of John Calvin

upon the Songe
that Ezechias made after
he had bene sicke, and
afflicted by the hand of
conteyned in the 38. Chapiter
of EsayEsayas.

Translated out of Frenche
into Englishe.

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

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 preser ved, & 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 compensed 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 beleleve A4r leve 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, percei veth 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 gins 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, percei veth 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 rely 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 testam ēent, 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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