Obrazy na stronie

Luke zviii. clareth. (Luke xvii.) And as it is to see in Paul, and

throughout all the Bible : and became captive to serve, and put their trust in that which was neither God nor his

word. And so the better creature against nature did The Jews serve the worse; whereof all likelihood. God should have became ser. vants and

accepted their work, by the reason of them, if their captives to hearts had been right, and not have accepted their souls their works.

for the blood's sake of a calf or sheep, for as much as a man is much better than a calf or sheep, as Christ testifieth. (Matt. xii.) For what pleasure should God have in the blood of calves, or in the light of our candles? His pleasure is only in the hearts of them that love his

commandments. The blind Then they went further in the imagination of their blind reason of hypocrites. reason, saying, Inasmuch as God accepteth these holy

works, that we be made righteous thereby, then it followeth that he which offereth most, is most righteous, and the best inan: yea, and it is better to offer an ox than a sheep, because it is more costly. And so they strove who might offer most, and the priests were well apaid. Then went they further in their fleshly wisdom, saying : If I be good for the offering of a dove, and better for a

sheep, and yet better for an ox, and so ever the better Oblind and thing I offer, the better I am; oh, how accepted should foolish ima. I be, if I offered a man, and named him that I most. gination!

loved! And upon that imagination, they offered their own children, and burnt them to ashes before images that they had imagined.

And to confirm their blindness, they laid for them (no doubt) the ensample of Abraham, which offered his son Isaac, and was so accepted, that God had promised him, how that in his seed all the world should be blessed. Hereof ye see unto what abomination blind reason bringeth

a man, when she is destitute of God's word. Holy day. And to speak of the sabbath (which was ordained to

be their servant, and to preach, and to be a sign unto them, that God through liis Holy Spirit and word did



the ne idu

see for

sanctify them, in that they obeyed his commandments, Evod zxxi. and believed and trusted in his promises, and therefore vere charged to leave working, and to come on the holy The sah

bath day 3ay, and hear the word of God, by which they were sanctied) unto it, also they became captive and bond to serve serve usand

saying that they were justified by abstaining from bodily sabbath la

our, (as ours think also) insomuch that though they day. towed not the holy day in virtue, prayer, and hearing How the word of God, in alms-deed, in visiting the sick, the sabbath day

should be dy and comfortless, and so forth, but went up and down occupied.

; yet whatsoever need his neighbour had, he would no

bave holp him on the sabbath day, as thou mayest by the ruler of the synagogue, which rebuked Christ Luke xiii. healing the people on the holy day. (Luke xiii.)

ad of like blindness they went and set out the brazen The brazen Ser Pent, (which Moses commanded to be kept in the ark serpent.

memory) and offered before it: thinking (no doubt)
God must be there present, for else how could it

healed the people that came not nigh it, but stood nes

off, and beheld it only. And a thousand such mad-
did they.
nd of the temple, they thought that God heard them The temple.

better than any where else : yea, and he heard them but

there save there. And, therefore, they could not pray
Eiere, as ours can nowhere but at church, and before
nage. For what prayer can a man pray, when the Prayer
of God is not in the temple of his heart? yea, and faith is not
such come to church, what is their prayer, and what prayer.
eir devotion, save the blind image service of their

s? WOD

at the prophets ever rebuked them for such faithless Psalm xlvi. Psa

and for such false faith in their works. In the xlixth hou

m, saith the prophet, I will receive no calves of your the

es, nor goats out of your folds ; think ye that I will eat God despisait

esh of oxen, or drink the blood of goats ? And Isaiah Bed the syou

in his first chapter, What care I for the multitude of the unfaithSacrifices ? saith the Lord. I am full. I have no lust in

for tha hav


thes no



Wor whe is tu bea


ful Jews.

the burnt-offerings of your rams, or in the fat of fat beasts, or blood of calves, lambs or goats : offer me no more such false sacrifice. And thereto your sweet incense is an abomination unto me. And thus he said, because of the

false faith, and perverting the right use of them. Fasting. And for their false fasting, not referring their fast unto

the taming and subduing of their flesh unto the spirit, when they complained unto God, justifying themselves, and saying, How happeneth it, that we have fasted, and thou wouldst not look upon it, we have humbled our

souls, and thou wouldst not know it? God answered them Iraiah lviii. by the prophet Isaiah, in the lviiith chapter, Behold, in Super ti the day of your fast, ye do your own lusts, and gather up tious fasting doth

all your debts. And howsoever ye fast, ye nevertheless God abhor. strive, and fight, and smite with fist cruelly. I have

chosen no such fast and humbling of soul, &c. But that ing, what it

ye loose wicked bonds, and let the oppressed go free, and to break bread unto the hungry, and to clothe the naked,

and so forth. Temple And concerning the temple, Isaiah saith, in his last

chapter, What house will ye build for me, or in what place shall I rest? Heaven is my seat, and the earth my

foot-stool. As who should say, I am too great for any Acts vii. place that ye can make, and (as Stephen saith, Acts vii. Acts xvii. and Paul, Acts xvii.) I dwell not in a temple made with


True fast



UNDERSTAND also, (to see how we came into like

blindness) that before the coming of Christ in the flesh, the Israelites and Jews were scattered throughout all the world, for their image-service, both east, west, south, and north, as ye read in the chronicles, how England was once full: so that there was no province or

great city in the world, where no Jews were : God so
Providing for the speedy preaching of the gospel among
the heathen throughout the world. Now Christ, as he

as promised, so was he sent, unto the Jews or Israelites.
And what by Christ's preaching, and the apostles after

is resurrection, there were innumerable Jews converted,
aply an hundred thousand or more in Jerusalem and

ewry, and in the countries about, and abode still in the
and. Then Paul rose up, and persecuted them in Jeru- Paul a
salem, and throughout all Jewry and Damascus, slaying cruel per-
2 that he could catch, or making them forswear Christ.

or fear of which persecution, they fled into all coasts, Dnd preached unto the Jews that were scattered, proving that Jesus was Christ, the Saviour of the world, both by the Scripture, and also by miracles ; so that a great part Many Jews

the Jews came to the faith everywhere, and we heathen were.com me in shortly after, and part abode still in unbelief, as the faith

X to this day.

of Christ.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Now the Jews being born and bred up, rooted and
selled in ceremonies, as I have shewed, and as ye may
tter see in the Five books of Moses, if ye would read
zm, could but with great difficulty depart from them,

it is to see in all the Epistles of Paul, how he fought
ainst them, and in process got the upper hand. And
ereto the first that were christened, and all the officers
d bishops of the church, even so much as the great god
Rome were Jews for the most part a great season.
And moreover, as Paul saith, (Rom. ix.) Not all that all that
me of Israel are right Israelites, neither are all they came of

Israel are braham's sons that are Abraham's seed. Why so ? Be- got Israel

ites. Luse they followed not the steps of the faith of their andfathers. Even so, not all they that were called, and so came unto the marriage which God the Father made Matt. sxii. etween Christ his Son and all sinners, brought their arriage garment with them; that is to wete, true faith herewith we be married unto Christ, and made his flesh

came not to

Christ of

were en

and his blood, and one spirit with him, his brethren and heirs with him, and the sons of God also. But many of them (to fulfil the saying of Christ, that the kingdom of heaven, which is the gospel, is like a net that catcheth good and bad) were driven into the net, and

compelled to confess that Jesus was Christ, and that seed The Jews

that was promised Abraham, and Messias that should under come : not of any inward feeling that the Spirit of God standing of

gave them, neither of any lovely consent that they had love, but unto the law of God, that it was good ; mourning, both forced there

because they had broken it, and because also they had unto by the no power to fulfil it, and therefore to obtain mercy

and Scriptures.

power, came to Christ, and unto the Father, through him, with the heart of natural children, which receive all things freely of their father's bounteous liberality, and of love become servants unto their brethren, for their father's sake; but were compelled only with violence of the Scripture, which everywhere bare witness unto Christ, and agreed unto all that he did, and overcome also with the power of miracles that confirmed the same.

That is to say, they came with a story faith, a popish faith, a faithless faith, and a feigned faith of their own making, and not as God in the Scripture describeth the faith, so believing in Christ, that they would be justitied by their own deeds, which is the denying of Christ. As our papists believe, which, more mad than those Jews, believe nothing by reason of the Scripture, but only that such a multitude consent thereto, compelled with violence of sword, with

fulfilling of the Scripture, and feigned lies. Which mulThe Turks titude yet is not the fifth part so many as they that consent are a far

unto the law of Mahomet. And, therefore, by their own greater number arguments, the faith of the Turks is better than theirs. than the pa. And their faith thereto may stand by their own confession, pists.

with all mischief, (as it well appeareth by them) and with yielding themselves to work all wickedness, with full delectation, after the ensample of the faith of their father the devil, and without repentance and consent unto the

« PoprzedniaDalej »