THE HARMONIE OF the LAWE and the GOSPEL.
Wherin is plainly shewed, that howsoeuer they differ in time and some other circumstances, yet in substance they are one & the same.
And By waie of application, the pretended anti∣quitie of Poperie is discouered, and found to be a meere nouelty: Deliuered in a Sermon at Pauls-crosse, the 9. of Aug. 1607. by GEORGE CRESVVELL, Minister of Gods word.
Imprinted at London by H. L. for WILLIAM LEAKE.
TO THE RIGHT Honourable Sir Thomas West, Knight, Lord Lawarre, all peace, prosperitie, and happinesse.
RIght Honourable, hauing at the re∣quest of a religi∣ous Knight (an Alderman of the Cittie of London) gathered this my Sermon into writing, and de∣liuered him the Copie; I was soone after desired (nay, importuned) by Page [unnumbered] others (my worshipful good friends) to giue consent for the printing of it. Which, when I could not, in good manners (as I thought) farther put off; I was at length induced to con∣descend vnto: the rather, both in regard of the benefit, which by this my weake meanes may growe to the Church of God: as also, that (by seeking shelter vnder your Ho: protection) I had now a fitte op∣portunitie (long wisht-for) to ma∣nifest my dutifull respect, and humble affection to your Lord∣ship. This your Patronage, if it please your Honour (as an addi∣tion to your former fauours) gra∣tiously to vouchsafe mee; I can∣not but also acknowledge my selfe herein the more obliged in Page [unnumbered] al boundē duties. Thus, humbly cra∣uing your Lordships fauourable ac∣ceptance of my faithful endeauours, I take my leaue.
Your Honours, euer in all duty: GEO. CRESWELL.
Dated the 8. of October. 1607.
Galati. 3. vers. 17. 18. 19. 20.
17. And this I say; that the Law, which was 400. and 30. yeares after, cannot disannull the couenant that was confirmed afore of God, in respect of Christ, that it should make the promise of none effect.
18. For, if the inheritance be of the Law, it is no more by promise: but God gaue it vnto Abraham by promise.
19. Wherefore then serueth the Lawe? It was added because of the transgressions, till the Seede came vnto the which the promise was made: and it was ordained by Angels in the hand of a Mediator.
20. Now, a Mediatour, is not a Mediatour of one: but God is one.
THe Apostle (right honourable, right worshipfull, and welbelo∣ued Christians) in all this whole Epistle, doth grauely, and sharp∣ly confute them that in his time mingled the Page 2 Lawe with the Gospell, and (as if that Christ had beene insufficient for vs) did teach that Circumcision and the obseruation of the Lawe was necessarie for the Gentiles, that had alreadie beleeued in Christ. Further, he demonstrateth, that the Lawe did subdue al men to the curse, and therefore they did ve∣ry vnwisely, that hoped for any blessing frō the Lawe. Yea, God would haue it to bee so, that all men might knowe that they should be blessed and saued in Iesus Christ: in whom God had promised the same vnto Abraham. Now, when hee had confir∣med this by the testimonies of the scripture; hee vseth a similitude, or example of testa∣ments or wills: wherein he teacheth vs, that they were too rash that thought it lawfull for them to doe that in the couenāt of God, which is vnlawful to bee done in the will of a man being once well confirmed & sealed; a matter worthie of our best consideration: because God was willing to comprehend the whole manner of our saluation, vnder the word or forme of a Will, or couenant: & such a one, as could no otherwise be fulfil∣led or ratified, but by the ensuing death of his onely begotten sonne; which was an ar∣gument of Gods goodnes, and mercie, full Page 3 of most sweet and excellent comfort. God was willing that his onely begotten sonne (obedient to his decree, by whom hee made and gouerneth all things) should be made man, and deliuered him vp to the bitter and ignominious death of the Crosse, that hee might adopt vs into his children, and make vs fellow inheriters of his kingdome: Euen vs (I say) who, how honorable, rich or great soeuer wee bee, yet are we of our selues sin∣ners, and the sonnes of wrath. Therefore, it is manifest that our saluatiō doth proceed and come vnto vs from the free mercie of God, without any desert of ours: And, as this scripture doth maintaine the certaintie of it, so doth it admonish vs of our dutie: which is to be cōtented with Christ only, & remember that we owe our selues & al that we haue vnto God, who hath aduanced vs miserable wretches vnto the dignitie of his sons. Thus much be spokē, as an Introducti∣on into the Text. Now, let vs proceed in the words of the Apostle: who doth more am∣ply declare that which before he had spo∣ken concerning the couenant of God, in these words; And this I say, that the Lawe which was 403. yeares after, &c. The summe of this is, that the Couenant of God, was Page 4 so firme and sure, that it could not bee abo∣lished by the Lawe. So that the Apostles words are as much as if he should haue said; It may be, I may seeme vnto many to speake obscurely; yet I wil speake truth, as the mat∣ter is: for as God (touching his essence) is eternall, and is not changed, so also his wil is constant in it selfe, and his decrees are im∣mutable. For, as saith the Prophet Esaie, When the Lord of Hostes hath determined any*thing, who shall disannull it? Wherfore al∣though God gaue a lawe afterwards to our forefathers: yet notwithstanding, this law, which followed, 400 and 30 yeares after, was not able to abolish or any way to cor∣rupt that ancient couenant that God before had made with Abraham, and confirmed it by authoritie.
The Apostle, heere, draweth an argu∣ment from time: in the which (that wee may note this by the way) appeareth with what diligence the Apostles read & searched the scriptures. Many other such like places we haue in the word of God. Steuen the proto∣martyr, in his Apologie in the seauenth of * the Acts, from the succession of time, draw∣eth a reason, wherby hee proues, that what excellent thing soeuer our fathers had, it Page 5 came vnto them from the free mercie of God. Our Apostle doth the like in that fa∣mous * sermon that hee made vnto the Iewes at Antioch, a Citie of Pisidia: And in his Epistle to the Romans, doth teach vs, from * the circumstance of time, that Abraham was Iustified by faith onely, and not by cir∣cumcision; it being no other but a seal of that righteousnes hee had already obtained by faith. In all which is proposed a notable In∣structiō, for ministers, to imitate this diligēce of the Apostles: remembring that the holy scriptures were not written by the priuate will, or motion of man; but the whole scrip∣ture as said the Apostles Peter and Paul, by * the inspiration of the holy Ghost, who doth nothing rashly, but all things with discreti∣on and iudgement. For, there is nothing so small in the scriptures, but is verie much a∣uaileable to our instruction and comfort, if it be diligently considered. And the scrip∣tures are the inestimable riches of this trea∣sure: to the destroying and confounding wherof, no industrie and endeuour of man is of it selfe sufficient. But, arguments that are taken from the circumstance of time, are firme and sure, when men doe speak of God and of the action of eternall saluation; be∣cause Page 6 God is subiect to no alteration, or change of times. For, as saith the Apostle Peter, One day with the Lord, is as a thousand*yeares: and a thousand yeares as one day. And Iesus Christ, (who is constituted & made vn∣to vs of God the Father, the author & Medi∣ator of saluation) is yesterday, and to day, and * the same for euer: He is the Lambe of God who was offered from the beginning of the World, because that in his merite the aunci∣ent * fathers, who (from Adam) beleeued his comming, were saued: and by him also shal be saued to the ende of the world, all that doe apprehend him with a true and liuely faith.
That this should bee thus effected, is ne∣cessarie. For, if wee were iustified and saued by any other meanes then our auntient Fa∣thers were; there would follow a double manner of Iustification, and a diuerse, or double meane of saluation: which cannot be; because Christ hath saide, that hee is the * doore by whom we must enter into the so∣ciety of his sheep-fold; that is of his Church and Saluation: calling all them theeues, and robbers, that endeuour to clyme vp by any other meanes. To whom the Apostles * consent, seeing they affirme no other name Page 7 to be giuen vnto men vnder heauen, wher∣in wee must bee saued, but onely the name of Iesus. This may be confirmed by diuers reasons in the word of God. [ 1] First, the elect, that are heires of saluation, in the scriptures are called the children of Abraham; Now, how can they be so called, if they should be iustified and saued by any other meanes then Abraham was? [ 2] Secondly, all those things that God in times past hath determi∣ned, concerning the monarchies and king∣domes of this worlde, remaine firme and certain: for they did arise & fall in that or∣der and time, that Daniel & other Prophets foreshewed they should arise and come to their end. And shall we then think, that God would be so vnmindefull of himselfe, that hee would set vp and pull down the Lawes of his kingdome, or in those Lawes (for mens sakes) would alter and change any one of those things, that by his eternall decree, he had determined before we were in natura rerū, yea before the foundatiōs of the world were laied. [ 3] Thirdly, if the Law (then the which the whole world neuer sawe a thing more magnificent, whether wee haue a res∣pect vnto the giuing of it, full of maiestie & feare; or the forme of the outward worship; or the example of holy men, that liued vn∣der Page 8 the discipline of the Lawe) was not able to abrogate the Couenant of eternall salua∣tion, which God (in times past) had made with Abraham: then what foolishnesse, yea rather madnesse shall it bee, that in changing of this couenant, wee should attribute any thing to humane traditions, which God will not entertaine in his worship; as being ma∣nifestly cōdemned by authoritie both of the olde and newe Testament. [ 4] Fourthly, and lastly, if God himselfe were vnwilling to giue vnto vs a Lawe, which should abolish the auncient promise and couenant of A∣braham: shall wee then grant this to super∣stitious and foolish men, that they should set downe newe meanes to attaine vnto saluation, whereby Iustification by faith (al∣ready cōfirmed by the authority of the new Testament) should bee abolished, or any way corrupted?
Then hereby are they confuted, that de∣fend Poperie by Antiquitie; but doe accuse the Gospell, and faith (that is grounded vp∣on the onely merite of Christ) of noueltie. Beloued, if wee consider the whole matter, wee shal then see, that there are fewe things in Poperie, that deserue the name of Anti∣quitie: because it may be shewed out of cre∣dible Page 9 histories, both at what time, and by what men the most part of all those things that by papistes are esteemed, had their be∣ginning. First, to beginne with their su∣premacie: It is manifest it was in the yeare of Christ, sixe hundred & seauen, or there∣abouts. The Apostles being mindefull of the admonition of Christ, neuer thought of any such matter, neither amongst their successors was there any contention about the supremacie, vntill the dayes of the Em∣perour Mauritius, when Iohn the Pa∣triarke* of Constantinople, an ambitious man, calling a synode, determined that the Supremacie ought to belong to the Church of Constantinople; that like as all the Christian worlde was subiect to the Emperour of that place: so in like sort all Churches ought to acknowledge the Patriarke of that Citie, for the vni∣uersall pastour and chiefe Priest. This was in the yeare of Christ fiue hundred fourescore and fiue. Against the ambiti∣on of this man, Pelagius the second, being then Bishop of Rome, opposed himselfe, and by letters written to the Synode disal∣lowed & abolished this decree. His words are thus recited, aNullus PatriarcharumPage 10vniuersalitis vocabulo vnquā vtatur; Quiae si vnus patriarcha vniuersalis dicitur, patriar∣charum nomen caeteris derogatur. That is to say, Let no Patriark hereafter vse the word of Vniuersalitie; for if any be called vni∣uersall Patriarke, the name of Patriarke, is taken away from the rest.
But when this Patriarke of Constan∣tinople for all this would not cease his am∣bition, then Gregorie the first, (whom wee commonly call Gregorie the great) more strongly opposed himselfe against his pride; and by many Epistles written to the Emperour Mauritius, to the Empresse Constantia, to the Bishoppes of Alexandria and Antioche, hee calls the Title of the Vniuersall Prieste a newe Title, foolish, proud, peruerse, wicked, and profane: to which if they did yeelde, were all one as to denie the faith.
And amongst other things, hee thus writes; Ego fidenter dico, quia quisquis se vniuersalem sacerdotem vocat, vel in elatione*sua vocari desiderat, antichristum praecur∣rit. I speake it bouldly, whosoeuer calles himselfe Vniuersall Prieste, or desires in the pride of his hearte so Page 11 to bee called, is the fore-runner of Anti-Christ.
And that this was true, the euent af∣terward declared. For, this proud Patri∣arke by his ambition gaue occasion to Boniface the thirde, that was Pope next but one after Gregorie, that (beeing puft vp with the like pride) he demanded, yea, and obtained of the Emperour Phocas, still being imbrewed in the blood of his Master Mauritius, the supremacy ouer other Bishoppes, that the Church of Rome should bee called the head of all Churches, and all the Churches of the whole world, should be obedient to the Pope of Rome. This same murderer Phocas, hated of all men for his crueltie, seemes to giue consent to the ambition of this Boniface, to the end he might haue the Romans obedient vnto him.
But how vnluckily, and vnfortunat∣ly, this happened to the Church, not one∣ly the euent and profaning of the holy thinges and of all religion which then followed did declare; but also many sad and sorrowfull prodigies, terrifying the minds and harts of men, did demonstrate: all which are recorded in ancient histories. Page 12 For, a burning Comet appeared, a childe was borne at Bizantium hauing foure * feete: another without eyes and hands, whose inferiour parts from the loynes downeward, were like a fish; bloodie speares appeared all the night: God wit∣nessing thereby, that the fatall time was now at hand, wherein the Popes or Bi∣shops of Rome, who ought to follow ce∣lestiall things and teach all men to lift vp their hearts and mindes vnto God, were now degenerated into four footed beasts, and the Church (depriued of her lights and of her hands, that is to say, destitute of faithfull Seers, trustie guides, and vi∣gilant watchmen) should now as a fishe swimme and floate amongst the waues of the world and vnstable alterations of su∣perstitions, For, such Bishops followed, as troubled the whole world with greate warres and cruell murders, and vsurped to themselues an authoririe or power ouer Emperours and Kings. Let the Popes of Rome then by their flatterers, Iesuites, and Seminaries, boast & spread abroad the an∣tiquitie of their supremacie, which (all histories being considered) had no being before the dayes of Boniface the thirde: Page 13 neither can they bring forth any other au∣thor of the same, but onely Phocas; then whome amongst the Emperours, that professed the name of Christ, none liued that was more wicked, nor more cruelly minded. I so speake of him, because to make himselfe Emperour (as he did) he murdered Mauritius, his Lord and Chri∣stian Emperour. Is then the supremacie of the Pope so newe? but newer are those things whereby superstitious men doe measure religiō in poperie; amongst which the worshipping of Images is chiefest. E∣uerie * one knoweth, that God in the olde Testament forbade Images: and Christ teacheth vs that the same was ratified in the newe Testament, when hee saith that hee came not to abolish the Lawe, or to * breake the commandements of the Lawe, but to fulfill them: to whom consenteth the Apostle Iohn; saying, Babes keepe your selues from Idols. It is manifest in the Primitiue Church, there were no Ima∣ges at all tolerated, no not so much as of Christ. Ierenaeus an auncient writer, about * the yeare of Christ, 185. maketh mention of the Gnostickes, that they had the Ima∣mages of Christ, which they proposed to Page 14 be worshipped with the Images of Pi∣thagoras, Plato and other Philosophers: but this father condemnes and reproues the same in them. Knowen is the action of Epiphanius, Bishoppe of Salamina in Cipres: which in an Epistle written to Iohn the Bishoppe of Ierusalem (Saint Ierome being the Latin Translater thereof) is thus cited; When I came (sayth he) to a Village that was called Anablatlia, and there passed-by, seeing a candle burning, demaunding what place it was, and vn∣derstanding that it was a Church, I went in, to pray.
Now, there I found hanging, be∣hinde the doores of the Church, a vayle washed and painted, and hauing an I∣mage as it were of Christ or some other Saint; for I doe not well remember whose Image it was. Therefore, when I sawe in the Church of Christ, contra∣rie to the Authoritie of the scriptures, the Image of a man hanging, I cut it downe, and gaue commaundement to the keepers of the same place, that therewith they should burie some poore man. And a little after in the same Epistle, Precor vt iubeas presbyteros eius∣demPage 15loci deinceps praecipere, in ecclesiae Christi istiusmodi vela quae contra religio∣nem nostram veniunt, non appendi. These things then doe demonstrate and declare how the Fathers of auntient time vn∣derstood the commaundement of God concerning Images, when as Epiphani∣us doth affirme the Images of Christ to bee against the authoritie of the scriptures and enemies to Christian re∣ligion.
But, after the supremacie of the Popes before spoken of was confirmed, Images also crept into the Church a∣bout the yeare of Christ 707, by Constan∣tine the first, for hate of the Emperour Philip. By which action grewe greate contention, in the whole Empire, and at the last was the occasion, that the Greeke fell from the Latine Church: In which schisme the Turkish Empire en∣creased, which GOD euer from that daye hath vsed as his roddes and scourges to purge the filthinesse of I∣dolatrie.
And yet for all this, foolish and super∣stitious men, doe recken the worship∣ping of Images amongst the exercises Page 16 of ancient and Catholicke religion, op∣pressing and burdening vs with the name of noueltie, because wee condemne this worshippe, and would rid it away by the authoritie of the worde of God. But now let vs come to their Masse, the sup∣porter and piller of their popish king∣dome: * The author hereof they fayne Ie∣sus Christ to be, constantly affirming that all the Apostles, but especially Peter and Iames, celebrated the Masse. Now how friuolous this is, euerie man may easily knowe, that doth but consider the Euan∣glicall history and the writings of the A∣postles. Christ instituted his supper in re∣membraunce of his death, in that forme * and manner, that the Apostles after deli∣uered it to the Church. But what com∣munion can this mysticall supper haue with the Masse, wherein the sacrificing Priest doth all alone, eates alone, drinkes alone, speakes alone, behaues himselfe like a foole in a playe▪ all the rest behoul∣ding him as an idle spectacle? Or hath Christ made any mention of a sacrifice for the quicke and the dead? in the which notwithstanding they fixe the chiefest vse of their masse. Christ instituted his Page 17 supper in remembrance of his death: hee neuer commaunded to apply it to the dead; much lesse to offer his bodie and bloud dayly for their sinnes.
The Masse then is a newe Inuention, the authors whereof are superstitious men that haue patcht it and pieced it vp, at di∣uers times: which (that we may omitte o∣ther histories) we wil declare out of Plati∣na, the Popes secretarie. For he vpon the life of Sixtus the first thus writes; In ce∣lebratione (de coena domini loquitur) manda∣uit, vt sanctus, sanctus, sanctus dominus Deus Sabaoth, cantaretur. These wordes were at the first euident and did, saith he, touch all things as it had beene instituted by Christ.
Peter when hee consecrated, vsed the Lords prayer. Saint Iames the Bishoppe of Ierusalem encreased these mysteries: Basill encreased thē: others encreased them. First [ 1] he saith, that Peter consecrated; a newe worde, whereof in the newe Testament, vvhen there is any speech of the Supper, the Apostles make no mention at all: nei∣ther by it can any other thing be vnder∣stood, but onely the reciting of the first Institution and words of Christ which he Page 18 vsed when hee deliuered bread and wine to his Disciples. Againe, the auntient fathers neuer knewe any other consecra∣tion but onely that wherein common bread was made mystical, and a sacrament or signe of the bodie of Christ, as tou∣ching the vse of it; and not that the sub∣stance of it was turned into the substance of a fleshly body. Secondly, hee sayeth, that Saint Iames increased these mysteries; [ 2] but, heereby he doth intolerable wronge: first, to the holy man; secondly, to all the Apostles. For first, if Saint Iames had ad∣ded any thing to the institution of Christ, hee had beene too bolde, and also had sinned against the Lawe of Christ, who had commaunded his Disciples to teach no other thing, but that which hee had deliuered vnto them. Secondly, if the * Apostles had suffered any such matter, they had beene vnfaithfull in their office, and had neglected the Church; which Christ will haue free from burden of hu∣mane traditions. But the writinges and actions of the Apostles doe teach vs to iudge farre otherwise of them. When the Corinthians had chaunged the my∣sticall Supper of CHRIST into a luxu∣rious Page 19 or want on banquet; Saint Paul te∣stifies, that hee deliuered nothing vnto them, but that which hee had receiued from Christ: recalling them in such sort to the first institution, that in the histo∣rie thereof hee differs not one word from those things that other Euangelistes had deliuered; & pronounceth all them to be accursed (whether they bee men or An∣gells) * that durst adde anye thinge to the Gospell alreadie preached by the Apostles.
And shall wee then thinke, that hee would tolerate so filthy a profaning of the mysticall Supper, who withstoode *Peter to the face, when hee (as tou∣chinge the conuersation of life) some∣thing varied from the trueth of the Gos∣pell?
Most vaine therefore and foolish, is all that the Popes speake concerning the Apostles, that they instituted or celebrated their Masse. But let vs returne to Platina, that the vanitie hereof may be more appa∣rant. For, when hee had saide that others encreased it, he addeth; for, Celestinus gaue the Introit: Gregorie the Kyrielison: Sym∣macchus the Gloria in excelsis deo: GregoriePage 20 the third to the secret of the Masse, Quo∣rum solennitas hodie in conspectu tuae ma∣iestatis celebratur, domine Deus noster in to∣to orbe terrarum: Alleluia was taken out of the Church of Ierusalem: the Creed in the Councell of Neece: Pelagius the Commemoration of the dead: Leo the third, Frankincense: Innocent the first, the kissing of the Pax: Sergius, the Agnus dei. Nicolas the first, the Sequences: Gelasius Africanus (as saith Nauclerus) the Hymnes, Collects, Responsories, Graduals and Prefaces: Ierome, the Epistle and Gos∣pell: Leo the first, Orate pro me fratres and the Deo gratias, the Cannon also sanctum sacrificium immaculatam hostiam, &c. Now, beloued, if all these thinges, which Platina and others affirme to haue beene instituted at diuers times, and by sundry men, were taken from the Masse, what I beseech you would be therein re∣maining, that should deserue the name of a masse or a sacrifice? Why then should that be called an ancient faith or religion, whose chiefe foundation being first layde many yeares after Christes Ascension into heauen, was afterward confirmed by new rubbish being added vnto it?Page 21
But admit, that some of those things, of the which wee haue hitherto spoken, being added to the institution of Christ, are in some sort tolerable; yet our aunci∣ent fathers were altogether ignorant of the Corporall presence of Christ in his Supper, and transsubstantiation of bread into his body, whereupon the authoritie of the Masse depends.
The first disputation here of was in the * yeare of grace 844. as may bee gathered out of the bookes of Bertram, which he writ at the commaundement of Carolus Calvus concerning that matter. Then Sergius the second, who was the first that changed his name sate in the Romish sea; * For, whereas before hee was Pope he was called Os porci, swines-mouth: hee then tooke vpon him the name of Sergius: by which action God was willing to testifie to the whole world, what a boare should come out of the Forrest, whom Dauid af∣firmes * to be the destroyer and waster of the Church; and that the time of defecti∣on was at hand, wherein they that by baptisme had giuen their names vnto Christ, by denying him should follow af∣ter superstitions. For, ten yeares after as∣cended Page 22 into that place a womanish harlot to be Pope, hauing to name Iohn the eight, or rather Ioane the first. God ma∣nifesting thereby, that now that harlot beganne to shewe her selfe whereof * Christ had prophecied in the Reue∣lation.
But as yet they were not able to perswade all men to worshippe this their newe Idoll: but alwayes GOD sent some to testifie of the truth, vn∣till in the yeare of Christ 1215, vnder Innocentius the thirde in the Councell of Lateran there was a decree made concerning Transubstantiation, which in the Decretals is thus reade; Vna est fideli∣um vniuersalis ecclesia, extra quam nul∣lus omnino saluatur: in qua idem ipse sa∣cerdos est sacrificium, Iesus Christus, cu∣ius corpus & sanguis in sacramento alta∣ris sub speciebus panis & vini veraciter continentur; transubstantiatis pane in cor∣pus, & vino in sanguinem, potestate diuina: vt ad perficiendum mysterium vnitatis ac∣cipiamus ipsi de suo, quod accepit ille de no∣stro.
There is one vniuersall Church of the faithfull, without which none canne Page 23 bee saued: wherein the Priest himselfe Christ Iesus is the sacrifice, whose bodie and blood in the sacrament of the Al∣tar vnder the formes of bread and wine are truely contained; the bread be∣ing transubstantiated into his bodie, and the wine into his bloud, by a diuine pow∣er: & that the vnitie of this mysterie might be effected, wee receiue from him that which he tooke from vs.
In the same Councell also was con∣stituted Auricular confession: whereby men of euery state and degree being fast chayned together as with fetters and linkes of Iron, durst neuer speake a∣gainst the decrees of the Romish Church. Tenne yeares after that, Honorius the thirde, commaunded darke places, or Chestes to bee made, wherein the bread alreadie consecrated (or rather as they speake transubstantiated into the bodie of Christ) was reserued to bee worship∣ped: which without all doubt are those secret places whereof Christ speakes, * commaunding vs not to beleeue them, who shewe vs Christ to be contayned in them.
And to fulfill and finish all this Page 24 superstition, Ʋrban the fourth in honour * of this sacrament, at the request of a Re∣cluse (with whom, in times past, hee had beene ouermuch familiar) inuented the solemne Feast, which they call Corpus Christi. Who is it then that can affirme the whole worshippe of the Masse to be auncient, seeing it hath not alwaies beene in the Church? neither hath it beene insti∣tuted and receiued at one time; but, being brought in by little and little, was aug∣mented with newe additions dayly. So to that to the Masse neither lesse nor more hath happened then to a pilgrimes scrippe or to an old cloake of a begger, that beg∣geth from doore to doore: vpon such a Cloake, the elder that it is, the more pat∣ches doe they set vpon it; so that in time, nothing is seene, but heere a little peece, & there another of the cloath whereof it was first made. And this clothe is so vsed, so wasted, so discoloured, and so without being, that it no way appeareth to be that which it was. In this cloake are not seene but patches of cloth corrupt and rotten, very ill placed and worse sowed together; so that it causeth loathing to those that haue bin delicately brought vp. Such ano∣ther Page 25 cloake is the Popish Masse. The cloath whereof it was made, was the Sup∣per of the Lord: which, men not celebra∣ting according to the institution of Christ, waxed olde, lost it colour, being nothing worth. Then commeth one and casteth a peece vnto it: afterwarde, comes another and casteth vnto it, &c. So that now it is not the Supper of the Lord, but the masse of the Pope: now it is not the robe of an honourable man, but the cloak of a shame∣lesse begger. In conclusion, their Masse is their Helen, for whom they trouble the whole world.
What wee haue spoken of all the afore∣said popish trumperies, the like may also bee saide of the Inuocation of Saints: * which they can prooue by no testimonie nor example of the scripture. For, by the scripture wee are taught to inuocate one God, through the onely Mediator Christ Iesus: neither hath any one of the Saints either of the olde or newe Testament, be∣ing aliue, prayed vnto any of the Saints in heauē. Now the Leyturgie (which Duran∣dus makes to be twofolde: to wit, the ma∣ior & the minor) is also confessed to be in∣stituted by men: the one by Mamertus vn∣der Page 26 the raigne of Zeno, in the yeare of Christ, foure hundred foure-score and ten; the other by Gregorie the great, in the yeare of Christ fiue hundred fourescore and tenne. The hymne of Salue regina, was made by Hermannus Contractus: and Gregorie the ninth commaunded it to bee sung to the prayse of the Virgin at certaine houres of the day; in the yeare of Christ 1241. The verie same may bee spoken of the whole worshippe of the Saints: which how great soeuer it is, yet it is nothing but onely the inuention of superstitious men.
But, if wee should come vnto other points of their popish religion, as of mon∣kish orders, choyse of meates, single life of their Priests, fire of Purgatorie, pray∣er for the dead, satisfactions, popish pardons, and multitudes of such mat∣ters; it would then appeare, that they were all the inuentions of man, and had their beginning when the pure doc∣trine of the trueth was for the most part extinguished, by the corruptions & tra∣ditions of men. In conclusion then, if the lawe, which was 400 and 30 yeares after the promise, was not able to disannull the Page 27 couenant that was confirmed before of God in respect of Christ, to make the promise of none effect; much lesse the Popes supremacie, the worshipping of I∣mages, the sacrifice of the Masse, the inuo∣catiō of Saints, or any popish superstition whatsoeuer shall be able to corrupt, abro∣gate or disannull it, but that the promise should bee performed to the seede of A∣braham; that is, to the faithfull in all ages.
That then, which wee our selues must hold concerning faith onely iustifying, & the sole sauiour Christ Iesus, is all groun∣ded vpon the eternall couenant of God, which in the beginning was made with our first parents: Secondly, renued with Abraham: Thirdly, set forth by the Pro∣phets: Fourthly, confirmed and fulfilled in the death of the Sonne: And lastly, divul∣ged by the ministrie of the Apostles, through the whole world. This faith was kept by all those that pleased and serued God before the comming of Christ in the flesh; the martyrs sealing the same with their bloud. Who thē cā deny, but that the Papists doe wickedly & shamefully slāder vs, who tax vs with nouelty, because they Page 28 would vnder a lying title of antiquitie thrust vpon the common sort their popish superstitions: which indeed are newe, and altogether vnknowen vnto Antiquitie.
But it is more then time for vs to come to our Apostle: who, being about to con∣firme that which before hee had spoken, sayth; for, if the enheritance be of the law, it is no more by promise: but God gaue the inheritāce to Abrahā by promise. In which words the Apostle opposeth the law & the promise one against another, as things cōtrarie, and diuided, which cannot stand to∣ther in the cause and action of our Iustifi∣cation. For, the lawe requireth workes, saying, Qui fecerit ista praecepta, viuet in e∣is:* hee that shall doe these commaunde∣ments, shall liue in them: but the promise requires that wee should beleeue; neither is it apprehended by any other meanes then by faith. Therefore, as merite and grace cannot stand together: no more can the lawe and the promise. To sette forth the sense of the words, we wil frame this argument; If wee deserue the inhe∣ritance of life by the workes of the lawe, then it is not obtained freely, nor by faith onely. But God gaue the inheritance vn∣to Page 29Abraham by promise. Therefore, this inheritance comes vnto vs not by merite, but by the free promise of God. The A∣postle cōfirmes this argument by the word of giuing; whereby is vnderstood a free gift: and euerie gift excludes all me∣rit of euery worke whatsoeuer on our part.
Againe, the Apostle fitly vseth the ex∣ample of Abraham; because hee did not sustaine a priuate but a publike person, in whom God was willing to propose to the whole world an example of all that were to bee saued, together with an assured & common meanes of saluation to all the elect. The Apostle handling this example in the Romanes, after the same saith thus▪ * Now it was not writtē for him onely, that it was imputed to him for righteousnesse; but also for vs, to whom it shal be imputed for righteousnes, which beleeue in him that raysed vp Iesus our Lord from the dead: which was the very cause that those promises that were made vnto Abraham are extended vnto the seede of Abraham; that is, vnto all the posteritie of Gods children. For, vnlesse it were so, there would bee no profit of that sacred and Page 30 holy historie. But at this instant the A∣postle doth thus strongly vrge this ex∣ample of Abraham, that he might presse and beate to the ground the hautinesse of the confidence of the Iewes: who where∣as they boasted themselues to bee the children of Abraham, yet would they not enter into the inheritaunce promi∣sed, by the faith that Abraham did: The Apostle therefore teacheth them, that whilst they vrged the righteousnesse of the lawe, they did (as much as in them lay) frustrate and make voyde the couenāt and promise of God, in which all their dignitie did consist.
As this was an errour in the Iewes, so is it no lesse in the Papists, who would be accounted the onely worshippers of the Saints, and the maintainers of their glo∣rie. For, whilest that they enuiously contend against vs for the same, they doe euert and confound their doctrine, and doe very farre vary from the exam∣ple of faith and life, wherein the Saints went before vs.
But, if they will maintaine the cause of the Saints; why doe they not heare the Apostles? who knewe no other Page 31 thing but Iesus Christ and him crucified; * affirming no name to bee giuen vnto men vnder heauen, wherein wee must bee saued, but onely the name of Ie∣sus. Why doe they not obey the Vir∣ging *Marie, speaking of CHRIST, and saying; Whatsoeuer hee sayeth vnto you, doe it. Hee himselfe commaundes * all that doe labour and are heauie loa∣den, to come vnto him; testifying him∣selfe onely to be the way whereby we must come vnto the Father. All this truely considered, then I conclude thus; that our iustification and saluation is by the Apostles so ascribed vnto the free mercie of GOD, performed to vs-warde in Christ, that from thence is excluded the whole lawe, with all the me∣rit of our owne workes. But, our aduer∣saries will obiect and say: If the lawe doe not iustifie, and that we must not hope for saluation by the law, why hath God giuen a lawe? Againe, if faith onely iustifie, and * that our auntient fathers were iustifi¦ed and saued by faith, what necessitie was there that there should be a law giuen to posterities afterward? For, what hinde∣rance was there, but that wee as well Page 32 as they might be saued without a lawe? A∣gaine, if we be now saued without a law, & (forsaking the lawe) vpon necessitie must come vnto Christ; then vainely hath God giuen and deliuered a lawe afterwarde. For, thus the naturall and carnall man (if hee doe abuse any thing, and therefore be accused) is alwayes accustomed to con∣demne the same, and cast it away as a mat∣ter hurtfull and vnprofitable. Neither doth hee make any other vse of good and necessarie things, then drunken men doe of their wine. For, if thou accuse a drunken man for the immoderate and excessiue a∣buse of wine, hee presently will make an∣swere and say; If it be not lawfull for me to drinke, why hath God giuen wine vn∣to vs? why doe wee receiue so plentifull a vintage from him? as if there were no o∣ther vse of wine, but for their drunken∣nesse. [Note.] The same doe our aduersaries in thinges belonging to Religion. For, re∣prooue them that doe binde Christs cor∣porall presence to the sacrament: and they will presently make answere and say; If Christ be not corporally presēt, to what purpose were sacraments giuen? where∣fore hath God spoken after such a man∣ner? Page 33 Might hee not haue spoken more simplie, and plainely, that we should haue taken his words otherwise; shall we now reproue God of a lye, or affirme him to be a deceiuer, such a one as is willing to beguile with magnificall words? Againe, they doe the like, that binde saluation to the merite of their workes. For, accuse them of error, presently they will affirme, that wee altogether denie, and tread vn∣der foote good workes: because they knowe no other ende nor vse thereof, but that which they haue inuēted in their owne brainesicke humour. Like vnto all these, was the confidence of the Iewes, & of such as by them were deceiued in the time of the Apostle: from whom were of∣ten heard these words; Hath not GOD giuen vs a lawe? Then, what is the vse of the lawe, if faith onely iustifie? and if the lawe bee nothing auaileable to salua∣tion, wherefore (as sayeth my text) then serueth the lawe? Is it not altogether vn∣profitable and superfluous? To this que∣stion, and so to all the rest that are ioyned to it, the Apostle in fewe words making answere saith, It was added for transgres∣sion, till the seede came vnto the which Page 34 the promise was made. Heere the Apo∣stle expoundeth that which before he had spoken: Namely, that the couenant of God was not able to bee frustrated by the lawe that followed, 400. and 30 yeares after; for, hee sayth that the lawe was added vnto the promise or coue∣nant. Now, that which is added vnto a thing, is added not to abolish it, but to confirme it. And therefore, the Apostle writing to the Romanes affirmeth, that the lawe entred, for this purpose, that * the fault of our sinne, might bee appa∣rent vnto vs; and that we, better know∣ing the horror thereof, might flee vnto the promise of the free mercie of God made vnto vs in Christ. Againe, when hee saieth that the lawe was added vn∣to the promise, hee manifestly thereby teacheth vs, that in the action of our sal∣uation the chiefest part thereof is due to the free promise or couenant of GOD: vnto which, the lawe was added, not to a∣bolish or take it away; but to be seruice∣able vnto it, & more to confirme it. And thus the Apostle doth reproue the ig∣noraunce of the Iewes, who did not distinguish betweene the lawe and the Page 35 promise; and therefore attributed vnto the lawe, that which indeede was due and belonging vnto the promise of God.
[Note.] Heere then obserue, that this confu∣sion is the occasion of all errors in the matter or cause of our eternall saluation. For, wee are all by nature sinners, subiect to condemnation: but God, pitying vs, in his eternall decree appointed Christ Ie∣sus to be our Sauiour, in whome hee hath elected vs before the world was made or created: promised him vnto our first pa∣rents: after that to Abraham and other Fa∣thers; that thereby hee might shew vs, that saluation comes vnto men from the free mercie of God. Afterwarde, hee gaue a lawe: not because the promise and coue∣nant was defectiue or imperfect, or that hee would abolish the same; but onely to admonish them of their dutie, who already were heires of these promi∣ses and of free saluation. But, as the Iewes (in times past) not obseruing the order of God, supposed that this inheritance came from and by the lawe, altogether negle∣cting the promise: [Note.] So in like sort doe the Papistes, who doe impute saluati∣on vnto the merit of their owne workes; Page 36 which is all one as if a sonne shuld auouch himselfe to bee his fathers heire, by the merite and desert of Obedience, and should denie himselfe to bee an heire borne. The same error is committed by many in the Sacraments. The chiefest points of the Sacrament of Baptisme are * these. The grace of Adoption, Washing a∣way of our sinnes, Regeneration and Re∣nouation of the whole man. The duetie of the commer is this: faith is required of the baptized, and they are admonished of their duetie, namely to leade and liue a life beseeming their Christian profession. Now the Anabaptistes (a contentious and stub∣borne kinde of men) doe pause (nay, stand * still and sticke) vpon this last point; and because they see, that faith and the obedi∣ence of faith haue not as yet any place in Infants, therfore they exclude them from baptisme: neuer obseruing that the more principall and chiefe points take roote & place in them, to wit, the grace of adopti∣on, washing away of sinnes by the blood of Christ, Regeneration, and other things that make vs heires of eternall saluation. For, if they did but perceiue this, then would they conclude with the Apostle Page 37Peter and say, Can any man forbid water, but that these who are capable of the holy * Ghost, should be baptized as well as they that are well growen?
The like is the error about the mysti∣call Supper of Christ. The chiefest point * therin, is the remēbrance of his death. For Christ himself, when he instituted it, shew∣eth, and the Apostle afterward commen∣deth this to be the proper ende and vse of it. Now, vnto this is ioyned the commu∣nion of the bodie and blood of Christ with his Church, the sealing of our Re∣demption; admonishing vs continually of our duetie, that wee should not onely ab∣staine from strange sacrifices, but also im∣brace mutuall peace and loue together: All which, that we might truely and wil∣lingly performe, Christ (in a sacramentall manner of speech) hath called the breade his bodie; and the wine, the blood of the newe Testament. Now, our aduersaries (the Papists) cleauing to the last wordes, doe contende and dispute about the pre∣sence of the body of Christ, and corporall eating of the same: and thus haue they made an Instrument of diuision & distra∣ction of that which should be the bond Page 38 of Christian concord. These things then doe admonish vs, that in euerie matter we should haue a respect vnto that which is the chiefest; referring all the rest, vnto such a scope, that will not suffer vs to decline from the truth. But, let vs returne to the exposition of our text; in the which are three things to be considered. First, why the lawe was added to the promise? Secondly, how long the lawe was to con∣tinue? Thirdly and lastly, by whome and how the lawe was giuen and deliuered.
As touching the first, the Apostle saith it was added for trangressions. This may bee taken two manner of waies. Saint Ierome referres it to the Fathers that a∣bode not in the couenant; but being cor∣rupted with the superstitions of Egypt, and drowned in all manner of sinnes, made themselues like vnto the heathen, whome GOD had cast out before their eyes; and therfore must be bridled, and reduced into the way by a lawe. From which, this sentence seemes to take his beginning, Ex malis moribus, bonae leges natae sunt. Now S. Augustine he takes this to be spoken more generally; and saieth, that the lawe was added to reproue transgressions, and Page 39 to humble the proud & confident minds of the Iewes. For, because they bragged, & boasted themselues in their natiuitie, as if from thence they had naturall righteous∣nesse, it was necessarie saith he to humble them by a lawe; applying vnto them the saying of the Apostle, Quaecunque lex di∣cit,*ijs qui sub lege sunt, dicit. Whatsoeuer, the lawe speakes, it speakes to them that are vnder the law. Which opinion of Saint Augustine comes neere vnto the minde of the Apostle: who teacheth vs that by the lawe we are conuicted, that we might haue our recourse vnto Christ, who hath deliue∣red vs from the curse of the law. And ther∣fore saith Saint Ambrose, in his first booke * against Auxentius; Iustū fides, non lex facit: quia, non est per legem Iustitia, sed per fidem. Faith and not the law maketh a righteous man: for, righteousnes is not by the law, but by faith. That the lawe doth thus manifest our corruptiō, the Apostle demonstrateth: * saying, I knew not sin but by the law: & a litte further; I was once aliue without the law; but when the commandement came, sin reuiued, and I was dead. And again: the * lawe entred, that the offence should a∣bound. Therefore the vse of the lawe Page 40 is to manifest and reproue our sinnes, that men might be brought to the knowledge of their owne guilt. For, because we flatter our selues in our sinne, therefore wee will not willingly acknowledge sinne to bee in our selues, but delite in our sinne, vn∣till we feel our selues conuicted thereof in our consciences.
Therefore as the law doth not abolish the promise, which is the Gospell it selfe: so the Gospell doth not condemne the lawe or the doctrine thereof, but rather deliuers the true vse of it. For, the lawe of it self is good, & holy; finally, the teacher of true righteousnes, because it bringeth vs wholy vnto God, and to our neighbor: But by our owne corruption it comes to passe, that wee doe not onely disobey the lawe, but our desires are accustomed to be prouoked and set on fire by the comman∣dements of the lawe. Which wickednesse of our nature, the Poet acknowledging hath said, Nitimur in vetitum semper, cupi∣musque negata. Wherefore, we are not to make this vse of the lawe, as that by the same we should be iustified and saued: (for * saith Saint Augustine; Lex data est, vt gra∣tia quaeretur, Gratia data est vt lex implere∣tur:Page 41vitium prudentiae carnis per legem de∣monstrandum, per gratiam sanandum fuit. The lawe was giuen that grace might be sought for: grace was giuen that the lawe might bee fulfilled: the law demon∣strated our corruption, but grace tooke it away. But, in the law we must behold our selues as in a glasse; that being conuicted of sinne, we should flee vnto Christ, whom the father hath made righteousnes for vs, and our Mediator vnto himselfe. Second∣ly, * the Apostle teacheth vs how long the lawe was to continue: namely, vntill the seede came vnto which the promise was made. By the seede properly is vnderstood Christ, in whome all Nations are blessed. * But in this place the Apostle cōprehends, with Christ, the whole body of Christ; that is to say, the Church gathered both of Iewes and Gentiles; vnto which proper∣ly this promise doth belong, which is two∣fold: the first part appertaines vnto Christ himself; to whose kingdom all Nations of the world were to be subiect, according to the saying of Dauid, Aske of me, and I shal giue thee the heathen for thine inheritance,*and the ends of the earth for thy possession. The secōd part belongs vnto the Church, Page 42 because that in Christ all were blessed that out of euery Nation did come vnto it. That therefore, which the Apostle doth in this place obscurely and briefly touch, hee afterward in the 23 verse of this Chapter doth more apparently set downe: saying, that the Iewes before faith came, were kept vnder the lawe, and shut vp vnto that faith, which should afterwarde bee reuealed. And in the Ephesians it is said, * that the partition wall of the law is taken away from the Gentiles, that hitherto had been strangers from the Common-wealth of Israell, and now called vnto the faith; that of Iewes and Gentiles there might be one Church of Christ Iesus. For which cause, afterward it was called a Catholicke Church, by reason it was extended to the elect, of all ages and places.
Now as touching the doctrine and vse hereof, the Apostle doth teach vs that they doe offend and sinne, that extend the law beyond the bound of it, & now seeing the true seede Christ Iesus is already come are stil willing to thrust the law vpō Gods children. For, as S. Augustine saith, Qui de∣dit*seipsum pro peccatis nostris, apertè &c. That is, He that gaue himselfe for our sinnes,Page 43doth plainely shewe that the law did profit no∣thing: seeing it saith that Christ gaue himself that he might suffer for vs, that he might Iu∣stifie vs whom the law made guilty: that being deliuered frō the lawe by the faith of Christ, wee should bee no longer sinners, but righte∣ous, by our second birth the children of God.
[Obiect.] But some obiect against this and say, that Christ (whilst hee liued vppon the earth) kept the lawe; and therfore, contra∣rie to the example of Christ, they bring in a damnable libertie of sinne, who doe af∣firme the lawe to bee abrogated. But to * this I aunswere, that Christ indeede kept the whole lawe, because hee became sub∣iect vnto it, when he was made man of the Virgin: and the lawe had not as yet attai∣ned to his full end, which followed onely in the death of Christ, by whose merite and power the vaile of the Temple rent asunder; that all men might knowe, that the legall worship was now abolished. Se∣condly, Christ kept the law, not by con∣straint but willingly, not for himselfe but for vs; that he might both free vs from the intolerable yoake & burden of the law, & also might abrogate that sorrowful sen∣tence of condemnation which the lawe denounced against vs: because so long as Page 44 the same endured, blessing and saluation whereof he is the meane for vs, could take no root in vs. Nether by this is there ope∣ned any window for the libertie of sin. For although they that are in Christ are to feare no more condemnation from the law, yet is there remaining a dutie of obe∣dience, wherunto we must alwayes be sub∣iect, & which they onely truely & hartily performe, that are endued with a true and liuely faith. Now, we come vnto the third part of this place, wherein is showed, by whom & how the law was giuen; of which the Apostle doth in such sort speake, that therby we may vnderstand, how far more excellent the Gospell is then the law: that therby it may be manifest how much they are deceiued, that secke for righteousnesse and saluation in the law. Of this point the Apostle auerreth two things: first, that it was ordained and giuen by Angels, or as Steuen speakes, by the disposition and mi∣nistrie of Angels. And being thus giuen, vpon necessitie it must bee glorious: But, much more glorious is the Gospel, because it was preached by the onely son of God Christ Iesus; by the which argument the Apostle commends the doctrine of Christ Page 45 vnto vs in the beginning of his Epistle to the Hebrews. Therfore as much as Christ * doth excell the Angels, so far doth the Gospell excell the law. Neither is this a∣ny hinderance vnto the comparison, That God when hee gaue the lawe did speake. For in holy scripture oftētimes doth God speak to men by the ministry of Angels.
[Obiecti.] But some will obiect, & say, why might not the Gospel be preached by an Angel? but vpon necessitie the Son of God must come into the world to be the preacher of it? To this I answere: In the law are contai∣ned precepts with promises & threatnings: al which might haue been proposed by an Angel. But the Gospel hath in it not onely precepts of faith and promises of eternall saluation, but it bestowes life and saluation itselfe vpon vs. For it is the power of God * to saluation to euery one that beleeueth: It is the word of reconciliation and of eter∣nall * life. So that truly hath the Angell spo∣ken of Peter the teacher of Cornelius; He shall speake vnto thee words wherby thou and all thy house shall be saued. Finally, with the Gospel is ioyned the enheritance of saluation and of the kingdom of God. Now, these things are of such sort, that Page 46 they cannot be giuen vnto vs by the bene∣fitte of an Angell or any other creature whatsoeuer. For, how can he make them the heires and sonnes of God, who is nei∣ther sonne nor heire himselfe, but adop∣ted by grace? Therefore that the authori∣tie of the Gospel might be firme and cer∣taine, it was necessarie to bee preached by the eternall sonne of God. Cirillus makes * an excellent difference betweene the lawe and the Gospell. [ 1] First, saith he, the lawe condemned the world, and subdued all men rightly & iustly, to cursing: But the Sauiour freed the world; for he came not to iudge but to saue the world: Secondly, [ 2] although the law graue grace to the know ledge, of the true God, recalling men from the worship of Idols, and teaching to dis∣cerne good from euill; yet it did not effect this perfectly indeede, but onely in part. But the grace and truth of the onely be∣gotten sonne doth giue vs good things, not in figures and shadowes, but openly & manifestly, & by his doctrin brought vs to the perfect knowledge of faith. Third∣ly, [ 3] the law gaue vs the spirit of bondage to feare: But Christ the spirit of adoptiō vnto liberty. [ 4] Fourthly, the law established the Page 47 circumcision of the flesh which (as saith our Apostle) is nothing: but Christ brought in the circumcision of the heart and the spirit by faith. [ 5] Fiftly, the law baptizeth thē that are washed in water: but Christ baptizeth with the holy Ghost, and with fire. Sixtly, [ 6] the law broght vs into a tabernacle, which was a figure of true things to come. But Christ hath brought vs into heauen, & in∣to a tabernacle, which not man but God hath created. [ 7] Seuenthly, the law brought no perfectiō of good things: but the doc∣trine of the Gospel bringeth full and abso∣lute blessing. [ 8] And lastly, Moses by the law condemnes the whole world: but the Son deliuers the world frō the curse of the law; & with the multitude of his mercy heals & cures the sicknes & maladie of the world. Like as Moses brought the children of Is∣raell * out of Egypt, but Iosua into the Land of promise: so the law brings men vnto a sight of their sins: but the grace of the gos∣pel hath brought vs into the kingdom of heauē. And therfore saith S. Chrysost. Ego*quādo lego Euangeliū, & video ibi testimonia de lege, testimonia de Prophetis, solū christum cōsidero. For, ye Gospel saith Theod. sheweth the reconciliation of God: the destructiō *Page 48 of the diuell: the remission of sinnes: the departure of death: resurrection from the dead: life eternall, and the kingdome of heauen: for the scope and ende of the Gospell is the saluation of men. So that as well by the testimonies of Antiquitie, as also by the scriptures, we may see plainely how far more glorious the Gospell is then the lawe. The second thing that the Apo∣stle speakes concerning the lawe, is, that it was giuen in or by the hand of a Media∣tor. Thus he cals Moyses, who in the gi∣uing of the law was vsed as a mediator be∣tweene God and the people. For, when the people were not able to endure the voyce of God, then God was willing to make him an interpreter of the lawe: and God tendering the peoples infirmitie cal∣led Moses vnto himselfe, to whom he did not onely declare his law by word, but al∣so writ downe the summe of the same in Tables of stone, and gaue them to Moses to bee deliuered to the people. That this is the true sense of this place appeares by the words of Moses himselfe which hee spake vnto the Israelites, saying: When ye hard the voyce out of the midst of the darknes * (for the Mountaine did burne with fire) Page 49 then yee came to me all the chiefe of your Tribes and Elders and said, Beholde the Lord our God hath shewed vs his glorie and his greatnes, and wee haue heard his voyce out of the midst of the fire, &c. And afterward, if wee heare the voice of the Lord our God any more we shal die. For, what flesh was there euer that harde the voice of the liuing God out of the midst of the fire as we haue, and liued? Goe thou therefore, and heare all that the Lord our God saith: & declare thou vnto vs all that the Lord our God saith vnto thee: and we will heare it and doe it. Heere then ob∣serue [Note.] the infirmitie and weakenes of man, and how far we are from God; seeing wee are not able to endure the maiestie and brightnes of Angels. Neither did the Is∣raelites onely endure and suffer this, but the like examples we finde in the parents of Samson, in Daniell that man of desires, in the welbeloued Disciples of Christ; whom the taste of Gods maiesty shining in Angels did so terrifie, that they fell to the ground, and wist not what they said. This onely argument then is sufficient to con∣uict the papists, who trust vnto the strēgth of their free will, and the merite of their Page 50 workes. But to let them passe, and come vnto our selues; we are hereby taught to embrace the goodnesse of God, who for vs miserable and vnworthy wretches so far abased himselfe that he speakes vnto vs by euerie manner of meanes. This good∣nes Moses doth worthily commend vnto vs, teaching vs to make this vse of it: name¦ly diligently, and attentiuely to heare and performe those things that God speakes vnto vs. But how much greater then this was the readinesse and mercie of God to∣wards vs, who in the ende vouchsafed to speake vnto vs by his onely begotten son, least any one should pretend the ignorance of his will? Being mindefull hereof, let vs submit our selues to his will with all our hearts, alwayes remembring the saying of the Apostle to the Hebrewes; For, if the * word spoken by Angels was steadfast, and euerie transgression and disobedience re∣ceiued a iust recompence of reward: how shall we escape if we neglect so great sal∣uation, which at the first began to bee preached by the Lord, and afterwarde was cōfirmed vnto vs by them that heard him? And againe, if hee that despised Moses lawe dyed without mercy, vnder Page 51 two or three witnesses; of how much so∣rer punishment suppose yee shall hee bee worthy, which treadeth vnder foote the sonne of God, and counteth the blood of the new Testament as an vnholy thing, wherewith hee was sanctified, and doth despight the spirite of grace. But, to the last part of this Text: wherein because the Apostle had made mention of Moses the mediator, hee now drawes an argument from the person or condition of a media∣tor, wherewith hee confutes them who would be iustified by the lawe. A media∣tor, is not a mediator of one; that is to say, hee is not a mediator betweene such as are at vnitie and peace one with another: but rather hee is one with them betwixt whom he doth mediate. But our Fathers when the law was giuen, stood in need of a mediator, lest they should be compelled to endure those greeuous and terrible voi∣ces of God himselfe proclaiming the law: of which their neede whereas before they were ignorant, then they onely vn∣derstoode it when the lawe was to be gi∣uen. By this argument, the Apostle eui∣dently gathers, that the lawe is not that meanes, by which we are reconciled Page 52 with God: but rather by the lawe our mi∣serable estate (as before hath beene decla∣red) is made knowen vnto vs;
Namely, that being separated from God, we haue nothing in our selues, that can defend vs before Gods tribunal seate. For God (indeed) professed himselfe to be their God, and deliuered vnto them a law: but vnto the same he added such conditi∣ons, which whereas they were impossible to bee performed, they did terrifie rather then comfort miserable men. Therefore Moses himself did send them to that great Prophet Christ Iesus, of whom as touching his office of mediatorship, hee did beare a type and figure. But now some will ob∣iect & say, Had God then broken his co∣uenant, * that there must be a new reconci∣liation, and therefore a mediator? But the Apostle maketh answer hereunto saying, But God is one: as if hee should haue said, God neuer hath broken his couenant; for as he is one in essence, so is hee constant in himselfe, and is neuer changed. But because men doe not alwayes stand to those conditions which GOD prescribes vnto them, he deales after another manner with them. And therefore then also (for Page 53 matters before spoken of) there was a Lawe giuen, which continued for a time, so long as there was vse of it: But now is the time of the new Testament, when the Lawe & the Prophets doe yeeld vnto the Gospell, that there might be a place as wel for the Gentiles, as the remnant of the Iews, who forceably entred into the king∣dome of God. I knowe that others doe expound this place otherwise, and speake much of Christ the Mediatour, of the vni∣ty of God, and equality of the Sonne with the Father: but the whole Text of the words doth sufficiently teach vs, that it is not agreeable to the purpose of the Apo∣stle. Therfore let vs ayme at the true scope of the Apostle: which is to shew, that righ∣teousnesse and peace of conscience, cannot be looked for from the Lawe; seeing the ancient Fathers, to whom the Lawe was giuen, were not able to endure the giuing of the same: much lesse then shall we be a∣ble to abide it, if God should be willing to iudge vs according to the rigour of it. Therefore as the Iewes stoode in neede of Moses, to be their Mediator: so we stand in need of Christ, whō God hath made the Mediator of the new Testament for vs.Page 54
Let vs therefore acknowledge this so great a benefit: and least wee should make the goodnes of God vnprofitable for vs, let vs with a true and constant faith em∣brace Christ Iesus; that he being truely v∣nited vnto vs may liue in vs, and that wee may lead in him a life beseeming the pro∣fession of Christ: applying alwayes vn∣to our selues that which Christ said vnto his Apostles vpon the Mount Oliue, that * they should watch and pray.
Let vs therefore apply our selues vnto that vocation whereunto God hath called vs: let vs watch against the deceites of the world and the diuell. Let vs continually meditate in the word of God, that is able to comfort vs and teach vs. Let vs giue place to the spirit, which God hath made an aduocate for vs. Let vs pray continual∣ly, that he will not suffer vs to faint vnder temptations. Finally, let all our hope bee fixed and fastned in Christ Iesus, who is the good shepheard, and wil suffer no man to take his sheepe, which he hath redee∣med with his blood, out of his hands. To him therfore with the Father and the holy Ghost, be all honour and glory for euer, Amen.
Vnderstand, Christian Reader, that part of the matter contained in the ninetenth and twentith pa∣ges aforegoing, was (by him that copied out this Sermon, for the Presse) set downe in the Margent, without certaine direction for vs, where to bring it into the body of the Book. And consequently, for want of a guide, we haue somwhat failed (as we vn∣derstand since) of the due order obserued by the Authour, in his originall Copy: which was as fol∣loweth;
Symmacchus, the Gloria in excelsis Deo: Ierome, the Epistle and Gospell: Alleluia was taken out of the Church of Ierusalem: the Creed, in the Councell of Nice: Pela∣gius, the Commemoration of the dead: Leo the third, Frankincense: Innocent the first, the kissing of the Pax: Sergius, the Agnus Dei: Nicolas the first, the Sequen∣ces: Gelasius Africanus (as saith Naucle∣rus) the Hymnes, Collects, Responsories, Graduals, and Prefaces: Gregory the third, to the secret of the Masse, Quorum solem∣nitas hodie in conspectu tuae Maiestatis cele∣bratur, Domine Deus noster in toto orbe ter∣rarū: Leo the first, & so forward in order, as it standeth in the booke.