HOMILY ON THE MISERY OF MANKIND

from Short-Title Catalogue 13675.
Renaissance Electronic Texts 1.2.
© 1994, 1997 Ian Lancashire
University of Toronto

UTEL Home Page.

A SERMON OF THE
misery of all mankinde, and of his condemnation
to death euerlasting, by his owne sinne.

[I.2.1-1]  THE Holy Ghost, in writing the holy
[I.2.1-2]  Scripture, is in nothing more diligent
[I.2.1-3]  then to pull downe mans vaine glory
[I.2.1-4]  and pride, which of all vices is most vni­
[I.2.1-5]  uersally grafted in all mankinde, euen
[I.2.1-6]  from the first infection of our first father
[I.2.1-7]  Adam. And therefore wee reade in many
[I.2.1-8]  places of Scripture, many notable les­
[I.2.1-9]  sons against this old rooted vice, to teach
[I.2.1-10]  vs the most commendable vertue of hu­
[I.2.1-11]  mility, how to know our selues, and to
[I.2.1-12]  remember what wee bee of our selues.
[I.2.1-13]  In the booke of , Almighty GOD

[margin]
Gen. 3.
[margin]


[I.2.1-14]  giueth vs all a title and name in our great grandfather Adam, which
[I.2.1-15]  ought to warne vs all to consider what wee bee, whereof wee bee, from
[I.2.1-16]  whence we came, and whither we shall, saying thus, In the sweat of
[I.2.1-17]  thy face shalt thou eat thy bread, till thou bee turned againe into the
[I.2.1-18]  ground, for out of it wast thou taken, in as much as thou art dust, into
[I.2.1-19]  dust shalt thou be turned againe. Heere (as it were in a glasse) wee may
[I.2.1-20]  learne to know our selues to be but ground, earth, and ashes, and that
[I.2.1-21]  to earth and ashes we shall returne.

[I.2.1-22]  Also, the holy Patriarch Abraham did well remember this name and
[I.2.1-23]  title, dust, earth, and ashes, appointed and assigned by GOD to all man­
[I.2.1-24]  kinde: and therefore he calleth himselfe by that name, when hee maketh
[I.2.1-25]  his earnest prayer for Sodome & Gomorre. And wee read that Iudith, Esther,

[margin]
Iud. 4 & 9.
Iob. 13.
Iere. 6 & 15
[margin]


[I.2.1-26]  Iob, Ieremy, with other holy men and women in the old Testament, did
[I.2.1-27]  vse sackcloth, and to cast dust and ashes vpon their heads, when they be­
[I.2.1-28]  wayled their sinfull liuing. They called and cried to GOD, for helpe
[I.2.1-29]  and mercy, with such a ceremony of sackcloth, dust, and ashes, that there­
[I.2.1-30]  by they might declare to the whole world, what an humble and lowly e­
[I.2.1-31]  stimation they had of themselues, and how well they remembred their
[I.2.1-32]  name and title aforesayd, their vile corrupt fraile nature, dust, earth,

[margin]
Sapi. 7.
[margin]


[I.2.1-33]  and ashes. The booke of Wisedome also willing to pull downe our proud
[I.2.1-34]  stomaches, moueth vs diligently to remember our mortall and earthly
[I.2.1-35]  generation, which we haue all of him that was first made: and that all
[I.2.1-36]  men, aswell kings as subiects, come into this world, and goe out of the
[I.2.1-37]  same in like sort: that is, as of our selues full miserable, as wee may
[I.2.1-38]  dayly see. And Almighty GOD commanded his Prophet Esay to make
[I.2.1-39]  a Proclamation, and crie to the whole world: and Esay asking, what

[margin]
Esay 40.
[margin]


[I.2.1-40]  shall I crie? The Lord answered, Crie, that all flesh is grasse, and that
[I.2.1-41]  all the glory thereof, is but as the flowre of the field, when the grasse is
[I.2.1-42]  withered, the flowre falleth away, when the winde of the Lord bloweth
[I.2.1-43]  vpon it. The people surely is grasse, the which drieth vp, and the flowre
[I.2.1-44]  fadeth away. And the holy man Iob, hauing in himselfe great expe­
[I.2.1-45]  rience of the miserable and sinfull estate of man, doeth open the same to

[margin]
Iob. 14.
[margin]


[I.2.1-46]  the world in these words; Man (sayth he) that is borne of a woman,
[I.2.1-47]  liuing but a short time, is full of manifold miseries, hee springeth vp like
[I.2.1-48]  a flowre, and fadeth againe, vanisheth away as it were a shadow, and
[I.2.1-49]  neuer continueth in one state. And doest thou iudge it meet (O Lord) to
[I.2.1-50]  open thine eyes vpon such a one, and to bring him to iudgement with
[I.2.1-51]  thee? Who can make him cleane, that is conceiued of an vncleane seede,
[I.2.1-52]  and all men of their euilnesse, and naturall pronenesse, be so vniuersally
[I.2.1-53]  giuen to sinne, that (as the Scripture sayth) GOD repented that euer
[I.2.1-54]  he made man. And by sin his indignation was so much prouoked against

[margin]
Gen. 9
[margin]


[I.2.1-55]  the world, that he drowned all the world with Noes floud (except Noe
[I.2.1-56]  himselfe, and his little houshold.) It is not without great cause, that the
[I.2.1-57]  Scripture of GOD doeth so many times call all men heere in this

[margin]
Iere. 22.
[margin]


[I.2.1-58]  world by this word, earth, O thou earth, earth, earth, sayth Ieremy,
[I.2.1-59]  heare the word of the Lord. This our right name, calling, and title, earth,
[I.2.1-60]  earth, earth, pronounced by the Prophet, sheweth what wee bee indeed,
[I.2.1-61]  by whatsoeuer other stile, title, or dignity, men doe call vs. Thus hee
[I.2.1-62]  plainely named vs, who knoweth best, both what we be, and what wee
[I.2.1-63]  ought of right to be called. And thus hee setteth vs foorth, speaking by
[I.2.1-64]  his faithfull Apostle Saint Paul, All men, Iewes and Gentiles, are vn­
[I.2.1-65]  der sinne, there is none righteous, no not one: there is none that vnder­
[I.2.1-66]  standeth, there is none that seeketh after GOD, they are all gone out
[I.2.1-67]  of the way, they are all vnprofitable, there is none that doeth good, no not
[I.2.1-68]  one: their throat is an open sepulchre, with their tongues they haue vsed
[I.2.1-69]  craft and deceit, the poyson of serpents is vnder their lippes, their mouth
[I.2.1-70]  is full of curling and bitternesse, their feet are swift to shed blood, destru­
[I.2.1-71]  ction and wretchednesse are in their wayes, and the way of peace haue
[I.2.1-72]  they not knowen: there is no feare of GOD before their eyes. And in

[margin]
Rom. 11.
[margin]


[I.2.1-73]  another place, Saint Paul writeth thus, GOD hath wrapped all nati­
[I.2.1-74]  ons in vnbeleefe, that hee might haue mercy on all. The Scripture

[margin]
Gal. 3.
[margin]


[I.2.1-75]  shutteth vp all vnder sinne, that the promise by the fayth of Iesus Christ,

[margin]
Eph. 2.
[margin]


[I.2.1-76]  should bee giuen vnto them that beleeue. Saint Paul in many places
[I.2.1-77]  painteth vs out in our colours, calling vs the children of the wrath of
[I.2.1-78]  GOD, when wee bee borne: saying also that wee cannot thinke a good
[I.2.1-79]  thought of our selues, much lesse can we say well, or do well of our selues.
[I.2.1-80]  And the Wise man sayth in the booke of Prouerbes, The iust man falleth

[margin]
Prou. 24.
[margin]


[I.2.1-81]  seuen times a day. The most tried and approoued man Iob, feared all
[I.2.1-82]  his workes. Saint Iohn the Baptist being sanctified in his mothers

[margin]
Luke 1.
[margin]


[I.2.1-83]  wombe, and praised before he was borne, being called an Angel, and great
[I.2.1-84]  before the Lord, filled euen from his birth with the holy Ghost, the pre­
[I.2.1-85]  parer of the way for our Sauiour Christ, and commended of our Saui­
[I.2.1-86]  our Christ to bee more then a Prophet, and the greatest that euer was
[I.2.1-87]  borne of a woman: yet he plainely granteth, that he had need to bee wa­

[margin]
Matth. 3.
[margin]


[I.2.1-88]  shed of Christ, he worthily extolleth and glorifieth his Lord and master
[I.2.1-89]  Christ, and humbleth himselfe as vnworthy to vnbuckle his shoes, and
[I.2.1-90]  giueth all honour and glory to GOD. So doth Saint Paul both oft
[I.2.1-91]  and euidently confesse himselfe, that he was of himselfe, euer giuing (as
[I.2.1-92]  a most faithfull seruant) all prayse to his master and Sauiour. So doth
[I.2.1-93]  blessed Saint Iohn the Euangelist, in the name of himselfe, and of all other

[margin]
1. Iohn 1. & 2.
[margin]


[I.2.1-94]  holy men (bee they neuer so iust) make this open confession: If wee say
[I.2.1-95]  wee haue no sinne, wee deceiue our selues, and the trueth is not in vs:
[I.2.1-96]  If we acknowledge our sinnes, GOD is faithfull and iust to forgiue our
[I.2.1-97]  sinnes and to cleanse vs from all vnrighteousness: If wee say we haue
[I.2.1-98]  not sinned, we make him a lyer, and his word is not in vs. Wherefore, the
[I.2.1-99]  wise man in the booke called Ecclesiastes, maketh this true and generall

[margin]
Eccles. 7.
[margin]


[I.2.1-100]  confession, There is not one iust man vpon the earth that doeth good, and
[I.2.1-101]  sinneth not. And Dauid is ashamed of his sin, but not to confesse his sin.

[margin]
Psal. 51.
[margin]


[I.2.1-102]  How oft, how earnestly, and lamentably doth hee desire GODS great
[I.2.1-103]  mercy for his great offences, and that GOD should not enter into iudge­
[I.2.1-104]  ment with him? And againe, how well weigheth this holy man his

[margin]
Psal. 113.
[margin]


[I.2.1-105]  sinnes, when hee confesseth that they be so many in number, and so hid,
[I.2.1-106]  and hard to vnderstand, that it is in a maner vnpossible to know, vtter,
[I.2.1-107]  or number them? Wherefore, hee hauing a true, earnest, and deepe con­
[I.2.1-108]  templation and consideration of his sinnes, and yet not comming to the

[margin]
Psal. 19.
[margin]


[I.2.1-109]  bottome of them, he maketh supplication to GOD, to forgiue him his
[I.2.1-110]  priuy, secret, hid sinnes: to the knowledge of which we cannot attaine
[I.2.1-111]  vnto. Hee weigheth rightly his sins from the originall roote and spring
[I.2.1-112]  head, perceiuing inclinations, prouocations, stirrings, stingings, buds,
[I.2.1-113]  branches, dregges, infections, tastes, feelings, and sents of them to
[I.2.1-114]  continue in him still. Wherefore hee sayth, Marke, and behold, I was
[I.2.1-115]  conceiued in sinnes: Hee sayth not sinne, but in the plurall number,

[margin]
Psal. 51.
[margin]


[I.2.1-116]  sins, for as much as out of one (as a fountaine) springeth all the rest.
[I.2.1-117]  Our Sauiour Christ sayth, There is none good, but GOD: and that

[margin]
Marke 10.
Luke 18.
Iohn 15.
Luke 17.
[margin]


[I.2.1-118]  we can doe nothing that is good without him, nor no man can come to
[I.2.1-119]  the father but by him. Hee commandeth vs also to say, that wee be vn­
[I.2.1-120]  profitable seruants, when wee haue done all that wee can doe. Hee pre­
[I.2.1-121]  ferreth the penitent Publicane, before the proude, holy, and glorious

[margin]
Luke 18.
[margin]


[I.2.1-122]  Pharisee. Hee calleth himselfe a Physition, but not to them that bee

[margin]
Matth. 9.
[margin]


[I.2.1-123]  whole, but to them that bee sicke, and haue neede of his salue for their
[I.2.1-124]  sore. Hee teacheth vs in our prayers, to reknowledge our selues sin­
[I.2.1-125]  ners, and to aske righteousnesse and deliuerance from all euils, at our
[I.2.1-126]  heauenly Fathers hand. He declareth that the sinnes of our owne hearts,

[margin]
Matth. 12.
[margin]


[I.2.1-127]  doe defile our owne selues. Hee teacheth that an euill word or thought
[I.2.1-128]  deserueth condemnation, affirming that wee shall giue account for euery

[margin]
Matth. 15.
[margin]


[I.2.1-129]  idle word. He saith, He came not to saue, but the sheepe that were vtter­
[I.2.1-130]  ly lost, and cast away. Therefore few of the proude, iust, learned, wise,
[I.2.1-131]  perfect, and holy Pharisees, were saued by him, because they iustified
[I.2.1-132]  themselues by their counterfeite holynesse before men. Wherefore (good
[I.2.1-133]  people) let vs beware of such hypocrisie, vaine glory, and iustifying of
[I.2.1-134]  ourselues.








The second part of the Sermon of the
miserie of man.


[I.2.2-135]  FOrasmuch as the true knowledge of our selues is very
[I.2.2-136]  necessary, to come to the right knowledge of God, yee
[I.2.2-137]  haue heard in the last reading, how humbly all godly men
[I.2.2-138]  alwaies haue thought of themselues, and so to thinke and
[I.2.2-139]  iudge of themselues, are taught of GOD their Creator,
[I.2.2-140]  by his holy word. For of our selues wee bee crabtrees,
[I.2.2-141]  that can bring foorth no apples. We be of our selues of such earth, as can
[I.2.2-142]  bring foorth but weedes, netles, brambles, briers, cockle, and darnel.

[margin]
Gal. 5.
[margin]


[I.2.2-143]  Our fruits be declared in the fifth chapter to the Galathians. We haue
[I.2.2-144]  neither fayth, charitie, hope, patience, chastitie, nor any thing else that
[I.2.2-145]  good is, but of GOD, and therefore these vertues bee called there, the
[I.2.2-146]  fruits of the holy ghost, and not the fruits of man. Let vs therefore ac­
[I.2.2-147]  knowledge our selues before GOD (as wee bee indeede) miserable and
[I.2.2-148]  wretched sinners. And let vs earnestly repent, and humble our selues
[I.2.2-149]  heartily, and cry to God for mercy. Let vs all confesse with mouth and
[I.2.2-150]  heart, that we be full of imperfections: Let vs know our owne workes,
[I.2.2-151]  of what imperfection they be, and then wee shall not stand foolishly and
[I.2.2-152]  arrogantly in our owne conceits, nor challenge any part of iustificati­
[I.2.2-153]  on by our merites or workes. For truely there be imperfections in our
[I.2.2-154]  best workes: wee doe not loue GOD so much as wee are bound to doe,
[I.2.2-155]  with all our heart, minde, and power: we doe not feare GOD so much
[I.2.2-156]  as wee ought to doe: we doe not pray to GOD, but with great and ma­
[I.2.2-157]  ny imperfections: we giue, forgiue, beleeue, liue, and hope vnperfect­
[I.2.2-158]  ly: we speake, thinke, and doe imperfectly: we fight against the deuill,
[I.2.2-159]  the world, and the flesh imperfectly: Let vs therefore not be ashamed to
[I.2.2-160]  confesse plainely our state of imperfection: yea, let vs not bee ashamed
[I.2.2-161]  to confesse imperfection, euen in all our best workes. Let none of vs be

[margin]
Luke 5.
[margin]


[I.2.2-162]  ashamed to say with holy Saint Peter, I am a sinfull man. Let vs say

[margin]
Psal. 106.
[margin]


[I.2.2-163]  with the holy Prophet Dauid, We haue sinned with our fathers, we haue
[I.2.2-164]  done amisse and dealt wickedly, Let vs all make open confession with the
[I.2.2-165]  prodigall sonne to our father, and say with him, We haue sinned against

[margin]
Luke 15.
[margin]


[I.2.2-166]  heauen, and before thee (O Father) wee are not worthy to be called thy
[I.2.2-167]  sonnes. Let vs all say with holy Baruch, O Lord our GOD, to vs is wor­

[margin]
Baruch. 2.
[margin]


[I.2.2-168]  thily ascribed shame and confusion, and to thee righteousnesse: Wee haue
[I.2.2-169]  sinned, wee haue done wickedly, wee haue behaued our selues vngodly in
[I.2.2-170]  all thy righteousnes. Let vs all say with the holy Prophet Daniel, O Lord,

[margin]
Dan. 9.
[margin]


[I.2.2-171]  righteousnesse belongeth to thee, vnto vs belongeth confusion. Wee haue
[I.2.2-172]  sinned, wee haue beene naughtie, wee haue offended, wee haue fled from
[I.2.2-173]  thee, wee haue gone backe from all thy precepts and iudgements. So we
[I.2.2-174]  learne of all good men in holy Scriptures, to humble our selues, and to
[I.2.2-175]  exalt, extoll, praise, magnifie, and glorifie GOD.

[I.2.2-176]  Thus we haue heard how euill we be of our selues, how of our selues,
[I.2.2-177]  and by our selues, we haue no goodnes, helpe nor saluation, but contrari­
[I.2.2-178]  wise, sinne, damnation, and death euerlasting: which if we deeply weigh
[I.2.2-179]  and consider, we shall the better vnderstand the great mercie of GOD,
[I.2.2-180]  and how our saluation commeth onely by Christ. For in our selues (as of

[margin]
2. Cor. 3.
[margin]


[I.2.2-181]  our selues) we find nothing, whereby we may be deliuered from this mi­
[I.2.2-182]  serable captiuitie, into the which we were cast, through the enuie of the
[I.2.2-183]  deuill, by breaking of GODS commandement, in our first parent Adam.
[I.2.2-184]  We are all become vncleane, but we all are not able to cleanse our selues,

[margin]
Psal. 50.
[margin]


[I.2.2-185]  nor to make one another of vs cleane. Wee are by nature the children of
[I.2.2-186]  GODS wrath, but we are not able to make our selues the children

[margin]
: NT: Ephesians 2.3>Ephes. 2.
[margin]


[I.2.2-187]  and inheritours of GODS glorie. Wee are sheepe that runne astray,

[margin]
1. Pet. 2.
[margin]


[I.2.2-188]  but we can not of our owne power come againe to the sheepfold, so great
[I.2.2-189]  is our imperfection and weakenes. In our selues therefore may we not
[I.2.2-190]  glorie, which (of our selues) are nothing but sinfull: neither may we re­
[I.2.2-191]  ioyce in any works that we do, which all be so vnperfect and vnpure, that
[I.2.2-192]  they are not able to stand before the righteous iudgement seat of GOD,
[I.2.2-193]  as the holy Prophet Dauid saith, Enter not into iudgement with thy

[margin]
Psal. 143.
[margin]


[I.2.2-194]  seruant (O Lord:) for no man that liueth shall be found righteous in thy
[I.2.2-195]  sight. To God therefore must we flee, or else shall we neuer finde peace, rest
[I.2.2-196]  and quietnes of conscience in our hearts. For he is the Father of mercies,

[margin]
2. Cor. 1.
[margin]


[I.2.2-197]  and GOD of all consolation. Hee is the Lord, with whom is plenteous

[margin]
Psal. 130.
[margin]


[I.2.2-198]  redemption: Hee is the GOD which of his owne mercie saueth vs, and
[I.2.2-199]  setteth out his charitie and exceeding loue towards vs, in that of his
[I.2.2-200]  owne voluntarie goodnes, when we were perished, he saued vs, and pro­
[I.2.2-201]  uided an euerlasting Kingdome for vs. And all these heauenly treasures
[I.2.2-202]  are giuen vs, not for our owne deserts, merits, or good deeds, (which of
[I.2.2-203]  our selues we haue none) but of his meere mercy freely. And for whose
[I.2.2-204]  sake? Truely for Iesus Christes sake, that pure and vndefiled lamb of
[I.2.2-205]  GOD. He is that dearely beloued Sonne, for whose sake GOD is ful­
[I.2.2-206]  ly pacified, satisfied, and set at one with man. He is the Lambe of GOD,

[margin]
Iohn 1.
[margin]


[I.2.2-207]  which taketh away the sinnes of the world, of whome onely it may be
[I.2.2-208]  truely spoken, that he did all things well, and in his mouth was found no

[margin]
1. Pet. 2.
[margin]


[I.2.2-209]  craft nor subtiltie. None but he alone may say, The prince of the world
[I.2.2-210]  came, and in mee he hath nothing. And he alone may also say, Which of

[margin]
Iohn.
[margin]


[I.2.2-211]  you shall reprooue me of any fault? He is the high and euerlasting Priest,

[margin]
Iohn 8.
[margin]


[I.2.2-212]  which hath offered himselfe once for all vpon the altar of the crosse, and

[margin]
Heb 7
[margin]


[I.2.2-213]  with that one oblation hath made perfect for euermore them that are

[margin]
1. Iohn. 2.
[margin]


[I.2.2-214]  sanctified. He is the alone mediatour betweene GOD and man, which
[I.2.2-215]  paid our ransome to GOD with his owne blood, and with that hath he
[I.2.2-216]  cleansed vs all from sinne. Hee is the Phisition which healeth all our dis­

[margin]
Matt. 1.
[margin]


[I.2.2-217]  eases. He is that Sauiour which saueth his people from all their sinnes:
[I.2.2-218]  To be short, he is that flowing and most plenteous fountaine, of whose
[I.2.2-219]  fulnesse all wee haue receiued. For in him alone are all the treasures of
[I.2.2-220]  the wisedom and knowledge of GOD hidden. And in him, and by him,
[I.2.2-221]  haue wee from GOD the Father all good things, pertaining either to
[I.2.2-222]  the body or to the soule. O how much are we bound to this our heauenly
[I.2.2-223]  Father for his great mercies, which he hath so plenteously declared vnto
[I.2.2-224]  vs in Christ Iesu our Lord and Sauiour! What thanks worthie and
[I.2.2-225]  sufficient can we giue to him? Let vs all with one accord burst out with
[I.2.2-226]  ioyfull voyce, euer praising and magnifying this LORD of mercie, for
[I.2.2-227]  his tender kindnes shewed vnto vs in his dearly beloued Sonne Iesus
[I.2.2-228]  Christ our Lord.

[I.2.2-229]  Hitherto haue we heard what we are of our selues: very sinfull, wret­
[I.2.2-230]  ched, and damnable. Againe, wee haue heard how that of our selues,
[I.2.2-231]  and by our selues, wee are not able either to thinke a good thought, or
[I.2.2-232]  worke a good deed, so that wee can finde in our selues no hope of saluati­
[I.2.2-233]  on, but rather whatsoeuer maketh vnto our destruction. Again, we haue
[I.2.2-234]  heard the tender kindnesse and great mercy of GOD the Father to­
[I.2.2-235]  wards vs, and how beneficiall he is to vs for Christs sake, without our
[I.2.2-236]  merits or deserts, euen of his owne meere mercy & tender goodnes. Now,
[I.2.2-237]  how these exceeding great mercies of GOD, set abroad in Christ Iesu
[I.2.2-238]  for vs, be obtayned, and how we be deliuered from the captiuity of sinne,
[I.2.2-239]  death, and hell, it shall more at large (with GODS helpe) bee decla­
[I.2.2-240]  red in the next Sermon. In the meane season, yea, and at all times let
[I.2.2-241]  vs learne to know our selues, our frailty and weakenesse, without any
[I.2.2-242]  craking or boasting of our owne good deedes and merits. Let vs also
[I.2.2-243]  knowledge the exceeding mercy of GOD towards vs, and confesse, that
[I.2.2-244]  as of our selues commeth all euill and damnation: so likewise of him
[I.2.2-245]  commeth all goodnesse and saluation, as GOD himselfe sayth by the

[margin]
Osee 13.
[margin]


[I.2.2-246]  Prophet Osee, O Israel, thy destruction commeth of thy selfe, but in me
[I.2.2-247]  only is thy helpe and comfort. If we thus humbly submit our selues in
[I.2.2-248]  the sight of GOD, we may be sure that in the time of his visitation, hee
[I.2.2-249]  will lift vs vp vnto the kingdome of his dearely beloued sonne Christ Ie­
[I.2.2-250]  su our Lord: To whom, with the Father, and the holy Ghost, bee all ho­
[I.2.2-251]  nour and glory for euer. Amen.