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our Lord says, “If the blind lead the blind, both fall into the
[' Bayard, a name commonly applied to a horse. The proverb here used is frequent in Chaucer and the old writers. Ed.]
[*But in our time covetyse (covetousness) and pride hath so changed all things in England, that things that were given to abbeys in old time be now more wasted in gluttony and outrage of owners than in sustenance and help of needy men and guests. Chap. xxxii. fin. Ep.]
the honey from the labouring bees, nor bring up children in
blessing poured on so unthankful a people. Then acorns were Dearth.
good to make bread of, and under Henry the Sixth they made bread of fern roots, as Polychronicon says, lib. viii. cap. 21: now commonly the poorer sort almost have disdained with brown bread. Then scholars of the universities brake up their houses, went and lived abroad with their friends, being not able to continue at their study: then was such dearth and scarcity, as the
[* Bridewell was one of the hospitals founded by king Edward VI. whose reign is meant by “the gospel time.” It was especially designed for the employment of the idle. ED.]
like has not oft been read of: then a bishop of Mentz was so
receiving his word, and murmuring against his blessings, we provoke him to plague us worse than afore. If wealth may move, consider what great things the Lord has wrought by the queen's majesty, and then judge. When the realm was in danger to be given into strangers' hands, and none could tell how to deliver themselves, God of his undeserved goodness set up the queen our mistress, who quietly, contrary to all men's expectation, avoided them all. What danger was Scotland in: Yet so God blessed the queen's majesty, that she not only delivered us, but them from their enemies' hands. What release in France the poor oppressed have had at her highness' hands, the blind see, all her loving subjects rejoice, though the envious papists murmur and grudge. God grant her highness grace to be thankful to God's majesty, who does so past all man's expectation prosper her doings, that he only may have the praise ! What cause we have to praise God for restoring religion through the queen's travail, all men of God do see and praise him for it, though blind papists be sorry therefore. What cost her highness has sustained in restoring us a fine coin from so base, wise men rejoice, though this malicious fool say we be in great poverty. Look how few taxes she has taken to do this withal, and how many and how great were levied afore. How was this realm pestered with strange rulers, strange gods, strange languages, strange religion, strange coins; and how is it now peaceably rid of them all, to the great glory of God, that has wrought so many wonderful, strange, great things in so short a time in a weak vessel, which he never did by any her noble progenitors, which have been so many and so worthy! Could any be so blind, but that malice has bewitched, to not see, or not praise God for these worthy deeds? I would have wanted the suspicion of flattery in rehearsing these things, but that I would the unthankful world should see the disdainful blind malice of popery, which cannot say well by God's good blessings. The foolish linking and clouting of the scriptures together which follows, declares what wit he has: they may be applied all against himself, and such as he is, rather than against the professors of God's truth. What blasphemy is it to lay all kind of wickedness on God's word ' What evil soever reigns in the world, it is to be imputed to man, and not to God; to man's frailness, and not to God's truth and goodness. God and his
holy word punish and condemn all false doctrine and filthiness: therefore God will confound all such filthy mouths, as blaspheme him or his holy word, to be the cause of any kind of naughtiness.
XIII. “All liberty is now used,” he says:
where indeed justice was not better ministered these many years, even as the wiser and indifferenter sort of papists do grant. Call to remembrance how sharply unnatural lust', conjuring, witchcrafts, sorcery, &c. were punished with death by law in the gospel time of blessed King Edward. When were these laws repealed, but in the late days of popery? Then judge, whether there was greater liberty to sin under the christian king, or under superstitious popery. But the sodomitical papists think these to be no sins, and therefore beastly do misuse themselves, defiling themselves both with spiritual and sodomitical uncleanness. Whether is there more liberty given to sin, when such sins be made death by order of law, or when the laws appoint no punishment for them? Surely the gospel is unjustly blamed in giving carnal liberty, and popery rightfully condemned in taking away the pain, and opening a door to all mischiefs. Who lives more licentiously than the pope himself, without all fear of God, good order, and God's law, doing what he will? So be all his scholars, following their own father's steps.
In these my sayings I go not about to prove us angels, yet surely not such devils as he would make us, but in comparison of them we be saints. Therefore let us both amend, that God may be merciful to both, and glorified in both. And as the examples in his beginning were good, if they had been well applied, so is his conclusion.
[* This expression is altered from the original—“This offence, being in the times of popery only subject to ecclesiastical censures, was made felony without benefit of clergy by statute 25 Henr. VIII. c. 6. revived and confirmed by 5 Eliz. c. 17.” Blackstone's Commentaries, Book rv. chap. 15. Vol. Iv. p. 216. Lond. 1791.-It was made felony, punishable with death, loss of lands, &c. by the statute of Henry, which was so for repealed by 2 and 3 Edw. VI. as to remit the forfeiture of lands, &c. and wholly repealed, with several other penal statutes, by 1 Mar. c. 1. Ep.]