HOMILY AGAINST EXCESS OF APPAREL

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

UTEL Home Page.

AN HOMILIE AGAINST excesse of Apparrell.

[II.6.1-1]  WHERE ye haue heeretofore beene exci­
[II.6.1-2]  ted & stirred to vse temperance of meates
[II.6.1-3]  and drinkes, and to auoyd the excesse
[II.6.1-4]  thereof, many wayes hurtfull to the
[II.6.1-5]  state of the common wealth, and so odi­
[II.6.1-6]  ous before Almighty GOD, being the
[II.6.1-7]  authour and giuer of such creatures, to
[II.6.1-8]  comfort and stablish our frayle nature
[II.6.1-9]  with thankes vnto him, and not by abu­
[II.6.1-10]  sing of them to prouoke his liberality to
[II.6.1-11]  seuere punishing of that disorder. In
[II.6.1-12]  like maner it is conuenient, that yee bee
[II.6.1-13]  admonished of another soule & chargea­
[II.6.1-14]  ble excesse: I meane, of apparell, at these
[II.6.1-15]  dayes so gorgeous, that neither Almighty GOD by his word can stay
[II.6.1-16]  our proud curiosity in the same, neither yet godly and necessary lawes,
[II.6.1-17]  made of our Princes, and oft repeated with the penalties, can bridle this
[II.6.1-18]  detestable abuse, whereby both GOD is openly contemned, and the
[II.6.1-19]  Princes Lawes manifestly disobeyed, to the great perill of the Realme.
[II.6.1-20]  Wherefore, that sobriety also in this excesse may bee espied among vs, I
[II.6.1-21]  shall declare vnto you, both the moderate vse of apparell, approoued by
[II.6.1-22]  GOD in his holy word, and also the abuses therof, which he forbiddeth
[II.6.1-23]  and disalloweth, as it may appeare by the inconueniences which dayly
[II.6.1-24]  encrease, by the iust iudgement of GOD, where that measure is not
[II.6.1-25]  kept, which he himselfe hath appointed. If we consider the end and pur­
[II.6.1-26]  pose whereunto Almighty GOD hath ordayned his creatures, we shall
[II.6.1-27]  easily perceiue that he alloweth vs apparell, not only for necessities sake,
[II.6.1-28]  but also for an honest comelinesse. Euen as in herbes, trees, and sundry
[II.6.1-29]  fruites, we haue not onely diuers necessary vses, but also the pleasant
[II.6.1-30]  sight and sweet smell, to delight vs withall, wherein wee may behold the
[II.6.1-31]  singular loue of GOD towards mankinde, in that hee hath prouided
[II.6.1-32]  both to releeue our necessities, and also to refresh our senses with an ho­
[II.6.1-33]  nest and moderate recreation. Therefore Dauid in the hundred and fourth

[margin]
Psal.104
[margin]

[II.6.1-34]  Psalme, confessing GODS carefull prouidence, sheweth that GOD
[II.6.1-35]  not only prouideth things necessary for men, as hearbs and other meats,
[II.6.1-36]  but also such things as may reioyce & comfort, as wine to make glad the
[II.6.1-37]  heart, oyles and oyntments to make the face to shine. So that they are
[II.6.1-38]  altogether past the limites of humanity, who yeelding onely to necessity,
[II.6.1-39]  forbid the lawfull fruition of GODS benefits. With whose traditi­
[II.6.1-40]  ons wee may not be ledde, if we giue eare to S. Paul, writing to the Co­
[II.6.1-41]  lossians, willing them not to hearken vnto such men as shall say, Touch
[II.6.1-42]  not, Taste not, Handle not, superstitiously bereauing them of the fruiti­

[margin]
Coloss.2.
[margin]

[II.6.1-43]  on of GODS creatures. And no lesse truely ought we to beware, lest
[II.6.1-44]  vnder pretence of Christian liberty, wee take licence to doe what wee list,
[II.6.1-45]  aduancing our selues in sumptuous apparell, and despising other, prepa­
[II.6.1-46]  ring ourselues in fine brauery, to wanton, lewde, and vnchaste behaui­
[II.6.1-47]  our. To the auoyding whereof, it behouueth vs to be mindefull of foure

[margin]
4 Lessons.
[margin]

[II.6.1-48]  lessons, taught in holy Scripture, whereby we shall learne to temper our
[II.6.1-49]  selues, and to restraine our immoderate affections, to that measure which
[II.6.1-50]  GOD hath appoynted. The first is, that we make not prouision for the
[II.6.1-51]  flesh, to accomplish the lustes thereof, with costly apparell, as that harlot

[margin]
1
Rom.13.
Prou.7
[margin]

[II.6.1-52]  did, of whom Salomon speaketh, Prouerbes the seuenth, which perfumed
[II.6.1-53]  her bed, and deckt it with costly ornaments of Egypt, to the fulfilling of
[II.6.1-54]  her lewd lust: but rather ought we by moderate temperance to cut off all
[II.6.1-55]  occasions, whereby the flesh might get the victorie. The second is writ­

[margin]
2
1.Cor.7.
[margin]

[II.6.1-56]  ten by Saint Paul, in the vii. Chapter of his first Epistle to the Corinthes,
[II.6.1-57]  where he teacheth vs to vse this world, as though we vsed it not. Where­
[II.6.1-58]  by he cutteth away not onely all ambition, pride, and vaine pompe in ap­
[II.6.1-59]  parell: but also all inordinate care and affection, which withdraweth
[II.6.1-60]  vs from the contemplation of heauenly things, and consideration of our
[II.6.1-61]  duetie towards GOD. They that are much occupied in caring for
[II.6.1-62]  things pertaining to the body, are most commonly negligent and carelesse
[II.6.1-63]  in matters concerning the soule. Therefore our Sauiour Christ willeth

[margin]
Matth.6.
[margin]

[II.6.1-64]  vs not to take thought what wee shall eate, or what we shall drinke, or
[II.6.1-65]  wherewith wee shall bee clothed, but rather to seeke the Kingdome of
[II.6.1-66]  GOD, and the righteousnesse thereof. Whereby wee may learne to
[II.6.1-67]  beware, lest wee vse those things to our hinderance, which GOD
[II.6.1-68]  hath ordained for our comfort and furtherance, towards his Kingdome.
[II.6.1-69]  The third is, that we take in good part our estate and condition, and con­

[margin]
3
[margin]

[II.6.1-70]  tent our selues with that which GOD sendeth, whether it bee much or
[II.6.1-71]  little. He that is ashamed of base and simple attire, will be proud of gor­
[II.6.1-72]  gious apparell, if hee may get it. Wee must learne therefore of the Apo­
[II.6.1-73]  stle S. Paul both to vse plenty, and also to suffer penury, remembring

[margin]
Phil.4.
[margin]

[II.6.1-74]  that we must yeeld accounts, of those things which wee haue receiued
[II.6.1-75]  vnto him who abhorreth all excesse, pride, ostentation, and vanitie, who
[II.6.1-76]  also vtterly condemneth and disalloweth whatsoeuer draweth vs from
[II.6.1-77]  our duety toward GOD, or diminisheth our charity towards our neigh­
[II.6.1-78]  bours and children, whom we ought to loue as ourselues. The fourth

[margin]
4
[margin]

[II.6.1-79]  and last rule is, that euery man behold and consider his owne vocation,
[II.6.1-80]  in as much as GOD hath appointed euery man his degree and office,
[II.6.1-81]  within the limittes whereof it behoueth him to keepe himselfe. There­
[II.6.1-82]  fore all may not looke to weare like apparell, but euery one according to
[II.6.1-83]  his degree, as GOD hath placed him. Which, if it were obserued, many
[II.6.1-84]  one doubtlesse should bee compelled to weare a ruffet coate, which now
[II.6.1-85]  ruffeleth in silkes and veluets, spending more by the yeere in sumptuous
[II.6.1-86]  apparell, then their fathers receiued for the whole reuenue of their lands.
[II.6.1-87]  But alas now a dayes how many may wee behold occupied wholy in
[II.6.1-88]  pampering the flesh, taking no care at all, but onely how to decke them­
[II.6.1-89]  selues, setting their affection altogether on worldly brauerie, abusing
[II.6.1-90]  GODS goodnesse, when he sendeth plenty, to satisfie their wonton lusts,

[margin]
Deut.29.
[margin]

[II.6.1-91]  hauing no regard to the degree wherein GOD hath placed them. The
[II.6.1-92]  Israelites were contented with such apparell as GOD gaue them, al­
[II.6.1-93]  though it were base and simple: And GOD so blessed them, that their
[II.6.1-94]  shooes and clothes lasted them fourtie yeeres, yea, and those clothes
[II.6.1-95]  which their fathers had worne, their children were contented to vse af­
[II.6.1-96]  terward. But we are neuer contented, and therefore we prosper not, so
[II.6.1-97]  that most commonly hee that ruffeleth in his Sables, in his fine furred
[II.6.1-98]  gowne, corked slippers, trime buskinnes, and warme mittons, is more
[II.6.1-99]  ready to chill for colde, then the poore labouring man, which can abide
[II.6.1-100]  in the field all the day long, when the North winde blowes, with a few
[II.6.1-101]  beggerly cloutes about him. Wee are loth to weare such as our fathers
[II.6.1-102]  haue left vs, we thinke not that sufficient or good ynough for vs. Wee
[II.6.1-103]  must haue one gowne for the day, another for the night, one long, ano­
[II.6.1-104]  ther shorte, one for Winter, another for Summer, one through furred,
[II.6.1-105]  another but faced, one for the working day, another for the holie day, one
[II.6.1-106]  of this colour, another of that colour, one of Cloth, another of Silke or
[II.6.1-107]  Damaske. We must haue change of apparell, one afore dinner, and a­
[II.6.1-108]  nother after, one of the Spanish fashion, another Turkie: and to bee
[II.6.1-109]  briefe, neuer content with sufficient. Our Sauiour Christ bad his

[margin]
Mat.10.
[margin]

[II.6.1-110]  disciples they should not haue two coates: but the most men, farre vn­
[II.6.1-111]  like to his schollers, haue their presses so full of apparell, that many know

[margin]
Iames 5.
[margin]

[II.6.1-112]  not how many sorts they haue. Which thing caused Saint Iames to
[II.6.1-113]  pronounce this terrible curse against such wealthie worldlings, Goe to
[II.6.1-114]  yee rich men, weepe and howle on your wretchednesse that shall come
[II.6.1-115]  vpon you, your riches are corrupt, and your garments are moth eaten, ye
[II.6.1-116]  haue liued in pleasure on the earth, and in wantonnesse, yee haue nou­
[II.6.1-117]  rished your hearts, as in the day of slaughter. Marke I beseech you,
[II.6.1-118]  Saint Iames calleth them miserable, notwithstanding their richesse and
[II.6.1-119]  and plenty of apparell, forasmuch as they pamper their bodies, to their
[II.6.1-120]  owne destruction. What was the rich glutton the better for his fine fare
[II.6.1-121]  and costly apparell? Did not he nourish himselfe to bee tormented in hell

[margin]
Luk.16.
[margin]

[II.6.1-122]  fire? Let vs learne therefore to content our selues, hauing foode and ray­
[II.6.1-123]  ment, as Saint Paul teacheth, least desiring to bee enriched with aboun­
[II.6.1-124]  dance, wee fall into temptations, snares, and many noysome lustes,

[margin]
1.Tim.6.
[margin]

[II.6.1-125]  which drowne men in perdition and destruction. Certainely, such as
[II.6.1-126]  delight in gorgious apparell, are commonly puffed vp with pride, and fil­
[II.6.1-127]  led with diuers vanities. So were the daughters of Sion and people of
[II.6.1-128]  Ierusalem whom Esai the Prophet threatneth, because they walked

[margin]
Esaias.3.
[margin]

[II.6.1-129]  with stretched out neckes and wandering eyes, mincing as they went,
[II.6.1-130]  and nicely treading with their feet, that Almighty GOD would make
[II.6.1-131]  their heads baulde, and discouer their secret shame. In that day, saith
[II.6.1-132]  hee, shall the Lord take away the ornament of the slippers, and the caules,
[II.6.1-133]  and the round attires, and the sweete balles, and the bracelets, and the
[II.6.1-134]  attires of the head, and the sloppes, and the head bandes, and the
[II.6.1-135]  tabletes, and the eareringes, the rings, and the mufflers, the costly
[II.6.1-136]  apparell, and the vailes, and wimples, and the crisping pinne, and the
[II.6.1-137]  glasses, and the fine linnen, and the hoodes, and the launes. So that
[II.6.1-138]  almightie GOD would not suffer his benefits to bee vainely and won­
[II.6.1-139]  tonly abused, no not of that people whom he most tenderly loued, and
[II.6.1-140]  had chosen to himselfe before all other. No lesse truely is the vanitie that
[II.6.1-141]  is vsed among vs in these dayes. For the proude and haughtie stomacks
[II.6.1-142]  of the daughters of England, are so maintained with diuers disguised

[margin]
Apolog.
Con.gentes.
cap.6.

[margin]

[II.6.1-143]  sortes of costly apparell, that as Tertullian an auncient father saith, there
[II.6.1-144]  is left no difference in apparell betweene an honest matrone and a com­
[II.6.1-145]  mon strumpet. Yea many men are become so effeminate, that they care
[II.6.1-146]  not what they spend in disguising themselues, euer desiring new toyes,
[II.6.1-147]  and inuenting new fashions. Therefore a certaine man that would
[II.6.1-148]  picture euery countreyman in his accustomed apparell, when hee had
[II.6.1-149]  painted other nations, he pictured the English man all naked, and gaue
[II.6.1-150]  him cloth vnder his arme, and bade him make it himselfe as hee thought
[II.6.1-151]  best, for hee changed his fashion so often, that he knew not how to make
[II.6.1-152]  it. Thus with our phantasticall deuises, wee make our selues laughing
[II.6.1-153]  stockes to other nations, while one spendeth his patrimonie vpon
[II.6.1-154]  pounces and cuttes, another bestoweth more on a dauncing shirte, then
[II.6.1-155]  might suffice to buy him honest and comely apparell for his whole bodie.
[II.6.1-156]  Some hang their reuenues about their neckes, ruffling in their ruffes,
[II.6.1-157]  and many a one ieopardeth his best ioynt, to maintaine himselfe in sump­
[II.6.1-158]  tuous rayment. And euery man, nothing considering his estate and
[II.6.1-159]  condition, seeketh to excell other in costly attire. Whereby it commeth to
[II.6.1-160]  passe, that in abundance and plentie of all things, we yet complaine of
[II.6.1-161]  want and penurie, while one man spendeth that which might serue a
[II.6.1-162]  multitude, and no man distributeth of the abundance which hee hath
[II.6.1-163]  receiued, and all men excessiuely waste that which should serue to supply
[II.6.1-164]  the necessities of other. There hath beene very good prouision made a­
[II.6.1-165]  gainst such abuses, by diuers good and wholsome lawes, which if they
[II.6.1-166]  were practised as they ought to bee of all true subiects, they might in
[II.6.1-167]  some part serue to diminish this raging and riotous excesse in apparell.
[II.6.1-168]  But alas, there appeareth amongst vs little feare and obedience either
[II.6.1-169]  of GOD, or man. Therefore must wee needes looke for GODS
[II.6.1-170]  fearefull vengeance from heauen, to ouerthrowe our presumption and
[II.6.1-171]  pride, as hee ouerthrew Herode, who in his royall apparell, forgetting

[margin]
Act.12.
[margin]

[II.6.1-172]  GOD, was smitten of an Angell, and eaten vp of wormes. By
[II.6.1-173]  which terrible example, GOD hath taught vs that wee are but
[II.6.1-174]  wormes meate, although we pamper our selues neuer so much in gorge­
[II.6.1-175]  ous apparell.

[II.6.1-176]  Here we may learne that which Iesus the sonne of Sirach teacheth,
[II.6.1-177]  not to be proud of clothing and rayment, neither to exalt our selues in the

[margin]
Ecc.us.11
[margin]

[II.6.1-178]  day of honour, because the workes of the Lord are wonderfull, and glori­
[II.6.1-179]  ous, secret, and vnknowen, teaching vs with humblenesse of minde, eue­
[II.6.1-180]  ry one to be mindfull of the vocation whereunto GOD hath called him.
[II.6.1-181]  Let Christians therefore endeuour themselues to quench the care of plea­
[II.6.1-182]  sing the flesh, let vs vse the benefits of GOD in this world, in such wise,
[II.6.1-183]  that we be not too much occupied in prouiding for the body. Let vs con­
[II.6.1-184]  tent our selues quietly with that which GOD sendeth, bee it neuer so
[II.6.1-185]  little. And if it please him to send plenty, let vs not waxe proud thereof,
[II.6.1-186]  but let vs vse it moderately, aswell to our owne comfort, as to the reliefe
[II.6.1-187]  of such as stand in necessity. He that in abundance and plenty of apparel
[II.6.1-188]  hideth his face from him that is naked, despiseth his owne flesh, as Esay

[margin]
Esai.58.
[margin]

[II.6.1-189]  the Prophet sayth. Let vs learne to know ourselues, and not to despise
[II.6.1-190]  other, let vs remember that we stand all before the Maiesty of Almighty
[II.6.1-191]  GOD, who shall iudge vs by his holy word, wherin he forbiddeth excesse,
[II.6.1-192]  not onely to men, but also to women. So that none can excuse them­
[II.6.1-193]  selues, of what estate or condition so euer they be. Let vs therefore present
[II.6.1-194]  our selues before his throne, as Tertullian exhorteth, with the ornaments

[margin]
Ephes.6.
[margin]

[II.6.1-195]  which the Apostle speaketh of, Ephesians the sixt Chapter, hauing our
[II.6.1-196]  loynes girt about with the verity, hauing the breast-plate of righteous­
[II.6.1-197]  nesse, and shodde with shoes prepared by the Gospel of peace. Let vs take
[II.6.1-198]  vnto vs simplicity, chastity, and comelinesse, submitting our neckes to

[margin]
Matt.11.
[margin]

[II.6.1-199]  the sweet yoke of Christ. Let women be subiect to their husbands, and
[II.6.1-200]  they are sufficiently attired, sayth Tertullian. The wife of one Philo an
[II.6.1-201]  heathen Philosopher, being demanded why she ware no gold: she answe­
[II.6.1-202]  red, that she thought her husbands vertues sufficient ornaments. How
[II.6.1-203]  much more ought Christian women, instructed by the word of GOD, to
[II.6.1-204]  content themselues in their husbands? yea, how much more ought euery
[II.6.1-205]  Christian to content himselfe in our Sauiour Christ, thinking him­
[II.6.1-206]  selfe sufficiently garnished with his heauenly vertues. But it wil be here
[II.6.1-207]  obiected & sayd of some nice & vaine women, that al which we do in pain­
[II.6.1-208]  ting our faces, in dying our haire, in embalming our bodies, in decking
[II.6.1-209]  vs with gay apparell, is to please our husbands, to delight his eyes, and to
[II.6.1-210]  retayne his loue towards vs. O vaine excuse, and most shamefull answer,
[II.6.1-211]  to the reproch of thy husband. What couldst thou more say to set out his
[II.6.1-212]  foolishnesse, then to charge him to bee pleased and delighted with the Di­
[II.6.1-213]  uels tire? Who can paint her face and curle her hayre, and change it into
[II.6.1-214]  an vnnaturall colour, but therein doeth worke reproofe to her maker,
[II.6.1-215]  who made her? As though shee could make her selfe more comely then
[II.6.1-216]  GOD hath appointed the measure of her beauty. What doe these wo­
[II.6.1-217]  men, but goe about to reforme that which GOD hath made? not know­
[II.6.1-218]  ing that all things naturall are the worke of GOD, and things disgui­
[II.6.1-219]  sed and vnnaturall be the workes of the Diuell. And as though a wise
[II.6.1-220]  and Christian husband should delight to see his wife in such painted and
[II.6.1-221]  flourished visages, which common harlots most doe vse, to traine there­
[II.6.1-222]  with their louers to naughtinesse, or as though an honest woman could
[II.6.1-223]  delight to be like an harlot for pleasing of her husband. Nay, nay, these
[II.6.1-224]  be but vaine excuses of such as go about to please rather others then their
[II.6.1-225]  husbands. And such attires be but to prouoke her to shew her selfe abroad,
[II.6.1-226]  to entice others: a worthy matter. She must keep debate with her hus­
[II.6.1-227]  band to maintaine such apparel, whereby shee is the worse huswife, the
[II.6.1-228]  seldomer at home to see to her charge, and so neglect his thrift, by giuing
[II.6.1-229]  great prouocation to her houshold to waste and wantonnesse, while shee
[II.6.1-230]  must wander abroad to shew her owne vanity, and her husbands foolish­
[II.6.1-231]  nesse. By which her pride, she stirreth vp much enuie of others which bee
[II.6.1-232]  as vainely delighted as she is. She doeth but deserue mockes and scorns,
[II.6.1-233]  to set out all her commendation in Iewish and Ethnicke apparell, and
[II.6.1-234]  yet brag of her Christianity. She doeth but waste superfluously her hus­
[II.6.1-235]  bands stocke by such sumptuousnesse, and sometimes shee is the cause of
[II.6.1-236]  much bribery, extortion, & deceit, in her husbands dealings, that she may
[II.6.1-237]  be the more gorgiously set out to the sight of the vaine world, to please
[II.6.1-238]  the Diuels eyes, and not GODS, who giueth to euery creature suffici­
[II.6.1-239]  ent and moderate comelines, wherewith we should bee contented if wee
[II.6.1-240]  were of God. What other thing doest thou by those means, but prouokest
[II.6.1-241]  other to tempt thee, to deceiue thy soule, by the baite of thy pompe and
[II.6.1-242]  pride? What else doest thou, but settest out thy pride, and makest of the
[II.6.1-243]  vndecent apparell of thy body, the deuils net, to catch the soules of them
[II.6.1-244]  which behold thee? O thou woman, not a Christian, but worse, then a
[II.6.1-245]  Panim, thou minister of the deuill: Why pamperest thou that carren
[II.6.1-246]  flesh so high, which sometime doeth stincke and rotte on the earth as thou
[II.6.1-247]  goest? Howsoeuer thou perfumest thy selfe, yet cannot thy beastlynesse
[II.6.1-248]  be hidden or ouercome with thy smelles and sauours, which doe rather
[II.6.1-249]  defourme and misshape thee, then beautifie thee. What meant Solomon

[margin]
Prou.11.
[margin]

[II.6.1-250]  to say, of such trimming of vaine women, when hee sayd, A faire woman
[II.6.1-251]  without good manners and conditions is like a Sowe which hath a
[II.6.1-252]  ring of golde vpon her snout? but that the more thou garnish thy selfe
[II.6.1-253]  with these outward blasinges, the lesse thou carest for the inward gar­
[II.6.1-254]  nishing of thy minde, and so doest but deforme thy selfe by such aray, and
[II.6.1-255]  not beautifie thy selfe? Heare, heare, what Christes holy Apostles doe
[II.6.1-256]  write, Let not the outward apparell of women (saith Saint Peter) bee

[margin]
1.Pet.3.
[margin]

[II.6.1-257]  decked with the brayding of haire, with wrapping on of golde, or goodly
[II.6.1-258]  clothing: but let the minde, and the conscience, which is not seene with
[II.6.1-259]  the eyes, be pure and cleane, that is, sayth hee, an acceptable and an ex­
[II.6.1-260]  cellent thing before GOD. For so the olde ancient holy women attired
[II.6.1-261]  themselues, and were obedient to their husbands. And Saint Paul saith,

[margin]
1.Tim.2.
[margin]

[II.6.1-262]  that women should apparell themselues with shamefastnesse and sober­
[II.6.1-263]  nesse, and not with braydes of their haire, or gold, or pearle, or precious
[II.6.1-264]  clothes, but as women should doe which will expresse godlinesse by their
[II.6.1-265]  good outward workes. If ye will not keepe the Apostles preceptes, at
[II.6.1-266]  the least let vs heare what pagans, which were ignorant of Christ, haue
[II.6.1-267]  sayde in this matter. Democrates saith, The ornament of a woman, stan­
[II.6.1-268]  deth in scarcitie of speach and apparell. Sophocles saith of such apparell
[II.6.1-269]  thus, It is not an ornament, O thou foole, but a shame and a manifest
[II.6.1-270]  shew of thy folly. Socrates saith, that that is a garnishing to a woman,
[II.6.1-271]  which declareth out her honestie. The Grecians vse it in a prouerbe: It
[II.6.1-272]  is not gold or pearle which is a beauty to a woman, but good conditions.

[II.6.1-273]  And Aristotle biddeth that a woman should vse lesse apparell then the
[II.6.1-274]  lawe doth suffer. For it is not the goodlinesse of apparell, nor the excel­
[II.6.1-275]  lencie of beautie, nor the abundance of gold, that maketh a woman to bee
[II.6.1-276]  esteemed, but modestie, and diligence to liue honestly in all things. This
[II.6.1-277]  outragious vanitie is now growen so farre, that there is no shame taken
[II.6.1-278]  of it. We reade in histories, that when king Dionysius sent to the women
[II.6.1-279]  of Lacedemon rich robes, they answered and sayd, that they shall doe vs
[II.6.1-280]  more shame then honour: and therefore refused them. The women in
[II.6.1-281]  Rome in old time abhorred that gay apparell which king Pyrrhus sent to
[II.6.1-282]  them, and none were so greedy and vaine to accept them. And a law
[II.6.1-283]  was openly made of the Senate, and a long time obserued, that no wo­
[II.6.1-284]  man should weare ouer halfe an ounce of gold, nor should weare clothes
[II.6.1-285]  of diuers colours. But perchaunce some daintie dame will say and an­
[II.6.1-286]  swere mee, that they must doe some thing to shew their birth and blood,
[II.6.1-287]  to shew their husbands riches: as though nobility were chiefly seene by
[II.6.1-288]  these things, which be common to those which bee most vile, as though
[II.6.1-289]  thy husbands riches were not better bestowed then in such superfluities,
[II.6.1-290]  as though when thou wast christened, thou diddest not renounce the pride
[II.6.1-291]  of this world, and the pompe of the flesh. I speake not against conueni­
[II.6.1-292]  ent apparell for euery state agreeable: but against the superfluity, against
[II.6.1-293]  the vaine delight to couet such vanities, to deuise new fashions to feede
[II.6.1-294]  thy pride with, to spend so much vpon thy carkasse, that thou and thy
[II.6.1-295]  husband are compelled to robbe the poore, to maintaine thy costlinesse.
[II.6.1-296]  Heare how that noble holy woman Queene Hester, setteth out these good­
[II.6.1-297]  ly ornaments (as they be called) when (in respect of sauing GODS
[II.6.1-298]  people) she was compelled to put on such glorious apparell, knowing
[II.6.1-299]  that it was a fit stable to blinde the eyes of carnall fooles. Thus she pray­
[II.6.1-300]  ed, Thou knowest, O Lord, the necessity, which I am driuen to, to put
[II.6.1-301]  on this apparell, and that I abhorre this signe of pride, and of this glory
[II.6.1-302]  which I beare on my head, and that I defie it as a filthy cloth, and that
[II.6.1-303]  I weare it not when I am alone. Againe, by what meanes was Holo­
[II.6.1-304]  phernes
deceiued, by the glittering shew of apparell, which that holy wo­
[II.6.1-305]  man Iudith did put on her, not as delighting in them, nor seeking vaine
[II.6.1-306]  voluptuous pleasure by them: but shee ware it of pure necessitie by
[II.6.1-307]  GODS dispensation, vsing this vanitie to ouercome the vaine eyes of
[II.6.1-308]  GODS enemie. Such desire was in those noble women, being very
[II.6.1-309]  loth and vnwilling otherwise to weare such sumptuous apparell, by the
[II.6.1-310]  which others should be caused to forget themselues. These be commen­
[II.6.1-311]  ded in Scripture for abhorring such vanities, which by constraint and
[II.6.1-312]  great necessitie, against their hearts desire, they were compelled to weare
[II.6.1-313]  them for a time. And shall such women bee worthy commendations,
[II.6.1-314]  which neither bee comparable with these women aforesayd in nobility,
[II.6.1-315]  nor comparable to them in their good zeale to GOD and his people,
[II.6.1-316]  whose dayly delight and seeking is to flourish in such gay shifts and chan­
[II.6.1-317]  ges, neuer satisfied, nor regarding who smarteth for their apparell, so
[II.6.1-318]  they may come by it? O vaine men, which be subiects to their wittes in
[II.6.1-319]  these inordinate affections. O vaine women, to procure so much hurt
[II.6.1-320]  to themselues, by the which they come the sooner to misery in this world
[II.6.1-321]  and in the meane time be abhorred of GOD, hated and scorned of wise
[II.6.1-322]  men, and in the end, like to be ioyned with such, who in hell, too late re­
[II.6.1-323]  penting themselues, shall openly complaine with these wordes: What
[II.6.1-324]  hath our pride profited vs? or what profit hath the pompe of riches
[II.6.1-325]  brought vs? All these things are passed away like a shadow. As for ver­
[II.6.1-326]  tue, we did neuer shew any signe thereof: And thus wee are consumed in
[II.6.1-327]  our wickednesse. If thou sayest that the custome is to bee followed, and
[II.6.1-328]  the vse of the world doeth compell thee to such curiosity, then I aske of
[II.6.1-329]  thee, whose custome should be followed? wise folkes manners, or fooles?
[II.6.1-330]  If thou sayest the wise: then I say, follow them: For fooles customes,
[II.6.1-331]  who should follow but fooles? Consider that the consent of wise men,
[II.6.1-332]  ought to be alleadged for a custome. Now if any lewd custome be vsed, be
[II.6.1-333]  thou the first to breake it, labour to diminish it and lay it downe: and more
[II.6.1-334]  laud before GOD, and more commendation shalt thou win by it, then
[II.6.1-335]  by all the glory of such superfluity.

[II.6.1-336]  Thus ye haue heard declared vnto you, what GOD requireth by his
[II.6.1-337]  word concerning the moderate vse of his creatures. Let vs learne to vse
[II.6.1-338]  them moderately as he hath appointed. Almighty GOD hath taught
[II.6.1-339]  vs, to what end and purpose we should vse our apparell. Let vs therefore
[II.6.1-340]  learne so to behaue our selues in the vse thereof, as becommeth Christi­
[II.6.1-341]  ans, alwayes shewing our selues thankefull to our heauenly Father for
[II.6.1-342]  his great and mercifull benefits, who giueth vnto vs our dayly bread,
[II.6.1-343]  that is to say, all things necessary for this our needy life, vnto whom
[II.6.1-344]  we shall render accounts for all his benefits, at the glorious
[II.6.1-345]  appearing of our Sauiour Christ, to whom with the
[II.6.1-346]  Father and the holy Ghost, bee all honour,
[II.6.1-347]  prayse, and glory for euer and
[II.6.1-348]  euer. Amen.