Page images
PDF
EPUB

169

they joined popery so with it, that they marred all together. They scratched and scraped all the livings of the church, and under a color of religion, turned it to their own proper gain and lucre. God seeing that they would not come unto his word, now he visiteth them in the second time of his visitation, with his wrath; for the taking away of God's word is a manifest token of his wrath.

A MARVELLOUS TALE.

We have now a first visitation in England; let us beware of the second. We have the ministration of his word; we are yet well: but the house is not clean swept yet. God hath sent us a noble king in this his visitation; let us not provoke him against us; let us beware, let us not displease him, let us not be unthankful and unkind, let us beware of by-walking and contemning of God's word, let us pray diligently for our king, let us receive with all obedience and prayer the word of God.

I will tell you what I remembered yesternight in my bed; a marvellous tale to perceive, how inscrutable a man's heart is. I was once at Oxford, (for I had occasion to come that way, when I was in my office ;) they told me it was a gainer way, and a fairer way, and by that occasion I lay there a night. Being there, I heard of an execution that was done upon one that suffered for treason. It was, as ye

know, a dangerous world, for it might soon cost a man his life for a word's speaking. I cannot tell what the matter was, but the judge set it so out that the man was condemned: the twelve men came in and said, Guilty; and upon that he was judged to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. When the rope was about his neck, no man could persuade him that he was in any fault; and stood there a great while in the protestation of his innocency. They hanged him, and cut him down somewhat too soon, afore he was clean dead; then they drew him to the and he revived; and then he coming to his remembrance, confessed his fault, and said he was guilty. O, a wonderful example! It may well be said, "Pravum cor hominis et inscrutabile," A crabbed piece of work, and unsearchable.

THE

FOURTH SERMON

PREACHED BEFORE KING EDWARD,

MARCH 29th.

ROMANS xv. 4.

Quæcunque scripta sunt, ad nostram doctrinam, &c. All things that are written, are written to be our doctrine.

I showed you the last day, most honorable audience, that it was good and lawful for honest, virtuous folk, for God's people, to use the laws of the realm, as an ordinary help against their adversaries, and ought to take them as God's holy ordinances, for the remedies of their injuries and wrongs, when they are distressed: so that they do it charitably, lovingly, not of malice, not vengeably, not covetously.

I should have told you here of a certain sect of heretics that speak against this order and doctrine; they will have no magistrates nor

judges on the earth. Here I have to tell you, what I heard of late by the relation of a credible person, and a worshipful man, of a town in this realm of England, that hath above five hundred heretics of this erroneous opinion in it, as he said.

And will you know where this town is? I will not tell you directly; I will put you to muse a little; I will utter the matter by circumlocution. Where is it? Where the bishop of the diocese is an unpreaching prelate. Who is that? If there be but one such in all England, it is easy to guess; and if there were no more but one, yet it were too many by one; and if there be more, they have the more to answer for, that they suffer in this realm an unpreaching prelate unreformed.

There was a merry monk in Cambridge in the college that I was in, and it chanced a great company of us to be together, intending to make good cheer, and to be merry, (as scholars will be merry when they are disposed.) One of the company brought out this sentence: "Nil melius quam lætari, et facere bene," There is nothing better than to be merry, and to do well. "A vengeance of that' bene,' quoth the monk, "I would that bene' had been banished beyond the sea. And that 'bene' were out, it were well, for I could be merry,

999

173

and I could do, but I love not to do well: that 'bene' mars all together. I would bene' were out," quoth the merry monk, "for it importeth many things, to live well, to discharge the cure." Indeed it were better for them if it were out, and it were as good to be out as to be ordered as it is; it will be a heavy 'bene' to some of them, when they shall come to their account. But peradventure you will say, "What, and they preach not at all? yet 'præsunt;' are they not worthy double honor? Is it not an honorable order they be in?" Nay a horrible misorder; it is a horror rather than an honor, and horrible rather than honorable, if the preacher be naught and do not his duty. And thus go these prelates about to wrestle for honor, that the devil may take his pleasure in slandering the realm, and that it may be reported abroad, that we breed heresies among ourselves. It is to be thought that some of them would have it so, to bring in popery again.

A MERRY MONK.

This I fear me is their intent, and it shall be blown abroad to our holy father of Rome's ears, and he shall send forth his thunderbolts upon these bruits; and all this doth come to pass through their unpreaching prelacy.

Are they not worthy double honor? Nay rather double dishonor, not to be regarded, not

« EelmineJätka »