תמונות בעמוד

and mild Lord, compared for his meekness to a sheep suf- Is*- Hif.. sering with silence his sleece to be shorn from him, and^is1v"'to a lamb led without resistance to the slaughter, which Mau. R. gave his body to them that did smite him, answered not him that reviled, nor turned away his face from them that did reproach him and spit upon him, and, according to his own example, gave precepts of mildness and sufserance to his disciples: yet when he leeth the temple and holy house of his heavenly Father inisordered, polluted, and profaned, useth great severity and sharpness, overturneth the tables of the exchangers, suhverteth the seats of them that sold doves, maketn a whip of cords, and seourgeth out those wicked abnsers and profaners of the temple of God, faying, Mr houseshall he called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. And in the second of John, Do nut ye make the house os my Father the John ii. house of merchandize? For as it is the house of God, when God's service is duly done in it; so when we wickedly abuse it with wicked talk or covetous bargaining, we make it a den of thieves, or an house of merchandize. Yea, and such reverence would Christ mould be therein, that he would not suffer any veffel to be carried through the temple. And whereas our Saviour Christ (as is be- Mark xi. fore mentioned out of St. Luke) could be found no where (when he was sought) but only in the temple amongst the doctors; and now again he exerciseth his authority and jurisdiction, not in caltles and princely palaces amongst soldiers, but in the temple: ye may hereby understand in what place his spiritual kingdom (which he denieth to be of this world) is soonest to be found, and best to be*TM" t*0known of all places in this world. And according to this ^"most example of our Saviour Christ in the primitive Church, grievous. which was most holy and godly, and in the which dueThe sendiscipline with severity was used against the wicked, open "u'iedoAer offenders were not suffered once to enter into the house of wiie and the Lord, nor admitted to common prayer, and the use of more cruel the holy facraments, with other true Christians, until j^"^

they had done open penance before the whole church. ^hv And this was practised not only upon mean persons, but ""it dealso upon the rich, noble, and mighty persons, yea, upon hor,edfroin Theodosius, that puiffant and mighty emperor, whom, irie sacra_ for committing* a grievous and wilful murder, St. Am-mem, un. brose, bishop of Milan, reproved sharply, and \ did alsoiU byrcexcommunicate the faid emperor, and brought him toft,"^" open penance. And they that were so justly exempted bt beirer and banished. as it were, from the house ot the Lord,^"e"^

were JJ

were taken (as they be indeed) for men divided and separated from Christ's church, and in most dangerous estate,

> Cor. T. yea, as St. Paul faith, even given unto Satan the Devil fir a time; and their company was shunned and avoided of all godly men and women, until such time as they by repentance and public penance were. reconciled. Such was the honour of the Lord's house in men's hearts, and outward reverence also at that time, and so horrible a thing was it to be shut out of the church aud house of the Lord in those days, when religion was most pure, and nothing lo corrupt as it hath been of late days. And yet we willingly, either by absenting ourselves from the house of the Ixird, do, as it were, excommunicate ourselves from the church and sellowship of the faints of God; or else coming thither, by uncomely and unreverent behaviour there. by hasty, rash, yea, unclean and wicked thoughts and words before the Lord our God, horribly dishonour his holy house, the church of God, and his holy name and majesty, to the great danger of our fouls, yea, and certain damnation also, if we do not speedily and earnestly repent us of this wickedness.

Thus ye hav e heard, dearly beloved, out of God's word, what reverence is due to the holy house of the Lord, how all godly persons ought with diligence at times appointed thither to repair, how they ought to behave themselves there, with reverence and dread before the Lord, what plagues and punishments, as well temporal as eternal, the Lord in his holy word threateneth, as well to such as neglect to come to his holy house, as also to such who, coming thither, do unreverently by gesture or talk there behave themselves. Wherefore if we desire to have seasonable weather, and thereby to enjoy the good fruits of the earth ; if we will avoid drought aud barrenness, thirst and hunger, which are plagues threatened unto fuch as make haste to go to their own houses, to alehouses and taverns, and leave the house of the Lord empty and desolate'; if we abhor to be scourged, not with whips made of cords, out of the material temple only, (as our Saviour Christ served the desilers of the house of God in Jerusalem) but also to be beaten and driven out of the eternal

Ej.hes. iii. temple and house of the Lord (which is his heavenly kingdom) with the iron rod of everlasting damnation, and cast into utter darkness, where is weeping and gnashing of teeth; if we sear, dread, and abhor this, I fay, as we have most just cause to do, then let us amend this our negligence and contempt in .coming to the house of the lord, tiils our unreverent behaviour in the house of the Lord; and resorting thither diligently together, let us there with reverent hearing of the Lord's holy word, calling on the Lord's holy name, giving of hearty thanks unto the Lord for his manifold and inestimable benesits daily and hourly bestowed upon us, celebrating also reverently the Lord's holy facraments, serve the Lord in his holy house, as becometh the servants of the Lord, in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our lise; and then we shall be affured after this lise to rest in his holy hill, and to dwell in his tabernacle, there to praise and magnify his holy name in the congregation of his faints, in the holy house of his eternal kingdom of heaven, which he hath purchased for us by the death and Ihedding of the precious blood of his Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, to whom, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one immortal God, be all honour, glory, praise, and thanksgiving, world without end. Amen.




Peril of Idolatry, and superfluous Decking of Churches.


IN what points the true ornaments of the church or temple of God do consist and stand, hath been declared in the two last Homilies, treating of the right use of the temple or house of God, and of the due reverence that all true Christian people are bound to give unto the fame. The sum whereof is, that the church or house of God is a place appointed by the holy Scriptures, where the lively word of God ought to be read, taught, and heard, the Lord's holy name called upon by public prayer, hearty thanks given to his Majesty for his insinite and unspeakable benesits bestowed upon us, his holy facraments duly and reverently ministered; and that therefore all that be godly indeed ought both with diligence, at times appointed, to repair together to the faid church, and there .with all reverence to use and behave themselves before the T-ord. And that the faid church thus godly used by the servants of the Lord, in the Lord's true service, for the effectual presence of God's grace, wherewith he doth by his holy word and promises endue his people there present and affembled, to the attainment, as well of commodities worldly, neceffary for iis, as also of all heavenly gifts, and lise everlasting, is called by the word of God (as it is indeed) the Temple of the Lord, and the House of God, and that therefore the due reverence thereof u stirred up in the hearts of the godly, by the consideration

of these true ornaments of the faid house of God, and not by any outward ceremonies or costly and glorious decking of the faid house or temple of the Lord, contrary to the which most manisest doctrine of the Scriptures, and contrary to the ufage of the primitive church, which was most pure aud uncorrupt, and contrary to the sentences and judgments of the most ancient, learned, and godly doctors of the church, (as hereafter shall appear) the corruption of these latter days hath brought into the church insinite multitudes of images, and the fame, with other parts of the temple also, have decked with gold and silver, painted with colours, set them with stone and pearl, clothed them with silks and precious vestures, fancying untruly that to be the chief decking and adorning of the temple or house of God, and that all people should be the more moved to the due reverence of the fame, if all corners thereof were glorious, and glistering with gold and precious stones. Whereas indeed they by the faid images, and such glorious decking of the temple, have nothing at all prosited fuch as were wise and of understanding; but have thereby greatly hurt the simple and unwise, occasioning them thereby to commit most horrible idolatry. And the covetous persons, by the fame occasion, seeming to worship, and peradventure worshipping indeed, not only the images, but also the matter of them, gold and silver, as that vice is of all others in the Scriptures peculiarly called idolatry, or worjhipping o/"Ephes. y. mages. Against the which foul abuses and great enor- Cotoss- '". mities shall be alleged unto you; sirst, the authority of God's holy word, as well out of the Old Testament, as of the New. And secondly, the testimonies of the holy and ancient learned fathers and doctors, out of their own works and ancient histories ecclesiastical, both that you may at once know their judgments, and withal understand what manner of ornaments were in the temples in the primitive church, in those times which were most pure and sincere. Thirdly, the reasons and arguments made for the desence of images or idols, and the outrageous decking of temples and churches with gold, silver, pearl, and precious stones, shall be confuted, and so this whole matter concluded. But lest any (hould take occasion by the way, of doubting by words or names, it is thought good here to note farst of all, that although in common speech we use to call the likeness or similitudes of men or other things, images, and not idols: yet the Scriptures use the faid two words (idols and images) in

h differently

« הקודםהמשך »