnto vs, Come all ye that trauayle,* and be heauy loden, and I will refresh you. And in sun∣dry places commaundeth vs to pray vnto God the father in his name, assuring vs, that whatsoeuer wee desire, it shall* be graunted vs. And therefore doe they shew them selues to mistrust, the Credite of Christ.

Secondly in this praying to the Saintes, not without great daunger of Idolatrie, they attribute vnto them di∣uine power. For in their praying to them, they imagine of them, that they bee of Vniuersall knowledge, and vn∣derstanding, not onelye what men speake, but also what they thinke in theire hartes. Agayne they attribute vnto them Almightie power, as being able to worke and bring to passe whatsoeuer is desyred of them. And lastlye, they shewe themselues to beleeue, that they are More merciful, and readye to heare sinners, then Christ himself, which is flat Blasphemy. As touching the second cause of christ his Incarnation, that he is our onlye redeemer and pur∣chazer of remission of our sinnes: This ground of our faith they weaken, by a number of corrupt Doctrines.

Page  237As first, that in parte wee haue saluation and remission of sinnes, by the Merites of Saintes, for thus they praye:

Tuper Thomae sanguinē quem pro te impendit,
Fac nos Christe scandere quò Thomas ascendit.

Graunt vs O Christ by the blood of Thomas which he shed for thee, thether to goe whether he is ascended. And to Saint George they pray thus, Hie nos saluet à pec∣catis, vt in coelo cum beatis possimus qiescere. Let him saue vs from our sinnes, that we may rest with the blessed in heauen. And touching Saint Anne, they say thus, Deus qui beatam Annam, matrem tuae genetricis fieri voluisti, praesta quaesumus, vt meritis vtrius{que} matris & filiae, regna caelestia con∣sequamur. O God, thou which wouldest Saint Anne to become the mother of thy mother, graunt we beseeche thee, that by the merites of the mother and the daugh∣ter, we may obtaine thy heauenly kingdome. In thys you heare three Sauiours beside Christ, and in like maner doe they acknowledge a thousande moe. Secondly, they* say, we haue remission of sinnes and saluation, in parte by our owne Merites and good doynges. For this writeth Gabriel Biel: That the Passion of Christ may be the first and principall cause, of attaining grace and opening the way to heauen, Sed nunquam est totalis causa, quia semper cum merito Christi, concurrit aliquod meritum recipientis gra∣tiam, that is to say, But it is neuer the whole cause, for that euer there goeth with the merite of Christ, some merite of him that receaueth grace. What shall I say of Pardons, of Pilgrimages, of Purgatorie, of holy Water, and a number of other like Superstitions & false errours? by which not without blasphemie, they matche transitorie things and vaine deuises of men, with the most excellent price of our redemption, the blood of Christ Iesu, ye sonne of God our Sauiour, exprefly contrarie to the holy ghost, thus writing by Saint Peter: Ye are not redeemed with* transitorie things, as with Golde or Siluer, but with the blood of the immaculate Lambe Christ Iesus. As tou∣ching Page  238 the third cause of Christes Incarnatiō, that he being our only high Priest according to the order of Melchizo∣dech, hath once for euer offered himself vpon the Crosse, & purchased for vs eternall redēption, they impugne it wyth y most horrible doctrine of the propiciatorie sacrifice, daily offered in the Masse, wherin they teach, that mortall & sin∣full men in a state of Priesthood succeede Christ, & continu∣ally offer the very reall & naturall body of Christ to God the father, for the remission of dayly sinnes, not only of thē that Cōmunicate, but of them that looke on, & receaue not, yea, and of them that be absent, and procure the same to be made eyther for money or otherwise, aswell for themselues as other, which is directly contrarie to the doctrine of the holy Ghost, in the Epistle to the Hebrewes. Where at large he prooueth, that neither the Priesthood of Christ can haue any successiō, nor his sacrifice any repetitiō, with∣out euident note of imperfection.

As concerning the fourth cause of Christes Incarnati∣on, that he is the only Maister and teacher of his Church, and hath reuealed vnto vs the perfecte wyll of God, and true waye of Saluation, so that nowe after hym, wee shoulde receaue no doctrine, but that is vttered by the voyce of our hygh Sheeparde in his holye worde. Yes, sayeth the Churche of Rome, there bee many weyghtie matters, of necessitie of saluation to bee beleeued, which Christ in hys written worde hath not deliuered vnto vs, and the same to bee receaued wyth lyke reuerence, that the written worde of God is.

Last of all, the fifte cause of Christes Incarnation, that he came to be the onely Head, Ruler, Gouernour, and Di∣rectour of his Churche, the Patrones of the Churche of Rome manifestly denye, saying: that Christ is in deede the onely heade for saluation, but not for gouernment, be∣cause the Pope is the Ministeriall heade and gouernour, and directour of the vniuersall Churche, wherein they ma∣nifestly Page  239 alter the nature of Christes kingdome. For where∣as the kingdome of Christ is not of this worlde, but a spirituall kingdome, wherein by the word of God, and the power of his holy spirite, hee ruleth and raygneth in the heartes of true Christians, the Pope hath transferred it to an earthly kingdome and Empyre, by which, as the Vicar of Christ he challengeth a vniuersall gouernment, not onely ouer the Ecclesiasticall state, but also ouer all Princes and gouernours of the earth. This opposition and contrarietie of the doctrines of the Churche of Rome, to the doctrine of y Gospell, if you diligently marke and obserue, you shall euidently see in them the spirite of An∣tichrist, althoughe not grossely and playnely, yet vndi∣rectly and colourablye denying Christ, to haue come in fleshe. What shall I saye, that the doctrine of that Churche dothe not onely disgrace the office of Chryst, in the worke of our redemption, but hys person also, by brynging hys humanitie and the trueth of hys bodye in doubte, whyle they teache, that the verye naturall bo∣die of Christ is really in all places, or in tenne thousand places at once, that is, in euerye host consecrated through out the whole worlde? And what Christian knoweth not, that it is the propertie of of God alone, and of no crea∣ture, bee it neuer so holye, to bee in manye places at once? Finallye I adde, that the Churche of Rome tea∣cheth corruptlye, as touching Originall Sinne, freewill, and the grace of GOD, Faith and Justification, good workes and the merites of them, the vse of the Sacra∣mentes, and almost of all doctrines touching Christian Religion. Therefore, I trust you nowe perceyue both the partes of my second proposition euidently proued, that is, that we sincerely confesse and teache in all true sense, that Christ is come in fleshe, and they doe not, therefore accordyng to the wordes of my Theame, I say vnto you, If we teach you the truth, why doe you not beleeue vs?Page  240 If it be the onely right way of saluation, why is it not fa∣uourably receaued and embraced? If it be the glad tidings of the Gospell sent by God vnto you, why are the Messen∣gers thereof disdayned and contemned? People that doe feare God, heare the worde of God with reuerence, and not onely heare it with the eares, but faithfully beleeue it in the hart, and not onely beleeue it, but constantly abyde in it, & not onely themselues to abyde in it, but by all meanes they can to labour to drawe other to it, and to represse all such as eyther reuolte from it themselues, or seeke to dis∣grace or discredite it in others. God is not more displea∣sed with any thing, than with the contempt of his word and Ministers. Thus sayth the Lord by Ieremie in yt 6. chap. reprouing the obstinacie of his people, Stand in the wayes* and behold, & aske for the olde way, which is the good way, and walke therin, and there you shall finde rest for your soules, but they said, we wil not walk therin. Also, I set watchmen ouer you, which said take heede to the sounde of the Trumpet, but they said, we will not take heede. But consider what God addeth immediatly, Heare O earth (saith he) beholde I will cause a plague to come* vpon this people, euen the fruite of their owne imagina∣tions, because they haue not taken heede vnto my wordes, nor vnto my law, but haue cast it of. And in the last Chap. of the. 7. of the Chronicles, it is thus written, The Lord God of their fathers hath sent vnto them by* his Messengers, rising vp earely, and sending, for he had compassion on his people, and of his habitation, but they mocked the Messengers of God, and misused his Prophetes, vntill the wrath of the Lord rose against his people, and till there was no remedie, for he brought vpon them the King of the Chaldees, who slewe their yong men with the sworde. &c. God of his great good∣nes, hath sundry times sent into this land, his Messengers and Preachers of his Gospell, and principally these twen∣tie yeeres last past, in which time, the sounde of Gods holy Page  [unnumbered] worde hath continually roong in the eares of men, yet was the loue of the Gospell neuer so colde, as euen at this day, nor the hartes of English men, so ready to reuolt from it. It is lamentable to vnderstande howe in all partes of the Realme, those Papistes, whiche before time appeared to be somewhat afrayde, and sought by all meanes to hyde themselues, doe now openly shew themselues, and desire to be knowne to be as they are. What their hope or expec∣tation is, the Lord knoweth, but surely it is full time, that hir Maiestie, and hir most Honourable Counsell, as they feare God, and loue his truth, doe speedily looke vnto it, otherwise vndoubtedly, the inconuenience will be greater, than by authoritie will be easily stayde. The care hereof, I leaue to them, whome God hath sette in place of Go∣uernement, only I thought it my duetye, being appoynted a watchman in the Church of God, to sounde the Trumpet in this place, and to giue warning, that the bloud of them that perish, be not required at my hande, and withall, moste humbly and hartilye praye vnto almighty God, that with the grace of his holy spirite, he will so direct & strengthen the minds of them, whose principall charge this is, that that may be done, which moste tendeth to the glory of God, and maintenance of his truth, and to the good state and preseruation of this our naturall Countrey.