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

UTEL Home Page.

them which take offence at certaine places of
the holy Scripture.

The first part.

[II.10.1-1]  THE great vtility and profit that Christi­
[II.10.1-2]  an men and women may take (if they
[II.10.1-3]  will) by hearing and reading the holy
[II.10.1-4]  Scriptures (dearely beloued) no heart
[II.10.1-5]  can sufficiently conceiue, much lesse is
[II.10.1-6]  my tongue able with wordes to expresse.
[II.10.1-7]  Wherefore Satan our enemy, seeing the
[II.10.1-8]  Scriptures to bee the very meane and
[II.10.1-9]  right way to bring the people to the true
[II.10.1-10]  knowledge of GOD, and that Christi­
[II.10.1-11]  an Religion is greatly furthered by dili­
[II.10.1-12]  gent hearing and reading of them, he al­
[II.10.1-13]  so perceiuing what an hinderance and
[II.10.1-14]  let they bee to him and his kingdome, doth what hee can to driue the rea­
[II.10.1-15]  ding of them out of GODS Church. And for that end hee hath al­
[II.10.1-16]  wayes stirred vp, in one place or other, cruell tyrants, sharpe persecutors,
[II.10.1-17]  and extreme enemies vnto GOD, and his infallible trueth, to pull
[II.10.1-18]  with violence the holy Bibles out of the peoples hands, and haue most
[II.10.1-19]  spitefully destroyed and consumed the same to ashes in the fire, pretending
[II.10.1-20]  most vntruely, that the much hearing and reading of GODS word is
[II.10.1-21]  an occasion of heresie and carnall liberty, and the ouerthrow of all good
[II.10.1-22]  order in all well ordered common weales. If to know GOD aright be
[II.10.1-23]  an occasion of euill, then we must needs grant, that the hearing and rea­
[II.10.1-24]  ding of the holy Scriptures, is the cause of heresie, carnall liberty, and
[II.10.1-25]  the subuersion of all good orders. But the knowledge of GOD and of
[II.10.1-26]  ourselues, is so farre from being an occasion of euill, that it is the readi­
[II.10.1-27]  est, yea the onely meane to bridle carnall liberty, and to kill all our fleshly
[II.10.1-28]  affections. And the ordinary way to attaine this knowledge, is with di­
[II.10.1-29]  ligence to heare and read the holy Scriptures. For the whole Scriptures
[II.10.1-30]  (sayth Saint Paul) were giuen by the inspiration of GOD. And shall


[II.10.1-31]  we Christian men thinke to learne the knowledge of GOD and of our
[II.10.1-32]  selues, in any earthly mans worke of writing, sooner or better then in the
[II.10.1-33]  holy Scriptures, written by the inspiration of the holy Ghost? The
[II.10.1-34]  Scriptures were not brought vnto vs by the will of man: but holy men


[II.10.1-35]  of GOD (as witnesseth Saint Peter) spake as they were mooued by the
[II.10.1-36]  holy spirit of GOD. The holy ghost is the Schoolemaster of trueth,

Iohn 16.

[II.10.1-37]  which leadeth his Schollers (as our Sauiour Christ sayth of him) into
[II.10.1-38]  all trueth. And whoso is not ledde and taught by his Schoolemaster,
[II.10.1-39]  cannot but fall into deepe errour, how godly soeuer his pretence is, what
[II.10.1-40]  knowledge and learning soeuer he hath of all other works and writings,
[II.10.1-41]  or how fayre soeuer a shew or face of trueth he hath in the estimation and
[II.10.1-42]  iudgement of the world. If some man will say, I would haue a true pat­
[II.10.1-43]  terne and a perfect description of an vpright life, approoued in the sight
[II.10.1-44]  of GOD: can wee finde (thinke ye) any better or any such againe, as
[II.10.1-45]  Christ Iesus is, and his doctrine? whose vertuous conuersation and
[II.10.1-46]  godly life, the Scripture so liuely painteth and setteth foorth before our
[II.10.1-47]  eyes, that we beholding that patterne, might shape and frame our liues,
[II.10.1-48]  as nigh as may bee, agreeable to the perfection of the same. Follow you


[II.10.1-49]  me (sayth Saint Paul) as I follow Christ. And Saint Iohn in his Epi­


[II.10.1-50]  stle sayth: Whoso abideth in Christ, must walke euen so as he hath walked
[II.10.1-51]  before him. And where shall wee learne the order of Christs life, but in
[II.10.1-52]  the Scripture? Another would haue a medicine to heale all diseases and
[II.10.1-53]  maladies of the minde. Can this be found or gotten other where then out
[II.10.1-54]  of GODS own booke, his sacred Scriptures? Christ taught so much


[II.10.1-55]  when he sayd to the obstinate Iewes, Search the Scriptures, for in them
[II.10.1-56]  ye thinke to haue eternall life. If the Scriptures containe in them euer­
[II.10.1-57]  lasting life, it must needes follow, that they haue also present remedy a­
[II.10.1-58]  gainst all that is an hinderance and let vnto eternall life. If wee desire
[II.10.1-59]  the knowledge of heauenly wisedome: why had wee rather learne the


[II.10.1-60]  same of man, then of GOD himselfe, who (as Saint Iames sayth) is
[II.10.1-61]  the giuer of wisedome? Yea, why will we not learne it at Christs owne


[II.10.1-62]  mouth, who promising to be present with his Church till the worlds end
[II.10.1-63]  doeth performe his promise, in that hee is not onely with vs by his grace
[II.10.1-64]  and tender pity: but also in this, that he speaketh presently vnto vs in the
[II.10.1-65]  holy Scriptures, to the great and endlesse comfort of all them that haue
[II.10.1-66]  any feeling of GOD at all in them? Yea, he speaketh now in the Scrip­
[II.10.1-67]  tures more profitably to vs, then hee did by the word of mouth to the car­
[II.10.1-68]  nall Iewes when he liued with them heere vpon earth. For they (I mean
[II.10.1-69]  the Iewes) could neither heare nor see those things which we may now
[II.10.1-70]  both heare and see, if wee will bring with vs those eares and eyes that
[II.10.1-71]  Christ is heard and seene with, that is, diligence to heare and reade his
[II.10.1-72]  holy Scriptures, and true faith to beleeue his most comfortable promises.
[II.10.1-73]  If one could shew but the print of Christs foot, a great number I thinke
[II.10.1-74]  would fall downe and worship it: But to the holy Scriptures, where
[II.10.1-75]  we may see daily (if we will) I will not say the print of his feet only, but
[II.10.1-76]  the whole shape and liuely image of him, alas, we giue little reuerence or
[II.10.1-77]  none at all.

[II.10.1-78]  If any could let vs see Christs coate, a sort of vs would make hard shift
[II.10.1-79]  except we might come nigh to gaze vpon it, yea and kisse it too. And yet
[II.10.1-80]  all the clothes that euer hee did weare, can nothing so truely nor so
[II.10.1-81]  liuely expresse him vnto vs, as doe the Scriptures. Christes images
[II.10.1-82]  made in wood, stone, or metall, some men for the loue they beare to
[II.10.1-83]  Christ, doe garnish and beautifie the same with pearle, golde, and pre­
[II.10.1-84]  cious stone: And should wee not (good brethren) much rather em­
[II.10.1-85]  brace and reuerence GODS holy bookes, the sacred Bible, which
[II.10.1-86]  doe represent Christ vnto vs, more truely then can any image. The image
[II.10.1-87]  can but expresse the forme or shape of his body, if it can doe so much: But
[II.10.1-88]  the Scriptures doeth in such sort set foorth Christ, that wee may see both
[II.10.1-89]  GOD and man, we may see him (I say) speaking vnto vs, healing our
[II.10.1-90]  infirmities, dying for our sinnes, rising from death for our iustification.
[II.10.1-91]  And to be short, wee may in the Scriptures so perfectly see whole Christ
[II.10.1-92]  with the eye of faith, as wee, lacking faith, could not with these bo­
[II.10.1-93]  dily eyes see him, though hee stood now present here before vs. Let eue­
[II.10.1-94]  ry man, woman, and childe, therefore with all their heart thirst and desire
[II.10.1-95]  GODS holy Scriptures, loue them, embrace them, haue their delight
[II.10.1-96]  and pleasure in hearing and reading them, so as at length we may bee
[II.10.1-97]  transformed and changed into them. For the holy Scriptures are Gods
[II.10.1-98]  treasure house, wherein are found all things needefull for vs to see, to
[II.10.1-99]  heare, to learne, and to beleeue, necessary for the attaining of eternall life.
[II.10.1-100]  Thus much is spoken, onely to giue you a taste of some of the commodities
[II.10.1-101]  which ye may take by hearing and reading the holy Scriptures. For as
[II.10.1-102]  I sayd in the beginning, no tongue is able to declare and vtter all. And
[II.10.1-103]  although it is more cleare then the noone day, that to bee ignorant of the
[II.10.1-104]  Scriptures, is the cause of errour, as Christ saith to the Sadduces, Ye


[II.10.1-105]  erre, not knowing the Scriptures, and that errour doth hold backe, and
[II.10.1-106]  plucke men away from the knowledge of GOD. And as S. Ierome
[II.10.1-107]  saith, Not to know the Scriptures, is to be ignorant of Christ. Yet this
[II.10.1-108]  notwithstanding, some there bee that thinke it not meete for all sortes of
[II.10.1-109]  men to reade the Scriptures, because they are, as they thinke, in sundry
[II.10.1-110]  places stumbling blockes to the vnlearned. First, for that the phrase
[II.10.1-111]  of the Scripture is sometime so simple, grosse, and playne, that it of­
[II.10.1-112]  fendeth the fine and delicate wittes of some courtiers. Furthermore,
[II.10.1-113]  for that the Scripture also reporteth, euen of them that haue their com­
[II.10.1-114]  mendation to be the children of GOD, that they did diuers acts, where­
[II.10.1-115]  of some are contrary to the law of nature, some repugnant to the Law
[II.10.1-116]  written, and other some seeme to fight manifestly against publique hone­
[II.10.1-117]  stie. All which things (say they) are vnto the simple an occasion of great
[II.10.1-118]  offence, and cause many to thinke euill of the Scriptures, and to discre­
[II.10.1-119]  dite their authority. Some are offended at the hearing and reading of the
[II.10.1-120]  diuersity of the rites and ceremonies of the sacrifices and oblations of the
[II.10.1-121]  Law. And some worldly witted men, thinke it a great decay to the quiet
[II.10.1-122]  and prudent gouernning gouerning of their common weales, to giue eare to the sim­
[II.10.1-123]  ple and plaine rules and precepts of our Sauiour Christ in his Gospel,
[II.10.1-124]  as being offered that a man should bee ready to turne his right eare,
[II.10.1-125]  to him that strake him on the left, and to him which would take away
[II.10.1-126]  his coate, to offer him also his cloke, with such other sayings of perfecti­
[II.10.1-127]  on in Christs meaning. For carnall reason, being alway an enemie to
[II.10.1-128]  GOD, and not perceiuing the things of GODS spirit, doth abhorre such
[II.10.1-129]  precepts, which yet rightly vnderstood, infringeth no iudiciall poli­
[II.10.1-130]  cies, nor Christian mens gouernements. And some there be, which hea­
[II.10.1-131]  ring the Scriptures to bid vs to liue without carefulnesse, without
[II.10.1-132]  studie or forecasting, doe deride the simplicities of them. Therefore to
[II.10.1-133]  remoue and put away occasions of offence so much as may bee, I will
[II.10.1-134]  answere orderly to these obiections. First I shall rehearse some of those
[II.10.1-135]  places that men are offended at, for the simplicity & grossenesse of speach,
[II.10.1-136]  and will shew the meaning of them. In the booke of Deuteronomie
[II.10.1-137]  it is written, that almighty GOD made a law, if a man died with­
[II.10.1-138]  out issue, his brother or next kinseman should marrie his widow, and
[II.10.1-139]  the childe that was first borne betweene them, should be called his childe
[II.10.1-140]  that was dead, that the dead mans name might not be put out in Israel:
[II.10.1-141]  And if the brother or next kinseman would not marrie the widow,
[II.10.1-142]  then shee before the Magistrates of the Citie should pull off his shoe and
[II.10.1-143]  spit in his face, saying, So bee it done to that man that will not build
[II.10.1-144]  his brothers house. Here (dearely beloued) the pulling off his shoe, and
[II.10.1-145]  spitting in his face, were ceremonies, to signifie vnto all the people of
[II.10.1-146]  that Citie, that the woman was not now in fault that GODS
[II.10.1-147]  law in that poynt was broken, but the whole shame and blame thereof
[II.10.1-148]  did now redound to that man, which openly before the Magistrates refu­
[II.10.1-149]  sed to marrie her. And it was not a reproch to him alone, but to all his
[II.10.1-150]  posteritie also: For they were called euer after, The house of him whose


[II.10.1-151]  shoe is pulled off. Another place out of the Psalmes: I wil breake (saith
[II.10.1-152]  Dauid) the hornes of the vngodly, and the hornes of the righteous shall be
[II.10.1-153]  exalted. By an horne, in the Scripture, is vnderstood power, might,
[II.10.1-154]  strength, and sometime rule and gouernment. The Prophet then saying,
[II.10.1-155]  I will breake the hornes of the vngodly, meaneth, that all the power,
[II.10.1-156]  strength, and might of GODS enemy, shall not onely be weakened and
[II.10.1-157]  made feeble, but shall at length also be cleane broken & destroyed, though
[II.10.1-158]  for a time for the better triall of his people, GOD suffereth the enemies


[II.10.1-159]  to preuaile and haue the vpper hand. In the 132.Psalme, it is sayd, I
[II.10.1-160]  will make Dauids horne to florish. Here Dauids horne signifieth his king­
[II.10.1-161]  dome. Almighty GOD therefore by this manner of speaking, promi­
[II.10.1-162]  seth to giue Dauid victory ouer all his enemies, and to stablish him in his


[II.10.1-163]  kingdome, spite of all his enemies. And in the threescore Psalme it is writ­
[II.10.1-164]  ten: Moab is my washpot, and ouer Edom will I cast my shoe, &c. In that
[II.10.1-165]  place the Prophet sheweth how graciously GOD hath dealt with his
[II.10.1-166]  people the children of Israel, giuing them great victories vpon their ene­
[II.10.1-167]  mies on euery side. For the Moabites & Idumeans, being two great nations,
[II.10.1-168]  proud people, stout and mighty, GOD brought them vnder, and made
[II.10.1-169]  them seruants to the Israelites, seruants I say, to stoope downe, to
[II.10.1-170]  pull off their shoes, and wash their feete. Then Moab is my washpot, and
[II.10.1-171]  ouer Edom will I cast out my shoe, is, as if hee had sayd, The Moabites
[II.10.1-172]  and the Idumeans, for all their stoutnesse, against vs in the wildernesse, are
[II.10.1-173]  now made our subiects, our seruants, yea vnderlings to pull off our
[II.10.1-174]  shoes, and wash our feete. Now I pray you, what vncomely man­
[II.10.1-175]  ner of speech is this, so vsed in common phrase among the Hebrewes?
[II.10.1-176]  It is a shame that Christian men should bee so light headed, to toy as
[II.10.1-177]  ruffians doe with such manner speaches, vttered in good graue signifi­
[II.10.1-178]  cation by the holy Ghost. More reasonable it were for vaine men to learne
[II.10.1-179]  to reuerence the fourme of GODS wordes, then to sport at them to
[II.10.1-180]  their damnation. Some againe are offended to heare that the godly fa­
[II.10.1-181]  thers had many wiues and concubines, although after the phrase of the
[II.10.1-182]  Scripture, a concubine is an honest name, for euery concubine is a
[II.10.1-183]  lawfull wife, but euery wife is not a concubine. And that ye may the bet­
[II.10.1-184]  ter vnderstand this to be true, ye shall note that it was permitted to the fa­
[II.10.1-185]  thers of the old Testament, to haue at one time moe wiues then one, for
[II.10.1-186]  what purpose yee shall afterward heare. Of which wiues some were free
[II.10.1-187]  women born, some were bond-women & seruants. She that was free born,
[II.10.1-188]  had a prerogatiue aboue those that were seruants & bond-women. The
[II.10.1-189]  free-born woman was by mariage made the ruler of the house vnder her
[II.10.1-190]  husband, & is called the mother of the housholde, the masters or the dame
[II.10.1-191]  of the house, after our manner of speaking, & had by her mariage an in­
[II.10.1-192]  terest, a right, and an ownershippe of his goods vnto whom shee was
[II.10.1-193]  maried. Other seruants and bonde-women were giuen by the ow­
[II.10.1-194]  ners of them, as the manner was then, I will not say alwayes, but
[II.10.1-195]  for the most part, vnto their daughters at that day of their mariage, to
[II.10.1-196]  bee handmaydens vnto them. After such a sort did Pharao King of
[II.10.1-197]  gypt
giue vnto Sara Abrahams wife Agar the Egyptian to bee her maide.


[II.10.1-198]  So did Laban giue vnto his daughter Lea, at the day of her mariage, Zil­
[II.10.1-199]  pha
, to bee her handmaide. And to his other daughter Rachel, he gaue
[II.10.1-200]  another bondmaid, named Bilha. And the wiues that were the owners
[II.10.1-201]  of their handmaydens, gaue them in mariage to their husbands, vpon
[II.10.1-202]  diuers occasions. Sara gaue her mayde Agar in mariage to Abraham. Lea
[II.10.1-203]  gaue in like manner her mayde Zilpha to her husband Iacob. So did

Gen. 16.

[II.10.1-204]  Rachel his other wife giue him Bilha her mayde, saying vnto him, Goe


[II.10.1-205]  in vnto her, and shee shall beare vpon my knees: which is, as if she had
[II.10.1-206]  said, Take her to wife, and the children that she shall beare, will I take
[II.10.1-207]  vpon my lappe, and make of them as if they were mine owne. These
[II.10.1-208]  hand-maydens or bondwomen, although by marriage they were made
[II.10.1-209]  wiues, yet they had not this prerogatiue to rule in the house, but were
[II.10.1-210]  still vnderlings, and in such subiection to their masters, and were neuer
[II.10.1-211]  called mothers of the houshold, mistresses, or dames of the house, but are
[II.10.1-212]  called sometimes wiues, sometime concubines. The plurality of wiues,
[II.10.1-213]  was by a speciall prerogatiue suffered to the fathers of the olde Testa­
[II.10.1-214]  ment, not for satisfying their carnall and fleshly lustes, but to haue ma­
[II.10.1-215]  ny children, because euery one of them hoped, and begged oft times of
[II.10.1-216]  GOD in their prayers, that that blessed seede, which GOD promised
[II.10.1-217]  should come into the world to breake the serpents head, might come and
[II.10.1-218]  be borne of his stocke and kinred.

[II.10.1-219]  Now of those which take occasion of carnality and euill life, by hea­
[II.10.1-220]  ring and reading in GODS booke, what GOD had suffered, euen
[II.10.1-221]  in those men whose commendation is praysed in the Scripture: As that

2 Pet.2.

[II.10.1-222]  Noe, whom Saint Peter calleth the eight preacher of righteousnesse,
[II.10.1-223]  was so drunke with wine, that in his sleepe he vncouered his owne priui­

Gen 9.

[II.10.1-224]  ties. The iust man Lot was in like manner drunken, and in his drun­


[II.10.1-225]  kennesse lay with his owne daughters, contrary to the law of nature.

Gen. 17.

[II.10.1-226]  braham, whose faith was so great, that for the same hee deserued to bee


[II.10.1-227]  called of GODS owne mouth a father of many nations, the father of
[II.10.1-228]  all beleeuers, besides with Sara his wife, had also carnall company with
[II.10.1-229]  Agar, Saraes handmaide. The Patriarch Iacob had to his wiues two


[II.10.1-230]  sisters at one time. The Prophet Dauid and king Solomon his sonne, had
[II.10.1-231]  many wiues and concubines.&c. Which things wee see plainely to bee
[II.10.1-232]  forbidden vs by the law of GOD, and are now repugnant to all pub­
[II.10.1-233]  like honestie. These and such like in GODS booke (good people)
[II.10.1-234]  are not written that we should or may doe the like following their
[II.10.1-235]  examples, or that wee ought to thinke that GOD did allow euery
[II.10.1-236]  of these things in those men: But wee ought rather to beleeue and to
[II.10.1-237]  iudge that Noe in his drunkennesse offended GOD highly. Lot lying
[II.10.1-238]  with his daughters, committed horrible incest. Wee ought then to learne
[II.10.1-239]  by them this profitable lesson, that if so godly men as they were, which
[II.10.1-240]  otherwise felt inwardly GODS holy Spirit inflaming in their hearts,
[II.10.1-241]  with the feare and loue of GOD, could not by their owne strength keepe
[II.10.1-242]  themselues from committing horrible sin, but did so grieuously fall, that
[II.10.1-243]  without GODS great mercy they had perished euerlastingly: How­
[II.10.1-244]  much more ought wee then, miserable wretches, which haue no feeling
[II.10.1-245]  of GOD within vs at all, continually to feare, not onely that we may
[II.10.1-246]  fall as they did, but also be ouercome and drowned in sinne, which they
[II.10.1-247]  were not? And so by considering their fall, take the better occasion to
[II.10.1-248]  acknowledge our owne infirmitie and weakenes, and therefore more ear­
[II.10.1-249]  nestly to call vnto Almighty GOD with hearty prayer incessantly, for
[II.10.1-250]  his grace, to strengthen vs, and to defend vs from all euill. And though
[II.10.1-251]  through infirmity wee chaunce at any time to fall, yet wee may by hear­
[II.10.1-252]  ty repentance, and true faith, speedily rise againe, and not sleepe and con­
[II.10.1-253]  tinue in sinne, as the wicked doeth.

[II.10.1-254]  Thus good people, should we vnderstand such matters expressed in
[II.10.1-255]  the diuine Scriptures, that this holy table of GODS word be not tur­
[II.10.1-256]  ned to vs to be a snare, a trappe, and a stumbling stone, to take hurt by
[II.10.1-257]  the abuse of our vnderstanding: But let vs esteeme them in a reuerent
[II.10.1-258]  humilitie, that we may find our necessary food therein, to strengthen vs,
[II.10.1-259]  to comfort vs, to instruct vs (as GOD of his great mercy hath appoyn­
[II.10.1-260]  ted them) in all necessary workes, so that wee may be perfect before
[II.10.1-261]  him in the whole course of our life: Which hee grant vs,
[II.10.1-262]  who hath redeemed vs, our Lord and Sauiour
[II.10.1-263]  Iesus Christ, to whom with the Father,
[II.10.1-264]  & the holy Ghost, bee all honour &
[II.10.1-265]  glory for euermore, Amen.

{P} The second part of the information for them
which take offence at certaine places of
the holy Scripture.

[II.10.2-266]  YEe haue heard (good people) in the Homilie last read vnto
[II.10.2-267]  you, the great commoditie of holy Scriptures, yee haue
[II.10.2-268]  heard how ignorant men, voyde of godly vnderstanding,
[II.10.2-269]  seeke quarrels to discredite them: Some of their reasons
[II.10.2-270]  haue yee heard answered. Now wee will proceede and
[II.10.2-271]  speake of such politique wise men which bee offended, for
[II.10.2-272]  that Christes precepts should seeme to destroy all order in
[II.10.2-273]  gouernance, as they doe alleadge for example, such as these bee. If any


[II.10.2-274]  man strike thee on the right cheeke, turne the other vnto him also. If any
[II.10.2-275]  man will contend to take thy coate from thee, let him haue cloke and all.


[II.10.2-276]  Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. If thine eye,
[II.10.2-277]  thine hand, or thy foote offend thee, pull out thine eye, cut off thine hand,
[II.10.2-278]  thy foote, and cast it from thee. If thine enemie (saith Saint Paul) be
[II.10.2-279]  an hungred, giue him meate, if hee bee thirstie, giue him drinke: so doing,


[II.10.2-280]  thou shalt heape hote burning coales vpon his head. These sentences
[II.10.2-281]  (good people) vnto a naturall man seeme meere absurdities, contrary to
[II.10.2-282]  all reason. For a naturall man (as Saint Paul saith) vnderstandeth


[II.10.2-283]  not the things that belong to GOD, neither can he, so long as old Adam
[II.10.2-284]  dwelleth in him. Christ therefore meaneth, that he would haue his faith­
[II.10.2-285]  full seruants so farre from vengeance and resisting wrong, that he would
[II.10.2-286]  rather haue him ready to suffer another wrong, then by resisting to breake
[II.10.2-287]  charitie, and to bee out of patience. Hee would haue our good deedes so
[II.10.2-288]  farre from all carnall respects, that he would not haue our nighest friends
[II.10.2-289]  know of our well doing, to winne vaine glory. And though our friends
[II.10.2-290]  and kinsefolkes be as deare as our right eyes and our right hands: yet if
[II.10.2-291]  they would plucke vs from GOD, wee ought to renounce them, and
[II.10.2-292]  forsake them.

[II.10.2-293]  Thus if yee will bee profitable hearers and readers of the holy Scrip­
[II.10.2-294]  tures, ye must first denie your selues, and keepe vnder your carnall senses,
[II.10.2-295]  taken by the outward wordes, and search the inward meaning: reason
[II.10.2-296]  must giue place to GODS holy spirite, you must submit your worldly
[II.10.2-297]  wisedome and iudgement, vnto his diuine wisedome and iudgement.
[II.10.2-298]  Consider that the Scripture, in what strange fourme soeuer it bee pro­
[II.10.2-299]  nounced, is the word of the liuing GOD. Let that alwayes come to
[II.10.2-300]  your remembrance, which is so oft repeated of the Prophet Esaias: The
[II.10.2-301]  mouth of the Lord (saith he) hath spoken it, and Almighty and euerla­
[II.10.2-302]  sting GOD, who with his onely word created heauen and earth, hath
[II.10.2-303]  decreed it, the Lord of hostes, whose wayes are in the Seas, whose paths
[II.10.2-304]  are in the deepe waters, that Lorde and GOD by whose worde all
[II.10.2-305]  things in heauen and in earth are created, gouerned, and preserued, hath
[II.10.2-306]  so prouided it. The GOD of gods, and Lord of all lordes, yea, GOD
[II.10.2-307]  that is GOD alone, incomprehensible, almighty, and euerlasting, hee
[II.10.2-308]  hath spoken it, it is his word. It cannot therefore be but trueth, which
[II.10.2-309]  proceedeth from the GOD of all trueth: it cannot be but wisely and
[II.10.2-310]  prudently commaunded, what Almighty GOD hath deuised, how
[II.10.2-311]  vainely soeuer, through want of grace, wee miserable wretches doe ima­


[II.10.2-312]  gine and iudge of his most holy word. The Prophet Dauid, describing an
[II.10.2-313]  happy man, sayth: Blessed is the man that hath not walked after the
[II.10.2-314]  counsaile of the vngodly, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the
[II.10.2-315]  seate of the scornefull. There are three sortes of people, whose company
[II.10.2-316]  the Prophet would haue him to flee and auoyde, which shall be an happy
[II.10.2-317]  man, and partaker of GODS blessing. First, he may not walke after
[II.10.2-318]  the counsaile of the vngodly. Secondly, he may not stand in the way of
[II.10.2-319]  sinners. Thirdly, he must not sit in the seate of the scornefull. By these
[II.10.2-320]  three sortes of people, vngodly men, sinners, and scorners, all impietie is
[II.10.2-321]  signified, and fully expressed. By the vngodly, hee vnderstandeth those
[II.10.2-322]  which haue no regard of almighty GOD, being voyde of all faith, whose
[II.10.2-323]  hearts and mindes are so set vpon the world, that they studie onely how
[II.10.2-324]  to accomplish their worldly practises, their carnall imaginations, their
[II.10.2-325]  filthy lust and desire, without any feare of GOD. The second sort hee
[II.10.2-326]  calleth sinners, not such as doe fall through ignorance, or of frailenesse,
[II.10.2-327]  for then who should be found free? What man euer liued vpon earth


[II.10.2-328]  (Christ onely excepted) but he hath sinned? The iust man falleth seuen
[II.10.2-329]  times, and riseth againe. Though the godly do fall, yet they walke not on
[II.10.2-330]  purposely in sinne, they stand not still to continue and tarry in sinne, they
[II.10.2-331]  sit not downe like carelesse men, without all feare of GODS iust pu­
[II.10.2-332]  nishment for sinne: but defying sinne, through GODS great grace
[II.10.2-333]  and infinite mercie, they rise againe, and fight against sinne. The
[II.10.2-334]  Prophet then calleth them sinners, whose heartes are cleane turned
[II.10.2-335]  from GOD, and whose whole conuersation of life is nothing but
[II.10.2-336]  sinne, they delight so much in the same, that they chuse continually to
[II.10.2-337]  abide and dwell in sinne. The third sort hee calleth scorners, that is, a
[II.10.2-338]  sorte of men whose heartes are so stuffed with malice, that they are not
[II.10.2-339]  contented to dwell in sinne, and to leade their liues in all kinde of wicked­
[II.10.2-340]  nesse: but also they doe contemne and scorne in other all godlinesse, true
[II.10.2-341]  religion, all honesty and vertue. Of the two first sortes of men, I will
[II.10.2-342]  not say but they may take repentance, and bee conuerted vnto GOD.
[II.10.2-343]  Of the third sort, I thinke I may without danger of GODS iudge­
[II.10.2-344]  ment pronounce, that neuer any yet conuerted vnto GOD by repen­
[II.10.2-345]  tance, but continued still in their abominable wickednesse, heaping vp to
[II.10.2-346]  themselues damnation, against the day of GODS ineuitable iudge­
[II.10.2-347]  ment. Examples of such scorners, we reade in the second booke of Chro­
[II.10.2-348]  nicles
: When the good king Ezechias, in the beginning of his reigne, had


[II.10.2-349]  destroyed Idolatrie, purged the Temple, and reformed Religion in his
[II.10.2-350]  Realme, he sent messengers into euery Citie, to gather the people vnto
[II.10.2-351]  Ierusalem, to solemnize the feast of Easter, in such sort as GOD had
[II.10.2-352]  appointed. The postes went from citie to citie, through the land of
[II.10.2-353]  phraim
and Manasses, euen vnto Zabulon. And what did the people, thinke
[II.10.2-354]  yee? Did they laude and prayse the Name of the Lord which had giuen
[II.10.2-355]  them so good a King, so zealous a Prince to abolish idolatry, and to re­
[II.10.2-356]  store againe GODS true religion? No, no. The Scripture sayth,
[II.10.2-357]  The people laughed them to scorne, and mocked the Kinges messengers.
[II.10.2-358]  And in the last Chapter of the same booke it is written, that Almighty
[II.10.2-359]  GOD, hauing compassion vpon his people, sent his messengers the
[II.10.2-360]  Prophets vnto them, to call them from their abominable idolatrie and
[II.10.2-361]  wicked kinde of liuing. But they mocked his messengers, they despised
[II.10.2-362]  his words, and misused his Prophets, vntill the wrath of the Lord arose
[II.10.2-363]  against his people, and till there was no remedy: For hee gaue them vp
[II.10.2-364]  into the handes of their enemies, euen vnto Nabuchodonozer King of
[II.10.2-365]  Babylon, who spoyled them of their goods, burnt their citie, and led
[II.10.2-366]  them, their wiues, and their children, captiues vnto Babylon. The wic­
[II.10.2-367]  ked people that were in the dayes of Noe, made but a mocke at the worde
[II.10.2-368]  of GOD, when Noe tolde them that GOD would take vengeance
[II.10.2-369]  vpon them for their sinnes. The flood therefore came sodainely vpon
[II.10.2-370]  them, and drowned them with the whole world. Lot preached to the So­
[II.10.2-371]  domites, that except they repented, both they and their Citie should be de­
[II.10.2-372]  stroyed. They thought his sayings impossible to bee true, they scorned
[II.10.2-373]  and mocked his admonition, and reputed him as an olde doating foole.
[II.10.2-374]  But when GOD by his holy Angels had taken Lot, his wife, and two
[II.10.2-375]  daughters from among them, hee rained downe fire and brimstone
[II.10.2-376]  from heauen, and burnt vp those scorners and mockers of his holy word.
[II.10.2-377]  And what estimation had Christes doctrine among the Scribes and
[II.10.2-378]  Pharisees? What reward had hee among them? The Gospel reporteth
[II.10.2-379]  thus: The Pharisees which were couetous, did scorne him in his doc­
[II.10.2-380]  trine. O then yee see that worldly rich men scorne the doctrine of their
[II.10.2-381]  saluation. The worldly wise men scorne the doctrine of Christ, as foo­
[II.10.2-382]  lishnesse to their vnderstanding. These scorners haue euer beene, and
[II.10.2-383]  euer shall bee to the worldes end. For Saint Peter prophesied, that such
[II.10.2-384]  scorners should be in the world before the latter day. Take heede therefore
[II.10.2-385]  (my brethren) take heede, be yee not scorners of GODS most holy word,


[II.10.2-386]  prouoke him not to powre out his wrath now vpon you, as hee did then
[II.10.2-387]  vpon those gybers and mockers. Be not wilfull murderers of your owne
[II.10.2-388]  soules. Turne vnto GOD while there is yet time of mercy, yee shall
[II.10.2-389]  else repent it in the world to come, when it shall be too late, for there shall
[II.10.2-390]  bee iudgement without mercie. This might suffice to admonish vs, and
[II.10.2-391]  cause vs henceforth to reuerence GODS holy Scriptures, but all men
[II.10.2-392]  haue not faith. This therefore shall not satisfie & content all mens minds:
[II.10.2-393]  but as some are carnall, so they will still continue, and abuse the Scrip­
[II.10.2-394]  tures carnally, to their greater damnation. The vnlearned and vnstable


[II.10.2-395]  (saith S. Peter) peruert the holy Scriptures to their owne destruction.


[II.10.2-396]  Iesus Christ (as S. Paul saith) is to the Iewes an offence, to the Gentiles
[II.10.2-397]  foolishnesse: But to Gods children, aswell of the Iewes as of the Gentiles
[II.10.2-398]  he is the power & wisedome of GOD. The holy man Simeon saith, &that; he is

Luke 2.

[II.10.2-399]  set forth for the fall and rising againe of many in Israel. As Christ Ie­
[II.10.2-400]  sus is a fall to the reprobate, which yet perish through their owne default:
[II.10.2-401]  so is his word, yea the whole booke of GOD, a cause of damnation
[II.10.2-402]  vnto them, through their incredulity. And as hee is a rising vp to none
[II.10.2-403]  other then those which are GODS children by adoption: so is his
[II.10.2-404]  word, yea the whole Scripture, the power of GOD to saluation to
[II.10.2-405]  them onely that doe beleeue it. Christ himselfe, the Prophets before
[II.10.2-406]  him, the Apostles after him, all the true Ministers of GODS holy
[II.10.2-407]  word, yea euery word in GODS Booke, is vnto the reprobate, the
[II.10.2-408]  sauour of death vnto death.

[II.10.2-409]  Christ Iesus, the Prophets, the Apostles, and all the true Ministers
[II.10.2-410]  of his word, yea euery iot and tittle in the holy Scripture, haue beene,
[II.10.2-411]  is, and shalbe for euermore, the sauour of life vnto eternall life, vnto all
[II.10.2-412]  those whose hearts GOD hath purified by true fayth. Let vs earnest­
[II.10.2-413]  ly take heed, that we make no iesting stocke of the bookes of holy Scrip­
[II.10.2-414]  tures. The more obscure and darke the sayings be to our vnderstanding,
[II.10.2-415]  the further let vs thinke our selues to bee from GOD, and his holy spi­
[II.10.2-416]  rit, who was the authour of them. Let vs with more reuerence ende­
[II.10.2-417]  uour our selues to search out the wisedome hidden in the outward barke
[II.10.2-418]  of the Scripture. If we can not vnderstand the sense and the reason of
[II.10.2-419]  the saying, yet let vs not be scorners, iesters, and deriders, for that is the
[II.10.2-420]  vttermost token and shew of a reprobate, of a plaine enemie to GOD
[II.10.2-421]  and his wisedome. They be not idle fables to iest at, which GOD doeth
[II.10.2-422]  seriously pronounce, and for serious matters let vs esteeme them. And
[II.10.2-423]  though in sundry places of the Scriptures, bee set out diuers Rites and
[II.10.2-424]  Ceremonies, oblations and sacrifices: let vs not thinke strange of them,
[II.10.2-425]  but referre them to the times and people for whom they serued, although
[II.10.2-426]  yet to learned men they be not vnprofitable to be considered, but to be ex­
[II.10.2-427]  pounded as figures and shadowes of things and persons, afterward open­
[II.10.2-428]  ly reuealed in the new Testament. Though the rehearsall of the gene­
[II.10.2-429]  alogies and pedegrees of the Fathers bee not to much edification of the
[II.10.2-430]  plaine ignorant people: yet is there nothing so impertinently vttered in
[II.10.2-431]  all the whole Booke of the Bible, but may serue to spirituall purpose in
[II.10.2-432]  some respect, to all such as will bestow their labours to search out the
[II.10.2-433]  meanings. These may not be condemned, because they serue not to our
[II.10.2-434]  vnderstanding, nor make to our edification. But let vs turne our labour
[II.10.2-435]  to vnderstand, and to cary away such sentences and stories as bee more fit
[II.10.2-436]  for our capacity and instruction.

[II.10.2-437]  And whereas we read in diuers Psalmes, how Dauid did wish to the
[II.10.2-438]  aduersaries of GOD sometimes shame, rebuke, and confusion, sometime
[II.10.2-439]  the decay of their ofspring and issue, sometime that they might perish and
[II.10.2-440]  come suddenly to destruction, as he did wish to the Captaines of the Phi­


[II.10.2-441]  listines. Cast foorth (sayth he) thy lightning, and teare them, shoot out
[II.10.2-442]  thine arrowes and consume them, with such other maner of imprecati­
[II.10.2-443]  ons: Yet ought we not to be offended at such prayers of Dauid, being a
[II.10.2-444]  Prophet as he was, singularly beloued of GOD, and rapt in spirit, with
[II.10.2-445]  an ardent zeale to GODS glory. Hee spake not of a priuate hatred
[II.10.2-446]  and in a stomacke against their persons: but wished spiritually the destru­
[II.10.2-447]  ction of such corrupt errours and vices, which raigned in all diuellish
[II.10.2-448]  persons, set against GOD. He was of like minde as S. Paul was when
[II.10.2-449]  he did deliuer Himeneus and Alexander, with the notorious fornicatour, to
[II.10.2-450]  Satan, to their temporall confusion, that their spirit might bee saued a­
[II.10.2-451]  gainst the day of the Lord. And when Dauid did professe in some places
[II.10.2-452]  that he hated the wicked: yet in other places of his Psalmes he professeth,
[II.10.2-453]  that he hated them with a perfect hate, not with a malicious hate, to the
[II.10.2-454]  hurt of the soule. Which perfection of spirit, because it cannot be perfor­
[II.10.2-455]  med in vs, so corrupted in affections as wee bee, wee ought not to vse in
[II.10.2-456]  our priuate causes the like wordes in forme, for that we cannot fulfill the
[II.10.2-457]  like words in sense. Let vs not therefore be offended, but search out the
[II.10.2-458]  reason of such words before we be offended, that wee may the more reue­
[II.10.2-459]  rently iudge of such sayings, though strange to our carnall vnderstan­
[II.10.2-460]  dings, yet to them that be spiritually minded, iudged to be zealously and
[II.10.2-461]  godly pronounced. GOD therefore for his mercies sake, vouchsafe to
[II.10.2-462]  purifie our mindes through fayth in his sonne Iesus Christ, and to in­
[II.10.2-463]  still the heauenly droppes of his grace into our hard stony hearts, to sup­
[II.10.2-464]  ple the same, that wee bee not contemners and deriders of his infallible
[II.10.2-465]  word: but that with all humblenesse of minde and Christian reuerence
[II.10.2-466]  we may indeuour our selues to heare and to read his sacred Scrip­
[II.10.2-467]  tures, and inwardly so to digest them, as shalbe to the com­
[II.10.2-468]  fort of our soules, sanctification of his holy Name, to
[II.10.2-469]  whom with the Sonne and the holy Ghost,
[II.10.2-470]  three persons and one liuing GOD,
[II.10.2-471]  be all laud, honour, and prayse
[II.10.2-472]  for euer and euer,
[II.10.2-473]  Amen.