Page images
PDF
EPUB

men, but without delay followeth God's cause, and destroyeth all idolatry out of hand. Thus did good king Hezekiah ; for he was like Apollos, fervent in spirit, and diligent to promote God's glory.

And good hope there is that it shall be likewise here in England; for the king's majesty is so brought up in knowledge, virtue, and godliness, that it is not to be mistrusted but that we shall have all things well, and that the glory of God shall be spread abroad throughout all parts of the realm, if the prelates will diligently apply their plough, and be preachers rather than lords. But our blanchers, which will be lords and no laborers, when they are commanded to go and be resident upon their cures, and preach in their benefices, they will say, Why? I have set a deputy there; I have a deputy that looketh well to my flock, and the which shall discharge my duty. A deputy, quoth he; I looked for that word all this while. And what a deputy must he be, trow ye ? Even one like himself; he must be a canonist: that is to say, one that is brought up in the study of the pope's laws and decrees; one that will set forth papistry as well as himself will do; and one that will maintain all superstition and idolatry; and one that will nothing at all, or else very weakly, resist the devil's plough ;

A BUSY PLOUGHMAN.

35

yea, happy it is if he take no part with the devil: and where he should be an enemy to him, it is well if he take not the devil's part against Christ.

But in the mean time, the prelates take their pleasures. They are lords and no laborers; but the devil is diligent at his plough. He is no unpreaching prelate; he is no lordly loiterer from his cure ; but a busy ploughman; so that among all the prelates, and among all the pack of them that have cure, the devil shall go for my money, for he still applieth his business. Therefore, ye unpreaching prelates, learn of the devil to be diligent in doing of your office; learn of the devil; and if you will not learn of God, nor good men, for shame learn of the devil; “ ad erubescentiam vestram dico," I speak it for your shame. If you will not learn of God, nor good men, to be diligent in your office, learn of the devil. Howbeit there is now very good hope that the king's majesty, being by the help of good governance of his most honorable counsellors, trained and brought up in learning, and knowledge of God's word, will shortly provide a remedy, and set an order herein ; which thing that it may so be, let us pray for him. Pray for him, good people; pray for him. Ye have great cause and need pray

for him.

А

MOST FAITHFUL SERMON

PREACHED

Before King Edward the Vith, and his most Honorable Council,

in his Court at Westminster, anno Domini, 1550,

BY THE REVEREND FATHER

MASTER HUGH LATIMER.

Videte et cavete ab avaritiâ.-LUKE xii. 15.

Take heed and beware of covetousness : Take heed and beware of covetousness :Take heed and beware of covetousness. And what and if I should say nothing else, these three or four hours (for I know it will be so long, in case I be not commanded to the contrary) but these words, “ Take heed and beware of covetousness ?" It would be thought a strange sermon before a king, to say nothing else but “ Cavete ab avaritiâ,” Beware of covetousness. And yet as strange as it is, it would be like the sermon of Jonah, that he

JONAH'S SERMON.

37

preached to the Ninevites; as touching the shortness, and as touching the paucity or fewness of the words.

For his sermon was, “Adhuc quadraginta dies, et Nineve subvertetur,” There is yet forty days to come, and Nineveh shall be destroyed. Thus he walked from street to street, and from place to place round about the city, and said nothing else but “ There is yet forty days, (quoth he,) and Nineveh shall be destroyed.”

There is no great odds nor difference, at leastwise in the number of words, no nor yet in the sense or meaning between these two sermons, “ There is yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be destroyed,” and these words that I have taken to speak of this day, “ Take heed and beware of covetousness.” For Nineveh should be destroyed for sin, and of their sins covetousness was one, and one of the greatest; so that it is all one in effect. And as they be like concerning the shortness, the paucity of words, the brevity of words, and also the meaning and purpose ; so I would they might be like in fruit and profit. For what came of Jonah's sermon ? What was the fruit of it ? "Ad prædicationem Jonæ crediderunt Deo," At the preaching of Jonah they believed God. Here was a great fruit, a great effect wrought. What is that same, They believed God? They believed God's

[ocr errors]

preacher, God's officer, God's minister, Jonah, and were converted from their sin. They believed that, (as the preacher said,) if they did not repent and amend their life, the city should be destroyed within forty days. This was a great fruit; for Jonah was but one man, and he preached but one sermon, and it was but a short sermon neither, as touching the number of words; and yet he turned all the whole city, great and small, rich and poor, king and all.

We be many preachers here in England, and we preach many long sermons, yet the people will not repent nor convert.

This was the fruit, the effect, and the good that his sermon did, that all the whole city at his preaching converted, and amended their evil living, and did penance in sackcloth. And yet here in this sermon of Jonah is no great curiousness, no great clerkliness, no great affectation of words, nor painted eloquence; it was none other but, “ Adhuc quadraginta dies, et Nineve subvertetur," Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be destroyed: it was no more. This was no great curious sermon, but this was a nipping sermon, a pinching sermon, a biting sermon ; it had a full bite, it was a nipping sermon, a rough sermon, and a sharp biting sermon. Do you not here marvel that these Ninevites cast not Jonah in prison, that they did not re

« EelmineJätka »