HOMILY ON GOOD WORKS

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

UTEL Home Page.

30
A SERMON OF GOOD
workes annexed vnto Faith.




[I.5.1-1]  IN the last Sermon was declared vnto
[I.5.1-2]  you, what the liuely and true fayth of a
[I.5.1-3]  Christian man is, that it causeth not a
[I.5.1-4]  man to bee idle, but to bee occupied in
[I.5.1-5]  bringing foorth good workes, as occasion
[I.5.1-6]  serueth.


[margin]
No good
workes can
bee done
without
faith.
Iohn 15.
[margin]


[I.5.1-7]  Now by GODS grace shall bee de­
[I.5.1-8]  clared the second thing that before was
[I.5.1-9]  noted of fayth, that without it can no
[I.5.1-10]  good worke bee done, accepted and plea­
[I.5.1-11]  sant vnto GOD. For as a branch can
[I.5.1-12]  not beare fruite of it selfe (sayth our Sa­
[I.5.1-13]  uiour Christ) except it abide in the Vine:
[I.5.1-14]  so can not you, except you abide in me. I am the Vine, and you bee the
[I.5.1-15]  branches, he that abideth in me, and I in him, he bringeth foorth much
[I.5.1-16]  fruit: for without me, you can doe nothing. And S. Paul prouueth that
[I.5.1-17]  the Eunuch had fayth, because he pleased GOD. For without fayth

[margin]
Heb. 11.
[margin]


[I.5.1-18]  (sayth he) it is not possible to please GOD. And againe to the Rom. he

[margin]
Rom.14.
[margin]


[I.5.1-19]  sayth, whatsoeuer worke is done without fayth, it is sinne. Faith giueth
[I.5.1-20]  life to the soule, and they be as much dead to GOD that lacke fayth, as
[I.5.1-21]  they be to the world, whose bodies lacke soules. Without fayth all that
[I.5.1-22]  is done of vs, is but dead before GOD, although the worke seeme neuer
[I.5.1-23]  so gay and glorious before man. Euen as the picture grauen or painted,
[I.5.1-24]  is but a dead representation of the thing it selfe, and is without life,
[I.5.1-25]  or any maner of moouing: so be the workes of all vnfaythfull persons be­
[I.5.1-26]  fore GOD. They doe appeare to bee liuely workes, and indeed they bee
[I.5.1-27]  but dead, not auayling to the euerlasting life. They be but shadowes and
[I.5.1-28]  shewes of liuely and good things, and not good and liuely things indeed.
[I.5.1-29]  For true fayth, doth giue life to the workes, and out of such fayth come
[I.5.1-30]  good works, that be very good workes indeed, |&| without fayth, no worke
[I.5.1-31]  is good before GOD, as sayth S. Augustine . We must let no good works

[margin]
In pr'fat.
Psalm. 31.

[margin]


[I.5.1-32]  before fayth, nor think that before fayth a man many doe any good works:
[I.5.1-33]  for such workes, although they seeme vnto men to be prayse worthy, yet
[I.5.1-34]  indeed they be but vaine, and not allowed before GOD. They bee as
[I.5.1-35]  the course of an Horse that runneth out of the way, which taketh great
[I.5.1-36]  labour, but to no purpose. Let no man therefore (sayth he) reckon vpon
[I.5.1-37]  his good workes before his fayth: Where as fayth was not, good workes
[I.5.1-38]  were not. The intent (sayth hee) maketh the good workes, but fayth
[I.5.1-39]  must guide and order the intent of man. And Christ sayth, If thine eye be
[I.5.1-40]  naught, thy whole body is full of darkenesse. The eye doeth signifie the
[I.5.1-41]  intent (sayth S. Augustine ) wherewith a man doeth a thing. So that

[margin]
Matth 6. in
pr'fa. Psal.
31.


[margin]


[I.5.1-42]  he which doth not his good works with a godly intent, and a true fayth,
[I.5.1-43]  that worketh by loue: the whole body beside (that is to say) all the whole
[I.5.1-44]  number of his workes, is darke, and there is no light in them. For good
[I.5.1-45]  deedes bee not measured by the facts themselues, and so discerned from
[I.5.1-46]  vices, but by the ends and intents for the which they were done. If a
[I.5.1-47]  Heathen man clothe the naked, feed the hungrie, and doe such other like
[I.5.1-48]  workes: yet because he doeth them not in fayth, for the honour and loue
[I.5.1-49]  of GOD, they be but dead, vaine, and fruitlesse workes to him. Fayth
[I.5.1-50]  is it that doeth commend the worke to GOD: for (as S. Augustine saith)
[I.5.1-51]  whether thou wilt or no, that work that commeth not of faith, is naught:
[I.5.1-52]  where the fayth of Christ is not the foundation, there is no good worke,
[I.5.1-53]  what building so euer we make. There is one worke, in the which be all
[I.5.1-54]  good workes, that is, faith, which worketh by charity: if thou haue it,
[I.5.1-55]  thou hast the ground of all good workes. For the vertues of strength,
[I.5.1-56]  wisedome, temperance, and iustice, be all referred vnto this same faith.
[I.5.1-57]  Without this faith we haue not them, but onely the names and shadowes
[I.5.1-58]  of them (as Saint Augustine sayth,) All the life of them that lacke the true
[I.5.1-59]  faith, is sinne, and nothing is good, without him, that is the authour
[I.5.1-60]  of goodnesse: where hee is not, there is but fained vertue, although it be
[I.5.1-61]  in the best workes. And S. Augustine , declaring this verse of the Psalme,
[I.5.1-62]  The turtle hath found a nest where shee may keepe her yong birds, saith,
[I.5.1-63]  that Iewes, Heretickes, and Pagans doe good workes, they cloath the
[I.5.1-64]  naked, feede the poore, and doe other good workes of mercy: but because
[I.5.1-65]  they bee not done in the true faith, therefore the birdes bee lost. But if
[I.5.1-66]  they remaine in faith, then faith is the nest and safegard of their birdes,
[I.5.1-67]  that is to say, safegard of their good workes, that the reward of them be
[I.5.1-68]  not vtterly lost. And this matter (which Saint Augustine at large in ma­

[margin]
De vocatio­
ne gentium
lib.cap. 3.

[margin]


[I.5.1-69]  ny bookes disputeth) Saint Ambrose concludeth in few wordes saying,
[I.5.1-70]  Hee that by nature would withstand vice, either by naturall will, or
[I.5.1-71]  reason, hee doeth in vaine garnish the time of this life and attaineth not
[I.5.1-72]  the verie true vertues: for without the worshipping of the true GOD,
[I.5.1-73]  that which seemeth to bee vertue, is vice. And yet most plainely to this
[I.5.1-74]  purpose writeth Saint Chrysostome in this wise, You shall finde manie

[margin]
In sermone
de fide, lege,
|&| spiritu
sancto.

[margin]


[I.5.1-75]  which haue not the true faith, and bee not of the flocke of Christ , and yet
[I.5.1-76]  (as it appeareth) they flourish in good workes of mercy: you shall finde
[I.5.1-77]  them full of pitie, compassion, and giuen to iustice, and yet for all that
[I.5.1-78]  they haue no fruit of their workes, because the chiefe worke lacketh.
[I.5.1-79]  For when the Iewes asked of Christ what they should doe to worke good
[I.5.1-80]  workes: hee answered, This is the worke of GOD, to beleeue in him

[margin]
Iohn 6.
[margin]


[I.5.1-81]  whom hee sent: so that hee called faith the worke of GOD. And assoone
[I.5.1-82]  as a man hath faith, anone hee shall florish in good workes: for faith of
[I.5.1-83]  it selfe is full of good workes, and nothing is good without faith. And
[I.5.1-84]  for a similitude, he saith that they which glister and shine in good workes
[I.5.1-85]  without fayth in GOD, bee like dead men, which haue godly
[I.5.1-86]  and precious tombes, and yet it auayleth them nothing. Faith may not
[I.5.1-87]  bee naked without good workes, for then it is no true faith: and when
[I.5.1-88]  it is adioyned to workes, yet it is aboue the workes. For as men that be
[I.5.1-89]  verie men indeed, first haue life, and after bee nourished: so must our
[I.5.1-90]  faith in Christ goe before, and after bee nourished with good workes.
[I.5.1-91]  And life may bee without nourishment, but nourishment cannot bee
[I.5.1-92]  without life. A man must needes bee nourished by good workes, but first
[I.5.1-93]  hee must haue faith. Hee that doeth good deedes, yet without faith hee
[I.5.1-94]  hath no life. I can shew a man that by faith without workes liued, and
[I.5.1-95]  came to heauen: but without faith, neuer man had life. The thiefe that
[I.5.1-96]  was hanged, when Christ suffered, did beleeue onely, and the most mer­
[I.5.1-97]  cifull GOD iustified him. And because no man shall say againe that hee
[I.5.1-98]  lacked time to doe good workes, for else he would haue done them: trueth
[I.5.1-99]  it is, and I will not contend therein, but this I will surely affirme, that
[I.5.1-100]  faith onely saued him. If hee had liued and not regarded faith and the
[I.5.1-101]  workes thereof, hee should haue lost his saluation againe. But this is
[I.5.1-102]  the effect that I say, that faith by it selfe saued him, but workes by them­
[I.5.1-103]  selues neuer iustified any man. Here yee haue heard the minde of Saint
[I.5.1-104]  Chrysostome , whereby you may perceiue, that neither faith is without
[I.5.1-105]  workes (hauing opportunity thereto) nor workes can auaile to euerla­
[I.5.1-106]  sting life, without faith.








The second part of the Sermon of
good workes.


[I.5.2-108]  OF three things which were in the former Sermon espe­
[I.5.2-109]  cially noted of liuely faith, two bee declared vnto you.

[margin]
What works
they are that
spring out of
faith.
[margin]


[I.5.2-110]  The first was, that faith is neuer idle, without good
[I.5.2-111]  workes when occasion serueth. The second, that good
[I.5.2-112]  workes, acceptable to GOD, cannot bee done without
[I.5.2-113]  faith. Now to goe forward to the third part, that is,
[I.5.2-114]  What maner of workes they be which spring out of true
[I.5.2-115]  faith, and leade faithfull men vnto euerlasting life. This cannot bee
[I.5.2-116]  knowen so well, as by our Sauiour Christ himselfe who was asked of a

[margin]
Matth. 19.
[margin]


[I.5.2-117]  certain great man the same questi&omacron;, What works shall I do (said a prince)
[I.5.2-118]  to come to euerlasting life? To whom Iesus answered, if thou wilt come
[I.5.2-119]  to euerlasting life, keepe the Commandements. But the prince not sa­
[I.5.2-120]  tisfied herewith, asked farther, Which commandements? The Scribes
[I.5.2-121]  and Pharisees had made so many of their owne lawes and traditions,
[I.5.2-122]  to bring men to heauen, besides GODS commandements, that this
[I.5.2-123]  man was in doubt whether he should come to heauen by those lawes and
[I.5.2-124]  traditions or by the law of GOD, and therefore he asked Christ which
[I.5.2-125]  commandements hee meant. Whereunto Christ made him a plaine an­
[I.5.2-126]  swere, rehearsing the commandements of GOD, saying, Thou shalt
[I.5.2-127]  not kill, Thou shalt not commit adulterie, Thou shalt not steale, Thou

[margin]
Matth. 19.
[margin]


[I.5.2-128]  shalt not beare false witnesse, Honour thy father and thy mother, and
[I.5.2-129]  loue thy neighbour as thy selfe. By which wordes Christ declared that

[margin]
The workes
that leade to
heauen, bee
workes of
Gods com­
mande­
ments.
[margin]


[I.5.2-130]  the lawes of GOD bee the very way that doeth leade to euerlasting life,
[I.5.2-131]  and not the traditions and lawes of men. So that this is to be taken for
[I.5.2-132]  a most true lesson taught by Christs owne mouth, that the workes of the
[I.5.2-133]  morrall commandements of GOD bee the very true workes of faith,
[I.5.2-134]  which leade to the blessed life to come. But the blindnesse and malice of
[I.5.2-135]  man, euen from the beginning, hath euer beene readie to fall from
[I.5.2-136]  GODS Commandements. As Adam the first man, hauing but one
[I.5.2-137]  commandement, that hee should not eate of the fruit forbidden: not with­

[margin]
Man from
his first fal­
ling from
Gods com­
mandements
hath euer
beene ready
to doe the
like, and
doeth deuise
workes of his
owne phan­
tasy to please
God withall.
[margin]


[I.5.2-138]  standing GODS Commandement, hee gaue credit vnto the woman,
[I.5.2-139]  seduced by the subtill perswasion of the Serpent, and so followed his
[I.5.2-140]  owne will, and left GODS commandement. And euer since that time
[I.5.2-141]  all that came of him, haue beene so blinded through originall sinne, that
[I.5.2-142]  they haue beene euer readie to fall from GOD and his law, and to in­
[I.5.2-143]  uent a new way vnto saluation by workes of their owne deuice: so much
[I.5.2-144]  that almost all the world, forsaking the true honour of the onely eternall
[I.5.2-145]  liuing GOD, wandered about their owne phantasies, worshipping
[I.5.2-146]  some the Sonne, the Moone, the Starres, some Iupiter, Iuno, Diana,
[I.5.2-147]  Saturnus, Apollo, Neptunus, Ceres, Bacchus,
and other dead men
[I.5.2-148]  and women. Some therewith not satisfied, worshipped diuerse kindes
[I.5.2-149]  of beastes, birdes, fish, foule, and serpents, euery countrie, town, and house
[I.5.2-150]  in manner being diuided, and setting vp images of such things as they
[I.5.2-151]  liked, and worshipping the same. Such was the rudenesse of the people,
[I.5.2-152]  afterthey fell to their owne phantasies, and left the eternall liuing GOD
[I.5.2-153]  and his commandements, that they deuised innumerable Images and
[I.5.2-154]  gods. In which errour and blindnesse they did remaine, vntill such time
[I.5.2-155]  as Almighty GOD, pitying the blindnesse of man, sent his true Pro­
[I.5.2-156]  phet Moses into the world, to reprooue and rebuke this extreme mad­
[I.5.2-157]  nesse, and to teach the people to know the onely liuing GOD and his
[I.5.2-158]  true honour and worshippe. But the corrupt inclination of man, was
[I.5.2-159]  so much giuen to follow his owne phantasie, and (as you would say) to
[I.5.2-160]  fauour his owne byrde, that hee brought vp himselfe, that all the admo­
[I.5.2-161]  nitions, exhortations, benefites, and threatenings of GOD, could not
[I.5.2-162]  keep him from such his inuentions. For not withstanding all the benefits
[I.5.2-163]  of GOD shewed vnto the people of Israel, yet when Moses went vp into

[margin]
The deuises
and idola­
tries of the
Israelites.
Exod. 32.
[margin]


[I.5.2-164]  the mountaine to speake with Almighty GOD, he had taried there but a
[I.5.2-165]  few dayes, when the people began to inuent new Gods. And as it came
[I.5.2-166]  in their heads, they made a calfe of gold, |&| kneeled downe, |&| worshipped
[I.5.2-167]  it. And after that, they followed the Moabites, |&| worshipped Beelphegor
[I.5.2-168]  the Moabits God. Read the book of Iudges, the book of the Kings, |&| the
[I.5.2-169]  Prophets, and there you shall finde how vnstedfast the people were, how
[I.5.2-170]  full of inuentions, and more ready to runne after their owne phantasies,
[I.5.2-171]  then GODS most holy commandements. There shall you reade of
[I.5.2-172]  Baal, Moloch, Chamos, Melchom, Baalpeor, Astaroth, Bell, the Dra­
[I.5.2-173]  gon, Priapus,
the brasen Serpent, the twelue signes, and many other
[I.5.2-174]  vnto whose images the people with great deuotion inuented Pilgrima­
[I.5.2-175]  ges, precious decking and sensing them, kneeling downe, and offering
[I.5.2-176]  to them, thinking that an high merit before God, and to bee esteemed
[I.5.2-177]  aboue the precepts and commandements of GOD, And where at that
[I.5.2-178]  time GOD commanded no Sacrifice to be made but in Ierusalem only,
[I.5.2-179]  they did cleane contrary, making Altars and sacrifices euery where, in
[I.5.2-180]  hilles, in woodes, and in houses, not regarding GODS commande­
[I.5.2-181]  ments, but esteeming their owne phantasies, and deuotions to bee bet­
[I.5.2-182]  ter then they. And the error hereof was so spread abroad, that not only
[I.5.2-183]  the vnlearned people, but also the Priestes, and teachers of the people,
[I.5.2-184]  partly by glory and couetousnesse were corrupted, and partly by igno­
[I.5.2-185]  rance blindly deceiued with the same abominations. So much, that
[I.5.2-186]  king Achab hauing but only Helias a true teacher and minister of God,
[I.5.2-187]  there were eight hundred and fiftie Priestes, that perswaded him to ho­
[I.5.2-188]  nour Baal, and to doe sacrifice in the woods or groues. And so continued
[I.5.2-189]  that horrible error, vntill the three noble Kings, as Iosaphat, Ezechias,
[I.5.2-190]  and Iosias , GODS chosen Ministers, destroyed the same clearely, and
[I.5.2-191]  brought againe the people from such their faigned inuentions, vnto the
[I.5.2-192]  very commandements of GOD: for the which thing their immortall re­

[margin]
Religions
and sectes a­
mong the
Iewes.
[margin]


[I.5.2-193]  ward and glory, doeth, and shall remaine with GOD for euer. And be­
[I.5.2-194]  side the foresaid inuentions, the inclination of man to haue his owne
[I.5.2-195]  holy deuotions, deuised new sects, and religions, called Pharisees, Sad­
[I.5.2-196]  duces, and Scribes, with many holy and godly traditions and ordinan­
[I.5.2-197]  ces (as it seemed by the outward appearance, and goodly glistering of
[I.5.2-198]  the workes) but in very deede all tending to idolatrie, superstition, |&| hy­
[I.5.2-199]  pocrisie: their hearts within being full of malice, pride, couetousnesse, |&| all
[I.5.2-200]  wickednesse. Against which sectes, and their pretended holinesse Christ
[I.5.2-201]  cried out more vehemently, then hee did against any other persons, say­
[I.5.2-202]  ing, and often rehearsing these wordes, Woe bee to you Scribes and

[margin]
Matth.23.
[margin]


[I.5.2-203]  Pharisees, yee hypocrites, for you make cleane the vessell without, but
[I.5.2-204]  within yee bee full of rauine and filthinesse: thou blinde Pharisee, and
[I.5.2-205]  hypocrite, first make the inward part cleane. For not withstanding all
[I.5.2-206]  the goodly traditions and outward shewes of good workes, deuised of
[I.5.2-207]  their owne imagination, whereby they appeared to the world most reli­
[I.5.2-208]  gious and holy of all men, yet Christ (who saw their hearts) knew that
[I.5.2-209]  they were inwardly in the sight of GOD, most vnholy, most abomina­
[I.5.2-210]  ble, and farthest from GOD of all men. Therefore sayd hee vnto them,
[I.5.2-211]  Hypocrites, the Prophet Esai spake full truely of you, when hee sayd,
[I.5.2-212]  This people honour mee with their lips, but their heart is farre from

[margin]
Matt.15.
[margin]


[I.5.2-213]  mee. They worship mee in vaine, that teach doctrines and commande­

[margin]
Esai.19.
[margin]


[I.5.2-214]  ments of men: for you leaue the commandements of GOD, to keepe your
[I.5.2-215]  owne traditions.

[margin]
Mans
lawes must
be obserued
and kept, but
not as Gods
Lawes.
[margin]


[I.5.2-216]  And though Christ sayd, They worship GOD in vaine, that teach
[I.5.2-217]  doctrines and commandements of men: yet hee meant not thereby to
[I.5.2-218]  ouerthrow all mens commandements, for he himselfe was euer obedient
[I.5.2-219]  to the Princes and their lawes, made for good order and gouernance of
[I.5.2-220]  the people, but hee reprooued the lawes and traditions made by the
[I.5.2-221]  Scribes and Pharisees: which were not made onely for good order of
[I.5.2-222]  the people, (as the Ciuill lawes were) but they were (set vp so high, that
[I.5.2-223]  they were made to be right and pure worshipping of GOD, as they had
[I.5.2-224]  beene equall with GODS Lawes, or aboue them: for many of Gods
[I.5.2-225]  Lawes could not bee kept, but were faine to giue place vnto them. This
[I.5.2-226]  arrogancie GOD detested, that man should so aduance his lawes, to
[I.5.2-227]  make them equall with GODS Lawes, wherein the true honouring
[I.5.2-228]  and right worshipping of GOD standeth, and to make his Lawes for
[I.5.2-229]  them to be left off. GOD hath appointed his Lawes, whereby his plea­
[I.5.2-230]  sure is to be honoured. His pleasure is also, that all mens lawes, not
[I.5.2-231]  being contrary vnto his Lawes, shalbe obeyed and kept, as good and ne­
[I.5.2-232]  cessary for euery Common-weale, but not as things wherein principally
[I.5.2-233]  his honour resteth: and all Ciuill and mans lawes, either bee, or should
[I.5.2-234]  be made, to bring men the better to keepe GODS Lawes, that conse­
[I.5.2-235]  quently, or followingly, GOD should bee the better honoured by them.
[I.5.2-236]  Howbeit, the Scribes and Pharisees were not content that their lawes
[I.5.2-237]  should bee no higher esteemed then other positiue and Ciuill lawes, nor
[I.5.2-238]  would not haue them called by the name of other Temporall lawes: but
[I.5.2-239]  called them holy and godly traditions, and would haue them esteemed not

[margin]
Holy tradi­
tions were
esteemed as
Gods Lawes.
[margin]


[I.5.2-240]  onely for a right and true worshipping of GOD (as GODS Lawes
[I.5.2-241]  be in deede) but also for the most high honouring of GOD, to the which
[I.5.2-242]  the commandements of GOD should giue place. And for this cause did
[I.5.2-243]  Christ so vehemently speake against them, saying, Your traditions which
[I.5.2-244]  men esteeme so high, be abomination before GOD. For commonly of
[I.5.2-245]  such traditions, followeth the transgression or breaking of GODS

[margin]
Holinesse of
mans deuise,
is commonly
occasion that
God is offen­
ded.
Matth.12.
[margin]


[I.5.2-247]  commandements, and a more deuotion in keeping of such things, and a
[I.5.2-248]  greater conscience in breaking of them, then of the commandements of
[I.5.2-249]  GOD. As the Scribes and Pharises so superstitiously, and scrupu­
[I.5.2-250]  lously kept the Sabboth, that they were offended with Christ , because he
[I.5.2-251]  healed sicke men, and with his Apostles, because they being sore hungry,
[I.5.2-252]  gathered the eares of corne to eate vpon that day, and because his disci­
[I.5.2-253]  ples washed not their handes, so often as the traditions required: the
[I.5.2-254]  Scribes and Pharises quarrelled with Christ , saying, Why doe they disci­
[I.5.2-255]  ples breake the traditions of the Seigniours? But Christ layd to their
[I.5.2-256]  charge, that they for to keepe their owne traditions, did teach men to

[margin]
Matth.15.
[margin]


[I.5.2-257]  breake the very commandements of GOD. For they taught the people
[I.5.2-258]  such a deuotion, that they offered their goods into the treasure house of
[I.5.2-259]  the Temple, vnder the pretence of GODS honour, leauing their fa­
[I.5.2-260]  thers and mothers (to whom they were chiefly bound) vnholpen, and so
[I.5.2-261]  they brake the commandements of GOD, to keepe their owne traditi­
[I.5.2-262]  ons. They esteemed more an othe made by the golde or oblation in the
[I.5.2-263]  Temple, then an othe made in the Name of GOD himselfe, or of the
[I.5.2-264]  Temple. They were more studious to pay their tithes of small things,
[I.5.2-265]  then to doe the greater things commanded of GOD, as works of mercy,
[I.5.2-266]  or to doe iustice, or to deale sincerely, vprightly, and faithfully with GOD
[I.5.2-267]  and man. These (saith Christ ) ought to bee done, and the other not left

[margin]
Matth.23.
[margin]


[I.5.2-268]  vndone. And to bee short, they were of so blinde iudgement, that they
[I.5.2-269]  stumbled at a straw, and leaped ouer a blocke. They would (as it were)
[I.5.2-270]  nicely take a flie out of their cup, and drinke downe a whole Camell. And
[I.5.2-271]  therefore Christ called them blinde guides, warning his disciples from
[I.5.2-272]  time to time to eschew their doctrine. For although they seemed to the
[I.5.2-273]  world to bee most perfect men, both in liuing and teaching, yet was their
[I.5.2-274]  life but hypocrisie, and their doctrine sowre leauen, mingled with su­
[I.5.2-275]  perstition, idolatry, and ouerthwart iudgement, setting vp the traditions
[I.5.2-276]  and ordinances of man, in stead of GODS commandements.








The third part of the Sermon of
good workes.


[I.5.3-277]  THat all men might rightly iudge of good workes, it hath
[I.5.3-278]  beene declared in the second part of this Sermon, what
[I.5.3-279]  kinde of good workes they bee that GOD would haue
[I.5.3-280]  his people to walke in, namely such as he hath comman­
[I.5.3-281]  ded in his holy Scripture, and not such workes as men
[I.5.3-282]  haue studied out of their owne braine, of a blind zeale and
[I.5.3-283]  deuotion, without the word of GOD: And by mistaking
[I.5.3-284]  the nature of good workes, man hath most highly displeased GOD, and
[I.5.3-285]  hath gone from his will and commandements. So that thus you haue
[I.5.3-286]  heard how much the world from the beginning vntill Christes time, was
[I.5.3-287]  euer ready to fall from the commandements of GOD, and to seeke other
[I.5.3-288]  meanes to honour and serue him, after a deuotion found out of their own
[I.5.3-289]  heads: and how they did set vp their owne traditions, as high or aboue
[I.5.3-290]  GODS commandements, which hath happened also in our times (the
[I.5.3-291]  more it is to be lamented) no lesse then it did among the Iewes, and that
[I.5.3-292]  by the corruption, or at least by the negligence of them that chiefly ought
[I.5.3-293]  to haue preserued the pure and heauenly doctrine left by Christ . What
[I.5.3-294]  man hauing any iudgement or learning, ioyned with a true zeale vnto
[I.5.3-295]  GOD, doeth not see, and lament, to haue entred into Christes religion,
[I.5.3-296]  such false doctrine, superstition idolatry, hypocrisie, and other enormities
[I.5.3-297]  and abuses, so as by little and little, through the sowre leauen thereof, the
[I.5.3-298]  sweete bread of GODS holy word hath bene much hindred and layed
[I.5.3-299]  apart? Neuer had the Iewes in their most blindnesse, so many Pilgri­
[I.5.3-300]  mages vnto Images, nor vsed so much kneeling, kissing, and sensing of

[margin]
Sectes and
religion a­
mongst Chri­
stian men.
[margin]


[I.5.3-301]  them, as hath bene vsed in our time. Sects and feigned religions were
[I.5.3-302]  neither the fourtieth part so many among the Iewes, nor more superstiti­
[I.5.3-303]  ously and vngodly abused, then of late dayes they haue been among vs.
[I.5.3-304]  Which sects and religions, had so many hypocriticall and feigned workes
[I.5.3-305]  in their state of religion (as they arrogantly named it) that their lampes
[I.5.3-306]  (as they said) ran alwayes ouer, able to satisfie, not onely for their owne
[I.5.3-307]  sinnes, but also for all other their benefactors, brothers, and sisters of reli­
[I.5.3-308]  gion, as most vngodly and craftily they had perswaded the multitude of
[I.5.3-309]  ignorant people: keeping in diuers places (as it were) marts or markets
[I.5.3-310]  of merites, being full of their holy reliques, images, shrines, and workes
[I.5.3-311]  of ouerflowing abundance ready to be solde. And all things which they
[I.5.3-312]  had were called holy, holy cowles, holy girdles, holy pardons, beades, ho­
[I.5.3-313]  ly shooes, holy rules, and all full of holinesse. And what thing can be more
[I.5.3-314]  foolish, more superstitious, or vngodly, then that men, women, and chil­
[I.5.3-315]  dren, should weare a Friers coat, to deliuer them from agues, or pestilence?
[I.5.3-316]  or when they die, or when they be buried, cause it to be cast vpon them, in
[I.5.3-317]  hope thereby to be saued? Which superstition, although (thankes bee to
[I.5.3-318]  GOD) it hath beene little vsed in this Realme, yet in diuers other
[I.5.3-319]  Realmes, it hath beene, and yet it is vsed among many both learned and
[I.5.3-320]  vnlearned. But to passe ouer the innumerable superstitiousnes that hath
[I.5.3-321]  bene in strange apparel, in silence, in Dormitory, in Cloyster, in Chapter,
[I.5.3-322]  in choise of meates, and drinkes, and in such like things, let vs consider
[I.5.3-323]  what enormities |&| abuses haue been in the three chiefe principall points,
[I.5.3-324]  which they called the three essentials, or three chiefe foundations of religi­
[I.5.3-325]  on, that is to say, obedience, chastitie, and wilfull pouertie.

[I.5.3-326]  First, vnder pretence or colour of obedience to their Father in religion

[margin]
The three
chiefe vowes
of religion.
[margin]


[I.5.3-327]  (which obedience they made themselues) they were made free by their
[I.5.3-328]  rule and Canons, from the obedience of their natural father and mother,
[I.5.3-329]  and from the obedience of Emperour and King, and all temporall power,
[I.5.3-330]  whom of very duetie by GODS lawes they were bound to obey. And
[I.5.3-331]  so the profession of their obedience not due, was a forsaking of their due
[I.5.3-332]  obedience. And how their profession of chastitie was kept, it is more ho­
[I.5.3-333]  nestly to passe ouer in silence, and let the world iudge of that which is well
[I.5.3-334]  knowen, then with vnchaste wordes, by expressing of their vnchaste life,
[I.5.3-335]  to offend chaste and godly eares. And as for their wilfull pouertie, it was
[I.5.3-336]  such, that when in possessions, iewels, plate, and riches, they were equall
[I.5.3-337]  or aboue merchants, gentlemen, Barons, Earles, and Dukes: yet by this
[I.5.3-338]  subtill sophisticall terme, Proprium in commune, that is to say, Proper in
[I.5.3-339]  common, they mocked the world, perswading, that not withstanding all
[I.5.3-340]  their possessions, and riches, yet they kept their vow, and were in wilfull
[I.5.3-341]  pouertie. But for all their riches, they might neuer helpe father nor mo­
[I.5.3-342]  ther, nor other that were in deede very needy and poore, without the li­
[I.5.3-343]  cence of their father Abbot, Prior, or Warden, and yet they might take of
[I.5.3-344]  euery man, but they might not giue ought to any man, no not to them
[I.5.3-345]  whom the lawes of GOD bound them to helpe. And so through their
[I.5.3-346]  traditions and rules, the lawes of GOD could beare no rule with them.
[I.5.3-347]  And therefore of them might be most truely sayd, that which Christ spake
[I.5.3-348]  vnto the Pharisees, You breake the commandements of GOD by your

[margin]
Matth.15.
[margin]


[I.5.3-349]  traditions: you honour GOD with your lips, but your hearts be farre
[I.5.3-350]  from him. And the longer prayers they vsed by day and by night, vnder
[I.5.3-351]  pretence or colour of such holinesse, to get the fauour of widowes, and o­
[I.5.3-352]  ther simple folkes, that they might sing Trentalles and seruice for their
[I.5.3-353]  husbands and friends, and admit or receiue them into their prayers: the
[I.5.3-354]  more truely is verified of them the saying of Christ , Woe bee vnto you

[margin]
Matth.23.
[margin]


[I.5.3-355]  Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you deuoure widowes houses,
[I.5.3-356]  vnder colour of long prayers, therefore your damnation shall bee the
[I.5.3-357]  greater. Woe bee to you Scribes and Pharisees hypocrites, for you goe
[I.5.3-358]  about by sea and by land to make moe Nouices, and new brethren, and
[I.5.3-359]  when they be let in, or receiued of your sect, you make them the children
[I.5.3-360]  of hell, worse then your selues bee. Honour bee to GOD, who did put
[I.5.3-361]  light in the heart of his faithfull and true minister, of most famous me­
[I.5.3-362]  morie King Henry the eight , and gaue him the knowledge of his word,
[I.5.3-363]  and an earnest affection to seeke his glory, and to put away all such super­
[I.5.3-364]  stitious, and Pharisaicall sectes by Antichrist inuented, and set vp against
[I.5.3-365]  the true word of GOD, and glory of his most blessed Name, as he gaue
[I.5.3-366]  the like spirit vnto the most noble and famous Princes, Iosaphat, Iosi­
[I.5.3-367]  as, and Ezechias . GOD grant all vs the Kings Highnesse faithfull and
[I.5.3-368]  true Subiects, to feed of the sweete and sauoury bread of GODS owne
[I.5.3-369]  worde, and (as Christ commanded) to eschew all our Pharisaicall and
[I.5.3-370]  Papisticall leauen of mans fained religion. Which, although it were
[I.5.3-371]  before GOD most abominable, and contrary to Gods commandements,
[I.5.3-372]  and Christs pure Religion, yet it was praysed to be a most godly life, and
[I.5.3-373]  highest state of perfection: as though a man might bee more godly, and
[I.5.3-374]  more perfect by keeping the rules, traditions, and professions of men,
[I.5.3-375]  then by keeping the holy commandements of GOD. And briefly to passe

[margin]
Other deui­
ses and su­
perstitions.
[margin]


[I.5.3-376]  ouer the vngodly and counterfait religion, let vs rehearse some other
[I.5.3-377]  kindes of Papisticall superstitions |&| abuses, as of Beades, of Lady Psal­
[I.5.3-378]  ters, and Rosaries, of fifteene Oes, of Saint Barnards verses, of Saint
[I.5.3-379]  Agathes letters, of Purgatorie, of Masses satisfactory, of Stations, and
[I.5.3-380]  Iubilees, of fained Reliques, or hallowed Beades, Belles, Bread, Wa­
[I.5.3-381]  ter, Psalmes, Candels, Fire, and such other: of superstitious fastings,
[I.5.3-382]  of fraternities or brotherheads, of pardons, with such like merchandise,
[I.5.3-383]  which were so esteemed and abused to the great preiudice of Gods glory
[I.5.3-384]  and Commaundements, that they were made most high and most holy
[I.5.3-385]  things, whereby to attaine to the euerlasting life, or remission of sinne:
[I.5.3-386]  yea also vaine inuentions, vnfruitfull ceremonies, and vngodly lawes,

[margin]
Decrees and
decretals.
[margin]


[I.5.3-387]  decrees, and councels of Rome , were in such wise aduanced, that nothing
[I.5.3-388]  was thought comparable in authoritie, wisedome, learning, and godli­
[I.5.3-389]  nesse vnto them. So that the lawes of Rome , (as they sayd) were to be
[I.5.3-390]  receiued of all men, as the foure Euangelists, to the which all lawes of
[I.5.3-391]  Princes must giue place. And the lawes of GOD also partly were left
[I.5.3-392]  off, and lesse esteemed, that the said lawes, decrees and councels, with their
[I.5.3-393]  traditions and ceremonies, might be more duely kept, and had in greater
[I.5.3-394]  reuerence. Thus was the people through ignorance so blinded, with the
[I.5.3-395]  godly shew and appearance of those things, that they thought the kee­
[I.5.3-396]  ping of them to be a more holinesse, a more perfect seruice and honouring
[I.5.3-397]  of GOD, and more pleasing to GOD, then the keeping of Gods comman­
[I.5.3-398]  dements. Such hath bene the corrupt inclination of man, euer supersti­
[I.5.3-399]  tiously giuen to make new honouring of GOD of his owne head, and
[I.5.3-400]  then to haue more affection and deuotion to keepe that, then to search out
[I.5.3-401]  Gods holy commandements, and to keepe them. And furthermore, to
[I.5.3-402]  take GODS commandements for mens commandements, and mens
[I.5.3-403]  commandements for Gods commandements, yea, and for the highest and
[I.5.3-404]  most perfect and holy of all GODS commandements. And so was
[I.5.3-405]  all confused, that scant well learned men, and but a small number of
[I.5.3-406]  them knew, or at the least would know, and durst affirme the trueth, to
[I.5.3-407]  separate or seuer GODS Commandements from the commandements
[I.5.3-408]  of men. Whereupon did grow much errour, superstition, idolatrie,
[I.5.3-409]  vaine religion, ouerthwart iudgement, great contention, with all vn­
[I.5.3-410]  godly liuing.

[I.5.3-411]  Wherefore, as you haue any zeale to the right and pure honouring of

[margin]
An exhorta­
tion to the
keeping of
Gods com­
mandem&emacron;ts.
[margin]


[I.5.3-412]  GOD, as you haue any regard to your owne soules, and to the life that
[I.5.3-413]  is to come, which is both without paine, and without ende, apply your
[I.5.3-414]  selues chiefly aboue all things, to reade and heare GODS worde,
[I.5.3-415]  marke diligently therein what his will is you shal doe, and with all your
[I.5.3-416]  endeuour apply your selues to follow the same. First you must haue an
[I.5.3-417]  assured faith in GOD, and giue your selues wholly vnto him, loue him

[margin]
A briefe re­
hearsall of
Gods com­
mandements
[margin]


[I.5.3-418]  in prosperitie and aduersitie, and dread to offend him euermore. Then for
[I.5.3-419]  his sake loue all men, friends and foes, because they bee his creation and
[I.5.3-420]  image, and redeemed by Christ , as ye are. Cast in your mindes, how you
[I.5.3-421]  may doe good vnto all men, vnto your powers, and hurt no man. Obey
[I.5.3-422]  all your superiours, and gouernours, serue your Masters faithfully and
[I.5.3-423]  diligently, as well in their absence, as in their presence, not for dread of
[I.5.3-424]  punishment onely, but for conscience sake, knowing that you are bound
[I.5.3-425]  so to doe by Gods Commandements. Disobey not your Fathers and
[I.5.3-426]  Mothers, but honour them, helpe them, and please them to your power.
[I.5.3-427]  Oppresse not, kill not, beate not, neither slaunder, nor hate any man: but
[I.5.3-428]  loue all men, speake well of all men, helpe and succour euery man, as you
[I.5.3-429]  may, yea, euen your enemies that hate you, that speake euill of you, and
[I.5.3-430]  that doe hurt you. Take no mans goods, nor couet your neighbours
[I.5.3-431]  goods wrongfully, but content your selues with that which yee get true­
[I.5.3-432]  ly, and also bestow your owne goods charitably, as neede and case re­
[I.5.3-433]  quireth. Flee all idolatrie, witchcraft, and periury, commit no maner
[I.5.3-434]  of adulterie, fornication, or other vnchastnesse, in will, nor in deede, with
[I.5.3-435]  any other mans wife, widdow, or mayde, or otherwise. And trauayling
[I.5.3-436]  continually, (during this life) thus in keeping the commandements of
[I.5.3-437]  GOD (wherein standeth the pure, principall, and right honour of GOD,
[I.5.3-438]  and which wrought in faith, GOD hath ordeined to bee the right
[I.5.3-439]  trade and path way vnto heauen) you shall not faile, as Christ
[I.5.3-440]  hath promised, to come to that blessed and euerlasting life,
[I.5.3-441]  where you shall liue in glory and ioy with GOD for
[I.5.3-442]  euer: to whom be praise, honour and em­
[I.5.3-443]  perie, for euer and euer. Amen.
(* *)
*