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The English Homilies

Inside Former Book of Homilies

Former Book of Homilies

Appointed by Edward VI (1547).

A] Preface to the Book of Homilies


I. A Fruitful Exhortation unto the Reading and Knowledge of Holy Scripture.

And there is nothing that so much strengtheneth our faith and trust in God, that so much keepeth up innocency and pureness of the heart and also of outward godly life and conversation, as continual reading and recording of God’s Word. For that thing, which by continual reading of Holy Scripture and diligent searching of the same is deeply printed and graven in the heart, at length turneth almost into nature.

A. Which knowledge is necessary, profitable, and maketh our duty known.

1. Scripture is the heavenly meat of our souls.

2. He that is most turned into it is most inspired with the Holy Ghost.

B. Against fear and excuses.

1. On the fear of falling into error.

2. On the hardness of Scripture.

3. Conclusion.

II. Of the Misery of All Mankind and His Condemnation to Death Everlasting by His Own Sin.

In the mean season, yea, and at all times, let us learn to know ourselves, our frailty and weakness, without any cracking or boasting of our own good deeds and merits. Let us also acknowledge the exceeding mercy of God towards us and confess that as of ourselves cometh all evil and damnation, so likewise of him cometh all goodness and salvation.

A. How humbly all Godly men have always thought of themselves.

1. The virtue of humility: we confess to be wretched and miserable sinners.

2. The promise of faith in Jesus Christ.

B. The fruits of man or the fruits of the Holy Ghost.

1. Let us confess our imperfections.

2. Flee to God.

3. Conclusion.

III. Of the Salvation of Mankind by Only Christ Our Saviour, from Sin and Death Everlasting. (“Of Justification”)

Christ is now the righteousness of all them that truly do believe in him. He for them paid their ransom by his death. He for them fulfilled the law in his life so that now in him and by him every true Christian man may be called a fulfiller of the law. For, as much as that which their infirmity lacked, Christ’s justice hath supplied.

A. Whereby we are justified by a true and lively faith in Christ alone.

1. The efficacy of Christ’s mission and oblation.

2. Three things must go together in our justification.

3. How it is to be understood that faith justifieth without works.

B. How no man can be justified by his own good works.

1. Faith only justifieth is the doctrine of old Doctors.

2. Faith only, how it is to be understood.

3. The profit of the doctrine, of faith only justifieth.

C. Go, and sin no more.

1. Faith brings forth good works in Christian liberty.

2. What is the true and justifying faith.

3. They that continue in evil living have not true faith.

IV. A Short Declaration of the True, Lively, and Christian Faith.

Faith hath stopped the lion’s mouth. Faith hath quenched the force of fire. Faith hath escaped the sword’s edge. Faith hath given weak men strength, victory in battle, overthrown the armies of infidels, raised the dead to life. Faith hath made good men to take adversity in good part... All these fathers, martyrs, and other holy men of whom St. Paul spake had their faith surely fixed in God when all the world was against them.

A. Faith and its works.

1. A dead faith.

2. A lively faith.

3. Faith is full of good works.

B. The fruits of the true and lively faith.

1. Faith maketh men to follow God.

2. From faith springeth great courage.

3. From faith spring good works.

4. Charity bringeth forth good works.

C. The signs of faith.

1. Living in sin is the sign of counterfeit faith.

2. Do good works to try a true lively faith.

3. Conclusion.

V. A Sermon of Good Works Annexed unto Faith.

Wherefore, as ye have any zeal to the right and pure honouring of God, as ye have any regard to your own souls and to the life that is to come which is both without pain and without end, apply yourselves chiefly above all things to read and hear God’s Word, mark diligently therein what his will is ye shall do, and with all your endeavour apply yourselves to follow the same.

A. Neither is faith without works, nor can works avail without faith.

1. As St. Augustin taught.

2. As St. Chrysostom taught.

B. What works they be that spring out of faith.

1. The works that lead to heaven be works of God’s commandments.

2. The devices and idolatries of the Israelites.

3. Man’s laws must be observed and kept, but not as God’s Laws.

4. Holiness of man’s device is commonly occasion that God is offended.

C. Sects and religions amongst Christian men.

1. Man’s own zealous good works are contrary to God’s commandments.

2. The three chief vows of religion.

3. Other devices and superstitions.

4. Decrees and decretals.

5. An exhortation to the keeping of God’s commandments.

VI. A Sermon of Christian Love and Charity.

Charity is to love God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our powers and strength... Therefore bear well away this one short lesson – that by true Christian charity God ought to be loved, good and evil, friend and foe, and to all such we ought (as we may), to do good.

A. Charity is the love of God.

1. Love thy neighbour, friend and foe.

2. Christ sought not his own glory and will, but his Father’s.

3. Let every man examine himself and be not deceived.

B. Against carnal men that will not forgive their enemies.

1. Jews and brute beasts do love their friends.

2. Charity hath to cherish the harmless and to correct vice.

VII. Against Swearing and Perjury.

To the intent that God’s commandment may be the better known and kept, it shall be declared unto you, both how it is lawful for Christian people to swear, and also what peril and danger it is vainly to swear or to be forsworn.

A. How and in what cause it is lawful to swear.

1. When an oath is required of a judge.

2. Commodities had by lawful oaths made and observed.

3. Vain swearing is forbidden.

B. Lawful oaths and promises would be better regarded.

1. Unlawful oaths and promises are not to be kept.

2. Perjury and an oath before a judge.

3. Though perjury do escape herein spied and unpunished, it shall not do so ever.

VIII. A Sermon of How Dangerous a Thing It is to Fall from God.

By these threatenings we are monished and warned that if we, which are the chosen vineyard of God, bring not forth good grapes – that is to say, sour works, unsavoury and unfruitful – then will he pluck away all decency and suffer grievous plagues of famine, battle, dearth, and death to light upon us.

A. Pride doth turn us from god.

1. Have confidence in God only.

2. Turn thy mind to God day and night.

3. Disobedience.

4. The turning of God from man.

5. Many warnings.

B. God’s terrible countenance.

1. Bring forth no wild grapes.

2. Carnal liberty.

3. Fear most when he striketh not.

4. Into the power of the devil.

5. Against desperation.

6. Against presumption.

IX. An Exhortation against the Fear of Death.

For death shall be to him no death at all, but a very deliverance from death: from all pains, cares and sorrows, miseries, and wretchedness of this world; and the very entry into rest; and a beginning of everlasting joy; a tasting of heavenly pleasures so great that neither tongue is able to express, neither eye to see, nor ear to hear them, no, nor any earthly man’s heart to conceive them. So exceeding great benefits they be which God our heavenly Father, by his mere mercy and for the love of his Son Jesus Christ, hath laid up in store and prepared for them that humbly submit themselves to God’s will and evermore unfeignedly love him from the bottom of their hearts.

A. The Christian is the very inheritor of the everlasting kingdom of heaven.

1. Fear not the second death.

2. Every faithful person conceiveth the manifold benefits.

3. Death was slain by Christ.

4. Then shall we also appear with him in glory.

B. They have great cause to be full of joy that be joined to Christ.

1. Though they lose all their heart’s desires.

a. Death shall join us unto God more perfectly.

b. A pilgrimage in a strange country.

c. God’s great mercy.

2. Sore sickness and grievous pains.

a. The correcting rod.

b. To correct our sin or to make us holy.

C. Eternal damnation both of body and soul.

1. Our rich inheritance.

2. See the glory of God.

3. Sow in the Spirit.

4. This painful life or the blessed life to come.

X. An Exhortation Concerning Good Order and Obedience to Rulers and Magistrates.

Yet let us believe undoubtedly, good Christian people, that we may not obey kings, magistrates, or any other – though they be our own fathers – if they would command us to do anything contrary to God’s commandments. In such a case we ought to say with the apostle, “we must rather obey God than man.” But nevertheless in that case we may not in any wise withstand violently.

A. God hath appointed common authority for good order.

1. The goodly order of God be praised.

2. Princes hold power from God, not Rome.

B. Not man’s device, but God’s wisdom, order, power, and authority.

1. Whosoever withstandeth common authority, withstandeth the ordinance of God.

2. Remember David under King Saul.

3. God chastiseth the rebellious.

C. The violence and injury that is committed against lawful authority is committed against God.

1. The usurped power of the bishop of Rome is blasphemy against God.

2. Let us pray for our lawful rulers.

XI. A Sermon against Whoredom and Uncleanness.

XII. A Sermon against Contention and Brawling.

St. Paul numbereth a scolder among thieves and idolaters, and many times there cometh less hurt of a thief than of a railing tongue. For the one taketh away a man’s good name, the other taketh but his riches, which is of much less value and estimation than is his good name. And a thief hurteth but him from whom he stealeth, but he that hath an evil tongue troubleth all the town where he dwelleth and sometime the whole country. And a railing tongue is a pestilence so full of contagiousness that St. Paul willeth Christian men to forbear the company of such and neither to eat nor drink with them.

A. The unity of the church of Christ.

1. One Spirit.

2. How we should read the Scripture.

3. An evil tongue troubleth all the town.

4. Against froward answering.

B. Vainglory leadeth to strife.

1. It is better to suffer evil than to do evil.

2. A sure sign of God’s forgiveness.

3. Reasons to move men from their evil tongues.

4. Reasons to move men from froward answering.

C. How to answer slander.

1. Answer the fool with Godly zeal when there be peril to many.

2. They in authority ought to punish the contentious.

Second Book of Homilies

Appointed by Elizabeth I (1562, 1571).

I. Of the Right Use of the Church.

The material church, or temple, is a place appointed as well by the usage and continual examples expressed in the Old Testament as in the New for the people of God to resort together unto, there to hear God’s Holy Word, to call upon his holy Name, to give him thanks for his innumerable and unspeakable benefits bestowed upon us, and duly and truly to celebrate his holy sacraments in the unfeigned doing and accomplishing of the which standeth that true and right worshipping of God.

A. The House of the Lord.

1. Not for the incomprehensible Majesty of God.

2. The due place for common and public prayer.

3. The due place for reading Scripture, teaching, service, and sacraments.

4. Whither Christians ought to resort with diligence.

B. The Reverence Due unto the House of the Lord.

1. None but Godly persons might enter the holy temple.

2. Quietness in behaviour and words is required in the house of God.

3. God requireth also inward reverence of our hearts.

4. Wicked offenders are to be banished from the house of the Lord.

II. Against Peril of Idolatry.

What ruin of religion and what mischief ensued afterward to all Christendom, experience hath to our great hurt and sorrow proved. First, by the schism rising between the East and the West church about the said images. Next, by the division of the Empire into two parts by the same occasion of images to the great weakening of all Christendom, whereby last of all hath followed the utter overthrow of the Christian religion and noble Empire in Greece and all the East parts of the world and the increase of Mahomet’s false religion and the cruel dominion and tyranny of the Saracens and Turks, who do now hang over our necks also and that dwell in the West parts of the world, ready at all occasions to overrun us. And all this do we owe unto our idols and images and our idolatry in worshipping of them.

A. As Taken Out of the Scriptures and Confirmed by the Examples of the Apostles and of Our Saviour Christ Himself.

1. Background.

2. Places of the Scripture against idols or images.

B. As Was Believed of the Old Holy Fathers and Most Learned Ancient Doctors.

1. All notable bishops were then called “popes”.

2. Treason and rebellion for the defence of images.

3. A council against images.

4. Of Eirene.

5. A decree that images should be worshipped.

6. Another council against images.

7. Doctors of the council against images.

8. Yet another council against images.

9. The forged "Gift of Constantine", &c.

10. Nicene Council like to be falsified.

11. These things were done about the 803, Year of Our Lord.

12. Of Stauratius.

C. Against Images and the Worshipping of Them.

1. Simulachra gentium argentum et aurum Fusile Similitudo, Sculptilo Similachrum opera mannum hominum.

2. Dii tutelares.

3. Dii præsides.

4. Dii patroni.

5. Medioximi Dii.

6. Adorare.

7. Colere.

8. Cultus.

9. Of image-worshipping.

10. Conclusion.

11. Crypte.

III. Of Repairing and Keeping Clean of Churches.

Some, neither regarding godliness nor the place of godly exercise, will say, “The temple in the old law was commanded to be built and repaired by God himself because it had great promises annexed unto it and because it was a figure, a sacrament, or a signification of Christ and also of his church.” To this may be easily answered first that our churches are not destitute of promises, forasmuch as our Saviour Christ saith, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst among them.”

A. God is well pleased that his people should have a convenient place to resort unto.

B. God is highly pleased with all those which diligently restore his churches.

C. God is sore displeased with his people when they suffer God’s house to lie uncomely and fulsomely.

IV. Of Good Works, First of Fasting.

The Pharisees knew not that there is a time of rejoicing and mirth and a time again of lamentation and mourning, which both he teacheth in his answer as shall be touched more largely hereafter when we shall show what time is most fit to fast in. But here, beloved, let us note that our Saviour Christ, in making his answer to their question, denied not but confessed that his disciples fasted not and therefore agreeth to the Pharisees in this as unto a manifest truth: that whoso eateth and drinketh, fasteth not. Fasting then even by Christ’s assent is a withholding of meat, drink, and all natural food from the body for the determined time of fasting.

A. To show ourselves obedient children unto our heavenly Father.

1. Private fasts and common fasts.

2. When is the time to fast?

3. When fasting, what shall be withheld?

B. For that they are good testimonies of our justification.

C. That others seeing our good works may be stirred up to glorify our Father.

V. Against Gluttony and Drunkenness.

And first, that ye may perceive how detestable and hateful all excess in eating and drinking is before the face of Almighty God, ye shall call to mind what is written by St. Paul to the Galatians, where he numbereth gluttony and drunkenness among those horrible crimes with the which, as he saith, no man shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. He reckoneth them among the deeds of the flesh and coupleth them with idolatry, whoredom, and murder, which are the greatest offences that can be named among men. For the first spoileth God of his honour, the second defileth his holy temple; that is to wit, our own bodies...

A. All excess in eating and drinking offendeth the Majesty of Almighty God.

B. Almighty God punisheth them who immoderately abuse eating and drinking.

1. Noe.

2. Lot.

3. Amnon.

4. Alexander.

B. The manifold mischiefs arising from riotous and excessive eating and drinking.

C. Surfeiting sometimes bringeth men to frenzy of mind.

D. The glutton and drunkard shall come to poverty.

VI. Against Excess of Apparel.

They that are much occupied in caring for things pertaining to the body are most commonly negligent and careless in matters concerning the soul. Therefore our Saviour Christ willeth us not to take thought what we shall eat or what we shall drink or wherewith we shall be clothed, but rather to seek the kingdom of God and the righteousness thereof. Whereby we may learn to beware lest we use those things to our hindrance which God hath ordained for our comfort and furtherance towards his kingdom.

A. The moderate use of apparel.

B. The abuses of apparel.

C. Yea, many men are become effeminate.

D. Be not too much occupied in providing for the body.

E. What do these women but go about to reform that which God hath made?

F. It is not gold or pearl which is a beauty to a woman.

G. Queen Hester and Iudith.

H. Whose custom should be followed, wise folks' or fools'?.

VII. Of Prayer.

We are bound by express commandment to love all men as ourselves. Therefore we are also bound to pray for all men, even as well as if it were for ourselves, notwithstanding we know them to be our extreme and deadly enemies. For so doth our Saviour Christ plainly teach us in his Gospel, saying, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, pray for them that persecute you that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.” And as he taught his disciples, so did he practise himself in his lifetime, praying for his enemies upon the cross and desiring his Father to forgive them because they knew not what they did, as did also that holy and blessed martyr Steven when he was cruelly stoned to death of the stubborn and stiff-necked Jews.

A. The Great Necessity of Prayer.

1. Ask God.

2. Pray always.

a. St. Paul.

b. Moses and Iosua.

c. Iosaphat.

d. Iudith, Hester, Susanna, &c.

3. What if we obtain not our petitions at the first?

B. Unto Whom to Pray.

1. It behooveth us to run only unto God.

2. Prayer: Lifting up of the heart to God.

3. Christ: The one Mediator between man and God the Father.

4. The saints and angels receive no honour proper unto God.

C. For What Kind of Things and What Kind of Persons Ye Ought to Pray.

1. Even sinners may come to God, for that they have a Mediator.

2. The two chief prayers.

a. Necessities of soul and body.

b. The glory of God.

3. And hitherto concerning those things that we may lawfully and boldly ask of God.

a. Pray for all, namely kings, rulers, and God’s ministers.

b. We are bound to love all and pray for all.

c. After death, the one needeth no prayer and the other is without redemption.

VIII. Of the Place and Time of Prayer.

Our godly predecessors and the ancient fathers of the primitive church spared not their goods to build churches. No, they spared not their lives in time of persecution and to hazard their blood that they might assemble themselves together in churches. And shall we spare a little labour to come to churches?

A. Into What Place and at What Time Ye Shall Come Together to Praise God.

1. Remember the Lord’s Day, the day of the Lord’s resurrection.

2. The wicked do not hallow Sunday.

3. Celebrate the sabbath in church.

4. The primitive church hazarded their blood that they might assemble themselves together in churches.

B. How Zealous and Desirous Ye Ought to Be to Come to Your Church.

1. King David.

2. Simeon and Anna.

3. Now must we repent, for God’s wrath is provoked on us.

4. Ye are bidden and bound to attend God’s feast.

IX. That Common Prayers and Sacraments Ought to Be Ministered in a Known Tongue.

We have example in Anna the mother of Samuel when in the heaviness of her heart she prayed in the temple, desiring to be made fruitful. “She prayed in her heart”, saith the text, “but there was no voice heard.” After this sort must all Christians pray, not once in a week or once in a day only, but as St. Paul writeth to the Thessalonians, “without ceasing.” And as St. James writeth, “The continual prayer of a just man is of much force.”

A. The Three Kinds of Prayer and the Two Sacraments Instituted of Christ.

1. The three kinds of prayer.

2. The two kinds of sacraments instituted of Christ.

B. Vocal Prayer.

1. And first of common prayer and administration of sacraments.

2. Now a word or two of private prayer in an unknown tongue.

X. Of the Reverent Estimation of God’s Word.

If some man will say, “I would have a true pattern and a perfect description of an upright life, approved in the sight of God”, can we find, think ye, any better or any such gain as Christ Jesus is and his doctrine? Whose virtuous conversation and godly life the Scripture so lively painteth and setteth forth before our eye, that we beholding that pattern might shape and frame our lives as nigh as may be agreeable to the perfection of the same!

A. The Greatness of Holy Scriptures against which Ignorant Men Seek Quarrels.

1. Holy Scripture is the remedy against all error.

2. Holy Scripture shows us Christ more than any image.

3. Against them that deride the speech of the Bible.

4. On the sins of the patriarchs of the Old Testament.

B. On Ungodly Wise Men who Cannot Profit from Scripture.

1. Ye must submit your worldly wisdom unto his divine wisdom.

2. The three sorts of men to avoid.

3. The reprobate’s incredulity of the holy Word is his damnation.

XI. Of Almsdeeds.

Our Saviour Christ in the gospel teacheth us that it profiteth a man nothing to have in possession all the riches of the whole world and the wealth or glory thereof, if in the mean season he lose his soul or do that thing whereby it should become captive unto death, sin, and hellfire. By the which saying, he not only instructeth us how much the soul’s health is to be preferred before worldly commodities, but it also serveth to stir up our minds and to prick us forwards to seek diligently and learn by what means we may preserve and keep our souls ever in safety.

A. How Pleasant before God the Doing of Alms is.

1. Nothing can be more thankfully taken of God than almsdeeds.

2. The holy apostles and disciples of Christ.

3. The holy fathers in Scripture.

4. Christ loveth the poor especially.

B. How Profitable It is to Give Alms.

1. Alms-giving and the cleansing of the soul.

2. Alms-giving showeth the Spirit of God mightily working in the giver unto obedience.

3. God by his Spirit worketh in us and through his grace procureth for us.

C. He that Freely Giveth Shall Not Be in Danger of Penury and Scarcity.

1. The fearful and doubting are corrupt of soul.

2. God will provide; ye already have plenty.

3. God shall reward the miser with poverty.

4. Fear of poverty is a vain fear.

5. God is mindful us who be obedient to his Word.

XII. Of the Nativity of Christ.

Behold the great goodness and tender mercy of God in his behalf, albeit man’s wickedness and sinful behaviour was such that it deserved not in any part to be forgiven. Yet to the intent he might not be clean destitute of all hope and comfort in time to come, he ordained a new covenant and made a sure promise thereof; namely, that he would send a Messias or Mediator into the world which should make intercession and put himself as a stay between both parties to pacify the wrath and indignation conceived against sin and to deliver man out of the miserable curse and cursed misery whereinto he was fallen headlong by disobeying the will and commandment of the only Lord and Maker.

A. The Mediator Between God and Man.

1. The fall of man.

2. The covenant promise to send the Son of God to save man.

3. The Jews do reject the Saviour.

4. Against the Jewish blasphemy.

B. Concerning whose Nature and Substance.

1. Two natures, one Person.

2. Our Saviour Christ hath made us heirs of eternal life.

3. Therefore let us follow Christ.

XIII. Of the Passion of Christ.

And verily so much more doth Christ’s kindness appear unto us in that it pleased him to deliver himself of all his goodly honour which he was equally in with his Father in heaven and to come down into this vale of misery to be made mortal man and to be in the state of a most low servant, serving us for our wealth and profit. “Us”, I say, which were his sworn enemies, which had renounced his holy law and commandments and followed the lusts and sinful pleasures of our corrupt nature.

A. The Great Mercy and Goodness of Our Saviour.

1. Hate sin.

2. Christ hath not redeemed us from sin that we should live in sin.

3. Our deeds be full of imperfection.

4. The patience and meekness of Christ.

5. Love and forgive one another.

a. Forgiveness.

b. Pray for godly wisdom and let us examine ourselves.

B. The Principal Cause wherefore He Suffered Death.

1. The Law cannot deliver man from the everlasting pains of hellfire.

2. For Christ hath borne our offences.

a. Ponder the cause of his death.

b. See in thy mind his cruel death.

3. Christ hath freed us from the condemnation we deserve.

4. Love God for that he spared not his Son to die for thee.

5. With an unwavering faith in Christ, we apply Christ’s death to our wound.

6. Faith unto salvation.

7. Conclusion.

XIV. Of the Resurrection of Christ.

If death could not keep Christ under his dominion and power but that he arose again, it is manifest that his power was overcome. If death be conquered, then must it follow that sin, wherefore death was appointed as the wages, must be also destroyed. If death and sin be vanished away, then is the devil’s tyranny vanished which had the power of death and was the author and brewer of sin and the ruler of hell.

A. The resurrection is the lock and key of our faith.

1. Christ remained on earth for forty days to prove his ressurection.

2. Believe in the resurrection comfort and instruction.

B. The resurrection is prefigured in the Old Testament.

C. In the ressurection art thou quickened again.

1. Rise with Christ to a new and amended life.

2. Daily die to sin.

3. Daily rise to righteous living.

D. Restitution.

XV. Of the Worthy Receiving of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ.

We must certainly know that three things be requisite in him which would, seemly as becometh such high mysteries, resort to the Lord’s table. That is: first, a right and worthy estimation and understanding of this mystery; secondly, to come in a sure faith; and thirdly, to have newness or pureness of life to follow the receiving of the same.

A. The Heavenly Memory of His Death and Passion.

1. We must be ourselves partakers of this Table and not beholders of other.

2. With what knowledge of so high mysteries we ought to resort thither.

3. With what constant faith we should clothe ourselves.

B. Newness of Life and Godliness of Conversation.

1. Give thanks.

2. Be at one.

3. Repent.

4. Partake.

XVI. Of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost.

Our Saviour Christ, departing out of the world unto his Father, promised his disciples to send down another Comforter that should continue with them forever and direct them into all truth. Which thing to be faithfully and truly performed, the scriptures do sufficiently bear witness. Neither must we think that this Comforter was either promised or else given only to the apostles, but also to the universal church of Christ dispersed through the whole world.

A. The fitieth day.

B. The third Person in the Deity.

1. The Worker.

2. The Indweller.

3. The Comforter.

4. The Spirit of Truth.

XVII. For the Rogation-Days.

Yea, it is high wisdom by the wise man therefore to know whose gift it is, for many other skills it is wisdom to know and believe that all goodness and graces be of God as the Author. Which thing well considered must needs make us think that we shall make account for that which God giveth us to possess and therefore shall make us to be more diligent well to spend them to God’s glory and to the profit of our neighbour, that we may make a good account at the last.

A. The Great Goodness of Almighty.

1. Men ought to thank God.

2. All good things proceed from God.

a. God’s unsearchable nature.

b. God’s presence and friendship.

c. God made us.

d. God preserveth and still stayeth in his creation.

e. God’s rule still keepeth order on earth.

f. Man’s inventions are by God’s grace.

3. Understanding of God’s goodness cometh from his Spirit.

B. All Riches, All Power, All Authority, All Health, Wealth, and Prosperity Come from God Only.

1. Our lives' good fortune cometh from God.

2. Despise not thy neighbour for being given fewer gifts.

3. Take no gifts from the devil.

4. Use thy gifts to glorify God and profit thy neighbour.

5. The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away.

C. The Wisdom of God.

1. Jesus Christ, the Mediator between us and the Father.

a. The Son giveth us faith and repentance.

b. The Son giveth everyone grace.

2. The Holy Ghost doth give us assistance.

a. He openeth our minds.

b. He lighteneth our heart with wisdom.

3. Search the scriptures for wisdom.

4. Use time wisely to win everlastingly.

5. Conclusion.

D. The Exhortation: Oversight of the Bounds and Limits.

1. Do not breach Christian peace and charity.

2. The covetous incur God’s revenge.

a. Murder and bloodshed.

b. Kingdoms uprooted.

3. Conclusion.

XVIII. Of the State of Matrimony.

Ye have escaped the snares of the devil and the unlawful lusts of the flesh, ye have the quietness of conscience by this institution of matrimony ordained by God; therefore use oft prayer to him that he would be present by you that he would continue concord and charity betwixt you. Do the best ye can of your parts to custom yourselves to softness and meekness and bear well in worth such oversights as chance, and thus shall your conversation be most pleasant and comfortable.

A. The devil craftily worketh discord between you.

B. Pray to God to govern your hearts.

C. Men must keep themselves in moderation.

D. Wives must obey their husbands.

1. For peace and concord.

2. Obey even an extreme husband.

E. Abraham, Lot, and Sara.

F. Men must forbear their wives.

1. The man must not beat his wife.

2. Man, do not let thy wife provoke thee.

3. Always comfort thy wife when anything be amiss.

4. Forbear even a cursed wife.

G. Conclusion.

XIX. Of Repentance.

Above all other, the history of Zachæus is most notable, for being come unto our Saviour Jesu Christ, he did say, “Behold Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any man or taken anything away by extortion or fraud, I do restore him fourfold.” Hereby we do learn what is the satisfaction that God doth require of us, which is that we cease from evil and do good; and if we have done any man wrong, to endeavour ourselves to make him true amends to the uttermost of our power.

A. How Needful the Doctrine of Repentance is.

1. For the kingdom of God.

2. By the grace of God.

3. The four principal points of repentance.

a. Whence we must return.

b. Unto whom we ought to return.

c. By whom we must return unto God.

d. The manner of our turning.

4. Halting on both sides.

5. Hypocrites do counterfeit all manner of things.

6. Four ways that repentance is not unprofitable.

7. Against the Novatians.

8. The sin against the Holy Ghost.

9. What we must beware of.

B. The Four Parts of Repentance.

1. A contrite heart.

2. Confession of sin.

Answer to the adversaries which maintain auricular confession.

3. Faith.

a. The repentance of the schoolmen.

b. Judas and his repentance.

4. A new life.

C. Five Causes which Should Move to Repentance.

1. God’s commandment to return to him.

2. God’s promise to forgive our sins.

3. Our faith in the blood of Christ.

4. Our uncertainty when we shall die.

5. God’s everlasting judgement.

XX. Against Idleness.

The prophet David thinketh him happy that liveth upon his labour, saying, “When thou eatest the labours of thine hands, happy art thou and well is thee.” This happiness or blessing consisteth in these and such like points – first it is the “gift of God”, as Salomon saith, when one eateth and drinketh and receiveth good of his labour, secondly when one liveth of his own labour, so it be honest and good, he liveth of it with a good conscience. And an upright conscience is a treasure inestimable.

A. God appointeth every man to godly labour.

B. Idleness bringeth forth many evils.

1. Poverty.

2. Vice.

3. Sin and plague.

C. Remedies against idleness.

1. Bring up youth in a good learning or labour.

2. Four points of happiness from one’s own labour.

D. Conclusion.

XXI. Against Rebellion.

After his ambition entered and this challenge once made by the bishop of Rome, he became at once the spoiler and destroyer both of the church, which is the kingdom of our Saviour Christ, and of the Christian Empire and all Christian kingdoms as an universal tyrant over all. And whereas before that challenge made there was great amity and love amongst the Christians of all countries, hereupon began bitter rivalry and much hatred between the bishop of Rome and his clergy and friends on the one part, and the Grecian clergy and Christians of the East on the other part, for that they refused to acknowledge any such supreme authority of the bishop of Rome over them. The bishop of Rome for this cause amongst other, not only naming them and taking them for schismatic, but also never ceasing to persecute them and the Emperors (who had their see and continuance in Greece) by stirring of the subjects to rebellion against their sovereign lords and by raising deadly hatred and most cruel wars between them and other Christian princes.

A. Rulers Good and Evil.

1. Rebellion, the root of all sins.

2. God ordained order in cities and countries.

3. A similitude between heavenly and earthly order.

4. Some would rebel even against good princes.

5. Evil princes are punishment to a wicked commonwealth.

6. Pray for your rulers both good and evil.

The Prayer for Truth.

B. David’s Obedience to Saul.

1. David’s longsuffering.

2. An unnatural and wicked question: Shall we rebel against God’s anointed?.

C. The Sins and Calamities Heaped by Rebellion.

1. Offences against God’s Majesty.

2. Offences against God’s commandments.

3. The Seven Deadly Sins.

4. Pestilence, famine, and war.

5. The calamities and miseries of war be more grievous under rebellion.

6. Everlasting shame and damnation.

D. Terror and Danger, the Fruits of Rebellion.

1. Rebels in the Bible.

a. Absolon.

b. Achitophel.

c. Seba.

d. Chodorlaomer.

2. The pretences of rebels.

3. Remember the murder of multitudes.

4. Conclusion.

E. The Rebellion of the Bishops of Rome.

1. The restless ambition of the bishops of Rome.

2. Holy scriptures forbid human dominion over the church of Christ.

3. The claims for supreme authority stir treason against God and man.

4. The bishops of Rome destroyed the Christian Empire of the East.

5. The bishops of Rome have usurped worldly authority.

F. The Remedy of Rebellion: To Search and Study God’s Holy Word.

1. Si cognovissent.

2. Abuses of the Babylonical beast of Rome on Christian peoples.

a. In England during King John’s time.

b. In England of later memory.

c. In other Christian countries, Rome doth encourage alien invasion.

3. All Christian princes and people must study God’s Word.

a. The lesson of Israel: horrible destruction.

b. Those who will not understand cannot be saved.

c. God’s Word teaches how to obey God.

A Thanksgiving for the Suppression of the Last Rebellion.


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