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And here are all degrees to be monished, whether they be married or unmarried, to love chastity and cleanness of Efe. For the married are bound by the law of God so purely to love one another, that neither of them seek any strange love. The man must only cleave to his wise, and the wise again only to her husband: they must so delight one in another's company, that none of them covet any other. And as they are bound thus to live together in all godliness and honesty, so likewise it is their duty virtuously to bring up their children, and provide that they fall not into Satan's snare, nor into any uncleanness, but that they come pure and honest unto holy wedlock, when time reqairetn. So likewise ought all masters and rulers to provide that no whoredom, nor any point of uncleanness, be uted among their servants. And again, they that are single, and feel in themselves that they cannot live without the company of a woman, let them get wives of their own, and so live godly together : for it is hetter to marry , Cor. vii. than to burn.
And, to avoid fornication, faith the Apostle* let every man hve bis own wife, and every woman her own hnshand. Finally, all such as seel in themselves a sussiciency and ability, through the working of God's Spirit, to ffead a sole and continent lise, let them praise God for his gift, and leek all means polsible to maintain the lame; as by reading of holy Scriptures, by godly meditations, by continual prayers, and fuch other virtuous exercises. It we all on thiswise will endeavour ourselves to eschew fornication, adultery, and all uncleanness, and lead our lives in all .. . godliness and honesty, serving God with a pure and clean heart, and glorifying him in our bodies by the leading an innocent and harmless lise, we may be sure to be in the number of those, of whom our Saviour Christ speaketh in the Gospel on this manner, Blessed are the pure in heart, Mau. R. fa tbryjball see God: to whom ;ilone be all glory, honour. nde, and power, world without end. Amen.
Contention and Brawlbijr.
THIS day, good Christian people, shall be declared unto you, the unprositableness and shameful unhonesty of contention, strise, and debate; to the intent that, when you shall see, as it were in a table painted before your eyes, the evil-favouredness and deformity of this most detestable vice, your stomachs may be moved to rise against it, and to detest and abhor that sin, which is so much to be hated, and pernicious, and hurtful to all men. But among all kinds of contention, none is more hurtful than iTim. i. is contention in matters of religion. Eschew, faith St.
Paul, foolish and unlearned questions, knowing that they Ireed aTim. ii. firife. It becometh not the servant of (5ed to fight, or jlrtve, but to he neck toward all men. This contention and strise was in St. Paul's time among the Corinthians, and is at this time among us Englishmen. For too many there be, which, upon the ale-benches or other places, delight to set forth certain questions, not so much pertaining to edisication, as to vain-glory, and shewing forth of their cunning, and so unsoberly to reason and dispute, that, when neither part will give place to other, they fall to chiding and contention, and sometime from hot words to further inconvenience. St. Paul could not abide to hear among the Corinthians these words of discord or diffension, / i Cor. iii. hold of Paul, I of Cephas, and I of si polios: what would he then fay if he heard these words of contention, which be now almost in every man's mouth? He is a Pharisee, he i» a Gospeller, he is of the new sort, he is of the old faith,
he he is a new-broached brother, he is a good catholic fatier, he is a papist, he is an heretic. O how the church is divided! O how the cities be cut and mangled! O how the coat of Christ, that was without learn, is all to rent and tom! O body mystical of Christ, where is that holy and happy unity, out of the which whosoever is, he is not in Christ? If one member be pulled from another, where is the body? If the body be drawn from the head, where is the lise of the body? We cannot be joined to Christ our Head, except we be glued with concord and charity one to another. For he that is not of this unity is not of the Church of Chrisi, which is a congregation or unity together, and not a division. St. Paul iaith, That as longi Cor. iii. as emulation or envying, contention, and faclions or feels he among us, we he carnal, and ivalk according to tbcjlestAy man. And St. James faith, Ifye have hitler emulation or Junes «.• envying, and contention in your hearts, glory not of it: for where contention is, there is unjleadfajlvejs and all evil deeds. And why do we not hear St. Paul, which prayeth us, whereas he might command us, faying, J heseech you in « Cor. i. the name of our Lord Jesus Chrjl, that you will speak all 6ne thing, and that there he no distenfion among you; but that you will he one whole hody, of one mind, and of one opinion in the truth. If his desire be reasonable and honest, why do we not grant it? If his request be for our prosit, why do we refute it? And if we list not to hear his petition of prayer, yet let us hear his exhortation, where he faith, J exhort you, thatyou walk as it hecometb the vocation, Ephes. ir. in which you he called, with all submission and meekness, with lemty and softness of mind, hearing with one another in charity,jludying to keep the unity of the Spirit by the hond of peace: for there is one hody, one Spirit, one faith, one baptism. There is, faith he, but one body, of the which he can be no lively member, that is at variance with the other members. There is one Spirit, which joineth and knitteth all things in one. And how can this one Spirit reign in us, when we among ourselves be divided? There is but one faith; and how can we then fay, he is of the old faith, and he is of the new faith? There is but one baptism; and then shall not all they which be baptized be one? Contention causeth division, wherefore it ought not to be among Christians, whom one faith and baptism joineth in an unity. But if we contemn St. Paul s request and exhortation, yet at the least let us regard his earnest entreating, in the which he doth very earnestly charge us, and (as I may so speak) conjure us in this form and manner, If there be any consolation in Chrjl, if there Phn. u.
How we shoutd read ihe Scripiure.
he any comfort of love, if you have any fellowship of the Spi rit, if you have any bwvels of pity and compasfion, fulfil mj joy, heinjr all alike affecled, having one charity, heing- of on. mind, ot one opinion, that nothing he done by contention, o' vain-giory. Who is he, that nath any bowels of pity, that will not be moved with these words so pithy? Whole heart is so stony, that the sword of these words, which he more (harp than any two-edged sword, may not cut aud break asunder? Wherefore, let us endeavour ourselves to fulsil St. Paul's joy here in this place, which shall be at length to our great joy in another place. Let us so read the Scripture, that by reading thereof we may be made the better livers, rather than the more contentious disputers. If any thing be neceffary to be taught, reasoned, or disputed, let U6 do it with all meekness, softness, and lenity. if any tiiing shall chance to be spoken uncomely, let one bear another's frailty. He that is faulty, let him rather amend, than desend that which he hath spoken amiss, lest ho fall by contention from a foolish error into an obstinate heresy. For it is better to give place meekly, than to win the victory with the breach of charity, which chanceth when every man will desend his opinion obstinately. If we be the Christian men, why do we not Mauh. xi. follow Christ, who faith, Jj-:arii of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart? A disciple must learn the leffon of his schoolmaster, and a servant must obey the commandment of his master; He that is wife and learned, faith St. James, let him /hew his goodness by his good conversations and soberness of bis ivisdom. For where there is envy and ci-vtrniion, that wisdom cometb not from God, but is worldly wisdom, mans wisdom, and devilsh wisdom. For the wisdom that corneth from above, from the spirit of God, is chaste and pure, corrupted with no evil affections; it is quiet, meek, and peaceable, abhorring all desire of contention; it is tractable, obedient, not grudging to learn, and to give place to them that teach better for the reformation. For there shall never be an end of striving and contention, if we contend who in contention shall be master, and have the overhand i we shall heap error upon error, if we continue to desend that obstinately, which was spoken unadvisedly. For truth it is, that stiffness in maintaining an opinion breedeth contention, brawling, and chiding, which is a vice among all other most pernicious and pestilent to common peace and quietness. And as it standeth betwixt two persons and parties, (for no man commonly doth chide with himself) so it comprehendeth two most detestable tie'es: the one is picking of quarrels, with sharp and contentious
tensions words: the other standeth in froward answering, aud multiplying evil words again. The sirst is so abominable. that St. Paul faith, If any that is called a brother he i Cor.v. a worshipper of idols, a brawler, a picker of quarrels, a thies, or an extortioner, with him that is such a man fee that ye iat not. Now here consider that St. Paul numbereth a Against scolder, a brawler, or a picker of quarrels, among thieves q""|*1 and idolaters; and many times there cometh less hurt of a p'e '"S' thief, than of a railing tongue: for the one taketh away a man's good name; the other taketh but his riches, which is of much less value and estimation than is his good name. And a thief hurteth but him from whom he stealeth: but he tliat hath an evil tongue troubleth all the town where he dwelleth, and sometime the whole country. And a railing tongue is a pestilence so full of contagiousness, that St. Paul willeth Christian men to forbear the company of such, and neither to eat nor drink i Cor. r. tritb them. And whereas he will not that a Christian woman should forfake her husband, although he be an Insidel, or that a Christian servant should depart from his master, which is an Insidel and Heathen, and so fuffereth a Christian man to keep company with an Insidel: yet :i he forbiddeth us to eat or drink with a scolder, or quarrelpicker. And also in the sixth chapter to the Corinthians, he faith thus, Be not deceived;for neither fomicators, neither' Cor. vi. worjhippers of idols, neither thieves, nor drunkards, nor cursed speakers, shall dwell in the kingdom of heaven. It must needs be a great fault, that dotli move and cause the father to disinherit his natural son.. And how can it otherwise be, but that this cursed speaking must needs be a most damnable sin, the which doth cause God, our most merciful and loving Father, to deprive us of his most bleffed kingdom of heaven? Against the other sin, that standeth Against froin requiting taunt for taunt, speaketh Christ himself, fay-!1'*"14n" •ing, 1 fay unto you, Rejfijl not evil; but love your enemies, and fay well by them that fay evil by you, do well unto them that do evil unto you, and pray for them that do burt and persecute you; that you may be the children ofyour Father which is in heaven, who suffereth bis fun to rife hoth upon good and evil, andfendetb bis rain hoth upon the jujl arid unjujl. To this doctrine of Christ agreeth very well the teaching of St. Paul, that chosen veffel of God, who ceaseth not to exhort and call upon us, faying, Bless them that curse you; bless, lR0m. xii. jay, and curse not; recompense to no man evil jor evil; if it he piffihle (as much as lietb in you) live peaceably with all men.
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