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pulpits, with shameless brags and ostentation was set abroad. I will not speak now of that wonderful work of God, who caused his word to be preached, and his sacraments ministered even in the midst of the enemies, in spite of the devil and all his ministers. These things the Lord wrought most graciously for his people ; but when the time came that the measure of wickedness of the wicked was full, the self-same God, even of his own mercy, and by his own power confounded his enemies, by the means of our most gracious Lady, the Queen's majesty, (for whose prosperous estate and preservation the God of mercy grant unto all faithful Christians grace most instantly to pray,) her most joyful coming to the imperial crown of this realm, who caused that filthy and dark anti-christian doctrine to vanish out of sight, and instead thereof, that most glorious light of the gospel to shine again; the which sorrowfully was wished for of all faithful English hearts, restoring withal the preachers of the same gospel, the which before were expulsed as exiles, by the tyranny of the Popish prelates. The which benefits, as they be unmeasureable, so ought they continually, with thankful hearts of all them that bear the name of Christians to be considered. But as I said before, the most part of men do not pass for these things. The light of the gospel is not comfortable unto them, because they feel not the darkness that is in them; they be not troubled with their own wickedness; sin lieth lurking and sleeping within them, and they have fully, as it were, sold themselves to worldly business, to climb up to get honours and dignities, and the pelf of worldly things; and these things are the cause why they do not pray unto the Lord their God. But woe be unto such sleepers in their own sins, and forgetters of God's benefits. A day will come when they shall wish themselves never to have been born. Thus you see that the neglecting of prayer is the occasion of that horrible unthankfulness and forgetfulness of God's benefits. What is to be said unto them, that, contrary to their own hearts and consciences, lie in sin and wickedness, and will not amend their lives, although they hear their sins accused, condemned, and God's vengeance pronounced upon them ? They be so drowned with the desires of their own hearts, that they do not pass for the ways of the Lord. Of such kind of men the world is full, which have shameless foreheads, being not abashed of their vileness. The cause of their miseries (as David declareth) is quia Deum non invocaverunt, because they have not called upon God. But what kind of prayer do those men say (trow you) which call themselves spiritual and xanpos “the lot of the Lord ?” It is as manifest as the noon day, that the most part of them neither pray nor know what true prayer is. For if they did use to pray as the true Christians do, they could not choose but be compelled to amend their lives; their consciences would be abashed to come before the Lord, without a hearty purpose to amend their conversation. Doth not the saying of Hosea the prophet, take hold upon the most part of you that be of the Popish clergy, and have been mass-mongers ? “ Where, as he saith, as thieves wait for a man, so the companies of priests murder in the way by consent, for they work 'mischief.” Did not you conspire together at the entry of Queen Mary, to murder the people of God, in casting from you most traitorously the precious gospel of Jesus Christ; in submitting yourselves to that filthy beast of Rome, and in receiving the stinking idolatrous mass, by the which you have destroyed an innumerable sort of people ? Are you sorry for these your doings? Do you humble yourselves before the majesty of the terrible God, with hearty and faithful prayer, acknowledging your wickedness, and intending to eschew the same? No such things can be perceived in you. For whereas before, in the time of antichrist, boldly and
openly you did deceive the people of their salvation in Christ, now in the light of the gospel, secretly you whisper into the ears of the simple, and dissuade them from receiving of the truth, so that most justly you may be compared unto those spies of whom we read, (Num. xiii ;) the which with their false reports, did hinder the people of Israel from entering into the land of promise. For they being sent by Moses to search the land, and to bring good tidings unto the people, by the which they might have been encouraged manfully to have assayed their enemies, and take possession of the land, they contrary to Moses's expectation, like faithless men, came and discomforted the people, and caused them to mistrust God's promises. And do not ye the like? whereas God hath appointed you to search the land of promise in his holy word, and to bring tidings of the same unto his people, by faithful and diligent teachers, and encourage them to embrace and to lay hold upon the kingdom of Christ, you, like false messengers, either by your false reports and wicked doctrine, do hinder the people from entering into the promised land; or else, like dumb dogs that are not able to bark, you lie in your kennels, feeding your bellies and making good cheer with the labours and sweat of the poor people, not passing whether they swim or sink, or what become of them. Worthily, therefore, the prophet David numbereth you amongst them that say in their hearts, There is no God: and this appeareth unto all others, because ye do not call upon God. For if you did accustom to call yourselves to an account before the majesty of God, in your faithful prayers, the remembrance of your horrible murder of God's people, of your idleness, carelessness, belly-cheer, ignorance of God's will and word, secret filthiness, and such other like stuff, would cause you to water your cheeks, and compel you to shew some token of repentance unto the people of God: but nothing is seen in you but desperateness, wherefore the Spirit of the Lord is departed from you. And this is more evident in your manifold and manifest perjuries, committed by you in King Henry's time, in King Edward's time, in Queen Mary's time. And what may be said of you at this time, but that you be false perjured hypocrites, bearing two faces under one hood, being ready like weathercocks to turn at all seasons as the wind doth carry you? Can you look for any thing at God's hands, but to be punished with his terrible plagues as Judas was (whose companions you be), that all the world may take ensample by you to beware of these horrible crimes with the which you are so defiled, that no water in the sea is able to make you clean? One kind of water would help your disease, if the Lord of his mercy would give you grace to call unto him for it, that is the same water of life the which the Lord promiseth to the faithful and penitent sinners, amongst the number of whom as yet ye be not (so far as man can judge.) And therefore it standeth you in hand to look about you in time, before the halter be cast about your necks, as it happened to Judas, whose footsteps you follow in your behaviours in this world, that it is to be feared you shall rest together in one place in the world to come. But of the vile behaviour of these miserable men it grieveth me to speak any further, not doubting but that the magistrates whom God hath charged with his people, will even with speed consider these things accordingly, and not suffer those wavering and perjured weathercocks to have any thing to do within the house of God, the which is his Church, purified with the blood of Christ. For the magistrates know that they themselves cannot pray unto the Lord their God, except their hearts be faithfully disposed to do the works of their vocation truly and faithfully, of the which the principal is to see the people instructed by faithful ininisters in the ways of the Lord; the which in.
structions cannot be given by such as are not only defiled with such kind of vices as is above rehearsed, but also are utterly destitute of all good gifts, and know not the principles of their religion. This matter is so weighty, and of such importance, that the magistrates, having the fear of God before their eyes, must needs consider it with speed, for it toucheth the eternal safeguard of them for whom the Son of God did shed his own heart's blood: they ought not to be put into the hands of such as do not pass for their own salvation, much less for others. Therefore, with great and speedy diligence the magistrates are bound (seeing God dòth put them in trust with his children) to provide, that as they be bought with the blood of Christ, so they may be nourished with the true and sincere word of God, to the praise of his name, and their eternal comfort. Further, who cannot lament, even from the bottom of his heart, to see a great number to live in such carelessness, and flatter themselves in their own sins, thinking that they be the children of God, when as in very deed the comfortable spirit of faithful prayer is departed from them, and they worthily numbered amongst them that have no God nor Christ: as those men be which be so greedy upon the world, and have addicted and consecrated themselves unto it, after such a sort, as though this world should last for ever. And in this taking be the greater part of the gentlemen, which with such extremities entreat their poor tenants, with raising of rents, taking of fines, and other kinds of extreme dealings, that they are compelled day and night to cry unto God for vengeance against them; and can any man think that these pitiless and cruel men can appear before the majesty of God, and crave remission of their sins, when as they be purposed to go on forward still in their extreme dealings against the poor? I will not speak now of them that, being not content with their lands and rents, do catch into their hands spiritual livings, as par