(to the number
of 25) concerning the predeſtination
and election of god: very
expedient to the ſetting forth of his glory
among his creatures. Tranſlated out
of Italian into our native
tongue, by A.C
John Day, dwelling
over Aldergate beneath S. Martins.
To the Christian Reader.
Wen theſe tranſlated Sermons of the famous Barnardine were come to myne hande, gentyll Reader, I thought it mete to publiſh them to the ende ſo godly Apoſtolyke doctryne ſhold not be private to thoſe onely which underſtand the Italian toung, ſynce thorow the honeſt travel of a wel occupyed gentelwoman, and verteouſe mayden they ſpeake in Englyſh: whoſe ſhamfaſtnes would rather have ſupport them, had not I to whoſe hands they were commytted halfe againſt hir will put them fourth, bidding them bluſh that deſerve blame: for this of hir part I dare ſafely affirme, craveth perpetuall prayſe, and if any prety pryckmydantes ſhall happen to ſpy a mote in this godly labour (as I dought not but the niſytsſt wil) ſeeing it is meeter for docters of divinitie to meddle with ſuch matters then maydens, let them remember how womanly they waſh theyr tyme, the one part in pricking & trymming to vayne hethenayſh oſtentacion, and in devyſing new faſhions of apparell, to whome if in their glaſſe appeared the foule fautes of their filthy condicions as plainely as the defautes of theyr foreſayde faces, I doubt much whether they would delight to toote therin ſo often as they doe: the other parte ſpeaking in prynt lyke Parats & with ſolemne countenaunces, debate matters of importaunce, and grave weight, as though the ordre of Realmes appertained to them, or els warbling words of Scripture in all their doings, A.iii. De vi A3v deface the thing they moſt bable of. But I require the (Chriſtian Reader) with judgement to reade, and in the equall balaunce of Scripture to way theſe learned and Godly Sermons, whych thou ſhalt finde (I doubt not) of juſt weyght with the ſacred word of God: I forbare to prayſe them, leſt I ſhould ſay to lytle, defend them I nede not the authour livinge and here amongeſt us: a man whoſe lyfe wythout wordes were a ſufficiente protection to his worke. It ought be erred in the tranſlacion, remember it is a womans yea, a Gentyl womans, who commenly are wonted to lyve Delly, a maydens that never gaddid farder them hir fathers houſe to learne the languege. Fare wel and uſe hyr labor to the amendement of thy life.
To the Right worſhypful and worthily beloved Mother, the Lady. F. hyr humble Daughter wyſheth encreaſe of ſpirituall knowledge, with full fruiciōon of the fruites thereof.
Since the Drigynall of what ſo ever is, or may be connercted to any good uſe in me, hath frelie proceded (thoughe as the miniſter of God) of your Ladiſhipes mere carefull, and Motherly goodnes, as well in procuringe all thynges thereunto belonginge, as in your many, and moſt Godly exhortacions, wherein amonge the reſt it hath, pleaſed you, oftēen, to reprove my vayne ſtudye in the Italian tonge, accomptingA.iiij. compting viii A4v compting the ſede thereof, to have bene ſowen in barayne, unfruitful grounde (ſyns God thereby is no whit magnified) I have at the laſt perceived it my duty to prove how muche the underſtandynge of your wyll, could worcke in me towardes the accomplyſhinge of the ſame. And for that I have wel knowen your chyfe delight, to reſt in the deſtroying of man hys glorie, and exaltinge wholy the glory of God: which may not be unles we acknowledge that he, doth fore ſee and determyne from wyth out beginninge, al thinges, and cannot alter or rewarde after our deſerved worckes, but remayne ſtedefaſte, accordinge to his immutable wyll, I have taken in hande to dedicate unto your Ladyſhip this ſmale number of Sermons (for the excelēent fruit ſake in thēem conteined, proceding from the happy ix A5r happy ſpirit of the ſanctified Barnardyne, which treat of election and predeſtinacion of God, wyth the reſt (although not of the ſelfe title) a perteyning to the ſame effect to the end it might appere, that your ſo many worthy ſentences touching the ſame, have not utterly ben without ſome note in my weake memory, & al be it, they be not done in ſuch perfectiōon, as the dignitie of the matter doth requyre: yet I truſt & know, ye wil accept the hūumble wil of the preſēenter, not weghing ſo much the excelency of the tranſlacion, al thoughe of ryghte it oughte to be ſuch as ſhould not by the groſnes therof deprive the aucthor of his worthines. But not meanynge to take upōon me the reache, to his hygh ſtyle of thealogie, and fearing alſo, leaſt in enterpriſyng to ſette forth the bryghtnes of hys eloquence, I ſhuld manyfeſt my ſelfe A.v. vnapte, x A5v unapte, to attaine unto the loweſt degre therof. I deſcend therefore, to the underſtāanding of myne own debilitie. Only requiring, that it may pleaſe your Ladyſhippe to vouchſafe that thys my ſmal labor may be alowed at your handes under whoſe proteccion only it is commited wyth humble reverence, as yelding ſome parte of the fruite of your Motherly ad monicions, in this my wil linge ſer vice.
Whether predeſtinacion oughte to be written, ſpoken, or thought: the fyrſt Sermon.
Ther are many that wold not here predeſtinacion ſpoken of, nor once named, and if they might let it, it ſhuld never be preached, and that is becauſe it ſemeth thēem to give offence, and ingender confuſion amonge the people.
I cannot denye, that many curiouſe perſons with theyr darcke natural light (willing to ſee thinges ſupernaturall that cannot be ſene but by fayth) do fall into thouſandes of errours, and cauſe others to fall into the like. All that they may imagine by force of wyt, pleaſynge to theyr owne corrupt reaſon (of the highe ſecrete) they thincke it to be true, without other teſtimony of holy Scripture. And ther by have intāangled their brayns darkened theyr mindes, and offended theyr cōonſciences. Curioſitie is an unſaciableſacy- 002 A6v beaſt, it would pearce thorowe all thynges and yet cāannot get out of his darke & intricate laborinthes, nor once loft by the heade to divyne ſecrettes. And if we ſuffer our ſelves to be guided of it (in thinges eſpecially ſupernaturall) neyther wyll it at any tyme be ſatiſfied, nor we ſhall never perceyve the trueth. For immediatlye after it paſſeth the borders of the naturall lyghte, it goeth alwayes blynded and at adventure. Therfore it muſt be put a ſyde & (bringynge hys unſaciable wyl to an ende) walke by fayth to devyne ſecrettes honoring thēem wythout further dyſcuſſion. And if we be provoked to ſerch them out by the wantonnes of humayn wyt: we ought to remember that which is written: He that ſearcheth the majeſtie of God, ſhal be overcome with the glorye thereof. otherone characterrou. 15 It is our offyce, to be cōontēent, with as much as God hath vouchſafed to open unto us in the ſacred Scripturs, in the which, he hath geven us lyght ſufficyenly. But note, that as it is evll to be curiouſe in willyng to knowe more then that which in the ſcripture is conteyned, and to us reveled,veled, 003 A7r veled, ſo is it alſo evell, to be ignoraunt and not to ſeeke to underſtand as much as therin is: for that in thēem ſpeaketh the holy ghoſt who gyveth none offence but edifieth. In them is writen nothing pernicious, unprofitable, or vayne, but only commodious & neceſſary. Neyther ought it to offende any man, when it is ſpoken of, in the maner that Paule ſpeaketh of it. And we neither may nor ought to be Gala. 11 more circumſpect in ſpeaking therof thēen Paule, ye then God, that ſpeake in him. Thinckeſt thou haplye that Paule (yea rather Chriſte that lyved in him, and moved him to write) did erre in that he wrote of it in ſuche ſort, as he did? The holy ghoſt would never have gyven underſtandinge therof in the holy Scripture, if it had bene evell. Thou wilt ſay, the preachinge of it in ſuch maner as Paule writeth: giveth offence, as it is evidente. I anſwere that Chriſt crucified, was an offence to the Hebrues: therfore 1. Cor. 1 the Apoſtles did evell to preache it. The goſpell ſemed foliſhnes to that wyſe of the world: And therefore it ſhoulde not be taughte: The trueth is diſpleaſaunt to the 004 A7v the falſe Chriſtians, they finde offence of the Goſpell, & Juſtificacion by Chriſt, ſhoulde it then be kepte in ſilence? Wherfore wilt thou that we holde our peace of that thing which Paule writteth? How can the wordes of the holy Ghoſt offend, that have bene pronounced and written onely for our ſalvacion? If thou be offended therwith, it is not becauſe it giveth thee occacion, but for that thou takeſt it without any gift. Neyther ought they thereof to ceaſſe, more thēen the Apoſtles left preaching, though many were offendid therwith. Thou wilt ſaye, to preache the Goſpel is neceſſarie. Wherfore that ought not to be left for offence: and I ſay that predeſtinacion is a great part of the Goſpell. Wouldeſt thou not thinke this a goodlie Goſpell or glad tidinges, that God from without beginning, had by his mere grace, and by Chriſt crucified, elected us to be his children, and that we be ſuer in his handes? It is a thing moſte neceſſarie, to preache thoſe good newes, in the which ther is diſcovered unto us the exceading goodnes of God, that above all other thinges 005 A8r thinges doeth move us to be ennamored of him. And he that is offended with predeſtination, preached in the maner it ought to be, is alſo offended with the goſpell. Knoweſt thou (that which in deede doth hurt, although it appeare not to the blinde and frantike worlde) that any man preacheth it after the humaine doctrine? But it maye be thou wilt ſaye, let us come therfore to the particulars. Doeth it not ſeme to the offence, to preach that God hath electe ſome and not other ſome? He that hereth theſe wordes, will thincke God to be parciall. I anſwere and firſt I ſay, that God cannot erre: nor will other wiſe then juſtly: Yea his will is ſo right, that as he alway willeth any thing, it is evēen by that willinge moſt juſt. Therefore none ſhould be offended with his works, for as much as he maye diſpoſe us after his owne way, and ſhewe his pleaſure upōon us more thēen the potter upon his pottes: and all with juſtice and equite. For what bond hath God with us? Moreover, by the ſinnes of Adam wee are all loſt, and he might Rom. 7 juſtly damme us all, but he ſaveth as manye 006 A8v manye as him pleaſeth: and yet we complayne, where we are not worthy by ſuffering all puniſhmente to ſet furthe the brightnes of his glorie. Yea it ought to be preached that God hath elected ſome, and not other ſome: for to ſmite to the earth the wiſdome of man, and to make him all humble & ſubjecte to God. Now is it not neceſſary to bee knowen Rom. 3 that we ſhall not all be ſaved, and that many ſhalbe damned? And conſequently God hath many electe and many rejected. Thou wouldeſt ſaye, this ſhoulde give no occaciōon of offēence, if it were preached, that thoſe that he hath choſen, are choſen for their merites, & thoſe he hath forſaken, are forſakēen for theyr wickednes but they ſay that thoſe he hath elect, are elected by his meere grace, without workes, and that oure election and ſalvacion dependeth wholly upōon God. And this giveth the offence to the world, I anſwere. If this be offence, Paule hath Ephe. 1. Rom. 9 given it him ſelfe, becauſe it is the doctrine of him, ye rather of the holy ghoſt. Wilt thou be offendid, if Paule magnifie Rom. 8 Ephe. 1 the free mercy, ſeeing god hath elected vs to 007 B1r us to the laud of his glory, as he writteth: We cannot magnify it ſufficiently. But thou feareſt it ſhould be lauded & exalted to much. If it were told the thou were elected by thy workes, thēen would I thou ſhuldeſt be offēended, for that it would make the beleve thy ſalvaciōon, to depend upon thy ſelfe, wherby thou ſhouldeſt be begiled. For of thy ſelfe cōommeth thy damnacion, Dſe, 13 & of God thy ſalvacion. Yea as oftēen as thou thinckeſt thy ſalvacion in any part to depend upon thy ſelfe, it dryveth the, eyther to diſpaire or to be exallted in preſumpcion. And in ſuch caſe thou canneſt never put in God all thy hope, nor al thy love, neither have perfect quietnes of mynd, nor of conſcience. Thou wouldeſt ſay, that who ſo knoweth that God above is reſolved upōon al thinges: waxeth cold in wel doyng, and ſayth, what neede I more to travayle, God hath immutably determined & reſolved all that is to be, I may paſſe my time in pleaſure, for if I be elect I ſhal every way be ſaved. And if I be reprobate, I cannot ſave my ſelf, though I never ceaſed to-are it, on my bare knees. Thou perceyveſt not, that B.i. he 008 B1v he which ſayeth ſo, doth diſcover him ſelf ſhewinge that he never dyd good works, & yet he would his ſalvaciōon ſhould depēend upōon him ſelfe. This ſort of mēen, if they do any good (as they call it) it is to wyn heaven, and not for that glory of God. Therefore if they ſhould beleve that theyr ſalvaci ōon & election did not come of thēem ſelves (as men that were not monid with the zeale of the honor of God) they would dwell in Idlenes, yea, give theim ſelves to live licenciouſly, and ungodly, without reſpect of the diſhonour of God, they are fearefull Servantes and hirelings, and not ſonnes of God, they ſerve theim ſelves and not God, and theym ſelves they worſhip. The elect do never be come cold, but are the more fervēent, by hearinge that their election and ſalvaciōon is onely in the hands of god, they know by fayth, that the lorde lovith theim ſo much (ſpecially ſince Chriſt hath dyed for theym on the croſſe) that they are ſuer of theyr ſalvacion. Yea they feale ſo much the goodnes of God in Chriſte, & by Chriſt that if it weare poſſible (whyle that ſpirituall feling did remayne in them) that they 009 B2r they could beleve them ſelves to be reprobate 1. Re. 28. (for as much as by this, God is no leſſe good) they would not any thyng the leſſe love him, or travayle to honor him, even as Saule ceſſed not moſt coragiouſly to fyght for the glory of God, although it was foretould him of hys death. The elect underſtāand in ſpirit that they are the children of God. Wherfore they are forced by ſtrength of love & learne to have Hebru. 12 condicions convenient to theyr ſo hye eſtate: & are alſo aſhamed to do a wicked worke, not ſemely or ſetting to the bewty of their dignitie. And ſo much more thēen the other, do they fear to ſinne, by how much more they know that god doeth in this preſent lyfe, puniſhe his legitimate childrēen, more thēen the baſterdes. If &an aſtrologier ſhould tell an ambycious man that he ſhould be pope, although he did put undouted truſt there in, yet for all that he would not be Idell, but would ſet furth him ſelfe by all meanes poſſible to come to that dignitie. Evēen ſo the ſonnes of god, the ſuerer they are of their eleccion ſo much the more they underſtand the greate goodnes of God. They are alwayes forced B.ij. ther- 010 B2v therfore, more & more by good works, to make certeine to thēem ſelves the knowledge of theyr election. Every one wyl travayle 2. Pet. 1 for the thinges of the world. There is none that ſayeth I will be Idle, or I will not eate, for alwayes I ſhall live, & be rich & happy in the thinges of the world, if God have foreſene and determined it? Only in thoſe thinges perteyning to the ſoule, predeſtinaciōon hindreth thēem by making it a shilde to their wicked life. But know thou that thoſe which of ſuch a benefit take occaſiōon to become worſe, (though already with theyr hart they did the ſame thinges and wold have done it in worke if they had thought thēem ſure of theyr ſalvacion) ſhew thēem ſelves to be reprobate, & not to feele in Chriſt the great goodnes 2. Cor. 11 of God. Sathan is he that being tranſformed into the ſimilitude of an Aungel of light, travayleth to perſwad that our election dependeth upon us. This was the opiniōon of Pelagius: & the Pelagians are they that be offended with this great mercy of God: they thinke that God neyther may, can, or will do other then reaſon. Then of force muſte it be good to be preached, 011 B3r preached, to the end it may be knowēen, that the time is already come of the covenaunt & promiſed peace that he which hath eares Eſa. 55 Mat. 13 to underſtand, may underſtand, as have that ſhepe of chriſt that heare their paſtour. It is alſo good to be ſpoken of, to the end that that be not hyd but declared, which (by the will of God & for oure profite) is John. 10 written therof in holy ſcripture: &, that the ſpeciall cure that god hath of us, may be knowen, & how we ſhuld ſerve him frely as childrēen, and not as timerous ſervauntes and hirelinges. Yea and that it may be underſtand, that God (being abſolutelie the Lord) may do all that he wills & what he willeth is juſt, and to the end alſo, that in our election may be diſcovered to us, in ſuperabundant maner, his free mercy, and that it may be ſene how we are prevented by innumerable bent ſites, and alſo the man may know that he is only vanitie, & ever an unprofitale Pſal. 38 ſervaunt. Paradiſe is litle worth if with our workes wee could wyn it but it is the inheritaunce of ſonnes, & not a reward for ſervauntes. I wold know what men wold ſay, if God ſhuld ſay to B.iij. them: 012 B3v them: chuſe whether ye wil ſtand to my election & the which I have determined of you, or that I diſanulling (if this wer poſſible) all that I have purpoſed to do with you, ſhuld reſolve me holy to put it in you. And to ſave you if ye do good works & perſeevr in thēem, & if you do that contrary to dāamme you. I am ſure thēen men ſhuld know their owne frailtie, ignoraunce & malice. And on the other partie the exceding boūunty of god, & remit it holy to him again, and much more if they loved him, for the greater glory to god, yea & alſo for their own proper cōommoditie, for it ſhuld never be done, if it depēended upōon thēem ſelvs. And therfore for everi reſpect, every one ſhuld ſtand to gods determinacion, if it were for nothing but to do honour to him. It is a thing more magnificent, & to god more cōonvenient, to geve paradice by fre merciemercie, thēen if he ſhuld ſel it: his liberalitie is therby moſt diſcovered. Then, for his greater glory I would alwaies ſay, god hath gevēen me this. And alſo for my own cōommoditie, that wheras now I hold my ſalvaciōon ſure (for that I know it hāangeth only upōon God) I wold thinke me dāamned, or at 013 B4r or at the leaſt preſuming on my ſelf, ſtand in doubt, if in the leaſt point it did depēend upōon me, bycauſe God inconmparably doth love me more thēen I cāan do my ſelf. Yea, I am the greateſt enemy & traitor to my ſelf that may be. Therfore mēen ought by every cōonſideratiōon to cōontent thēem that their ſalvaciōon doth ſtand in the hāand of god: yea in taking the whole cure of us, he hath ſhewed us moſt dere love, he hath willed us to be ſure of it. And therefore he would not truſte to us, knowinge wee are ſo unperfect, that if we had paradiſe in our hāands, we ſhould let it fal to therth where now we are ſure knowing that al our ſinnes can not let the divine eleccion, neither quench or diminiſhe the divine charitie. Yea, hereof our ſinnes toke occaſiōon to be Rom. 5. ſhewed with exceſſe of more love. We are not by this invited to more Idlenes, nor to watche whēen we ſhal have Manna from heaven, neyther to be wickedly occupied, but we are drawen and moved ſo much more to love him, as he is diſcovered to us by more bountie & charitie. ButBut thoſe that are not by Chriſte regenerate, are of ſo baſe & vile a mind through B.iiij. ſinne, 014 B4v ſinne, that they can not thinke God to be ſo liberal as to geve heaven without our workes. But they ought at the leaſt to thinke, that to bye it the bloud of Chriſt is ſufficient without adjoyninge therto their workes to boote: which ſurely are rich juels to be mingled with his. God is ſo frāanke, that he hath gevēen us Chriſt, Rom. 8 and in him al thinges, and canſt not thou thinke he hath geven the heaven? It is alſo our greater glorie, that God hath loved us ſomuche, that his owne ſelfe hath willed to take the care and charge of our ſalvaciōon. And ſo to that end hath willed his only ſonne to die upon the croſſe, ſo that if with al our travaille we might enter into heaven by our ſelves: the glorie only of the croſſe is a far greater glory then any other which by our ſelves we could attayne. Yea, there is no other trew glory, then to glorie to be ſo much loved of God, that he hath to ſave us, put his ſonne upon the croſſe. He may not dwel in his owne love, that willeth to be happy, & only glory in God. If we might glory of our ſelves, we ſhould have wher of to waxe proude and prefer our ſelves afore 015 B5r afore oure brethern, where otherwiſe we ſhold have occaſiōon to be humble, and 1. Tim. 1 geve to God all honoure and glory as to him it apperteyneth. And further ſuch as beleve them ſelves to be by grace elected, ſaved ſonnes of god, heyres and ſure therof, not only becauſe ther remayneth no more to get (God in Chriſt having geven them all) but alſo by the great underſtanding they have of the goodnes of the Lord: they are conſtrayned to worke as children for the glory of theyr father, and not for their owne gaine, and ſo alſo ſure of their ſalvaciōon, with chriſt they turne them with al their force, to ſeke the ſalvacion of their brother: they demaūund alſo grace with a bolder ſpirite and confidence, ſence they are it not for their owne lucre, but for the honor Ephe. 1. Rom. 6 Pſal. 31 Rom. 4 Gala. 3 2. Cor. 3 Joh. 3 of God, and to his laude and glory: ſo that in the worldes to come, may be ſene the abound āant riches of his free mercy. Moreover ſuch hope to be hard for that they think not to deſerve grace, neither put their truſt in their owne workes, but in the goodnes of God, being inſpired & moved ther to by the holy goſt. Suche alſo as feele B.v. that 016 B5v that our ſalvacion dependeth not upon us, but our damnacion, and that it ſtandeth wholye in the hand of God: are forced to turne their backes to them ſelves, and theyr faces to God: Where as the contrary belefe, wold make the cōontrary operacion, they would withdraw them frōom God, and ſeke to reſte with hope in thēem ſelves: alſo if God had elected us with this condicion: If we wold do well, we ſhould be under the lawe contrary to Paul, neyther we ſhould be ſaved, for the law ſaveth not but worketh wrath, and is the miniſter of curſing and damnacion. Let him therfore that luſteth have chriſt for his judge, for I wyl none of him, but as a ſaviour. If our elecciōon by fre mercy dyd harme us, he wold not then have elected us ſo. But note them that thinke to have theyr eleccion in their owne handes, & thou ſhalt ſe that their owne love and truſt, preſumtuous, and full of vyce: and yet for all thys they be ſo blynd and arrogant, that they will have heavēen by juſtice.
But let us praye to the Lorde that he give them knowledge to the ende they may 017 B6r may render to God all laude, honour, and glorye, through our Lorde Jeſu Chriſt.
How excellent our eleccion is, the ſeconde Sermon.
Paul magnifieth our eleccion, fyrſt in his behalfe that hath elected us, ſayinge: Wee are elected neyther by man nor Aungell, but by God: Hyer can not he go. Then concerning him that elected us, oure eleccion is moſt excellent. And lykewyſe concerning the circumſtaunce of tyme, although above there is properly no Ephe. 1 courſe of time. He elected us (as Paull writeth) before the conſtitucion of the world: meaning from wythout beginninge, ſooner could he not elect us. And 018 B6v And moreover he ſayth, that he elected us which are moſt baſe, moſt vile, moſt abject, wormes in compariſon of him. By the ſinne of Adam we were all defiled, infected, in firme, frayle, blynde, malingnaunte, full of venim, contrarie to god, enemies and rebels: ſo that a thing more miſerable could not have bin choſen. Paule doth alſo magnifye our election, in reſpect of the dignitie, to the which we are elected, and ſayth, he hath not choſen us to be his ſervauntes or frendes, but to be his children, nothing to god can be more nygh, entire and dere, then his childrēen, neither is it poſſible to imagine a greater dignitie. It doth include al other vertues and goodnes, it is ſo high & excellent. Being then elected from ſo miſerable an eſtate, to be the ſonnes of god. He hath alſo choſen us to be the brethren of Chriſt and therby with him coheires of God: yea the world is ours? Chriſt Rom, 8 with all his gyftes, al that is the fathers is the ſonnes, therfore all is ours that is gods, whoſe goods we may diſpoſe as children their fathers. And bicauſe we ſhuld ſhame to be the ſonnes of God, not havinguing 019 B7r ving the maners, graces, & vertues convenient to ſuch a dignitie, therefore not onely our heavenly father, hath choſen us to be his ſonnes, but hath bleſſed us, not with woordes onely, but with effects, not as Iſaac bleſſed Jacob or Eſau, but with all ſpirituall bleſſing in things Eph, 1 Collo. 1 celeſtial. And ſo according to Paule, hath made us meete to be partakers of the felowſhip of light, and delivering us from the power of darknes, hath ledde us into the kingdome of his beloved ſonne: God then with out beginning did determyne to juſtifye, glorifie, and magnifie thoſe that he had elect, & even ſo he hath done: as Paule wryteth, who alſo exaltyth our Rom, 8 electiōon for that cauſe, ſaying: that it was not our good workes, which god foreſawe without beginning, that were the cauſe of ourour election, but he choſe us by mere mercie, according to the decreed purpoſe of his owne wyll, to the laude and glory of his mercie, we were not then choſen bicauſe we were holye, but bicauſe we ſhold be holy by his election, and to ſhew in the worlds to come, the abundante riches Eph, 1 & 2 of his grace. Paule alſo ſhewith the wor 020 B7v the dignitie of the perſōon by whoſe means we are choſen, and ſayth, he hath willed, that betwene us and him there ſhuld be one mediator, nether he wold it to be an Angel, but Chriſt the ſonne of God. He 1. Tim. 2. Ephe. 1. meaneth not only a mediator with words, but with his owne blud, and death Paule both exalt our election as concerning the ende. For bicauſe he hath elected us for his ſonnes, to the ende we may taſte (not only in the life to come, but alſo in thys preſent) things ſo high, happy, riche, and pure, that the eye hath not ſeene, nor the eare hath not hard, nor into the hart of man (being carnall) hath at any tyme entred, he hath then elected us, to the ende (that 1. Cor. 2 regenerate by Chriſte Jeſu) wee ſhould walke to God by good workes, that wee Ephe. 2. may be holy and inreprehenſible, before his preſence. Our election is alſo excellente by the ſuertye therof, for that the electe are in the handes of God. Therfore ſhall not they periſh as Chriſt ſayth, yea Ephe. 1. John. 10. they can not periſh, even as they can not bee pluckte out of his handes. Therfore oure election is moſte happye, ſo that nothing oughte ſo much to bee rejoyſed in, as 021 B8r as to be the elected & choſen of god. Ther it is read, the diſciples returning to chriſt, and rejoyſing with great gladnes, that even the very Develles were ſubjecte to them, Chriſt amonge the reſte of words, badde them they ſhuld not rejoyce of the Luke. 10. Devels, but that their names were writen in heaven: by which wordes, he did ſhew that we oughte to make a ſinguler joye of our election, for that includeth, and bringeth with it the ſumme of all our wealth, ſince then that our election is ſo excellent, riche, ſure, and happy. Let us praye to God to geve vvs lighte and grace, to perceyve it, to the ende, that taſting in it (with the ſpirite) the mightie goodnes of God, we maye render him all laude, honor: & glory, by Jeſu Chriſt our lord,.If
If wee maye knowe in this This hole Sermon muſt be warely red & wel underſtāanded, or els it muſt be taken but as perſuaſive not as doctrine. preſent lyfe, whether we be in the grace of God, and one of hys electe or not, and in what maner the,, the thyrd Sermon.
It is not to be douted that God ſeeth all thinges, ſpecially his legittimate children, ſence he him ſelf hath choſen then to that dignitie. Chriſt alſo knoweth, 2. Tim. 2 Ephe. 1 and know them alwaies, the which was very convenient, ſence his father had gevēen them to him for that he ſhulde be theyr governor, ſhepherd, & brother, and that he ſhuld ſave them with hys own death: he knew thēem, and doth know his ſhepe evēen as himſelfe ſayd, yea from MJohn. 17 John. 6 the beginning he knew who ſhould beleve. But it is not now convenient, that Mat. 13 we may or can deſerve diſtinctlye, the elect from the reprobate, to the end we may be more fervēent in exerciſinge charite, with all mēen, as if they were brethern with us in Chriſt, the which we would not do 023 C1r not do toward the reprobate if we knew them diſtinctlye: But in the ende, the tares ſhalbe ſeperate from the good wheat: none then being in this preſent life knoweth certenly of his neighbour, if hee be of the elect or not, nor alſo whether he be in the favour of God: we may only have therof an obſcure, cōonfuſed, uncertein, and fayling knowledge by conjecture of the outward lyfe and works, of whōom Chriſt ſpeaking, ſayd. Ye ſhall knowe them by Math. 7. their fruites. But foraſmuch as wee ſee not the herts of men, which often tymes 1. Cor. 2. Like. 16. (although within they are ungodly and abhomination itſelf in the ſight of God, nevertheleſſe covering them with veyle of hipocriſie making therin) they apeare to be ſainctes. Therfore without ſpecial oracle, we can have no certeine knowledge therof. But I ſay that every electe, whyle he is in this preſent lyfe, beinge come to the yeres of diſcreſſion, may, and ought to know it of himſelf, not by naturall light (by meanes wherof thinges ſupernaturall can not be perceived, as the excellent divine will toward us) but by faythe, without other ſpeciall privilege. C.j. And 024 C1v And this not with having reſpecte to thēem ſelves, where is nothing ſeene but worthy damnacion, neither with cōonſidering or beholding them ſelves in God without Chriſt, for in that caſe he muſt ſhew him ſelfe a juſt judge full of wrath: then we neither ſee our ſelves his ſonnes, nor in favour. But with lively fayth beholding both our ſelves, and God in Chriſt, we ſee our ſelves to be in the favour of God, and his elect ſonnes, and God to be pacified with us in love and our only father. Such thēem as lively beleeve, that Chriſt for them hath dyed upon the croſſe, have the holy ghoſt within them, & are in the favour of God, bicauſe that faith doth purifie the hert. This muſt be warly red and well underſtanded or it is not true. But if thou underſtand what it is to beleve in Chriſt with a lively faith then there is no daunger at all. And further I ſaye, that all they which in this preſent life doo beleeve lively in Chriſt (yea were it for a moment of time) ſhalbe ſaved. They are electe and ſonnes of God, & may be ſuer and certeine, of their ſalvation. And that this is trewe, the words of SainctJhon ought to ſuffice, which ſayth, that he is the ſonne of God, therefore electe and ſavid, who ſo beleveth Jeſu Chriſte to bee the ſonne of God. And alſo Chriſte ſayde who 025 C2r who ſo beleveth in me hath life everlaſting 1. John. 7 nevertheleſſe it may clearly be prouedved that none beleveth lively in Chriſt, but he that beleveth Chriſte to bee wholy his rightwiſenes and that he is ſaved thorowlye by him, and he that ſeeth this with ſupernaturall underſtanding having no reſpect to him ſelfe nor his workes, but only to the goodnes of God diſcovered in Chriſt upon the croſſe, cannot by any meanes be diſceived, bicauſe that light which he hath to bee in the favour of God, elect to ſalvation, can not growe but onlye of the bountie of God, conſidered in Chriſt, wherof can ſpring no falſe nor deceitfull knowledge. Ful wel may he bee begiled and ſhalbe, that doeth behold his worckes, and by them thinketh that he is in the favour of God, and hys ſonne. But ſeing him ſelfe in Chriſt ſaved, choſen and in the favour of God, it muſt needes be ſayd, that he ſeeth the truth, and that which is once trewe although it were but for the twincke of an eye muſt be ſaid to be ever tru, he thēen which beleveth in Chriſt, wer it but a minnite of an hour, in perceiving of him ſelf elect C.ij. by 026 C2v by Chriſt, ſeeth that which is true, therefore it ſhal ever be true, that he is one of the legitimate ſonnes of God, ſo that the ſame his fayth, be not in any maner foūunded upon him ſelf, nor his own worckes, but in Chriſt, and the divine excellence, and that it be not a certeine trifleing, light, baren & dead opinion, but a lively fayth. It muſt be ſayd then that Judas had never perfect faith, nether was elect to ſalvacion, although he was choſen to the Apoſtleſhippe, and the like ſay I of all the reprobate: all ſuch then as have had at any tyme lively beliefe to be ſaved by Chriſt mai be ſure of their ſalvatiōon. And ſo alſo they, which have once at the leaſt bene perfectly geven to God, & committed to his governaunce, upon the covenaunte, that he ſhall ſerve himſelfe of them according to his owne purpoſe, and with truſte that by Chriſt and his meere goodnes hee hath accepted them for hys own, they may alſo beleeve that they are ſaved, bicauſe that he ſhalbe no leſſe God to thēem, then they ſhal be promiſed of him.
Therfore having had in that covenaūunt lively fayth, that God will forgeve them as 027 C3r as his Children, in ſuch ſorte, that hee This is not ſpokēen to declare that it is poſſible for gods elect to be wholy geven to ſſin, but if it were poſſible, yet ſhould they recover that peſtilēence. will conduct them to ſalvation, although they (as much as lieth in them) were cōontinually prompte to al evil: yet it is neceſſary to ſay, that ſence God hath taken them for his (as they know by the lively fayth that they have hadde thereof) that they ſhal overcome the wickednes & have honour thereby.
For his goodnes paſſeth their evelnes he would not have inſpired them to give them ſelves, if from without beginning, he had not elected them and taken them for his owne. Some peradventure will ſay, if we were onlye ones ſuer to have bene for a litle time in the favour of God, to have had his ſpirit in us, and livelye faith in him, that we did beleve ſuerelye to be his elect: yet wee knowe not if it have bene a perfect fayth or not, we fear it to have bene a certeyne cold opinion and leaſte we were begiled in beleving to be in gods favor and elected of him. I anſwere that this is an evident ſigne, that ye have never had hitherto livelye faith and knowledge of Chriſt. For as it is unpoſſible to have fyre within the C.iij. breſt 028 C3v breſt and not fele it, ſo is it impoſſible to have in the hart chriſt, the holy goſt, ardēent charitie and the fierye light of fayth, and not to perceive it, and this is, for that his light is ſo clere and effectuous, that not only it maketh thēem to ſe, & livelie to fele with the ſpirit, that Chriſt is dead for thēem upon the croſſe, that they are elect and ſavid, but alſo it doth make them know, that it which they ſee, is by divine inſpiracion, that it is the holy ſpirit which teſtifieth unto theyr ſpirite, that they are the ſonnes of God. Whoſe teſtimonie is Rom. 8 more clere, open, firme, and certeine, then al the outward oracles and miracles of the world, which without the inward teſtimonie of the ſpirit, cāan leave us none other thēen doubtfull. Now, that he that hath in him Chriſt and the ſpirit of God, doth fele, know, and perceive it: it is clere by Chriſt which ſayd that the world knew not the holy Goſt, but that he was knowēen of them in whom he was. And by ſainct 1. Joh. 3 John, which ſayd alſo: In this we know that Chriſt is in us, even by the holy Ghoſt which he hath geven us.
Therfore ſayd Paul, trie your ſelves, 2. Cor. 13 make 029 C4r make ſome profe of your ſelves, is it poſſible that ye ſhould not knowe Chriſt in you, if ye be not reprobate? And in an other place, know ye not how ye are the temple of God, and that the holy ghoſt dwelleth in you? The holy ſpirite goth ſearching 1. Cor. 2 Eſa. 31 RomRom. 15 Luk. 1 throughout, and judgeth every thing, and fayth is ſo clere, that it ſheweth us the profunditie of God: and thou wilt that it be blind of it ſelf. Yea Paul ſayth, that the holy goſt is gevēen to us, to the end we might 1. Teſſa. 1 know thoſe thinges that have ben geven us of Chriſt. The kyngdom of God is peace (as writeth Eſai and Paul) without ſervile feare, in much certentie. Therefore as Chriſt ſawe, that he was in the favour of his father, & his beloved ſonne, ſo alſo do the elect ſee thēem ſelves, although not with ſo clear light and certentye, but that they go ſomtyme doubtyng, ſtumbling, & wavering. But they ought with the Apoſtles to pray chriſt to augmēent their faith. And ſeke with their good workes cōontinually Luk. 17 to make knowen to thēem ſelfes more perfect their ſalvatiōon and vocation, that therby as by the effectes or fruites they ſhuld come into the full riches C.iiij. of 030 C4v of certeyne perſwacion, and underſtanding of their election & ſalvation. Paule 1 Teſſa. 1 2. Tim. 4 Rom. 8 Gala. 2 2, Cor, 3 alſo knew he was in the favour of God, in faith, hope and charytie, elected the ſonne of God, ſafe and ſuer, and that he had the holy ghoſt & Chriſt within him, when he ſaid that he was one of thēem that Chriſt was come to ſave, and that he knewe in whom he beleved, that he loked for the Crowne, that nothing coluuld ſeperate hym frōom the love of God, which had elected him before the conſtitution of the world, that he had the ſpirite of adopcion of the ſonnes of God, and that Chriſte was he, who lyved and ſpake in him. SaintJohn alſo ſayed: we are ſuer we know God, and that we live in him, worldlie and carnall beaſtes are they, which know not God in the holy ghoſt, Gal. 2 Joh. 14 1. Cor. 11 nor thoſe thinges which be his, even as men not regenerate, they are ruſticall payſauntes of ſo abjecte & baſe a ſpirite, that they can not beleve that God hath loved them ſo much, that by death of his only begotten and moſt intierly beloved ſonne, he would ſave thēem, take them for his children, and make them his heyres: But 031 C5r But aſtonied of theyr ſinnes, they are ever afrayed of hell. Where the regenerate fele in ſuch ſorte the charitie of God in Chriſt, that they know them ſelves to be ſaved. Neither can they once thinke that Chriſt (who hath al his fathers power and ſhall be theyr judge) wil refuſe, loſe, or damne thēem, and geve ſentence againſt his brethern and members, for whom he dyed on the croſſe, and would dye agayn Mat. 28 if it were neceſſarie. They have in them alſo the holy ghoſt for an earneſt of theyr Ephe. 1 ſalvation. But if God had geven us nothyng but our beyng, ſhould not we for that only benefite, feele ſo much the great goodnes of God, that we myght be ſure and certayne of our ſalvacion? And now he in every creature doth ſparkle towardes us love, with innumerable benefites, yea in Chriſte upon the Croſſe, caſteth he the flame of perfecte charitye, and ſhall not wee feele ſo much the goodnes of God that wee ſhould beleve to be his electe?
If one only ſhould be ſaved I wold truſt ſuerly to be he, if al the men and angels wold tel me that I were dampned C.v. I cold 032 C5v I cold not beleve thēem, although they did alledge all the reaſonnes poſſible, but I wold ever give, more truſte to Chriſt alone, who upōon the croſſe, with his bloud & death, doeth tel me I am ſaved, thēen I wold to al the reſt, for he alone, hath more power in me, thēen all the reaſōons & authorities without him. Provided only that I ſe him with lively fayth, dead for my ſalvacion. Yea in that caſe ſeing my ſelfe, by Chriſt, to be the ſonne of God, I wold with Paule excommunicate Gal. 1 the very angels as ſuperior to them, if they wold ſaye the contrary, or gaine ſay thee Goſpell, and the great love and benefit, which in that caſe I ſhuld fele by Chriſt. Paradventure thou wilt ſay it ſemeth me not, that I cāan be ſuer of my ſalvacion, becauſe I am free to do evell, ſo may I ſinne and be dampned. Our life is in ſuch ſort variable, that to give a certeyne judgement, we muſt tary the ende, for every one wold have though, that Judas ſhuld have bene ſaved whēen he was called of Chriſt, and yet it is ſene, that it is contrary. I anſwere, thou begileſt thy ſelfe, in thinking thy ſalvacion dependeth upon the likelyhod of thy workes. Paule affirmeth Ephe. 1 meth, 033 C6r meth that God hath elected us by his mere mercy in Chriſt, not bycauſe we were holy, or for that he foreſawe our good workes, but becauſe we ſhould be holy, and ſhould do good workes, and perſevering in thēem, we ſhould dye in his favour and grace: Inwardly doth God call his elect, geveth them knowledge of him, and doth juſtifie and glorifie them. Therfore doeth Paul adde and ſay, if god be with Rom. 8 us, who can be againſt us? And he ment if we be once elect, we can no more loſe our ſelves: meaning, there is nothing that can let the electiōon of God. Yea every thing ſerveth to ſalvacion, even ſinne. Therfore where thou ſaieſt, thou mayſt ſinne, it is true, and peradventure thou ſhalt ſinne. Nevertheles if thou be the elect, thou ſhalt algates ryſe againe and be ſaved: wherof thou mayſt be certeyn and ſure, ſo that once at the leaſt thou have perceyved thy ſelfe in Chriſt, and by Chriſt ſaved, neyther thou oughteſt ſo much to diſpayre in thy ſelfe, as that thou ſhuldeſt not much more truſt in the goodnes of God, knowing that the Goſpell is not the law, but mercie,cie, 034 C6v cie, and know thou that when the elect fall in any ſinne (which God doth not permitte but for the benefite of thēem, and the other elect) whileſt they are in the erroure, they fele in them ſelves, a certeyne hidden vertue, which witholdeth and refrayneth thēem, frōom doing worſſe, it biteth, nippeth, and reprehēendeth thēem of the evell fact, and doth endure and ſpurre them to cōonvert. There remaineth ever a certeyn hate of ſin, although they be ſometime overcome of frailtye. So that they never turne from God with al their power, nor run wholy to vice with a loſe bridell. God hath them ever for his owne, and governeth them as his lawefull Childrēen. And ſpeaking oftēen in theyr herts he ſaith that which he ſayd to his Apoſtles: feare Luk. 12 not litle flocke, for it hath pleaſed your father, to give you his kingdōom of his mere goodnes although you be unworthy. And if thou woldeſt bring in Salomon, who ſayth, none knoweth whether he be worthy of hate or love, I anſwere. It is clere (chyflie by the wordes which folow) that he ment, that man were he never ſo juſt & wiſe, was ſo blinde in this world, that he 035 C7r he cannot know by the workes of God, that is by proſperity or adverſity, whether of him ſelf, he be worthy of hate or love. And this is bicauſe God giveth his giftes ſo indifferently, to the good & evell, to the elect and reprobat. Thou wilt ſay yet, Paul ſaid: my cōonſcience doth not reprove 1. Cor. 14 me yet am I not therby juſtified before God, therfore it cāan not be knowēen. But I anſwere, that the entēent of Paul was to ſay, that though by grace of the Lorde he had miniſtred the Goſpel, in ſuch ſort, that his conſcience dyd not rebuke him of any erroure (which was imputed unto hym for a ſclaunder of falſe chriſtians) nevertheles he held not him ſelfe juſte for this neyther was he juſt, he judged him ſelfe juſt by Chriſt, and not by preaching the Goſpell inreprehenſible in the ſyght of man, but yet not in the preſence of God, for that he hath not preached it with the whole force of ſpirit, fayth, and love. So that here Paul did condemne the opiniōon of them, whic judge them ſelves juſt by theyr owne works, but he doth not reprove the judgement of thoſe, which judge them ſelves righteousand 036 C7v & ſaved by the bountie of god, & death of his onli begottēen ſōonne: but doth approve it. With Paule alſo agreeth Job whēen Job. 9 he ſayd, that although he were juſt, he durſt not judge himſelfe ſo, that is, he durſt not hold him for ryghteous, by his owne proper righteouſnes and works, but by the juſtice of Chriſt.
Sence then that it may and ought to bee knowen of us, that wee are in the favoure of God, and hys electe, lette us force us continually to encreaſe in more knowledge of the Goodneſſe of God: ſo that firmely eſtablyſhed in the lyvelye fayth of our ſalvacion, we may as children render hym all honoure, laud, and glory: by Chriſt our Lord.
Whether it be good or evell to beleve that we are elect: the fourthe Sermon.
Some ſay that it is evell to beleve that we are elect, by cauſe, that as the beliefe to be reprobate, bringeth mēen in 037 C8r in diſpeyre: ſo the beliefe of eleccion, is cauſe of preſumpcion. But the juſt and the holy flye both the one and the other extremitie. They are not exalted in preſumpcion, beleving to be elect: nor fallen in the botomles pitte of diſpeyre, with belief of dampnacion, but kepe the meane waye everſtanding betwene both. And I ſay that it is true, that none ought to diſpeyre, or yet to preſume, but aſſuredlye to hope and beleve to be ſaved and elected: Mary by oure owne works, this is an evyll vyce, & ought to be fled. But to beleve to be elected and ſaved by the liberalitie of God, by the death of Chriſt upon the croſſe, and hys workes: this is no preſumpcion, but a hope which hath regard (as divine & theologicall vertue) not to our merites, but only to God by Chriſt. And as we can not love him ſo much, but that we ever lack of the perfectiōon, ſo cāan we not to much hope & truſt in him. Yea we lack ever bycauſe we do not promiſe of God ſo much as we ſhuld do, he that beleveth to be ſavid, be commeth not proud, neyther magnifieth himſelfe, nor his worckes, but the goodnes of god, 038 C8v of god, & the grace that we have by chriſt. Therfore is it not evell. Peradventure thou wilt ſaie one ought to ſtand in feare I agre therto, in the reverend and ſonnelike feare, the which importeth obſervaunce of reverence to God, but now not Rom. 8 ſo vile: for we are no more ſervauntes but ſonnes, not Hebreues but Chriſtiāans, we are not under the lawe but grace, we have God for our father, and not only for a Lorde. Therefore our office is to love Rom. 8 him like children, & not to feare him, as ſervaunts, ſence that we have the ſpirite Rom. 8 not of ſervitude but of adoptiōon, of the ſōones of God. If our ſalvacion did depend in any parte upon our ſelfes: I would ſay we ought to fear our damnacion yea to be ſure therof: but ſēence it is al in the hands of god, therfore beholding not our ſelves, but hys goodnes diſcovered in Chriſt upōon the croſſe we may be ſuer and certeyne 1. Joh. 4 of our ſalvacion. Perfect charitie chaſeth away al ſervile feare, and faith never douteth if it be perfect: the ſcare thēen of our damnaciōon groweth of imperfectiōon of our charitie, faith and hope. We ought never to feare the mercyfulnes of God, but our 039 D1r our own wickednes. Thou woldeſt ſay, if wee were wholye confirmed in grace, we ſhould not neede to feare, but we ſin dayly, therfore it is neceſſary to ſtand in doubte. I anſwere that yet thou goeſt about, to build my hope upon my workes the which ſhould be no hope but a preſumpcion. If we ſhould hope with condition if we do well, and perſever therin, my hope ſhould ſtand with deſperacion, for of my ſelfe I knowe I oughte to deſpaire. If I had the ſinnes of the whole worlde, yet would I moſte ſtedfaſtly beleeve to be ſaved withoute any feare of dampnacion, neyther may this be ſayde to be evell, for that I woulde not builde my hope upōon Chriſt. If thou woldeſt ſay, the feare of damnacion cauſeth men to abſtein from ſinne, therfore it is good. I anſwere, that is cauſeth men to refraine in their owne love, as doth the feare of death wherby they become dayly more ſenſual in them ſelves, and therfore trulye, worſe inwardlye. Feare worketh wrath in God, even as the lawe doth: & although it cauſe thee to abſtaine from ſome evil outward worcke, nevertheles D.i. the 040 D1v the venime remaineth within, the which is ſo muche the worſe, as it is more united to the inward partes, yea that feare geven to the ungodly, is the ſcorge of God. The elect (knowing that God in this preſent life doth puniſhe more the legitimate children then the baſtardes) abſtaine alſo by this feare more then the other. But trulye the love of God, the quicke feeling of his great goodnes, to beleve firmely by Chriſt and his grace to be the ſonnes of God, elect & ſure in deed, are thoſe things which mortifie us to the world and to our ſelves, and maketh ſinne diſpleaſaunt to us, euēen from the botome of the hert. Therfore where the ſervile feare mpaketh Ipocrites, the ſonnelyke love maketh trewe Chriſtians. If thou wouldeſt ſay, to beleeve ſo, is a thing very perilous becauſe that hereof they take occaſiōon to live idle, yea to geve them ſelf to al vice, ſaying I wil make my paradiſe in this world, for every way I ſhalbe ſavid, ſīince that already I am elect. I anſwere that when one beleveth to be elect and perceiveth in ſpirit the mercifulnes of God in Chriſt, thēen God taſted in Chriſt hath in the hart ſuch efficacie 041 D2r efficacie and ſtrength, that he cannot offend, but is forced to diſpraiſe the world, and is rapt to ſo high eſtate that hee falleth to obliviōon of the world, him ſelf and his paradiſe, ſetting only God before his eyes. Therfore ſaith SaintJohn. Who Joh. 3. ſo hath this faith, ſanctifieth him ſelf. So as then of charite ſpringeth but goodnes, evēen ſo is it, of this faith and hope. Knoweſt thou where in is the perille? In beleving to be elected, by their works, and by beleving in Chriſt not ſtedfaſtly, but to have only a certaine barrain, idle and a dead opiniōon therof, the which ſtandeth in the worſt life, in ſuch ſort that of that cold and unfruitful fayth, they may take occaſion to geve them to Idelnes, and all vyce. But now not of that perfect fayth, the which is effectuous in doing workes by love, being an inflamed light, the which Gala. 1. is never withoute burning. If alſo thou wouldeſt ſay in beleving to be elect thou ſhouldeſt peradventure be begiled, therfore it is evell. I would yet aunſwere, that I woulde ſoner geve fayth to the holye Ghoſt, whiche teſtifyeth in the harts of the electe, that they are the ſonnes D.ij. of 042 D2v of God (as Paule writeth) thēen to thee that Rom. 8 woldeſt put me in doubt of it. The electe to heare inwardly in their hertes a ſpirituall voyce, quick and devine, which biddeth them not doubt, and that they are ſuer of their ſalvation, and that God loveth them, and hath taken them for his children, and that they cannot periſhe: the John. 10. teſtimony of God is greater then mans.
Therfore not only he is to be beleeved afore man, but he deſerveth to have givēen unto him doubted credite. If thou wouldeſt ſay, it might be, not the ſpirit of god but their imaginacions. I ſay, that whatſoever it is they know better then thou, 1. Cor. 2 for that (as Paule ſaith) none knoweth what is in man but the ſpirite of man, that is within him.
Farder I am ſuer, that the ſame ſpirit which ſaith to me, I am elected is the ſpirite of God bicauſe the fayth I have of my election, ſpringeth not of my works, but only of the goodnes of god, underſtāand in Chriſt and for that of his goodnes can growe neyther gyle nor falſhod, therfore am I ſuer to be in the trueth. Deceites and falſhedes, may, and do come, of the beliefeliefe 043 D3r liefe to be ſaved, by workes, and elected: Moreover the light which the elect have of their ſalvacion, is ſo cleare that they do not onlye ſe them ſelves ſuer therof, but they know alſo, that the lyght and knowledge they have, is ſupernaturall and divine. But we ſuppoſe as thou ſayſt, that is beleving to be elect only by Chriſt & the goodnes of God, I myght be begiled (which is falſe and impoſſible) yet wold I ſtill ſay, let me be deceyved for it is good to be ſo begiled, ſence I can find no thing, that ſo much doth kindel me into a ſincere and pure love of God, as to beleve to be elected by his mere goodnes. Therfore uſing it to make me inamored of God, I ought not to be withdrawen, chifelie for that I am happie, onlie by that fayth, of the which whoſoever is voide, is not yet entred into the kingdome of god, where is nothing but rightnouſnes peace and Joie.
Finally Paule beleved to be elected as Rom. 4 in many places he ſayth, yea he gloried therin (nevertheleſſenevertheleſſe in god) & ſo to beleve he induced others, the which, if it had bene evel, he wold not have done. TherforeD.iij. fore 044 D3v fore if it be not evell, let us alſo with Paule, glory us by God in Chriſt, who likewyſe induced the Apoſtles, to beleve Luk. 10 Mat, 15 Math. 16 that theyr names were writēen in heaven, that theyr heavenly reward was plentuous, & that they ſhulde judge the xij. tribes, & therby brought thēem to beleve they wer elect, and that is alſo ſuer, that if that belefe had bene evell, he wold not have cauſed it. Thou wilt ſaye, thou oughteſt not to compare thy ſelf, equal with the ſainctes. I ſay it is true that I ought not to preſume to be like thēem, or holy by myne own worckes, for while I preſume of my ſelfe, I muſt of force become a devell, but it is not evell to compare with the ſaintes in veritie, for they were humble, & in beleving that they were elect, they gave to God all laude and glory bycauſe they did not beleve to be of the elect for their merites, but for chriſtes. And wold to God, I might beleve thee firmely and with ſtedfaſt fayth, the ſacred ſcriptures are full, that we ought not to deſpeire of our ſalvacion, but that we ought to hope and beleve to be already ſaved, and dayly to certifie our ſelves therof by doing good worckes, 045 D4r worckes, which are a teſtimonie to us u of our election, and that we ſhuld alſo increaſe 2. Pet. 1 1. John. 4 in charitie, to take frōom us all feare of our dampnaciōon to the end we may ſerve God without feare, inrightuouſnes and holineſſe as Zacharie ſayd. And likewiſe wee ought to demaund perſeveraunce in Luke. 1 the good with faith to obteyn it. Therfore to truſt to be ſaved, and of the elected and to hope and beleve to be ſaved and of the elect, is not evell. Paul alſo ſayth: our hope was never cōonfounded nor did ſhame to them that had it.
And likewiſe that fayth, was never beguiled. Wherfore then is it evill that I beleve ſtedfaſtly to be ſaved by Chriſt? Let us behold then with open eyes of lively fayth, Chriſt upōon the croſſe, in whom we ſe preſently the goodnes of god in the face in ſuch ſorte, as we may being pelgrimes, to thend wee may render to him al laud, honor and glory through Jeſus Chriſt our Lorde.
Whether it be neceſſarie to ſalvacion to beleve that we are elected or not: the fyft Sermon.
Fayth is very neceſſary, becauſe Heb. 11 Mar. 16 John. 3 that without it, not only god cāan not be pleaſed, but he that beleveth not ſhall be condempned, and is already judged. But it is alſo impoſſible, that one that doth not beleve to be elected ſhould beleve as he ought to do any of the articles neceſſarie to ſalvaciōon. And to prove that this is true, if thou beleveſt not that thou art one of the elect, thou beleveſt not in God, in the maner that thou art bounde, bycauſe that it ſuffiſeth not to have a certeyn dead opinion that God is, but thou muſt effectuouſly beleve that he is thy God, that he loveth the, that he is propiciatory to thee, that he is continually beneficyall to thee, that he hath moſt ſpecial cure of thee & cauſeth every thinge to ſerve thee to ſalvacion, and therfore that thou arte electe. Yea who ſo beleveth not that he is elect, doeth unot fele in ſpirite, the benefitof 047 D5r fit of Chriſt.
Therfore being without Chriſt, he is without God, and knoweth him not as Ephe. 1 Gal, 4 Paule writteth. Then how is it poſſible that thouthou mayſt beleve perfectly that he is thy Father if thou do not beleve that thou art his ſonne, and therfore his heire & ſaved. Thou canſt alſo never earneſtlie Gal, 4 beleve that God is omnipotent, if thou underſtand not, that continually he uſeth his omnipotencie towards thee, in doing the good. Which when with the ſpirite thou dideſt prove, thou ſhuldeſt of force beleve thy ſelfe to bee his heyre, if thou beleve not thou art elect, how canſt thou beleve that god hath created the heavens, and the earth, and that he ſuſteineth and governeth al to thy behofe having of thee moſt ſinguler cure: it is nedefull, that with lively fayth, imbraſinge al the world for thy owne, thou perceive effectually the goodnes of God, in every creature. And when that is, thou ſhalt be inforced to beleve, that thou art the ſonne of God. Thou canſt not alſo beleve in Jeſu, that is that he is to thee Jeſus and ſavioure, if thou beleve unot that thou art ſaved, 048 D5v ſaved, neyther canſt thou beleve that he is thy Chriſt, that is to ſay a Prophet king & prieſt, if thou fele not in ſpirite, that he doth illuminate and lighten thee, as a prophet, rule thee as a king, and as an only prieſt is offered for thee upon the croſſe. The which if thou dideſt beleve thou ſhuldeſt alſo beleve to be elected. How ſhalt thou beleve that Jeſus is the only begotten ſonne of God, thy Lord come into the world to ſave the, and gevēen to thee, with al his devine treaſures and graces, if thou doſt not beleve, thy ſelfe to be one of his lambes, thonu canſt not beleve (as thou art bound to do) that he died for thee, nor perceive his exceſſive Rom. 8 charitie, ſo that with Paule thou maiſt ſay, nothing cāan ſeperate me from the charite of God. It is neceſſary to beleve, that Chriſt upon the croſſe hath ſatiſfied for thy ſinnes, and that he hath reconciled thee, ſatiſfied to his father and ſaved thee, and therfore that thou art the ſonne of god: he that beleveth (as he ought) that Chriſt is riſen to juſtifie us, doth alſo know him ſelfe ſaved, and ſo he that perfectly doth underſtand that Chriſt our head is aſcendedinto 049 D6r ded into heavēen & entred for us in poſſeſſion of paradiſe, perceiveth him ſelf riſen Phil. 3 with Chriſt, & alredy by hope being aſcended into heaven, practiſeth with the Ephe, 3 mind in paradiſe, where Chriſt is ſitting in peaceable poſſeſſiōon of things celeſtial: he ſaieth with Paul, we are made ſafe by Rom. 8 hope, it ſuffiſeth not to beleve that he ſhall judge the quicke and the dead the which alſo the devils beleve, but that the ſent ēence ſhalbe al in thy favour, having to thy judge, him that died upon the croſſe for thee. We can not lively beleve the ſending of the holy goſt, if we fele it not in our ſelves: & if we do feale it, we ſhalbe foreced with Paule to ſay, the ſpirit of god rendreth teſtimony to our ſpirit that we are the ſonnes of God, therfore heires & ſaved. Neyther Rom. 8. is it inough that there is a church of god, but thou muſt beleve to be a porciōon therof, and one of the lyvely ſtones, and therfore one of the elect. And to beleve the communion of ſainctes, thou muſt feele, that as a member of Chriſt, he doth perticipate his grace with thee, & that thou art therby ſaved, thou muſt alſo beleve the remiſſion of ſinnes, that is not only that he 050 D6v he doth perdon ſinnes, but that he hath pardoned thee thine, and ſo elected thee. Even ſo thou muſt beleve, that thou ſhalt ryſe glorious, and have life everlaſting. Then ther is no article of our faith, that can be beleved in ſuch ſort as it ought to be, of thoſe which do not beleve they are elected. To the Chriſtian it is then neceſſary to beleve that god is his God, and Father: that he worcketh all for his benefite, and that Chriſt is come, was borne, hath lived, died and riſen agayne for his ſalvacion, ſo that with lively faith he imbraceth Chriſt wholy for his own with al his treaſure and grace. And likewiſe al his life, death, reſurrection, aſſention and glory, and perceiveth the charitie of God in Chriſt, as if there hadde bene no mo but onlye him ſelfe in the world, and that Chriſt for him onlye, wold have wrought & ſuffered, no leſſe then he hath done. The which when thou doſt beleve, thou ſhalt perceyve thou art elect. Yea he that beleve not he is elect, cāan not praye as he ought, being without faith, without the which (after Paul we can not effecteouſly Rom. 10. Jaco. 1 recommend us to God, bycauſe that 51 D7r that we muſt aſke in fayth, if we will aſke in verity and be hard, now if thou beleve not to be his ſonne and heire, how canſt thou (as Chriſt taught) ſay our father, and as a ſonne with confidence aſke him grace. Praier may wel be made, of infidels and Ipocrites, but like foliſhe ſcoffers & mockers. When thou ſaieſt, halowed be thy name, thy kingdome come, thou muſt have in thee, the ſpirit of adoption of the ſonne of God. And as the ſonne is moved of vehement love, pure and ſincere, to deſire the kingdome and glory of the father: ſo muſt thou (ſeing thee, the ſonne of god) with a devine ſpirite, by the force of love, aſke and deſyre that thy heauenlie father be honored, & reigne in his elect with out rebellion. Likewiſe ſhalt thou never thanck God with al thy hert, if thou beleve not to be one of the elect: yea if thou ſhalt doubt therin, or thinke to be dampned in thy hart, and in thy life, and paraduentur alſo with thy words, thou wilt diſprayſe him, that he hath givēen the a being, that he hath create the world ſent Chriſt, and ſo the reſt his benefites, and wilt ſaye. If I am not ſaved, what do theſe 052 D7v do theſe thinges profit me? it had ben better for me, that I had never bēen, as Chriſt Mar. 14 ſayd of Judas If I ſhalbe dampned, the death of Chriſt ſerveth me not, but doth inflame & burne, with al the reſt of his benefites: thou canſt not in perfection thēen thancke god, if thou feare dampnation. But who ſo beleveth he is one of the elect Rom. 8 & therby that al things ſerve him to ſlavacion, even the very troubles, he holdeth for a ſpeciall grace and benefite, in them perceiving the goodnes of God, he giveth him thanckes with all his herte. Who ſhall he be that committeth him ſelfe holy to the governaunce of God (as every one ought to do() if he beleve not that god is his father, that he pardoneth him, and doth take of him moſt ſinguler cure? Otherwiſe they ſhall never truſt in God, but with Adam ſhall feare him, and flye, ſeking to hide him ſelfe from the face of God, neyther is it poſſible, to love God in verite, honor him as he ought to be honored and approve for juſt and holly all his worckes, and ſo delite wholy in him, if he fele not in Chriſt ſo much the goodnes of God, that he ſe him ſelfe hys Gal, 4 ſonne 053 D8r ſonne and alſo heire. If he know not him ſelfe to be a ſonne, he ſhall feare as a ſervant, and in all his worckes have reſpect to him ſelfe, his paines, diſpleaſures, incommodites, diſhonoures, and hell, or els to this paradice, and not to the glorie of God. As he that ſeeth him ſelfe a ſonne, Lord of al and heire and ſuer therof: ſuch a one worketh only by ſtrength of ſpirit, and vehemencie of love to the glory of God, to whom he hath turned his whole intent, and to that end ordreth his whole life. Alſo it can not be poſſible, to love thy neyghbour as thy ſelfe, as a brother in Chriſt, & member with thee of the ſame bodie, if thou do not beleve to be in the nomber of the ſonnes of god. And finally ther can not one good worcke be done, but of them that are regenerate, ſonnes of God, members of Chriſt, and have in them the holy ſpirite which teſtifieth in their hertes, that they be the ſonnes of god. And may partely be ſene how falſe and ungodly, is the doctrine of the Antechriſtians, that were as it is cheiflye neceſſarie to beleve that we are elected, and alſo above all things moſt commodious they 054 D8v they force thēem ſelves to withdraw every one from this fayth, perſwading them to ſtāand in doubt, as though they had wherin to miſtruſt the goodnes of god, upōon whom Dſe. 13 onlie dependeth our ſlavation, as our dampnaciōon doth of our ſelves. But let us pray to God to open our eyes, to the ende they may no longer blaſpheme, but render to God all honor, laude, and glorie, by Jeſu Chriſt our Lorde.
If it be good to ſeeke to know wherfore God hath ſome elect and ſome reprobate: the ſixt Sermon.
Thy deſyre may be wycked, as it is in many, to whom it appearteth that it ſhould have bēen better, if god (who being of power as he is) had elected all men, and ſemeth them, that in this God hath lacked of charitie, yea in theyr language, they ſay in their herte ſecretly. If we 055 E1r If we had bene God, we would have elected all, and would have had more charitie thēen he. Now behold, whether this be ungodly, foliſhe, proud blaſphemy, or not. They Imagine to have more love to the ſoules, then he, that for to ſave them gave his onely begotten and dearly beloved 1. Job. 4 ſonne upon the croſſe. There are ſome other, to whōom it ſemeth on the one ſyde, that God can not erre: and on the other party, bearing that he hath reproved many, they think the contrary. They are not certeyne by fayth, that God can not erre, aund that al that he willeth, muſt nedes be juſt. Therfore to make it cler, they go ſearching, wherfore he hath not elected all men, and they would find a cauſe where is none. If ſuch were godly, they ſhuld quiet and ſatiſfie thēem ſelves, and ſhuld have thier felicitie in the devine pleaſure, without ſearching to aſſēend any hyer. It is evill thēen to ſeke wherfore god hath elected ſome, and other ſome not if this grow of the ſuſpicion that God may, or have erred. The godly knoweth certeynly by faith that he can not erre, and hereupon reſteth. There are ſome that E.i. aſke 056 E1v aſke after it of arrogancie and preſumpcion. They would be anſwered, that god had elected them for their good worckes, to have wherin they might glory of them ſelves. And when they hereſay that God hath elected them by grace, it diſpleaſeth them, they gainſay it, ſeming them there reſteth nothing to glory in. And they perceive not that this is the whole glorye of the humble and true Chriſtian, to be ſaved by the mere grace of god, and Chriſt crucified, and to glory only in God by Chriſt, and in them ſelves not to ſee, but thinges worthy to be aſhamed of, to the ende that to God only be honour and glorye. It groweth alſo to many of unreverence, 1. Timo 4 for if they could ſee how inacceſſible the maieſtie of God is, howe irreprehenſible is his will, and howe incomprehenſible is his wiſedome, they wold not ſet them ſelves to diſpute with God, ſpecially if they knewe how blinde, darke, franticke, and fooliſhe they be. And who Roma. 9. art thou ſayd Paul, that wil diſpute with God, anſwere and contend with God? Paule was returned from the third heauen, wher he had heard ſecretes, ſo high that 057 E2r that it was not lawfull to ſpeak to man. Nevertheleſſe doing reverence to the devine ſecrete judgements he ſayd: O profound riches of the wiſedom and ſcience of God, howe incomprehenſible are hys judgementes? And man, blinde, foliſhe, and ungodly, is ſo high minded, that hee wil do wrong to God, cōondempning him, and reprove his holy, juſt, & irreprehenſible judgementes. And howe many are they that ſeeke to knowe, ſpeake & write of it, and be commended therefore? And all they can Imagine by force of their owne wit, & naturall knowledge (which can not perce ſo high ſecretes) they putte in writing. And they are as arrogant, as if they were in goodnes and ſapience ſuperior to god: to be adored of the world, they condemne the works of God. Ther are many which are not cōontent to know as much as god hath vouchſaved to open to us, but they would know alſo a great deal more. But it is not the office of a good ſervaunt to wil to know al the ſecretes of his lord: yea the ſonne ought to cōontent him with the ſecrets of his father, & to know of it only, as much as is reveled to him and E.ij. to 058 E2v to be ſuer and certeine, that he will not fayle, to manifeſt all that ſhall be expedient for him, even ſo we ought to content us, to knowe that which God hath, and doth revele us, knowing that he doth love us in ſuch ſort, that we have not wherin to doubte, that he will fayle to manifeſt unto us, al thoſe ſecretes, the knowledge wherof ſhalbe profitable and neceſſarye. Yea chriſt him ſelf ſaid that he had made John. 15. knowne all that he had hearde of the father, our office is to ſeeke, to taſte & feele with the ſpirite, that which he hath opened to us, & we may alſo deſire to know all that pleaſeth God to revele us, for the benefite of our ſoule, and his glory, now for that God (to beate down carnal man, to the ende that to him, be geven all honoure, laude and glory) hath vouchſafed, to open in the holy ſciptures, wherefore he hath elected ſome, and other ſome hee hath not: Therefore we may and ought to ſeeke to know it that we may ſo much the more honour God: but we oughte to beleeve if to be ſo, as God hath declared, and to contente us with that way, God flawed-reproductionone fourth of the line, in electing and reprobating, 059 E3r neither to thinke nor ſuſpecte, that God hath erred, nor ought to deſire any other way, but to be ſatiſfied and pleaſed, with ſo much as pleaſeth the Lorde, withoute being curious, in willing to know more, then that which pleaſeth God to revele unto us, and all that to the end that by Jeſus chriſt we may render him al honor, laude, and glorye.
Of the diverſe effectes that it worketh in man to beleve that our election is al in the hands of God, and that of him only it dependeth: the ſevēenth Sermon.
It is ſeene by experience that of one ſelf cauſe, doth growe ſome times cōontrary effects. And is evident by the ſunne, which hardeneth mire, and melteth waxe: & this is by their diverſe diſ poſiſicions.E.iij. cions. 060 E3v ſicions. Evēen ſo of the belief that our eleccion is wholly in the handes of god, doth ſpring in mēen cōontrary effectes by theyr contrary diſpoſicions. The ungodly perceyuing that in the devine mind is reſolved their being to be ſaved or dampned, they are wroth with god, they blaſpheme him with their heart, they call him parciall and unjuſte, they give thēem ſelves to do evell Inough, ſaying every way: that ſhalbe which god hath infallibly foreſene, and immutably determined, yea their faltes they caſt in the face of god, thinking that he is the cauſe therof, many alſo deſpaire of their ſlavacion & preſume more of them ſelves, thēen they hope in God, they beleve that they ſhuld be ſaved, if theyr ſlavacion did depend upon them ſelves, & therfore if they could diſturbe the devine counſayles, & make that their ſlavacion ſhuld not be in the handes of God, they wold do it. And this is for that they knowe not their owne great miſery howe blind, infirme, frail, and unprofitable, they are to God impotent of them ſelves to goodnes, and ful of all wickednes, and that they dyd never (if it were put in the balance of deuine 061 E4r devine juſtice) that merited not to be puniſhed, and ſo likewiſe they fele not the great goodnes of God, nor the benefits of Chriſt but thincke him to be Irefull, reuengable diſdaine ful, proude, parpetual, unjuſt and malignaunt, as them ſelfes are. There are ſome which have not perfect fayth, but they are not ſo ungodly as the fyrſte. Nowe theſe when they heare ſay, or thincke that their ſlavacion is all in the handes of God, they remaine confuſed and evell cōontented. And this is alſo for wante of knowledge of the goodnes of God, they truſt partly in God & partly in them ſelves, they love not God, nor truſt nor hope perfectly in him they remayne doubtfull, & knowe not whether it be beſt to depend all upon God or not, and it ſemeth thēem that it ſhuld have bene beſt that in ſome parte it ſhuld depend upon them ſelves: and yet they thincke it wel being all in the handes of God, troubled in ſuch ſorte, that they can not tell which to chuſe: Therfore they live in a great perplexity. They conſult ſome times with the holy ſcripture or with thēem that have, the knowledge of the truth, & E.iiij. they 062 E4v they find that it is al in the hands of god, & they judge (when their eyes are ſome what opened to the goodnes of God & their own miſeries) that it ſtandeth wel, and that ſo it is beſt, but thēen harkening to humaine prudence, the which not being wholy mortified, wold have part of the glory to it ſelfe (ſo proude it is.) And as that, that is blind, and ſeeth not the impotencie and malignitie of man, it perſwadeth him that māan might in ſom part be ſaved by him ſelf, wher elles he may deſpaire, if it ſtand al in the hand of god. Therfore it concludeth, that it were better if it did depend upon us, and chieflye for that men become negligent, in thinking that it dependeth wholy upon god: where they wold ſtyre them ſelves to be fervent, if they dyd beleve that in any part it reſted in thēem. And although ſuch find the contrary in the ſacred ſcriptures, nevertheles they force thēem with the obſcure light of their blynde prudence, to draw it out of the text, expounding it as may beſt ſerve to theyr purpoſe. But the godly perceive on the one ſide, iun ſuch ſorte their owne proper ignorancie, frailtie, impo- 063 E5r impotencie, & malice: And on the other partie the great boūuntie of god in chriſt crucified, that it cōontenteth thēem to be ſo, al in the hāand of god, not onli for that it hath ſo pleaſed god, but alſo for their owne commoditie: becauſe that whereas if in the leaſt iote it depended upon them, they ſhould holde them ſelves damned. Now they fele ſo much the excellencie of god, that certified of their ſlavacion, they knowe thēem ſelves elected, & hold it to be ſure ſeeing bi faith that it is al in the hāand of one their ſo mightie, ſapient, excellent & loving father. Wherfore by this benefite, they are ſtired to love him ſingulerly, to thanke, laude, and ſerve him as children for his mere glory wythout reſpect at all to thēem ſelves, their hell or heaven. And if God would ſet in their handes, although he would be bound that they ſhould be able to do all thinges with eaſe toward their ſlavaciōon, yet they wold not accept the bargaine: & that is becauſe they knowe that they are contrary enemies and traytonurs to them ſelves: ſo that if they had Paradiſe in theyr handes, then they ſhould let it fall to the ground. And alſo for that, they do E.v. make 064 E5v make experiment and prove ſo great charitie of God in Chriſt, that it certifieth thēem of theyr eleccion. They cāan not thinke John. 3 that Chriſt beyng theyr judge, and dying upon the croſſe for them, ſhould geve ſentence agaynſt them: yea they know, that who ſo beleveth in him ſhall not be judged, but ſhall be ſo certeine of his ſlavacion, that he ſhall not nede to make diſcuſſion of his lyfe, for there ſhall not be any to accuſe hym, neyther ſhould it be convenient that thoſe which have the ſpirit of God, and are hys ſonnes, the brethern and members of Chriſt, ſhould be examined & judged. But with Chriſt, Rom. 8 they ſhall be judges of the other. Therfore the elect, ſure of their ſlavacion, wold not chaunge Chriſt theyr judge wich any in this world, although it were Mat. 19 theyr deare frend or nere parent. Yea if God did put in theyr arbitremēent to have Chriſt for theire judge or els to be their owne judges of thēem ſelves, with full power to geve ſentence in their favour although it were not juſt, yet to be approved, they wold for all this, chuſe chriſt to be theyre judge, for that they truſt more in him then in 065 E6r in thēem ſelves. And they love god ſo much, that they wold not glory, but only in him by chriſt. And this al there true glory. Yea if they cold let or diſturbe the devine counſayle, or if it were neceſſary to be dampned they wold chuſe, rather to be in paine for the will of God, then in all the pleaſures, diſagreing to the devine will (if it were poſſible) they counte them ſelves unworthy to ſuffer for the wyll of god. They hold thēem ſelves happy to honour him with ſuffering, and with being where it pleaſeth to their Lord, they lament only of the iniuries they have done to God, but of that which God will do of them with the ſpirite, they are content, although the fleſh be repugnaunte and wold not ſuffer.
This ſhuld be a hell to them, when God (if it were poſſible) wold not diſpoſe them to his glory but to uſe them to his honoure they wold ſatiſfy them ſelves with all, and content them to know it ſo to be the devine pleaſure: now theſe are in a cōontinually paradiſe by fayth already they have had the ſentence geven in their favour, by hope they are aſcended into 066 E6v into heaven, ſaying with Paul: we are made ſafe by hope, & by love they enioye Rom. 8 God. In thēem then of the belief, that their election is all in the handes of god, groweth firme fayth, and hope to be ſaved, the love of God ſincere and pure, and chriſtian vertues, with the frutes of good worckes. I wold have pitie on the firſt ſorte, but their deſperaciōon groweth of an ungodlye mind, yea it is moſt impietie, to deſpayre of the goodnes of God, moſt perfect, ſhewed in Chriſt crucified as in one his lively Image. I have compaſſion of the ſecond, and envye at the thirde. The ſeconde may eaſely be cured with ſhewing them theire frailtie, ignorauncie, and malice, and on ithe other partie the omnipotencie, infinite ſapience, perfect goodnes, pitie, mercy and charity of God, ſhewed in Chriſt upon the croſſe. Of the firſt, I do not deſpaire utterly, but I know well itis verie difficile to Mat. 3 cure them, but God is of power, of the ſtones ito rayſe up childern to Abraham, flawed-reproduction3-4 charactersy have nede to be praied for, & that the lord flawed-reproductionone third of the linefore their eies, ſuch veiles flawed-reproductionone third of the lineand make them ſee their flawed-reproductioncatchword 067 E7r owne great miſeries, and the incomprehenſible goodnes of God, to the end that reknowledging al their wealth to come of God, they may render him al honor, laude, and glorie, by Chriſt our Lord.
How it ought to be anſwered to them that lament that God hath created them foreſeyng theyr dampnacion: the eyght Sermon.
There are many, the which although of god they have their being, & manie other benefites, nevertheleſſe they thanke him not, but are ungratefull. They are ſory, and lament of all the wealth they have had of him, ſaying: lord, if the being where thou haſt geven us, with the reſt of thy gifts, did ſerve us to ſlavacion, we ſhuld thanke the therfore: But bicauſe they ſerve us not, but to dampnaciōon, therfore we can not but complayne us of the. Nowe to theſe ought to be anſwered flawed-reproductionone word Eyther you beleve to be of the elect or not, 068 E7v or not. If they ſaye yea: it ought to be ſayd to them, ye ſhuld thanke God of ſo much grace, that he hath ſhewed to you already, in choſinge you from ſo baſe a being, to ſo high an eſtate, and you lamēent your ſelves: behold if your ingratitude be greate. And if they wold ſay we are not ſory for our ſelves, for we beleve to be elect, but for compaſſiōon on thoſe poore ones the reprobate. Then I wold to be ſayed, it is not true pitie to have compaſſion upon thēem, that are ungodlye, againſt the devine goodnes, ſhewed cheifly in Chriſt crucified. Thincke you happely, to have more charitye then God? take heede that your demaund, wherfore god hath create the reprobate, grow not of the doubt, that God can do them any injuſtice, Do ye feare that God, being very Eph, 1 rightuouſnes, yea charitie it ſelfe, can do them any wrong? But if you lively and verilie did beleve to be elect by Chriſt, by mere grace and mercy of god, ye ſhuld feale in ſuch ſort the devine goodnes, that thers cold not enter into your mind ſo ungodlie conceytes. They are in good cuflawed-reproductionfive sixths of the lineThey flawed-reproductioncatchword 069 E8r are in the power of one which never did nor may do, one of the leaſt cruelties, yea he never doth juſtice, but it is with great mercie. Will ye knowe more of the devine ſecretes then Paule? which rapt to 1. Cor, 1 the third heaven, heard thinges ſo high & ſo ſecrete, that to man it is not lawful to be ſpokēen of? It ſuffiſed him onlie to know 1. Cor, 1 Chriſt crucified. Is it not thincke ye inoughinough to you to knowe chriſt crucified, in whom are hidden all the treaſures of the wiſdome and ſcience of God? And if that ſuffice you, in Chriſt is ſene none but the elect, the reprobate are without Chriſt, and in Chriſt only ought we to contemplate and behold our election, your office ſhuld be to attende to your ſelves, to encreaſe dailye by Chriſt, 1 Tim, flawed-reproduction in greater knowledge of the bounty of God, and to make certeyne to the world with good worckes, your vocation and election, and not to be ſo curiouſſe of other, forgettinge your ſelves. And if they wold ſay, we doubt and feare alſo 1. Pet. 1 leaſt we be reprobate, and therfore we complaine us, and wold know why, he hath created us, forſeing our dampnacionnowe 070 E8v on: nowe theſe muſt be exhorted not to deſpaire, but to contemplate and love in Chriſt, in whom they ſhall ſe them ſelves elected. And ſo they ſhall not haflawed-reproductionone or two characters wherof to take occaſion to lament, after it muſt be ſayd to them for as much as ye do not beleve verely ye be of the elect it is a ſigne, that ye have not lively light of Chriſt, not of his great benefits, and not knowing Chriſt, it behoveth to ſay with Paule that ye know not God in veritie, and that ye are without him. And Gal. 4 Ephe. 11 howe is it poſſible then, that you being without god, and without the true knowledge of him, ſhuld underſtand & know his high ſecretes? It is not poſſible to know ſoner the devine judgements then God. Ye be therfore without fayth, and I prove that it is true, becauſe that if you had faith, ye ſhuld ſe ſo clerely that God doth every thing wel and can not eflawed-reproductionone word that you wold aſke none other reaſon. And for that who ſo is without faith, flawed-reproductionone word franticke concerning the devine thingflawed-reproductionone to three characters it muſt needes be ſayd that you are euen ſo, and now is it a franſi, your demaunding a reaſon of the creacion of the reprobate, bate, 071 F1r bate, neyther ſhuld it be poſſible to ſatiſfie you, till ſuch time your reaſon were healed by fayth. Yea while that ye are ſo without light ſupernatural, being therof not able to conceive, he that ſhuld ſerch to quiet you with reſones, ſhuld alſo enter into a franſy with you. Humble then your ſelves to God and aſke him faith and not reaſones, becauſe that thinges ſupernaturall, cāan not be ſene but by faith Inſatiable is the golfe of foliſh and frantike curioſity, the godly adore the high & incomprehenſible judgementes of God and with humilitie, they are content to taſt in them by faith, ſome drop, of the devine ſapience and goodnes: where the ungodly preſuming without faith, have a will to perce to the inacceſſible counſaile of God, and remaining in darckenes, become mad & folyſhe: ye perceive not that ye want the true conceivyng of god. If ye thinke that God may erre, or do any thing unjuſtly: you will perhappes adde light to that perfect light, rule the divine ſapience, correct that infinite goodnes, judge that judgeles juſtice, and condeēempne that ſupreme mercy and charitie. If thou F.i. didſt 072 F1v didſt ſe the highnes and magnificence of God, & on the other ſyde, the baſenes & uanitie of māan, and how in all thinges he dependeth upon him ye ſhuld ſe that he never puniſhed thēem iun ſuch ſorte, that they deſerve not to have a greater punyſhem ēent, being ſo franticke and proud, ye are not capeable nor worthy to have light of the hygh judgement of God, yea you deſerve to remayne ſo cōonfuſed. And for that, it is the juſt judgemēen of God, that for the earneſt peine of your hell, ye ſhuld go ever with your troubleſome thoughtes, cōompaſſinge by ſuch darke and inextricable maſes. Therfore although I could geve you a reaſon of al the workes of God, I wold not do it. Humble you thēen to God, & aſke him faith, for with that only ladder, we aſcend to the intelligēence of the ſecretes of God. And thēen whēen ye ſhall have faith, ſeing with clere & ſupernaturall light, that god doth all things well, ye ſhal no more care for a further reaſon. And if alſo thou ſhuldeſt ſeke it, it ſhuld be with a godly mynd to be ſo much the more able the better to behold God, in his juſt and holy flawed-reproductionthree to five charactersements. And thēen I wold ſay to you, flawed-reproductioncatchword plus one or zero prior lines of text 073 F2r that god might have ſaved al, but he hath not willed it, yea forſeing the dampnacion of the ungodly, he created them, nor for to ſave them, or to the end they ſhuld Prov. 19 be ſaved, but to ſerve him ſelf of thēem, ſo much the more to be ſhewed bright and Rom. 7 glorious, to the world. The which is a more beutyful, more rich, more happy, & more wonderfull ordinaunce, then if ſin had never bin in the world. And this is bicauſe chriſt and his elect (of ſinne) have taken occaſion, to honoure God more thēen if the world had everben innocent, and God with greateſt ſapience, dyd reduce all the diſordres, into a more mervelous order, then if the world had never ben diſordred by ſinne. If ſinne had not bene, the ſaints had never bene perſecuted, impriſoned, & ſlayne, no more Chriſt crucified. Where then ſhuld have bene their victorie, their Palme, triumphes and crownes? And if the reprobate wold ſay: we are forced to cōonfeſſe that God hath done well to permit the ſinnes of the elect, that after as the prodigal ſonne, of his errour and miſeries, toake occaſion to open hys flawed-reproductionalmost half the lineſelf, yea, & to returne to F.ii. his 074 F2v his father, to humble him ſelfe to repent with hart, & are him pardōon and therby to taſte the fatherly charitie, when he pardoned him, in more perfecte maner, then he had done before: ſo the elect, of their ſinnes take occaſion the better to know thēem ſelves, and the bountie of God, and it is no ſmall benefite of God, that he ſuffer him ſelfe to be wounded of his childern, and beare with it, to the end that ſome day opening their eyes, they may ſe their great ingratitude, and the exceſſive love that he beareth them. God alſo of theſe, may be afterward ſurely ſerved, at every noble & great enterpryſe, as of thēem that are altogether his, not only for that he hath created & preſerved thēem, but much more becauſe that by ſinne being loſt, with the bloud of his only begotten ſonne, he hath recovered them. And ſo was Chriſt ſerved of Paul, and of his other mighty champions, we muſt of force confeſſe alſo, that God doeth well to permitte the ſinnes of the reprobate to excerciſe the flawed-reproductionhalf the line greater triumphe flawed-reproductionfive sixth of the linemeth flawed-reproductioncatchword plus zero or one preceding lines 075 F3r that God had ſerved his tourne with thēem, he ſhould touch their hert, and geve them his knowledge, & his grace, ſo that they alſo of their ſinnes ſhould take occaſion, to reknowledge their vice, and the goodnes of God, ſo that they might be ſaved, to them ye ought to ſay: ſence ye confeſſe, that God hath done well, to permitte the ſinnes of the reprobate, ye can not deny, but that for thēem they deſerve to be dampned. Ye are alſo forced to ſay, that God dampneth thēem juſtly, ſence that thy have ſinned: God then doth wel to permitte them to ſinne, and whēen they have ſinned, he may juſtly damne them becauſe that voluntarilie they did ſinne, and the falte was theires and not Goddes. Ye can not then complayne you of God, if he dampne you, but are conſtrayned to ſaye he doth well. And if they ſaye it is true, but yet it ſhuld ſeme us to be better, and with his greater glory, if after he were ſerved of them, he wold ſave them: To theſe I anſwere firſt that is beſt, which pleaſeth God, and becauſe it pleaſeth him to dampne thēem, therfore that is beſt. Then if God in the end of the life, ſhuld F.iij. geue 076 F3v geve light to all. And ſo at laſt every one ſhuld converte, they wold do manie more enormious ſinnes thēen they do. For the ungodlye wold ſay, we may do every evell, let us take our pleaſure and live frelie, without any feare, for every way in the end we ſhalbe ſaved. And for that one only ſinne is worſe thēen al the peines of the dampned, therfore it is beſt, that they be dampned. Theire dampnation ſerveth alſo to the elect, in as much as the ſervaunt which whēen he ſeeth juſtice done to his felowe ſervaūunt that before would have ſtrangled him, knoweth the goodnes of his Lorde, and the malignitie of the man: ſo the elect, by ſeying in the dampned the juſtice of God, do come to more knowledge of his mercy & juſtice, and alſo of theyr owne miſerie. God is ſerved then of the reprobate; to illuſtrate and ſetforth his glory, and uſeth them for inſtruments, not only whyle they are in this life, but in death and in hell. His glorie alſo is more diſcovered (as Paul writteth () by having in his great houſe veſſels of gold, of ſylvor, of woode, and earth, of mercy, and of wrath. But let vs 077 F4r let us thanke God that he hath elected us, and praye him that he geve us ſo much light of his goodnes, and ſo much fervencie, that although he wold ever be angry with us, not onely we ſhould be content, but that we hold it for a ſinguler priviledge, that he will vouch ſafe in ſuch maner to ſerve him ſelfe of us, to thende that in every ſtate and for e ver, we may render him al laude, honour, andand glo rie, by Jeſus Chriſt our Lord.
Wherfore God hath elected us: the nynthe Sermon.
It ſhuld be no leſſe then a very folyſhenes, when one entending to ſpeake of colores, ſhuld bring in the opinion of one that is borne blynd, F.iiij. and not 078 F4v and not illuminate by miracle. So is it madneſſe in the thing ſupernaturall, to alledge the judgement of them that are not inſpired but with naturall underſtāanding. And by adventure have talked, of high, hidde and devine ſecretes, even as it hath ſeemed well, in their owne blind and darke underſtanding, having therby their eyes ever open, to magnifie man. Now becauſe that of the ſupernaturall matters, there is ſo much knowne as is reveled and opened to us. Therefore lokinge in the holy ſcriptures I finde that Ephe. 3 God hath elected us by Chriſt, that is, that God loking in the progeny of Adam, ſaw nothing there that was worthy of our election: but tourning the regarde to his owne goodnes and Chriſtes, in whom he Math. 3 Eph. 1. was ſo well pleaſed, that by him he dyd electe us, he therfore choſe us not bicauſe we were holy, but becauſe we ſhould be, ſo that the devine grace found no ſaintes but made ſaints. Therfore did Paul give thanckes to God, that had made us mete to the enheritaunce of ſaintes. He choſe us then becauſe it pleaſed him ſo, for he loved us freelye without ſeeing in us any thing 079 F5r thing worthy thereof. Hee elected us (as writeth Paule) after the decreed purpoſe of his owne will, to the laude and glory Ephe. 1 of his free mercy and not for our works. So that not becauſe we were juſte and worthy in his ſight, did he electe and call Rom. 8. us, but (as Paule ſaieth) bicauſe he hath elected, therfore he doeth call, juſtifie and glorifie us. In ſuch ſorte, that he willed not the ende for the beginning ſake, but the beginning for the ende ſake. Hee hath ſaved us, after Paule not by the workes that we have done, but by his mercy. In a nother place he ſaieth, that he hath delivered and called us with his hoyle vocacion 1. Timo. 1 not after our workes but according to his purpoſed mercie, given all readie to us before the creacion of the world: ſo then, as of the ſecretes reveled to the littel ones and hidden from the wiſe and prudēent Chriſt did give none other cauſe, but for that ſo it pleaſed the father, ſo of Math. 1flawed-reproductionone numerical character our election there may no cauſe be alleged, but only becauſe it is the pleaſure of God. Paule willeth that the purpoſe that God hath made us, may not depende upon our workes, becauſe it ſhoulde not be F.v. firme 080 F5v firme as it is, nor we ſure, as Chriſte Roma. 9 Johv. 10 Rom. 8. Rom. 9 ſayth we are, and Paul alſo. If thou woldeſt ſay, that Paule to the Romains ſpake of the election of Jacob and Eſau, concerning the firſt byrth, and not concerning the heavenly inheritaunce, I would anſwer that Paule with that trope doth declare the maner of the eternall election to Paradiſe, otherwiſe the eleccion of Iacob, ſhould be in vain, in the which is ſene (touching the thinges of the preſent life) nothing but calamitie and trouble. But the principall intent of Paule is to prove that although the carnal Hebrues be not ſaved, it reſteth not therfore, that Jeſus is not the Meſſias, for that the promiſes were made of the ſpiritual Hebrues, the which in faith do imitate & folow Abraham, & they are the elect. When god alſo Mala. 1 in Mala. ſheweth to the Jues that he hath loved thēem, becauſe he loved Jacob of whōom they deſcended, and hated Eſau: His reaſon had bene unuaavilable if God did love and choſe by workes.
flawed-reproductionfive sixths of the line if thou flawed-reproductionsix sevenths of the line beflawed-reproductioncatchword plus one entire lineflawed-reproductioncatchword plus one entire line 081 F6r in like caſe thou woldeſt have done Rom. 9 to Eſau and the Gentils, if thou haddeſt foreſene any good workes in them. But Paule ſheweth that the Meſſias is come alſo to the Gentils, becauſe God geveth his gifts with out having reſpect to workes. If thou demaund wherfore he hath elected them? Paule anſwereth, becauſe it is written: I will ſhew mercy on whōom it pleaſeth mee. Therefore Paule doth inferre Rom. 9 and bring in, that Paradiſe is not his that will, nor that runneth or laboboreth by him ſelf to get it: but his that God will ſhewe mercye unto. He might alſo have anſwered, that although God hated Eſau, before he was borne, and before he did ſinne, he is not therfore wicked; for he had him not in hate or hee dyd force his wickedneſſe. But he ſayth that he doth indurate whome he will, to ſet forth the brightnes of his glorye. And to his purpoſe he doth allege the example of Pharao. Now tell mee howe it is poſſible that God can force in us anye good, if he determine not to geve it us? Thou wilt ſay, he ſaw that ſome could uſe wel fre wil, & ſome not, therfore he choſe the firſt, & refuſed 082 F6v refuſed the ſeconde, they could not uſe it 1. Cor, 4 well, wythout his grace.
Wherefore then dyd he determine to geve that grace of well uſing to the one and not to the other?
It behoveth to returne to the devine wil, and ſaye, becauſe it pleaſed him not: for the uſing well of free wil is the effect and fruit and not the cauſe of election. Peradventure thou wilt ſay, he did determine to geve grace to all, but he ſawe that ſome wold uſe it well and thoſe he choſe, and ſome evell, & thoſe he forſoke, But tell me, the uſe of that grace is alſo the gift of God, wherfore dyd he not determine to geve that grace to all, and alſo to uſe it? Thou muſt needes ſay at laſt alſo, becauſe it pleaſed him not. If thou wilt ſay, thoſe that uſed it not well, was not becauſe they lacked the grace to uſe it, no more then the other, but they did not occupie it when they had it, the defalt was theires and not of God, nor of the grace. If it were ſo, we ſhuld have wherin to glory in our ſelves. But Paul is in the contrarie, and willeth that to God ought to be rendred all honour and flawed-reproductioncatchword and one entire line 083 F7r glorye, ſo as frōom him cōmethcōmeth commethcommeth al goodnes. Rom. 4 1. Tim. 1 Jac, 1 We might alſo of our ſelves, ſeperate us frōom the reprobate, & ſo our hope ſhuld not be al wholy in God, our ſlavacion could not be certeyn and ſuer, as Chriſt ſayd: nor the cauſe of our election ſo hid, as Paule ſayth it is, yea fre mercie ſhuld Joh. 10 Rom. 4 6 9. and 11. be no more fre mercy, if we might be ſaved by worckes and paradiſe ſhuld be a reward, and not a gift cleane againſt Paule. The Hebrues dyd mo worckes thē the gentils, and nevertheles he did choſe the gentils, & reproved the Jewes, that ſought to be juſtified by theyr workes. God from the beginning foreſawe in us nothing but repugnancie and rebellion agaynſt his grace, being by the ſinne of Adam, the children or ire, prove, and enclined Ephe. 1 Gen. 8 Rom. 11 Pſal. 17 2. Reg. 12 Pſal. 44 1. Cor. 2 Jaco. 1 John. 15 to all evil. Paule callet our electiōon, the eleccion of fre mercie. David ſayth: he ſaved me, becauſe he loved me, and becauſe it pleaſed him. He ſaveth then his elect becauſe he deliteth in them, and diſtributeth his mercy, after his owne will. Then he that begotten us voluntarily by mere mercye, and not by our workes: ſo that the xij. Apoſtels dyd not choſe 084 F7v choſe Chriſt, but he choſe them to the Apoſtelſhip. So we be not they that have choſen God to ſave us, but god is he that hath choſen us to ſlavaciōon. Even as Paul was called without workes by free mercy, becauſe it pleaſed God: ſo he was Act. 9 Gal. 1 1. Tim. 1 Ephe. 2 elected to ſhew his mercie, & the aboundaunt riches of his glorie. It is humilitie it ſelfe, to beleve that we are choſen by grace. This opinion geveth al glory to God, and to us only confuſion. And becauſe we can not erre in glorifying to much the free mercie and bountie of God, and abating the pryde of māan. Therfore it is moſt ſure, yea, although it ſtode not with the holy ſcriptures, as it doth. And the more it diſpleaſeth the carnall man, becauſe it cōonfoundeth al his glorie, ſo much the more it is pleaſing to the ſpirituall, becauſe it magnifieth God, Chriſt his fre mercy, & the Goſpell. And flawed-reproductionone to three characters ſay my opinion, it pleaſeth me beſt, to flawed-reproductionone to five characters wholy in the hand of God. Yea if flawed-reproductionone to two words elecciōon wer in my cuſtodie, I wold flawed-reproductiontwo to three words render it unto god, in whoſe flawed-reproductionentire line minus one word more flawed-reproductioncatchword plus one or zero additional lines 085 F8r it did depend upon our ſelves. Se then what becommeth of them that imagine (although falſely) that it dependeth only upon the goodly workes that they do, to make them ſelves elected again, wher on the other partie, thou ſhalt ſe, that thoſe which with lively faith, beleve to be by the mere mercy of God, and by the death of Chriſt, in the number of the elect, and ſonnes of god (for that they fele in chriſt, and by Chriſt, the great charitie of god,) are by ſtrength of the ſpirite and love, forced to do worckes to bee wondered at: not ſeruile, for they ſee thēem ſelves heyrs, but the worckes of a ſonne, ſincere and pure to the glorie of their lyvely father, beyng prevented by love.
If thou wouldeſt beleve, we are not worthy to be ſo elected by free mercye, I would aunſwere, neyther that Chriſt ſhould ſuffer for us upon the Croſſe, but dyd he not therfore die? Chriſte hath not elected us, becauſe we were worthy therof, but for the glorie of hys goodnes? The cauſe of our eleccion is Ephe. 1 not then to bee ſought, but at the divine will.Of the 086 F8v
Of the reprobate, I entend not to diſpute, wherfore God hath caſt them of becauſe it is neyther nedeful to us, nor profitable to knowe. It ſerveth to humble us, & to know better the great goodneſſe of God, that wee are elected by his grace, and not by our workes.
The Chriſtian ought to beleve to be Ephe. 1 1. Cor, 2. 5 one of the choſen, and it ought to ſuffiſe him to have Chriſt for his booke, in the which he ſeeth him ſelfe elect, & to knowe that that apperteyneth to him. And although Paule to the Romanes ſpake a word therof, it was but incidently or by the way, for it doth apeare it was not his principal intent to ſeke the cauſecauſe wherfore god doth reprobate and caſte them of. It is inough for us to thinke that the omnipotencie of God, beyng infinitie, hath neyther limites nor bondes, therfore may he do with his creatures with out contradiccion: and the devine wil may do of them, determine and will all that, that with his whole power he may do, beyng the whole ruler, and neceſſarily moſt flawed-reproductionone to two words in al his wil, yea the very righteouſflawed-reproductionone to two words Wherforeflawed-reproductionone word, seven to eight characters the flawed-reproductioncatchword 087 G1r bright and light judgments of god, let us beleve that god doth not condemp ne, but with juſt and irreprehenſible counſaile, albeit the juſtice of his judgements be to us incomprehenſible, and that none is in hell, but by his own wickednes: Our office Roma. 13 is then to humble us, and content us in the divine wil, reknowleging that we be not worthy, although we ſuffer al puniſhment, to ſet forth the brightnes of the glorye of God, to whome, for all his workes, is due al honoure, laude and glo rye by Jeſus Chriſt our Lord.
Whether the electe can be damned or not: the tenth Sermon.
As it is written, god ſeeth Barn. 3 1. Joh. 3. 2. Theſſ. 2 from the beginning & for ever all thinges, and hath of al, certeyne & infallible ſciēence, & perticularly knoweth his electe, their lyfe and their end. So then as God, by the neceſſitie of his being cannot be corrupted, G.i. neither 088 G1v neyther diminiſh nor augmēent, being infinite and without ende, nor be altered, being moſt ſimple and pure, nor chaung place, being unmeaſurable, filling al places: ſo alſo may not his determinacions Rom. 9. be chaunged: neyther by ignoraunce for lacke of foreſight and conſideracion, neyther for default of power, ſince he cannot be letted or weakened, nor his wil reſiſted. Neyther may he chaunge by malice, or for want of plentifull goodnes, for hys purpoſes are moſte good and firme. God Mala. 3. thēen is immutual in al his doings, chaungeth not as children, nor lyke olde men, but as David ſayth: The counſayle of the Lord ſhall ſtand for ever: that muſt needes be that God hath determined, neither is it in our power to chaunge his purpoſe, diſturbe the divine counſayles, deſtroye divine ordinaunces, nor lette his will, which is empreſſe, & owres of the hande mayden. Therefore what God willeth muſte bee, and not that he muſt wil after our fantaſie. Nowe becauſe we are not to be elected, but (as Paule writeth) god flawed-reproductionone marginal line flawed-reproductionone to two wordscted us, before the conſtitucion flawed-reproductionone entire line plus catchword 089 G2r immutable, it is of force therfore to bee as he hath determined. So likewiſe hee ſeeth and knoweth all thinges from the beginning, with certeine and infallible knowledge: it is therfore neceſſitie that, that bee, which he hath foreſeene, or elles is muſt nedes be that God may chaunge, and that of our lyfe and end he hath no perfecte knowledge, but a doubtfull opinion, wherein alſo he maye be beguiled, and that ſaying wer a moſt wickednes. Thou wilt ſay to me, thou arte deceived in imagining that above is tyme, & ſucceſſion of tyme, and that God hath foreſeene and determined all that is yet to be, ſo that his determinacion and knowledge is already paſſed, in ſuch ſort, that he cannot otherwayes knowe, nor will, withoute his chaunge which is impoſſible. And therefore thou judgeſt it neceſſitie, that all that come to paſſe, which hee hath foreſeene and determined. But it is not ſo, for above ther is no end or ſucceſſion of tyme, night nor day, neyther was nor ſhalbe, as there is heere underneath the Heavens, there is onlye all the preſent tyme, and only one moſt cleere day G.ij. of 090 G2v of one inſeperable inſtaunte, the which by his eternitie extendeth to the ſucceſſion & proceſſe of all time. And I anſwere, that I know right wel, that to God every thing is preſent, although being under this celeſtiall Sphere, where is folowing of tyme to make us better underſtand, we uſe with Paule to ſay hee hath elected us: but tel mee doeſt thou beleve that the election of thoſe that are in this preſent lyfe, and likewiſe thoſe that ſhal be, is now in being in effect and preſent before God, or not.
If thou ſayeſt no, then ſhall it never bee, for with him is no time to come. If thou ſay yea, then may it not be without mutacion in God, ſence thou graunteſte it once to bee.
If thou wouldeſt ſay it might be nobeing yet it coulde not be no being, but in the inſtaunt of the godhead, in which thou graunteſt al things to be, for as much as above is no ſucceſſion or courſe of time, & ſo in that ſelf inſta¯unt indiviſible, thou woldeſt have it poſſible, not to be ani being & yet a being: foraſmuch as it is not flawed-reproduction4-6 charactersherfore if thou cōonſent that God (I ſay not 091 G3r not hath ſene) but doth ſe & determine al thinges, ſence that God is immutable, and his ſcience infallible, and that ther is no courſe of tyme, by all meanes, likewiſe it is to be ſaid, that, that muſt nedes bee, which God with perfect infallible knowledge doth foreſe, & ſtedfaſtly determine. Becauſe that (if with God there were any time paſt) even as that could not, not be which God had foreſene by his infallible preſcience, & immutably determined: no more can that thing not be, which he doth preſently ſee & determine. Thou wilt ſay, I graunt that all that ſhall bee, which God doth foreſe and ordeine, and ſo god ſhal not be begiled, nor yit chaūung, but yet nevertheles it might be the cōontrary, although it ſhall never bee. But thou ſeeſt not how thou art deceived, thou grāanteſt that al the elect ſhal be ſaved, nevertheles thou ſayſt they may be damned: And wherto ſerveth this, it mai be, if in effect they ſhal not be dampned. Therfore this argueth but in words, it is curiouſe and unprofitable. Nowe, as if thou wouldeſt graunt that an elect could be damned, thou ſhouldeſt be forced to ſay that God may G.iij. chaunge. 092 G3v chaunge. Therfore thou ſayeſt, that all may be ſaved, which argueth yet that the elect may be damned, and ſo thou muſt nedes confeſſe, that God may alſo be beguiled, & vary in his ordinaunce, which is impoſſible. That the elect then may be dampned, it is a thing falſe, hereticall, & unpoſſible:: it can not be verefied by no ſentence compound nor derived, ſence that in God can be no mutacion nor ſucceſſion. Therfore if he be elect, he muſt nedes be ſaved, & it muſt nedes be ſayd, that the election of them that ſhall be ſaved (I will not ſay hath ben but ſtanding in that eternitie) is in being becauſe that if it were not nowe, it ſhulde not be hereafter, ſence ther neither is, nor cāan be with god, but alway the preſēent tyme. Thēen god having in his divine mind geven us paradiſe from the beginning, and when he Rom, 11 geveth never repēenteth (as Paule writeth) it is of neceſſitie to ſay that the elect be ſaved. Paule writeth that the election of God is firme, and the divine purpoſes ſtedfaſt, and that the Lord knoweth his with perfect infallible knowledge, which Rom, 4 Rom, 9 ought to be to us a ſure foundacion, wher- 093 G4r whereupon we may ſtabliſh undoubted fayth of our ſalvacion. To this purpoſe Paule ſayd, that thoſe that god hath knowen for his, and therfore elected & purpoſed to ſave thēem, thoſe he hath predeſtinate to be conformable to the Image of his ſonne, and thoſe, having them after created, he doth call with an inward calling, in ſuch ſorte, that they anſwere agayn, for becauſe they are the ſonnes of God, therfore they heare hys voyce, and beleve by being ordeyned to eternall lyfe. Yea he draweth them, and geveth them a newe hart, and theſe that he calleth he juſtifieth, he geveth them Chriſt, and the lyght of him, fayth, hope, and charitie, and all other Chriſtian vertues appareling them, he doth enrich them with many gifts, treaſures, and graces, and afterward doth happely glorifie them. Therfore from the fyrſt to the leaſt it foloweth, that the elect muſt nedes be ſaved. Paule added and ſayd: if God be with us, who can be agaynſt us: meaning, if God hath elected us, and determined to ſave us, he being omnipotent, and hath taken uponG.iiij. on him 094 G4v on him this enterpriſe to ſave us, who ſhal let him? Yea he would have ſayd, no Joh. 10 man, becauſe that Chriſt ſayd, none cāan take them out of the hands of my father: it happeneth not to God as to māan, which many times doth will a thing, ſeketh and can not fynde, as the Hebrewes, which Rom. 11 ſought theyr ſalvacion, and could not atchieve it, and that becauſe they ſought it not by Chriſt, by fre mercy, nor by faith, but by works. It is not ſo with god becauſe that he, when he willeth any thing, it commeth to paſſe, and his election (as writeth Paule) commeth to effect. John. 10. 11. andand. 17 Moreover God hath geven his elect to Chriſt, and draweth them to hym, and thoſe that goe to him drawen of the father, he chaſeth not away, as him ſelf ſayd: he loſeth them not, but knoweth them for his ſhepe, he calleth them to hym, they heare his voyce, he prayeth for thēem moſt effectuouſly, and is ever heard. For them he ſhed hys bloud, and gave his lyfe, evēen Mat. 15. as for them onely he was ſente, & came into the world, to them he doth manifeſte God, geveth them lyfe, and maketh them happy. They are then in good 095 G5r good handes, being in Chriſtes, out of the which none ſhall take them, as him ſelfe hath ſayd. They may periſh that are the Jhon. 11. and. 17 ſonnes of perdicion, as Judas, but not the children of election. The elect are ſure, for ther was never none of thēem that periſhed ſpeaking of the falſe Prophets which Mat. 13 ſhould be in the kingdome of Antichriſt, he ſayd they ſhould ſeduce the very elect, if it were poſſible, for to ſhewe that it was not poſſible, yea for theyr ſakes, thoſe dayes ſhall be ſhortened.
All that God hath wrought and ſhall worke is for his elect, for whom he dyd create the world, and preſerve the ſame, ſent Chriſt into the world, and willed that for them he ſhould dye upōon the croſſe, for them he hath moſt ſpeciall care. If God made ſuch accompt of the Hebrues, Deut. 15 that to thend their name ſhould not be forgotten on the earth, he dyd ordeine, that if the fyrſt brother died without child, the ſecond was bound to rayſe up ſede to his brother: thinkeſt thou that he will not make rekening of his elect whoſe names are writtēen in heavēen? Yea, I wyll thou know, that although Chriſt Luk. 10 G.v. be he 096 G5v be he, by whoſe meanes al the elect are ſaved, nevertheleſſe not by his impotencie, being geven to him all power, but becauſe the thing of it ſelfe is impoſſible. Chriſt can not ſave a reprobate, nor Mat, 10 Mat, 28 damne an elect. Nowe much leſſe is it in our power, if we be elect, to dampne our ſelves, or if we be reprobate to ſave our ſelves, yet ought we not to ceaſe to work well, becauſe that if we are ſure to be dampned, we are yet bound every way, for his infinite goodnes, moſt hyghly to honour him. Let us then geve thankes to God that hath not only be mere mercy elected us for his, but to thend we myght be ſure of our ſalvacion, hath ordeined that our dampnacion ſhall not lye in our owne power (beyng his elect) and with this geveth us ſuche grace, that we may in this preſent life, render him all laude, honour, & glorie, by Jeſus Chriſt our Lord.
Whether God do agravate, harden and blind the hearts of men or not, and in what maner: the eleventh Sermon.It is 097 G6r
It is read in the holy ſcriptures, that God put in 2. Reg. 16 3. Reg. 29 2. Reg. 24 Exod. 1. 7 10. 11, & 14. Eſau. 63 John. 12 1 Cor. 4 Rom. 9. & 11. Gal, 3 Saul a wicked ſpirite to vexe him and a lying ſpirite in the mouth of the Prophets to beguyle Achab, and that by Sathāan he moved that hert of David to nūumber the people againſt his precept. And moreover he doth hardēen blynd, and make groſſe the harts of perſons, and geveth them over into a perverſe mind. And Paul writeth, that he hath ſhut up al mēen in unbelief and ſinne. And although many held for ungodlines this maner of ſpeaking, & therfore they do not only abſtayn frōom pronouncing ſuch like words, but alſo go about to expound & make thēem better, amending thēem after theyr phantaſie, to ſuch a way, that they have a kind of godlines therin. And I thinke they are moved to do this, to thend that of theſe things men ſhould not take occaſion to thinke that God were the cauſe of ſinne, or els to imagine with the Maniches to be ii. firſt beginnings, the one good, cauſe of the good, the other evell, cauſe of the euell. 098 G6v evell. Nevertheles I will not, ought not, may not will to be more holy then God, that ſpeaketh in holy ſcriptures. And it is more wickednes to will to correct the tongue of the holy goſt, becauſe that none ſpeaketh nor can ſpeake more circūumſpectly thēen he, nor with greater thyrſt of our ſalvacion, thou the zeale and honour of God. With al this every one ought to knowe that we are the cauſe of ſinne & not God: yea it can not be thought, that God is a God, if it be not thought that he is wythout faulte, without evel, infinitely good and juſt. Therfore as to us is due all confuſion, ignominie, diſhonor, reproche and evell, ſo to God all honor, laude, & glorye. It is not evel then to prono ūunce theſe wordes, in the maner that they are written, ſaying that God doth agravate, harden, and blind, but it is good.
Thou wilt ſay, tel me how theſe words are to be underſtand, that God doth harden, blind, and ſuch like: ſo that therby I may not take any occaſiōon of offence. I aunſwere, that after the opinion of ſome. God doth harden, and ſo blind the herte of a perſon, in as much as he foreſeethand 099 G7r ſeeth and fore preacheth his hardnes, as he did foreſe & foreſay the obſtinacie of Pharao. But knowe thou, that whēen he ſayd to Moyſes, I will harden the hert of Pharao, he wold not onelie ſay, I foreſee that he will be hard herted, and I tell it thee before, for then the words which he ſpake after, ſhould not have agreed therwith, which were for to ſhewe my power: that my name may be declared throwghout the whole world.
But with thoſe wordes he threatened to puniſhe him, as it is read that he puniſhed mo people for theyr ſinnes, with blinding thēem, hardening ēem, with letting them do after theyr deſyres of theyr own hertes, geving them over into a froward Deut. 2 Eſat. 6 Joh. 12 Pſal. 80. Rom. 1 mind, in paſſions and ſhamefull effects.
Therefore there are ſome which ſay, that God many tymes doth harden and blind ſinners, whēen ſuffering, yea geving them proſperitie, and diſtributing his mercy and benefites, when they ought to open theyr eyes to ſo great benignities of him, & be invited therby to repent and chaung theyr lyfe, they, of this bountie of God take occaſiōon to become worſe, every 100 G7v every daye more blind & indurate. But I ſay that the vertue & alſo the vice ſtandeth not in proſperitie nor yet in adverſitie, but in the men them ſelves. So that as to the elect every thing worketh to ſalvacion, and by the ſpecial grace that they Rom. 8 have of God ſerve him in adverſitie as in proſperitie: ſo to the reprobate, every thing ſerveth contrarie, and hurteth, yet by theyr defaltes as not only proſperitie & adverſitie, but alſo the preaching of the Goſpell, and the miracles do hurt and hinder thēem. Therfore Paule ſayd, that as to the elect, Chriſt was the odour of life, 2. Cor. 2 ſo to the reprobat, he was the odour of death. If is nedefull then to ſay that god doth harden and blynd the hartes of the reprobate, not becauſe he geveth them adverſitie or proſperitie, nor becauſe he ſuffereth them, and ſheweth them many benefites, but for that he geveth thēemnot grace to uſe them, and the commoditie therof, to the glory of God: It may be truly ſayd that he doth harden and blind the harts of the ſinners, when he taketh from them, or geveth thēem not his grace, nor the underſtanding of his will, becauſecauſe 101 G8r cauſe that in ſuch caſe, it is force that man remayne blind and indurate, and that every thing ſerve thēem, to the diſhonor of God, wher as if they had that inward grace even of theyr ſinnes, they ſhould take occaſion to honour him. God doth blind men, when withdrawing his Deu. 31 light, he hideth his face, and as Moyſes was vailed, ſo ſpredeth he the vaile of ignoraunce over the hart of the reprobate: ſo that God in withdrawing the 2. Cor. 3 light of his grace, blindeth the hartes of infidels, in ſuch ſorte, that not only the Goſpel is hid frōom them (as Paul writeth) and they erre, but ſtanding in the darckenes, they can not beleve. And ſo alſo doth he 2 Theſſ. 1 John. 12 harden, not for that he geveth proſperitie or adverſitie (of the which the elect alſo are partakers) nor becauſe he withdraweth not the grace, but the ſweetnes and the ſenſuall feeling therof, of the which many ſaintes wer voyde: nor yet for that he moveth their hearts to evell, or cauſe in them any obſtinacie or evell Ezec. 11 qualitie: but only in withdrawing hys grace, which molifieth a hart of ſtone & maketh it fleſhe, it is of neceſſitie that the hart 102 G8v hert remain hardened. And likewyſe he chaſeth away the ſinner, when he doth not call him, and draw hym to him before. Yet for all this God ſinneth not, for he is not holden nor bound to geve us this grace, he may harden and molifie after his own pleaſure, yea the ſinner meriteth not only to be puniſhed with paine and privacion of paradiſe, but alſo with privacion of his grace: and that this is true, judge, if God had killed Pharao, when he cauſed all the Hebrues children to be caſt into the floude: wouldeſt thou have ſayd that God had bene unjuſte? Surely no. And yet if then he had dyed, he had ben damned, and remained obſtinate for ever. Wherfore might not God execute juſtly, the ſame ſentence, as concerning blynding and hardening, upon others, with withdrawing his grace? And on the other partie (as they are preſerued)ſerved) that ſhall be not amiſſe to preſerve him in life for a few mo dayes to be ſerved of him, as of an inſtrument of wrath prepared from the beginning, to exerciſe flawed-reproductionhalf the line, to thende that deliveflawed-reproductionhalf the line, they myght knowe great 103 H1r the great goodnes, power, and juſtice of God. And ſo being his name celebrate Roma. 9 throughout the world, hee might be feared and loved. And finally all to his own glorye, as writeth Paule and Moyſes. The Cro. 24 Pſal. 31illegibleone character judgements that we geve upon the ſecrets of God, are very madnes, if by faith wee Rom. 8. do not enter into his ſanctuary. God doth inwardly call the elect, as Paul writeth, and they beleve that God, as theyr only father, wil never forſake them, but ſhall endue them with ſuch grace, that al things ſhal ſerve them to ſalvation, even ſinne, in the which God will never let thēem fall, but for their benifite. They are not offēended to heare ſay, that God, by abſtaining Rom. 8 his grace from the ungodly, doth blinde, and harden theyr hartes, but underſtanding by fayth, to be in the number of the elect, and knowing that God ſaveth not but by mercy, & damneth not but juſtly, ſo much the more are they moved to live in pure fear, to humble them ſelves, and render thanckes to God, to whome bee ever all laud, honour, and glory, through Jeſu Chriſt our Lord.
How God doth diſpoſe his grace: the twelfe Sermon.
There are manye which thinke that god to every one continually doth offer his grace, and that it is in the power of man to accept it or not, as though they had it in a boudget, & were in their arbitrement to open and take at their owne wil. And that of this their dead, falſe, & erronious opinion, groweth that they live moſt wickedly, thinking and ſaying, God never fayleth with his grace, and it is at our choyſe to receive it at our wyll.
Therefore we may take leiſure & live a vicious life after our owne way, for we ſhall be ſaved alwayes, a momēent of time is enough for us to repent and be ſaved, ſence it is in our power. Therfore for to flye ſuch an evil, I have judged it good to ſhew that it is not ſo. It is no doute that god hath created the world for his elect, ſo that if god had foreſeene that none ſhuld have ben ſaved, he wold not have created it. For 105 H2r it. For then alſo he did preſerve it, to thēem Heb. 1 1. Cor 1. Rom. 8 he hath geven the Aungels for kepers, and of them as a father he hath moſt ſinguler care and providence. God wyl not ſuffer that they be tempted above theyr power, yea every thing worketh & ſerveth wel to theyr ſalvaciōon. Seven times Pro 24 in a day the juſt ſhall fall, & ryſe againe, becauſe God is with them, and helpeth them in ſuch ſort, that the more they are in great perils & neceſſitie, ſo much the more is god beneficiall to them. For thēem god gave the law to the world, ſent Moſes and the Prophets, them he calleth inwardly in ſuch maner, that they heare his voice, and anſwere him, of them he molifieth the hearte, and draweth them to Chriſt, as the Adamant doth Iron: If they erre, he doth correct and chaſten thēem as chyldren, as it is read of David, to thēem Pſal. 31 John. flawed-reproductionone numerical character0 John 9 he doth not impute their ſinne, he doth quicken and glorify them, and finally al that god hath wrought, and ſhall worke for him ſelf, is for the elect, for thēem he ſent Chriſt, & whēen he came, for them he toke upon him their ſinnes, onely for them he praied, for them he wepte, preached, and H.ij. dyd 106 H2v did miracles, for them he ſhed his blud, died, roſe, aſcended into heaven, ſent the holy ghoſt, & ſhal come to judge the quick and the dead: yea all that he hath ſuffered, wrought and ſhall worke, is for the electe, whome hee loveth in ſo exceſſive maner, that he doth attribute to him ſelf all that is done to them. God then being John. 10 gratified with the electe in Chriſt, doeth geve unto them his ſpirit, the lively lighte of him, fayth, hope, with all the reſte of vertues and graces eſſenciall and neceſſari to ſalvaciōon. And moreover he geveth them grace to uſe in the honor of God, and be ſerved in his glory, of all the gifts and graces which may be comune both to the good, and to the evel, to be uſed well and evel, as riches, honour, dignitie, health, long lyfe, children, freindes, ſcience, the giftes of the tongue, to do miracles and ſuche like. Of them in parte, Paule made mencion, wryting to the Corinthians. 1. Cor 12. And alſo geveth them grace to uſe in his glorye, povertie, ignomine, infamie, infirmitie, with all adverſitie, and the priflawed-reproductionover one third of the linetes, even to the death, flawed-reproductionhalf the lineche grace that with flawed-reproductioncatchword 107 H3r every wind, they ſayle to the porte, and they knowe that they are no leſſe bound to thanke God when they are without ſuch gifts, and in all adverſitie, then when they have ſuch things with the proſperitie of the world, ſence that by the grace which god geveth them, all things worke to good. Therfore they are ever contented to bee in the ſtate which pleaſeth the Lord, neyther wold they chaung it, if they might (without the will of God) and only for that they fele the divine goodnes, no leſſe in adverſitie then in the worldly proſperitie. In thend when they are fallen to any ſinne, god openeth their eyes, and maketh them ſee, not only the evell that they have done, but alſo that he hath so permitted it for their benefite, to the end they may the better know theyr owne miſeries and the bountie of God. But ſpeaking of the reprobate, I ſay, that it is enough for us to knowe that God is not bound, nor neceſſited to geve them his grace for theyr good worckes: becauſe that the grace findeth not good worckes, but doth make thēem to be done. god neither hath, nor may have any bond H.iij. with 108 H3v with his creatures. The bondes are all oures with God, & ſo much the more, as that we being all loſt in Adam, he might juſtly, not only abandon us, but damne & puniſhe us. He is not alſo compelled of his perfecte goodnes, mercie and charitie, to not have created the world, he myght nowe bring it to nothing, and diſpoſe all creatures after his owne way, being ſtil moſt perfectly juſt, as he is nowe, and was from without beginning, before he did create the world. God may geve of his Matt. 20 grace as much as it pleaſeth him, whēen & to whome he thinketh good, yea, and not to geve it without being unjuſt, or doing any injurie. God alſo hath ben of power, without doing any unrighteouſnes, to create the reprobate, forſeing theyr damnacion, to ſerve his owne turne, and to uſe them for inſtrumentes, or exerciſe the elect in vertue, to the ende that their victories and triumphes, and likewiſe Chriſtes, might be the more glorious, & finally all for his owne greater glorye.
And moreover I ſay, that Chriſt hydeth hym ſelfe and hys grace many John. 7 Prove. 1 times from perſons, ſo that although they 109 H4r they ſeeke hym, crie after him, and recomm ēend thēem ſelves to him, they find him not, nor he heareth thēem not, notwithſtanding thoſe ſuch as are not moved to ſeke him, or cōommit them ſelves to him, by the ſpirite, nor for the zeale of the honour of God, but for their proper intereſt, yea & many times he doth blind and indurate thethe people, and all is moſt juſtlie done. And although it be writen that God hath cure of all, calleth all, doth rayne and power his grace upon all, and like ſenſentences: I ſay, it is to be undersſtand, that he hath cure of all ingenerall, but of the elect in ſpeciall, and ſo he calleth all, with a vocation univerſall, but the elect with an inward an ſinguler. When Paule ſayd alſo, that he wold ſave all, he underſtode that, to be of everie ſorte of perſones. His death alſo was ſufficient to ſave all, but it is not effectuous but to the elect, and ſo where it is written, that he doth illuminate and geve grace to al, it is underſtand of the elect, of thoſe that are illuminate. Therfore ſayd Chriſt to the Apoſtels, to you it is geven to knowe the miſteries of the kingdome of Mat. 13 Ephe, 2 H.iiij. heaven, 110 H4v heaven, Paule ſayd likewiſe, that he ſayth 2. Teſſa. 2 which is the gift of God, is not all mens. It is well true alſo, that god doth illuminate all, in aſmuch as there is no perſon that hath not had ſome light and knowledge of god. Let us thēen geve him thanks ſence that of his mere goodnes, he hath connumerate us among the elect, & pray we him that he geve us ſo much light of his goodnes, that in every place and time we may render him perfect laude, honour & glory, by Jeſus Chriſt our Lord.
If man have libertie or not & in what maner: the .xiij. Sermon.
Some myght thinke it ſuperfluous for a Chriſtian, to thincke whether he be free or not, but that it is inough to force him ſelfe to make al poſſible reſiſtence agaynſt evel, and his beſt power to do well, geving all honor and glory to God, becauſe that in ſuch a caſe, they walke to God ſurely, neither falling into the depth of ydlenes. But 111 H5r But herein conſiſteth the difficultie, in geving all the glorie to God. Yea it is not poſſible that man while arrogantly he preſumeth of him ſelfe (thinking to do that which he doth not) can geve al the glory to god. Therfore have I judged it neceſſary to ſhew what māan cāan do, to thend the being able to knowe & diſcerne betwene that which in dede is his, & that that is Gods, he can and may render all prayſe & laud unto him to whom of duety it belongeth. Fyrſt, although the being of the creatures, compared to the being of God (by being infinitely far from the perfection of the divine eſſence) is but a ſhadow, yea rather Rom. 4 no being, ſo that truly it may be ſayd that God only is that which is: nevertheleſſe Exo. 3 with all this, it can not be ſayd but that the creatures have a being, although imperfect, in compariſon of the divine. And ſo is it true, that they have vertue, during the which they work, although principally in the vertue of God.
Therfore when the Lord had created the world, he commaunded the earth to ſpring, & the waters to bring forth. Thēen falſe is the opinion of thēem that Imagine H.v. that 112 H5v that God, & not the ſunne doth geve light, and God not the fyre doth geve heat, and ſo of al the reſt of things created, that god doth worke in thēem, and not the creatures, but every creature evēen the moſt vile, hath his proper vertue, during the which, it worketh. True it is, that in the creatures inferiour to man, ther is no libertie at all, becauſe that being not let, they muſt of neceſſity worke according to the vertue that they have in the diſpoſition of things poſſible or ſufferable, directly ſet before them as it is ſene in burning, and ſo it is neceſſary, they move according to their vertue, ſtrength, and apetite, the which is ſeene in the waters, that runne to the ſea, neither it is in the powere of living Soules unreſonable to move or not to move weakly or ſtrōongly, to the objectes that they apetite or deſier. Take away the impedimentes, they muſt of neceſſitie move them ſelves ther unto after the meaſure of the ſtrength, and apetite they have. Therfore in them is no libertie at all, as ther is in man, in whome I cōonſider five ſortes of movings, and operacions. The firſt are meere naturaltural as 113 H6r tural as if a māan ſhuld voluntarely throw him ſelf downe, it ſhuld not be in his lybertie to withhold him ſelfe, but ſhuld be by his weight, compelled like a ſtone to diſcend even to the earth. True it is, that the ſame faul was in his liberty, in as much as he mighte not have throwen him ſelfe downe at all. The ſecond movings, that I conſider in men, are vegitative, as the growinge when they are children, and nuriſhing and ſuch like, the which alſo doth plantes. And ſpeaking of thoſe, I ſay that they are not in the libertie of man, ſaving that he may kill him ſelfe, and deprive him of that lyfe which the trees can not do.
The thyrde are operacions animall, as to ſee, heare, and taſte, and ſuch like, of the which ſpeaking, I ſay, that albeit, it be in the power of man, not to heare a voyce that is preſent without cloſing his ears, and ſo of the other like operacions, nevertheleſſe it is in his libertie to ſhut up thoſe ſences, in the preſence of the obiectes or preſent things that delight him, and to withdraw him ſelfe from them, and ſo not to move, or to move to one 114 H6v one ſide or another, ſoftly or ſtrongly, as he will, the which the other anymalles or living ſouls cāan not do, being neceſſitate, to move according to their appetites. But ſpeaking of the four operaciōons which are humain, as to thinck one or an other thing, to ſpeake or not, in this maner or in that, to lerne this or that ſciēence, to governe him ſelfe or other in this way or in the other, yea not to do, or elſe to do, al ways more or leſſe, to this or that perſōon, (in caſe he have goods in power) to faſt watch, pray, to hear the word of God, to communicate or not, and ſo of all the other like operacions, I ſay, that they are in the power of man, that is that men (without other ſpecial grace and miracle but only during the generall influence of God) have in their power to do them, and alſo not to do thēem, and alwayes they ſhall do them, if they effectuouſly ſhall will to do them, not being letted of God, or of ſome other ſtronger then they, and ſo alſo ſhall they not do them being not forced, & not willing, to do thēem, men are not images. Yea that they are free in things humanehumane, it is ſo cleare, that it can not 115 H7r not be declared by a rule more knowne, but ſpeaking of the laſt worcks, that are holy, ſpirituall and devine, the which are gratefull and acceptable to God, as to have lively light, & ſpirituall knowledge and underſtanding of god, to have in him fyrme fayth & hope to love him, honour him, laud him, and reverence him, with all thy hart, to order all thy lyfe to his glory, to obey & commit him ſelfe wholy to his governaunce with mortifiyng and deniyng him ſelfe, the fleſhe & his owne prudence, and to love his neyghbour as him ſelfe, even to his enemies for the love of god, with the hart to pray for thēem, and do them all the good poſſible: And finally to do ſuch workes to the glorie of God is not in the libertie of them that are carnall, & not regenerate by Chriſt, becauſe that it is not in theyr power to have the ſupernaturall knowledge of God, ſence it is above all their might.
It is not alſo in theyr power to have lively faith in God, hope and charitie, for as much as they are the giftes of God, divine vertues and ſupernatural. Therfore it is not in theyr libertie to honour God 116 H7v God in any wiſe as is due to him, and that is true, let thēem prove to make experience in them ſelves, indevering them to have more knoweledge of God then they have, to have in hym grater fayth and hope, and to love him more, and they ſhall perceyve that it will not come to effect: wherof it foloweth that being not in the power of infidels, & not regenerate by Chriſt to love God with all their hart no nor above al other things, that alſo it is not in their power, not to love the thinges created, but in Chriſt & by Chriſt neither is it in theire power, not to love thēem ſelves diſordinately, or their parents, frindes, dignitie, honour, goodes, pleaſures, & the reſt of things that are to them profitable, commodious and delectable, & more over it lieth not in their power, not to hate their enemies, ſo that thou maiſt ſe, how it is in their power, to love thēem ſpecially ſpiritually in Chriſt: & to the glory of God ſuch like paſſions and effects, are not in our power, as every one hath exflawed-reproductionfirst half of wordens continually in hym ſelf.
flawed-reproductiontwo thirds of the linebſteyne from flawed-reproductionfive sixths of the linedo it, flawed-reproductioncatchword 117 H8r yea and do his beſt to healp him, but it ſhould not be in his power, to love him in his hart, and much leſſe in Chriſt and to God.
Therefore al be it, it is in his libertie, not to kille his enemye, and ſo to do him good, nevertheleſſe it is not in his power to refraine from killing him, or to do him any benefite for the glorye of God. The ungodlye might, with al his connig and power conſider all thoſe things that ſerve to the diſpraiſe of the world, to the mortifiyng of theyr ſelves, to the loving of theyr neighbour and alſo God: yet by no meanes ſhould they come to ſuch light of the goodneſſe of God, of theyr owne miſeries and vanitie of the world, that they ſhould love God, to the hate of them ſelves, and diſprayſe of the world, as he is bound to do.
It is not then in the libertie of the carnall man to do worcks ſpirituall, he hath neede of the grace of God, of fayth, and knowledge ſupernatural, nor it is not in hys power to gette, neyther in all nor in parte, any gifte of God, grace or ſpirituall vertue. Yea before that by Chriſt 118 H8v Chriſt he bee regenerate, he can not neyther with thinking, deſyring, or working, nor by any other meanes diſpoſe or prepare him ſelf neither whole nor partlye, to one of the leaſt graces of God: ſo that by thoſe hys thoughtes, deſyres, or works, he may be worthy, or have in all or in parte deſerved that grace.
And moreover I ſay, that as before his regeneracion he is ungodly and wicked, even ſo is ſin in al his thoughts, deſires, & workes and this is, bycauſe that while he is carnall, being the ſervaunt of ſinne and cōoncupiſence which reigneth in him, he is dead to God, and alive to him ſelf, he neither doth worck nor can worck, to the glory of God as he is bound, for want of the lively light of him, but being as he is carnall and in his owne love he is moved to worcke, only for his owne intereſt, he ſinneth then, not for doing alflawed-reproductionſt and like worksflawed-reproductionbut for that he flawed-reproductionfive or six lines, plus catchword 119 I1r abſteining, but that he abſteineth not for the love of God as he is bound to do, but for his owne proper accompte, intereſt & utilitie. And ſo is it true in carnall man, while he is carnall, ſin doth ever reigne, Rom. 8. Rom. 9 Rom. 7 for that he cāan not but ſinne, yea and ever doth ſinne continually, becauſe that although he abſteine from homicide, thefte and committing ſuch like iniquities, nevertheleſſe he ſinneth ever continually, in leaving behind him the love of God with all his hart, as he ought to love his neyghbour, as him ſelfe, to worcke for the helth of his neighbour, and the glorie of God, as he is bound, abſteining for his honour from all ſinne. Their ſinnes are then innumerable, & yet they thinck in confeſſion to number them all being then al the works of the carnall, ſinne & worthy of puniſhment: ſee how they can by any meanes be worthy to be rewarded, and howe they may be true preparacions, or diſpoſicions to grace? Therflawed-reproductionthree to five charactersas a dead man cāan not rayſe him ſelf, flawed-reproductionfour to six characterscke toward his reſurrection, nor flawed-reproductionone fourth of the lineot, worcke to his creation, ſo flawed-reproductionunder half the linethat in Adam is dead, Ephe. 11. I.i. and 120 I1v and as though he were not cāan not worck Rom. 4 towards his regeneracion and creation, yea even as a humane bodie without the ſoule can not move but downeward, ſo the dead ſoule without the ſpirit and Chriſt, his life, can not lifte him ſelfe up, but muſt of neceſſitie deſcēend ever down, in regarding his own intereſt. Therfore he can not but ſinne, he muſt be borne John. 3 agayn to do workes ſpirituall and holy, and by our ſelves we can not be regenerate by no meanes, for it is only the worke of God. It is needefull then that God creating in us a cleane hart do geve us a new hart, as David did pray Pſal, 50 and God did promiſe by his Prophets without me, ſaith Chriſt, ye can do nothing, that is ſpirituall, holy and gratefull to God. Chriſt then is wholy our rightuouſnes, and this is the more rich, noble and happy righteouſnes, thēen if we were juſt by our ſelves, yea none ſhuld be juſt, if our juſtice did in any part depend upon us nor our owne glory excluded, as Paul and Moyſes willeth it to be. flawed-reproduction 1 There are many that thinke that as mēen choſe to ſerve a Prince, ſo wee choſe to ſerve 121 I2r ſerve god, but be him ſelfe in the cōontrary, where he ſayd, you have not choſen me, but I you. Likewiſe they thinck, as they that beſt ſerve obteyn moſt favour of their lord, and thoſe that have loſt it, the more they humble them ſelves, the ſoner they recover it: ſo they thinke of us with God. Thus they build theyr good life, not upōon Chriſt, but on them ſelves, and fall from Gala. 3 the divine grace. And alſo it is clene contrary: for not for that we repent, humble us, and do good worckes, therfore he geveth us his grace: but becauſe he geveth us his grace, therfore we do worckes that are holy. So that, not for that the good thiefe upon the croſſe did confeſſe Chriſt, therfore he did illuminate him, but for that Chriſt did illuminate and touch his hart, therfore he did confeſſe him: and the like happeneth of all us.
And what good worke did Paule when Chriſt converted him? He was moſt ſtrongly agaynſt his honour, even as we were before he called us. Theſe that are not regenerate, hee with Sainct Peter in a darcke priſon, bound with many cheynes, in the power of the Devyll, aſlepeI.ij. ſlepe 122 I2v ſlepe in ſinne, and wilt thou that they bee ſaved by them ſelves? No, the Lord him ſelfe muſt needes awake him, the evell tree can not bring forth good frute, as Chriſt ſayd, no more can the ungodly Mat. 7 good worckes. Before wee are by Chriſt regenerate, we are fleſh, and that which ſpringeth of the fleſh, is fleſh. Therefore Job. 3 can we do no ſpirituall worckes, yea even as Paule ſayth, all the effectes and deſyres of the fleſh are death, uncleane are all our worcks which proced of our corrupt nature, and finally he that is not with Chriſt, is agaynſt him.
God at the beginning made man free, but in ſinning he was made in ſuch ſorte the ſervaunt of ſinne, that not only he can not, neither in all nor in part, merite before God any grace, but he can not in his light do otherwyſe but ſinne: yet not for this he ſhuld leave to heare the word of God, to pray, to take counſayle, to ſeeke to bee corrected, to do almes and lyke worck, not for that he doth deſerve grace but puniſhemeēent, even as he that by force is compelled to humble him ſelfe, and flawed-reproductionone or two wordspardon of his enemy, for that fayned humilitie, 123 I3r humilitie, he meriteth not to bee pardoned, but ſhould merite ſo much the more to be puniſhed, as that, having unjuſtly offended him, he ought with his hart, to have humbled him, and aſked pardon, and hath not done it. Now ſo the ungodlie, in aſking mercie of god, doeth ſinne, for he that aſketh not for his glory as he is bound, but for his owne gaine, nor therfore he ought to ceaſſe from aſking help of God, for that he ſinneth not in praying, but for the not praying in ſpirit, for the glorie of God, and with all due circumſtances in that caſe he did partlie obey god, for if he did not pray he ſhould ſinne much more grevouſly. The Samaritane not onlye deſerved not to have grace of Chriſt, for aſking him water, but for that her demaund, ſhe deſerved to be puniſhed, bicauſe ſhe did it not in faith, and to the glorye of God. Nevertheleſſe Chriſt would that ſhe ſhuld aſke, and that it ſhuld paſſe by thoſe meanes. Now ſo he will that ſinners aſke grace, and do thoſe works that he hath commanded them, albeit they do them not to the glorye of God, being blind to divine things, yea I.iij. darcke- 124 I3v darckenes it ſelf, as writeth ſaintJohn. John. 10 John. 8 But after the ſinners are regenerat by Chriſt then as childrēen of God, they are free, & not the ſervaunts of the devell nor of ſinne becauſe that although in them remaineth the cōoncupiſcence of ſinne, nevertheleſſe they do not cōonſente to it, they obey not unto it. It doth not reigne in thēem: but Rom. 7 they have ſo much lyght of God, and ſo much ſpirite (which helpeth their infirmitie) Rom. 6 that they are ſtirred to the glorie of God, though not wholy as they wold, for becauſe of the repugnaunt fleſh. Therfore ſayd Paul: I do not that good that I Rom. 7 Pſam. 31. Rom. 8. wold do, but the evell that I wold not. But ſuch defects are not imputed to them, for that they are by fayth graffed in Chriſt. The regenerate by Chriſt are prone and readie to the good, God hath illuſtrate their mind and toutched their hart, in ſuch maner that with all their ſoule, voluntarely, frely, and gladly, they doe holy worckes, to the glory of God, ſo that as God counſayled the ſoules of them that did elect David to content thēem ſelves in their hert to have him for their king, ſo he moveth the hart of the regenerate,rate, 125 I4r rate, willingly to have god for their god, to cōommit them to his governaunce, and to delight to be governed of him, with honoring him as a celeſtiall father. So thēem as ſonnes of Adam, before they be regenerate, are the ſervantes of ſinne, for that they can not but ſinne, and therfore becauſe they can not worcke, will, deſire, nor ſtyre in any waye to the glory of God, as they are holdēen, but only for their carnall commoditie, by the which al men not regenerate, are called fleſh, not only the body, but the ſoule, the will, deſires and thoughtesthoughtes, with all the reſt, ſo after that they are regenerate, they be free frōom ſinne, (for that they can worke to the glory of God) and are ſervaunts of righteouſnes. Therfore although, as concerning the ſubſtaunce and being of the bodie and of the ſoule, they remayne the ſame: nevertheles, where before they were called fleſhly men, & fleſhe, for that they ſought not but theyr owne proper things, afterward they are called ſpirituall men & ſpirite, in as much as they ſeke the glory of God, the which they may do, for that God hath gevēen them by mere I.iiij. grace 126 I4v grace lively light and ſpirituall feling, and knowledge of his goodnes, yea during in them that perfect light, not only they are free from ſinne, for that they be able not to ſinne, but alſo they can not ſſinne, for that they can not but love God and worke to his glory.
And this is the perfect libertie, the being free from the power to ſinne, and being not of power to ſinne, is not to ſinne. Otherwiſe, neither the ſaints that are in the other lyfe, nor the Aungels ſhould bee perfectly free, neither Chriſt nor God, for they cāan not ſinne. It is very true this, that god ſometime doth let his elect, and holy men fal, withdrawing his divine light for a time (yet for their benefites) therfore we are not abſolutely and wholy free from the power to ſinne, as we ſhall be in the life to come, but they are free frōom power to ſinne with this condicion, during in thēem the lively and actuall light of God. So thēem as the carnall, before their regeneraciōon are in ſuch ſort the ſervaūunts of ſinne, that they cāan not but ſinne, not therfore abſolutely & without condicion, but ſo long as they have not the holy light 127 I5r light of god, ſo the regenerate are in like maner free from ſinne that they can not ſinne, yea they can not choſe but worke well, ye not abſolutly, but during in thēem that livelie and actual light of God. And with al this, neither the will of the fleſh is violented to wil evell, nor the will of the ſpirit to will well. And this is, for that the wil can not worcke, but of wil (therfore willingly) but if it were poſſible that of any outward power it were forced thēem by that violence, it ſhuld worck not voluntarilye. And on the other ſide, it ſhuld worke willingly for that it could not work but of the ſame will that it is: therefore it ſhuld worke unwillingly & willingly the which in a maner is unpoſſible, and implieth contradiction and gainſaying. So thēen as if one being a ſlepe were throwen down from a hyghe place, and in the falling ſhould awake, perceyving his falle, ſhould willingly contente him ſelf, and have pleaſure ſo to fall downe to the botome, when he were at the ground, he were well worthy to have ſhame & puniſhement, not for that he might in his fall withhold him ſelfe, for it was not in his I.v. choyſe 128 I5v choyſe nor libertie, but for that he did ſo delight and cōontent him ſelf with that fal, with his full will, and would it with the hart, in ſuch ſorte, that al beyt he might have had the power to reſtraine that fal, he would not have done it. Even ſo the like becōommeth of al the childrēen of Adam, that being fallen in him, although when they come to the yeres of diſcreſſion, and begin to diſcerne the good from the evell, they perceyve the ſinnes that they do, every way they do thēem voluntarily, delighting therin, ſo that although they be not of power, not to do thēem, they are nevertheles worthy of puniſhment, for that they in ſorte cōommit them willingly, that if they had power not to do thēem, yet every way they wold do them, being their will ſo malignaunt, as it is. Their will then is not violented or forced to do evell of any outward power, but of his own proper and entiere or inward malyce: And ſo the other partie, the regenerate by the gladſome, entier lively, and enflamed light that they have of the bounty of god, they are forced to elevate thēem ſelves, with an amorous violence. (Therfore voluntarily,tarily, 129 I6r tarily, and with perfect liberty) to God, to whom for ever be all laud, honor, and glory, though Jeſu chriſt our lord.
Of the effectes wrought by the ſpirite of God when it entreth into the ſoule: the xiiij. Sermon.
Even as Chriſt entring Mat. 11 into the holy Citie of Jeruſalem, the whole citie was moved, ſo moveth the citie of the ſoule when Chriſt entreth therin, ſpecially, ſence from that as from a fort and ſtrong municioned rocke he hath the greate devill to chaſe away. And if in the lunatike ſonne, ther was a great Luk. 11 Luk. 9 commocion, when Chriſt out of his body wold have drawen the malignaunt ſpirite that had poſſeſſed hym: thinke what cōommocion there is, when he chaſeth him frōom the ſoule, in the which he dwelleth more willingly. And knowe, that it maketh a cōommocion not only outward in ceremonies, as do commonly the falſe chriſtianes 130 I6v chriſtians when it is neere Eaſter, but ther is a cōommocion within the very bowels of the ſoule, and inward parte of the heart, there is nothing that ſo can perce the ſoule, as doth the ſpirit of god, when it entreth into it by ſpecial ſlyding. Not only it ſpoileth us of the olde Adam with Rom. xiii, John. 3 his concupiſcence, & doth cloth us wyth Chriſt, with al his vertues, but alſo maketh us to be borne a new, that as if a poore man wer ſodenly made an Emperour, he ſhuld be wholly chaunged, ſo he that of a vile ſinner, is made the ſonne of God chaūungeth thoughts, effectes, deſires, and wyll, chaungeth frendſhips, practiſes, words, works, & life, & of humaine, beaſtly, carnall, earth, and develiſh: he becommeth hevēenly, ſpirituall, angelical, and divine as did Paul, going to Damaſco, whēen Chriſt did enter his heart. Ther was a mutacion, from the right hand of God. When the ſpirite of the Lord entreth in a perſon, he is chaunged into a Acts. ix Pſal. 76 3. Reg. 21 Mat, 12 nother man, for that dyeng to the world he beginneth to live to him ſelfe. And if when Chriſt did enter into the temple flawed-reproductionhalf the line thoſe that bought and flawed-reproductioncatchword 131 I7r ſolde, thinck if when he entreth into the ſpirituall temple, he clenſeth it from every Rom. 8 unclennes of ſinne, ther reſtith not in it any thing of dampnacion, he healeth it moſt perfectly, ſo that if the uncleane woman was healed, at the touch of the hemme of Chriſtes garment, thou maiſt think what it is when Chriſte in ſpirit entring into the ſoulde, & the perſon with lively fayth, imbraceth him wholy for his. Alſo as when the ſonne beames enter into thy houſe, thou perceiviſt in the ayre, even to the ſmaleſt mote which thou couldeſt not ſee before, ſo when in the ſoule do enter the beames of lyght of the divine grace, the ſinnes are perceived in more cleare maner. Yea, as the prodigal Luke xv. ſonne never knew nor perceived truely his owne errour, til with ſuch pitie he was imbraced of his father, & had proofe how great was the fatherly goodnes and charitie which he had offended: ſo the ſinner when he converteth & beginneth with the ſpirit to taſte the divine goodnes, he beginneth alſo to know his malice, pride, and ingratitude with the reſt his unlawful ſinnes. He reſtoreth with Zacheus 132 I7v Zacheus that which is not his, if Chriſt Luke xvi enter into his houſe and diſpenſeth the ſuperfluous things, yea being rych with the treaſures of Chriſt, he leaveth al with unmeaſurable love. He can not participate or take part of the bountie of God that doth not communicate & diſtribute to others. The lively flame muſt needes breake forth, or els being ſmoudered it quencheth & the fountaines that cōontinually John 7 receive rūunning water muſt of force overflow: ſo they that have in them the holy goſt, by the teſtimonie wherof they Rom. 8 are ſure to be the ſonnes of God, have continually one ſuch & ſo entire, ſincere, and pure gladnes (which groweth of the lively knowledge that they have of the great goodnes of god) that they can not expreſſe it, nor they cannot comprehēend thēem 1. Pet. 1 ſelves. Therfore not being able to withhold themſelves, they ſpring and leap for ioy with Ihon Baptiſt, with his mother Luke 1 thei make exclamaciōon, & as to Zacharie, Exo. 4 Acte. 4 Math. 7 ſo are their tongues loſed: ſo that although in praiſing of god thei perceive with Moſes that they ſtammer & are of an unlearned tonge, nevertheles with the Apoſtles, they can 133 I8r can not keepe ſcilence of that which they Math. 7 have heard, ſeene, & felt, with the ſpirite, they muſt needes ſpeake by the ſuperabundance of love, that they have, they deſyre with the woman of Samarye, that John. 4 every one ſhould taſte that which they them ſelves have had experience of. And although for preaching the goſpell they be perſecuted, for all that they do not deſiſt & leave of, but triumphing in al, they perſever and go furth even to the death, Rom. 5 they feele in ſuch ſort in the heart the charitie of god, that not onely it is ſweete to Act. 5 them to ſuffer for his love, but with the apoſtles they reioice therin. And for that they participate of that great charitie of Chriſt, by being his mēembers. Therefore with him they pardon al men, being ready to ſhed their bloud and put their lyfe for their enemies, & with Paul alſo to be Rom. 9 Acte. 7 accurſed from Chriſt. And this, becauſe that as to Steven, ſo the heavēens are opened to them, in ſuch ſorte, that in ſpirite with cleere & ſupernatural light of faith, they ſee the glory of god, in having geven his only begottēen & dearely beloved ſonne for thēem upon the croſſe, they reſt alſo quiet as 134 I8v as the ſhip when Chriſt entred into it, they have the peace of conſcience, knowing with certeine faith, that God by Chriſt and by hys mercie, hath pardoned Mar. 6 Rom. 5 them. They have alſo quietnes of mind, in ſuch maner, that though they were in al the perils and neceſſities of the world, yet alwayes aproving for juſte, the judgementes of God, knowing that he is their only father, that he hath moſt ſinguler cure of them, and that every thyng ſerveth them to ſalvaciōon, they ſtand moſt ſuerly, quiet, in peace, and tranquillitie. Theſe ſuch for that they walke according to the vocacion of God, have honour of every enterpriſe that they take in hand, they can not be letted or reſiſted, no more then God. Yea it is force that every one feare thēem, as Herode feared SaintJohn Baptiſte, for that he had in him the ſpirit Gene. 21. Gene. 26. of the Lord, and as Abimelech did Abraham and Iſaac. They are dayly more firme and ſtabliſhed in good purpoſes to do ever better, being lifted up cōontinually to a greater perfection with Paule, although their mind be cōonverſant in heavēen nevertheleſſe, deſcending by Chriſtian pitie, to 135 K1r pitie, to fele the miſeries of their brethern, 1. Cor 11 they laboure alſo to drawe thēem to Chriſt, and move them to have the ſpirite, and to be in verite Chriſtians, and not Ipocrites. As the very grape doth move the birdes to taſt therof, and not the pitfall. And finally, although with the Apoſtels, John. 6 Matt, 7 they ever remayne with Chriſt & with the Cananite, which woulde not depart for his ungentle wordes, nevertheles they are promte and readie for his honour and glorye, to leave with the Samaritane his ſweete preſence.
And what is more to be ſayd when the ſpirite of God doth enter in to a ſoule, he ſuffereth it not to ſlepe, nor ſtand in idleneſſe, but maketh it worcke thinges merveylous and inexplicable, for the love of God: to whom be ever all laude, honour and glorie by Jeſu Chriſt our lord John. 4
What thing God is. The xv. Sermon.
Ignoraunce ſpecially of the heavenly things, is the greateſt lack that can be in man and above all other the ignoraunce or lack of knowledge of god. For as it is impoſſible to attaine the ſcience of Philosophie, Aſtrologie, Geometrie or of any other like, without the ground or fyrſt principalles. So without the knowledge of god the true beginning and principall of true devinite, it is impoſſible to have any light of the trouth, neceſſary and proffitable to the ghoſtly health. And likewiſe, as the knowledge of the firſt principalles of one ſcience, dependeth the knowledge of all the trouth and concluſions that that ſcience conteyneth. So of the true knowledge of God, dependeth the knowledge of all the circumſtaunces and trouth of Theologie or Devinitie. Wherfore ſeeing how much peſtiferous & deteſtable the ignoraunce of God is, and howe much neceſſary the true 137 K2r true knowledge of him is, I have thought it expedient, firſt to conſider what thing God is.
It is a moſt eaſy thing to knowe that God is, or that there is a God, ſithens that there is no Nation ſo barbarous, but that it beleveth that there is a God, being a generall knowledge that God hath ſo imprinted in the harts of al men, that if the man have any judgement at all, it behoveth him with the hart to confeſſe that there is a God. For albeyt ther have bene many wicked which with their mouthes have ſayd: ther is no God. Nevertheles the ſelf ſame, when they have fallen into any perill or neceſſite, have been enforced of that onely light & religion of God, to recommend them ſelves unto him, ſo that we muſt of force repute him a very ydeote, that denieth Pſal. 13 God. And being therfore an evident and eaſy thing to knowe that there is a God, we muſt nowe travaile & labor (though it be moſt harde) to knowe what that God is. Manye have been of opinion that it is impoſſible that we ſhuld ImaginK.ij. magin 138 K2v magin what God is, becauſe infinitelie above all proporcions, he excedeth the weakenes of our underſtanding, ſpecially becauſe our wittes are drowned in the bodie, occupied of fantaſies, and ſhadowed by the derke vaynes of things created, farre of frōom God. We be weake of ſight, ſicke and impotent through the fall of Adam & our owne ſinnes. Wherfore they ſay that we can have none other knowledg of God, but the negative, that is to witte we may know that God is not materiall nor forme inperfect nor yet ſoule of the world, that he is not Earth, Water, Ayre, Fyre, Winde, Sterre, Mone, Sonne, Corporall light, nor any vertue ſpredde abroade. He is not the beautie that wee ſee, the ſweetnes that we taſte, nor other thing ſenſible, imaginable or intelligible of us, but that infinitely he exceadeth all creaturs and all things that we underſtand. In him ther is an inacceſſible light ſuch as they, which wth theyr thoughts in maner have been rayſed ſo high, that they have found what God is have deceved them ſelves. And they who ymagin in theyr 139 K3r theyr mindes to have found God, do fabricate Tim. 6 an ydoll, out of all meaſure diſtaunt from the true being of God, as appeareth by his commaundement to the Jewes, when he prohibited thēem the ſculpture or graving of ydolles, underſtanding Exod. 20 not of the materiall ydolles onely, but alſo of the imaginable. For out wittes are extreme darknes, in cōomparayſon of Gods ineſtimable fyrſt light. So that it behoveth us with Aaron to enter in Sancta Sanctorum and with Moyſes into the Celeſtiall Clowde, if we will knowe, that is to ſay, to knowe that we knowe not, in ſuch wyſe that the more fervently a man will profeſſe not to knowe ſo much the better he doth know, and who preſumeth to knowe, is fartheſt of from the knowledge, & why? becauſe God in his power and light ſtandeth ſo hidde in darkenes from us, that with blindnes we ſee him, wyth ignoraunce Pſal. 1one characterflawed-reproduction. we knowe him, with retiring or with going backe we cōomprehend him, in fleing we find him & with ſcylence we prayſe him. And it behoveth him that will knowe what thing God is, to ſtudy in the K.iij. ſcole 140 K3v ſcole of ſimplicite and reſt vanquiſhed of that ineſtimable, inacceſſible and incomprehenſible lyght.
And I confeſſe that we can not comprehend God, in ſuch maner as ggod comprehendeth him ſelfe. That is to ſay, we can not have an infinite knowledge of him, as do the bleſſed ſaints, that is to ſay, to have as they have the clere naked, open and viſible ſight of him, to behold 2. Cor. 1. him in the founteyne of his brightnes, face to face in the very being that he is. But we may very well attaine a knowledge what God is though not ſo perfectly as we ſhall knowe in the other lyfe. Nor it is not poſſible we ſhuld knowe what thing God is not, if firſt we learne not to knowe what thing he is, & that his being is ſo perfect that it repugneth thimperfections of thoſe thinges that be not. Wherfore conſidering all the negatives that are rehearſed of God, are grounded uppon one poſitive and affirmative that we have, we muſt ſay of force that we know God more perfectly, in knowing that that is to be knowēen, thēen in knowing nothing at all. And therfore ſpeaking 141 K4r ſpeaking of more high knowledge affirmative, that in this preſent life, the elect communly and without ſpeciall priviledge and miracle had of God, I ſay, that firſt thou oughteſt to conſider that the creature hath his being, although imperfect. And God hath his being without any imperfection. Yea his being is infinitely perfect, wherfore to know what thing God is, it behoveth thee to do as he doth that will make an Image. Fyrſt he cutteth of many peces, before he parforme the forme that he deſireth, and afterwardes paynteth and apparrelleth it.
So is it neceſſarie that with the mind, thou firſt conſider the being of the creature. And becauſe thou ſhalt finde him repleate of imperfection, being terminable create, temporall, corruptible and other like, therfore it behoveth the to clenſe, purifie and take from him all thoſe imperfections, and imagin him infinite, interminable, incorruptible and in effect abſtract and lifte up above all imperfection. Neyther doth that ſuffiſe, but alſo it is neceſſary that thou K.iiij. floriſhe 142 K4v floriſhe and adorne him of all perfection poſſible, in ſuch wiſe that thou conceave to ſee him aeterne, neceſſary, ſimple, immutable and infinite. Neyther yet doth all that ſuffiſe, but moreover it behoveth thee with thy thought to purify & clēenſe of al imperfectiōon. The will & mind created, the wiſdome created the juſtice, bountie, pitie, power, Charitye, treuth, beautie and all the other vertues & perfections, to which imperfection is contrary, and conſequently to enrich him of infinite degrees of perfection, and ſo to behold him in God as a thinge purified, to be unto him, dyvine and infinite. But becauſe thoſe powers, vertues and operations with imperfection in maner ruleth in us, will not ſuffer our wittes to conceave that creature in his being & to clenſe and ſpoile him of al imperfectiōons, and ſo to make him infinite, we can not in our beyng ſee him in God in whome there can be nothing imperfect but it muſt ſuffiſe us to ſee hym in vertue and eminencie. So that albeyt in Gods propre being ther is the corporall viſion, the imagination, credultye opinion,diſ- 143 K5r on, diſcourſes and other actions eſſencially. Nevertheles it muſt ſuffiſe us to ſee them in vertue and eminencie. For to ſee God clerely it includeth and conteyneth all perfection, like as the golde conteyneth the perfection of all other metalles. He then that ſeeth that divine being with all perfection poſſible, ſeeth what thing God is, becauſe he ſeeth a ſpirituall light, moſt pure, moſt cleere, moſt ſimple and exellently fayre, aeterne, immutable, neceſſary and infinitely perfect, replete of Celeſtiall felicite, juſtice, power, bountie, verite, wiſdome, mercy, charite and of all the other perfections and vertues, infinitely parfect and that in it, in vertue and eminencie be all the colours, odours, ſavours, ſoundes, ſonges, ſweetnes, fairenes, honours, dignities, treaſures, pleaſures and felicities of the world, infinitely and without proporcion, more perfect then they be of them ſelves here.
And moreover it behoveth thee to knowe that the being of the creature is a ſhadowe and a moſt ſleyght vanite in K.v. compa- 144 K5v compariſon of Gods being, and the difference more, then is betwene our ſhadowe and our ſelves. It is to be ſayd of Exod. 8 God, that ſurely he is onely the thing that is. Likewiſe I ſay of our powers, beautie, trueth, charite, juſtice, wiſdome and of all our other vertues, that compared to the divine they be as moſt vayne Images, and ſhadowes, infinitely diſtaunt from them of God. Alſo it behoveth to knowe, that God is not ydell, but John. 5 that he continually worketh (as Chriſt ſayth) in ſuch wiſe, that he hath not onely geven unto the world his being, but alſo continually cōonſerveth al the things created, and all the vertues, that of all the miracles and ſtraung effects, we knowledge only God to be Aucthour and to him we give all thanks honor and glorie. So likewiſe ought we to knowledge of him all the naturall effects and operacions, and not to extolle or prayſe nature, but God onely, who geveth and preſerveth the being and vertue to all things. Neyther ought there be any other chaunce or fortune to be named, but all to be confeſſed of God, and he onely to be thanked, even as he 145 K6r as he continually worketh for us.
And as his power is never ydel, but cōontinuall working in all creatures. So his wiſdome continually ſeeth, diſpoſeth and ordeineth all things moſt beſt, and his bountie likewiſe continually communicateth unto his benefites and graces. Furthermore it is neceſſary thou know that all that God hath wrought, worketh or ſhall worke in his creaturs, is all for man, for whom they be created and preſerved. For all the gifts and benefites that frōom the beginning have bene made or ſhalbe made to the creatures. Man is bound to knowledge them as made to him, and accordingly therfore to thanke God. And eſpecially the choſen or elect, to whome all creaturs do ſerve, both the predeſtinate and reprobate. Yea the Aungelles Rom. 8 and the develles, even to the very ſinnes. And becauſe God doth here manifeſt & diſcover him ſelfe, with his omnipotent wiſdome, trueth, juſtice, bountie and his other vertues and perfections, not only in his creatures, but much more in his ſcriptures, and ſpecially in Chriſt on the croſſe, chefely to them that by faith conceaue 146 K6v conceave him with ſpirit. Therefore it behoveth him that wil know what thing God is, to be holde him particulerly in Chriſt, and to beſech him to give him linely & cleere light to know him not onely in his creatures and ſcriptures, but ſpecially in Chriſt crucified, to the ende that in him & by him, underſtanding the great bountie of God, we may rendre unto him all honour & glory, by our Saviour Jeſu Chriſt.
How to know God by his creatures. The .16. Sermon.
God in his maieſtie apparelled 1. Timo. 5 with his perfections, & in the well of his brightnes (as ſaith Paul) is a certaune light inacceſſible and hidde. But here he ſomewhat diſcovereth him ſelfe by his creatures, as who will enter into Rome, muſt of force knowe by the pillers, Sepultures, Images, and by the great ruines that he ſhal finde ther, that the 147 K7r the Romaines in times paſt, have been of great power, dominion and wiſdome. So he which entreth into this world, ſeing Eſay 15 this great engin, muſt of force know the maker therof to be the God omnipotent. And beholding the ordre of his creatures, muſt not onely ſee but alſo marvel at the wiſdome of God. And with Pſal. 1.3 David crye and ſay. Lord thou haſt created all things in wiſdome. And moreover it behoveth him to ſaye that God is beſt, ſeing that continually he diſpoſeth new giftes unto his creatures. And ſeeing that by due meanes he leadeth them to theyr ende, he is forced to cōonfeſſe gods divine providence, and ſo in concluſion by the things created, to come to the knowledge of God, and of all his perfections, as farre forth as they appeare in his creatures, and that becauſe the creatures be unyted ſo togethers that eche one hangeth on other, and all of God, in ſuch wiſe that they make a ladder to the underſtāanding of the naturall, by the which they clyme and aſcende even to God. They ſee that this inferiour worlde, is governed of the heavens, and that the heavens keepe 148 K7v keepe theyr courſes uniformely, by continuall moving, & therof be conſtrayned to conſyder, that the vertu which moveth them, beyng infaticable and never weri, is ſpirituall, for if it were corporall, it ſhulde ende or at the leaſt waxe weake. And ſo goyng farther, they conſyder that that ſpirituall vertue, not beinge the ſupreame, is govuerned by an other. And becauſe they cannot attayne the infinite everlaſtinge, they are forced to come to a fyrſt ſupreame intelligence, the which moveth without being moved, and to a fyrſt cauſe independent, and ſo they aſcend to the knowledge of God. Moreover, by the beautie of the creatures, they aſcend to the knowledge of the beautie of God. By the ordre, Armonie and conſent that appeare in the creatures, they attaine the conſyderation of gods infinit ſapience or wiſdome. And ſo by the viſible workes of God (to the regarde wherof David calleth us, ſaying, Come and two thirds of the lineflawed-reproductionlorde) they atfour fifths of the lineflawed-reproductionperfecti all of the line but the final characterflawed-reproductiond Catchword plus one or zero additional lines.flawed-reproduction 149 K8r no creature ſo bace nor ſo vyle, in whom Rom. 1 there ſhineth not the glory of God, in which thou mayſt ſee his greate power, wyſdome, bounte beautie and the other perfections. And by howe moche the creatures be more noble, hyghe, worthy and excellent, by ſo much the more do they diſcover God. Like as the heavens Pſal. 2 which particulerly do ſhewe the glory of God. And the more perfectly we knowe the creatures. Yea God in them, ſo much the more we ryſe to the knowledge of God, and by ſo moch the more our underſtandinges wholy and with perfect light is united and copulate unto him.
It is true that many conſider the creatures in thēem ſelves, without reſpect to him that hath created them, and ſo conſerveth and governeth them. But thoſe are of more groſſe condicion then is the owle, which, becauſe he can not beholde the Sunne, forceth him ſelf and taketh pleaſure to behold him in the ſterres. And they, not ſeeing God in his glorie, ſeeke not, at the leaſt wiſe, to ſee him in the mirrour of his creaturs.But 150 K8v
But knowe thou fyrſt that this ladder of the creatures to clime unto God, is perillous, becauſe that God having put in them a certeyne beautie and ſweetnes, to thend that mannes underſtanding of the taſt of the ſweet running water ſhuld be provoked to ſeke the foūuntein or ſpringe, and ther by to ſeke God with more vexemencie. Many ſtaye or rather fyxe them ſelves in the degrees, & never arrive to the heygth.
And ſome of the ſight of the beautie created, fall into vile, baſe, unclene and filthy thoughts. And other ſwell in pryde of that theyr vayne ſcience, without climing to taſt the ſweetnes of Gods bonuntie, fixe them ſelves in the degrees, and there ſhewe them ſelves contented for reward to be ſeene and reputed for learned, of the blind foliſh and frantyke world.
Furthermore, this ladder is very hard and imperfect becauſe that by the ſinne of our fyrſt parentes we are ſo blinded of ſight, that with great difficulte we may ſee God in the darkenes of things created, ſpecially becauſe the wiſe of the world, 151 L1r world, coveting to ſearch all the properties, vertues and qualities of the creatures, have entangled themſelves with their curious thoughtes to the vayne ſhadowes of the world, that fyrſt they are attrapped of death or ever they are a lytle elevated their mindes towards God.
It is alſo a very long ladder, for the great diſtaunce that is betwene the low ſenſyble creatures (at the which, as at the fyrſt ſtep or degree it behoveth to begin to clyme) and god. For it requireth extreme labour to arriſe to the knowledge of the immateriall. And whēen thou art arrived at the perfect knowledge of the ſupreame creature, becauſe betwene that and God ther is infinite diſtaunce, before that with the thought thou arrive at God, thy wittes ſhalbe in maner ſo weakned that in the ende thou ſhalt attayne none other but a weake inparfect and darke concept.
Therfore to have ſufficient lyght of God to the knowledge of him by the creatures, ſuffiſeth not to our ſalvation.L.i. For 152 L1v
For though with all naturall light we did arrive by the creatures at the knowledge of God, yet can we be none other but good Metaphiſicy or naturall theologiens, and not therfore good & ſupernaturall divines, becauſe the world ſhuld alwayes have more operation in us and in our hertes thēen God. We might well leave our goods for pleaſure, and one an other for honour, as in times paſt certeine Philoſophers have done, which left one vice perceaving other. But no man cāan willinglie forſake the world, him ſelfe and all thing, & have God for God, and for his onely laſte ende, but he alone to whome the bountie of god is diſcovered, in ſuch wiſe that he may more in him, then all the richeſſes, pleaſures & dignities of the world. Wherunto ſuffiſeth not the bountie of god diſcovered in his creatures, nor all our naturall light, as Paul writeth to the Romaines. Whome he ſheweth Rom. 1 that the naturall light, which leadeth to the knowledge of God by the creatures, was not inough, becauſe therof they had not light to glorifie nor yeld the due thankes unto God.Wher- 153 L2r
Wherfore they are not to be excuſed which, thinking the naturall light to ſuffiſe, and truſting in theyr propre forces or ſtrenthes, demaund none other light of God, but are to be reputed wicked. For as muche as we al have neede of the devine grace and light to knowe God ſufficiently. Neyther is it inough to beholde him in his creatures. But it behoveth with the ſpirite and ſupernaturall lyght to underſtand him in Chriſt, wher he diſcovereth him ſelfe with ſo greate exceſſive bountie, that he raviſheth and draweth unto him the hartes, in ſuch wiſe, that delivering them of the world, he ſaveth them. Let us therfore fixe our eyes in that divine ſpectacle, to thende, that feeling in him and by him the bountie of the father, we may rendre unto him all honour and glorie by our Saviour Jeſu Chriſt.
If philoſophie ſerve to true Theologie or divinite, & in what maner. The xvij. Sermon.L.ij. There 154 L2v
There be ſōomme the which denying all ſupernaturall light, thinke that in the world there is none other Theology or divinite but the naturall, which they cal Metaphiſica. And becauſe that a Man can not be a good Metaphyſicus, unles he be firſt a good Philoſopher, therfore they be conſtrained to ſay, that Philoſophie ſerveth to Theologie or Divinitie. Somme other, not being able to denie Theologie or divinitie to be ſuper naturall, ſay that it is grounded uppon the natural, in ſuch wiſe that (after their ſaying) as the knowledge intellective requireth the ſenſitive, becauſe therof it hath originall, groweth and hangeth or dependeth, ſo hath Theology or divinitie neede of Philoſophie, becauſe of it it taketh beginning groweth & is eſtabliſhed.
Philoſophy then after theyr opinion, is the guide that leadeth unto Sancta Sanctorum, to beehold the celeſtiall thinges. two charactersflawed-reproductionhe ladder by the which it behoveth, to six charactersflawed-reproduction the true Theologie or divinitie. three fourths of the lineflawed-reproductionule to the which 155 L3r which (according to theyr judgements) reſorte al the knowledge of the divine light. And in ſo much do they allowe them, in as much as they agree, not with the holy ſcriptures nor with the ſpirite, but with theyr blind humaine judgemēent, which they hold for the ſceptre that ſheweth all, even to God.
But I ſay, that as our humaine reaſon by the ſinne of our firſt parēents, is weake, blinde, frenetike and fooliſh. So is likewiſe theyr Philoſophie. And that becauſe that albeyt after the ſinne, God left unto man a litle light of the natural thinges, neceſſary to the humaine life & convenient to our miſerable ſtate. Man nenvertheles, ertheles, in whom reſteth a certeyne pride & curioſyte, wold not content him ſelf with ſo ſimple a knowledge. As wher a certeyn Philoſopher, geving him ſelfe thurtie yeres to ſtudie the knowledge of all the properties of the bee, could never perfectly attayne his defſire. The others have geven them ſelves to ſearth the knowledge of al the properties, qualities, vertues and operations of every ſenſible thing and not onely of the baſe and corruptibleL.iij. ruptible 156 L3v ruptible but alſo of the celeſtiall bodies. Yea (and which is more) they have enterpryſed to ſpeake of the Soule, of the Angelles, of God and of the thinges ſupernaturall, In ſuch wiſe that (paſſing the lymites of theyr ſmall light, & walking blindely) eche one hath fabricate in his mind his owne fantaſie, and to the purpoſe have ſo ſpoken & writen every one according to his propre freneſie, wher of is growēen ſo great variete of opinions, ſo many confuſions, errours, ſectes and hereſies, that (as ſaint Jerome juſtly calleth them) the Philoſophers are the Patriarkes of the heretikes, and the fyrſt begotten of Egipte. And it is an olde proverbe, a great Philoſopher a great heretike.
The naturall reaſon therfore, that is not healed by faith, is frentike and foliſh, as thou maieſt wel thinke whēen thou conſidereſt the preſumptiōon, iun that it pretendeth to be the guyde, foundacion and ladder of the divine knowledges. Wher as it ſerveth not to rayſe the man to the knowledge of God, but much leſſe geentire line but the final two charactersflawed-reproductionra catchword plus one or zero lines aboveflawed-reproduction 157 L4r tes that not only he knoweth not, but alſo that without the divine grace he can do nothing. Albeyt that that Philoſophie is nowe ſo proud, that with the ſuppreſſing and perſecuting of Chriſt, the Goſpell, the grace and fayth, it hath alwayes magnified the carnall man, his light and his powers. And is become ſo frenetike, that oneles it be healed by faith, it will beleve nothing to be true, but that it thinketh good, neyther it is poſſible to perſuade him in any trueth, if firſt declared unto him by his frentike reaſons, it be not conformable to hys blinde judgement. Conclude therfore, that Philoſophie lieth lowe in the darke vale of underſtanding, and can not life in the head to the high and ſupernaturall things, in reſpect wherof, it is utterly blinde, and knoweth not, neyther by experience nor revelation, ſo that in it, it is impoſſible to eſtabliſh the foundaciōon of the faith. For as the feling paſſeth not the region of the ſenſible things. So likewiſe can not humayne reaſon nor Philoſophie paſſe the region of the naturall thinges. The naturall man (as writeth Paule) underſtandethL.iiij. deth 158 L4v deth not the things of the ſpirit. And becauſe he is not capax, that is perceaveth it not, he mocketh and ſcorneth it. Yea he perſecuteth, baniſheth withſtandeth, denieth and repugneth the myracles, revelations propheties, the grace, fayth, the holy ſcriptures, God, Chriſt & his membres. John. 10 If they heare the Goſpel preached of a faithfull man, they ſay he is madde, furyous or poſſeſſed of the devel, as was ſayd of Chriſt. If of a learned man, they Mar. 8 ſaye his great ſtudye hath brought him out of his wyttes, which alſo was layde to Paule. If of an ignoraunt, how, ſaye Act. 7 they can he be learned that never ſtudied letters? And if of a poore wretch (as touching the world) they ſaye to him as was ſayd to the borne blind man. Thou waſt borne in ſinne, and wilt thou teach me? And ſo in effect can in no wiſe abide John. 9 to heare the things of God. Go reade the holy ſcriptures, and thou ſhalt fynde that the carnal wyſedome and humayne reaſōon hath alwaies rebelled agaīinſt god. one to two charactersflawed-reproductionhe is the ſame that, figured by the ſerfive sixths of the lineflawed-reproductionto taſte catchword plus one line precedingflawed-reproduction 159 L5r not the word of God, & that afterwards taught them to excuſe themſelves. That made Caim to flea his brother Abel, and that perſuaded the worlde in the time of Noe, that the generall diluge or floudde ſhold not come. She cauſed the building of the towre of Babel. She provoked Pharao to reſyſt God. She induced the people of God to murmur againſt him, and to worſhip the golden calfe, and moved the Gentiles to ydolatrie. It is that harlot that made Salomon looſe his wits, and ſtirred his father to kyll Uria. And finallie, ſhe is the ſame that perſecuted the Patriarckes, Prophetes, Apoſtles, Martirs, and Sainctes of the olde and newe Teſtament. Beholde whether ſhe be a wicked foole or not that put Chriſte on the croſſe, and where as Chriſt crucified is the right wiſedome of god, ſhe accounteth it for a meere madnes. Surely there is nothing that hath ſo much favored the kingdome of Antechriſt as ſhe, which hath introduced all the ſuperſticious hipocriſies. Y, ydolatries & evells that have ben committed under colour of holynes. The faith hath not had a greater L.v. ennemy 160 L5v enemy then ſhe. The Church of Chriſte was a Paradiſe whiles the ſimple faith reigned. But taking in hand the ſcepter of humaine reaſon, it is become a confuſed Babylon. And wher as the clere, ſure and infallyble faith, by geving light of the trueth magnifying Chriſt, his grace and the Goſpell, doth adnichilate or bring to nought the fleſhly man, and maketh the parſon ſymple, pure, immaculate, vertuous & holie. The darke, blinde, deceitful, frenetik, fooliſh and heretical carnal reaſon, wyſedome and Philoſophie, cōondempneth & oppreſſeth the trueth. And to prove and extolle the errours, perſecuteth, crucifieth and burieth Chriſt, the grace and the goſpel, & magnifieth the carnal man even to the heavēen. All the harlots together have not ſo much corrupted the worlde, as this onely carnall reaſon, prudence & falſe Philoſophie. No nor the ſimple ignoraunce hath not ſo much confuſed the world as the humaine ſcience, wyſedom & Philoſophie, which maketh men bold, unſhamefaſt, hot, lyers, proude, contencious, frentike, foolyſh & wicked. Wherfore Paule exhorted the Coloſians to bewareware 161 L6r ware of her deceypt, becauſe (as God Coloſ. 3 Eſay. 47 ſayth by the prophet Eſaye) ſhe begyleth the parſons. For the wyſe of the worlde be the moſt deceaved, moſt fooles, moſte wicked and moſt contrarie to Chriſt.
And it requireth a ſpecial miracle to cōonvert one of thēem. Reade the Chriſtian hiſtories, and thou ſhalt fynde that thoſe be they which evermore have ben the fyrſt to perſecute the Goſpel. And they are uery wycked and fooliſh that will grounde Chriſt uppon Ariſtotel, even like unto them that will buyld a Towre uppon as wheaten ſtraw. Chriſt and not the Philoſophie is the onely true foūundaciōon of his Church and of the true ſupernatural divinitie of the which he is the only work- maſter, and not Ariſtotel. I pray thee what hath Ariſtotle to do with Chriſte? Many have enforced themſelves to agre Ariſtotle with Plato, but they could never bring it to paſſe, bicauſe Ariſtotle beginning at the loweſt of the ſenſible things, ryſeth in the ende to as high as may be. And Plato beginneth wher as Ariſtotle endeth. Cōonſidre now how it is poſſible to agree him with Chriſt, though many will make 162 L6v make him a piller of the Goſpell & a ladder to clime to heaven. Let us therfore repute the ſciēences of the world as vaine, being like unto the harlots, that with their flattering woords and falſe deceipts corrupt the mindes. And let us conſider that if the prieſtes of the old Teſtament were prohibited to take a commune woman for a wife, howe much more the Chriſtian that is all wholy conſecrate & dedicate to god, ought to flee and eſchewe the vayne ſciences & onely ſerving him ſelf of thēem as of moſt vile handmaydens, to knitte him ſelfe in ſpirite and with hart and mind to applie him ſelfe to that pure and immaculate virgin of the holy Theologie or divinitie? To the intent that everlaſtingly we may render to God all laude honour and glory, by our Saviour Jeſu Chriſt.
Howe we ought to uſe the holy Scriptures, in attaining the knowledge of God. The xvij. Sermon.
The knowledge of the holy ſcriptures is not ynough to prove that we have ſufficient light of God, becauſe it is poſſible that a man maye by his prōompte memorie attaine the holy ſciptures and their interpretacions in his mind, and by force of his naturall witte, naturally underſtand them, and be nevertheles for all that withonut faith, ſpirite and lively light of God. For therto it behoveth him to have the ſpirite and ſupernaturall Luke. 24 light, that God with his favour do open and penetrate the minde by his divine grace. So that therfore we muſt not accompte the holy ſcriptures for our laſt end, or for our ſupreame Queene or Empereſſe, but for meanes that ſerve to the faith, to the ſpirite and to the true knowledge of God, much more thēen the creaturs. And we ought to ſerve our ſelves of thēem in 164 L7v in divers wayes, for that they firſt incit ie and teach us to repaire to God, ſaying, in him is the chief bounte, go to him- for he is faythfull, and hath promiſed to make you taſte al vertue and goodnes in him. Yea thought hey do not make thee lively to knowe God, yet worke they, as the Samaritan did, that ſent the Samaritans John. 5 to Chriſt, who otherwiſe made them taſt and feele that which the Samaritane had ſayd of him unto them, in ſuche wiſe that, whēen they returned, they confeſſed, ſaying, we beleeved not at al by thy wordes, we our ſelves have heard & knowe, that this is truly the ſaviour of the world. And ſo the holy ſcriptures do ſend the to chriſt, to thee end that he may opēen thy hart, & make the in ſpirite lively to underſtand that which already thou haſt redde in the dead letter, that thou mayſt ſay unto the ſcriptures, we neyer beleeved by the wordes, the which, being without ſpirite, could not make us taſt lively the great bounte of God. It is true that by thy words we have been provoked to go to chriſt, who, ſpeaking unto us in ſpirite hath made us to feele in the hart, a more clere, 165 L8r clere, high and divine effect of that thou haſt ſpoken. They erre therfore that feding them ſelves of the letter and not of the ſpirite, do fixe thēem ſelves in the holy ſcriptures, and ſeeke none other light but that. Yea I ſay that for one hours ſtudie, they ought to pray a thouſand, and to demaund of God the true underſtanding of thēem. And like as the Piaconiſtes helde opinion, the ſenſible things geveth us occaſion to ſtudie in the booke of the mind in which (they ſay) is imprinted al the verite. So muſt we conſider that the holy Scriptures do call us to Chriſt, in whome (as Paule ſayth) bee hidde all the treaſures of wiſdome and knowledge. This is no leſſe then true, that like as if thou haddeſt a frende whome thou haſt not tryed (though alwayes thou haſt travayled to prove him) thou woldeſt not inwardely knowe hym for a frende (though he were ever in thine eye) becauſe the profe hath not rooted him in thy minde. So albeyt the holy ſcriptures do call & exhorte thee to ſeke god in ſpirite, yet is it īimpoſſible that thou ſhouldeſt find god in trueth in the ſcripturs, if firſt by ſpirite, thou 166 L8v thou have him not at the hart.
They ſerve alſo an other maner, that many times happeneth. As where God maketh the ſpirite with lively faith to fele a devine trueth. Afterwards, reding the holy ſcriptures, thou findeſt the trueth written that thou haſt ſo conceaved. And ther of reſting cōontented, thou confirmeſt thy ſelf in the faith of that trueth, notwithſt āanding that it ought to ſuffiſe thee, of the firſt inſpiration of the holy goſt. And ſo moreover becauſe that in Chriſt is the Rom. 10 Col. 2 end of the law, all the promiſſes fulfilled and all the prophecies verified, the ſhadowes, 2. Cor. 1 figures and ſcriptures of the olde Teſtament, he that redeth it and ſeeth al fulfilled in chriſt, is forced to ſatiſfie him ſelf of the trueth, and to eſtabliſh him ſelf in faith. For Chriſt ſent the Jewes (that wold not beleve him) to the holy ſcriptures, as to them that witneſſed of him.
Afterwards, albeyt that in the Church of God, to be ſatiſfied, grounded & eſtabliſhed in the divine, celeſtial and ſupernaturall verite, it behoveth in effect to come to the inward witnes of the holy Ghoſt, wihout whome we cāan not know which 167 M1r which ſcriptures of God be holy & which not. Nevertheles, after that by ſpirite we are aſſured that our holy ſcriptures be of God, we ought to ſerve out ſelves of thēem as of a certeyne in fallible and ſupreame outward rule to teache, reprehend, correct and exhort the others and to cōonvince thēem that ſpeake againſt it. For (as Paule 2 Tim. 1 writeth) amongeſt the exteriour things Tim. 1 we have not a more ſure cleere, parfect and ſtedfaſt rule, then this, with whiche we ought in ſpirite to rule al our words, workes, deeds and life.
The holy ſcriptures moreover ſhewe unto us (though farre of) our countrey. By her we have light of God of his promiſes Rom. 13 & alſo of his threatenings. And they nouriſt in us, the faith, hope, charite feare and other vertues. They comforte us in our troubles, and in proſperite exhorte us to be temperate. They diſcover the vanities of the world, our miſeries and the bountie of God. And who that ſtudieth thēem muſt of force retyre or withdrawe him ſelf frōom the worldly thoughts & ſettle his minde to mortifie his vices, inordinate deſires and affections. So M.i. that 168 M1v that the ſtudie of thēem is very proffitable to thēem that duely uſe it. But it behoveth not to ſtudie as the Jewe (who fixeth him in the uttermuſt rinde of the letter, which) as Paule ſaith: killeth, and beholding Moyſes with the face covered, and not entering into Sancta Sanctorum, but as the true Chriſtiāan, to whome is gevēen the knowledge of Gods ſeleſtiall reygne or kingdome, without parables, that the lively ſpirite doth penetrate to the lively taſt and feeling of God in Chriſt, beholding him with lively faith in the face diſcovered, and entring into Sancta Sanctorum, to ſee with clere ſupernatural light, the high reſplendent ſecretes of God. To whome be geven all laude, honour and glory by our Saviour Jeſu Chriſt.
Of thinconveniences that are happened and daily happen by the abuſe of the holy Scriptures, final line of head, probably specifying that this is the nineteenth sermonflawed-reproductioncatchwordflawed-reproduction 169 M2r
The holy Scriptures of themſelves be the good gifts of God and of the holy ghoſt. Nevertheles they may be uſed of us wel or evell, as by experience it is manifeſt. For where as gods elect ſerve them ſelves of it to Gods honour, the reprobate contrarywiſe ſerve thēemſelves of it to his diſhonour, through their own faut and not of the ſcriptures. In ſo much that in reſpect of their wicked malignite it hath perchaunce done hurt in ſome wayes to the world, thouh at length, God of his infinite bounte reduceth all things to his honour & glorie. For firſt the ſcriptures and ſpecially the holy Scriptures, have annoyed thēem who have been diligent to gather to gether manie books, & negligent to ſtudie them. Thinking thēem ſelves fully learned when they have had their librarie ful of books. Other ſome ſtuding have not attayned to imprinte the trueth that they found in theyr mindes, and therfore have writen it in papers, ſo that, reſting moſt ignoraunt, al theyr learning cōonſiſteth in their M.ij. writings, 170 M2v writings, and looſing thēem, they alſo looſe their ſcience. Which was one of the Argumentes that cauſed Plato to cōondempne lettres, ſaying that before ſcripture was found, the men were much better learned then ſence, becauſe they were forced to write in theyr mindes that that afterwards they have writēen in paper. I paſſe over that many have cōonſumed theyr time in the diſhonour of God, in reading & writing of things curious and pernicious to the health. And that many tranſported of Curioſite, have willed to ſee ſo many bokes that in the ende they remayned confuſed without frute. As doth the feld wheron they caſt overmuch ſeede. And of ſome that by thoſe meanes have loſt their wittes. But that which importeth much more is that they thinke the true knowledge of Theologie or divinite cōonſiſteth in lettres, which is utterly falſe becauſe they give not true & lively light of the ſupernaturall things that can not otherwiſe be knowen of us but by ſpirite, revelatiōon, faith, ſpirituall taſt, lively underſtanding & ſure experience. For like as the Philoſopher without experience can haue 171 M3r can have no knowledge although he beare in minde all that is writen, and not having practiſed, he muſt reſt onely in opinion grounded upon Ariſtotle, Plato and the other Philoſophers, which moveth him to beleve theyr writing to be true, being nevertheles in very ded more ignoraunt then is the poore payſaunt or huſband man, that by labouring of the Earth, without ſeeking lettres, findeth the operacion of many naturall things, that proveth his ſcience to be ſomwhat & theyrs none, though well they ſtudy for ever & want experiēence. So likewiſe one ſimple ydeote without learning, if he have faith, lyvely taſt, & ſpirituall underſtanding of God, is a greater divine then all the learned men of the world that be without ſpirite. Yea he is a divine and they none. For that of the heavēenly ſupernaturall thinges he knoweth ſo much as he taſteth, and experimenteth by faith & the learned māan hath onely a barraine, ydle cold & dead opinion which ſtandeth without faith in deſperaciōon, accompained of every vice. Nowe therfore it appereth that oft his errour, by thinking that true TheologieM.iij. logie 172 M3v logie or divinite conſiſteth in learning, there are innumerable inconveniences growēen, & chefely that many, wanting lettors, and not having time to ſtudie, thinking that by other wayes it is impoſſible to become divines, have not diſpoſed them ſelves to demaūund of god with meeke hart and fervent deſire the light of the divinoe things. And moreover they have fledde & withdrawēen thēemſelves from the intelligence or underſtāanding of the holy ſcriptures, as frōom a terrible ruyne, becauſe their wiſe learned and holy men have perſuaded them that no māan may underſtand it but they only that are learned. Cōondempning them that write in the vulgare tongue, as if the true divinite depended of the Hebrue, Greke, or Latin lettres, or of the witte that hath wel ſtudied thēem. Beholde nowe therfore whether this be not a moſt raw & wicked opiniōon, being the very cauſe that hath moved me thus to write in my natural tongue to thintēent that (knowing the true Theologie to be open to every language and to the ſimple) our owne three to five charactersflawed-reproductionon ſhuld not be private, who have four fifths of the lineflawed-reproductionTher be catchwordflawed-reproduction 173 M4r many that, ſtuding the holy ſcriptures without ſpirite, lively faith & ſupernaturall light, have not onely not attayned the true knowledge of the bountie of God & theyr owne propre miſeries, but the more they have ſtudied, the more, by the drie & dead letter, they are become blind of god and of them ſelves. Yea unfaithfull, unkind, proude arrogaunt preſumptuous contentious and repleate of all other uyces. Where as the ſupernaturall true Theologie or divinite, ſhewing the great bounte of God, and declaring in our ſelves our owne miſeries maketh us faithfull, thankfull, juſt, humble modeſt, gentle, quiet and conformable.
And moreover they be ſo blinde that not knowing theyr owne wretchednes, they not onely forbeare to humble them ſelves before God, & of him hartely to demaund helpe, light & grace, but alſo leaving prayer for their ſtudie, & the ſpirite for their learning, they preſume to be maſters of the others as Paule writeth, & Rom. 21 ſo inflamed of theyr ſcience, have ſlaundered the world, where as charite edifieth. And being cōonſequently without ſpirite, 2. Cor. 8 M.iiij. they 174 M4v they ſtudy and underſtand the holy ſcriptures according to their owne judgemēentes, diverſly as their wittes & ſtudie are variable, and every one according to his fantaſie expoundeth them, thinking he hath perfectly and juſtly cōonceaved them. Wherof are growen infinite ſects and hereſies. In ſteade of that, if they had been good and true divines, and had had the ſpirite of Gods gifte, they had underſtand thēen in treuth and verite, wherof followeth none other but union of faith both in ſpirite and charite.
Many alſo beleving by the ſtudie of the holy ſcriptures, to attayne true Theologie and parfect knowledge of God, and conſequently the chefe felicite poſſible to the living man, have geven them ſelves to ſtudie the ſcriptures, and walking by them to joyne to the ſupreme felicite of Gods knowledge, becauſe they wanted the ſpirite, they neither can arrive at the true and lively light, taſt and ſpirituall underſtāanding of God nor yet to the true felicite. Wherof it groweth that they fal to the botome of infidelite, in ſuch wiſe, that they beleve that there is none other light, 175 M5r light, faith or divinite then that their barreine and deade opinion, nor other felicite then that theyr miſerie, and ſo, ſeming to have attayned the heygth of vertues, before they have once taſted of them, they diſprayſe them. Theſe and ſuch other inconveniences are growen and continually growe through them that knowe not how they ought to uſe the holy ſcriptures in ſuch wiſe, that by theyr default, and not of the ſcriptures, they have perchaunce done hurte to the world. But for that we ought not to condempne the letters (as many have done) but the men that knowe not to uſe them as they ſhuld be uſed to the honour of God. To whome be all honour and glory by our ſaviour Jeſu Chriſt.
If to bee good divines it behove us to have the humaine ſciences or not. The xx. Sermon.LM.v. There 176 M5v
There be many that thinke it is not poſſible to attaine the perfection of Theologie, if firſt a man learne not Grāammer, Dialectica, Philoſophie and Metaphiſica, Yea Scotus Thomas bonaventure and ſuche other. I confeſſe my ſelf to have been in that errour, & therfore am nowe moved to cōompaſſiōon of them that reſt blinded withall. If it were as they ſay, we ſhuld be moſt bounden unto the inventours of thoſe ſciences, ſins that by them we may be good divines, & without thēem not. And then I pray you if they happened to periſh or thoſe aucthours to be loſt ſhuld it not followe that alſo the world ſhuld lake divinite? And likewiſe if the learned men in thoſe ſciences be onely the good divines and conſequently Saincts (the contrary wherof is clerely ſeen) thēen might well the ſimple and unlearned people diſpaire of all ghoſtly health, and the true and neceſſary divinite hang uppon humaine ſciences. So by that reaſon it ſhuld behove us to ſay that the Apoſtles and in maner all the ſaincts. Yea and the bleſſed 177 M6r bleſſed virgin Marie weare not good divines, notwithſtanding that they have taught others. No nor Chriſt never learned thoſe humayne ſciences, and yet was he the moſt excellent divine. Ther fore John. 1 fore we muſt knowe that one humayne ſcience leadeth us to clime to an other, much unworthie of the name of Theologie or divinite, but rather to be called Metaphiſica, the which neyther hath nor geveth ſo much light of God as can ſuffiſe to our ſalvacion, being a knowledge, that by force of mannes witte, climing the degrees of humaine reaſon, may be attayned.
Where as the true and ſupernaturall Theologie or divinite is a ſcience of the ſpirite, a gifte and light that by grace cōommeth from God above, in ſuch wiſe, that not he that hath the pregnaūunt witte, hath moſt ſtudied and is beſt learned, is greateſt givine, but he that hath faith, lively light and underſtanding of God, that liveth better and more chriſtianly. And be Ephe. 2 cauſe faith is a gifte of God, and the true divinite a ſupernaturall light, not attaynable or can not be attained of us, but gyuen 178 M6v gyven of God to his elect. Therfore everie ſimple ydeote and ignoraunt of the humaine ſciēences, may be the grace of god, ſodenly become a parfect divine & chriſtian, as in the actes of the Apoſtles it is redde of the Ennucho. It is poſſible thēen, Act. 8 that a ſimple olde woman may have more of the true Theologie or divinitie, then al the learned men of the world. For the humaine ſciences do fyll our myndes of ſmoke and pryde, & occupie them in ſuch wiſe (that diſtract with Marta) they be not attentive with Marie to receave the knowledge of God. It is ſeen by experyence that rather & more lightly the ſimple have accepted the Goſpell then the learned men of the world. Yea wher the ſimple, the ydeotes, the litle children and the Samaritanes magnified Chriſt, the learned Scribes & Phariſeis perſecuted him even to the death of the croſſe. And whan the world converteth, ſeldome the learned men come to the fayth, but have ben ever the laſt. Ther could none entre into Sancta Sanctorum by the olde law, but the hygh Byſhop. But Chriſt dying on the croſſe, hath overthrowen the vaile of 179 M7r of the Temple, ſo that the reſplendent treaſures of gods wiſdome hid in Chriſt are manifeſted ſo openly, that the ſimple and ydeots, yea the Publicans and commune women have underſtanded them. Wherof David ſpeaketh ſaying. Thy Pſal. 118 wordes be open, they lyghten & give underſtanding to the little ones. That high and divine wiſdome is become ſo low & oone characterotherē in Chriſt, that every ſimple may underſtand. For that Chriſt is not come as an humane man to teache us letters but is divinely & ſpiritually deſcēended to kindle the ſpirit, light, charite & grace in the hartes of his elect, and ſo hath he made them to underſtand, even to the Childrēen which magnifie him, ſaying. Bleſſed is Math. 21 he that is come in the name of the Lord. And Chriſt reproved his Apoſtles when Luke. 18 they letted the Children of comming to him, though now ther be many that wil not allow the holy Scriptures to be had in the vulgare tongue, nor redde & declared to the ſimple, as if they could not underſtande them, nor were not bounde to knowe that which is conteined in them. And yet it is certein, they conteine none other 180 M7v other but profytable & neceſſary thinges to the health, and that being of the holy ghoſt, thoſe divine verities be in maner ſo expreſſed, that in what tongue ſoever it be written, ſo it be truly declared, and with pure hart hearde and underſtande, they muſt needs edifie without offēending. Chriſt thanking his father, ſayde unto him. I prayſe thee (father and lord of heaven Math 11 and earth) that thou haſt hidde theſe things from the wyſe and prudent, and opened thēem unto babes, not for that they have ſtudied, but becauſe it hath ſo pleaſed thee. In this is fulfilled that the god promiſed Jeremy 3 by his Prophet Jeremie, that even to the leaſt of al they ſhould know. Now behold if they be blinde or not, that wyll buylde the true Theologie uppon Philoſophie, and uppon the humaine ſciences, where as Chriſt is the true foundacion, and uppon him it behoveth to buylde, no woode ſtraw or haye, but ſylver, golde & precious ſtones, that is to ſay, not the invencions 1 Cor. 3 of man, but the onely true revelacions of God. Sainct John Baptiſt, & not Ariſtotle, was the precurſor or fore- runner of Chriſt. It is not poſſyble with the 181 M8r the light of a little burning candell, to augment the great light of the Sonne, & lykewiſe Chriſte can not be clarified by the humaine ſciences. He him ſelfe ſaith John. 5 that he hath takēen his beautie, not of men but of his Father, who ſayde unto him. And thee I have glorified, and thee I ſhal John. 13 glorifie. And wilt thou then that Chriſt, which is the light of the world, ſhuld have neede of the light of Ariſtotle? That their John. 1 drye, cold and dead Theologie ſerveth to make them proude, to preſume of them ſelves, to contende & to deceave the blind ignoraunt people with perſuading them falſely to repute them for divines, yea & to begile thēem ſelves, that albeit that they be darknes in deede, yet they think them ſelves to be the light of the worlde, and therfore humble not theyr harts to pray unto God to give them light. I wyll not ſaye that we can not ſerve our ſelves of al the humaine ſciences in the honour of God, yea and of our ſinnes, in aſmuch as of them we may take occaſion of vertue. But I ſay in dede that they be not neceſſarie to make us good divines. For to that it behoveth a ſupernaturall lyght of God 182 M8v God, with clennes and purite of harte. And this light we ought evermore to demaunde of God with fervent prayer, we ought alſo to ſeeke the hearing of Gods worde, and with humilite to exerciſe our ſelves in ſtuding the holy ſcriptures, to the intent, that as true and good divines, we may rendre unto god all honour and glorie by our ſaviour Jeſu Chriſt.
How a Chriſtian ought to make his laſt Will & Teſtament. The xxi. Sermon.
It is commonly the cuſtome of men in theyre Teſtamentes, and laſt willes to ſay I leave, I geve, without onſe ſaying I take or carie wyth me, wherin certes they be farre deceyved, by cauſe they take that, which they ought to leaue 183 N1r to leave behinde them, and go without carying that which is very behofefull & neceſſary. Wherfore to the entent they ſhould no more erre on that behalfe? I wold we ſhold conſyder and weigh how a true Chriſtian ſhould make his will.
Men that be either fooles, mad, phrantike, neyther can, nor yet knowe how to make a wyll, by reaſon they have not wyt to deſcerne good from evill, what is theyrs, or what is not, what to take, nor what to reſtore or bequeath, nor yet to whome nor in what maner. And if happely they go about to make theyr teſtam ēent, it ſhould be but vayne and of no force, God alloweth it not as a thing made of a perſon witles. Wherfore he that is wylling to make a teſtament effectuall (as expedient is to him that wylbe ſaved) behoveth to have very good ſpirituall judgement, a lively fayth in Chriſt, and an underſtandinge and lyght above a natural man, he muſt alſo be the ſonne and lawful heyre of God.
And then he may ſaye: I ſounde of mynde, and redy of ſpirit and remembra ūunce, albeit as touching my fleſh, ſick, N.j. make 184 N1v make my teſtament, and bequeath fyrſt of all my being and ſubſtance to God: he gave it to me and alſo preſerved it, and of him I recogniſe to have it, and for it I render him thankes, I leave to him lykewyſe the gyftes, graces, benefytes temporall, bodely and goſtly, that I have had, or ſhall hereafter receyve: for they be his, and from him by grace I acknowlege to have recyved all, as Paule ſaith, what haſt thou, that thou haſt not receyved at Gods handes, yea for aſmuch as all the ſlaunders, myſreportes, perſecucions, ſyckenes, and miſfortunes, which I have already or ſhall from henceforth ſuffer, and even death it ſelfe, I confeſſe (by the underſtandinge that the Lorde hath given me) that they have bene and ſhalbe his gyftes and graces, given and graunted of a great love for my welthe and profyt: wherefore as his divine rewardes I graunt to have hadde them of God, for them I thanke him, and as hys owne I leave and reſtore them to him.
And for ſo much as I can not but acknowledge that I have gone alwayes backward from him ſo often as I would rule 185 N2r rule my ſelfe by my blynde judgement, folyſh wyſedome, and develiſh ſpirite neyther dyd ſo much as go one ſteppe forth towarde God, but when I was moved, dryven, and thruſt forewarde of his holy ſpirit. Wherfore I commyt to the hygheſt god my moſt deare father, and to his governance, all the world and ſpecially my ſelfe: in him (as I may) I wyll helpe my ſelfe with myne owne witte, and fredome, namely by making it obedient to him.
Moreover if ever I have ſpoken or ſhall from hence forth utter any word, if I have done or ſhall do any worke, that is to him pleſaunt, if I have had or after thys tyme ſhall have thought, deſyer or wyll, that good is, I give it to God, and at his handes I profeſſe that I have hadde all my goodnes, ſo that if it were Gods wyll, to take from me all that he hathe geven me, there ſhould in me remayne nothing but onely ſinnes: thoſe are myne owne, and all other thinges be hys.
Thus be my ſinnes if I ſhould go before gods preſence. I were but dammed, N.ij. if I 186 N2v if I were minded to make ſatiſfaction I could not, no nor yet any ſaynte that ever was, there is none whoſe love is ſo great to take my ſinnes uppon him and ſatyſfye for them, and appeaſe gods angre ſave Chriſt alone, wherfore to hym I bequeth my ſinnes, I leve to him my pryde, unkyndnes, unbeleve, miſtruſte, arrogancy, enuy, wrath, ambition and all my innumerable wyckednes: I give to him my evil thoughts, affections, and deſires: to be ſhort, I make one fagotte & boundell of all my offences preſent, paſt and to come, and geve them to Chriſte, having ſure fayth, and ſtedfaſt hope, that he wyll accept them for his owne, and hathe even alredy taken them, and for them hath ſatiſfied on the croſſe, his father layed them on his necke, and he dyd Eſay. 53. not ones agaune ſaye it, but of great love allowed them for hys, and to conſume and burne them in the flame of hys divine love, he bore them on hys innocent ſhoulders uppon the croſſe, (as one characterflawed-reproduction Peter. 3 Peter wryteth) and ſo was offred a ſacrifi fice for us. Now ſeeing I have left all entire line but final wordflawed-reproduction God my 187 N3r my ſubſtance, and being, with all other gifts & graces, that he beſtowed on me. I remayne naked without eyther good or evell, and truely to ſay, I am rather nothing. In that I have reſtored to God my being that I had by creation & birth.
But for bicauſe it is impoſſible that he ſhuld ſave me without being, and ſo it is that he will ſave me, therfore firſt I cary with me Chriſt him ſelfe, which is my life. God hath ſo loved me, that he hath John. 3 geven him ſelfe to me. For ſo hath God loved the world, that for theyr ſinnes he hath geven us his onely begotten ſonne. I carie alſo with me his ſpirite, that was of his eternal father gevēen me of his moſt Gala. 4 royal liberalitie, as wel declareth Paule, where he ſayth, God hath ſent the ſpirite of his ſonne into our harts wherby wee crye and call father, father.
And in that he hath geven me him, he hath reſtored me to my ſelfe and former being, with a new ſubſtance and nature ſpirituall, ſo that for the poſſibilite of my ſalvacion, I have a being: but yet lacke I treaſure to diſcharge my great dettes, and to apere rich in goddes ſight, in conſideracionN.iij. ſideracion 188 N3v ſideracion wherof I bere with me Chriſtes watching, abſtinēences, traveils, prayers, perſecucions, ſclanders, I take with me his teares, hys ſwet, his blood, and all that ever he did or ſuffered in three and thritty yeres is myne every deal, & with lyvely faith I embrace it as for myne owne. I carye byſide this with me his patience, meeknes, love, and all other his divine vertues, his giftes and graces, his treaſurs, and all that he hath mereted & deſervid, his life, paſſiōon, death reſurrectiōon and aſſenſion be myne, ye al that ever hse hath done or ſhall from henceforth do is myne, & what needeth more to ſay, if god have geven us his own ſonne, how hath not he with him gevēen us al things, wherfore with fayth I embrace my ſweete Rom. 8 Jeſus for myne own, he is my rightwiſnes, wiſdome, raūunſom, and holines he is my ſtrength, he is my ſpirite, my light, 1. Cor. 1 lyfe, hope, & all my goodnes, even Chriſt himſelfe in his laſt wil bequethed me all that he had of the father, wherfore he ſayth, I Luc. 22 entertayn you at my table as my father had uſed me, as my father hath made me his heyre ſo now I ordeyne you, I wilzero to two charactersflawed-reproduction as you 189 N4r as you be my brethern ſo you ſhalbe my folowers: And in another place he ſaith I have loved you, as my father hath loved me, ſithen I am now through Chriſt ſo rich of treaſures, vertuſe and graces, I ſhalbe hable not onely to ſatiſfy for my dettes, but alſo to purchaſe infinite paradiſe, when ſoever they ſhalbe ſould.
Who ſhalbe now eyther to acuſe or condemne me, after that Chriſt hath thus clothed me with his innoſency, right wiſnes, holines, love, with al his vertuſe graces, treaſures, merites, and with his own ſelf, I may with no leſſe boldenes and ſuretie, thēen chriſt, apeare before God, I am his ſonne, as he is, & heyre of heaven, ſemblably I am innocēent as chriſt is now that he hath ſatiſfied for me, & paied my raūunſom, & rewarded me with his innocency, chriſt ſayd, I hallow my ſelf that they alſo John. 17. may be holy euēen he is our holines, & we be his members, wherfore it is poſſible for god not to love me, as it is poſſible that he ſhuld not love chriſt by reaſon wherof Paul ſaith: who ſhal devide me frōom the love Rom. 8 of god that is in Chriſt Jeſu, it muſt needes be that he be ſalved, which with living faith N.iiij. embra- 190 N4v embraceth Chriſt for his own. And conſidering that the treaſures & merites of Chriſt are infinite, and able to enriche a thowſand worldes, I entend not to cary with me any other merites, or ſpirituall riches, ſave thoſe that Chriſt hath provided for me, for they be not onely ſufficiēent for me, but alſo over aboundāance & unmeaſurable. Then ſhuld I do no ſmall injury to Chriſt, if I ſhuld ſearch to ſtore my ſelfe by any other meane or ſhifte, although I might do it never ſo eaſely, nay rather with Paule will I rekenne all other things as Phil. 3 myre & dirt ſo that I have Chriſt, with whom alone I wil appeare before God, & of & by him will I glory & make boaſt, yea god forbidde, that I ſhult make my Gal. 6 avaunt of any thing, ſave of the croſſe of our lord Jeſu Chriſt of whom onely hangeth al our health. And al beit al the ſaints be rich by meane of Chriſt, nevertheles, if they hadde meanes of theyr own moſt plentuoſe, and wold geve thēem to me, yet would I none, my Chriſt is inough for me, with him had I rather ſuffer, thēen take pleaſure and joye without him. It would be athree to four wordsflawed-reproduction if every man ſhuld 191 N5r ſhuld make prayer to God for me, not becauſe I might purchaſe, or have any other treaſures thēen thoſe that I have of Chriſt, but that I might by lively fayth every daye acknowledge, poſſeſſe and embrace, thoſe that I have receyved of Chriſt, and count thēem for myne and ſo enforme my ſelfe, I my ſelf were it not by Chriſt, ſhuld not know what to aſke, for in him is all and with out him all other things be but mere vanitie, only this peticion I make to him, that he vouche ſafe every day to geve me light and underſtanding, that I may have witte to accounte and take his treaſures for mine own. Wherfore if any man will praye for me, let him not tary till I be dead, for then I can no more encreaſe in light and grace. Let him pray nowe, that I may grow in faith, and more and more inſtruct my ſelfe of Chriſtes riches. I am wel aſſured that in purgatorie I ſhall not come, both bycauſe ther is foūunde no other purgatory but Chriſt in whom at the full be purged and puniſhed al the ſinnes of the elected, and alſo bycauſe in caſe there were one, yet Chriſt not by my merites, but hby his N.v. mere 192 N5v mere goodnes doth ſatiſfie for all my ſinnes treſpaſſes, and paynes, & for as much as hope never made any man aſhamed, nor confounded any perſone, that had it Rom. 3 in his harte (as Paule writeth) therfore am I ſure & certein that he wil ſave me without other purgacion. We can not promeſſe our ſelves to much of goddes goodnes, nowe never can behete us ſo much, but he will recōompence much more. I will not ſuffer therfore that after my life any good bedone for me. Truth it is that if I have any goodes thēen muſt I leave to the poore flocke of Chriſt, not bycauſe they ſhuld praye for me, that am already ſaved, but for the uſe of other that live, John. 17 and ſhalbe borne, as Chriſt dyd, and alſo bycauſe the rather they may live godly, and knowe that they ſhall never lacke that be his, and putte theyr truſt in him. To whome be alwayes, honour and glory through Jeſu Chriſt ourup to five lines, one of which is a catchword, one of which is an ornament.flawed-reproduction
How we ſhuld anſwer the devel when he tempteth us and namely in the ende of our life. the xxii. Sermon.
The Devell (as Peter 1. Pet. 5 writeth) ſeeketh alway to devour us but chefely he is buſy at the houre of deth, by reaſon thēen it ſtāandeth him in hand ſo to do for his owne behove, and our greater endomage and harme. Then uſeth he all might, power, ſleyght, deceyte, and malice: wherefore I thinke good that we ſhuld ſearch how to make him anſwere and by the aſſiſtance and ayde of Gods grace to withſtande him, & get the upper hand of him.
He is conſtraygned ſpecially whēen we aproch nere to our deth, to throw us in to the aſiſſe & pit of deſperaciōon, or els to ſet six charactersflawed-reproduction in pryde and preſumpciōon, if he ſhal one third of lineflawed-reproductiont thou eyther put truſt in thy two fifths of lineflawed-reproductionnce in thine own works, almost half of lineflawed-reproductionnd to make the deſpayre and 194 N6v and miſtruſt Gods mercy, but rather ſtabliſhe thee in that erroniouſe opinion of pryde of thy dedes, on the other ſide, if he fele that thou haſt al they hope in god: then will he ſhew thee on the one partie the multitude and wickednes of thy ſinnes, and on the other partie goddes wrath and ſevere juſtice, he will tell thee how thou art in a maze and perplexitie not able to be ſhaken of, or wonden out of, & by making the to feele thine offences, otherwiſe then ever thou dyddeſt in thy health will go about to take out of thy hart the paſſion of Chriſt, and al the great goodnes, mercy, and love of god, & finally to prove thee damned, he will bring for his purpoſe even the holy ſcriptures.
But I will that all his temtacions ſerve thee to the honour of god & ſalvaciōon of thy ſoule as they do ſerve the turne of the elect, to whom al things worke to gether Rom. 8 for theyr wealth, firſt of al I warne thee, that thou mainteyn not thy ſelfe for good, but admit and graunt all the evill that eight charactersflawed-reproductionherſe of thee and thinke that he entire line except final four charactersflawed-reproductionmuch entire line except final four charactersflawed-reproductionlaſt he 195 N7r he hath be ſo favorable, to make thee conſider thy ſinnes, wherin he uſeth the divell for an inſtrument, to the extent that by the knowing of them, thow ſhuldeſt take occaſion to humble thy ſelfe, and to call Chriſt to thy remembrance, which to ſcoure and clenſe them hath not only reputid them for his owne, but alſo died for thēem upōon the croſſe, graūunt thou hardely that thou art a grete rybald and noghty, without excuſing they ſelf in any wyſe, & that thy ſinnes are innumerable confeſſe that thou cold never ſatiſfie for one alone, and that thou were the moſt damned ſinner of the world if Chriſt had not delivered thee, and ſtil prompte thy ſelfe with thoſe matters, which may forther thee to come in to diſperaciōon of thy ſelfe.
But if the divell wayt teo bring the to deſpeyr of Chriſt, thou mayſt in no wyſe conſent thereto, but ſtedfaſtly put thy truſt in him, & my mind is that thou ſay to him thus, if it were good for me to miſtruſt Chriſt, thou never woldeſt have perſwaded me therto but rather have drawne me from it, wherfore in that thou woldeſt put me in minde to miſtruſte Chriſt, 196 N7v Chriſt, thou makeſt me ſtronger in my hope and truſt.
Thou ſhalt ſay to him, that when he cauſed inuſtly Chriſt to die, which was an Innocent, he loſt al his interprieſt & juriſdictiōon, that ever he had or poſſible might have over man, and if he procede forth to induce thee to diſpaier, be ſetting before thee thy great ſinnes, I will thee to ſay to him, goe to Chriſt, which (as John writeth) is myne attourney and 1. John. 2 Advocate, he can make the an anſwere for me, reaſon there with him, if thou have any claime or title in me, as thou ſayeſt, doeſt thou not know that he hath taken my ſinnes for his owne, and hath for them made ſatiſfaction moſt plentuouſly, therfore haſt thou no right in me at all.
If he chaunce to ſay his death is not inough to ſave thee, anſwere him, if Adāam by taſting one apple with one onely ſinne was hable to damne me: how is it that ſo many holy works of chriſt, which taſted for my ſake of great love the moſt bitter death, be not ſufficiēent to ſave me. If the diſobedi ēent Adāam had power to condemne Rom. 5 me, much more the obedience of Chriſt is ſtrong 197 N8r ſtrong inough to ſave me, yea the gifte of Chriſt is above and excedeth the ſinne of Adāam, Chriſt hath more avayled & holpen us, thēen Adāam annoyed & harmed us by reaſon the light of Chriſt is of more force & oeffect thēen the darkenes of our firſt parente, the goodnes of Chriſt ſurmounteth and paſſeth the malice of māan, and his vertue prevaileth above our fraylty: one teare of chriſt hath bene more pleaſaūunt to god, then all the ſinnes of the world be diſpleaſaunt, Chriſt hath be able to do more to appeace him, thēen wee to provoke him to anger, Chriſts living was more formal & ordinarye, then oures was out of ordre & frame, Chriſt hath done more to the honour of God, thēen we have done to his diſhonour. Wherfore I may wel ſay, chriſt that is my wiſdom, rightwiſnes, holines, 1. Cor. 1 & redēemcion is ſufficiēent inought to ſave me.
And if haply he ſhuld ſay, it is not ſuffici ēent for thy ſalvaciōon to beleve chriſt, thee behoveth to kepe his commaundements, thou muſt love god with all thy hart, and thy neyghbeure as thy ſelfe and deſier nor covet any thinge worldly, which things becauſe thou doeſt not, ergo thou 198 N8v thou art damned, if fayth only were inough, I alſo and all the divels ſhuld be- ſaved, becauſe (as it is writen) even the devels beleve and feare. They beleve that Jam. 2 God made and created heven and earth, and that Chriſt came, died, roſe, aſcended into heven, that he ſent the holy Ghoſt, and that he ſhal come to judge the quicke and dead, and yet are not we therfore ſaved, and that bycauſe we obſerve not his divine preceptes, wherfore thou alſo art but loſt, he will thus labour to bring thee under the law, to thinke that thou muſt be juſtified not by Chriſt, but by perfourming and fulfilling of the lawe, to the end that thou ſhuld deſpayre.
But I will that thou make anſwere and ſay, if thou diddeſt beleve as by goddes grace I beleve: that is, that God for thy wealth hath created the world, and ſenblably preſerveth it, in ſuch ſorte that thou couldeſt feele in the creatures the love of God, and likewiſe wold beleve firmely, that Chriſt came and died for thy ſinnes, for to ſave thee, & for thy ſake and profit, and in like maner of the two charactersflawed-reproductionher articles, thou alſo ſhuld be ſaved, catchwordflawed-reproduction 199 O1r and thēen, when thou haddeſt a lively feeling, of the goodnes & love of God thou woldeſt love him, & thy neighbour likewiſe, & being raviſhed into god woldeſt begin to ſet little ſtore by the worl, dd, as all good Chriſtēen men & women do. If it fortune that Deut. 27 he ſay, he is curſed that kepeth not & obſerveth the law, wherfore thou art one of myne, ſay to him agayne, for that cauſe Gala. 3 Rom. 7 Chriſt died on the croſſe, for to deliver me from all curſes, & in ſomuch as I am all ready of Chriſt I am dead to the law.
Agayn if he reply ſaying, wher be thy works, wherby thou truſteth to be ſaved, anſwere, I truſt not to be ſaved by my works, for they be ſuch that if I ſhuld have regarde or reſpect to thēem, I feare me to be damned, yea I were ſurely aſcerteyned of my dāamnacion. I hope onely to be ſaved Rom. 8 by Chriſt, & his works, which be myne owne, and ſo much rather myne, then they I dyd my ſelfe, as that the ſpirite of Chriſt geven to me is more entier to me then myne owne life or any other thing.
Further if he ſhuld endevour to prove thee to be none of the elect, by reaſon of the innumerable, & outragiouſe ſinnes O.j. that 200 O1v that thou haſt cōommitted, for proſperites, or adverſites thou haſt had, for the great evils wherin thou art found at thy death, or for the temptaciōons thou haſt ſuſteyned, ſaying, that God preſerveth his elected frōom the like evels, make him anſwer and ſay: rather doth God practiſe them in diverſe ſuch maners, albeyt of every thing Rom, 8 they be certified to the honor of God, thou ſhalt more over ſay to him thus. I geve more credite and truſt to Chriſt, which when he was dead for me on the croſſe, tould me I was ſaved, then to thee, that art alwayes a lyer and father of errors. I will thou tell him, how thov geveſt more faith to Chriſt alone, thēen to al the reaſons & autorities of the world? thou may byſide this ſay to him, the ſpirite of God bearith witneſſe to my ſpirit, that I am the ſonne of god, & to him muſt I rather truſt Rom. 8 then to thee, whēen he ſhal ſay, if thou were the ſonne of God he would not leave thee in ſuch puniſhments, as thou art in, but wold give thee ſome releaſe and caſmēone to two charactersflawed-reproduction Anſwere him, In caſe it were as thou one wordflawed-reproduction Chriſt ſhuld not have bene the ſonne half of lineflawed-reproductionſſe he had no com fort 201 O2r fort, nor ſenſuall taſt or feling, ſo that he ſayd, my God, my god, why haſt thou for Mar. 15 ſaken me: it ſuffiſeth to me that he ſhewith me ſo much favoure, for I am contented with all that pleaſeth him, as Chriſt alſo was, yea in his ſuffering, he felt excedingly the infinite lous of the father.
Beſide theſe if he ſay: thou art the ſonne of Adam, ergo thou art acurſed. Anſwere Ephe. 1 thou thus: I am bleſſed agayne by being borne of God, & by meane of that bleſſed John, 1 ſede Chriſt, as God long agone promiſed Adam when he ſayd. In thy ſede all nacions Gene. 12 ſhalbe bleſſed, thou ſhalt tell him: how thou art diſpouled & bereft of the olde Adam, and clothed with Jeſu Chriſt as Paule teacheth and advertiſeth thee. Rom. 13
What tyme as he ſhal declare to thee that Chriſt is wroth, angry and ſharpe, make him anſwere howe Chriſt is not ſuch one, for he is the health and hope of ſinners, and whileſt we be in this life preſent he is uttered to us pitifull, ſweete, and our Jeſus, that is, our ſaviour, and albeyt he ſeeme to ſpeke ſharpe and cruell woordes to the woman of Cananye, yet in heart he gave Mat. 15 O.ij. her 202 O2v her confidence and boldneſſe, and ſhewed him ſelf to her full of ſweetnes & love. In deede at the daye of judgemēent to the damned ſhal he be ſhewed angry, and wrathfull, but in the meane time till that day while we be here in this preſent life, he is ſhewed pitiouſe to all, and principally to the great ſinners.
And if it ſo were that he wold ſay thou art not truly confeſſed, nor haſt reherſed al thy ſinnes, and the circumſtances of the ſame, ne haſt examined ſufficiently thy conſcience, nor yet haſt not that pure perfect great, & unfayned ſorow for thy ſinnes that thou of dutie ſhuldeſt have, thou haſt not ſatiſfied for thoſe ſo great an unnumerable dettes, that thou haſt toward God, make him this anſwere and ſay, thou art a ſervaunt and not a judge: or to ſay more truely, thou art al ready judged John. 3 and condemned, ſeing thou beleveſt not in Chriſt, & woldeſt thou judge meone characterflawed-reproduction trouble they ſelfe no longer in proving that I have failed in all, for ſure I am and fully I beleve to be ſaved, not by my workes by reaſon they be unperfect, nor yet by the worthines of my faith, for in that 203 O3r that alſo I am not perfect, bycauſe I beleve not with ſo great a faith as I ought, but I beleve I ſhalbe ſaved by Chriſt, & not by my works.
He wil ſay: thou art not worthy to be ſaved, ſay thou to him for a full anſwer: the unworthy be ſaved ſo often as they acknowledge theyr owne unworthynes, go hartely for helpe to Chriſt, by whoſe meane they be come worthy.
Where as he ſhall lay to they charge that thou art one of the worſt of the world: ſay to hym on thys wiſe our infirmities be but ſmall in comparayſon of the infinite merites of Chriſt, and of the incōon prehenſible mercy of God: and the more great that my ſinnes be & without number, ſo much greater ſhalbe his glory in delivering me, and I with ſo much the greater truſt pray as that if he wil heare me, it ſhalbe more to his honour & glory. And whēen I conſider and call to remembraunce that my ſweete & loving brother Jeſus Chriſt the ſonne of God, which for my ſake died on the croſſe, & would agayne innumerable times for me, if need were, and that I am his owne for ſo many cauſes,O.iij. ſes, 204 O3v ſes, and that he may determine of me after his owne mynde. For ſomuch as his father hath geven him full power in heven and earth: when I conſider this, I ſay, I can in no wyſe dout of my ſalvacion.
If he ofte ſoones reaſon thus, thou haſt done no penance for thy ſinnes, anſwere on this maner: that can I never do, thatone character, possibly punctuationillegible I ſhould alway ſtand in the fyre, Chriſt hath done that for me on the croſſe moreover, Chriſt is myne, the father hath geven him to me with all his merites, all the good workes, that ever he dyd are myne, wherfore I may with his devine riches, and treaſures ſatiſfie for all.
After this maner I wold thou ſhuldeſt anſwere him, whēen ſoever he ſetteth afore the thy ſinnes, and infinite dettes, that thou oughteſt to God for the benefites, thou haſt receyved with diverſe and ſundry vyces while he tempteth thee, but ſpecially with deſperacion, wherwith he tempteth evēen the ſaints, he will put thee in minde and miſtruſt that Chriſt hath forſaken thee: but make anſwere that he never forſoke perſone that truſted in him, 205 O4r him, but bycauſe he wold forſake none of us, he was mynded to be forſakēen him ſelfe on the croſſe, and if he ſhould at any time forſake and refuſe us (the which is a thing impoſſible) it ſhould be for more glory of God, and we ought not onely to be contented, but alſo to take it for a ſingular privilege and prerogative. It behaveth us to ſtand ſtrong in the fayth, and thinke that afore God the paſſion of Chriſt can do more to cauſe him to love us, then our ſinnes can procure his hate toward us, we hadde neede to be well armed with ſpirite, faith, & grace, for learning ſufficeth not to know how to aunſwer, & wit thou wel that Chriſt was tempted, and ſpecially at the ende, wherfore he ſayth: the Prince of this world is come, but he hath gottēen nothing John. 15 of me.
And if he can not with theſe armour hurt the, he will turne over the leafe, and ſay thus, and all bycauſe to deceave thee, go to thou haſte already vanquiſhed me, I was myneded to bring thee in to deſperation, but I colde not, thou arte O.iiij. ſaued, 206 O4v ſaved, and by and by wil the angels com to fet thee, we wil apere to the like an angell of the light, and ſay to the as he did 2 Cor. 15. ſaint Hylarion, haſt thou ſerved God ſo long, haſt thou done ſo many good dedes, ſo greate penance. geven ſo many good enſamples, ſaved ſo many ſoules: and all beyt thou haſt cōommitted ſinne, yet art thou confeſſed of them, thou haſt done penance, thou haſt takēenn pardones, thou haſt gone for indulgences, thou kepeſt the cōommaundements, & beſide theſe done many volūuntary works that thou waſt not boundēen to do, wherfore why ſhuldeſt thou feare, thou ſhalt be ſafe a ſure, if thou be not ſaved, then ſhall none be ſaved, yea thy good works be over pluſe, more thēen ſuffiſeth, which thou may ſell or geve to other, which if thou do not the Church of Rome The devil is a lyar. John. 8 ſhalbe thy heyre, & thou ſhalt enrich theyr treaſory of indulgence, what fereſt thou therfore: haſt thou haply gone a nother path or way, all beyt thou have admitted ſinnes, yet ſeeſt thou not how thou art wel diſpoſed at the laſt, onely ſtand ſtoutly in the truſt of theſe thy great and many good works, ſuffer this ſicknes, & death 207 O5r death for the remiſſion of thy ſinnes, and thou ſhalt be more then ſaved, onely oftēen remember thy ſelfe, of thy good workes. Then it is expedient for thee to ſay thus. Thou wouldeſt that I ſhuld truſt in my works, & I have no feare of being damned, were it not for my woorkes, I geve thankes to my lord Chriſt Jeſus, which hath geven me the grace to count my works for a thing of nought, & for ſuch, that every one of them I deſerve to be puniſhed, thou magnifieſt my works, to draw me backe from the confidence of Chriſt, but by gods grace, thou ſhalt not be able to do it. I finde that I am upon a litle bourd in the ſea toſſed with mighty windes, and have embraced & beclepped a ſtrong piller or rocke, & thou counceleſt me to leave it, and to ſticke to the roten things which if I ſhuld do, the winds wold cary both me and them in to the ſea, rather I will periſh with Chriſt which is a thing impoſſible I then live with owte him, no I cane not put my truſt wholy in Chriſt onelles firſt al to gether I diſpayer of my ſelfe and myne owne worckes. Wherfore it is neceſſary that we diſpoile O.v. our 208 O5v our ſelves of al truſt in our own works, and by fayth and hope, cloth us and arme us with Chriſt and in him put our hope, & although we have not that great faith, yet in no wyſe ought we to deſpayre, bicauſe if at the firſt he do not, yet at lēength he giveth it to his elected at theyr death, as the Prophete Abacucke told aforehande, when he ſayde, Lorde when they ſhalbe neere to the death at the latter ende, betwene this waye and the other, thou wilt make knowen to them Chriſt and his great benefytes, and wylt open to them the boſome of thy graces by Jeſu Chriſt our Lord.
How anſwere is to be made at the judgement ſeate of God. The .23. Sermon.
Afelon or guylty parſon that cannot flye, but of neceſſitie muſt apeare at the Seſſions, Aſſyſe, or laweday, afore the barre, picketh out and choſeth him for his ayde & ſuccour,cour, 209 O6r cour, Attourneys, protectours, and Coūunſeylours, and goeth deviſing how he may be defēended, namely in a matter touching lyfe and death: which thing it ſtandeth us in hande more to doe. In ſo much as that we being ful of ſinnes, muſt apeare afore the high judgement ſeate of Gods juſtice, and when judgement by defynitive ſentence is given againſte us, we ſhall loſe Paradiſe, ſoule, grace, god, and all goodnes wythout recovery, and be throwen into the deepe pyt of hell, there to remaine & abyde in fyre everlaſtingly. Wherfore me ſeemeth it were expedi ēent to imagine what way to take, what anſwer to make with what reaſōons to arme us, that we may have the matter to paſſe on our ſyde.
Fyrſt of all an undouwted matter is it, that we all have ſinned in Adam and Rom. 5 beſide the originall ſin have innumerable auctual, ne cāan be ſaved, onles firſt we be abſolved & forgivēen, & that muſt needes be whileſt we be in this lyfe, for afterward is no more redēemcion at all. To the glutton Luke. 15 was denyed one drop of water.
Wherefore neceſſary it is to know that there 210 O6v there be two jnudgement ſeates of God: the one is of ryghtwyſenes, the other of mercy, grace, pytie, goodnes, love, ſweetnes, and lyberalitie: as Paule ſpeaking Heb. 4 of this laſt fayth. Let us go boldly to the trone and bench of gods grace, at the firſt bench ſitteth god, and Chriſt kepeth reſidence at the ſecond. Now as for the ſinners, if they wilbe ſaved they muſt go all to the bench of mercy to aſke and cal for pitie, & not juſtice, for favour & ſtraight reconyng, bicauſe we have all bene unjuſte, and with all our ryghtwyſnes, and good workes be not able to withſtande Gods rightwiſeneſſe, wherefore David ſaid. Lord, none can be juſtified in thy Pſal. 143 ſyght, if ther thou wylt ſee a reconing, & in a nother place: Lord, if thou wilt puniſh Pſal. 129 our iniquities, who ſhalbe able to abyde? and Job ſayth, I know that man Job. 9, can not be juſtified if he ſtande face to face afore God. And in another place, Job 15 what thinge is man that he ſhould be cleane? the heavens be not cleane in his ſight. And Jeremy wryteth thus. If thou Jeremy 2 waſh thee with nytrus thou ſhalt nevertheles be ſtained. And Eſaye ſayeth: our ryght- 211 O7r rightwyſenes be lyke the clothes of an uncleane woman: & Salomon witneſſeth Pro. 20 the ſame, ſaying, who is he that can ſaye my heart is cleane, I am pure and innocent from ſinne, wherfore ſayeth God by Jerymy, why wyl you ſtrive with me in iugemēent: As though he ſhuld ſay you are fooles, if you think your ſelf able to withſtand the juſtice of God, ſeeing your rightwiſenes is uncleane, & that ſomuch unclener, as that not onely the works, but alſo the very inwarde thoughts, affections, and deſires ſhalbe examined, and tryed, therfore ſayth God: I wyll ſearch, Sopho. 1 trye and prove, Hieruſalem, with lanterns: it is moſt profitable therfore to go to the bench of mercie, and ſaye with Pſalm 15 David, Lord, I ſhall come afore thee, not with the multitude of my workes, but of thy mercy, and in caſe thou be ſommoned and called to the trone of juſtice, appeale to the other bench of mercy, for as from the judgement of a lord ſubject to the Emperour a man maye appeale to Ceſars judgement ſeate: ſo may a man appeale from the bench of juſtice to the trone of mercy as to the higher court. In aſmuch 212 O7v aſmuch as James writeth mercy excelleth James. 2 juſtice: it is ſene that Ezechias, after ſentence was given upōon him at the bench 4. Reg. 2. of juſtice, bycauſe he appealed to the other Throne of mercy, had graunted to him, that he ſhuld live fitene yeres lōonger. And David by appealing to mercy cauſed the 2. Reg, 12 ſentence to be revoked, which was givēen that he ſhuld die. And what time that Mat. 8 ſervaunt, of whom the goſpell ſpeaketh, ſayd, have patience with me and give me reſpite: he appealed to mercy and was herde. In like maner is it and hath ben of all ſinners that be ſaved.
Now muſt we do in the ſame wiſe, I meane whēen we be cited to the court of juſtice to rēender and yelde an accompt, then muſt we appeale to mercy, and ſay: We be dead through Chriſt to the law, and therfore to juſtice alſo, which judge after Soaul 7 the lawe are we dead, then hath juſtice no juriſdiction upon us at all, no though it were the greateſt ſinner of the world: ſay thou to God, I am Chriſtes, thou gaveſt me to him, as Chriſt ſaith: they wer thyne, & thou haſt given thēem to me. Moreover Chriſt hath redemed me, therfore John. 17 am 213 O8r am I his for many cauſed, I wil therfore ſtand to his judgement: thou haſt given him all power in heavēen and in earth as Math. 18 he himſelfe ſayth: to me is givēen al power in heaven & in earth, wherfore he may do with me the thing that liketh him, & as to him ſemeth good, he is my judge as Chriſt him ſelfe ſayth: the father hath Exod. 19 given all judgement to the ſonne, it is therfore his dutie to judge me. But as in another place he ſayth he came not to judge but to ſave the world, ſay therfore to chriſt: do thine office. ſave me, for thou cameſt, and thy father did ſend thee for that entent, I feele all redy thy voyce, & in my hart thou ſaieſt to me, that bycauſe I truſt in thee, thou wilt ſave me, alredy by thy grace have I put in thee my confidence John. 12 and hope, and he, that beleveth in thee cāan not be damned, ſave me therfore according as thou art bounden by a covenaunt made. And albeyt thy conſcience accuſed thee, and al the devels beſide layed to thy charge, yea though judgement were givēen agaynſt thee: yet ſo long as thou art in this preſent life, it is alway lawfull to appeale to the mercy of God.And 214 O8v
And if it were ſo, that by force thou ſhuld be drawen to the court of juſtice, crye out with Iſay, and ſay to Chriſt: O Eſal. 38 Lord I ſuffer violence, make anſwere for me, help me, forſake me not. I choſe and will have thee for my attorney and ſpeeche māan: not bycauſe thou ſhuldeſt defend my juſt accōomptes & true rekenings, for I have none ſuch, but to thēentent thou ſhuldeſt take my ſinnes for thyne, & reward me with thine innocencie, holynes, and rightwiſenes. Thou haſt already ſatiſfied for me on the croſſe and appointed me by adopciōon to be the ſonne of god, wher fore I can not be damned, no not one ſhalbe found that dare accuſe me, being Rom. 8 one of goddes elected.
Moreover if thou be minded and willing to appeare without daunger at the bench of goddes rightwiſnes, diſpoyle firſt thy ſelfe of the olde Adam, & apparell thee with Chriſt (as Paule exhorteth Coloſ. 3 us,) & thou ſhalbe ſafe. For in ſomuch as thou haſt embraced him for thyne owne, thou cāanſt not be dāamned al though thou haddeſt committed all the ſinnes of the world. As a woman great with childe cāan not be Apoc. 3 puniſhed no 215 P1r puniſhed, no more can thou, if thou have Chriſt in thy hart, or rather (As Chriſt ſayth) he that beleveth in the ſonne is not John. 3 judged he is ſo aſſured of his ſalvacion, that there nedeth no examinacion to be had of him, he is one of Chriſtes mēembres. and hath his ſpirite, wherfore he can no more be damned then Chriſt, bicauſe he is knitte to him by lively faith.
If it be ſo that God wold make there with thee a rekening, ſay to hym how thou haſt made it with Chriſt, for as he put on Chriſt all our iniquities & ſinnes (as Eſay & with great love accepted Eſa, 73 them for his owne, and bound him ſelf to make ſatiſfaction for them. Wherfore thou ſhalt ſay, Lorde if thou haſt any reconing or matter againſt mee, make it with Chriſt he knoweth well how to anſwer and can declare that he hath ſatiſfied for them.
In caſe be that any muſt be dāamned for the ſinnes I have done, it is Chriſt, that muſt be damned, and not I good Lorde, for albeyt I am he that committed thēem, nevertheleſſe Chriſt bounde him ſelfe to ſatiſfie for them, and that by conſent and P.j. good 216 P1v good will of his father, wherfore who ſoever beleveth lively in Chriſt, is all together ſafe and ſure. Beſide this if god would needs make the audite & accompte with us, & would ſay: I am not content with Chriſtes ſatiſfaction for you, I wil that your ſelfes make recompence for that you have offended (which is a thing impoſſible ()alredy frōom the beginning he is contented, & hath accepted that divine ſacrifice of the undefiled lambe Chriſt Jeſus, which died on the croſſe to be obedient to his father (as Paul hath writen,) Phil, 2 already is the rightwiſenes of God ſatiſfied by Chriſt more thēen ſufficient, we be already reconſiled with god, and made his ſonnes, and ſo conſequently his heyres, he hath alredy gevēen us paradiſe, and whēen Rom, 11 God hath onſe given a gifte, it never repenteth him: wherfore the gift can not be called agayne bireaſon god is not chaungeable, I nevertheleſſe although (as I ſayd) he ſhuld ſay: I will that thou thy ſelfe ſatiſfie. Anſwere him on this wiſe: lord if I wer as dere beloved as thee, as is Chriſt, and had done and ſuffered lovingly for thy honour, all that Chriſt did and 217 P2r and ſuffered, in this caſe woldeſt thou not holde thy ſelfe ſufficiently ſatiſfied for me: in caſe he graunted therto, thou ſhuld make him this anſwer, thēen is it alredy done, for in that Chriſt ſuffered I my ſelfe ſuffered, by reaſon I am changed into Chriſt, yea the true chriſtians, that have Chriſt in theyr harts (as Paul Rom. 2 ſayth, let Chriſt dwell in our harts) may pittiouſly lamēent and complayne to of god, and ſay to him: thou haſt puniſhed us more bitterly thēen we have deſerved, conſidering that we offended and not Chriſt, reaſon would thou ſhuld have puniſhed us, our will, and oure lyfe and ſoule, and not that innocent and undefiled lambe Jeſus Chriſt, and thou haſt puniſhed Chriſt, which is the life of my ſoule, the heart of my heart, the ſpirite of my ſpirite (as David ſayth) God my Pſal, 73 fleſhe and my heart, God of my heart, thou ſhuldeſt, if my death had not beene inough for my ſinnes, turned me into nothing, and letten alone that innocente, and juſte Chriſte more deare and intier to me then myne owne ſoule, wherfore I feele more that, that he P.ij. ſuffered 218 P2v ſuffered for me, then I ſhuld have felte, if I had ſuffered all the torment poſſible on myne owne body, but well wiſt thou, that I could not by reaſon of my frailty, abyde and ſuffer all that I had deſerved for my ſinnes, & therfore thou choſe that myghty and ſtrong Chriſt to ſuffer for thēem in my ſtead, and moreover haſt ſet him in my heart to thentent that I ſhuld not onely feele that he ſuffered, but alſo that he might geve me ſtrength to be able to ſuffer.
Thou mayſt alſo ſay: Lord albeit I have ſinned, I am regenerate and borne agayne by Chriſt, I am no more the māan that ſinned, but I am a new creature: Gal, 2 wherfore thou cāanſt not juſtly poniſh me, bycauſe that ſpirite of myne, that ſinned, is dead, and Chriſt lyveth in me. I live no longer my ſelfe, but Chriſt in me, poniſh, kille, and turne to nought that ſpirit of mine, that wil of mine, ſpoile from me that olde Adam, that ſenſualite, and all one to two wordsflawed-reproduction me hath ſinned: and poniſhe not one to two wordsflawed-reproduction then by the new ſpirite, that I retwo thirds of the lineflawed-reproduction moſt innocent three fourths of the lineflawed-reproductionaſt geven catchwordflawed-reproduction 219 P3r me Chriſt with al his divine treaſures Rom. 8 and graces, and that to be more ſurely mine, thēen I am my ſelf, and in ſo much as he is myne entier I am able to ſatiſfi for all my dettes.
What feareſt thou thēen O ſinful ſoule, ſeeſt thou not that, as that blood of Abel cried Heb, 2 for vengance, ſo this blood of Chriſt callith for mercy and he can not but muſt needes be herd, one abiſſe calleth on another Pſal, 41 I meane the bothomeles abiſſe of my ſinnes hath neede of the abiſſe of Chriſtes paſſion, & the abiſſe of Chriſtes paſſion calleth to the abiſſe of the mercy of God, ſay therfore to Chriſt. O lord make Pſal. 10 thy mercy marveylous and wonderfull, thou ſaveſt thēem that truſt in thee: cry, ſave me for thy mercy ſake: take and embrace thyne the rightwiſnes of Chriſt, & then can I be contented thou ſay. Judge me Pſal, 7 Lord according to my rightwiſnes. Let every māan therfore go to the court of the mercy of God, and if we be called to the barre of juſtice, let us apeale all wayes to mercy, & ſee that never a man appeare before the throne of juſtice except fyrſt he be clothed wyth Chriſt through faith P.iij. and 220 P3v and then he may be preſented boldely, as he that is armed with innocencie and truth may be preſented afore any place of judgement. And God ſhall accept thēem for rightwiſe. To whom be all honour and glory through Jeſu Chriſt our Lord Amen.
By what meane to come to heavēen. The xxiiij. Sermon.
Experience proveth that every creature hath naturally a deſire & appetyte to reſorte to it owne proper place, and manſion,zero to three charactersflawed-reproduction namely man, bycauſe he is th emoſt ſovereyne creature of all other and for ſo much as our native cuntrie is not here upon the earth, but in Hebre. 15 Colo, 1 heaven is our place of reſte (conſidering that all men have this deſier to goo to heaven) I take it to bee expedient to weygh and ponder how we may go thither.
one third of lineflawed-reproductionevēen us Chriſt for on one one line of text plus catchwordflawed-reproduction 221 P4r and Guyde: wherfore whoſo is willing to walke thither I meane to heavēen, muſt go the ſame path, that he hath gone and troden before us, by cauſe he knoweth the way moſt perfectly, and tawght it to us without any gile as wel by hys exemples, as by his woords, therfore he that entendith, to go to heaven muſt folow him. And firſt as he being in the ſhape and fourme of God was not proude, nor an arrogant uſurper, nor aſcribed to him ſelf that he might conveniently have done: but contrariwiſe, was lowly humble, of no reputacion, and toke upon hym the ſhape of a ſervant, or rather of a ſinner, Phil, 2 and God layed on him all our wickednes, ye and moſt lovingly admited Eſal. 53 and allowed thēem for his owne, as though he had committed them himſelfe.
Now in like maner, a Chriſten man being alredy regenerate and borne agayne by Chriſt, and graffed into him by a living fayth, cometh downe from heven, that is from his owne pryde, and falſe excellency, for (as Chriſt ſaith) John. 3 no man goeth up into heven, but he one wordflawed-reproduction commeth donne, that is the ſonne P.iiij. of man 222 P4v of man and his members, wherfore by and by as a Chriſten man hath a lively light, taſt and feling of Chriſt, & his great benefit he is humble, counteth him ſelf of not value & nothing in his reputacion: for when he ſeeth by divine influence, the meekenes of Chriſt, his liberalite pacience, love, goodnes, innocenſy, with other of his vertues, he is of force conſtrayned to feele his owne pride, unkindnes, unpacientnes, wickednes, ungodlines, & his other iniquities. And as God put upon Chriſt al our ſinnes, & he with moſt tender love receyved thēem: ſo will this Chriſten man aſcribe to himſelfe al the offences of the world: by reaſon that he perceivith, that if God had withdrawēen from him his grace & had not born him up, but miniſtrid to him occaſiōon and oportunity to offend, ther hadde not bene a ſinne in al the world but he had done it, wherfore he wil attribut to him ſelfe all, as though he hadde committed thēem in deede, ſo tha t all beyt in Chriſt and by Chriſt he pefour to seven charactersflawed-reproduction th him ſelfe innocent and ſafe, nozero to two charactersflawed-reproduction one fifth of lineflawed-reproductionnding of him ſelfe he taketh ione characterflawed-reproduction one third of lineflawed-reproductiondamned and greatiſt ſincatchwordflawed-reproduction 223 P5r of all the world, and is forced to ſay that (which Paule ſpeake long a goe) Chriſt came into the world to ſave ſinners, 1. Tim. 1 wherof I am one of the chiefe.
The ſecond actt of Chriſt was, that, after he was thus humbled, clothed with our frayle nature, borne, and ſhewed forthe to the world, he lived all to gether for his neyghbour, and ſought onely the glory of hys father, and ſalvacion of his brethern, without any regard or reſpect to himſelfe, (and cauſe why is) for that he was ſo full of love, grace, favour, Jhn. 1. truth, godlines, and all light, vertue, and perfection, wherfore conſidering he had no neede to enrich himſelf, he lived holy to the welth and benefite of others, as Paule ſaith: Chriſt hath not pleaſed him Collo. 1 Rom. 15 ſelfe he was inflamed in ſuch wiſe with a fervent deſire to ſave the world, for the glory of his father, that he being cleane ſwalowed up in god, had no mind nor conſideracion of him ſelfe. Nowe in ſemblable ſorte that true Chriſten man, that ſeeth himſelfe the ſonne and heyre of God, as Lord of al ſtudieth, not to live to his own uſe, but is wholy bent to the P.v. bene- 224 P5v benefiting of his brothernne for Gods glory, and being as it wer chaunged into theyr nature, feeleth all theyr good and eyvll, as Paul dyd.
Next enſueth the thyrd acte, that lyke as the worlde perſecuted Chriſte, ſo it purſue him, and that bicauſe in ſaving his neyghbour and ſeeking the glory of God, he avaunceth and ſette forth the grace, the Goſpell, and the great mercy of God: thruſting downe, ſubmitting, throwing downe to the ground, and making nothing of man: and bicauſe the worlde repyneth at thys, therefore immediatly foloweth perſecucyon, in lyke caſe therfore as the whole lyfe of Chriſt was one continuall perſecucion, bicauſe it was godly, ſo chaunceth fytely and agreably to a trwe Chriſtien, that magnyfieth the great benefit, which we have received by Chriſt. Which thing is open and manifeſt in ſundry places of the Acted of the Apoſtles, for immedytwo thirds of lineflawed-reproductione Act. 41 characterflawed-reproduction5. 9 preached the two thirds of lineflawed-reproductioned and ſo the two to three lines plus catchwordflawed-reproduction 225 P6r whence, he would not come downe, although in ſcorne it was ſayed to him, that if he wer the ſonne of God, he ſhuld come downe of the croſſe, and they wold Math. 27 beleve him: but bicauſe he was the ſonne God, he would not come downe but abyde there, and with his owne death make perfect our ſalvacion: in like maner alſo a Chriſten man muſt be tranſformed and chaunged into Chryſt crucyfied, ſo that with Paul he may ſaye I Gala. 3 am crucyfied with Chriſt, in ſuch wyſe alſo knit to him on the Croſſe, that nothing is able to parte me from the love of God, which is in Chriſt Jeſus. Rom, 8
Furthermore as Chriſt dyed on the croſſe, ſo a Chriſten man that liveth in Chriſt, dyeth to the world in ſuch ſorte, that he paſſith not of riches, honour, dignitie, kynred, frendes, worldly pleaſures, or proſperitie, conſidering that he ſeeth by faith that he is ſafe, happy, and ſonne and heyre of God, yea even as Chriſt was buryed, ſo is he, ſo that the world counteth him not only for a thing Rom. 6 Gala, 3 dead, but rottēen, ſtinking & lothſome, wher fore he muſt ſay with Paul, the world is crucyfied 226 P6v crucyfied to me, and I to the world. He beſyde this muſt ryſe with Chriſte in newnes of lyfe, lyving after a nother maner then he dyd before that he was Rom. 6 regenerate by Chriſt, bicauſe he is become ſpiritual he liveth to the glori of god.
And thus fynally with Chriſt he aſcendeth into heaven ſtandinge, as touching Collo. 3 his thoughts affections, & deſires, above in his celeſtiall cuntrey, ſo that he ſaye with Paule, our converſacyon is in heaven, where he enjoyeth and taketh Philip. 3, pleaſure and comfort in God. To whom be alwayes all honour & glory, through Jeſus Chriſt our Lord.
How God hath ſatiſfyed for our ſinnes, and hath purchaſed Paradiſe for us. The .25. Sermon.
God by his abſolute and free power might have ſayed us without any ſatiſfaction at all: In as much as the juſtice of God is contented and pleaſed of all that lykhalf of lineflawed-reproduction nevertheleſſe he hath ap- 227 P7r appoynted frōom everlaſting by his divine mynde and wiſefome, never to ſave ſinner, oneles firſt he were fully ſatiſfied, and ſethen he perceyved that we could not doe it our ſelves. he was minded to ſende into the worlde his ſonne to make for us ſatiſfaction, and layed on him the iniquities of us all, as Eſaye wrote. And he right lovingly, although he were a very innocent, toke them for his owne, and Eſaye 53 was contented to ſatiſfie for our offences, to ſuffer that we had deſerved, & dye upon the croſſe, according to his fathers wyll, as Paul wryteth, he toke our infirmities for his owne, and he hath borne our iniquities and miſeries, by reaſon he came into the world as though he had ben an offender, he toke a ſymilitude of ſinne to ſerve our turne on the behalfe of our ſinnes, and as though we had beene Math 24 moſt innocent, and he committed all the ſinned on his wil was to go alone to the death, and therfore ſayed to his diſciples in the garden: ſtand ther in peace, reſt, & Eſay. 43one odd character, possible numerical, possibly punctuationalillegible without care, & ſuffer me alone to enter into the battaile, and abide on my bones that you have deſerved, and meeting the multitude 228 P7v multitude he ſayd to thēem: whoōom ſeeke you? they anſwered, Jeſus of Nazareth as John. 13 though they ſhuld have ſayd, we ſeeke for him, which hath upōon him al the ſins of the world. And Chriſt made anſwere, I am he, I have takēen on me al the ſinnes, love hath layde thēem on my ſhulders, therfore if you ſeke for me as a māan in whōom be al the ſinnes let my diſciples & my elected paſſe as innocēentes, eaſe, ſatiſfie reveng, and do your worſt to me, which am cōontented to ſuffer for all one cauſe alſo, wherfore chriſt being accuſed at the judgemēent ſeate of Jeruſalem, made no anſwere was to ſhew that they had againſt him al actiōons, in ſomuch as he had embraced for his own al our ſinnes. It pleaſed him alſo to be crowned with thornes, as king of al our miſeries, & ſet betwen tow thefes as the ſtarkeſt errand thefe of al, likewiſe was he cōontented to be ſtrikēen & beaten for our ſins, as (Eſay ſayd) he was ſmitēen for our infirmities & broſed for our iniquities, & Eſai. 53 offēences: god hath chaſtiſed & beatēen him for the ſinnes of his people & by his wounds, and paſſions we be made hole, we payed that he owed not, as David ſayd I have Pſal. 68 payed 229 P8r payed thoſe things that I looke not, and Eſay alſo did ſay in the perſon of Chriſt, you have but me to trouble for your iniquities, Eſay. 43 he was contented that uppōon him ſhould come al thoſe infamies, ſclanders, and rebukes, which we have deſerved for our ſinnes, which thing David ſignified in ſpirite in the parſone of Chriſt Pſal, 68 where he ſayd, the rebukes, & reproches, wherwith they ſlandered thee, fel all upōon me, yea and thoſe curſes alſo, that were due to us fell upon him, (as Paule ſaith) Gal, 3 he hath redemed us from the curſie, in that he became a curſt for us, and like a godly ſhepherd having on his backe the loſt ſhepe (for he hath his kingdome uppōon Eſay. 6 his ſhulders) hath he borne our ſinnes on the croſſe, (as Peter ſayeth) he hath borne our ſins in his body uppon the croſſe 1. Pet. 3 and tree, upon it as it had bene an altar, to condemne our ſinnes, with the ſinne that was imputed to him, was he offered as a ſacrifiſe to be burned in the fier and flamme of Gods love, and to the Corinthians Paule writteth, he 2. Cor 5 that knewe no ſinne was made ſinne for us, it was Gods will and minde, that 230 P8v that he whiche was moſt innocent ſhould be done on the croſſe as though he wer e not onely a ſinner but even ſin it ſelfe, and thus (as Daniel propheſied was inone to two charactersflawed-reproduction quite conſumed) and in one day god toke it out of the world, according to the profeſye of Zachary, wherfore ſaintJohn ſaith he appeared to take away our ſinnes, Zachar. 5 John. 3 & ſaintJohn Baptiſt ſaith of Chriſt that he is the lambe of God that taketh away the ſinnes of the world. Therefore when Chriſt ſuffered moſt lovingly all that which we have deſerved, he ſatiſfied for us, and purged us frōom our ſinnes, Heb. 1. he after the maner of the prodigal ſonne of anexceding love, that he bare to the ſowle, when he hadde geven his divine treaſures of grace to the very open ſinners and harlotes and had taken to him ſelf our ſinnes, as if he had done thēem him ſelfe, he made prayer to his father that he wold pardon them to him and to him he pardoned thēem, for we wer not worthy: neither would he yeld up his ſpirite tell firſt he had bowed doune his head that is one to two lines plus catchwordflawed-reproduction 231 Q1r to Chriſt therfore were our ſinnes aſcribed ſo that juſtly he mone to two charactersdamagedryted that death for his ſinnes, not by cauone to two charactersdamaged he committed thēem, but bycauſe he admited them for his owne and ſo hath he ſatiſfied for them, not only ſufficiently, but alſo more then was requiſite, for to God is one teare of Chriſt more pleaſant, then all the ſinnes of the world diſpleaſant, and that life and death of his wer more to the honour of God, then our life was to his diſhonour, yea he had not onely ſatiſfied for our ſinnes, but hath purchaced for us life everlaſting.
But happly wilt thou ſay, then neede I to take no paynes nor traveyll to tſatiſfie for my ſins, nor to deſerve paradiſe, I may take mine eaſe, or do what evill that liketh me geving me to pleaſur, and good cheere, for if it be as thou ſaieſt, I cannot but be ſaved. I anſwere thus, firſt I ſay the truth it is thou oughteſt not to labour thy ſelfe for the entente to ſatiſfie for thy ſinnes nor yet to deſerve paradiſe: for the is onely Chriſtes office, nor thou canſte have any ſuch entent without doing great injury and wrong Q.j. to 232 Q1v to God, but where as thou ſayeſt, that thou wouldſt live idlye or doo evill, after that Chriſt hath now delivered thee from all evill, and purchaſed thee the greateſt felicitie: I make the anſwere on this wiſe. If caſe were that one were led to the gallowes for his ribaldry and noughtines, and his Lord our Maiſter of mere favour and good will ſhuld deliver him, and counte him for his ſonne, and yet would ſay, my Lord or Maiſter hath delivered me from all evill, and taken me for his ſonne and heyre, therefore will I goe my way and be idle, and in folowing myne owne luſtes, and will do in him wrong: how thinke you, in this caſe be not theſe wicked wordes? even the like ſayeſt thou Chriſt hath delivered me frōom hell, and made me the ſonne of God, and heyre of heven, wherfore I will ſtand like an ydle parſone, or rather do more evill, Chriſt certes died not for thee, nor ſatiſfied for thy dettes, nor yet merited for thee paradiſe to thentēent thou ſhuldeſt ſtand ydle, commit ſinne, and become a ſtarke ribalde, but that thou, ſeeing his greate love, & how greatly ſinne diſpleaſedſed 233 Q2r ſed him, ſeeing he was willing to dye bycauſe to take them out of the world, ſhuld no more doo ſinne but honour him, love him, thanck him, put thy truſt in him, and worke vertuoſe & good workes plentiouſly, not as a bonde ſervant to eſcape hell, ſithen Chriſt hath delivered thee, ne ye to get Paradiſe the which Chriſt hath purchaſed for thee, but as a naturall ſonne for the glorie of God, moved therto by mocion of fayth, love, and ſpirite, not by mannes wit, ſenſualitie, or thy behofe or commoditie. Moreover either thou beleveſt that Chriſt hath ſatiſfied for thee or not, if thou beleve not, that he hath delivered thee from hell and gotten the Paradiſe, if thou be wiſe, thou wilt ſerche to helpe thy ſelfe, and ſo wilt thou not be ydle, muchleſſe wilt thou commit ſinnes: but rather enfore thy ſelfe to make ſatiſfication for thy ſelfe and to deſerve Paradiſe, which is a thing impoſſible, but if thou beleve lively, that he had ſo loved thee, that to ſave thee, he dyed on the croſſe, thou ſhuldeſt be cōonſtrayned to love him agayn, & to do for his glory marvelouſe workes plen- 234 Q2v plentouſly and redyly to beleve that we are ſaved by Chriſt, maketh not us negligente and naughtie, but fervent and holye.
Let us therfore render thankes to our Lorde God, ſeeing he hath with ſo greate love ſaved us by ſo highe, riche, happy, and gloriouſe meane. To whome be alwaye all honour, laude and glory, through Jeſu Chriſt our Lord.
Imprinted adt London by
Day, dwelling over Alderſgate
beneath ſainct Martins.