HOMILY ON REPAIRING AND KEEPING CLEAN THE CHURCH

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

UTEL Home Page.

AN HOMILIE FOR RE­
payring and keeping cleane, and comely
adorning of Churches.

[II.3.1-1]  IT is a common custome vsed of all men,
[II.3.1-2]  when they intend to haue their friends
[II.3.1-3]  or neighbours to come to their houses to
[II.3.1-4]  eat or drinke with them, or to haue any
[II.3.1-5]  solemne assemblie to treat and talke of
[II.3.1-6]  any matter, they will haue their houses,
[II.3.1-7]  which they keepe in continuall reparati­
[II.3.1-8]  ons, to be cleane and fine, lest they should
[II.3.1-9]  bee counted sluttish, or little to regard
[II.3.1-10]  their friendes and neighbours. How
[II.3.1-11]  much more then ought the house of
[II.3.1-12]  GOD, which wee commonly call the
[II.3.1-13]  Church, to be sufficiently repayred in all
[II.3.1-14]  places, and to bee honourably adorned
[II.3.1-15]  and garnished, and to be kept cleane and sweete, to the comfort of the peo­
[II.3.1-16]  ple that shall resort thereunto.

[II.3.1-17]  It appeareth in the holy Scripture, how GODS house, which
[II.3.1-18]  was called his holy Temple, and was the mother Church of all Iewrie,
[II.3.1-19]  fell sometimes into decay, and was oftentimes prophaned and defiled,
[II.3.1-20]  through the negligence and vngodlinesse of such as had the charge there­
[II.3.1-21]  of. But when godly Kings and gouernours were in place, then com­
[II.3.1-22]  mandement was giuen foorthwith, that the Church and Temple of
[II.3.1-23]  GOD should be repayred, and the deuotion of the people to bee gathe­
[II.3.1-24]  red, for the reparation of the same. We reade in the fourth Booke of the

[margin]
4.King.12.
[margin]


[II.3.1-25]  Kings, how that king Ioas , being a godly Prince, gaue commandement
[II.3.1-26]  to the Priests, to conuert certaine offerings of the people, towards the re­
[II.3.1-27]  paration and amendment of GODS Temple.

[II.3.1-28]  Like commandement gaue that most godly King Iosias , concerning

[margin]
4.King.22.
[margin]


[II.3.1-29]  the reparation and reedification of GODS Temple, which in his time
[II.3.1-30]  he found in sore decay. It hath pleased Almightie GOD, that these Hi­
[II.3.1-31]  stories touching the reedifying and repayring of his holy Temple, should
[II.3.1-32]  be written at large, to the end wee should be taught thereby: First, that
[II.3.1-33]  GOD is well pleased that his people should haue a conuenient place to
[II.3.1-34]  resort vnto, and to come together, to praise and magnifie GODS holy
[II.3.1-35]  Name. And secondly, hee is highly pleased with all those, which dili­
[II.3.1-36]  gently and zealously goe about to amend and restore such places as are
[II.3.1-37]  appointed for the Congregation of GODS people to resort vnto, and
[II.3.1-38]  wherein they humbly and ioyntly render thankes to GOD for his bene­
[II.3.1-39]  fits, and with one heart and voice praise his holy Name. Thirdly, GOD
[II.3.1-40]  was sore displeased with his people, because they builded, decked, and
[II.3.1-41]  trimmed vp their owne houses, and suffered GODS house to bee in
[II.3.1-42]  ruine and decay, to lye vncomely and fulsomely. Wherefore GOD was
[II.3.1-43]  sore grieued with them, and plagued them, as appeareth in the Prophet
[II.3.1-44]  Aggeus . Thus saith the Lord: Is it time for you to dwell in your seeled

[margin]
Agge.1.
[margin]


[II.3.1-45]  houses, and the Lords house not regarded? Yee haue sowed much,
[II.3.1-46]  and gathered in but little, your meat and your clothes haue neither filled
[II.3.1-47]  you, nor made you warme, and hee that had his wages, put it in a bot­
[II.3.1-48]  tomelesse purse. By these plagues which GOD laid vpon his people for
[II.3.1-49]  neglecting of his Temple, it may euidently appeare & that; GOD will haue
[II.3.1-50]  his Temple, his Church, the place where his Congregation shall resort
[II.3.1-51]  to magnifie him, well edified, well repaired, and well maintained. Some
[II.3.1-52]  neither regarding godlinesse, nor the place of godly exercise, will say, The
[II.3.1-53]  Temple in the old Law was commaunded to bee built and repaired by
[II.3.1-54]  GOD himselfe, because it had great promises annexed vnto it, and be­
[II.3.1-55]  cause it was a figure, a Sacrament, or a signification of Christ , and also
[II.3.1-56]  of his Church. To this may bee easily answered: First, that our Chur­
[II.3.1-57]  ches are not destitute of promises, forasmuch as our Sauiour Christ
[II.3.1-58]  saith, Where two or three are gathered together in my Name, there am
[II.3.1-59]  I in the middest among them. A great number therefore comming to
[II.3.1-60]  Church together in the Name of Christ , haue there, that is to say in the
[II.3.1-61]  Church, their GOD and Sauiour Christ Iesus present among the Con­
[II.3.1-62]  gregation of his faithfull people, by his grace, by his fauour and godly
[II.3.1-63]  assistance, according to his most assured and comfortable promises. Why
[II.3.1-64]  then ought not Christian people to build them Temples and Churches,
[II.3.1-65]  hauing as great promises of the presence of GOD, as euer had Salomon
[II.3.1-66]  for the materiall Temple which hee did build? As touching the other
[II.3.1-67]  point, that Salomons Temple was a figure of Christ : we know that now
[II.3.1-68]  in the time of the cleare light of Christ Iesus the Sonne of GOD, all
[II.3.1-69]  shadowes, figures, and significations are vtterly gone, all vaine and vn­
[II.3.1-70]  profitable ceremonies, both Iewish and Heathenish, fully abolished. And
[II.3.1-71]  therefore our Churches are not set vp for figures, and significations of
[II.3.1-72]  Messias and Christ to come, but for other godly and necessary purposes,
[II.3.1-73]  that is to say, That like as euery man hath his owne house to abide in,
[II.3.1-74]  to refresh himselfe in, to rest in, with such like commodities: So Almigh­
[II.3.1-75]  tie GOD will haue his house and place whither the whole Parish and
[II.3.1-76]  Congregation shall resort, which is called the Church and Temple of
[II.3.1-77]  GOD, for that the Church, which is the company of GODS people,
[II.3.1-78]  doth there assemble and come together to serue him. Not meaning here­
[II.3.1-79]  by, that the Lord whom the heauen of heauens is not able to holde or
[II.3.1-80]  comprise, doth dwell in the Church of lime and stone, made with mans
[II.3.1-81]  hands, as wholly and onely conteined there within, and no where els,
[II.3.1-82]  for so he neuer dwelt in Salomons Temple. Moreouer, the Church or
[II.3.1-83]  Temple is counted and called holy, yet not of it selfe, but because GODS
[II.3.1-84]  people resorting thereunto, are holy, and exercise themselues in holy and
[II.3.1-85]  heauenly things. And to the intent yee may vnderstand further, why
[II.3.1-86]  Churches were built among Christian people, this was the greatest con­
[II.3.1-87]  sideration: that GOD might haue his place, and that GOD might haue
[II.3.1-88]  his time, duely to be honoured and serued of the whole multitude in the
[II.3.1-89]  parish. First there to heare and learne the blessed word and will of the
[II.3.1-90]  euerlasting GOD. Secondly, that there the blessed Sacraments,
[II.3.1-91]  which our Lord and Sauiour Christ Iesus hath ordained and appoin­
[II.3.1-92]  ted, should be duely, reuerently, and decently ministred. Thirdly, that
[II.3.1-93]  there the whole multitude of GODS people in the Parish, should with
[II.3.1-94]  one voice and heart call vpon the Name of GOD, magnifie and praise
[II.3.1-95]  the Name of GOD, render earnest and heartie thankes to our heauen­
[II.3.1-96]  ly Father for his heape of benefits dayly and plentifully powred vpon vs,
[II.3.1-97]  not forgetting to bestow our almes vpon GODS poore, to the intent
[II.3.1-98]  GOD may blesse vs the more richly. Thus yee may well perceiue and
[II.3.1-99]  vnderstand wherefore Churches were built and set vp amongst Christian
[II.3.1-100]  people, and dedicated & appointed to these godly vses, and wholly exemp­
[II.3.1-101]  ted from all filthy, prophane, & worldly vses. Wherefore all they that haue
[II.3.1-102]  little mind or deuotion to repaire and build GODS Temple, are to be
[II.3.1-103]  counted people of much vngodlinesse, spurning against good order in
[II.3.1-104]  Christes Church, despising the true honour of GOD, with euill exam­
[II.3.1-105]  ple offending and hindering their neighbours otherwise well and godly
[II.3.1-106]  disposed. The world thinketh it but a trifle to see their Church in ruine
[II.3.1-107]  and decay. But who so doth not lay to their helping handes, they sinne
[II.3.1-108]  against GOD & his holy congregation. For if it had not been sin to neg­
[II.3.1-109]  lect & slightly regard the reedifying and building vp againe of his Tem­
[II.3.1-110]  ple, GOD would not haue been so much grieued, and so soone haue
[II.3.1-111]  plagued his people, because they builded and decked their owne houses so
[II.3.1-112]  gorgeously, and despised the house of GOD their Lord. It is sinne and
[II.3.1-113]  shame to see so many Churches, so ruinous, and so fouly decayed, almost
[II.3.1-114]  in euery corner. If a mans priuate house wherein hee dwelleth, bee de­
[II.3.1-115]  cayed, he will neuer cease till it bee restored vp againe. Yea, if his barne
[II.3.1-116]  where he keepeth his corne be out of reparations, what diligence vseth
[II.3.1-117]  he to make it in perfect state againe? If his stable for his horse, yea, the
[II.3.1-118]  stie for his swine, be not able to hold out water and wind, how carefull
[II.3.1-119]  is he to doe cost thereon? And shall we be so mindfull of our common base
[II.3.1-120]  houses, deputed to so vile employment, & be forgetfull toward that house
[II.3.1-121]  of GOD, wherin be intreated the words of our eternall saluation, wher­
[II.3.1-122]  in be ministred the Sacraments and mysteries of our redemption? The
[II.3.1-123]  fountaine of our regeneration is there presented vnto vs, the partaking
[II.3.1-124]  of the Body and Blood of our Sauiour Christ , is there offered vnto vs:
[II.3.1-125]  And shall we not esteeme the place where so heauenly things are hand­
[II.3.1-126]  led? Wherefore if ye haue any reuerence to the seruice of GOD, if ye haue
[II.3.1-127]  any common honesty, if ye haue any conscience in keeping of necessary and
[II.3.1-128]  godly ordinances, keepe your Churches in good repaire, whereby ye shall
[II.3.1-129]  not onely please GOD, and deserue his manifold blessings, but also de­
[II.3.1-130]  serue the good report of all godly people.

[II.3.1-131]  The second point, which appertaineth to the maintenance of GODS
[II.3.1-132]  house, is, to haue it well adorned, & comely, and cleane kept. Which things
[II.3.1-133]  may bee the more easily refourmed, when the Church is well repayred.
[II.3.1-134]  For like as men are well refreshed and comforted, when they finde their
[II.3.1-135]  houses hauing all things in good order, and all corners cleane and sweete:
[II.3.1-136]  so when GODS house the Church is well adorned, with places con­
[II.3.1-137]  uenient to sit in, with the Pulpit for the preacher, with the Lords table,
[II.3.1-138]  for the ministration of his holy supper, with the Font to Christen in, and
[II.3.1-139]  also is kept cleane, comely, and sweetly, the people are more desirous, and
[II.3.1-140]  the more comforted to resort thither, and to tarry there the whole time
[II.3.1-141]  appointed them. With what earnestnesse, with what vehement zeale did

[margin]
Matt.21
[margin]


[II.3.1-142]  our Sauiour Christ driue the buyers & sellers out of the temple of GOD,
[II.3.1-143]  and hurled downe the tables of the changers of money, and the seates
[II.3.1-144]  of the Doue-sellers, & could not abide any man to carry a vessell through
[II.3.1-145]  the Temple? He told them that they had made his Fathers house a den
[II.3.1-146]  of theeues, partly through their superstition, hypocrisie, false worship,
[II.3.1-147]  false doctrine, and insatiable couetousnesse, and partly through con­
[II.3.1-148]  tempt, abusing that place with walking and talking, with worldly mat­
[II.3.1-149]  ters without all feare of God, and due reuerence to that place. What
[II.3.1-150]  dennes of theeues the Churches of England haue beene made by the
[II.3.1-151]  blasphemous buying & selling the most precious body and blood of Christ
[II.3.1-152]  in the Masse, as the world was made to beleeue, at diriges, at monthes
[II.3.1-153]  minds, at trentalles, in abbeyes & chantries, beside other horrible abu­
[II.3.1-154]  ses (GODS holy name be blessed for euer) which we now see & vnderstand.
[II.3.1-155]  All these abominations, they that supplie the roome of Christ , haue clean­
[II.3.1-156]  sed and purged the Churches of England of, taking away all such fulsom­
[II.3.1-157]  nesse and filthinesse, as through blinde deuotion and ignorance hath crept
[II.3.1-158]  into the Church these many hundred yeeres. Wherefore, O yee good
[II.3.1-159]  Christian people, ye dearely beloued in Christ Iesu , yee that glory not in
[II.3.1-160]  worldly and vaine religion, in phantasticall adorning and decking, but
[II.3.1-161]  reioyce in heart to see the glory of GOD truly set foorth, and the Chur­
[II.3.1-162]  ches restored to their ancient and godly vse, render your hearty thankes
[II.3.1-163]  to the goodnesse of Almighty GOD, who hath in our dayes stirred vp
[II.3.1-164]  the hearts, not onely of his godly Preachers and Ministers, but also of
[II.3.1-165]  his faithfull and most Christian magistrates and gouernours, to bring
[II.3.1-166]  such godly things to passe.

[II.3.1-167]  And forasmuch as your Churches are scoured and swept from the sin­
[II.3.1-168]  full and superstitious filthinesse wherewith they were defiled and disfi­
[II.3.1-169]  gured: Doe yee your partes, good people to keepe your Churchs come­
[II.3.1-170]  ly and cleane, suffer them not to bee defiled with raine and weather,
[II.3.1-171]  with doung of doues, and owles, stares, and choughs, and other filthi­
[II.3.1-172]  nesse, as it is foule and lamentable to behold in many places of this coun­
[II.3.1-173]  trey. It is the house of prayer, not the house of talking, of walking, of
[II.3.1-174]  brawling, of minstrelsie, of hawkes, of dogs. Prouoke not the displeasure
[II.3.1-175]  and plagues of GOD, for despising & abusing his holy house, as the wicked
[II.3.1-176]  Iewes did. But haue GOD in your heart, be obedient to his blessed
[II.3.1-177]  will, bind your selues euery man and woman, to your power, toward
[II.3.1-178]  the reparations and cleane keeping of the Church, to the intent that yee
[II.3.1-179]  may be partakers of GODS manifold blessings, and that yee may be
[II.3.1-180]  the better encouraged to resort to your parish Church, there to learne
[II.3.1-181]  your duetie towards GOD and your neighbour, there to be present and
[II.3.1-182]  partakers of Christs holy Sacraments, there to render thankes to your
[II.3.1-183]  heauenly Father for the manifold benefits which hee daily powreth vpon
[II.3.1-184]  you, there to pray together, and to call vpon GODS holy Name, which
[II.3.1-185]  be blessed world without end. Amen.