HOMILY ON THE NATIVITY

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

UTEL Home Page.


AN HOMILIE OR SER­
mon concerning the Natiuity and birth of our
Sauiour Iesus Christ.

[1" t="part  

[II:12.1-1]  AMong all the creatures that GOD
[II:12.1-2]  made in the beginning of the world most
[II:12.1-3]  excellent and wonderfull in their kinde,
[II:12.1-4]  there was none (as the Scripture bea­
[II:12.1-5]  reth witnesse) to bee compared almost in
[II:12.1-6]  any point vnto man, who aswell in body
[II:12.1-7]  and soule exceeded all other no lesse, then
[II:12.1-8]  the Sunne in brightnesse and light ex­
[II:12.1-9]  ceedeth euery small and little star in the
[II:12.1-10]  firmament. Hee was made according to
[II:12.1-11]  the image and similitude of GOD, hee
[II:12.1-12]  was indued with all kinde of heauenly
[II:12.1-13]  gifts, hee had no spot of vncleannesse in
[II:12.1-14]  him, he was found and perfect in all parts, both outwardly and inward­
[II:12.1-15]  ly, his reason was vncorrupt, his vnderstanding was pure and good, his
[II:12.1-16]  will was obedient and godly, he was made altogether like vnto GOD,
[II:12.1-17]  in righteousnesse, in holinesse, in wisedome, in trueth, to bee short in all
[II:12.1-18]  kinde of perfection.

[II:12.1-19]  When he was thus created and made, Almighty GOD, in token of his
[II:12.1-20]  great loue towards him, chose out a speciall place of the earth for him,
[II:12.1-21]  namely Paradise, where he liued in all tranquility and pleasure, hauing
[II:12.1-22]  great abundance of worldly goodes, and lacking nothing that he might
[II:12.1-23]  iustly require or desire to haue. For as it is sayde, GOD made him
[II:12.1-24]  Lord and ruler ouer all the workes of his handes, that he should haue vn­
[II:12.1-25]  der his feete all sheepe and oxen, all beastes of the fielde, all soules of the

[margin]
Psal.2.
[margin]

[II:12.1-26]  ayre, all fishes of the sea, and vse them alwayes at his owne pleasure, ac­
[II:12.1-27]  cording as he should haue neede. Was not this a mirrour of perfection?
[II:12.1-28]  Was not this a full perfect and blessed estate? Could any thing else bee
[II:12.1-29]  well added hereunto, or greater felicity desired in this world? But as the
[II:12.1-30]  common nature of all men is, in time of prosperity and wealth, to for­
[II:12.1-31]  get not onely themselues, but also GOD: Euen so did this first man
[II:12.1-32]  Adam, who hauing but one commandement at GODS hand, namely
[II:12.1-33]  that hee should not eate of the fruite of knowledge of good and ill, did
[II:12.1-34]  notwithstanding, most vnmindefully, or rather most wilfully breake it,
[II:12.1-35]  in forgetting the straite charge of his maker, and giuing eare to the craf­
[II:12.1-36]  tie suggestion of that wicked serpent the deuill. Whereby it came to passe,
[II:12.1-37]  that as before he was blessed, so now he was accursed, as before hee was
[II:12.1-38]  loued, so now hee was abhorred, as before hee was most beautifull and
[II:12.1-39]  pretious, so now hee was most vile and wretched in the sight of his Lord
[II:12.1-40]  and maker. In stead of the Image of GOD, he was now become the
[II:12.1-41]  Image of the deuill. In steade of the citizen of heauen, he was become the
[II:12.1-42]  bond-slaue of hell, hauing in himselfe no one part of his former purity
[II:12.1-43]  and cleannesse, but being altogether spotted and defiled, insomuch that
[II:12.1-44]  now hee seemed to bee nothing else but a lumpe of sinne, and therefore by
[II:12.1-45]  the iust iudgement of GOD, was condemned to euerlasting death. This
[II:12.1-46]  so great and miserable a plague, if it had onely rested on Adam, who first
[II:12.1-47]  offended, it had beene so much the easier, and might the better haue beene
[II:12.1-48]  borne. But it fell not onely on him, but also on his posterity and children
[II:12.1-49]  for euer, so that the whole broode of Adams flesh should sustaine the selfe
[II:12.1-50]  same fall and punishment, which their forefather by his offence most iust­
[II:12.1-51]  ly had deserued. Saint Paul in the fift Chapter to the Romanes sayth,
[II:12.1-52]  By the offence of onely Adam, the fault came vpon all men to condemnati­
[II:12.1-53]  on, and by one mans disobedience many were made sinners. By which
[II:12.1-54]  wordes wee are taught, that as in Adam all men vniuersally sinned: so
[II:12.1-55]  in Adam all men vniuersally receiued the reward of sinne, that is to say,
[II:12.1-56]  became mortall, and subiect vnto death, hauing in themselues nothing
[II:12.1-57]  but euerlasting damnation both of body and soule. They became (as
[II:12.1-58]  Dauid sayth) corrupt and abominable, they went all out of the way,
[II:12.1-59]  there was none that did good, no not one. O what a miserable and wo­
[II:12.1-60]  full state was this, that the sinne of one man should destroy and condemne
[II:12.1-61]  all men, that nothing in all the world might bee looked for, but onely
[II:12.1-62]  panges of death, and paines of hell? Had it beene any maruaile if man­
[II:12.1-63]  kinde had beene vtterly driuen to desparation, being thus fallen from life
[II:12.1-64]  to death, from saluation to destruction, from heauen to hell? But behold
[II:12.1-65]  the great goodnesse and tender mercy of GOD in his behalfe: albeit
[II:12.1-66]  mans wickednesse and sinfull behauiour was such, that it deserued not
[II:12.1-67]  in any part to be forgiuen, yet to the intent he might not bee cleane desti­
[II:12.1-68]  tute of all hope and comfort in time to come, hee ordained a new Coue­
[II:12.1-69]  nant, and made a sure promise thereof, namely, that hee would send a
[II:12.1-70]  Messias or Mediatour into the world, which should make intercession,
[II:12.1-71]  and put himselfe as a stay betweene both parties, to pacifie the wrath and
[II:12.1-72]  indignation conceiued against sinne, and to deliuer man out of the mise­
[II:12.1-73]  rable curse and cursed misery, whereinto he was fallen headlong by diso­
[II:12.1-74]  beying the will and commandement of the onely Lord and maker. This
[II:12.1-75]  couenant and promise was first made vnto Adam himselfe immediatly af­
[II.12.1-76]  ter his fall, as wee reade in the 3. of Genesis, where GOD said to the ser­
[II:12.1-77]  pent on this wise: I will put enmity betweene thee and the woman, be­
[II:12.1-78]  tweene thy seed and her seede. He shall breake thine head, and thou shalt
[II:12.1-79]  bruise his heele.

[II:12.1-80]  Afterward, the selfe same couenant was also more amply and plainely

[margin]
Gen.12.
[margin]

[II:12.1-81]  renewed vnto Abraham, where GOD promised him, that in his seede
[II:12.1-82]  all Nations and families of the earth should be blessed. Againe, it was

[margin]
Gen.26.
[margin]

[II:12.1-83]  continued and confirmed vnto Isahac, in the same fourme of wordes, as it
[II:12.1-84]  was before vnto his father. And to the intent that mankinde might not
[II:12.1-85]  despayre, but alwayes liue in hope, Almighty GOD neuer ceased to pub­
[II:12.1-86]  lish, repeate, confirme, and continue the same, by diuers and sundry testi­
[II:12.1-87]  monies of his Prophets, who for the better perswasion of the thing, pro­
[II:12.1-88]  phesied the time, the place, the manner and circumstance of his birth, the
[II:12.1-89]  affliction of his life, the kinde of his death, the glory of his resurrection,
[II:12.1-90]  the receiuing of his kingdome, the deliuerance of his people, with all other
[II:12.1-91]  circumstances belonging thereunto. Esaias prophesied that he should be
[II:12.1-92]  borne of a virgine, and called Emanuel. Micheas prophesied that he should
[II:12.1-93]  bee borne in Bethlehem, a place of Iurie. Ezechiel prophesied that he
[II:12.1-94]  should come of the stocke and linage of Dauid. Daniel prophesied that
[II:12.1-95]  all Nations and languages should serue him. Zacharie prophesied that
[II:12.1-96]  hee should come in pouertie, riding vpon an Asse. Malachie prophesi­
[II:12.1-97]  ed that hee should send Elias before him, which was Iohn the Baptist.
[II:12.1-98]  Ieremie prophesied that he should bee solde for thirtie pieces of siluer &c.
[II:12.1-99]  And all this was done, that the promise and couenant of GOD,
[II:12.1-100]  made vnto Abraham and his posteritie concerning the redemption of the
[II:12.1-101]  worlde, might bee credited and fully beleeued. Now as the Apostle
[II:12.1-102]  Paul saith, when the fulnesse of time was come, that is, the perfection and
[II:12.1-103]  course of yeeres, appoynted from the beginning, then GOD according
[II:12.1-104]  to his former couenant and promise, sent a Messias, otherwise called a
[II:12.1-105]  Mediatour, vnto the world, not such a one as Moses was, not such a
[II:12.1-106]  one as Iosua, Saul, or Dauid was: but such a one as should deliuer man­
[II:12.1-107]  kinde from the bitter curse of the Law, and make perfect satisfaction by
[II:12.1-108]  his death, for the sinnes of all people, namely he sent his deare and onely
[II:12.1-109]  Sonne Iesus Christ, borne (as the Apostle saith) of a woman, and made
[II:12.1-110]  vnder the Law, that he might redeeme them that were in bondage of the
[II:12.1-111]  law, and make them the children of GOD by adoption. Was not this a
[II:12.1-112]  wonderfull great loue towards vs that were his professed and open ene­
[II:12.1-113]  mies, towards vs that were by nature the children of wrath, and fire­
[II:12.1-114]  brands of hell fire? In this (saith Saint Iohn) appeared the great loue of
[II:12.1-115]  GOD, that he sent his onely begotten Sonne into the world to saue vs,
[II:12.1-116]  when we were his extreme enemies. Herein is loue, not that we loued
[II:12.1-117]  him, but that he loued vs, and sent his Sonne to be a reconciliation for
[II:12.1-118]  our sinnes. S. Paul also saith, Christ, when we were yet of no strength,

[margin]
Rom 5.6-7
[margin]

[II:12.1-119]  dyed for vs being vngodly. Doubtlesse a man wil scarse dye for a righte­
[II:12.1-120]  ous man. Peraduenture some one durst dye for him of whom they haue
[II:12.1-121]  receiued good But GOD setteth out his loue towards vs, in that he sent
[II:12.1-122]  Christ to die for vs, when we were yet void of all goodnesse. This and such
[II:12.1-123]  other comparisons doeth the Apostle vse, to amplifie and set forth the ten­
[II:12.1-124]  der mercy and great goodnesse of GOD, declared towards mankinde, in
[II:12.1-125]  sending downe a Sauiour from heauen, euen Christ the Lord. Which
[II:12.1-126]  one benefite among all other is so great and wonderfull, that neither
[II:12.1-127]  tongue can well expresse it, neither heart thinke it, much lesse giue suffici­
[II:12.1-128]  ent thanks to GOD for it. But here is a great controuersie betweene vs
[II:12.1-129]  and the Iewes, whether the same Iesus which was borne of the virgine
[II:12.1-130]  Mary, be the true Messias, and true Sauiour of the world, so long promi­
[II:12.1-131]  sed and prophesied of before. They, as they are, and haue bene alwayes
[II:12.1-132]  proud and stiffe necked, would neuer acknowledge him vntill" this day,
[II:12.1-133]  but haue looked and waited for another to come. They haue this fond
[II:12.1-134]  imagination in their heads, that &the; Messias shall come, not as Christ did,
[II:12.1-135]  like a poore pilgrime & meeke soule riding vpon an Asse: but like a valiant
[II:12.1-136]  and mighty King in great royalty and honour. Not as Christ did, with a
[II:12.1-137]  few fishermen, and men of small estimation in the world: but with a great
[II:12.1-138]  army of strong men, with a great traine of wise & noble men, as Knights,
[II:12.1-139]  Lords, Earles, Dukes, Princes and so forth. Neither doe they thinke that
[II:12.1-140]  their Messias shall slanderously suffer death, as Christ did: but that he shal
[II:12.1-141]  stoutly conquer and manfully subdue all his enemies, and finally obteine
[II:12.1-142]  such a kingdome on earth, as neuer was seene from the beginning. While
[II:12.1-143]  they faine vnto themselues after this sorte a Messias of their owne
[II:12.1-144]  brayne, they deceiue themselues, and account Christ as an abiect and
[II:12.1-145]  scorne of the world. Therefore Christ crucified (as S. Paul saith) is vn­
[II:12.1-146]  to the Iewes a stumbling blocke, and to the Gentiles foolishnes, because
[II:12.1-147]  they thinke it an absurd thing, and contrary to all reason, that a redeemer
[II:12.1-148]  and Sauiour of the whole world, should be handled after such a sort as
[II:12.1-149]  he was, namely scorned, reuiled, scourged, condemned, and last of all cru­
[II:12.1-150]  elly hanged. This, I say, seemed in their eyes strange, and most absurd,
[II:12.1-151]  and therefore neither they would at that time, neither will they as yet,
[II:12.1-152]  acknowledge Christ to be their Messias and Sauiour. But we (dearely
[II:12.1-153]  beloued) that hope and looke to be saued, must both stedfastly beleeue, and
[II:12.1-154]  also boldly confesse, that the same Iesus, which was borne of the virgin
[II:12.1-155]  Mary, was the true Messias and Mediatiour betweene GOD and man,
[II:12.1-156]  promised & prophesied of so long before. For as the Apostle writeth: With

[margin]
Rom.10.10-11
[margin]

[II:12.1-157]  the heart man beleeueth vnto righteousnesse, and with the mouth confes­
[II:12.1-158]  sion is made vnto saluation. Againe in the same place: Whosoeuer be­
[II:12.1-159]  leeueth in him, shall neuer be ashamed nor confounded. Whereto agree­
[II:12.1-160]  eth also the testimony of S. Iohn, written in the fourth Chapter of his first
[II:12.1-161]  generall Epistle, on this wise: Whosoeuer confesseth that Iesus is the
[II:12.1-162]  Sonne of GOD, he dwelleth in GOD, and GOD in him.

[II:12.1-163]  There is no doubt, but in this poynt all Christian men are fully and
[II:12.1-164]  perfectly perswaded. Yet shall it not be a lost labour to instruct and fur­
[II:12.1-165]  nish you with a few places concerning this matter, that ye may be able
[II:12.1-166]  to stoppe the blasphemous mouthes of all them, that most Iewishly, or
[II:12.1-167]  rather deuilishly, shall at any time goe about to teach or maintaine the
[II:12.1-168]  contrary. First, ye haue the witnesse and testimony of the Angel Gabriel,
[II:12.1-169]  declared aswell to Zacharie the high Priest, as also to the blessed virgin.
[II:12.1-170]  Secondly, ye haue the witnesse and testimony of Iohn the Baptist, poyn­
[II:12.1-171]  ting vnto Christ, and saying, Behold the Lambe of GOD that taketh
[II:12.1-172]  away the sinnes of the world. Thirdly, ye haue the witnesse and testimo­
[II:12.1-173]  nie of GOD the Father, who thundred from heauen, and said, This is my
[II:12.1-174]  dearely beloued Sonne, in whom I am well pleased, heare him. Fourth­
[II:12.1-175]  ly, yee haue the witnesse and testimony of the holy Ghost, which came
[II:12.1-176]  downe from heauen in manner of a doue, and lighted vpon him in time
[II:12.1-177]  of his Baptisme. To these might bee added a great number more, namely
[II:12.1-178]  the witnesse and testimony of the wise men that came to Herod, the wit­
[II:12.1-179]  nesse and testimony of Simeon and Anna, the witnesse and testimonie of
[II:12.1-180]  Andrew and Philip, Nathanael, and Peter, Nicodemus, and Martha, with
[II:12.1-181]  diuers other: But it were too long to repeate all, and a few places are
[II:12.1-182]  sufficient in so plaine a matter, specially among them that are alrea­
[II:12.1-183]  dy perswaded. Therefore if the priuy impes of Antichrist, and craftie
[II:12.1-184]  instruments of the deuill, shall attempt or goe about to withdraw you
[II:12.1-185]  from this true Messias, and perswade you to looke for another that is not
[II:12.1-186]  yet come: let them not in any case seduce you, but confirme your selues
[II:12.1-187]  with these and such other testimonies of holy Scripture, which are so
[II:12.1-188]  sure and certaine, that all the deuils in hell shall neuer be able to with­
[II:12.1-189]  stand them. For as truely as GOD liueth, so truely was Iesus Christ
[II:12.1-190]  the true Messias and Sauiour of the world, euen the same Iesus which
[II:12.1-191]  as this day was borne of the Virgine Mary, without all helpe of man,
[II:12.1-192]  only by the power and operation of the holy Ghost.

[II:12.1-193]  Concerning whose nature and substance, because diuers and sun­
[II:12.1-194]  dry heresies are risen in these our dayes, through the motion and sug­
[II:12.1-195]  gestion of Satan: therefore it shall bee needefull and profitable for your
[II:12.1-196]  instruction, to speake a word or two also of this part. We are euidently
[II:12.1-197]  taught in the Scripture, that our Lord and Sauiour Christ consisteth
[II:12.1-198]  of two seuerall natures, of his manhood, being thereby perfect man, and
[II:12.1-199]  of his Godhead, being thereby perfect GOD. It is written, The word,

[margin]
Rom.8.
[margin]

[II:12.1-200]  that is to say, the second Person in Trinity, became flesh. GOD sending
[II:12.1-201]  his owne Sonne in the similitude of sinfull flesh, fulfilled those things
[II:12.1-202]  which the law could not. Christ being in forme of GOD, tooke on him

[margin]
Philip.2.
[margin]

[II:12.1-203]  the forme of a seruant, and was made like vnto man, being found in
[II:12.1-204]  shape as a man. GOD was shewed in flesh, iustified in spirit, seene of An­

[margin]
1.Tim.3.
[margin]

[II:12.1-205]  gels, preached to the Gentiles, beleeued on in the world, and receiued vp
[II:12.1-206]  in glory. Also in another place: There is one GOD, and one mediatour
[II:12.1-207]  betweene GOD and man, euen the man Iesus Christ. These be plaine
[II:12.1-208]  places for the proofe and declaration of both natures, vnited and knitte
[II:12.1-209]  together, in one Christ. Let vs diligently consider and waigh the workes
[II:12.1-210]  that hee did whiles he liued on earth, and wee shall thereby also perceiue
[II:12.1-211]  the selfe same thing to bee most true. In that hee did hunger and thirst,
[II:12.1-212]  eate and drinke, sleepe and wake, in that hee preached his Gospel to
[II:12.1-213]  the people, in that he wept and sorrowed for Ierusalem, in that he payed
[II:12.1-214]  tribute for himselfe and Peter, in that hee died and suffered death, what
[II:12.1-215]  other thing did he else declare, but only this, that he was perfect man as
[II:12.1-216]  wee are? For which cause hee is called in holy Scripture, sometime the
[II:12.1-217]  sonne of Dauid, sometime the sonne of man, sometime the sonne of Mary,
[II:12.1-218]  sometime the sonne of Ioseph, and so foorth. Now in that hee forgaue
[II:12.1-219]  sinnes, in that hee wrought miracles, in that he did cast out deuils, in
[II:12.1-220]  that he healed men with his onely word, in that hee knew the thoughts
[II:12.1-221]  of mens heartes, in that hee had the Seas at his commandement, in
[II:12.1-222]  that hee walked on the water, in that hee rose from death to life, in that
[II:12.1-223]  he ascended into heauen, and so forth: What other thing did he shew ther­
[II:12.1-224]  in, but onely that hee was perfect GOD, coequall with the Father as
[II:12.1-225]  touching his deitie? Therefore hee sayth, The Father and I are all one,
[II:12.1-226]  which is to bee vnderstood of his Godhead. For as touching his man­
[II:12.1-227]  hood, he sayth, The Father is greater then I am. Where are now those
[II:12.1-228]  Marcionites, that denie Christ to haue beene borne in the flesh, or to haue
[II:12.1-229]  bin perfect man? Where are now those Arians, which deny Christ to haue
[II:12.1-230]  beene perfect GOD, of equall substance with the Father? If there bee
[II:12.1-231]  any such, we may easily reprooue them with these testimonies of GODS
[II:12.1-232]  word, and such other. Whereunto, I am most sure, they shall neuer bee
[II:12.1-233]  able to answere. For the necessity of our saluation did require such a me­
[II:12.1-234]  diatour & Sauiour, as vnder one person should be a partaker of both na­
[II:12.1-235]  tures: It was requisite he should be man, it was also requisit he should be
[II:12.1-236]  GOD. For as the transgression came by man, so was it meete the satis­
[II:12.1-237]  faction should bee made by man. And because death, according to S. Paul,
[II:12.1-238]  is the iust stipende and reward of sinne, therefore to appease the wrath
[II:12.1-239]  of GOD, and to satisfie his Iustice, it was expedient that our Medi­
[II:12.1-240]  atour should be such a one, as might take vpon him the sins of mankinde
[II:12.1-241]  and sustaine the due punishment thereof, namely death. Moreouer, hee
[II:12.1-242]  came in flesh, and in the selfe same flesh ascended into heauen, to declare
[II:12.1-243]  and testifie vnto vs, that all faithfull people which stedfastly beleeue in
[II:12.1-244]  him, shall likewise come vnto the same mansion place, whereunto he be­
[II:12.1-245]  ing our chiefe captaine, is gone before. Last of all, he became man, that
[II:12.1-246]  wee thereby might receiue the greater comfort, aswell in our prayers, as
[II:12.1-247]  also in our aduersity, considering with our selues, that we haue a Media­
[II:12.1-248]  tour that is true man as we are, who also is touched with our infirmities
[II:12.1-249]  and was tempted euen in like sort as we are. For these and sundry other
[II:12.1-250]  causes, it was most needfull he should come, as he did, in the flesh.

[II:12.1-251]  But because no creature, in that he is onely a creature, hath or may
[II:12.1-252]  haue power to destroy death, and giue life, to ouercome hell, and purchase
[II:12.1-253]  heauen, to remit sins, and giue righteousnesse: therefore it was needfull,
[II:12.1-254]  that our Messias, whose proper duety and office that was, should bee not
[II:12.1-255]  onely full and perfect man, but also full and perfect GOD, to the intent
[II:12.1-256]  he might more fully and perfectly make satisfaction for mankinde. GOD

[margin]
Matth.3
[margin]

[II:12.1-257]  sayth, This is my welbeloued Sonne in whom I am well pleased. By
[II:12.1-258]  which place we learne, that Christ appeased and quenched the wrath of
[II:12.1-259]  his Father, not in that he was onely the sonne of man: But much more
[II:12.1-260]  in that he was the Sonne of GOD.

[II:12.1-261]  Thus ye haue heard declared out of the Scriptures, that Iesus Christ
[II:12.1-262]  was the true Messias & Sauiour of the world, that he was by nature &
[II:12.1-263]  substance perfect GOD, & perfect man, & for what cause it was expedient
[II:12.1-264]  he should be so. Now that wee may bee the more mindfull and thankefull
[II:12.1-265]  vnto GOD in this behalfe, let vs briefly consider, and call to minde,
[II:12.1-266]  the manifold and great benefits that wee haue receiued by the Natiuitie
[II:12.1-267]  and birth of this our Messias and Sauiour.

[II:12.1-268]  Before Christes comming into the worlde, all men vniuersally in
[II:12.1-269]  Adam, were nothing else but a wicked and crooked generation, rotten
[II:12.1-270]  and corrupt trees, stony ground, full of brambles and bryers, lost sheepe,
[II:12.1-271]  prodigall sonnes, naughty vnprofitable seruantes, vnrighteous stew­
[II:12.1-272]  ardes, workers of iniquity, the broode of Adders, blinde guides, sit­
[II:12.1-273]  ting in darkenesse and in the shadow of death: to bee short nothing
[II:12.1-274]  else but children of perdition, and inheritours of hell fire. To this doeth
[II:12.1-275]  Saint Paul beare witnesse in diuers places of his Epistle, and Christ
[II:12.1-276]  also himselfe in sundry places of his Gospel. But after hee was once
[II:12.1-277]  come downe from heauen, and had taken our frayle nature vpon him, he
[II:12.1-278]  made all them that would receiue him truely, and beleeue his word,
[II:12.1-279]  good trees, and good ground, fruitfull and pleasant branches, children
[II:12.1-280]  of light, citizens of heauen, sheepe of his folde, members of his body,
[II:12.1-281]  heyres of his Kingdome, his true friendes and brethren, sweet and liue­
[II:12.1-282]  ly bread, the elect and chosen people of GOD. For as S. Peter sayeth
[II:12.1-283]  in his first Epistle and second Chapter: Hee bare our sinnes in his body
[II:12.1-284]  vpon the Crosse, hee healed vs, and made vs whole by his stripes: and
[II:12.1-285]  whereas before we were sheepe going astray, he by his comming brought
[II:12.1-286]  vs home againe to the true Shepheard and Bishop of our soules, making
[II:12.1-287]  vs a chosen generation, a royall Priesthood, an holy Nation, a particular
[II:12.1-288]  people of GOD, in that he died for our offences, and rose for our iusti­
[II:12.1-289]  fication. Saint Paul to Timothie the third Chapter: Wee were (sayth
[II:12.1-290]  he) in times past, vnwise, disobedient, deceiued, seruing diuers lustes
[II:12.1-291]  and pleasures, liuing in hatred, enuie, malitiousnesse, and so foorth.

[II:12.1-292]  But after the louing kindnesse of GOD our Sauiour appeared to­
[II:12.1-293]  wardes mankinde, not according to the righteousnesse that we had done,
[II:12.1-294]  but according to his great mercy, hee saued vs by the fountaine of the
[II:12.1-295]  newe birth, and by the renewing of the holy Ghost, which he powred
[II:12.1-296]  vpon vs abundantly, through Iesus Christ our Sauiour, that wee
[II:12.1-297]  being once iustified by his grace, should bee heires of eternall life, through
[II:12.1-298]  hope and faith in his blood.

[II:12.1-299]  In these and such other places, is set out before our eyes, as it were
[II:12.1-300]  in a glasse, the abundant grace of GOD, receiued in Christ Iesu, which
[II:12.1-301]  is so much the more wonderfull, because it came not of any desert of ours,
[II:12.1-302]  but of his meere and tender mercy, euen then when wee were his ex­

[margin]
Matth.2.
Matth.5.
Iohn 18.
Luke 4.
Iohn 8.
Matth.9.
Matth.11.
Iohn 12.
Colos.1.
Heb.10.
Rom.3.
[margin]

[II:12.1-303]  treme enemies: But for the better vnderstanding and consideration of
[II:12.1-304]  this thing, let vs behold the end of his comming, so shall wee perceiue
[II:12.1-305]  what great commodity and profit his Natiuity hath brought vnto vs mi­
[II:12.1-306]  serable and sinfull creatures. The end of his comming, was to saue and
[II:12.1-307]  deliuer his people, to fulfill the Law for vs, to beare witnesse vnto the
[II:12.1-308]  trueth, to teach and preach the wordes of his Father, to giue light vnto
[II:12.1-309]  the world, to call sinners to repentance, to refresh them that labour and
[II:12.1-310]  bee heauie laden, to cast out the prince of this world, to reconcile vs in
[II:12.1-311]  the body of his flesh, to dissolue the workes of the deuill, last of all, to be­
[II:12.1-312]  come a propitiation for our sinnes, and not for ours onely, but also for the
[II:12.1-313]  sinnes of the whole world.

[II:12.1-314]  These were the chiefe ends wherefore Christ became man, not for
[II:12.1-315]  any profit that should come to himselfe thereby, but onely for our sakes,
[II:12.1-316]  that we might vnderstand the will of GOD, be pertakers of his hea­
[II:12.1-317]  uenly light, be deliuered out of the deuils clawes: released from the burden
[II:12.1-318]  of sinne, iustified through faith in his blood, and finally, receiued vp into
[II:12.1-319]  euerlasting glory, there to raigne with him for euer. Was not this a great
[II:12.1-320]  and singular loue of Christ towards mankind, that being the expresse and
[II:12.1-321]  liuely image of GOD, he would notwithstanding humble himselfe, and
[II:12.1-322]  take vpon him the forme of a seruant, and that onely to saue and redeeme
[II:12.1-323]  vs? O how much are wee bound to the goodnesse of GOD in this be­
[II:12.1-324]  halfe? how many thankes and praises doe wee owe vnto him for this our
[II:12.1-325]  saluation wrought by his deare and onely Sonne Christ? who became a
[II:12.1-326]  pilgrime in earth to make vs citizens in heauen, who became the sonne
[II:12.1-327]  of man, to make vs the sonnes of GOD, who became obedient to the
[II:12.1-328]  Law, to deliuer vs from the curse of the Law, who became poore, to
[II:12.1-329]  make vs rich; vile, to make vs pretious; subiect to death, to make vs liue
[II:12.1-330]  for euer. What greater loue could we seely creatures desire or wish to haue
[II:12.1-331]  at GODS hands?

[II:12.1-332]  Therefore dearely beloued, let vs not forget this exceeding loue of our
[II:12.1-333]  Lord and Sauiour, let vs not shew our selues vnmindfull or vnthankfull
[II:12.1-334]  toward him: but let vs loue him, feare him, obey him, and serue him.
[II:12.1-335]  Let vs confesse him with our mouthes, prayse him with our tongues, be­
[II:12.1-336]  leeue on him with our hearts, and glorifie him with our good workes.
[II:12.1-337]  Christ is the light, let vs receiue the light. Christ is the trueth, let vs
[II:12.1-338]  beleeue the trueth. Christ is the way, let vs follow the way. And because
[II:12.1-339]  he is our onely master, our onely teacher, our onely shepheard and chiefe
[II:12.1-340]  captaine: therefore let vs become his seruants, his schollers, his sheepe,
[II:12.1-341]  and his souldiers. As for sinne, the flesh, the world, and the Diuel, whose
[II:12.1-342]  seruants and bondslaues, we were before Christs comming, let vs vtter­
[II:12.1-343]  ly cast them off, and defie them, as the chiefe and onely enemies of our
[II:12.1-344]  soule. And seeing wee are once deliuered from their cruell tyranny by
[II:12.1-345]  Christ, let vs neuer fall into their hands againe, lest we chance to be in a
[II:12.1-346]  worse case then euer we were before. Happy are they, sayth the Scrip­
[II:12.1-347]  ture, that continue to the end. Be faythfull (sayth GOD) vntill death,
[II:12.1-348]  and I will giue thee a crowne of life. Againe he sayth in another place,
[II:12.1-349]  He that putteth his hand vnto the plough, and looketh backe, is not meet
[II:12.1-350]  for the kingdome of GOD. Therefore let vs be strong, stedfast, and vn­
[II:12.1-351]  mooueable, abounding alwayes in the workes of the Lord. Let vs re­
[II:12.1-352]  ceiue Christ, not for a time, but for euer, let vs beleeue his word, not for a
[II:12.1-353]  time, but for euer, let vs become his seruants, not for a time, but for euer,
[II:12.1-354]  in consideration that he hath redeemed and saued vs, not for a time, but
[II:12.1-355]  for euer, and will receiue vs into his heauenly kingdome, there to raigne
[II:12.1-356]  with him, not for a time, but for euer. To him therefore with the
[II:12.1-357]  Father and the holy Ghost, be all honour, prayse, and
[II:12.1-358]  glory, for euer and euer, Amen.