A1r

Sermons
of John Calvin,

upon the Songe
that Ezechias made after
he had bene sicke, and
afflicted by the hand of
God,
conteyned in the INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.38. Chapiter
of Esay
.

Translated out of Frenche
into Englishe.

15601560.
Newly set fourth and allowed, accordyng to
the order appointed in the Quenes Majesties
Injunctions.

Imprinted at London, over Aldersgate,
by John Day.

And are there to be solde at his shoppe
under the Gate.

Cum Gratia & privilegio
Regiæ majestatis.
A1v omittedtwo words A2r

To the Right
Honorable, and

Christian Princesse, the Lady
Katharine, Duchesse
of Suffolke
.

It often falleth out in experience
(my gracious & singular
good Lady) that some
men beynge oppressed with
povertie, tossed with worldlye
adversitye, tourmented
with payne, sorenes, & sicknes
of body, and other suche cōommon matters of
griefe, as the world counteth miseries & evils:
Yet having theyr myndes armed & fournished
with prepared patience, and defence of inward
understandying, all these calamities can not so
farre prevaile, as to make them fall, nor yet
once stoupe into the state of men to be accompted
miserable: but they beare them with suche
constaunce, as if suche afflictions were not of
such nature as other commonly do fele them, or
as if those men were suche upon whome those
troubles coulde not worke theyr naturall propertie.
On th’ other side we se some that flowyng
in earthly wealth & suffisance, free from A2 fortune
s
A2v
fortunes crueltie, healthy in bodye, and every
waye to the worldes seming blessed: yet with
mynde not well instructed, or with conscience
not well quieted, even upon such small chaunces
as other can lightly beare, are vexed above
measure with reasonlesse extremitie. Wherby
appeareth that the greves of body and calamities
of fortune do so farre onely extende, to afflict,
or make a man miserable, as they approch
to touch the mind, & assaile the soule. Which
proveth that the peines and diseases of minde
& soule are not only the most grevous, & most
daungerous, but also they onely are peinfull &
perillous, and those of the body & fortune are
such as the mynde useth, and maketh them.
So as to a sicke stomacke of mynde, all bodylie
matters of delite and worldely pleasures are
lothesome and displeasant, as on th’ other side
the power of a healthy soule easely digesteth
and gathereth good nouriture of the hard peines,
and bitter tormentes of the body and fortune.
He then, that cureth the sicke minde, or
preserveth it from disease, cureth or preserveth
not onely minde, but bodye also: and deserveth
so much more praise and thanke, than the bodies
Physicio, as the soule excelleth the bodie, and A3r
and as the curing, or preservation of them both
is to be preferred before the cure of the bodye
alone. But we se dayly, when skilfull men by
arte, or honest neyghbours havyng gathered
understandyng of some specyall dysease &
the healing therof by theyr owne experiment,
do applie their knowledge to the restoring of
health of any mans body in any corporall sicknesse,
howe thankfully it is taken, howe muche
the releved patient accompteth him selfe boūund
to him by meane of whose aide and ministration
he findeth him self holpen or eased. What
then deserveth he, that teacheth such a receipt,
whereby health both of body and mynde is preserved,
& whereby if health be appaired, it may
be restored, yea whereby sicknes and common
miseries continuyng shall not have so muche
power to trouble a man as to make him sicke,
or miserable? This receipte God the heavenly
Physitian hath taught, his most excellēent Apothecarie
master John Calvine hath compounded,
& I your graces most bounden & humble
have put into an Englishe box, & do present
unto you. My thāankes are takēen away & drowned
by the greate excesse of duetie that I owe
you: Master Calvine thinketh his paynes recompensedA3 com- A3v
if your grace or any Christian take
profit of it: bicause how much soever is spent,
his store is neverthelesse. And for God, recompensed
he can not be: but how he is continually
to be thanked, your graces profeßion of his
worde, your abidyng in the same, the godly cōonversation
that I have sene in you, do prove
that your selfe do better understand & practise
than I can admonishe you.

And that you maye be assured, that this
kinde of medicine is not hurtfull: two moste
excellent kinges, Ezechias and David, beside
an infinite numbre have tasted the lyke before
you, and have founde health therein, such
healthe as hathe cured them for ever, and
not as common or naturall reasons of Philosophie
doe cure a sicke or soore mynde,
which with easie and weake not well drawynge
or cleansinge plasters, so overheale the
wounde that it festreth and breaketh oute afreshe
wyth renewed and doublye encreased
danger.

Suche remedye as here is conteined can
no Philosopher, no Infidele, no Papist minister.
For what perfite helpe can they geve to a
dyseased mynde, that understande not, or beleveleve A4r
not the onely thyng that muste of nedefull
neceßitie be put into all medicines that
maye serve for a tourmented soule, that is to
say, the determined providence of almyghtie
God, whiche ordreth and disposeth all thynges
to the best to them that truste in him?

This Physicke resteth onely amonge trewe
belevyng Christians, who are perswaded that
whatsoever betideth unto us, his hie wisdom
that sent it, and that seeth all thynges, sent it
of hys good pleasure and decreed purpose, and
that for oure benefite if we love and beleve
hym, thoughe oure weake understandynge
knoweth not howe it shoulde be profitable,
but naturally judgeth it hurtefull and unpleasaunt.
And necessarye it was that he
whiche by understandynge of Godes hatred
of synne and felynge of hys justice, is subject
to fall into the moste perillous peine and tourment
of conflicte with sinne and desperation,
shoulde by conceyvynge of Godes mercy,
and belevyng of his providence, have helpe of
the moste and onely perfect and effectuallye
working medicine.

But in heavye case is he, that beynge A4 afflicted A4v
afflicted with that daūungerous disease of the felyng
of Gods wrath kindled against him, hath
not the cōonserve of belefe of Gods providēence remainyng
with him, or beyng ministred to him
either for feblenesse of stomack can not receive
and brooke it, or his oppressed appetite beyng
overwhelmed with grosse faithlesse and papisticall
humors can not abide the tast of it. Wo
is (I say) to them: for theyr disease is daungerous
and hard to be cured. For when the wretched
man findyng all helpe of man not able to
uphold him from perishing, being striken with
the mightie hande of God, feleth him selfe unable
to stande, no soundnes in his bodye, no
strēength in his limmes, no helpe of nature to resist
the violence of that disease that Gods displeasure
hath laide upon him, seeth no signe of
Gods grace in his soule, but the depe woundes
that Gods anger hath left in his cōonscience, perceiveth
no token to argue him th’ elect of God
and partaker of the death of his Saviour, hearyng
pronounced that the soule which sinneth
shall die, knowyng him selfe to have sinned, &
felyng him selfe dying: alas what helpe remaineth
in this extremitie? If we thinke the helpe
of papistes, to begge and borrowe others Virginsgins A5r
oyle that have none to spare, to bye the
superfluous workes of those men that say they
have done more than suffiseth to satisfie Gods
lawe and to deserve theyr owne salvation, to
appease God with suche extraordinarie devised
service as he never commaunded, and such
like unholsome stuffe as papisticall soulesleaers
have ministred to Christian patientes: If
(I say) we thinke these good & sufficient medicines:
alas, we do nothinge therby, but plant
untrew securitie, promise health, & performe
death: the pāanges whereof whēen the deceived sick
man feleth, he to late espieth the falshod of the
murtherous Physiciāan. The pore damned soule
in Hell tourmented with the lamentable peines
that turmoile him, from whome God the
onely author of joy and comfort is absent, perceiveth
to late howe wandring the wrong way
from heaven, he is fallen into Hell. That selly
wretche flamyng in the infernall fire feleth, alas,
to late that thei which gave him mans medicines
to drincke, have slayne his soule: they
which taught him to trust of salvation by māans
devises have set his burnyng hert in that place
of flames, where th’ everlasting Chaos suffreth
no droppe of Godes mercye to descende: they which A5v
which taught him to seeke health any other
where thāan in the determined purpose of God,
that hath sent his own sonne for our redēemptiōon,
have spoiled him of all benefit of redemption.
He feleth at length all to late howe by faulte
of ill diet and throughe poisonous potions
which his ignorauntignoraunt corrupted and traiterous
Physicion suffered him to use, and bad him to
take, he lieth dead eternally.

But on th’ other side, when the belevynge
Christian falleth (as God hathe made none to
stande wherby they should not nede his mercye
to raise them when they are fallen) he
knoweth whither to reache his hande to be
raised up againe: beyng stong with the stinge
of the scorpion he knoweth howe with oyle of
the same scorpion to be healed agayne: beyng
wounded with the justice of God that hateth
sinne, he knoweth howe with the mercy of the
same God that pardoneth sinne to have hys
peine asswaged and hurt amended. He knoweth
that whome God hath from eternitie appointed
to live, shal never die, howsoever sicknesse
threaten: no misery, no tentation, no perill
shall availe to his everlasting overthrowe.
He knoweth that his safetie is much more surelyrely A6r
reposed in Gods moste stedfast and unchangeable
purpose, and in the most strong &
almightye hande of the alknowynge and alworking
God, than in the wavering will and
feble weaknes of man. This healeth the Christians
sicknes, this preserveth him from death,
this maketh him to live for ever. This medicine
is in this little boke brought frōom the plentifull
shop & storehouse of Gods holye testamēent,
where Gods everabiding purpose frōom beyond
beginning is set fourth, to the everlasting
salvatiōon of some, & eternall cōonfusion of other.
Beside that, this boke hath not only the medicine,
but also an example of the nature of the
disease, & the meane how to use & apply the
medicine to thēem that be so diseased. For when a
man languishing in corporall sicknes, heareth
his neighboure reporte unto him, or himselfe
hathe before time sene in an other the same
cause of sicknes, the same maner of fits, paßiōons,
alteratiōons, & in every point the same qualities
of sicknes, & the same dispositiōon of body that
he knoweth & feleth in him self: it geveth him
assurāance, & maketh him to know that he is sick
of the same disease that th’ other was: wherby
knowing howe th’ other was healed, what diet he A6v
he kept, what Physicke he toke, he doeth with
the greater boldnes, confidence of mynde, and
desire, call for, taste, and gredely receyve that
healthfull & lifefull medicine wherby he saw
and knew his neighbour healed, and with the
greater care kepeth the same diet wherewith
he saw & knew th’ other preserved. So here this
good soules Physiciāan hath brought you where
you maye se lyinge before youre face the good
king Ezechias, somtime chillinge and chattering
with colde, somtime languishing & meltyng
away with heate, nowe fresing, now fryeng,
nowe spechelesse, nowe crying out, with other
suche piteous panges & paßions wrought
in his tender afflicted spirit, by giltie consciēence
of his owne fault, by terrible consideration of
Gods justice, by cruell assaultes of the tyrannous
enemie of mans salvation, vexynge hym
in muche more lamentable wise than any bodely
fever can worke, or bodyly fleshe can suffer.
On th’ other side for his helpe, you se him
sometyme throwe up his gastly eyen, starynge
wyth horrour, and scant discernynge for peine
and for want of the lyvely moisture to fede the
brightnes of theyr sight. You se him sometyme
yeldyngly stretch oute, sometyme struglinglye throw A7r
throwe his weakned legges not able to sustein
his feble body: sometime he casteth abrode, or
holdeth up his white & blodles hand toward
the place whether his soule longeth: sometyme
with fallyng chappes, he breatheth out unperfect
soūundes, gasping rather thāan calling for mercy
& helpe. These thinges being here laid open
to sight and remeinyng in remembraunce, (as
the horrour and piteous spectacle can not suffre
it to fall out of a Christian tender minde) if
we feele oure selves in like anguishe, we finde
that the disease is the same that EZechias
had, and so by convenience of reason muste by
the same meane be healed. Thēen behoveth us to
remember or to be infourmed by oure diligent
Physitian or charitable neighbour, howe we
sawe Ezechias healed, whome we imagine in
this Boke to see both dying, revived, and walking
after health recovered. There we se the
heavēenly Physician anoynt him with the merciful
Samaritāans oyle, purge the oppreßing humors
with true repentaūunce, strenghten his stomack
with holsome conserve of Gods eternall
decree, and expell his disease, and set hym
on foote with assured faith of Gods mercy, and
staieng his yet unstedy pace & foltring legges with A7v
with the swete promyses of Gods almyghtye
goodnes. So learne we what Physicians helpe
we shall use: and this medicine beyng offered
us, we are bolde to take it, bycause we knowe
it wyll heale us. And beyng healed, knowyng
and hearyng it confessed, that sinne was the
cause and nourishement of Ezechias disease,
we learne a newe diet, and to fede as Ezechias
his Physician and oures apointeth, absteinyng
from thinges hurtfull taking things healthfull
as he prescribeth. So doth the Christiāan atteine
his health, so beynge attemed he preserveth it
for ever. And as it is true that seconde & returned
sicknesses by surfit or misdemenour are
most cruell and daungerous, so holdeth he yet
this also for trueth, that to this Physiciāan with
this medicine, no disease never so long rooted,
never so oft retourned, is uncurable. Beyng
then thus muche beholden to this Physician
we must nedes confesse that we owe unto him
our life and health, & all that we be or have.
And for his faithful minister master Calvine,
I beseche your grace wyth me, to wishe hym
Gods benefit of eternall happie life for his rewarde,
even as I wishe your grace continuall
health of life and soule for your preservation, not A8r
not onely for this newe yeare, but also for the
tyme that shall excede all extent of yeares, besechinge
you to accepte both my worke and
prayer.

Concernyng my translation of this boke, it
may please you to understand that I have rēendred
it so nere as I poßibly might, to the very
wordes of his text, and that in so plaine Englishe
as I could expresse: Suche as it is,
I beseche your grace to take it
good parte.

Your graces humble

A. L.

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