¶ A sermon had at Paulis by the cōmandment of the most reuerend father in god my lorde le­gate / and sayd by John̄ the bys­shop of Rochester / vpō quīqua­gesom sonday / concernynge certayne heretickes / whi­che thā were abiured for holdynge the heresies of Martyn Luther that famous he­reticke / and for ye kepyng and reteynyng of his bokes agaynst the or­di­nance of the bulle of pope Leo the tenthe.

Cū priuilegio a rege indulto.

Fyrst here foloweth an Epistole vnto the reder by the same byshop.

My dere brother or syster in our sauiour Christe Jesu / who so euer ye be / yt shall fortune to rede this queare our lorde for his great mercy graunt you his grace / that the redyng therof some what may proffit your soule.

Fyrst I shall beseche you nat to misconstrue myn entēt / in puttyng forthe this queare to be printed / but that ye take it to the best. For verily my wyll and mynde is / that some frute myght ryse by the same vnto the christē people / whiche be the spouse of Christe. Unto whom (though vnworthy) I am ordeyned a minister for my lytell porcion. My du­ty is to endeuer me after my poure power / to resist these heretickes / the whiche seasse nat to subuett the churche of Christe. If we shall syt styll and let them in euery place sowe theyr vngratious here­sies / and euery where distroye the soulis / whiche were so derely bought with that moste precious blode of our sauiour Christe Jesu / howe terribly shall he lay this vntyll our charge / whan we shal­be called vntyll a rekenynge for this matter? It shalbe moche rebukefull and moche worthy pu­nishement / if we for our party shall nat gyue dili­gēce for the defence of the true christen people / fro these heresies / as these heretickes gyue for the corruption of the same / specially whan we be cer­tayne / that our labour shall nat be vnrewarded / [Page] as saint Paule dothe promyse / sayeng / Vnusquis (que) propriam mercedem accipiet secūdū suum laborem: Euery1. Cor̄. 3. man shall take his owne rewarde accordynge to his labour. And so moche the more diligence we muste gyue / bicause that the wretched nature of man is more prone to euery thynge / that nought is / than it is to that / whiche is of greatter frute. The dry tēder is nat more redy to be kendled with the leaste sparkell of fyre / than we be redy to be in­censed to all euyll. Our hartes by the olde corrup­tion of synne / be of that molde / that they withoutē any great diligence of them selfe / brynge for the all maner of vices: but nothynge that vertuous is / withouten a great labour. And assuredly these he­relies be lyke the stynkynge weedes / the whiche ī euery erthe sprynge by them selfe: for as these e­uyll weedes nede no settynge / no sowynge / no wa­terynge / no wedynge / nor suche other deligence / as the good herbes require / but sprynge anone withouten all that busines: and where they haue enteres ones in any grounde / it is veray herde to delyuer that grounde from them: euen so it is of these heresies / they nede no plantynge / they nede no wateryng / they nede no lowkyng / nor wedyng / but rankly sprynge by them selfe / of a full lyght occasion. Contrary wyse it is of true doctryne of god / this is lyke vnto the good herbes / whiche wil nat euery where lightly growe / but they must be set or sowen in a chosen erthe / they must be wa­tred / they muste be weded / and haue moche at­tendaunce / orels they wyll anone myscary. Ye [Page] may se this euidently by the begynnyng of Chri­stis churche. Our sauiour whan he hym selfe dyd sowe his doctryne / he complayned of the vnto­wardnes of mennes hartes / and sayd: Sermo meusJo. [...]. non capit in vobis: This sede of my worde taketh no rote in the erthe of your hartes. And vpon a tyme a great nombre of his disciples forsoke hym and cast hym vp: For theyr hartes coude nat sauour his doctrine. If this doctrine sowen by this most myghty and counnynge sower / toke none effecte in these persons hartes / ye may se / that the erth [...] of our hartes by it selfe can nat receyue this sed [...] ▪ Saint Paule / the whiche in lyke maner gaue his diligence to plante and to water this sede / yet as moche as he proffitted by his preachynge in one place / he lost by his absēce in an other place. Doth he nat crye out therfore vpon ye Galathes / bicause that this doctrine / whiche he had sowen amonge them / sone after his deperture from them / dyd wyther in theyr hartes? O insensati Galathe / quis [...]a [...]. [...]. vos fascinauit nō obedire veritati? O ye folishe people / who hath thus witched you / that ye do nat obey vnto the trouth? And euery where the same saint Paule fighteth agaynst the heretickes / and is veray solicite and carefull / lest the flocke of Christe shalbe corrupted by theyr heresies. In so moche yt he sayth vnto ye Corinthies: Timeo / ne sicut serpēs [...]. Cor̄ [...]1. Euam seduxit astucia sua / ita sensus vestri corrumpantur a simplicitate / que est in Christo: I drede me / lest as the serpent desceyued the fyrste woman Eue by his wylynes / so your sences shalbe corrupted by these [Page] heretickes / and so fall frō the symplicite of faithe / whiche ye haue in Christe. And therfore a litel af­ter he calleth them / Pseudo apostolos / & oꝑarios subdo­los [...]. Cor̄ 11. trāsfigurātes se ī apostolos Christi. that is to say / fals apostles / disceytful workers / pretēdyng to be the messangers of Christe / and be nat in veray dede. If ther were suche perill of heretickes in the tyme of saint Paule / as it dothe appere in all his episto­les: and if ye heresies thā so lightly toke roote in ye hartes of men: And if the sede of the doctryne of Christe with suche difficultie did sprynge & growe in the hartes of the people / whiche were in that maruelous & plentuous tyme of all grace: What wonder is it that lykewyse nowe / in this misera­ble tyme / these heretickes multiply / and theyr he­resies do sprede? Whan hit was prophesied before nat onely by our sauiour Christe / but also by saynt Peter in his epistoles / and by saynt Paule in his bothe / and by saynt Jude / that suche heresyes shulde ryse / and specially towarde thende of the worlde. Nowe therfore whan so litell diligence is done about the ministryng of this true doctryne / it is necessary that all tho that haue charge of the flocke of Christe / endeuour them selfe to gayne­stande these pernitious heresies. Wherin doutles the moost Reuerend father in god my lorde legate hath nowe meritoriously traueiled / and so enten­deth to perseuer and to continue / to the full extir­patiō of the same. For heresy is a perillous wede / it is the sede of the deuyll / the inspiration of the wicked spirites / the corruption of oux hartes / the [Page] blyndyng of our sight / the quenching of our faith / the distruction of all good frute / and fynally the mourder of our soules. And therfore some what to resist this wicked sede / by the mocion of dyuerse persōs / I haue put forth this sermon to be redde / whiche for ye great noyse of ye people within ye churche of Paules / whan it was sayde / myght nat be herde. And if parauēture any disciple of Luthers shall thynke / that myn argumentes and reasons agaynst his maister be nat sufficient: Fyrste let hym consider / that I dyd shape them to be spoken vntyll a multitude of people / whiche were nat brought vp [...] [...]btyll disputations of the schole. Seconde. if it may lyke the same disciple to come vnto me secretely / and breake his mynde at more length / I bynde me by these presentes / bothe to kepe his secreasy / and also to spare a leysoure for hym to here the bottum of his mynde / and he shal here myne agayne / if it so please hym: and I trust in our lorde / that fynally we shall so agre / that ei­ther he shal make me a Lutherā / orels I shal en­duce hym to be a catholyke / and to folowe the do­ctryne of Christis churche. And one thynge I do acertayne hym / that though his maister Luther dydlyue neuer so well and perfetly / yet for as mo­che as his doctryne is dyuerse from the doctryne of the churche he is to be fled: for so teacheth vs ye holy mertyr Ignacius in his epistole ad Herene­um / sayeng: Omnis igitur qui dixerit preter ea / que tra­dita sunt / tametsi fide dignus sit / tametsi ieiunet / tametsi virginitatē seruet / tametsi signa faciat / tametsi prophetet / [Page] supus tivi appareat in grege ouium / corruptionem faciens. That is to say / who so euer affermeth contrary to the traditions and doctrine of ye churche / though he for his lyfe be worthy to be beleued / though he fast neuer so moche / though he kepe his virgini­te / though he worke miracles though he prophe­cy of thynges for to come / for all this take hym but as a wolfe / intendynge corruption amonge a flocke of shepe. Wherfore whan Luther hath in hym none of these good conditions aboue reher­sed / as we shall proue here after / that is to say / he neither is faith worthy / bicause of his repug­nant doctryne / nor he chastiseth nat his body by fastynge / nor he kepeth nat his virginite / nor he doth no miracles / nor he is no prophet of thynges for to come / and yet neuertheles he techeth clene contrary doctrynes vnto the doctryne of the churche / he is to be reputed as a wolfe corruptyng the flocke of Christe. Thus fare ye well in our lorde Jesu.

‘Respice / fides tua te saluum fecit.’

THese wordes ben writen in ye gospel / redde in the church this quinquagesime sondaye. They may thus be englis shed. Open thyn eies / thy faith hath made the safe. In this gospell saynt Luke telleth a miracle / ye whiche our sauiour dyd shewe vpon a blynde mā. He sayth / that a blynde man syttynge nigh to the waye / herde a noyse of people passyng forby / and enquired what that was. It was tolde hym / that Jesus of Nazareth passed yt waye. He gaue faith vnto this worde / and cried for mercy / sayeng: Je­su the sonne of Dauid haue mercy vpō me. Part of this people went before our sauiour in ye waye / and part came after hym. They that went before (as the gospel sayth) rebuked the blynde mā / and he moche rather cried for mercy / sayeng: The son of Dauid haue mercy vpon me. Our sauiour stā ­dyng / commaunded this man to be brought vn­to hym. And whan he was brought to his pre­sence / our sauiour asked hym what he wolde. O syr sayd this man / that I myght haue my syght agayne. Than dyd our sauiour this miracle vpō hym / and sayd these wordes aboue rehersed: Re­spice / fides tua te saluum fecit: Open thyn eies / thy faith hath made ye safe. And forth with this blȳde mā was restored to his sight / and folowed our sa­uiour in the way with the other people.

[Page]¶ By this worde and other suche / Martyn Lu­ther hath taken occasion of many great errours: wher by he hath blynded many a christen soule / and brought them out of the way / sayeng / that onely faythe doth iustifie vs / and suffiseth to our saluation. Wherby many one litell regardeth any good workes / but onely resteth vnto fayth.

This gospell therfor may sufficiētly instructe any reasonable mā / what fayth suffiseth / and what nat: For it maruelously perteyneth to this pur­pose / if we with any diligence obserue and marke euery mistery therof.

Fyrste let vs considre this multitude in it selfe / where many wente before our sauiour Jesu / and many folowed after: and he in ye myddys of them all. Tho that went before hym betoken vnto vs / the fathers and the people of the olde testament / the whiche dyd passe the course of this worlde be­fore the byrthe of our sauioure Christe: tho that folowed after / do signifye the fathers & the people of the newe testamennt / the whiche succeded the byrthe of Christ. Both these make but one people: For they be al of one faythe.

Tho that went before beleued that Christe shuld comme in to this worlde / and dye for man. Tho that folowe / beleue that Christe is comme / and hath suffered his dethe for man. Neuer the lesse in some poyntes there is difference betwene these two: For they were vnder the lawe of Moyses / whiche was a lawe of drede / and of rygour / as saynt Paule saythe vnto the Hebrewes: Irritan [...] [Page] quis faciens legem Mosy / sine vlla miseratione / duovus aut trivus testibus moriatur: who that hath broken the lawe of Moyses / if he were conuinced by two or thre wytnesses / he without any mercy shulde dye. And in token herof it is sayde of them that wente before: Et qui preibant / increpabant eum: And tho that wente before / rebuked the blynde man / that cried for mercy. But tho that folowed Christ were and be vnder the lawe of grace and marcy. For whā our sauiour was borne in to this world / all grace and mercy came with hym. And ther­fore to shewe a differēce of these two people / saynt Johan sayth: Lex per Moysen data est / gratia et ve­ritas per Jesum Christum exorta est: That is to saye / the lawe was gyuen vnto that people by Moy­ses: but grace and trewe perfourmance of al pro­mysses rose vnto vs by our sauiour Christe. All thynges was shewed vnto that people by figu­res and shadowes / as saynt Paule sayth: Omnia in figura contingebant illis. Tyll vs (that succede the commynge of our sauiour) the same thynges be disclosed and made open. And good reason why. For they that folowe a lyght se more clerely by that lyght / than they that go before. That people myght nat well and easely beare the weyght and strayte commandmentes / the whiche were leyde vpon their shoulders. And therfore saynt Peter in the Actis of the apostles: Ne (que) nos / ne (que) patres nostri portare potuimus: The burthen of the lawe of Moyses was so heuy / that neither we nor our fa­thers myght susteyne them.

[Page]But nowe to vs the lawes of sauiour Christe be made easy by the abundance of grace / and by the dulcenes of loue / whiche the holy gost hath put in our hartes / as saint Paule saith: Charitas dei diffu­sa est in cordibus nostris per spiritum sanctum / qui datus est nobis: that is say / the loue of god is spredde in our hartes by the holy gost / the whiche is gyuen vnto vs. And this is a great preeminēce that we haue aboue that people. This multitude that foloweth Christ in the way / and is in passage / is the succes­sion of Christis churche / whiche hath contynued and shall cōtinue vnto the worldes ende / euen like a floode that passeth continually / the waters go & passe / but yet the floode cōtinueth / and reteyneth styl the name of ye floode: so the succession of Chri­stis churche euer continueth / & is called ye churche catholike / though ye people yerely renewe. Thus moche thā I haue said for this multitude / amōge whiche our sauiour Christe was. Nowe let vs al­so briefely consydre / what this blynde man dothe meane and signifie.

This man doth betoken vnto vs the heretickes / and that for. iiij. cōditions aboue rehersed in this gospell. And here my bretherne / ye that nowe be abiured take hede.

Fyrst here I say that this man was singular by hym selfe: and so the heretikes studie to be singu­lar in theyr opinions. Singularite and pride is ye the groūde of al here­sie. groūde of all heresie. Whan a man studieth to be singular in his opinion / an wylnat cōforme hym selfe vnto the multitude of good persones / than [Page] falleth he into heresies.

Seconde. this mā was blynde / and had lost his sight. And the heretikes / by the errour of false do­ctrines and of ꝑuersed heresies / be blyded in theyr hartes / and haue nat the clere light of faithe.

Thyrde. this mā sate out of the right way / and walked nat: And so lyke wise these heretikes sytte out of the right waye / and walke nat in the iour­ney towarde heuen.

Fourth. this mā was deuided from this people / amonge whom Christe Jesu was: And so be the heretikes like wise: they be deuided frō ye churche of Christe / with whom our sauiour Christe conti­nueth vnto the worldes ende. Thus ye ꝑceyue I suppose / that this man (whiche was singular / [...] blynde / and sate out of ye way / deuided frō Christe for these. iiij. cōditions) representeth ye heretikes.

¶ In the thyrde place we may by this easily con­ceyue / what great diuersite is betwene the chur­che catholike and the heretikes.

Fyrste / they that be of this multitude / and of the churche catholike / they be of one mynde and opi­nion / cōcernyng the substāce of our faith / to agre to gether in one doctrine. The heretikes be singu­lar / and haue opinions by them selfe: and they be repugnant nat onely with the churche / but with them selfe amonge them selfe / as we shall shewe here after. It is a very trouth that one wise man hath sayde: Omne verum omni vero consonat / falsum autem tam a se ipso quam ab ipsa veritate discrepat: Eue­ry trouth agreeth with other: but falshod is both [Page] repugnant ageynst hym selfe & ageynst ye trouth. Secunde. The churche is in the clere brightnes of faith. The heretikes be blynded by theyr false & erronious opiniōs. For as trouthe gyueth a light and a brightnes / so falsehode blyndeth / and bryngeth in to derkenes.

Thyrde. The churche is in the right way. The heretikes be out of the right way.

Forthe. The churche walketh and profiteth in their iourney towarde the countre of heuen. The heretikes sitte in Cathedra pestisentie / in the seate of pestilence / and profete nothynge in this iourney / but rather synkethe depper and depper towarde the pytte of hell.

Fyfte. ye churche hath in it ye presence of Chrste / and shal haue cōtinually vnto the worldes ende: The heretikes be deuided frome Christe in this present tyme / and so finally shalbe excluded from the sight of his face for euer. All these fyue diffe­rēces be so manifest in this gospell / that we nede nat moche decleration for the same.

¶ Nowe in the fourth place let vs discusse / howe this blynde man was restored vnto his sight: to thentent that we maye perceyue howe an here­tikeHowe an hereticke may be re­stored to the true faythe. may be restored to the true faithe of Christis churche. This blynde man by. iiij. maner of wa­yes was brought vnto his sight.

Fyrst he hering and inquiryng the very trouth of that multitude / whiche passed forby: Audiuit turbam pretereuntem / et interrogauit / quid hoc esset: He herde the people whiche was in passage / and of [Page] them he lerned what Jesus of Nazareth was. So must heretikes do / if he wyll be restored vnto the true faith. For no where the true doctryne of Jesu can be lerned / but in the churche. Here must the worde of god be lerned. And this is wonder­fully expressed in this gospell by mistery. It is certayne that the people of the Jewes / whan yt Manhu was sent vnto them from aboue / & they sawe it in the lykenes of the corriander sede / they made this same question / whiche this blynde mā nowe dothe aske: Quid hoc? what is that. And of this question that sede toke this name / and was called Manhu. Nowe Manhu betokeneth in fi­gure the worde of god. Who therfore so euer wyll lerne the trewe doctryne of the worde of god / he muste enquire it of this multitude / that walketh in the right waye: that is to say / of the churche catholike. Doutles out of ye churche this trouth can nat be lerned.

Secōde. this blȳde mā cried for mercy: so muste ye heretike do: he must beseche our sauiour Christ to enlighten his harte by clere faith / & to remoue frō his hart ye blyndnes of all errours & heresye.

Thyrde. our sauiour dyd cōmande yt this blynde man shulde be brought vnto hym: And so must ye heretikes be reduced vnto ye wayes of ye churche. But by whom commaundeth our sauiour / that thus they shall be reduced? truely by them that be set in spiritual auctorite: as nowe yt most reue­rēt fader i god my lorde Legate / hauȳg this most souerayne auctorite / hath endeuored hym selfe for [Page] these men here present / & other / whiche were out of the way / to reduce them in to the wayes of the churche. The heretikes contende / that it shal nat belefull thus to do: but they wold haue euery mā lefte vnto theyr libertie. But doutles it may nat be so: For the nature of man is more prone to all noughtynes / rather than to any goodnes. And therfore many muste be compelled / accordyng as the gospel sayth in an other place: Compellite eos in­trare. If euery mā shuld haue libertie to say what he wolde / we shuld haue a meruelous worlde. No mā shulde stere any where for heresies. And ther­fore saynt Paule consideryng ye pronytie of mans harte to be infected with heresies / gyueth often warnynge / that we shall in any wyse eschewe the perillous infections of these heretikes. And the same saynt Paule often pronunceth excōmunica­tion ageynst them yt sowe this puersed doctrines amōge the Christen people. Wherfore it is nat le­full yt any man shall haue libertie to speke in these matters concernyng our fayth / what so euer that he liste: but he must be compelled to cōforme hym vnto the holsome doctryne of the churche.

Fourth this blynde man / whan he was brought vnto our sauiour / yet had he nat his syght vnto than he dyd fully assent with his holle wyl vnto the same. And to that purpose our sauiour asked hym what he wolde: Quid vis vt faciam tibi? And so made hym to cōfesse his full assent. Thus must the heretike do that wyl haue his spirituall sight: he muste fully assent vnto the doctrine of Christis [Page] churche. He may be compelled to come bodily / but if he come nat also with the feete of his soule / and fully assent vnto the churche: he can nat haue this trewe faith. The faith of the churche is nat made our faith / but by our assent: whiche assent cometh of vs / and is the wombe of our soule. And therfore it is nat absolutely saide / fides but fides tua: That is to say / thy faith. The faith of ye churche (whi­che by thyne assent is made thy faith) doth make the safe.

In the fyfte and ye last place / as touchyng Mar­tyn Luthers opinion of faith / nowe wyll I speks some what. To reherse his reasons / and so w [...]ade in this matter with them / it were inough for all holle daye. Neither the tyme wyll serue it nowe / nor yet the people can attayne to the conceyuyng of it. But I shall breuely say. iij. thynges.

The fyrst is this. Luther sore abuseth and disceyHowe Luther disce­ue [...]e the people by his erroni­ous opiniō of fayth. ueth the people as concernyng faith: For doutles he maketh them in his commō sermons to thȳke it is an easy matter to beleue / and to haue fayth / and there by to besaued: and so they care for no good workes at all. But where he boulteth and discusseth this matter vnto the very triall / there he maketh it an harde matter. For in the declara­tion of the. vi. psalme he sayth these wordes: Hoc certū est / neminē peruenturum ad dei misericordiam / nisi e­am vehemētissime esuriat / et sitiat: cum isso qui ait: Quē ­admodum desiderat ceruus ad fontes aquarum / it a desiderat anima mea ad te deus. Who hath this faith? Who cō ­meth to this hygh pricke of faythe / to desyre as [Page] ernestly the presence of god / as an harte / whan he is chased / preaseth and coueteth to come vnto the soile? Here ye maye se the commen people be disceyued / whiche be farre fro this poynt. But if only faith doth iustifie vs / we can nat be repelled from this mercy / whan we be fully iustified.

Seconde. why dothe Luther deny that the wor­kes do nat iustify vs? His reason is this. He saith bycause they be our workes: and what so euer reyseth from vs / it is but synne. Thā let hym ob­serue these wordis: Fides tua. Our sauiour saith / nat only Fides / but Fides tua. Thy faith (a trouth it is) is the gyfte of god: but it is nat made my faith / nor thy faith / nor his faith / as I sayd be­fore / but by our assent. By our assent faith (whi­che cometh from aboue) is made ours. But our assent is playnly our worke. wherfore at the least one worke of ours ioyneth with faith to our iusti­ [...]ienge.

Thyrde. saynt Paule in the epistole this daye / playnly condemneth this opinion: for he sayth / that faith / hope / & charite be. iij. diuerse thinges: Fides / spes / et charitas / tria hec: These be. iij. diuerse thynges / faith / hope / & charite. He sayth further: Si habuero oninem fidem / ita vt montes trasferam / chari­tatem a [...]tē non habuero / nihil sum: If I had all and euery faith / so that I myght by my faith remoue any great mountayne: yet if I haue nat charite / I am nought. wherfore if a mā haue al maner of faith / and wanteth charite / he is neuer the more iustyfyed. Withoutten charite therfore no man [Page] can be iustified: but who that hath charite / hath also good workes: as the same saynt Paule also proueth at length in the same Epistole. Wherfore withouten good workes / either done / or in a full wyll to be done / no man can be fully iustified. And for this saint Paule in the Epistole ad Romanes ex­presseth / what faith doth iustifie a man. Fides (he sayth) que per dilectionē operatur: that is to say / faith whiche worketh by loue / and that is by loue preg­nant with good workes.

Finally for a more clerenesse of these wordes / we shall considre. iij. maner of persones: one of them that be in the way / an other of them that be nigh vnto the way / thyrde is of them that be farre out of the way: and eche of these haue a byleue. The Turke beleueth in god / and parauenture more cō stantly than many christen men do: but he bele­ueth nat in Christe the sonne of god: nor vpon the doctryne of the churche: whiche doutles was in­spired by the holy goste. And therfore his faith is nat sufficiēt: he is very farre out of the way. The hereticke beleueth in god and in Christe: and ther­fore he is one degre nerer vnto the right way / thā the turke is: he sytteth by the high way syde: but yet his faith is nat sufficient: For he doth nat as­sent vnto the doctryne of the churche: whiche is inspired by the holy goste. Ye herde by the gospel / that the blynde man (whan he sate out out of the high way) beleued in Christe for he sayd / Jesufi [...] Dauid miserere me [...]: Jesu the sonne of Dauid haue [Page] mercy vpō me. By these wordes it appereth that he beleued he was both god and mā. God in that that he might restore his sight: man in that / that he called hym the sonne of Dauid. But yet this faith gaue hym nat his sight: He recouered nat his sight to than he was brought vnto the way / and ioyned with this multitude / amonge whom Christe Jesus was / and gaue his full assent. So the hereticke / haue he neuer so moche faith of god and of Christe / if he be nat cōmyn in to this way / if he be nat ioyned with this multitude of christen people / if he be nat made one of this nombre / if he hath nat gyuen his ful assent vnto the doctryne of the churche catholicke / whiche is inspired of the holy goste / doutles he wanteth the sight of true faith. But whā he hath fully assented to bileue in god the father / and in Christe Jesus his sonne / and vpon and in the doctryne of the churche / whi­che deuoutly was inspired by the holy goste: than this miracle is done vpon hym. He is restored to the sight of clere faith. This is the faith good bre­therne that may make you safe / and restore you vnto your ꝑfet sight. And therfore if ye haue this faith / I may say nowe to eche of you: Respice / fides tua te fasuum fecit: Open thyne eies / thy faith hath made the safe. It is nat the faithe that the turke hath / nor the faith that the heretike hath / but the faith catholicke of Christis churche that shal saue the: whiche faith is made thy faith / if thou truly come vnto the right way / if thou fastly ioyne thy selfe with the churche catholicke / if thou entierly [Page] make thy selfe one of this nōbre / if thou vpright­ly walke by good workes doyng / if thou frely and fully assent vnto the commē doctrine of this mul­titude / amonge whom Christe Jesu is. And to thentent that your sightis maye be ye more clered in this faith / I shal gether. iiij. collectiōs: by the whiche to all them that be nat ouer peruersedly drowned in the heresies of Luther / it shall appere (as I verily suppose) that his doctryne is veray pestilent and pernitious.

But here fyrst I muste beseche you to helpe me with your deuoute prayers / that it may please that infinite goodnes of almighty god so to assiste me with his grace in vtteryng these collections / that it maye be vnto the true faithfull catholicke herers some frutefull comforte: and to the fauo­rers of these most pernitious errours and heresi­es a very cōfusion: and that these poure brethern̄ of ours (whiche haue ben out of ye way) may the better be confirmed and establisshed nowe in the same. To this prayer it may lyke you to haue re­cōmended the vnyuersall churche / ye veray spouse of Christe / with euery state and degre of persons in the same / hygh and lowe / spiritual and tempo­rall / as well them that be nowe lyuyng as other that be departed hens / enduryng as yet the gre­uous payns of purgatory: where they nowe abi­de the great mercy of our lorde / and the releue of our prayers. And to this purpose euery parson of your charite say som what after your deuotiō.

The fyrste collection

FOr a more strengthynge of these collections / we shal ad­ioyne vnto this miracle a parable of our sauiour Christe / whi­ch [...] the same euangelist saynt Lu [...]e telleth in this maner.

The sower (he saith) wēt forth to sowe his sede / and in the sowyng some part of his sede fell nigh vnto the high way / and so was trodden vpō: and the byrdes of the ayer dyd eate vp this sede. An other parte fell vpon the stones / whiche was couered over with a litell erthe / and so the sede dyd sprowre: but whan it was sprow­ted / it myght take no roote for the hardnes and drynes of ye stones / but anone withered for lacke of moysture. A thyrde part fell amonge the thor­nes: and this sede rooted and rose vp a littel: but the thornes ouer grewe it / and so dyd suffocate it / that it myght brynge forthe no frute. The fourth parte fell vpon the good erthe / and sprowted / and toke roote / and shote vp / and brought forth great increase of frute / an hundred folde so moche.

Whā our sauiour had spoke this parable / he cried mightily / sayeng: Om havet autes audiendi / audiat: who that hath the inwarde eares of heryng / let hym here and marke this parable.Foure thi­ges noted in this pa­table.

In this parable we shall note. iiij. thynges: and of them / by the leaue of all myghty god / we shall gether as many collections.

[Page]Of these. iiij. thynges / the fyrst is the sower / ye secōde is ye sede / ye thyrde is ye good erthe / ye fourth is ye great ēcreace of frute. All these. iiij. thynges vnder other names be cōteyned in ye gospell of the miracle. There our sauiour is redy to take away ye blyndnes of our hartes. [...]here is he called a so­wer of his sede. The multitude there ēstructeth ye blynde mā where Jesus of Nazareth is / & enfur­meth hym in ye doctrine of faith. He / or ye same do­ctrine is called the sede of the worde of god. That multitude / which ther̄ hath Christ amōge them / here is called the good erthe. There ye multitude ꝓfiteth in merite / by walkyng & nigh approching vnto our sauiour Christe: here this merite is cal­led the plenteous encreace of good frute.

Fyrst thā as cōcernȳg ye sower / some ꝑson mightFyrste / the sower. here lightly thynke / yt our sauiour was nat fully circūspect in tellyng this parable. for here semeth to want som thyng yt is chiefly necessary for ye plē ­teous ēcreace of frute to be had. here is left out vn­spokē of ye fauorable dispositiō & influence of ye he­uens / whiche is prīcipally re (qui)red vnto ye purpose. For put that ye sede be neuer so good / and ye erthe neuer so well prepared & ordred / and that ye sower do his part neuer so moche / yet if the fauorable in­fluence of the heuens want / al that labour is but in vayne / there shal no frute arise of that sowyng. This is a very trouth / I can nat say the cōtrary / these. iiij. thȳges must nedes be cōcurrāt to worke eche with other / & ioyne to gether in one purpose. [Page] I say / the influence of the heuyns / the diligence of the sower / the goodnes of the sede / the due pre­paration and tyllyng of ye erthe. And albe it that here is no speciall mention made of the influence of the heuyns / it is neuer the lesse included. For whan we knowe who is the sower / we shall well perceyue he hath all the influence of the heuyns in his owne hande: and this shall well appere / if we ioyne the parable & his declaration to gether. Joyne I say the parable with the declaration of the same / and ye shall fynde that this sower / that is ment here / is very god. And by this reason: the parable sayth: Exiit / qui seminat / seminare semē suū: He that is the very sower hath issued for to sowe his owne sede. The declaration is / Semen est ver­bum dei. This sede is the worde of god. Nowe thā if the sede that this sower doth sowe / be the worde of god / & this sede whiche he soweth is his veray owne: It foloweth necessarily that this sower is very god: And so must he nedes haue in his han­des the holle influence of the heuyns. Whersore here nothyng lacketh in this parable. But as for the bodely heuyns lette them passe: all is spiritu­all that is ment here: the heuyns / the influence / the sower / the sede / the erth / the frute / all is spi­ritual: and we must conceyue all this spiritually. And therfore our sauiour sayd: Oui habet aures au­diendi / audiat: who that hath the inwarde eares of spirituall herynge / and spirituall conceyuyng he is mete to here and to conceyue this parable.

[Page]Fyrst this sower (as I haue sayde) is the sonne of god▪ our sauiour Christe Jesu: and he is ye very spirituall sonne of this worlde / Qui illuminat omne hominem venientem in hunc mundum / That spreadeth his comfortable beames vpon the soules of men. He issued out from the bosome of his father / and came ī to this worlde purposely to sowe ī ye hartes of men the sede of trouth. He it is that soweth his owne sede. The preachers of this word be nothȳg els / but as the cophyns and the hoppers / wherin this sede is couched. Thus saint Augustine sayth of hym selfe: Ego quid sum / nisi cophinus seminatoris▪ What am I sayth he? verily nothyng els but the cophyne / or the hopper of hym that soweth. The preacher may well reherse ye wordes of scripture: but they be nat his wordes / they be the wordes of Christe. And if our sauiour Christ speke nat with­in the preacher / the sede shalbe but caste in vayne. Therfore saint Paule sayth vnto the Corrinthies of hym selfe: In me loquitur Christus: Christe sayth2. Cor. 13 he / speketh within me. Christe that spake in saint Paule was the veray sower: and as he spake in saynt Paule / so spake he ī ye other blessed fathers / whiche for their tyme dyd instructe and teache the people / and minister this sede vnto them. And nat only Christ dyd sowe this sede by their mouthes: but also ye spirite of god gaue his gratious influ­ence vnto this sede by theyr mouthes / in lyke ma­ner. wherfore of this spirite our sauiour saythe: Nō vos estis / qui loquimini / sed spiritus partis vestri / quiMar. 10. [Page] loquitur in vobis? Ye be nat the speakers (he sayth) but ye spirite of your father speaketh within you. Farther more / bothe this sower & this influēte cō ­tinueth in ye churche vnto the worldes ende: For ye sower sayth of hym selfe: Ecce / ego vobiscū sum omni­bꝰMatt. 18. diebus vs (que) ad cōsuminationē seculi: Trust assuredly that I am & shalbe with you vnto the ende of the worlde. And for ye spirite our sauiour also promest / that he shuld abyde with ye churche euerlastȳgly / Vt maneat vobiscū in eternū. This most holy spirite / whicheJo. 14. is the bountious fontayne of influence of all graces / after the corporall ascention of our sa­uiour vnto the heuens / was sēte downe vpon the churche / accordyng to the promyse of our sauiour before made: to thentent that the sowyng of this sede shulde neuer want the heuenly influence of al graces.

Nowe than to my purpose / thus farre we be / ye nowe conceyue (I suppose) that this spiritu­all sower / all be it so [...] be corporally ascēded vnto his father / yet neu [...]thelesse he by his god­hed & by the assistence of his grace / hath ben euer sens veryly presente with his churche / to sowe therein the sede of his worde. And also the he­uenly influence / that is to saye / the influence of the holy gost / is fauorably spred vpō the toward & well wyllyng hartes / to thentent that this sede may brynge forthe a plentuous encrease of good frute / and in this gratious purpose they both / I say bothe the sower and this holy spirite / haue cō ­tinued [Page] / and wyll so cōtinue / vnto ye worldis ende. Who thā may dout / but in this lōge time / whiche is aboue fyftene hūdred yeres / the true sede of the worde of god / that is to say the scriptures of god haue bene truely taught vnto the people: and the people hath truely beleued and gyuen true faithe vnto the same doctryne of the scriptures?

Who is so deuyllysshe / that maye thynke that our sauiour Christe / the whiche so derely beloued his churche / that for the weale of hit / wolde suf­fre so bytter / so villaynous / so horrible a deth [...] ▪ and shede his mooste precious blode in the cross [...] ▪ to prepare the hartes of his people for the recey­uyng of this sede? I saye who may thynke / that euer he / that dyd so moche for vs / wolde breake his promyse vnto vs? And if he haue nat broke his promyse: than hath he ben with his churche all this longe tyme of fyftene hūdred yeres: and hath sowen the tre [...]e sede of his worde: and his moste holy spirite also hath bene al this tyme pre­sent in the churche: and hath gyuen vnto the to­warde hartes his gratious influence / both to re­ceyue this sede / and also to brynge forthe plentu­ous frute.

¶ Nowe than / if this sede were thus truely so­wen: than wolde I lerne / who were the myny­sters of this trewe sede? Who but the preachers of this worde: I say the holy doctours / whiche taughte the people: and to whome by the holy spirite was commysedde the gouernaunce of the [Page] flocke of Christe / as saynt Paule sayth in ye Actes of the Apostles: Attendite vobis / et vniuerso gregi / inAct. 10. quo vos spiritus sanctus posuit episcopos / ad regēdam eccle­siam dei / quam acquesiuit sanguine suo: Take hede vn­to your selfe / & to the holle flocke of Christe / where the spirite of god hath ordeyned you bisshoppes / to gouerne his churche: the whiche he so derely purchased by his owne moste precious bloode. Ye herde in the tellyng of the miracle / howe the fyrste meane for the blynde man to come vnto his sight was heryng. For as saynt Paule saythe: Fides e [...] Rom. 10. auditu: Faith cometh by heryng: by the preaching of the holy doctours the people herde the worde of god / & beleued it. For as saint Paule sayth: Quo­modo credent ei / de quo non audierunt? Howe shall the people beleue / if they here nat? Et quomodo audient sine predicante? And howe shall they here without it be preached vnto them? This is than the ordre and the holle cheane: the blyndenes of our hertes can nat be put away / but by true faith: true faith can nat be gotten / but by herynge of this worde. The heryng of this worde shal nat be had / but by the meanes of preachynge: prechynge can nat be ministred without the preacher: the preacher can nat profitte / onles Christe Jesu (whiche is the veray sower) speke within hym: and also the spirite of Christe gyue his influence vnto ye same.

It is manifest than / that these preachers were the true ministers of this sede. It is also nat to be douted / but the true christen people alwayes hi­therto [Page] hath gyuen faithe to the doctrine of the ca­tholicke preachers: and so dyd beleue ye scriptures as they dyd expounde them / that were in tymes paste. And it is farther more certeyne / that these catholicke doctours ministred this sede / in lyke maner as they haue lefte writen vnto vs in theyr bokes. Wherfore if the preachers dyd erre in tea­chynge the scriptures of god: the people dyd erre in beleuyng their doctryne. And if bothe the prea­chers and the people dyd erre: where was ye true sowynge of this sede? Where was the doctryne of the faithe? where was bicome the promyse of our sauiour Christ? O cursed Luther / O mischeuous Apostata / O moste execrable hereticke yt denyest and dispisest all the fathers that euer were before vs: For in so denyeng / thou must nedes affirme / yt neither the doctrine of true faith / nor any trewe sowyng of this sede was in the churche of Christe by so many yeres: and that our sauiour Christe Jesu nothyng regarded his promyse all this long tyme / either as concernyng his owne presence to be continually with his churche: or as concernȳg the presence of his holy spirite / for to gyue his in­fluence with the sowynge of this sede. It is ther­fore clere and euident (as I suppose) by this col­lection / that ye fathers / whiche vnder our sauiour Christe and this holy spirite haue hitherto gouer­ned the churche catholicke / haue also truely mini­stred this sede vnto ye people / & truely haue inter­pretate the scriptures of god vnto them: and yt our [Page] sauiour Christe Jesu by their mouthes dyd truly sowe this sede / and the holy spirite of god gaue his most gratious influence so plentiously / both vnto the fathers / and vnto the people that this moost gratious sede toke / effecte in bothe theyr hartes.

By this collection all the heresies of Luther athere the heresyed of Euther fasse. ones falle vnto the grounde. For if the doctryne of the fathers be true (as it must be / if our sauiour spake by their mouthes) Luthers doctryne / whi­che is contrary / muste nedis be false.

Now therfore my bretherne / ye that be abiured / here take hede.

Sith it is euidēt / that our sauiour by ye mouthes of the fathers hath sowen this sede of his worde / and declared the scriptures of god by ye same: the spirite of god hath also gyueu his influence vnto this same sede: By whom suppose ye / that the do­ctryne of Luther (whiche is playne contrary vn­to this doctryne / and vtterly cōdemned by the ho­ly fathers) by whom (I say) suppose ye / that this mischeuous sede was sowen? By whom els / but by the deuyl / and inspired by the wicked spirites. Therfore if ye loue your owne soules / nowe flee this doctryne hens forwarde: and ioyne you vnto the doctryne of the churche / and beleue as the churche beleueth: that I may saye vnto eche of you: Rispice / fides tua te saluum fecit: Open thyne eies / for this faithe / that nowe thou haste / bele­leuynge as the churche of Christe beleueth / hath sauedthe.

The seconde collection.

THe seconde thyng that IThe sede. sayde was to be marked / is the sede of the worde of god: whiche here is nat called Semina / but Semē / nat many but one. This sede for. iii. considerations / is but one sede.

Fyrst for it is fortable and agreable / and lyke vn­toThe sede of ye word of god is but one sede for. 3 consyde­rations. it selfe in euery parte. As whan we se an heape of wheate / that is clene and pure wheare / with­out any diuerse medlyng of cockel / or of any other noughty and euyll sede / though there be many diuerse cornis / yet for as moche as they be all of one kynde / we say it is al one sede: and in lyke ma­ner it is of the worde of god: though there be ma­ny wordes / and many trouthes in it / many speci­alties / many parables / many similitudes / many cōmaundemētes / many consailes / many thretes / many promises / many persuasions / yet for as moche as it hath no falsehod nor vntrouth / none errour / no wicked doctryne medled therwith / but is all (as ye wolde say) of one grayne / of one gro­weth / of one countre: for all cometh from aboue. Est saptentia desursunt descendens a patre luminum / asJacobi. [...]. saint James saith. Therfore it is but one worde / one sede / one doctryne. Contrary wyse it is of the doctryne of Luther: For it is a medley made of many dyuerse colours / & of dyuerse patches / & hath a partye coote: Hit is nat one / but many [Page] doctrines adulterate / as saynt Paule saith: Adul­terantes verbum dei: These heretickes adulterate [...]. Col. [...]. the worde of god / and make a shewe and a face of their heresie outward / as though it were ye worde of god / and hit is nat. It is diuerse from the do­ctrine & sede of this worde. I say nat / but Luther vseth full often the wordes and scriptures of god / I shulde say rather / abuseth them: But he inter­medleth with them many great errours / many falsehodes / many peruerse expositions / contrary vnto the true teachyng / lefte vnto vs by the holy fathers in tymes paste: and contrary to the holle determinatiō of Christis churche. And for bycause that he thus hath intermedled moche euyll sede with the sede of god: and interlaced many great heresies: Therfore his doctryne is nat one but di­uerse / and of many kyndes.

The secōde cōsideration / why ye sede of the wordeThe secōd consyde­cation. of god is one / is for bicause ther is in it no discord / no repugnancy / no contradiction / of one parte of it with another. It is lyke of it & of a songe / where be many syngers / that diuersely descant vpon the playne songe: but for as moche as they all agre withouten any gerryng / withouten any mystu­nynge / they make al but one sōge / & one armony. In lyke maner it is of the scriptures of god / and of the doctryne of the churche: There be many singers / & some synge the playne songe / and some synge the descant / saynt Mathewe / saint Marke / saynt Luke / saynt Johane / saynt Peter / saint [Page] Paule / saint James / saint Jude syng the playne songe. Than be there a great nombre of the do­ctours / whiche descante vpon this playne songe: but for bicause ther is no discorde / no repugnancy / no contradiction amonge them / at the leest in any poynt concernyng the substance of our faithe: all their boyces make but one songe / & one armony. The doctryne of Luther can nat be so: For he nat onely disagreeth with the fathers / but also with hym selfe in places innumerable: as they / whiche haue writē ageynst hym / haue euidently proued who that redeth the kynges boke / the boke of maister More / the bokes of Catharinus / the bo­kes of Empser / of Corleus / of Eckius / and many other / he shal clerely se / that this is a trouth / whi­che I nowe saye. And nat only this / but also god therof highly be thanked / they nowe gerre and di­fagreThe here­tihes [...]ise­gre amōge them selfe amonge them selfe. Thre principall capi­taynes of them defende. iij. playne contrary sen­têces / and that in that most high worde of Christ / concernyng the sacramēt of the auter. I dare nat reherse theyr contrary expositions. For as saynt Paule saith: Sermo eorum sicut cancer serpit: Theyr [...]. Tim. 2 hersies be perillous: For they spredde lyke a can­ker: and as a pestilence they do infecte the herers. Neuerthelesse this is a veray trouth / that I say vnto you / twayne of them / that is to say / Luther and Oecolāpadius fully disagre / & make playne contradictorie expositions of these same wordes. And the thyrde / whiche is called Carlstadius / [Page] holdeth clene contrary to them both. Here be wor­thy maisters for a good christen man to put his soule in their hādes / yt so repugnantly vary in ex­poūdyng ye scriptures. And yet all these. iij. be mē of great name / and of high reputacion in lernyng amonge the Lutherians. This is the syngular goodnes of god / to stricke them with this contra­diction & repugnancy amōge them selfe: so yt one of them shall nat here another. Euen as whā the towre of Babylon was enforsed to be buylded / all mighty god thus stroke ye builders of that towre / that one of them dyd nat vnderstād another: So nowe hath he striken these heretikes / whiche en­forsed them to buylde a towre agaynst the chur­che / that amonge them selfe they haue clene con­trary doctrynes: and one of them wyll nat here another.

The thyrde consideration / why the sede of theThe thyrd consyde­ration. worde of god is but one / is this. Though there be many bokes of scripture / bothe in the olde testa­ment and in the newe also / yet all these bokes be so fully agreed by the expositiōs and interpretati­ons of the holy doctours / that they make but one boke / and one body of scripture: and haue in them all but one spirite of lyfe: that is to saye / the spi­rite of Christe Jesu. Euen as in the body of man there be many partes and many membres / yet for as moche as in euery of them is but one lyfe and one soule: therfore the body is but one. This thynge was figured in a vision / shewed vnto the [Page] prophet Ezechiell: he sawe one roundell and ma­ny roundels / and eche of them in the myddis of other: but in all these roundels was but one spi­rite of lyfe. So euery parte of scripture is lyke a roundel: For it hath no corners. Trouth is roūde and hath none angles. The psalter of Dauid is a roundell of trouthe / and eche of the gospels is a roundell of trouthe: The gospelles be in the psal­ter: and the psalter is in the gospelles: and the spirite of Christe maketh one roundell of them all. The newe testament is a roundell / and the olde testament is a roundell / and either of them is in the other: but there is but one spirite of lyfe in them bothe: and so in euery roundell of scripture: and this spirite maketh one roundell of all. And with these also the expositiōs of the fathers / whiche were inspired by the same spirite / make one roundell with the same.

The doctrine of Luther can nat be thus / nor yet partiner of this spirite of lyfe / bicause it is repu­gnant and deuyded frome the holle corps of the doctryne of the churche. Wherfore we maye ne­cessarilyThe do­ctrine of Luther is nat one with the doctrine of Christe. conclude / that the doctryne of Luther is nat one with the doctryne of Christe / nor hath in it the spirite of lyfe: For as moche as it is repu­gnant and contradyctorily dyuerse from the do­ctryne of the churche. Whiche thynge we maye proue by. iij. reasons. The fyrst is this. The do­ctrine of the churche / wherin all ye fathers agree / [Page] is spoken by Christe / and inspired by the holy spi­rite of Christe / as it doth appere of the fyrste col­lection. But Christe and his holy spirite can nat teache and inspire two doctrynes / the whiche be clene contrary. Wherfore the doctryne of Luther is nat the doctrine of Christe / and of his most holy spirite.

Seconde. Christe Jesu sayth of hym selfe / that he is the veray trouth: Ego sum veritas. But one trouth can nat be deuided at ones to two contradi­ctories. And why? If that one of them haue the trouth / that other muste nedes want it: For one trouth can nat be commune vnto them bothe.

Thyrde. the holy goste is the spirite of lyfe vnto the doctryne of the churche. But the sprite of lyfe can nat be deuided: but it must go holle: As we se that whā a mannes arme is cutte from his body / the lyfe is nat deuided / parte vnto the arme / and parte vnto the body: but the holle lyfe gothe with the body / and the arme hath no parte therof. So for bicause that Luther by his intricate expositi­ons maketh one parte of scripture to be repugnāt agaynst an other / as he confesseth hym selfe / that he can nat frame his other expositions with the Epistole of saynt James / and with the gospell of Luke. Therfore it is manifest▪ that his doctryne is deuided from the holle corps of scripture / and is nat one with the doctryne of the churche / nor hath nat in it the spirite of lyfe.

¶ But nowe by your sufferance / I wyll speke a [Page] fewe wordes vnto these ꝑsons / which be abiured.

My bretherne / ye may perceyue by this that I haue sayd / that the sede of ye worde of god / that is to say ye doctrine of Christis churche / for these. iij. considerations afore rehersed / is one: And that the doctryne of Luther is by the same. iij. conside­rations nat one. Wherfore ye may sufficiently cō ­clude / that the doctryne of Luther is nat the gra­tious sede of the worde of god / nor hath in it the spirite of lyfe: but is an euyll sede / a sede of corrup­tion / a sede of pestilent infection / a sede that bly [...] ­deth mēnes hertes / a sede that enueougleth their sight / a sede that extincteth in them ye true faith ▪ a sede that distroyeth their soules / finally the ve­ray sede of the deuyll / whiche is inspired by the wicked spirites. Therfore good bretherne / I wold aduise both you & euery other true christen mā / to eschew this sede. And if it be sowen ī your hartes / to plucke it out by the routis / & to receyue the gra­tious sede of the worde of god / and fully to assent to the doctrine of Christis churche / that the wor­des aboue rehersed may be sayde to eche of you: Respice / fides tua te safu [...]i fecit: Open thyn [...]ies / this is the faithe / that may make the safe.

The thyrde collection.

THe thyrde thynge to be marked isThe good erthe. the good erthe: by the whiche our sauiour vnderstandeth in this parable one certayne ma­ner [Page] of people: For he so declareth it hym selfe / say­eng: Quod autem in terram bonam / hi sunt qui corde ho­nesto et bono: That is to say / this good erthe beto­keneth them / whiche be of one hart honest & good. I meane the people / of whom we spake in ye gos­pell of the miracle before: the multitude I saye / whiche had Christe amonge them. Soone after that our sauiour had begonne together this peo­ple to giders / whiche we calle the christen people / he sayd vn them that than were present: Amen di­ [...]o [...]obis / non preteribit generatio [...]ec / donec [...]ec omnia fu­ctaMat. 24. fuerint: I tell you for a certayne / this genera­tion shall nat passe / vnto than all these thynges that I nowe haue spoken of / shalbe perfourmed. He ment nat here any carnall generation. No. for that carnall generation / to whom he than spake / were deed many hūdred yeres ago. And also tho thynges that he than spake of / be nat yet perfur­med / but shalbe perfourmed about thende of the worlde. Wherfore doubtles he ment a spiritual generation: that is to say / the generation of christē people: whiche hitherto in dispite of all theyr en­nemies / haue contynued / and shall continue vnto the worldis ende. Great malice and persecution hath ben vsed agaynst this generation / bothe by the Jewes and by the gentiles / by the tyrantes / by the philosophers / and the heretickes: but all they myght nat preuaile agaynst this generatiō / accordyng as our sauiour Christe hath promised: Et porte inferi non preuasebunt aduersue [...]am: And al theMat. 16. [Page] malice of helle shal nat preuayle agaynst this ge­neration / nor interrupt it.

¶ The wonderfull continuance of this generati­on was one thyng specially / that kepte saynt Au­gustyne (as he reportethe hym selfe) and helde hym in the catholicke faith. In the boke contraij. thinges did establi­she saynt Augustyne ī the catholyke faith. Manichesi he remembreth. ij. thynges concernyng this matter. That one is this. Tenet me ab ipsa sede Petri apostoli / cui pascendas oues suas post resurrectio­nem dominus commendauit / vsque ad presentem episcopa­tū successio sacerdotum: It holdeth me fyrste to be one of the churche / the continuall succession / that I se of popes one after an other / fro the fyrst sittyng of Peter in the See apostolice / to whom our sa­uiour commysed his flocke to be fedde / vnto this present tyme. This holy doctour saint Augusty­ne cōsidred what name Christe gaue vnto Peter▪callynge hym Cephas / whiche is as moche to saye as Petra / or [...]apis. And he marked also well / what promyse our sauioure dyd make vnto hym / sayenge: Et super hanc petram edificabo ecclesiam m [...] ­am. And he obserued farther more / howe that amonge all the other apostles onely the successi­on of Peter doth continue / and to se the promyse of our sauiour thus truely put in effecte: This was some thynge yt made saynt Augustine to fo­lowe constantly the doctryne of the churche. An other is this. Tenet ipsum cotholice nomen / quod nō si­ne causa inter tam multas hereses ista ecclesia sola obtinu­it: That is to say / and this thyng also kepeth me [Page] fast in the doctrine of the churche / that this con­gregation / whiche is deriuied from the see of Pe­ter / hath amonge so many heresies / and agaynst so many heretickes / only and nat withoutē cause opteyned this name Catholica / that it is called the catholicke churche. These two thynges dyd con­ferme and establisshe saint Augustine in the catho like faith. And truely who that depely weyeth al these thynges shall thynke the same. I say / if he cōsydre depely with hym selfe: fyrst yt suche a ma­ner of name Pet receiued of our sauiour Christe: he was called Cephas / whiche is as moche to saye as a stone. This no man can denye.

Seconde. if he considre / howe that our sauiour sayde vnto Peter / that vpon that stone he wolde buylde his churche: agaynst the whiche the ga­tes of helle shulde nat preuayle.

Thyrde. if he remembre besyde this / howe vnto the same Peter he seriously cōmysed his flocke to be fedde and to be gouerned.

Fourth. if he considre / that the true christen peo­ple / whiche we haue at this day / was deriuied by a continuall succession from the see of Peter. For where is nowe the christen people of the region of Scithia / whiche came of the succession of saynt Andrewe: Be they nat nowe infidels? Where is nowe the people of Ephesus / and of all Asia / whi­che came of the succession of saynt John̄? Be they nat infidels? Where is nowe the people of bothe Aethiops / whiche came of the succession of saynt [Page] Mattheu & saynt Mathye? Be they nat infidels? And breuely to say / where is all the other people / whiche came of ye succession of the other apostles? either they nowe be infidels / or els schismatickes / or other wyse deuided from the churche of Christe.

Fynally / if he put vnto these / that onely the suc­cessiō of Peter in dispite of al their ēnemyes dothe yet continue / and yet beareth the name of the ve­ray catholicke churche / and so shall do vnto the worldis ende / he shall se euidently / that this mul­titude and this successiou is the veray churche of Christe: agaynst the whiche the gates of hell shal neuer preuaile.

Thus than ye se whiche is the good erthe: I say the multitude of christen people / whiche hitherto by a continuall succession was deriuied from the see of Peter.

But nowe let vs here what conditions our saui­ourThe conditiōs of the good erth. adioyneth vnto this good erthe / he sayth: hi sunt / (qui) in corde honesto et bono. Pardō me / though I reherse ye wordes aft ye greke boke: for they make better agaynst our ēnemies / he sayth: In corde ho­nesto / et vono. Here be. iij. conditions. Fyrst in corde / The fyrste cōdition. Act. 4. that is to saye of one harte and mynde / accordyng as it is writen / Mustitudinis credentium erat cor vnum / et anima vna: All that multitude that beleued in Christe / was of one harte and of one mynde / that is to say / they were nat deuided by contrary do­ctrynes. And therfore lykewise saynt Paule / wri­tyng vnto the Corinthies / sayth: Idem loquamini1. Cor. 1. [Page] omnes / et non sint inter vos dissidia / sed s [...]itis integrum corpus / eadem mente / et eadē sententia: That is to say / speake ye all one way / and let there be no contrary opinions amonge you / but be ye as an holle body of one mynde and of one sentence. Syth that Lu­ther with his secte / is of an other mynde and sen­tence / and of a diuerse harte and opinion fro the churche / as I haue shewed before / it is manifest by this fyrst condition / that they be excluded fro this good erthe / and fro this succession of christen people / whiche we call the churche catholicke. As for vs it is certeyne / that we come derectly of this succession / and ioyne fully with the fathers in all their doctrynes. Contrariwyse Luther dispiseth them and their doctrynes / as I sayd before: and there he deuideth hym selfe frō the doctryne of the churche / and fro this good erthe. For what is the doctryne of the churche / but the doctryne of the fa­thers? Nat many yeres ago / as Luther cōfesseth hym selfe / he ioyned with the fathers / and with the churche / as we do: but nowe he hath cutte hym selfe fro the churche. We cam nat out of hym and of his secte / but all they cam out of vs / and so haue deuided them selfe from vs. We styl kepe and folowe the doctryne / whiche hath bene lefte vnto vs by the gratious fathers / men of singular ler­nynge and excellent holynes / whiche by the holy goost had the continuall gouernance of the chur­che vnto this day / as saint Paule doth witnesse in the Actis of ye apostles / as I sayd before. We than [Page] that folowe suche doctrynes / as haue bene lefte vnto vs / by these gouernours / which went before vs / be of one harte and mynde with them / and with the churche. And Luther with his adheren­tes / whiche wyll nat accepte and alowe these do­ctrynes / be of a dyuerse harte and mynde fro the fathers / and haue so deuided them selfe fro the churche. Wherfore it is manifest / that they wante this fyrst condition of the good erthe: they be nat of one harte and of one mynde with vs.

The seconde condition is honesto / that is honesteThe sec [...] condition. and fayre: For the greke worde is indifferent to bothe. The lyght of true faith / whiche is a clere brightnes without any errours / moche doth ho­neste and make beautious the harte of a christen man: For withouten hit there is no honeste nor beautie in a soule. Sine fide impossibile est placere deo. This faith can nat be in the Lutherians / but re­mayneth only in ye succession of the churche / wher­of we come. But the Lutherās (as I sayd) be de­uided from the churche / and their faith is a clene contrarye doctryne from ours / and agaynst all them that were in the same succession before vs. It is also full of many great errours. One er­rour suffiseth to spill and to distroye any mannes faithe: but moche rather many great errours / and specially suche as here before haue bene con­dempned by many generall counsayles / had in the churche. At the whiche counsayles were pre­sent great noūbre of honorable fathers assembled [Page] to gether by the holy gost / men of singular lernȳg and excellent holynes / the whiche was confirmed by many great miracles. Wherfore the faithe of the Lutherans and the faith of the churche / can nat agree / but be clene repugnant one agaynst an other. And therfore if they bothe be true faithes / than shall there be two faithes: the whiche saynt Paule vtterly denyeth / sayng: Dnus dominus / vnaEphe. 4 fides. Wherfore also they want this seconde condi­ction / that is to say / honestie and beautie of faithe.

The thyrde condition is bono / that meaneth theThe thyrd condition. towardnes of a good wyll to brynge forthe ye frute of good workes: For withouten that all fayth is nought / as sayth saint James: Fides sine operibusJac. 2. mortua est. It suffiseth nat for a christen man to be­leue the doctryne of the churche / but he muste also worke & bringe forthe some encrease of good frute. This frute they bryng nat forth / as it more playn­ly shall appere here after. Wherfore they want al­so this condition of the good erthe. But what thā be they? Surely they be the trodde erthe in the high way / and the stones / and the thornes / wher­of the gospell here speketh. Saynt Peter in his seconde Epistole / where he prophiseth of suche he­retickes / hath [...]. Peir [...] [...] expressedly discribed ye Lutherans / and telleth. iij. conditions of them: Wherby theyHowe the Lutherās maye be knowen. may be clerery knowen.

The fyrst is this. Qui carnem sequentes in cōcupiscen­tia polutionis ambulant. That is to say / they folowe the wayes of theyr flesshe / & walke in the vnclene [Page] disires of the same. Thus Luther doth withoutē doubt and they all / whiche be of his secte: for he sayth it is necessary for euery man and woman to haue the carnall vse of their body / as it is to eate or to drynke. But where this carnalite reigneth / there ye wicked spirites haue full dominatiō: and there they kepe their haūte / and make that soule and herte as cōmune a trodde as is ye high way. These be the byrdes of the ayre / whiche eate vp the sede of the worde of god: they leaue nothynge but the veray hulle of that sede / the vertue o [...] it they conuey away. The fayre speche / ye eloquece / the knowlege of languages / these be but the ve­ray hulle of the scriptures. This hulle these here­tickes haue: But the veray pithe and substance of the sede is piked out of theyr hartes by these euyll spirites / that kepe them in this carnalite.

The seconde condition is. Dominationem contenmūt audaces / prefracti. That is to say / they dispise al go­uernours / and them that be ī auctorite / & they be stiffe & heedy in their wayes: be nat ye Lutherans thus? who is more styffe / yea more furious than Luther is? For he dispiseth kynges / princes / po­pes / bisshoppes / and all auctorite both spirituall and temporall. And what is this / but a veray sto­nynes / indurate of pride and obstynacie?

The thyrde condition is this. Qui gloria precesien­tes non verentur cōuitus incessere. That is to say / they drede nat / nor be a shamed to skoffe / and checke / and to rebuke / yea to teare / scratche and rente the [Page] fames and lyues of noble men. And this the Lu­therans also do / and Luther hym selfe principal­ly: and thus they shewe them selfe to be very thor­nes and briers / whiche / as the gospell sayth / doth strangle the good sede.

Nowe thā to you my bretherne / whiche be abiu­red / I must direct my speche. For as moche as by this collectiō ye perceyue / yt the erthe ment in this parable is the true christen people / whiche haue Christe amonge them / accordyng as the gospel of the miracle telleth: and that this people hath con­tinued their succession hitherto / fro ye see of Peter: and that also they haue in them. iij. conditions / that is to say / they be of one harte / by true doctry­ne: they be of one honesty / by ye brightnes of faith: And thyrde / they be of one good wyll to brynge forthe ēcrease of good frute. The Lutherans wāt these. iij. conditions: they be nat of one harte and of one doctryne with this multitude: Nor they haue nat one faithe with them: And as for any frute they care nat: as shalbe clerely shewed in the fourthe collection. Wherfore they be nat this good erthe / but they rather haue the conditions of thornes and stones / and of the clonge erthe / as it manifestly appereth by the prophecy of saynt Peter / as ye haue herde. Wherfore it shalbe expe­dient that ye from hensforth fle their company / & adioyne you with ye good erthe / with the catholike people / and folowe the doctryne of Christis chur­che: that I may repete vnto euery of you the wor­dis [Page] aboue rehersed: Respice / fides tua te saluum fecit / Open thyn eies / this thy faith / nowe beleuynge as the churche beleueth / hath made the safe.

The fourth collection concer­nynge the encreace of good frute.

THe fourthe / and the laste thyng to be marked in this pa­rable / is the encreace of frute▪ the whiche in ye gospel of Mat­theu is tolde more expressely▪ Aliud quidē centuplam / aliud sex [...] ­ [...]agecuplumMat. 1 [...]. / aliud trigecupsum: In some erthe this sede bryngeth forthe an hundred folde encreace / in some sixtyfolde / in some thyrty­folde. This diuersite of encreace betokeneth vn­to vs diuerse degrees of spiritualnes / whiche the sede of the worde of god workethe in our hartes / more or lesse / accordynge as our hartes better or worse be disposed. The hart that is more toward­ly disposed / is made more spiritual: and the hart that is lesse towarly / is lesse spirituall.

The same diuersite of frute was signified in the gospell of the myracle. For there all that multi­tude yt folowed Christe / was nat elyke nygh vnto Christe / euery one of them. Wherfore tho that were nexte vntyll hym / betoken the most perfect: [Page] tho that were farther of / lesse perfecte: and tho that were farthest of / the leaste perfecte. But we shall nowe speke of the diuerse degrees of encrea­se of frute.

Conceyue me what I meane. Ye se that though the grounde in the feeldes / by the dylygence of men / be neuer so well broken and seasoned / yet if there be no good seede sowen in it / it bryngeth no­thynge forthe of it selfe but weedes / and all his naturall moysture tourneth in to weedes: But whan some good sede is caste in to hit / than that sede by his naturall vertue / and by the influence of the heuens / so myghtily draweth that erthely moysture of the grounde / and chaungeth it / and assembleth it in to his owne substaunce: in so mo­che that in some well prepared erthe there spryn­geth nat one weede / but all the moysture of the grounde is tourned in to corne. In some other be fewer or mo weedes / accordyng to the goodnes of the erthe / or better / or lesse diligence in preparyng of the same. In lyke maner it is of the sede of the worde of god / and of the harte of man. An harte that is nat sowen with the worde of god / but lefte vntyll his owne nature / bryngeth nothyng forthe but the weedes of carnalitie / carnall thoughtes / carnall affections / and carnal workes. But whan the worde of god is sowen / and the spirite of god gyueth the influence of his grace: than that sede of the worde of god / by his supernaturall vertue / and by the gratious influence of the holy spirite [Page] of god / worketh in that harte / and chaungeth the carnalitie therof in to a spiritualnes / accordynge as the harte is better or worse disposed / by thre maners of degrees.

The lowest degree of this spiritualnes is in the state of matrimony: where though there be many weedes / yet there is moche ēcrease of frute / if this sacrament truely be kepte / there the encrease of frute is thyrtyfolde.

The myddell degree is in ye state of wydowheed / the whiche hath fewer weedes & more frute. Here the encrease of frute is thre skore folde.

The thyrd is ī the state of virginite / whiche hathThe state of virgi­nite. veray fewe weedes / or none at all / but all is frute: and this encrease is an hundred folde so moche. Fyrst than let vs begynne to speake of this high state of virginite.

The worde of god with the influence of grace so worketh in the hartes of true virgins / that in ma­ner it leaueth no carnalitie there / but chaungeth all in to a spiritualnes / that it maketh them to di­spise all thoughtes / all affections / al workes / that be carnall / saue only these / whiche be necessarily requisite vnto ye bodely lyfe: that is to say / to kepe the soule and the body together. Of this virginite our sauiour gaue example hym selfe: the same fo­lowed his blyssed mother / and saynt Johan the Euangelist lykewyse: whiche for his clennes was singularly beloued of our sauiour: and for ye same he cōmysed the custody of his mother vntyll hym. [Page] And lykewyse to saint Paule he gaue example hȳ selfe of clennes / and continency of his body. And therfore he dothe wisshe / that other wolde do the same / and persuadeth ther vnto sayeng thus: Ve­lim omnes homines esse / sicut et ipse sū. And a litel after:1. Cor. 7. Bonsi eis est / si manserint / vt et ego. Of suche also our sauiour speketh in the gospell / and preyseth them sayeng: Sunt enuchi / qui se castrauerunt propter regnumMat. 19. cesorū: There be some / whiche haue splayde them selfe spiritually / that is to saye / haue cutte from theyr hartes the carnall affections of theyr bodi es / for ye loue of the kyngdome of heuen. A trouth it is / all wyll nat do thus / and so our sauiour sayth in the same place: Non omnes capiūt ver [...] hoc: This worde worketh nat in euery harte. Yet neuerthe­lesse he doth exhorte ther vnto / sayenge: Qui po­test capere / capiat: He that may take this worde and kepe his virginite / let hym take it. But thus dyd a great nombre of christen people in Alexandria / whiche by the preachynge of saint Marke / con­secrate their virginite vnto Christe both men and women / as Philo the Hebrewe telleth. Suche were also great nombre of women / the whiche in Hierusalem lykewyse vnto Christe dyd consecrate their virginite / as telleth Euseby ī his story. And these thus dyd by the prechynge of the apostles. Innumerable suche also both men and women were in the desartes of Eyry of Egypte & Ethiop. All these by watche / fastyng / prayer contempned theyr flesshe / chastised theyr bodies / and kepte [Page] them lowe / to thentēt that they myght kepe their soules clene vnto Christe. And it is nat to be dou­ted / but that there is in Christēdome / at this day / many thousandes of religious men and women / that full truely kepe their religion & their chastite vnto Christ. For whan Hely the prophet had sup­posed that so great a persecutiō was made agaȳst the true seruauntes of god / that he was lefte a­lone / it was answered vntyll hym by almyghty god / as saith saint Paule. Adhuc reli (qui) mihi septē milia / Ro. [...]. qui non curuauerunt genu ante Baal: I haue yet reser­ued vnto me seuen thousande / the whiche hath done none idolatry before Baall. And if almygh­ty god dyd reserue in that lytell porcion of Jury so great a multitude beyonde the estimation of this prophet Hely: what nombre suppose ye. doth yet remayne in all Christēdome of religious men and women / nat withstandynge this great persecuti­on of religious monasteries bothe of men and of women / done by these heretickes / by this moste execrable doctryne? It is nat to be doubted / but in all Christendome be lefte many thousandes / whiche at this houre lyue chaste / and truely kepe theyr virginite vnto Christe.

Nowe let vs se / whether ye sede of god worke thisThe frute of Luthers doctrine. high frute amōge the Lutherans or nat. No. no. nothȳg lesse. Halas it will make a true christē mās harte to blede blody teares within his breast / for to here their lyuȳg. The prestis of his sect / which shulde kepe theyr handes and hartes clene for to [Page] mynister the blessed sacrament / folowe the luste and carnalite of their flesshe. The religious men forsake their religion / and retourne vnto ye world / and take them queanes. The virgins that were consecrate vnto god / & had promysed to kepe them selfe selfe as true spouses vnto Christ / nowe gyue their bodies tyll all wretched pleasure / and suffre them selfe to be stuprate and abhomynably defyled and soused in all carnalite O Jesus / this is the frute that commeth of the wicked sede / whiche this vn­gratious hereticke hath sowē amōge them. Howe far is this from the example of Christe / and from ye other blessed fathers innumerable / whiche both lyued chaste them selfe / & procured likewyse that other shulde do the same? If the deuyll haue nat excecate our eies / we may se by this euidently / yt this doctryne commeth nat from aboue: For than it shulde nat be contrary vnto the counsayles of Christe / and of saint Paule / and of the other scrip­tures of god: but it cometh playnly from ye deuyll. And yet he is nat ashamed to write / that al his doctryne he hath of god. Thus moche for the fyrste frute.

By this fyrst ye may iudge what his mynde andThe frute of widow [...]ed. sentence is / concernyng the seconde frute / that is to say / as touchȳg wydowes. He that calleth vir­gins to forsake their virginite / wyll but a lytell regard the state and frute of wydwohed. And herein also he teacheth contrary vnto ye counsaile of saint Paule / whiche coūsaileth wydowes to kepe them [Page] sole and specially to thentent that they may in a more liberte serue god. For (as he saith) Innupta1. Cor. 7. curat ea / que sunt domini / vt sit sancta quum corpore tum spiritu. Contra. q̄ nupta est / curat ea / que sūt mūdi / quomodo placitura sit viro. That is to say / she that is nat ma­ried is myndful & studious / for tho thynges / whi­che perteyne to Christe: But contrary wyse / she that is maried / is carefull of the thynges / whiche belong vnto the worlde / & studieth / howe she may please her husbande. But the carnall doctryne of Luther no more regardeth this coūsaile / nor this maner of ēcreace / thā he doth yt other of virginite.

The thyrde and the lowest degree of encreace ofThe fruit of mari­age. frute is in ye state of mariage. The holy sacramēt of matrimony preserueth by his vertue the wor­kes and dedes of them that be maried / so that the workes / whiche without this sacramēt shulde be dedly / be made by vertue of this sacrament either to be no synne / or at the least but veniall synne / so lōge I say as they truly kepe this sacramēt / & vse it accordyngly. In token wherof our sauiour at a mariage changed water in to wyne: therby signi­fienge that moche of the waterynes of carnalitie betwene the maried persons / by vertue of this sa­cramēt / is changed into the wyne of merite. But this encreace also is lost by the wicked doctryne of Luther: For he hath nowe maried hym selfe vnto a noūne: A frere and a nounne together / can this be any good mariage? No doubtles: whiche thȳ ­ges shall appere by▪ iij. reasons. Fyrst for bycause [Page] that he maketh ye sacrament of matrimony to be no sacramēt. A very mad mā / he to mary / & yet to affirme yt this sacrament hath no vertue in it / & yt directly agaynst ye scriptures of god / & so maketh as moche as lyeth in hym / yt the vertue of this sa­cramēt nothyng profiteth / neither tyll hym selfe / neither to other yt be maried / if they so beleue as he techeth. But their mariages as they vse them (nat beleuyng yt the sacrament hath any vertue) hath nothȳg in them that is spirituall / but be full of carnalite without any spiritualnes / ful of wate­ryng without any verdours of meryte / full of stȳ ­kyng weedes / without any good frute at all. For as saint Paule sayth / Qui seminat ꝑ carnē suā / de car­ne metet corruptionē: Et qui seminat per spiritū / de spirituGal. 6 metet vitā eternā: Who yt soweth by his flesshe car­nally / shal reape of his flesshe corruptiō: And he yt soweth by the spirite / shal reape of his spirite ye re­ward of euerlastyng lyfe. But take away this ho­ly sacrament / & doubtles al the vse of the bodies of them that be maried is onely carnall / whiche by this sacrament is made in some maner spirituall / and taketh by ye vertue therof a spiritualnes. For as moche thā as Luther hath destroyed this ho­ly sacramēt / he can reape no good frute of his ma­riage / but only carnall corruption / and his mari­age is no mariage.

The seconde reasō is this. Howe can it be a goodThe secōd reason. mariage / where one mā abuseth an other mānes wyfe / specially whā he medleth with her / whiche [Page] was consecrate the spouse of Christe? Amonge the Jentils it was reputed abhominable / for to abuse the virgins / whiche had cōsecrate their virginite vnto ye Idols. Moche rather it shuld so be thought amonge the christen people / to abuse the spouse of Christe / consecrate vnto hym. Saynt Mattheu whan he was desired by a certeyne prince called Hirtacus / that he shulde moue a virgine named Ephegenia / whiche had before consecrate her vir­ginite to Christe / he made hym this answere: Si­regis spōsam regis seruus vsurpare voluerit / vinus tr [...]d [...]t incendiis: That is to say / if the seruaunte of a kyng wolde abuse the kynges spouse / he were worthy to be throwen quicke in to the fyre. He ment that if Hirtacus / whiche than was christened / and shuld haue bene the seruaunt of Christe / wolde couet to mary that virgin / which was cōsecrate to Christ / as his spouse / he were worthy to be brent. What suppose ye that this blessed apostel wold say / if he nowe were present here agayne / & herde this ab­hominable dede / this carnally disposed mā / thus to abuse a religious virgin / whiche was cōsecrate the spouse of Christ? O Jesus. Howe moche wold he aborre this matter? And what dredfull sentēce wolde he pronounce of suche sodayne [...]uisement a­gaynst this hereticke? The thyrd reason is this.The thyrd reason. If we cōsidre what promise this mā had made be fore / & ye great strength of yt ꝓmise / we shall well ꝑ­ceyue / yt this secōd ꝓmise can haue no place. And why? For yt promise / whiche he made before was [Page] to kepe his chastitie: this is clene contrary. That was a former promyse: this promyse is a later promyse / & that by many yeres latter. Thyrde. that promyse was for the weale of his soule: this pro­myse is made for the carnall pleasure of his body. Fourthe. that promise was made solemly & with a great deliberation: this promyse was made in a corner and of some shorte aduisemēt: For with in vi. wekes after the mariage / his woman had a childe. This was spedy worke / a woman to haue a chylde within. vi. wekes of her mariage. This must either be a great miracle / orels they had met to gether before. That promyse was made accor­dyng to the rules of holy religion / whiche was de­uised by the holy fathers / and inspired by the spi­rite of god: this promise is made agaynst all good rulis / & by the carnall misordre of ye wretchednes of the flesshe. That promyse was made accordȳg to ye coūsailes of our sauiour Christ / saint Paule / and of the other apostles: this promise was made by the counsaile of Satanas / & of all ye deuylles of hell. Finally. that promise was made vnto god / & he wyll nat be mocked / as saith saint Paule: Deus non irridetur: God is nat to be mocked. But it is aSal. 6. playne mockery / so solemly to promyse vnto god / and neuer the lasse to breake ye promyse made. An honest mā wyll loke to kepe his promise made vn­to his neighbour / but moche rather / if his pro­mise be made vnto almighty god / he so shuld kepe the same. Whan than that former promyse was [Page] made to god / and for the weale of his soule / and solemly by great deliberation / accordynge to the holy rulis of religion / and accordyng to the coun­sayles of the holy scripture / who seeth nat cuidēt­ly / that this later promyse made vnto a woman / with all contrary cōditiōs to these aboue rehersed / can haue no place? For the former promyse is so stronge that it disanulleth & debarreth quite this other promyse / whiche was later made. But here one wyll say: Sir / Luther sawe that it was im­possible for hym to conteyne hym selfe. But I s [...]y agayne / that Luther shulde haue loked at that poynt / before that he made this promyse to god & before he entred holy religion. And here I wolde be answered of all my maisters the Lutherans in this one poynt / what lyfe this hereticke hath ly­ued all these yeres before that he was maried. If Luther myght nat cōteyne hym selfe nowe in his later dayes / whan he is of more age and of elder yeres / what lyfe suppose ye that he lyued in ye fer­uour and heate of his youth [...] ▪ He speketh moche of hypocricy / but what hypocricy vsed he all this longe tyme that he was a frere / vnder his freers coote? If he dyd nat than conteyne: What abho­minations dyd he vse in the luste of his youthe / that nowe in his later dayes may nat lyue chaste? O Jesus who may thinke that any gratious and frutfull knowlege of holy scriptures dyd entre and abpde in this mannes breast / whan it is writen: In masiuosam animam non introihit saptentia / nec habita­bitSap. 1. [Page] in corpore subdito peccatis. We rede of diuerse that for the foule vnclēnes of their bodies / lost ye singu­lar gyfte of the holy spirite / whiche they had got before. Wherfore if this man led this abhomina­ble lyfe before / and might nat conteyne hym selfe / it is certeyne he hath no frutfull knowlege of god / nor of his holy scriptures. And so this excuse shal­be rather his cōdempnation. But if they say that he before conteyned. Than I say that he shulde so nowe haue done / specially being nowe of elder ye­res / and a religious man / and a preacher of the worde of god. He shulde haue chastised his body as saint Paule dyd / sayeng: Ego castigo corpus mefi / [...]. Cor. 9. et in seruitutē redigo / ne quum aliis predicauero / ipse repro­bus inueniar: I chastise my body / & subdue it / leste that whan I shall preache to other / I be founde reprouable my selfe. Dyd nat saynt Paule suffre many temptations / and assaultes and brontes in his flesshe? yes doubtles / & so he sayth hym selfe: But by ye chastisemēt of his body / and by grace of god / he dyd ouercome them. And so this mā shuld haue done / he shulde haue chastised his body / by fastyng / by watche / by prayer / and so by the helpe of grace / haue mortified his carnall desires.

Thus thā ye perceyue (I suppose) clerely / that the doctrine of this most peruersed hereticke hath neither the encrease of the frute after the hiest de­gree of virginite: nor after ye meane degree of wy­dowhed: nor after the lowest of matrimony: but yt the couplyng of hym & of his mate to gyders is a [Page] veray brothelry / & a detestable sacrilege before the eies of god / of both these parties. So that I dare surely say / that all the stewes lesse offēdeth ye eies of god / with their abhominations / than doth Lu­ther and his mate / with theyr double sacrilege.

Put nowe vnto this / ye blasphemes & reprochesThe blas­phemes of Luther. agaynst almighty god / wherby he doth impute vnto god / that he shulde be the auctour of synne: And that his cōmandementes be impossible to be kepte. Agaynst our sauiour Christe / denyeng yt he by ye mouthes of the fathers hath sowen ye true [...] ­positiō of the holy scriptures. Nor that he so was assistent with his churche / accordynge to his pro­myse. Agaynst the holy goste / that he shulde [...] sufficiētly instructe by the same fathers ye christen people / in euery trouth perteynȳg vnto ye faith of Christe. Agaynst the blessed mother of Christe / yt ther shuld be no differēce betwene her & other wo­mē / but yt she was as synful as other be. Agaynst the holy crosse / that he wolde brēne as many pea­tes therof as he might gette. Agaȳst the blessed sayntes / yt their prayers helpe vs nat: and that they shuld nat be honored vpō vs. Agaȳst certeyn̄ bokes of scripture / namely ye gospel of Luke / and the Epistole of saint James. Agaynst ye other scriptures: who shall nombre the false cōstructiōs / ye wrōge intpretatiōs / ye mischeuous errours / wher by he hath corrupted ye holy scriptures of god? A­gaynst ye sacramētes of Christis churche / all saue twayne / that is ye sacramēt of ye altar / & baptyme. [Page] And agaynst the holy canon of ye masse. Agaynst the doctryne of the holy fathers / whose holynes was cōfirmed by many miracles / he clerely dispi­seth bothe them and theyr miracles. Agaynst re­ligion: who shall reken / howe many religious ꝑ­sones bothe men and women / whiche before were in ye high way of saluation / that nowe by his pe­stilent doctryne / be become apostatas / and haue forsaken theyr ordre / and be retourned vnto ye car­nall wayes of the worlde / to their perill and euer­lastyng damnation? Agaynst all them that be in souerayntie / as well tēporall as spiritual / cōtrary to the playne doctrine of holy scriptures. Agaynst hym selfe and his herers and folowers / intrikȳge & snarlyng bothe hym and them in so pestilent er­rours and heresies / to ye high displeasure of god / that he hath suffred them to tomble in mentem im­probam / that is to say / into a peruersed iudgemēt / approuyng this wretched carnalitie / wherin they nowe lyue. Agaynst his owne countrey / gyuyng occasion by his moste mischeuous doctryne to the subuersiō of that contrey (whiche was the floure of ye empire) by insurrections amonge them selfe: wherby many pyles / many castels / many great holdes / many stronge fortresses haue bene ouer­throwen and cast vnto the grounde / many tēples / many famous monasteries / many noble houses of religiō haue bene clerely destroyed / and suche a murdre of mē / as in our dayes hath nat ben herde of in so shorte a tyme: Doutles it is the hande and [Page] stroke of god vpon them / for the fauoryng & sub­portȳg of his most mischeuous doctrines: Suche a murdre of men / as credebly and faithfully is re­ported aboue an. C. thousande. This is ye frute / whiche is spronge of this moste wicked sede. The sede of god in the good hartes of true christen peo­ple worketh great encreace of gratious frute. Cō ­trary wyse / the sede of the deuyll in the hartes of the Lutherans / worketh all mischefe & corruptiō. I shall conclude (as I verily thynke) I beleue / yt onles Satanas were let lose out of hell / as in ye Apocalypsis it is promised / that he shulde beleued towarde ye ende of the worlde / so great a mischefe by one man / withouten his counsaile / cou [...] haue bene wrought.

¶ Nowe my bretherne / I wolde auise you so loke well vpon this matter / and nat so lightly to caste your soulis away by beleuȳg this doctrine of this most pernitious hereticke / whiche bryngeth forth none ēcrease of frute after any of these. u [...]. degrees aboue rehersed / but moche habundance of pest [...], and stynkyng weedes / of carnall corruptiō / of hor­rible blasphemes / of detestable murders. Folowe rather the doctrine of the churche / by the whiche / in the hartes of ye true christē people / springeth / & aryseth / and encreaseth all these. iii. degrees plē ­teously: so that by this doctryne ye may also be restored to the clerenes of your sight / as was ye blȳd man / vpon whom our sauiour shewed that great miracle afore tolde. And nowe hens forwarde (as [Page] that man dyd) folowe ye Christ in the right way. For it is sayd there of hym: Confestum vidit / et seque­batur eum: He forthe with had his sight / and folo­wed Christe. Do ye in like wyse / and beware that ye retourne nat in to your olde errours agayne / nor that ye loke nat backe vnto these heresies / nor stoppe in the way by any wauering of your faith: but go forthe right in meritorious workes / wher­in the churche walketh / whiche hath with them the continuall presence of Christe / and of his most holy spirite / that one to sowe this gratious doctri­ne / that other to gyue his influence with the same vnto the herers. And doubt nat / but this waye shall finally brynge you vnto the glorious contrey of heuen / where ye shal haue ye presence of almigh­ty god / with endlesse ioye and blisse: to the whiche he brynge vs all / Qui cum patre et spiritu sancto viu [...] et regnat deus.

Amen.

Imprinted at London / in fletestrete / in the house of Thomas Berthelet / nere to the Cundite / at ye signe of Lucrece.

¶ Cum priuilegio a rege indulto

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