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Other devices and superstitions,

it were before God most abominable, and contrary to God's commandments and Christ's pure religion, yet it was praised to be a most godly life and highest state of perfection; as though a man might be more godly and more perfect by keeping the rules, traditions, and professions of men than by keeping the holy commandments of God.

And, briefly to pass over the ungodly and counterfeit religions, let us rehearse some other kinds of papistical superstitions and abuses, as of Beads, of Lady Psalters and Rosaries, of Fifteen Os, of St. Bernard's Verses, of St. Agathe's Letters, of Purgatory, of Masses Satisfactory, of Stations and Jubilees, of feigned Reliques, of hallowed Beads, Bells, Bread, Water, Palms, Candles, Fire, and such other, of superstitious Fastings, of Fraternities (or Brotherheads), of Pardons, with such like merchandise; which were so esteemed and abused to the great prejudice of God's glory and commandments, that they were made most high and most holy things, whereby to attain to the everlasting life or remission of sin. Yea also vain in

ventions, unfruitful ceremonies, and ungodly laws, Decrees and decrees, and Councils of Rome were in such wise

advanced, that nothing was thought comparable in authority, wisdom, learning, and godliness unto them: so that the laws of Rome, as they said, were to be received of all men as the four Evangelists; to the which all laws of princes must give place; and the laws of God also partly were left off and less esteemed, that the said laws, decrees, and Councils, with their traditions and ceremonies, might be more duly kept, and had in greater reverence. Thus was the people through ignorance

. so blinded with the goodly shew and appearance of those things, that they thought the keeping of them to be a more holiness, a more perfect service and honouring of God, and more pleasing to God, than the keeping of God's commandments. Such hath been the corrupt inclination of man, ever superstitiously given to make new honouring of

Decretals.

God of his own head, and then to have more affection and devotion to keep that, than to search out God's holy commandments and to keep them; and furthermore to take God's commandments for men's commandments, and men's commandments for God's commandments, yea, and for the highest and most perfect and holy of all God's commandments. And so was all confused, that scant well learned men, and but a small number of them, knew (or at the least would know) and durst affirm the truth, to separate (or sever) God's commandments from the commandments of men : whereupon did grow much error, superstition, idolatry, vain religion, overthwart judgment, great contention, with all ungodly living.

Wherefore, as you have any zeal to the right An exhorta. and pure honouring of God, as you have any re- king of gard to your own souls, and to the life that is to God's com. come, which is both without pain and without end, apply yourselves chiefly above all things to read and to hear God's word : mark diligently therein what his will is you shall do, and with all your endeavour apply yourselves to follow the same. First you must have an assured faith in a brief reGod, and give yourselves wholly unto him, love bear of him in prosperity and adversity, and dread to mandments. offend him evermore. Then, for his sake, love all men, friends and foes; because they be his creation and image, and redeemed by Christ, as ye are. Cast in your minds how you may do good unto all men unto your powers, and hurt no man. Obey all your superiors and governors, serve your masters faithfully and diligently, as well in their absence as in their presence, not for dread of punishment only, but for conscience sake, knowing that you are bound so to do by God's commandments. Disobey not your fathers and mothers, but honour them, help them, and please them to your power. Oppress not, kill not, beat not, neither slander nor hate any man; but love all men, speak well of all men, help and succour every

tion to the

mandments.

God's com

man as you may, yea, even your enemies that hate you, that speak evil of you, and that do hurt you.

. Take no man's goods nor covet your neighbour's goods wrongfully, but content yourselves with that which ye get truly, and also bestow your own goods charitably, as need and case requireth. Flee all idolatry, witchcraft, and perjury. Commit no manner of adultery, fornication, nor other unchasteness, in will nor in deed, with any other man's wife, widow, maid, or otherwise. And travailing continually during your life thus in the keeping the commandments of God, wherein standeth the pure, principal, and right honour of God, and which, wrought in faith, God hath ordained to be the right trade and pathway unto heaven, you shall not fail, as Christ hath promised, to come to that blessed and everlasting life where you shall live in glory and joy with God for ever. To whom be praise, honour, and impery for ever and ever. Amen.

A SERMON

ОР

CHRISTIAN LOVE AND CHARITY.

Of all things that be good to be taught unto Christian people, there is nothing more necessary to be spoken of and daily called upon than charity; as well for that all manner of works of righteousness be contained in it, as also that the decay thereof is the ruin (or fall) of the world, the banishment of virtue, and the cause of all vice. And forsomuch as almost every man maketh and frameth to himself charity after his own appetite, and, how detestable soever his life be both unto God and man, yet he persuadeth himself still that he hath charity; therefore you shall hear now a true and plain description (or setting forth) of charity, not of men's imagination, but of the very words and example of our Saviour Jesus Christ. In which description (or setting forth) every man, as it were in a glass, may consider himself, and see plainly without error whether he be in the true charity or not.

Charity is to love God with all our heart, all what charity our life, and all our powers and strength. With all our heart: that is to say, that our heart's mind God. and study be set to believe his word, to trust in him, and to love him above all other things that we love best in heaven or in earth. With all our life: that is to say, that our chief joy and delight be set upon him and his honour, and our whole life given unto the service of him above all things, with him to live and die, and to forsake all other things rather than him ; for, he that loveth his Matt. x. 37; father or mother, son or daughter, house or land, xix. 29.

is. The love of

xvi. 24-27;

The love of thy neighbour.

Matt, xxii. 37.

more than

me, saith Christ, is not worthy to have me. With all our powers: that is to say, that with our hands and feet, with our eyes and ears, our mouths and tongues, and with all other parts and powers both of body and soul, we should be given to the keeping and fulfilling of his commandments. This is the first and principal part of charity, but it is not the whole : for charity is also to love every man, good and evil, friend and foe; and, whatsoever cause be given to the contrary, yet nevertheless to bear good will and heart unto every man, to use ourselves well unto them as well in words and countenance as in all our outward acts and deeds. For so Christ himself taught, and so also he performed in deed.

Of the love of God he taught in this wise unto a doctor of the law, that asked him which was the great and chief commandment in the law. Lore thy Lord God, said Christ, with all thy heart, with all thy life, and with all thy mind. And of the

love that we ought to have among ourselves each Matt. v. 43- to other he teacheth us thus: You have heard it

taught in times past, Thou shalt love thy, friend, and
hale thy foe: but I tell you, Love your enemies, speak
well of them that diffame you and speak eril of you,
do well to them that hate you, pray for them that vex
and persecute you ; that you may be the children of
your Father that is in heaven; for he maketh his sun
to rise both upon the evil and good, and sendeth rain
to just and unjust. For, if you love them that love
you, what reward shall you have? do not the pub-
licans likewise? And, if you speak well only of them
that be your brethren and dear beloved friends, what
great matter is that? do not the heathen the same
also ? These be the very words of our Saviour
Christ himself touching the love of our neighbour.
And forasmuch as the Pharisees, with their most
pestilent traditions, false interpretations, and gloses,
had corrupted and almost clearly stopped up this
pove
pure well of God's lively word, teaching that this
love and charity pertained only to a man's friends,

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