« הקודםהמשך »
their mind to high and heavenly things ; as well because it doth greatly establish and confirm their faith of eternal salvation, to be enjoyed through Christ ; as because it doth fervently kina dle their love towards God: so, for curious and carnal persons, lacking the Spirit of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God's Predestination, is a most dangerous downfall, whereby the devil doth thrust them either into desperation, or into wretchedness of most unclean living, no less perilous than desperation.
Furthermore, we must receive God's promises in such wise, as they be generally set forth to us in Holy Scripture, and in our doings, that will of God is to be followed, which we have expressly declared unto us in the Word of God,
From the Homilies.
BOOK I. HOMILY 2. Of the Misery of all Mankind. HOMILY 3. Of the Salvation of all Mankind,
Fourthly, we must believe everlasting life. Wherefore it followeth in the Creed, “I believe everlasting life;" that is to say, I believe, that when we shall rise from death, then we shall live ever with Christ in perfect holiness and justice, and in such a glorious joy, as no tongue can tell, nor heart think. And this treatise of the Creed we must end with this word, “ Amen;" which is as much as to say, as, I believe all the articles of our belief, before rehearsed, be very true, and thereof I have a true faith, trust, and confidence. Therefore, good children, from the bottom of your hearts, you must believe in the Holy Ghost, which doth promise unto us remission of our sins, by all the true preachers and ministers of God's Word. And he doth also give light to our hearts and minds, and moveth us to believe God's Word, and to put our faith and trust in him. And the same Holy Ghost doth daily purify and sanctify us, purge and cleanse us from sin, and, after this bodily death, shall raise us again to everlasting life. And take this for a sure conclusion, and doubt nothing thereof, that the Holy Ghost, as he hath begun these things in us, so he will finish the same in us, if we obey him, and continue in faith unto the end of our lives : for he that continueth unto the end shall be saved. And this is the sum, and also the most plain understanding of this third part of the Creed, entreating of our sanctification or hallowing.
Wherefore, good children, mark well this lesson, that when ye be demanded, How understand you the third part of the Creed ? ye may answer thus : I believe, that neither by man's strength, power, nor wisdom, neither by mine own endeavour, nor compass of mine own reason, I am able to believe in Jesus Christ, or to come unto him. But the Holy Ghost did call me by the Word of the Gospel, and with the gifts of his grace he hath hitherto endowed me, and hallowed me, and in the true faith he hath hitherto preserved and confirmed me: and this he hath not done only to me, but also he calleth and gathereth together, in the unity of one faith and one baptism, all the universal church, that is here in earth, and he halloweth, keepeth, and preserveth the same in the true knowledge of Christ, and faith in his promises. And in this church he giveth free and general pardon to me, and to all that believe in him, of all our sins, offences, and trespasses ; and at the last day he shall raise me and all others that be dead ; and all that died in the true faith of Jesus Christ he shall glorify in the life everlasting. Therefore, to the said Holy Ghost that sanctifieth us, with the Father that made and created us, and the Son that redeemed us, be given all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.
To conclude: we believe that this body of ours in which we live, though after death it turns to dust, yet in the last day it shall return to life again, by the Spirit of Christ that dwelleth in us; and that then, whatever we suffer for Christ in the interim, he will wipe away all tears from our eyes, and that then, through him, we shall enjoy everlasting life, and be always with him in glory. Amen.
Master Sith thou bast before said, that the wicked shall rise again, in sort most far dif. fering from the godly, that is to say, to eternal misery and everlasting death, why doth the Creed make mention only of life everlasting, and of hell no mention at all ?
Scholar. This is a confession of the Christian faith, which pertaineth to none but to the godly, and therefore rehearseth only those things that are fit for to comfort, namely, the most large gifts which God will give to them that be his. And therefore here is not recited what punishments are provided for them that be out of the kingdom of God.
1. Sum of the First Table, the Love of God; of the
Second, the Love of our Neighbour
of Religious Homage .