ALL health, welfare and prosperity of man consists in the perfect knowledge of God and of himself, and this knowledge can be abundantly found in the most holy and sacred scriptures, as in a crisp and clear mirror. Therefore all men ought to delight and exercise themselves in the scriptures day and night, to the amendment of their lives, and the edifying of their neighbours, children, household or family.Augustine. Solil. 2.1.1. Noverim te, noverim me. Lord, may I know you and know myself. Psalm 1.
There are many in these latter days ( God help it ) who say that they are good Christians, and yet are anything but. Therefore I have taken upon myself, in my simple understanding and learning, to bring out a compendious instruction that would magnify the praise, glory and knowledge of God, as well as the edification, usefulness and amendment of all men. May the living God promise to always augment, strengthen and increase these efforts through his most holy spirit. My work is especially intended for the youth of a reasonable age and discretion, who so miserably and piteously run astray, in all manner of disorder, wantonness, disobedience, lasciviousness, and in all kind of ungodly living ( as may be daily seen, through the negligence of their wicked and ungodly parents ). I say ungodly parents : For if they feared God in very deed, as faithful Christians ought to do, they would undoubtedly give their underlings, children, subjects, household, or family, ( as appropriate in each case ) a different example, instruction and chastisement for leading a Godly and christian life : walking in the love and fear of God. But alas, many parents ( which is greatly to be lamented ) themselves do not know wherein their true christianity consists, or whereupon it is grounded ( so far is this miserable & wretched world run astray, and clean out of course ). Nor do they anything at all of what it is to live as a Christian. How is it then possible that they should instruct, teach, and give good example to others, when they themselves do not know the most wholesome doctrine, works and will of their master and true guide Jesus Christ ? They believe themselves to be the very perfect Christians after the one time when they received baptism, and do not consider what Jesus said to Nicodemus : Except ( says he ) a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot come into the kingdom of God. By these words such Persons might learn to understand that we may not only put our trust in having been baptised in water, as though that thereby entirely makes us Christians without anything else besides. But we must alter and change our own wicked and sinful conversation, with a penitent and sorrowful heart for our offences, amending our life and walking in the fear and love of God, according to the spirit of a steadfast faith, bringing forth the fruits of charity towards our neighbours with all lowliness and meekness ; and with long patience breaking our fleshly lusts and desires, according to the voice of our good and true shepherd Jesus Christ. Oh but how far are most of us from this fruitful, virtuous and most holy christianity ? I dare well say that if men may judge the tree by its fruits ( as Christ says that people may ), then there is a great multitude of those bearing Christ’s name who notwithstanding far exceed the Jews, Turks, Muslims, Heathens and Pagans in every abominable wickedness and ungodly living.Apocal. 2. Chrysost. super Matt. hom. 49. Aug. lib. ser. ad fratres. Prov. 22. Matt. 12. John. 1. John. 3. and 7. Tit. 3. Romans. 6. Col. 2. and 3. Ephes. 4. Matth. 13.
FIrst, the holy writings of the bible teach us that there is one God almighty, who has neither beginning nor ending : who created all things out of his own goodness. From him proceed all things, without him there is nothing that is righteous and merciful, and who works all things in all after his will, of whom it may not be demanded why he does this or that.Deut. 6. 1. Tim. 2. Gen. 17. Exod. 15. Gen. 1. Psal. 100. 3. and 10. Exod. 3. Jere. 9. Rom. 9. 1. Cor. 12.
The creation of man.
Then, that this same God created Adam the first man, in his own Image and likeness, ordaining and appointing him lord of all the creatures in the earth.Isaiah. 14. and. 54. Jere. 10. and 18.
This Adam, by the envy of the devil, disobeyed the commandment of his maker and committed the first sin. He brought so great a sin into this world that we, his descendants in the flesh, are subdued by sin, death, and damnation, and brought under the yoke and tyranny of the devil.Sapi. 2. Roma. v. Ephe. ii.
Christ was promised.
Thus, Christ Jesus was promised by God the father, to be a savior to this Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David and the other fathers, to deliver them from their sins and tyranny of the devil. Also all those who with a vibrant and living faith would believe this promise and trust of this Jesus Christ, hoping to have this deliverance from and by him. This promise truly is very frequently repeated in the books of the old testament, just as in the new testament which teaches that this promise is fulfilled.Genes. 3. 12. 17. and 28.
In the meanwhile, as the fathers waited for the promised salvation and deliverance, the Law was given, through which men could understand sin and that they are sinners. Men by nature cannot and will not believe themselves to be sinners, specially such Sinners who need the promised saving health. Thus they could see that they do none of the things the Law required of them, lacking the glad and willing mind God requires. They do good works against their wills, without affection, as though constrained with the fear of hell threatened in the Law, where it says, cursed be the one who does not maintain all the words of this law, to keep them. This law was given so that once the sin and malice of men’s hearts became better known, men would more fervently thirst for the coming of Christ who should redeem them from their sins. This coming was prefigured to the Jews in the many ceremonies, hosts and sacrifices, which ordained not for the taking away of sins, but to show and declare that he should be put away by faith in the salvation promised through Christ, and which are now put away by the coming of that Christ, who is the very host of the father, that takes away all sin.Exod. 20. & 19. Rom. 5. Deut. 27. Gal. 3. 1. Corin. 1. Heb. 12. John. 1.
The coming of Christ.
Last of all, we are taught by the books of the new testament that the Christ which was promised and foreshadowed in the old Testament, has been sent by the Father at a time that he had determined with himself, at a time ( I say ) when all wickedness had flourished. And that he was sent not for any man’s good works ( for they all were sinners ), but for a true demonstration of the abundant riches of his grace, which he had promised.Luke. 2. Gal. 4. Ephe. 1. Roma. 5. Tit. 3. Ephe. 2. Rom. 5. John. 1. Isa. 4. 1. John. 2. 2. Pet. 1. Heb. 2.
The lamb of God.
In the new testament, therefore, it is most evidently declared that Jesus Christ, the true Lamb and host, is come for reconciling us to the father, paying on the cross the punishment due to our sins, and to deliver us from the bondage of the devil ( whom we served through sin ) and to make us the Sons of God, since he has given us the true peace and tranquility of conscience, that we no longer do fear the pains of hell : which fear is put away by the faith, confidence and assurance, that the father gives us drawing us to his son. For that faith is the gift of God, whereby we believe that Christ is come into this world to save sinners, which is of so great pith, that those who have it, desire to perform all the duties of love to all men, after the example of Christ.Rom. 5. John. 3. and 6.
The holy ghost.
For faith once received, God gives his holy ghost, with which he stamps and marks all who believe : which is the pledge and earnesty that we shall surely possess everlasting life, and that gives witness to our spirit, and grafts this faith in us, that we be the sons of God, pouring therewith that love in our hearts which Paul describes and sets out to the Corinthians. By that faith and confidence in Christ, which by love is mighty in operation, and that showed itself through the works of love, steering men thereto, by that ( I say ) we are Justified : that is, by that faith, Christ’s father ( which is become ours also through Christ our brother ) counts us for righteous and for his sons : imputing not our sins to us through his grace.1. Cor. 1. and 5. Ephes. 1. Rom. 8 and 5. 1. Cor. 13. Gala. 5. Hebr. 1. 2. Cor. 1. Tit. 22.
To conclude, he came in order to cleanse us from our wicked and abominable sin, and sanctify us unto God the father, that is be blessed in performing good works for his glory. Forsaking the works of the flesh, we should freely serve in righteousness and holiness all our lives, through the good works which God has ordained for us to walk in. Through those works we declare ourselves to be surely thrown unto this grace, and absent of which we declare that we do not have faith in Christ.Luke. 1. Ephe. 2.
Christ our master.
Unto whom we must come, and follow him with a cheerful heart, that he may instruct and teach us : for he is our master, meek and humble of heart : he is our example from whom we must learn the rule of good living, further he is our priest, high bishop and only mediator, which now sits on the right hand of the father, he is our advocate and prays ever for us : which will undoubtedly obtain whatsoever we desire either of him or of his Father in his Name : If we believe that he will do it, for so has he promised. Let us therefore not doubt although we sometime sin, with a confidence to come unto him, and with a living and undoubting faith that we shall obtain mercy. For this is why he came, to save sinners and not requiring anything more of us than to come unto him without fear.Mat. 21. and 23. John. 18. Ephe 5. 1. Pet. 2. Heb. 4. 1. Tim. 2. Heb. 12. 1. John. 2. Rom. 6. Jon. 14. Heb. 4. 1. Tim. 1. Mat. 11. 1. Thess. 2.
This is that Christ Jesus, which after he has killed the name of sin with the breath of his mouth, shall sit in his Majesty and Judge all men giving to everyone the works of his body according to what he has done, whether it be good or bad : and that shall say to them that shall be on his right hand. Come ye blessed children of my father, inherit ye the Kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. And to them that shall be on his lift hand, depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire, which is prepared for the devil and his angels. Then shall the end come, and he shall deliver up the kingdom to God the father.2. Cor. 5. 1. Cor. 5. Matth. 25. 1. Cor. 5.
To the intent that we should know this, by the goodness of God, working by his holy spirit, are the holy writings of the bible given us : That we should know ( I say ) and believe that there is one God, and Jesus Christ whom he has sent : and that in believing we should have everlasting life through his name. Another foundation than this can no man have : and saint Paul desires that he be held accursed who preaches any other faith and salvation than only by Jesus Christ, yea although it were an angel of heaven. For from him, and through him, and for him are all things, to whom with the father and the holy ghost, be honour and glory for evermore.2. Pet. 1. Jon. 17. and 20. 1. Cor. 3. Gal. 3. Roma. 11.
Three things are necessary and useful for a man to know for his salvation, once he has arrived to a lawful or reasonable age and understanding.
A Man must know what he ought to do, and what to avoid, so as to know what is good and do it, and also what is evil and avoid that. This is what is taught to him by the Ten commandments of God, known as the law given by Moses.
When a man feels that he of his own strength, and power, is not able to do or to avoid these things without the help of God ( since as it is written to the Romans, the flesh cannot fulfill the Law ), he may know where & by whom he may obtain help, comfort, remedy and grace, in order to fulfill the law. For she must be entirely fulfilled so that there may not be one Jot or tittle unfulfilled. This is taught to him in the holy christian belief or Creed.
Finally, when a man perceives his belief or faith ( On which all depends and consists ), to be feeble and weak, that then he may know where & by whom he may take his refuge to be helped and strengthened therein. And this is taught to him in the prayer of our lord Jesus Christ.
1. The Law of Moses.
COncerning the first article above, saint Paul in the third chapter to the Romans says as follows : By the law comes but the knowledge of sin.Exod. 19. Roma. 3.
Therefore no man should boast and strut himself of his virtue and holiness, but rather with all humility, lowliness, and meekness, acknowledge and confess with the publican, how wretched, sinful and miserable he is. And thus I particularly declare and set before all men’s eyes the Ten commandments of our Lord God almighty, given to Moses in two Tablets made of stone, each tablet ( as Josephus describes ) particularly containing five commandments. In these two tablets every man may most easily see ( as in a clear mirror or glass ) the whole estate of his heart.Antiqui. lib. 3. cha. 6.
THe first commandment of the first table, teaches fear, love, faith, hope, & sure confidence & trust in God above all things, and sounds thus :Jere. 5.
I am the Lord thy God who hath brought thee out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage ; thou shalt have none other Gods in my sight.Exo. 20. and 4.
That is :
You shall pray in spirit and truth only unto God the creator, ruler, & preserver of all things. You shall love this Lord God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength. You shall put your trust, faith, hope & confidence only in him. You shall love him above all things. You shall fear and serve only him with all your heart, with all your mind &c.Mark. 12. Deut. 6. and 30.
Now although I do say, serve only him, you should understand that servants are bound to also serve their masters, and subjects their superior powers and such like, with all due reverence.
¶ Against this commandment do :
All those who put their trust, comfort, refuge, confidence and most special relief and hope more in any creatures ( how holy soever they be ) than in God the father almighty, through his only and dearly beloved son Jesus Christ our lord.
THe second commandment teaches an inward perception of the invisible things of God ( his everlasting power and Godhead ) by the meditation and consideration of the visible things, made and created by the infinite power of God, and sounds thus :Reg. 5. Rom. 1.
Thou shalt make thee no graven image nor any similitude, neither of it that is above in heaven, nor of it that is beneath upon the earth, nor of it that is in the water under the earth. Worship them not, nor serve them not, for I the lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the sin of the fathers upon the Children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me. And do mercy upon many thousands that love me and keep my commandments.Exo. 20. Levit. 16.
That is :
The lord God does not forbid the making of Images or representations, as long as they are not abused. But he does forbid the Idolatry, superstition and false religion which these foolish, brainless, frantic and mad people have used and in many places still use ( God amend it ), running and gadding with religious images through the streets, bearing them on their shoulders, roaring and crying like mad people, and like the Turks, heathen, and infidels ( who know not truly ) setting them in their churches, houses and elsewhere, lighting the candle tapers, and kneeling and crouching before them. Likewise they gilt them, and dress them with velvet, silk, &c., whilst permitting their fellow Christians to perish from the cold and povertyu.
Saint John reprehends them saying, Babes keep yourselves from Images or depiction. The Prophet Isaiah says likewise, that is jealous, he will give his Power to no other, neither his honour to the Gods.John. 5. Isaiah. 42.
¶ Against this commandment do :
All those of whom the Prophet Jeremiah writes in several places, they ( I say ) who leave God and run here and there to Images and Representations made of stone, wood, gold and silver, so as to obtain comfort, help, and remedy. They are not ashamed to speak to him who has no soul, to ask for health from him who has no power, and plead for life from those who are not alive.Jerem. 1. and 3. Wisd. 13.
THe third commandment teaches to extol, laud, praise, and with all reverence to magnify the most blessed name of God, and sounds thus :Lev. 19. Eccl. 23. Psal. 112. Esth. 13 Dan. 2. Deut. 5. Levit. 24.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. For the lord shall not hold as unguilty him who takes his name in vain.
That is :
You shall in no way swear or curse, but your saying shall be yea, yea, and no, no. Fear and tremble when thou mention it. And be not ashamed to confess this name before men, but laud, praise, bless and call upon this most holy name. If you are in danger or in any need, take your refuge to that name of the almighty God, as to a most sure anchor.Lev. 19. Mat. 5. Jam. 5. Psal. 74. 114. & 15.
¶ Against this commandment do :
All those who for a light matter invoke that most holy name of God, curse, swear and blaspheme by it, in sickness or adversity. And they also, who use that name in sorcery or witchcraft. And those who attribute, reckon or account all honour to themselves.Eccl. 23. Levi. 24. 1. Cor. 6.
Furthermore all those who call God to witness in a false matter. And those who do not steadfastly trust and believe to be true all that which God has spoken and taught. Or those who either do hear or see that most holy name despised and dishonoured, and do not withstand it to the uttermost of their power. But to swear in a just cause to God’s honour and the profit of your neighbour, when required by a justice or an officer, is not forbidden here.Hebr. 6.
THe fourth commandment teaches having a quiet heart in God, ceasing from all bodily labour, and sounds thus :Mat. 12. 1. Cor. 10. Rom. 10. Isai. 57. Exod. 20. & 23.
Remember the Sabboth day so that thou sanctify it. Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work : but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the lord thy God.
That is :
Cease from all bodily labour, exertion, sin, and do good resting in God, hearing his word. Set righteousness before your eyes, all the days of your life, letting God work your health and salvation through Jesus Christ, and rest in him.
Six days may you labour and do all that you have to do. But the seventh day is the Sabboth of the lord your God, in it you shall do no manner of work, neither you nor your son, nor your daughter nor your servant, neither your cattle, neither yet the stranger that is within your gates. For in six days the lord made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all that is in them : and rested the seventh day. Wherefore the lord blessed the seventh day and hallowed it.
Christ said, it is lawful to do good on the Sabboth day. Therefore the son of man is lord even of the Sabboth day. The lord said by his Prophet : Keep equity and do right. &c.Mat. 11. and 12. Isaiah. 56.
Blessed is the man that does this, and the man’s child who keeps it.
He who takes care to keep sacred the Sabboth, that is, if you keep thyself that you do not evil for to unhallow the Sabboth, but to fulfill my covenant ( says the lord ) then shalt you be called to the pleasant, holy, and glorious Sabboth of the lord. Where you shall be in honour : so that you do not after your own Imagination, neither seek your own will, nor speak your own words.Hebr. 13.
Therefore ( says Saint Paul ) let us fear, lest any man forsaking the promise of entering this rest, should seem at any time to have been disappointed. The Gospel is declared to them as well as us, but they did not profit from hearing the word, because they heard it but did not couple it with faith. But we who have believed, do enter into this rest &c. That is to say, into eternal life, which Christ the lord of the Sabboth has obtained for us.
¶ Against this commandment do :
All those who upon the Sunday, yea at all times when they can or may, do not hear God’s word, for being taught and instructed by it. And those who only trust upon their own wisdom. Those who attribute their good works ( in case they have any ) to themselves, and not to God. Also those who spend and consume their time upon Sundays and other days, in slothfulness, in drinking drunk, in vain talk, in dicing, carding, gaming, fighting, dancing & such like wickedness, abusing the day and time. As by experience daily may be seen at fairs, assemblies, banquets and feasts, where as men have great delight in harps, rebecs, fiddles, tabrets, flutes, pipes, and much drinking, but the poor are little remembered or regarded. And spend and waste thus their time in all disorder & ungodly living, whereas they ought on such days most of all to hear God’s word, to distribute their alms to the poor, to visit the sick, to praise and thank God and so confess and bewail their sins which they all the preceding week have committed.Isaiah. 5.
THe fifth commandment teaches to be subject & obedient toward our elders, such as fathers, mothers and superior powers, with all humility and lowliness, always in the fear of God, and goes as follows :Deut. 21. Gen. 9. Eccl. 3. Tit. 3.
Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long, in the land which the lord thy God hath given thee.Mat. 15.
That is :
Honour your father and your mother from the whole heart, and forget not the sorrowful pains that your mother had with you. Remember that you were born through them, and how can you repay them for the things that they have done for you ? Saint Paul says : honour your father and your mother. This is the first commandment that has any promise for you to be in good estate and live long upon the earth. By this commandment Christ teaches us not only to hold our father and mother in reverence, and obey them, but also to minister for all their needs. The children of wisdom are a congregation of the righteous, and their exercise is obedience and love.Eccle. 7. Eph. 5. Mat. 15. Mark. 7. Eccle. 3.
Hear me, your father ( O my dear children ) and do thereafter, that you may be safe. For the lord will have the father honoured by the children, and look what a mother commands her children to do, he requires that it is kept. Who so honours his father, shall have joy in his own children, And when he makes his prayer he shall be heard. He that honours his father, shall have a long life, and he that is obedient for the lord’s sake, his mother shall have joy of him.
He that fears the lord, honours his father and mother and does service to them as if to the lord himself. Honour your father, in deed, in word, and in all patience, that you may have his blessing. The blessing of the father builds the houses of the children, but the mother’s curse rots out the foundations. He that forsakes his father shall come to shame, and he that defies his mother is cursed by God. My son, perform your works with loving meekness, so you shall be loved above other men, and shall find favour in the sight of God. Honour the elders that have cure of souls, as pastors, Curates, Priests, Schoolmasters, declarers and preachers of God’s word. Indeed you shall honour them with double honour, that is not only be obedient to their instruction and learning, but also be bound to find them bodily food, sustenance and all other necessaries.
The scripture says, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treads out the corn : And the labourer is worthy of his reward.Deut. 25. Mat. 10.
Submit yourselves also to the higher powers such as Emperors, Kings, princes, and rulers, and give such tribute, toll, custom and honour as is due to them. And in like case to your lord or lady, master or mistress, always with the fear of God.1. Cor. 9. Hebr. 13. Rom. 13.
¶ Against this commandment do :
All those who are ashamed of their elders in their poverty and need, or those who anger them, vex them, curse them, murmur, grudge, or are rebels against them. Furthermore those who slander and blame the ministers of God’s word.Eccle. 3.
The same all those who make any tumult, rebellion or contention against the superiors, even if they were wicked.1. Pet. 3. Lev. 19. Ecc. 8. 1. Tim. 5. 2. Reg. 3. Gen. 4. Rom. 12.
Those who will not obey their Master and Mistress. Those who will not rise up before a gray head, or give reverence towards the aged.
THe sixth commandment teaches peace, unity and quietness with every man whether it be friend or foe, and sounds thus :Psal. 32. Heb. 12.
Thou shalt do no murder.
That is :
You shall bear no rancour, envy or malice in your heart : you shall not chide, fight, scorn nor mock with any man.1. Pet. 2.
You shall not backbite, or desire to be avenged. Will and wish good to them who do evil. Bless them that curse you. Be not hinderful to any man in word, thought, or deed, that you may be perfect children of your father who is in heaven. He makes the Sun rise on the evil and on the good alike, and sends his rain on the just as well as on the unjust. He that loves not his brother, abides in death. Whosoever hates his brother, is a murderer. &c.Matth. 5.
¶ Against this commandment do :
All those who avenge one evil with another. Who are wroth, and angry with their neighbours, who threaten, provoke, mock, deride or despise their Christian brother. Who upbraid their neighbors, casting them their faults in their teeth. Who forgive not their Enemies, and pray not for them.1. Pet. 3.
Who chide, brawl, fight and such like. He who does all these forenamed things acts against this commandment, and also do all those who do not prevent, hinder, correct and punish these forenamed evils however they can. This commandment is not transgressed by rulers & justicers when they use the sword of Justice rightfully in punishing the wicked and in defending the good.Lactantius de vero cultu. lib. 6. c. 11. Rom. 13.
THe seventh commandment teaches modesty, honesty and Chastity, in words, deeds and thoughts, and sounds thus :Isa. 1. Mat. 5. Pro. 22.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
That is :
Keep your five senses from wantonness, and from the works of all manner of uncleanness. Avoid and keep away from all excess of dainty foods and drinks. Also keep away from all Idleness and occasions which may provoke to wantonness and uncleanness.Ephe. 4. 2. Tim. 3. Ezech. 16.
Christ says, Ye have heard how it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery, But I say unto you, that whosoever looks on a wife, lusting after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart. And saint Paul says : know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ ? shall I now take the members of Christ and make them the members of a harlot ? God forbid. Do ye not know that he that couples himself with a harlot is become one body ? for they ( says he ) shall be two in one flesh. But he that is joined unto the lord, is one spirit. Fly fornication : every sin that a man doth, is outside of his body, but he that is a fornicator, sins against his own body. Either know ye not that your bodies are the temple of the holy ghost ? which dwells in you, whom ye have from God.Math. 5. 1. Corin. 6.
And how that you are not your own, for you are dearly bought. Therefore glorify God in your bodies and spirits which are God’s. Let wedlock be had in price in all points, and let the chamber be undefiled, for whorekeepers and adulterers God will judge.Hebr. 13.
¶ Against this commandment do :
All those who beside lawful matrimony have any carnal copulation, or commit any uncleanness with unlike creatures against nature and the law of God. Those who stir, move or provoke other persons to lechery and uncleanness, with songs, ballets, riddles, uncomely language, bawdy words, gesture, countenance, feeling and groping. Those who do not avoid or eschew all gluttony, drunkenness, outrage, idleness and all fleshly desires, for such vices provoke to all kind of unchaste living.Amos. 6.
And under this commandment is included the rape of women, whorehunting, bawdy places, stews, dishonest houses in a town or City, which are dens of thieves and robbers, to the destruction of men’s goods, bodies, and souls. Those who commit these enormities and wickednesses are not the only guilty ones, but also all those who permit them, and do not perturb, prevent or hinder them as much as they can.Roma. 1. Josue. 7. Gen. 31.
THe eighth commandment teaches liberality, mildness, and through a broken spirit not to esteem riches, and sounds thus :1. Cor. 9. Pro. 16.
Thou shalt not steal.
That is :
Be hinderful to no man, but advance, aid, counsel, share and gladly distribute everything which you have received more from God than men, whether in worldly goods and temporal substances, or in spiritual gifts such as learning, wisdom and good counsel ; indeed give to the one who asks, and do not turn your face from him that would borrow.Math. 5. Math. 10. Math. 6.
Christ says : do not steal. Defraud or beguile no man. If any man will sue you through the Law, and take thy coat from you, let him have thy cloak also. Paul also says, now is there utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why rather suffer ye not wrong ? why rather suffer ye not your selves to be robbed ? Yea even your selves do wrong and rob, & that the brethren.1. Cori. 6. Ephe. 4.
Let him that did steal, steal no more, but let him rather labour with his hands some good thing, that he may have to give to him that needs.
¶ Against this commandment do :
All usurers, and those who craftily defraud, deceive and beguile their neighbour, whether it be privily or openly. And those who pull and poll other men of their goods, by false learning, process, weight, measure, coin, ware or merchandise. Also those who keep away or withhold the labour of their fellow Christian, or deny the debt which is due. Those who do see their neighbour in need, and will not help or relieve him according to their ability. Those who do not defend the loss of their neighbour according to their ability. And in this commandment is comprehended all strife, debate and variance for filthy lucre’s sake. Finally, all that which in any way may appertain to avarice or covetousness.Levit. 19. 1. John. 2.
THe ninth commandment teaches always and everywhere to be righteous, just, true, and upright in words, without any duplicity of heart, and sounds thus :Dan. 13. Psal. 7. 72. 73. 96. Heb.12. Pro.25.
Thou shalt bear no false witness against thy neighbour.
That is :
Avoid all lies, and speak always the truth without consideration for money, goods, gifts, rewards, meed, dread, favour, friendship or hatred, always with steadfastness. Do it without fearing any man or weighing the loss of body or goods. Judge always rightfully without exception of persons, refraining your tongue from evil talk, and your lips from speaking any guile, eschewing evil and doing good. For of every idle word that you have spoken, you must give account on the day of Judgement. In addition let no filthy conversation proceed out of your mouth, except that which is good to edify. Let all bitterness, fierceness, wrath, roaring and cursed speaking be put away from you. Let only the giving of thanks be named among you, instead of filthiness, foolish talking and testing, which are not comely.1. Pet. 3. Mar. 4. Ephe. 4. Ephesi. 5.
¶ Against this commandment do :
All those who hide, cover, cloak or do not declare the truth. Or those who falsely interpret or expound God’s most blessed word, turning, undermining, and twisting it to their insatiable greediness, avarice and covetousness, instead of the honour of God or the edifying and instruction of their neighbour.Math. 10. Wisd. 1.
Those who falsely lie in the law, before the justice or elsewhere. Those who speak with two tongues. Those who boast themselves in their evil, and other in their wickedness. Those who bear fire in the one hand and water in the other hand, being double of heart, or wavering with every wind as traitors frequently do.Eccle. 5. Eccle. 2.
THe tenth commandment teaches to despise all transitory things, and not to covet or desire the thing which is your neighbour’s, and sounds thus :
Thou shalt not desire thy neighbour’s house, nor his wife, nor his servant, nor his maid, nor his Ox, nor his Asse, nor anything that is thy neighbour’s.
That is :
Let your conversation be without covetousness, and be content with what you have already, and covet not that thing which is possessed by another. Instead, having food and clothing but beyond that disregarding all transitory things, seek, desire and wish for those things which will continue and endure for evermore. Whatsoever you would have other men do to you, do that to them. To love a man’s neighbour as himself is a greater thing than all burnt offerings & sacrifices. Be not overcome with lust for the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches chokes the word. Godliness is great wealth, if a man be content with what he has. For we brought nothing into the world, and it is a plain case that we shall carry nothing out. When we have food and clothing, let us then be content. Those who wish to be rich fall into temptation and snares, and into many noisome lusts, which drown men in perdition, and destruction.Luk. 12. Hebr. 13. Tim. 6. Collo. 3. Mat. 7. Mark. 12. 1. Tim. 6.
For covetousness is the root of all evil, causing those who lusted to err from the faith, and tangle themselves with many sorrows.
¶ Against this commandment do :
All those who through an insatiable covetous heart, not only steal and rob by force, violence or otherwise, but also those who inwrdly would do it if it were possible to them, or they could bring it to pass. Our savior Christ himself says in the Gospel, that not only he who has to do with another man’s wife is an adulterer : But he who lusts after another man’s wife has also already committed adultery with her in his heart. Thus, this last commandment on coveting and desiring is the full summe and conclusion of all the other commandments.Math. 5. Eccl. 12.
God says, in Deut. 6.
These words which I command thee this day, shall be in your heart, & thou shalt whet them on thy children, and thou shalt talk of them when thou art at home in thy house, and as thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up : and thou shalt bind them for a sign upon your hand, & they shall be papers of remembrance between your eyes, & thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and upon thy gates.Deut. 12.
Take heed, and hear all these words which I command thee that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, forever. See thou do that which is right in the sight of thy lord, that thou mayest prosper. Ye shall not do after all the things that seem good in your own eyes, but whatsoever I command you, that do : and put nothing thereto, nor take anything therefrom. Cursed be he that doth not uphold for action all the words of this law.Deut. 6. Deu. 30. 7.
THese ten commandments did the Lord God give to Moses his servant ( as we have shown previously ) in two tablets made of stone. In the first Tablet is contained the main, chiefest and most principal commandment, of which Christ speaks, saying, Thou shalt love the lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This chief commandment and sum of the first tablet contains in it five other commandments, in which we may know and learn, what we ought to do and avoid, in that which concerns or touches God our heavenly father.1. Reg. 7. Luke. x. Matth. 12. Deu. 4.
And the second Tablet comprises the other great commandment, similar to the first, that is to say, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Whatsoever you wish for other men to do to you, do the very same towards them. This commandment also comprises in it five other commandments, in which we may learn to know what we ought to do or avoid, in that which concerns or touches our fellow Christian or neighbour. So that in these two commandments are contained the whole law and prophets. Every man may easily perceive, that therein ( although the words are few ) are plainly and perfectly declared all kind of good works and commandments, which in any way might be commanded or given to any man, how to lead a virtuous and Godly life towards God, and how to behave ourselves with our neighbour, both to live and to die. And anyone who shall do his uttermost to observe and upkeep them, will have not a moment’s pause of wondering, what good works might I do which would be pleasant, acceptable, and grateful to God ? Let no man be surprised at not finding here commands for doing anything to our own benefit : we should do these things for the benefit of another : First of God, and after that of our neighbour. So that although a man were blind ( in manner of speaking ), yet he still may easily hear, see and feel that the fulfilling of the law, consists in love and charity. I mean not love and charity towards ourselves, but towards others. Whereby it may justly be said : He lives best, who lives for another ; and he lives worst, who lives for himself. Therefore may easily be observed how few there are who live well and virtuously. On this the prophet David and S. Paul justly say, There is not one that lives as he ought to live, no not one, according as the beforenamed ten commandments do require.Mat. 7. Rom. 14. Rom. 13. Psal. 13. Roma. 3.
Here a man might ask :Gal. 3. Deu. 27. Roma. 12. and 3. Act. 13.
2. The Christian Belief.
COncerning this second article, listed above, S. Paul says the following, in the third chapter of the epistle to the Galatians : The righteous one lives by faith.
Man therefore necessarily must believe, if he will be found righteous before God. And forasmuch as that faith or belief must come through the hearing of that which men ought to believe, Give ear, learn and understand from the following instruction, called , or the creed of the Apostles. It contains everything essential that a Christian is bound to believe, and is divided into three parts, reflecting the three persons in one Godhead.Rom. 10. 1. John. 5. Gen. 1.
THe first part of the Christian creed mentions the first person of the holy trinity, God the heavenly father, and goes as follows :
I believe in God the father almighty, maker of Heaven and earth.Malac. 2. Jer. 32.
I know, think, and believe in my heart, that my God is in heaven about, and in the earth beneath, and that there is no other God, and all things be through him and in him. He is the maker and creator of all creatures whatsoever in heaven, and on earth. The lord is my strength and glory, and is become to me a father and a savior. Almighty is his name. Lord, who among the mighty is as great in your holiness, fearful and laudable, who shows wonders and reigns for ever and above : Lord God full of compassion and mercy, who are not easily angry, but abundant in mercy and truth, and keeps mercy in store for thousands, and forgives wickedness, trespass and sin. He has elected or chosen us to be his children through Jesus Christ. And therefore we shall worship only him, and besides him no other God. Also we shall fear him as an almighty God : And as a merciful father shall we love him, with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our power and minds. And upon him must stand all our hope. For he is the father of light, by whom all mankind lives.Exo. 15. Hebr. 12. Ephe. 1. Hebr. 1. Exo. 30. 4. Ephesi. 1. Deut. 6. Psal. 2. 34. Mat. 12. Jere. 7. Jacob. 1.
Where is there a God such as you ( O lord ) who pardons wickedness, forgives offences, and throws all our sins to the bottom of the sea ?
Therefore good lord,
I do utterly renounce and forsake the fiend of hell, all Idolatry interior and exterior, all witchcraft, misbelief and all false doctrine which is not God’s word. I utterly depart, fall and flee from all creatures in the heaven above, the earth beneath, and even from myself. I cleave unto the only invisible and almighty, who is without beginning and ending, who has made all that is made, and who rules everything through his Godly will and providence.
THe next part of the creed is about the second person of the holy trinity, God the son, and man Jesus Christ our savior, and speaks as follows :Math. 1. Isaiah 7.
I believe in Jesu Christ the only son of God the father, our lord, which was conceived by the holy ghost, born of the virgin Mary.
I believe and acknowledge with my heart, and confess with my mouth, that the same Jesu Christ which the Jews put to death, the very word and seed which was promised to our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is the very son of the living God, God and man. No man comes to God the father, or can be saved by anything that heart can think or mouth can speak, except in and through the same Jesus Christ, lord and savior of all christian men. Who for my benefit and necessity was conceived by the holy ghost, above all men’s understanding, and that without the work of man or any fleshly power, so that he of his own mere mercy ( for it so pleased him ) would cleanse, purify and make heavenly the conception of myself and all men which took place in sin. I believe that he is born to my use & benefit from the pure and undefiled virgin Mary, a son of God being God from the beginning, a son of man now become man, in order to make us the children of God. From a virgin, so that he would purify and cleanse us of our spots and sins.John 14.
Suffered under Pontius Pilate, crucified, dead and buried. Descended into hell.Luk. 23. Mat. 28.
I believe that he suffered the most shameful death and torments of the cross, & that for my transgression, iniquity and sins, destroying thereby all the torments of everlasting damnation which I have deserved. He suffered death, whereby he vanquished and overcame everlasting death and damnation, in order for us through his death to obtain immortality. He was buried, and descended into hell, so that we ( through baptism ) should be buried with him in death, and now walk in a new spiritual life.Isaiah. 53. Apoc. 5. Eph. 4. Rom. 1. Act. 5. 2. Cor. 15. Heb. 10. Ps. 103. 2. Cor. 15.
The third day he rose again from death. He ascended into heaven. He sits at the right hand of God the father almighty.
I believe that upon the third day ( as a vanquisher of hell, devil and death ) he rose again for our righteousness, giving us an example by his resurrection that we shall also rise from death on the day of doom. He ascended into heaven, making captive our captivity, in order to be a true advocate and faithful mediator between God his heavenly father and us wretched sinners. He sits at the right hand of equal with his father, ruling and having power over all things, in both heaven and earth. At whose name all knees must bow, in heaven, hell and earth.Ephe. 4. Philip 2.
From thence he shall come to Judge the quick and the dead.
I believe that that same Jesus Christ on the day of doom or judgement ( which day is only known to him ) like as he ascended into heaven, shall come again to judge the quick and the dead. The quick, who are all faithful Christians : and the dead, who are all the wicked, unfaithful & damned people. And shall say to the faithful, Come hither ye blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom which is prepared for you from the beginning of the world. But ( alas ) to the damned shall he say : depart from me ye cursed, into the everlasting fire, which is prepared for the Devil and his angels.Mat. 25. and 20. Psal. 6. Mat. 7. Luk. 11. Isa. 20. Mat. 16. 1. Cor. 5.
THe next part of the creed speaks of God the holy ghost, the third person of the blessed trinity who sanctifies all things :
I believe in the holy ghost, The holy catholike church. The communion of saints. The forgiveness of sins.
I believe that no man can attain or come towards God the father, except by the work and means of the holy ghost, who with God the father, through Jesu Christ, is working and giving life to all things, without whom nothing is living nor holy. Furthermore I believe that here upon the earth is a Christian catholike church or congregation of the faithful, which is nothing else then a communion of the congregation or assembling together of faithful christians spiritually in one , in one faith, and in one baptism. Of this congregation or assembly Christ is the head, it being governed and daily increased through the holy ghost, through or by the administration of the holy sacraments and mysteries, distributed and given to everyone by the hands of the priests, administrators and preachers of God’s word. Furthermore, I also believe that no man can be saved unless he become a fellow member of this congregation, and that neither Jew, Turk nor heretike can or may be saved, unless he be first reconciled and made at one with that holy assembly or congregation. In it and nowhere else is forgiveness of sins, for she has received the power of God to bind and to loose. This is the only spouse of our lord Jesus Christ, not adorned with glittering, shining, costly, or transitory things of this world, or having dominion or rule in richnesses, kingdoms, gold, or precious stones ; but is abject, despised, persecuted, oppressed and troubled, yea, in a manner wholly covered, hid and disfigured with blood through martyrdom of the reprobate and unfaithful, whose surest sign or token to know hereby is the declaring and professing of the gospel, both in word and deed.Mat. 16.
The resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.Ezech. 30. John. 5.
I believe also that there shall be a general resurrection, or a future rising of all people who ever lived, or ever shall live. This corruptible and transitory flesh and body, after having died, rot, and turned into earth, shall be restored back to life, a life of the soul and body which I steadfastly believe shall never end.Letter to the Ephesians 2.
3. Christ’s Prayer.
SPeaking now of the third article, mentioned above, Christ teaches us as follows in the gospel : Pray, so that ye do not fall into temptation.Luk. 22. Mat. 6. Luk. 11.
Respecting the words of Him who cannot lie, let us pray to alongside that father of a possessed young man, saying, Lord strengthen and increase our faith, for without you we can do nothing. So wretched, so corrupt and so frail is our nature, blinded in her self love, that on her own she cannot choose or obey the commandment of God ; that is how far our mind and inclinations run astray from the pristine or ancient innocency, in the transgressing of the commandments of God by our first father Adam. So that in case we should be compelled to strive against our enemies the devil, the world and our own flesh ( which stands us in hand to do so long as we are clad with this mortal body ) relying on our own strength, without the assistance and help of God, we should by and by even at the first assault and sound of the trumpet, cast both our weapon and shield from us, and wholly despairing, leave our courage, fall and yield, and suffer our selves to be so overruled that they should easily rule and have dominion over us. But the grace of God working in us a perfect faith and hope, together with the deeds of charity, is able enough to work in us all things which we would not be able to fulfill otherwise. To prevent the loss of this faith or belief, and that it may not decrease or diminish in us, but rather may increase, grow and become fruitful, there is nothing better, more profitable or necessary, than praying to God without ceasing.Mat. 9.
For our lord Jesus Christ says himself, Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you, pray, and it shall be given unto you. But he that will pray to God with an earnest heart, must be thus disposed. First a man must know his own infirmity, and weakness, and confess to have need of help. For ( as we read ) only the sick need a Physician, and he will gladly help them. The blessed virgin Mary herself said in her song, that he has filled the hungry with all goodness, but sent the rich away empty and void. What does it matter that you pray, if you do not think and feel that you have need ? Is not prayer then but scorn and mockery towards God ? Hypocrisy and feigned piety ?Luk. 11. Marc. 9. Luke. 51.
You may ask, how then shall we pray to God for to obtain those things which are necessary for us ? Hear therefore, in case you pray for those things which are not proper and allowed, instead of those most necessary and profitable for you. It is often because of bad prayer that God does not hear us, as S. James puts it, because we ask amiss. And as Paul says to the Romans, we ourselves know not what is most necessary for us to ask.Jacob. 4.
And therefore the most highest doctor & master Jesus Christ ( who best knows what is profitable and necessary for our health and salvation ) has described and taught us a most sure rule how we should and ought to pray, setting his heavenly Father as a sure aim before our eyes, to whom we should lift up our hearts and inward thoughts ; to him ( I say ) above in the highest, we who labour and are laden with sin, here in this vale of tears. And he says, when thou wilt pray, you shall pray thus :
Our father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.Psal. 113.
It first should be noted, as was declared previously, that it is impossible to make an earnest, hearty and perfect prayer, except a man, first and before all things, confess his own fault and disease. And therefore I have set a brief lamentation and confession before every petition of the lord’s prayer, to stir and kindle the sinful conscience into making our prayer to God more fervent and earnest, desiring his help. And after that, the content, and declaration of it, right goodly expounded and opened, to the honour of God and utility and edification of all men.
First upon that point, Our father which art in heaven.
O merciful everlasting God, most loving father, of whom all fatherly mercy favour, and goodness cometh and proceedeth, in heaven and on earth. I poor miserable and wretched creature, acknowledge and confess before thy fatherly mercy, that I like the prodigal son have despised and disregarded all of your fatherly love and trust, and have showed myself disobedient towards you. I have not given ear to thy most blessed word and loving exhortations, following the voice of those foreign to you, and cleaving more to the doctrines of the world than to thy commandments.
O generous loving God, father of us all, who manifoldly showest thy benefits, and dost distribute and give thy gifts as well to the wicked as to the good : sometimes even more visibly to the wicked than to the good. I acknowledge and confess before thee, that I have not loved other men as my brethren ; nor reverenced them as thy children, but in pride have exalted myself above my brother, despising, hating and envying him like the unfaithful servant did his fellow brethren in the Gospel. And furthermore I confess ( most meek and loving father ) that I have first sought help and counsel from the creatures here beneath upon earth, and not from thee who art above in the heavens everlasting and almighty, and only canst and will help as a good father of us all. I have most of all set my thoughts yea ( alas the while ) my whole heart, mind, trust and all my desire upon earthly temporal and transitory things, and have not lifted them up towards thee who art in heaven, as I ought to have done, for which I cry for mercy.Mat. 24.
¶ Prayer and confession.
O loving father, thou hast entirely of thy goodness created us upon earth, and for nothing hast thou delivered us from everlasting death, which we were guilty and had deserved. O good father we are not worthy to be thy children, for we have sinned against thy righteousness. Nevertheless by the commandment of thine only son, we do boldly say, our father. O thou faithful father, what shall we give the again, or wherewith shall we repay thee for thy great Love & goodness which thou, through thy mercy & singular goodness, hast given us power to be thy children and to become heirs of thy kingdom with thy dear son Jesus Christ ? Thou art truly our faithful, and trusty father, for thou bearest us like a most gentle and kind father his child in his arms, & thou leadest us with thy right hand, that we ( although we sometimes through weakness do stumble ) are not altogether bruised, and destroyed of our enemies. Thou dost preserve and keep us like the apple of thine eyes, and he that touches us ( O father ) touches thee. O mild & liberal father, how richly hast thou endued thy children, with the wholesome food of thy Godly word, for now do the poor sit down, they eat and are filled, & praise the lord with all them which after the motion of the holy ghost, seek the with all their heart. Thou hast given that living water, wherewith we may quench and expel the dry thirst without ceasing. O father how lovingly and kindly dost thou call us, through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah, saying, All those who are thirsty, come to the waters, and ye that have no money, make haste and come so that ye may have to eat. Come buy wine and milk without money or money worth. Wherefore do ye lay out your money for the thing that feeds not, and spend your labour for the thing that satisfies you not ? But listen instead to me, and you shall eat of the best, and your soul shall have her fill of abundance. Incline your ears and come unto me, take heed and your soul shall live. For I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the certain mercies promised to David.Psal. 15. Psal. 15. Zacha. 2. Psal. 21. Isaiah 55. Act. 13. 2. Reg. 7. Ezech. 30. 4.
Therefore most kind father, we confess and reverence, like children do their father here upon the earth. Thou dwellest in the heavens with thy Angels who are not troubled with the flesh, but ( alas ) we dwell upon this earth, in this misery, in all trouble, adversity and temptation. We ought also to be heaven’s, separated from all worldly and earthly spots or wrinkles, and a pure holy temple of thy holy Majesty, just as you have promised : They shall be my people : and I will be their God, and I will dwell with them to the end of the world.2. Reg. 4. Apoc. 21.
O most wise father, thou knowest our weakness and infirmity, how that in this heavy burden of the flesh, no man is pure, no man is unguilty ( by or through his own strength ) before thy face. All our righteousnesses are as the clothes stained with the flour of a woman, we fall every each one as a leaf, for our sins carry us away like the wind. To bring forth anything from our selves, by which we might become righteous, we are not able. All our fathers ( which now are gone ) have sinned & are fallen from thee : and are become unprofitable. Neither was there one that did good. But thou lord hast made us righteous, and cleansed us, so that we are heaven’s, and a kingdom wherein thou sittest. And under thy feet, haste thou ye earth to a footstool, so that we do altogether lie under thy might and power, with flesh & blood not seeking our own lust & desire, but thy will, not the things that are here in this world, but in heaven, where thy son Jesus Christ sits on the righthand.Isaiah. 64. Treno. 5. Eccle. 44.
The heavens and firmament in their continual course are obedient to thee, and serve us also continually, giving us light & clearness into the world to the ease of all men, as well the wicked as the good. By this, thy great pity, mercy and goodness is expressed and declared to all the world. Most gentle father, grant that we may so diligently serve thy majesty, and all men for thy take, both the wicked and the good, the righteous and unrighteous. May we boldly declare and perpetually announce ( as the heavens do ) thy Godly honour to all men, so that thy mighty name may thereby be praised and magnified for evermore. For we are created and made, through thy goodness, to thy honour, to acknowledge, confess and serve thee.Psal. 18. See Lactantius.
Hallowed be thy name.
O heavenly father lord God, whose name is everlastingly hallowed over all other names, and called on in baptism over me. I confess before thee, that I despite this have not magnified and worshipped this name as I ought to do. But have arrogantly and presumptuously attributed all honour to myself and have exalted and boasted myself in my works and deeds, and other of your gifts to me. I have also made thy name a cloak for my idolatry, tyranny, willfullness, knavery, greatly abusing and dishonouring it through hypocrisy, swearing, cursing, murmuring, and vain talking : wherefore I cry the mercy.
¶ Prayer and confession.
Thy name ( O father ) be hallowed & magnified for evermore, for to thee belongeth all laud and everlasting praise, but to us all shame and confusion. All that we are is by and through thy mercy, and all that we receive is from thy mild and generous hands. No man needs to boast of having gotten it from himself : but thou openest thy hand and fillest all creatures with thy blessings.
O most gentle father, let us fall from ourselves, wholly abjecting and despairing of our own flesh, strength, so that we neither trust to ourselves or our good works, but that we may fix or set our eyes upon thee, like a servant fixing his eyes upon his master, till time that thou have mercy on us. For if it were not for thy mercy, we would become like unto Sodom and Gomorrah. Therefore, thy name be sanctified & blessed from the rising of the sun unto its going down. Grant ( O father ) that our soul without ceasing and all our strength without loathsomeness or tediousness, may laud and praise thee in word and deed. And although we did all those things which thou commandest us, shape in us such a heart that we yet may say that we are unprofitable servants. For if we have anything that is good, it comes from thy grace. O father, take from us all pride and the love of our selves in order not to value ourselves more than we ought to, and that we exalt not our selves above others : But that we ( thinking and knowing that thou hast given us power and strength according to thy good will and pleasure ) with all humility and lowliness, may walk after thy Godly covenant and will. That we may say with that princely prophet David, Not unto us ( O lord ) not unto us, but unto thy name give the praise, for thou art only lord both of heaven and earth.Psal. 122. Rom. 9. Luk. 17. Psalm. 113.
Thy kingdom come.
O lord God, I complain, lament, and bewail my misery unto thee, that I have been captive ( a wretch that I am ) in the strange land of Babylon, in the land of death, giving my body to the servitude of sin in war against thy holy kingdom. And although I have forsaken the devil and all his works in baptism, yet notwithstanding I am become ( woe unto me ) unfaithful and desperate, having fled from thee and run to thine enemies. Have mercy on me.Psalm. 76.
¶ Prayer and confession.
Come ( O lord ) and make your dwelling with us, and let us be at one with thee, so that we may remain or continue in thee, and thou in us. Loving father, turn our barren and sterile tree into a fertile one, so that with fervent love it may bring forth ripe, pleasant, and savory fruit.
O most kind father, grant that we duly and justly may sanctify and make holy thy sabboth day, which thou with all diligence hast command us.
Permit all fleshly lusts and wicked desires to cease in us. Just as all creatures in heaven and earth obey thee, and take themselves under your rule and government, draw and pluck out of our hearts all such things as seems good in our sight, so that thou mayest rule us, not after our but thy own will. For we know that the ways of man are not his, and that man is unable to follow his ways when he wishes. Thus good lord, grant that we patiently & with a quiet heart, may accept thy hand when it touches us. And suffer us gladly and cheerfully to bear all such things as it shall please the to lay upon us, whether it be good fortune or evil, adversity, sickness, shame, stripes, and even death. Let our own nature so to rest, to be quiet and cease, that she no longer covets, seeks and desires ( through superfluity, and desire of vengeance ) to break or transgress the holy sabboth day.Prov. 16.
Thy will be done in earth it is in heaven.John. 12. Luk. 22.
O my lord God, to thee I groan and complain that I have followed mine own will, to thy dishonour and my shame, resisting thy most Godly will, for which I am very sorry.
¶ Prayer and confession.
Therefore ( O most best father ) not mine but thy will be fulfilled. Thy will is done and fulfilled in heaven amongst the Angels, who without any difficulty do according to thy will, and tremble and quake at thy beckoning. The Sun and Moon never transgress it in keep their courses, and the same should also be with us : But we wretched sinners are too frail, and in our nature we find nothing that is after thy Godly will, but against thee and thy most holy Laws : thus doth our poisoned old Adam kick and strive, according to his old kind. In the inward man we may find a delight and pleasure in thy law, but in our fleshly members there is another law, the law of the heart. And therefore what we should do, we do not, but that which we must not do, we do. Therefore ( O most loving and gentle Father ) give thy Law inward in us, and write it in our hearts, so that we may fear and love thee, and walk in thy commandments. Give us a new heart, sending thy spirit inwardly in us, that he may kindle us so with thy love that we may love thee with all our heart, with all our strength, above all things ; and that we may love our neighbour for thy sake, in thankfulness for the unspeakable riches which thou hast abundantly poured upon us, even as our selves.Rom. 7.
For he that has love fulfills the law, and he that has no love rests or sticks in the death. We ought of duty to be people according to thy heart, doing all things according to thy will, but where is there one such among us ? And who can give us a heart to fear thee, and to keep thy commandments at all times, so that it may happen or chance well for us and our children ? O lord only thou art he. Thus ( good lord ) cleanse our hearts, and the hearts of our seed, that we with all our strength, and with all our soul, may love thee and live. Make us whole, then are we whole. Make us blessed, then are we blessed : For thou art our laud & praise. Oh, how oft is our will contrary to thy will, and against thy laws ? she had many times rather or prefer that there were no Law, nor any God, nor any truth. Oh, how is our heart and understanding darkened, so and in such wise that we cannot see ourselves ? Therefore ( O lord ) have mercy on us according to thy great kindness, shape or create in us a new heart, and pour thy perfect spirit in us, so that no longer we but rather you live in us, and work all our works according to thy Godly will, in order for thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven, in the flesh as in the spirit, so that the flesh do not stir and rage against thy truth ; neither let it be subject to the evil lusts, but let it be one spirit with thy spirit. And let it have a pleasure and displeasure, in that thing that thou art pleased and displeased with.Rom. 42. Psalm. 50.
Give us this day our daily bread.Luk. 9. Deut. 8.
I cannot deny but must needs acknowledge and confess, that at the same time ( good father ) just as I denied to my soul the living bread, I have also filled my soul with the dross and chaff of foreign and worldly doctrine, like a pig. As a result, I have become feeble, impotent, and withered, for which I am sorry, and cry for mercy to thee with all my heart.
¶ Prayer and confession.
Thus ( loving father and giver of all consolation ) thou that feedest all flesh, Give us our daily bread. I mean that bread, by which the soul of man is made alive, give it to us at all times so that we who lack it shall not perish out of hunger. Give us faithful and learned Preachers, that may justly and duly feed our souls, setting and bearing before us thine only son Jesus Christ, leaving all fables, dreams, vain and false doctrines, in order for us sheep not to be slain upon thy holy mount in thy holy tabernacle. O loving father, open our ears of understanding, so that we may understand, conceive, trust and steadfastly believe in thy holy word, and thereby born anew in a better life than we have led hitherto, may with Jesus , as thy children, be received of them, in thy Godly love and favour. Lord of thy clemency, meekness and mercy, give us understanding that we may prove the spirits whether they be of thee or of some other, for the wicked and malignant spirit can sometimes alter and change himself into an Angel of light. O lord draw us through thy mercy towards thy son Jesus Christ, that we may justly and perfectly receive him in our hearts, for he is the living bread, which descended from heaven. Give us also ( most gentle father ) our bodily food, after thy Godly will : Rain, Sunshine and meet weather for the fruits of thy fields in due season : so that we taking sufficiently of it may laud, praise and magnify thee. O most worthy father, let us not be sorrowful and anxious for those things that we should eat and drink, or with what we should be clothedg. Let us cast all our care upon thee for thou carest for us, and thou knowest before we ask of thee, what is necessary for us, yea, many times thou givest it to us before we ask it. Do not give unto great abundance of riches, lest they tempt us to exalt ourselves against thee and our neighbours, or we forget thy great goodness and mercy. Neither give us unto such great poverty and deprivation that we be forced to beg bread or steal, or be provoked to swear and blaspheme thy holy name through impatient suffering.Psa. 135. Treno. 2. 1. John. 4. 2. Cor. 11. John. 6. Matth. 6.
But give us our daily sustenance, as much as accords with thy Godly will. We have the duty to work and most diligently labour, but unto ye as the source of our increase we shall cast all our cares : For we are all in thy hand, and there is none that can resist thy Godly will. Thou ( good father ) givest to us and hast power to take again away : If thou givest, then thou doest according to thy mercy : if thou takest, then thou doest according to thy righteousness.Job. 9.
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us.Eccle. 28. Math. 18. Marc. 11.
O heavenly father, I have been hard-necked, stiff-necked and stubborn against those who have offended me : and have not willingly remitted or forgiven them their trespasses, but I have much more accounted and esteemed the offence which they have done against me, than that which I have done against thy Godly majesty. I have set the sin of my neighbour before, and mine behind, and have more quickly noted a speck in my brother’s eye, than a stick in mine. By reason whereof, I have not heartily or duly ( as I ought to have done ) desired that thou wouldst forgive me my sins, which ( alas wretch that I am ) are ineffable and innumerable. Wherefore I cry the mercy.Luke. 6.
¶ Prayer and confession.
Meek and gentle father, we are exceeding greatly in thy debt, and have not, nor know not with what to pay thee. We know nothing better, than that we fall prostrate before thy feet, and cast up our eyes towards thee, and cry the mercy, for thou art merciful and the whole earth is full of thy mercy.
We know that no man is holy nor saved by his own works only, except thou have mercy on him and forgive him his sins. Happy are those whose sins are forgiven and covered. Happy is that man whose sins are not imputed or reckoned unto him. O merciful father if we do not go about making ourselves unguilty, faultless or blameless, then shalt thou forgive us all our sins. And if we through or by confession, do acknowledge or discover our sins, then shalt thou thyself cover them, & cloak or hide our shame. In our spirit ( O heavenly father ) is a great deceit, which without the brightness of thy Godly light, we can neither see nor know.Psal. 22. Psal. 31.
We love ourselves, we seek what is ours, we fear adversity, we love not thee, we seek not that which is thine, yea not so much as in corporal or bodily things. Therefore we do see our damnation wherein we are : and there is none that can redeem or deliver us, except we call and cry unto thee out of the depth.
O father forgive us our trespasses, through thy great mercy, like as a loving father forgives his child, for thou hast promised it to us, saying that if the ungodly will turn away from all his sins that he hath done, and keep all my commandments and do the thing that is equal and right, doubtless he shall live and not die : for I have no pleasure in the death of a sinner ( saith the Lord ) but rather that he convert and live. Again thou hast committed fornication with many lovers, yet turn again to me, and I will receive thee.Ezech. 18. 2. Pet. 3. Jere. 3.
O most kind father, think upon thy promises, have mercy on us, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who have trespassed against us. O most loving father, we confess & grant that it lies not in our power to forgive our enemies, yea, & to love them as you commandest, so is our nature poisoned and infected that it is impossible for us to do it. The love of ourselves, which is that root of all Sin, seeks always that which is hers & not that which is thine, or that which is to thy honour, or that which is profitable to our neighbour. Thus ( good father ) plant in us the true brotherly love, that we ( as you have done and taught us ) may with all our heart love them, forgive them and pray for them. Verily I do know ( most loving father ) that if we forgive not our neighbour thou shalt never forgive us our sins.Luk. 6.
Furthermore, I know that no sacrifice or prayer is acceptable or pleasant unto thee, as long as we reconcile not our selves with our brother. Therefore give us grace that we may forgive our debtors, then shalt thou also forgive us our offences, for thou art kind and full of mercy. And thou art come down from heaven here upon this earth for sinners that repent and amend their life.
And let us not be led into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen.Psal. 12. Zacha. 14. 1. Pet. 5.
O my lord God my heavenly father, I have oft & many times ( alas the while ) given place to temptation. Like an unfaithful deputy or lieutenant who ( through laziness and negligence towards his lord ) surrenders his castle to the enemies, I have not only been satisfied with this miserable wretchedness of fragility and sin, but have had pleasure and delight therein, in such manner that I have willingly stirred, moved and given myself over and defiled myself like as wine in the muddy and filthy puddle and mire. And have not endeavoured myself to that which is everlasting and good. Forgive ( O father ) and help the feeble and weak.
¶ Prayer and confession.
O most bounteous father, thou who art a kind and loving helper of all them that fear thee, and call on thee in need, trouble and persecution. Behold and consider that our life is a strife and continual warfare here in this world. Our enemies cease not, the devil goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. The glorious and flattering world in like case, laughs upon us on every side. And our own flesh, and ghostly or inward enemy ceases never to spur and strive against the spirit, and that so vehemently that we are compelled to call upon thee for help aid and comfort, as to a faithful father, who will not allow us to be tempted beyond our capacity, but shall faithfully help us at our right side to prevent us becoming overcome by our enemies. O comforter and father of all consolation, comfort us in all our adversity : for thou art a father of all consolation and thou shalt strengthen us and make us alive, even in the midst of persecution. O lord we desire not to be delivered from the cross, nor yet that thou take us from the world before our hour come which thou hast appointed.John. 7. 1. Pet. 5 1. Cor. 4.
But deliver and make us free from evil, and suffer us not to perish between our enemies, For if thou didst not help us, our soul should immediately dwell in hell, and that fearful Image of death should without ceasing torment, trouble, and vex us in everlasting darkness in the snares of hell. O thou special helper of all weak and troubled creatures, if thou ( according to thy Judgement ) permit us to fall ( for there is no man who hath not sinned ) yet nevertheless do lift us back up again. And like a mother lifting up her fallen child, deliver us from all those things which could or may be impediments to us. O most true father, thou keepest thy covenant and promise at all times and evermore : We trust in thee, that like as thou once hast delivered us from all evil, through thy Son Jesus Christ, thou shalt preserve and save us through the effusion and shedding of his holy and precious blood, with which he hath sprinkled and cleansed us of all our sin upon the cross.
¶ Conclusion of the lord’s prayer or pater noster.
This prayer we send unto thee O almighty, everlasting God, heavenly Father, steadfastly trusting in thy bottomless mercy and holy promises. For thine only son our Savior Jesus Christ has taught and commanded us to pray, saying, Ask, and it shall be opened for you, knock, and it shall be opened for you. And whatsoever thou askest believe, and it shall happen to thee.Luke. 11.
Whatsoever thou askest my father in my name ( saith Christ ) , he shall give it thee. Therefore ( O holy father ) we come unto thee, in the name of thine only son, not doubting but that thou wilt hear us : But, O lord, give us our petition and request, not according as it shall seem good in our sight, or according to our will : But when thou shalt think it time, and as thou wilt, and by such means and ways as shall be most agreeable to thy Godly will.John. 14.
A brief instruction of Baptism.Mark. 1. Mat. 3.
THere are three who bear record in heaven, the Father, the word, and the holy ghost, and these three are but one. Our lord Jesus Christ said to his disciples, Go ye your way into all the world, and preach the Gospel unto all creatures. Whoso believes and is baptised, shall be saved : but whoso believes not, shall be damned. When we then are baptised, we receive a sure witness, that all we who believe in Christ, are washed and cleansed in the precious blood of that lamb, Jesus Christ our savior who was put to death. And the dipping in the water signifies to us that we are mortified of sin, of our own will and of all fleshly desire, and after this manner are we buried with Christ in the font. And that we are lifted again out of the font, signifies that we are risen from death, that is, drawn out of all sin which might bring us to death, in a new spiritual life. And also that after this temporal death, we shall rise again into everlasting life. And upon this we receive our name, and thus are our names written in the roll of the christian knights of Christ, under the standard of the holy cross, as long as we live.John. 5. Mat. 16.
O most blessed foregoer and guide of the Christian people Jesus Christ who, submitting and humbling thyself promisedst to be baptised by John in the Jordan, and werest not only baptised in water, but also in blood and in the holy ghost, promise even so to incline, bow and dispose our outward life, with our inward mind, affects and desires in the fulfilling of all righteousness, so that we being now mortified and dead of the old Adam through thy holy witness of baptism, by the work and operation of the holy ghost, may always have our holy covenant in remembrance and before our eyes, that vow or covenant ( I say ) which we have taken upon us in baptism, in order for us to strive, as faithful champions, against the world, the devil and the flesh, vanquishing and overcoming them with all else that might be noisome or hinderful to us.
A brief Instruction of Christ’s supper, in which he gives us his flesh, and blood.
SAint Paul says to the Corinthians : That which I delivered unto you, I received from the lord.1. Corin. 11.
For the lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread and gave thanks, and brake it, and said, Take ye and eat ye, this is my body, which is broken for you. This do in the remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup when supper was done, and said : This cup is the new testament in my blood, this do (as oft as you drink it ) in the remembrance of me. For as oft as ye shall eat of this bread and drink of this cup, ye shall show the Lord’s death until he come.Mat. 25. Mar. 13. Luk. 21.
Wherefore whosoever shall eat of this bread, and drink of this cup of the lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of this bread, and drink of this cup. For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats & drinks his own damnation, because he makes no difference of the lord’s body. The son of God had instituted it in order for us to do it after him to the end of the world, and that we outwardly should keep, hold and exercise ourselves in this supper of thanksgiving, having always in remembrance his inexplicable love and benefit showed towards us : and left us in a Testament to a corroboration or strenthening of our belief or faith.1. Cor. 13.
O most blessed and holy bloodshedder for all sinful creatures Jesus Christ. So illuminate the eyes of our inward senses or understanding, that we all through one perfect knowledge, in one faith and in one spirit, may use this mystery and holy sacrament in the christian communion, and receive it in the same way as thou hast instituted it. Thus may we worthily come to thy communion, there to eat and drink and be assembled in fervent charity and brotherly love, declaring thy bitter death to each other. May we always have in our remembrance that thy holy Body and most precious blood hath been offered once for all upon the tree of cross, to a perfect atonement, remission and forgiveness of all our sins: without doubt and with steadfast belief and continuation in it until death.
Furthermore give us grace ( O lord ) that we and all men may rightly and justly know to what end and for what purpose thou didst institute and ordain this new Testament, so that we through that power and a perfect belief in it, may steadfastly continue against our enemies.
¶ Translated out of Dutch into English by Anthony Scoloker.
¶ 1. Corinth. 7. Let every one abide in the calling to which he is called.
To the christian Reader.
PAul wrote to Timothy that our great grandmother Eve, having been deceived and subdued into transgression, brought forth death upon all of her posterity. He added that to heal so great a wound and to appear beautifully in the eyes of the mighty lord, we must be with his dear son Jesus Christ, who said : Father, those whom thou hast given unto me, I will that where I am they will also be with me, so that they may see my glory. After the first rudiment of being a Christian, namely faith, there must be present three chaste maidens which will guide through this vale of misery anyone who wishes to lead a perfect life : love, holiness, and discretion. By in the original Greek are understood chastity, temperance, modesty and decent shyness, because all these virtues are always coherent and joined together. Under we are required to flee from all vice, and to exercise all of the virtuous works and actions that effectually proceed from faith through love. Our goal is to sanctify the name of the One who said to his Father, I have declared that name to them. And will declare it that the love wherewith thou hast loved me, may be in them, and I in them. By this may be discovered the duty of all men to one another, from the lowest ranks to the highest. Read over this chapter as you walk through the dangerous paths of our exile, in order to know how to to train for the royal mansion, which is prepared for the righteous and shall have no end.1. Tim. 2. John. 17. sophrosyne. John. 15.
How the clergy ought to act towards the laity.
CHrist said : Behold, I send you out as sheep among wolves.Math. 10.
Go on your way, teach all nations, and baptise them in the name of the father, and of the son and of the holy ghost. Teach them to keep all things, whatsoever I have commanded you.Math. 27.
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen and ordained you, that ye go and bring forth fruit.John. 15. Col. 1.
And you shall bear witness to me, not only at Jerusalem but also throughout the land of Judea, and Samaria, and to the uttermost ends of the earth.John. 15. Act. 1. and 2.
Receive the holy ghost. Whosoever sins you will remit, they are remitted from them, and whosoever sins you will retain, they are retained.John. 20.
Verily I say unto you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever you loose upon earth, shall be also loosed in heaven.Mat. 10. Mat. 18.
Guard yourselves and the whole flock, which he has purchased with his own blood, and which the Holy ghost set you as overseers in order to feed the congregation of God.Act. 20.
Jesus Christ came down from heaven and has returned above all the heavens, in fulfillment of all. He has set some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be Evangelists, and some to be shepherds and teachers, in order to bring the saints together through common worship, for edifying the body of Christ. A Bishop must be blameless. The husband of one wife, sober, discreet, mannerly, hospitable, apt to teach, not given to much wine, no brawler, not given to filthy lucre ; but gentle, abhorring strife, abhorring covetousness. He should be someone who rules his own house honestly, having obedient children full of virtue ; for if he cannot rule his own house, how shall he care for the congregation of God ?Ephe. 4. 1. Cor. 12. 1. Tim. 3. Levit. 21. Ezech. 44. Titus. 3.
The servant of the lord should not be cantankerous, but to be gentle towards every man, apt to teach, and to endure any evil. He should know how to kindly guide those who do not believe, should God grant them repentance to know the truth and reject the snares of the devil ( in whose prison and designs they are trapped ).2. Tim. 1. Gal. 6.
Preach the word, be fervent, whether in season or out of season ; improve, rebuke, and exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they shall not allow of wholesome doctrine but follow their own lusts. They will have itching ears and pile up new teachers for themselves, turning their ears from the truth in order to be seduced by fables. But watch in all things, endure adversity, do the works of a preacher of the gospel, and fulfill your office to the uttermost.2. Tim. 4.
See that you know the number of thy cattle, and look well to thy flocks.Pro. 27. John. 10. Titus. 1.
A Bishop must cleave fast to the true word of doctrine, so that he may be able to exhort with wholesome learning, and to improve those who speak against it.
I exhort those who are the elders among you, being myself also an elder, a witness to the affliction in Christ, and partaker of the glory that shall be opened.1. Pet. 5. Act. 5. Act. 20.
Feed the Christ’s flock which is among you, and take oversight over them not begrudgingly but willingly, not for the desire for filthy riches but with a wholesome mindset ; not as if you were lords over the parishioners but so as to be an example to the flock.Titus. 2.
Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister, and whosoever will be chief, let him be your servant. Even like as the son of man came, not to be served, but to serve and to give his life to a redemption for many.Mat. 20:26.
Go and preach the Gospel, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out the devils. Freely you have been given, and freely you shall give.Mat. 10.
Who then is the faithful servant, whom his Lord has put in charge over the people of his household to give them food at the right time ? It will be good for that servant to be found doing so, when his master returns. Truly I tell you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But if the wicked servant says to himself, It will be a long time before my lord returns, beating his fellows, eating & drinking with drunkards, his lord shall come on a day when he does not expect, and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.Matth. 24:45. Matth. 25. Apoc. 16.
I have made you a guard over the house of Israel, so that whenever you hear anything out of my mouth, you could warn them on my behalf.Ezech. 33.
In every case that comes before you from your people who live in the cities, whether bloodshed or other concerns of the law, commands, decrees or regulations, you are to warn them not to sin against the Lord ; otherwise his wrath will come on you and your people. Do this, and you will not sin.2. Chron. 19:10.
Possess neither gold nor silver. For the labourer is worthy of his reward. Go not from house to house : And into whatsoever city you enter, and they receive you eat such things as are set before you.Luke. 10.
How the commons ought carry themselves towards the clergy.
Let every man see us in this light, as the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the secrets of God. Now there is nothing more required of a steward, than that he will be faithful.1. Cor. 4. 1. Cor. 6. Deut. 39. Jere. 34.
Humble your soul under an elder, and bow down your head to a man of worship.Eccle. 4.
Fear the lord with all your soul and honour his ministers, love your maker with all your strength, and do not forsake his servants. Fear the lord with all your soul, and honour his priests.Ecc. 7. Deut. 12. Num. 8.
The elders that rule well are worthy of double honour, most especially those who labour in the word and in teaching. For the scripture says : Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treads out the corn. And the labourer is worthy of his reward.1. Tim. 5. Deut. 25.
We beg for you, brothers, to know those who labour among you, having the oversight over you in the Lord and giving you exhortation. May you have more love for their word’s sake, and be at peace with them.1. Thes. 5.
Remember those who have the oversight over you, who have declared to you the word of God. See that you look upon the end of their conversation, and follow their faith. Obey them, and submit yourselves to them, for they watch for your souls, to answer for which they will themselves give an account.Heb. 13.
Who will start a war if he has to pay for it himself ? Who will plant a vineyard but then not eat its fruits ? Who will feed a flock, but then not eat of the milk of the flock ? If we have sown spiritual things upon you, is it a great thing that we reap your bodily things ? but if others be partakers of this power on you, wherefore are not we rather ? Know ye not that those who labour in the temple, have their living of the temple ? And they that wait at the altar, enjoy the altar. Even thus also has the lord ordained that those who preach the Gospel should live off the Gospel.1. Cor. 9. Rom. 15. Gala. 6. Matth. 10.
Ezechias commanded the people who dwelt at Jerusalem, that they should give portions of their goods to the priests, that they might the more steadfastly endure in the law of the lord.2. Chron. 31. Deut. 18.
How the secular powers, such as Kings, Princes, and Judges ought to live with their subjects.
Hear ( ye Kings ) and understand. Learn, ye Judges of the ends of the earth. Give ear, those of you who rule the multitudes and delight in much people. You have been given the power from the lord, and the strength from the highest : he shall examine your works and search out the excuses of why you, the officers of his kingdom, have not executed true judgment, kept the law of righteousness, or followed the will of God.Sap. 6. Rom. 13.
A king shall not have many horses, neither shall he have many wives, neither shall he gather excessive silver and gold for himself. He shall not lift up his heart above his brethren and shall not turn aside from the commandments of God, neither to the right hand nor to the left hand.Deut. 17.
Mercy and faithfulness preserve the King, and his seat is held up with loving kindness.Pro. 20.
The fear of the king that faithfully judges the poor, shall continue sure for evermore.Prov. 29.
An ungodly prince is like as a roaring lion and a hungry bear to the poor people. Where the prince is without understanding, there is great oppression and wrong. But if he is someone who hates covetousness, then long shall he reign.Mich. 2.
Hear, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and the leaders of the house of Israel. When you should have known the just and right, you instead have hated the good, and loved evil ; you peel off men’s skins, and rip the flesh from their bones. Uphold justice and righteousness, deliver the oppressed from the power of the violent, do not grieve or oppress the stranger, the orphan, or the widow, and shed no innocent blood in this place.Deu. 17. Jerem. 5. Psal. 131. Jere. 23. and 21. Zacha. 7. and 8.
Therefore, be wise now ( O ye Kings ), be warned you who are the Judges of the earth. Serve the lord with fear and rejoice before him with reverence. Kiss the son lest you make the lord be angry, and you then perish from the right way.Psal. 2. Isaiah. 37.
O set your affection upon wisdom, you who are the Judges of the earth.Sap. 1. 3. Reg. 3.
Make no labour to be made a Judge, except it so were that you couldst mightily put down wickedness.Eccle. 7. Job. 9.
Be careful what you do, ye judges, for you execute the judgment of the lord, not of men. He is with you in judgment. Therefore let the fear of the lord be with you, beware, and then perform it, for with the lord our God there is no unrighteousness due to neither high status nor bribes.Luke. 19. 2. Chron. 19.
In judgment be merciful to the fatherless like a father, and in the place of a husband to their mother.Eccle. 4.
The king sets up the land with true judgment, but if he will begin to take bribes, he will turn it upside down.Pro. 9.
Do not sway your judgment for high status, or accept gifts, for they make wise men blind and change the words of the righteous.Deut. 17.
He who measures his views by the opinions by other people does not do well, and why ? Because he will commit a wrong for even a loaf of bread.Prov. 2.
A wise lawgiver will organize his officers with discretion, and where a man of understanding is in power, there it will go well. As will be the judge of the people, so will be his officers, and look what manner of man is the ruler of the city, such will be those who dwell therein.Pro. 29. Pro. 27.
The ungodly will take gifts out of people’s bosom, to twist the ways of judgment.Apoc. 23.
You shall not tear up the right of the poor in his cause, keep ye far from false matters, The innocent and righteous you shall not slay. You shall take no gifts, for gifts blind even those who are sharp of sight, and twist the courses which were righteous.Deu. 17. Exo. 23. Susan. 8. Eccle. 20.
Cursed is the one who tears up the right of the widow. Woe to them who are conning men to sup out wine, and expert to set up drunkenness. These give sentence with the ungodly for rewards, but condemn the just cause of the righteous.Levit. 124. Isaiah. 6. Pro. 3. Deut. 17. Ezech. 14.
Woe be unto those of you Judges who make unrighteous laws, and devise things which be too hard to keep, through which the poor are oppressed on every side, and the innocents of my people are therewith robbed of judgment. Or else the widows will be your prey, and you will rob the fatherless.Luk. 12. Mat. 23. Isaiah. 28.
If you be made a ruler, pride not thyself therein, but be you as one of the people.Eccle. 32. Deu. 17.
Let him that rules be diligent.Rom. 12.
How subjects shall carry themselves towards their superiors, and temporal rulers.
You shall not blaspheme the rulers of the people.Exod. 22. Act. 23.
Fear the lord and the king, and keep no company with the slanderous, for their destruction shall come suddenly.Prov. 24. and 20.
Pray for kings and rulers. Warn the people that they submit themselves to princes, and to the higher authority, and to obey the officers.1. Tim. 2. Titu. 3. Rom. 5.
Submit yourselves to all ranks of officials for the lord’s sake, whether it be to the king as the chief head, or to his messengers sent for the punishment of evil doers, and do that which will be praised by them.1. Pet. 2. Titu. 3.
Let every soul submit himself to the authority of the higher powers. For there is no power except it came from God. The powers that be are ordained from God, so that whosoever resists the power, resists the ordinance of God. And they who resist, shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not to be feared for good works, but for evil.Rom. 13. Sapi. 6. 1. Pet. 2.
And the ruler does not wield the sword emptily. He is the minister of God, a bringer of vengeance to punish those who do evil. Wherefore you must needs obey not only for punishment, but also because of conscience. For this reason you must also give tribute, since those who maintain the defence are God’s ministers. Therefore give to every man his duty, tribute to whom belongs tribute, toll to whom toll is due, fear to him who should be feared, Honour to whom belongs honour.Rom. 13. Rom. 13. Mat. 7. Mat. 22. Mat. 7. Rom. 13.
How parents, the father and mother, ought to rule and bring up their children in the fear of the lord.
If you have sons, bring them up in discipline and learning, and hold them in awe from their youth on. If you have daughters, keep their body and show not yourself moody toward them.Ecc. 7. and 10.
Get your daughter married and you shall have accomplished a weighty matter, but give her to a man of understanding.
He who loves his son causes him to frequently feel the rod, so that he may have joy of him in the end. He who holds his son in discipline shall have joy in him, and shall rejoice about him among his acquaintance. He who instructs his son grieves the enemy : and before his friends he shall rejoice about him. When you die it will be as if you were not dead, for you have left behind you someone who is like unto you. An untamed horse will be hard, and a spoiled child will be willful. If you raise your child softly, he shall make you afraid, and if you play with him, he shall bring you to heaviness. Laugh not with him, lest you weep with him also, and lest your teeth be set on edge at the last.Eccle. 30:1. Prov. 13. Deut. 6. Eccles. 30:9.
If your daughter be spoiled then make her straight, lest she causes your enemies to laugh you with scorn, and the whole city to give the an evil report, causing you to hear your shame from every man. You shall not hold your daughter to whoredom, so that the land does not fall not to whoredom, and ware full of wickeness. If your daughter be not modest, hold her straightly lest she abuse herself through excessive liberty. Beware of all the dishonesty of her eyes.
There shall be no whore among the daughters of Israel, neither a whorekeeper among the sons of Israel.Deut. 23 Num. 25. Mich. 1.
A misnurtered son is the dishonour of the father. A foolish daughter shall be little regarded. And she that comes to dishonesty, brings her father in heaviness.Eccl. 22.
A daughter that no longer feels shame, dishonours both her father and her husband.
Ye fathers rate not your children, lest they be of a desperate mind.Collo. iii.
He that spares the rod hates his son, but whoso loves him, holds him ever in discipline.Pro. 13. Psal. 23.
Ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath : but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the lord.Heb. 12. Psal. 33 Ephe. 1.
Do not withhold correction from your child for if you beat him with the rod, he will not die from it. You may smite him with the rod, but you will deliver his soul from hell.Prov. 33 and 13. Eccle. 33.
Let the elder man be sober, honest, discreet, sound in the faith, in love, in patience.Titu. 2.
Let the old women show themselves as it becomes holiness, that they be no false accusers, nor given to much wine, that they teach honest things, that they inform the young women to be sober minded, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homely : good, obedient to their husbands, that the word of God be not evil spoken of. Let the youth likewise be sober.Gen. 3.
How the youth shall obey their elders, honouring them in the fear of the lord.
Ye children obey your elders in the lord, for that is right. Honour your father and your mother, for that is the first commandment with a promise for you to prosper and live long upon earth. Let the youth be sober minded.Ephe. 6. Collo. 3. Exod. 20. Titu. 2. 1. Pet. 7. Ecc. 7. and 3.
Ye who are younger submit yourselves to those who are elders.
Honour your father from your whole heart, and forget not the sorrowful anguish that your mother had with you.
Remember that you were born through them, and how can you repay them for the things that they have done for you ?Tob. 3.
Hold your mother in honour all the days of your life. For you ought to remember what perils she suffered for you in her womb, and how great they were.Tob. 4.
My son take care and be wise so that your heart prospers in the way. Do not let your heart be jealous to follow sinners, but keep the style in the fear of the lord all the day long. Keep no company with wine-bibbers and rioters, eaters of flesh, for those who are drunkards and rioters shall come to poverty, and he who is given to much sleep, shall go with a ragged coat. Give ear to your father who begat you, and despise not your mother when she is old.Pro. 23. Pro. 22.
The lord will have the father honoured by his children, and whatever a mother commands her children to do, he wills that it will be done. Whoso honors his father, his sins shall be forgiven him, and he that honours his mother, gathers treasure together. Whoso honors his father, shall have joy from his own children, and when he makes his prayer, he shall be heard.Eccle. 4. Exod. 20. Deut. 5.
He that fears the lord, honours his father and mother, and does them service, as it were to the lord himself. Honour your father in deed, in word, and in all Patience, that you may have his blessing : for the blessing of the father builds up the house of the children, but the mother’s curse rots out the foundations.Gene. 2. and. 49. Deut. 34.
My son make much of your father in his age, and grieve him not as long as he lives. And if his understanding fail, have patience with him, and despise him not in the strength. He that forsakes his father, shall come to shame, and he that defies his mother, is cursed by God.Prov. 19. Levit. 19.
How the master and mistress ought to conduct themselves towards their servants.
He who lavishly raises up his servant from childhood on, in the end will turn him into his master.Pro. 29.
Do not tempt your servant to evil if he works honestly, or if your hireling is faithful to you. Love a discreet servant as your own soul.Eccle. 7.
The fodder, the whip and the burden belongs to the donkey ; food, correction, and work to the servant.
If you have your servant labour, you shall find rest, but if you let him go idle, he shall seek escape.
The yoke and the whip bow down the neck, but you should tame the evil servant with bands and correction.
Set him to work, for that belongs to him and becomes him well.
If he be disobedient, bind his feet, but do not too much to him in any way, and do nothing without discretion.
If you have a faithful servant, let him be as another soul to you, for in blood have you gotten him, and if you entreat him evil, and treat him harshly, he will run away from you.
Ye masters, do to your servants that which is just and fair, and know that you also have a Master in Heaven.Collo. 3.
Ye masters, put away your threats and know that their is your God also, and for him there is no difference between you.Ephe. 6. Eccle. 33. Collo. 3.
Be not as a lion in your own house, destroying your household folks, and oppressing those who are under you.Tobi. 3. Deut. 24.
Whosoever does any work for you, give him his wages immediately, and do not keep your hired servants wages over night.
The workman’s earnings shall not remain with you until the morning.Levit. 19. Tob. 4. Eccl. 23. Eccl. 24. Eccle. 5.
He the defrauds the labourer of his wage, is a bloodshedder.
How servants ought to carry themselves in the service of their masters or mistresses.
Let all the servants who are under yoke to reckon their masters worthy of all honour, so that the name of God and his doctrine be not evil spoken of.Tim. 6.
See that those who have believing masters, despise them not, for they are Brethren ; instead do them service, because they are believing and beloved, and partakers of the benefit.Ibidem.
Ye servants, be obedient to your bodily masters in all things, not with lip service as flatterers, but in singleness of heart and fear of God. Whatsoever you do, do it heartily even as unto the lord and not unto men. And be sure, that from the lord you shall receive the reward of the inheritance, for you serve the lord Christ.Col. 3. Ephe. 6. Titu. 2. 1. Pet. 2
Ye servants be obedient to your masters, and please them in all things not answering them again, or acting as pikers ; but show all good faithfulness, that in all things you may do worship unto the doctrine of God our savior.Titu. 2. Ephe. 1. Col. 3.
The duty of a married man towards his wife.
Depart not from a discreet and good woman who fell to you for your portion, in the fear of the lord. The gift of her honesty is above gold.Eccle. 7.
If you have a wife after your own mind, do not forsake her and commit yourself to the hateful.
Use thyself to live joyfully with your wife whom you love all the days of your life ( which is but vain ), whom God has given to you under the sun all the days of your vanity. That is the portion in this life of all your labour and suffering that you take under the sun.Eccl. 9. Mat. 6. Pro. 5.
Ye husbands love your wives, even as Christ loved the congregation, and gave himself for it, to sanctify it and cleansed it in the fountain of water by the word, to make it a glorious congregation for himself, having no spot nor wrinkle nor any such thing but that it should be holy & without blame. So ought men also to love their wives, even as their own bodies. He that loves his wife, loves himself.Ephe. 5. Gal. 2. Titu. 3. 1. Pet. 3.
Whosoever divorces his wife ( except it be for fornication ) causes her to break matrimony. And whosoever marries a woman who is divorced, breaks wedlock. Ye men dwell with your wives according to knowledge, giving honour to the wife as to the weaker vessel, and as to them that are heirs with you of the grace of life, that your prayers be not let.Mat. 5. 1. Pet. 3 1. Thes. 4.
If any man make a vow unto the lord or swear an oath, so that he bind his soul, he shall not break his word, but do all that proceeded out of his mouth.Num. 30. Deu. 23.
The duty of a married woman towards her husband.
Let the women submit themselves unto their husbands, as unto the lord.Ephes. 5. Collo. 3.
For the husband is the wife’s head, even as Christ also is the head of the congregation and the savior of his body. Therefore as the congregation is in subjection to Christ, likewise let the wives be in subjection to their husbands in all things.1. Pet. 3. 1. Cor. 9.
Ye women be subject unto your husbands, so that even those who do not believe the word, may without the word be won by your conversation when they behold your modest conversation. Your apparel shall not be outward with embroidered hair, and overhung with gold, or in putting on of flamboyant array, but let the innermost heart be incorrupt with a meek and quiet spirit, laying it all before God. This was in olden times the attire of the holy women who trusted in God, and were obedient unto their husbands, even as Sarah obeyed Abraham and called him lord.1. Pet. 3. 1. Cor. 11. Ephes. 5. Collo. 3. 2. Tim. 2. Gen. 18.
Let the women array themselves in comely apparel, with modesty and discreet behavior, not with embroidered hair or gold or Pearls or costly array, but with an appearance that befits women who profess Godliness through good works.1. Tim. 2. 1 Cor. 14.
Let your wives keep silence with all subjection. Do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over the man, but only to be in silence. Adam was first formed, and then Eve. It was also not Adam but the woman who was deceived, and has brought in the transgression. And yet, through bearing of children she shall be saved, if she continue in faith, and in love and in sanctifying with discretion.Ephe. 5. Gen. 3.
Let your wives keep silence in the congregation, for it shall not be permitted for them to speak, but to be under obedience as saith the Law ; But if they will learn anything let them ask their husbands at home. For it does not become women to speak in the congregation.
A man shall be lord and ruler in his house and the woman shall be subject to her husband.
If a married woman make a vow, and if she have let out of her lips a bond over her soul, and her husband hears it on the same day and does nothing, then her vow and band with which she bound her soul shall stand in effect.Num. 30.
Of the state of matrimony in general.
In the beginning God created man and woman, and for this reason shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife.Mat. 1. Gene. 2.
And they two shall be one flesh, thereupon not to be split and separated, but as one flesh. Therefore that which God has put together, let no man tear asunder.
To avoid whoredom, let every man have a wife for himself, and let every woman have for herself a husband. Let the man give his wife due benevolence, and the wife to the man. The wife does not have power over her own body, but the husband, and likewise the man does not have power over his own body, but the wife.1. Cor. 7.
Do not withdraw yourselves from one another, except with mutual consent, so that for a time you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; but then you shall come together again, lest Satan tempt you for your incontinence.Tob. 6. and 7. Joel. 2.
Let wedlock be had in price in all points, and let the bedchamber be undefiled.Hebr. 13.
For God will judge those who are whorekeepers and adulterers.
The lord favours a man and wife who agree well together.Eccle. 24. and. 11. Eccle. 26.
Happy is the man who has a virtuous wife, for the number of his years shall be doubled.
A woman shall not separate herself from her husband, but if she separates herself, then let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband.1. Cor. 7. Rom. 7. Mat. 5.
Of the state of virgins.
I say to the unmarried and to the widows ( writes S. Paul ) It is good for them to continue in the state that they are in, as I am doing also. But if they cannot abstain, then let them marry, for it is better to marry than to burn. Concerning virgins I have no commandment from the lord, but shall convey my thoughts, as one who has obtained mercy from the lord for faithfulness. I suppose it is good for the present necessity, for it is good for a man so to be. If you are you bound to a wife, then do not seek to be loosed. If you are loosed from a wife, then do not seek another wife. If a maiden makes a vow of virginity to the lord while she is in her father’s house, and the vow she makes over her soul comes to her father’s ears, and he hold his peace about it, then all her vows and bonds with which she has bound herself shall stand in effect.1 Cor. 7.m Tim. 5. 1. Cor. 6. Num. 30.
Of the state of widows.
She who is a right and desolate widow, will put her trust in God, continuing night and day in prayer and supplication. But she who lives in pleasures, is dead even while she is alive. A widow must be without blame. But if there be any that provides not for his own, and especially for those of his household, then he has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.1. Tim. 5. Luk. 3. 2. Cor. 1. Gala. 6. 1. Pet. 2.
Let no widow be chosen under threescore years old, who was married only once and well reported of in good works, if she had brought up children well, if she had been hospitable, if she had washed the feet of saints, if she had ministered to those who were in adversity, if she was continually given to all manner of good works.1. Tim. 5. 2. Pet. 4.
But the younger widows, refuse. For when they have begun to grow dissatisfied with Christ they will marry, receiving their damnation, because they had broken the first faith. Besides, they are idle, and learn to run about from house to house. Not only are they idle, but also trifling and busybodies, speaking things which are not comely.Num. 30.
Exhortation to the rich person of the world.
If the riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.Psal. 51.
It is unbecoming for a covetous and stingy man to be rich, and what should a stingy man do with gold ? He who heaps together unrighteously with all possible carefulness, gathers for others, and another shall make good with his goods. If a man is wicked to himself, how should he be good to others ? How can such one have any pleasure from his goods ? there is nothing worse, than when one disfavours himself, and this is a reward of his wickedness. If he does anything good, he does it unwittingly and unwillingly, and at the last he declares his ungraciousness. A stingy man has a wicked eye, he turns away his face and despises his own soul. A covetous man never has enough in the portion of wickedness, until the time that he wither away and lose his own soul.Eccl. 23. Prov. 27. Eccle. 3.
A wicked eye spares bread, and there is scarcity upon his table. My son do good to yourself from what you have, and give the lord his due offerings. Do good toward your friend before you die, reach out your hand and give unto the poor according to your ability. A rich man ought to submit himself, and not to rejoice in his goods. Tell those who are rich in this world not to be proud, or trust in the uncertain riches, but in the living God who abundantly gives us all things for enjoyment. Tell them to do good, to be rich in good works, to give and distribute with good will, gathering up treasure for themselves, a good foundation for the time to come when they may lay hand on eternal life.Ecc. 24. Eccle. 4. Tob. 4. Luke. 16. Job. 1. 1. Tim. 6. Mat. 6.
Give alms of your goods, and never turn your face from the poor, for alms delivers from death and prevents the soul from coming in darkness. A great comfort is alms before the high God toward all those who do it.Tob. 4.
Never let pride have sway in your mind or word, for in pride began all destruction. Happy is the rich who is found without fault, who does not turn from the right way for gold or put his trust in money or treasure.Genes. 3. Eccle. 4.
Go to know ye rich men, weep and howl on your wretchedness that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupt, your garments are moth-eaten, your gold and silver are cankered and their rust shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire, ye have heaped treasure together in your last days.1. Tim. 6.
Behold the hire of the labourers who have gathered your fields ( whom you keep back by fraud ), and the cries of those who have gathered, are entered into the ears of the lord Sabaoth. You have lived in pleasure and wantonness upon the earth, you have condemned and have killed the Just, and he has not resisted you.Levit. 10. Deut. 24. Tob. 4. Luke. 15.
There is nothing worse than a covetous man. Why do you pride then, O ye ashes : there is not a more wicked thing than to love money. And why ? such one has his soul to sell, yet is but a filthy dung while he lives.Eccle. 10.
Although the physician does his work never so long, yet in conclusion it goes like this : today a king, tomorrow dead. For when a man dies, he is the food of beasts, serpents and worms.
Woe be to the proud, to the wealthy in Sion, to those who think themselves so sure upon the mount of Samaria. To those who consider themselves the best in the world, and rule that house of Israel in any way they wish. Behold, is not the border of the land of the Philistines wider than yours ?Amos. 6. Luke. 6.
You are taken out for the evil day, you who sit in the stool of willfulness, you who lie upon beds of Ivory and use your wantonness upon your couches, you who eat the best lambs of the flock, and the fattest calves of your flock, you who sing to the lute, and in playing of instruments compare yourselves to David, you who drink wine out of goblets, and anoint yourselves with the best oil, but no man is sorry for Joseph’s hurt.Job. 21. Isaiah. 5. 1. Reg. 5.
Whoso trusts in his riches, shall perish.Prover. 11. Psal. 40.
Blessed is the man who considers the poor, for the lord shall deliver him in the time of trouble.
See that you do not gather for yourself treasure upon the earth, where rust and moths corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But gather together you treasure in heaven, where neither rust nor moths corrupt, and where thieves neither break up nor steal. For where your treasure is, there is your heart also, ye cannot serve God and mammon.Mat. 9. Luke. 10. Eccle. 36. Prov. 24. Luk. 12.
Make you friends with the unrighteous mammon, that when you shall have need, they may receive you into the everlasting flames.Luk. 15.
All those who will be rich fall into temptation and snares, and into many foolish and noisome lusts, which drown men in destruction and damnation. For covetousness is the root of all evil, which while some lusted after, they erred from the faith and tangled themselves with many sorrows.Tim. 6. Prov. 23.
Exhortation to a poor, sick, or disabled person.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Mat. 5. Luke. 6. Pro. 15.
All the days of the poor are miserable, but a quiet heart is a continual feast. Better is a little with the fear of the lord, than great treasure.
Better is a poor man who lives Godly, than a blasphemer who is but a fool.Psal. 36. Prov. 19.
A poor man leading a godly life, is better than the wealthy man who goes in errant ways.Prov. 27. Psal. 30. Prov. 15.
A small thing that the righteous has is better than great riches of the ungodly. The lord knows the days of the Godly, and their inheritance shall endure for evermore.Eccl. 28. 1. Tim. 6.
The lord is a defence for the poor, a defence in the time of trouble. For the lord deos not forgets the complaint of the poor.
The lord shall deliver the poor from the mighty, and the wretched and miserable poor righteous people who have no help.
The lord will not forget the poor, and the patient waiting of those who are in trouble shall not perish forever.
He shall be favourable to the simple and poor, he shall preserve the souls of those who are in adversity.Psal. 21.
He shall deliver their soul from extortion and wrong, and their blood shall be dear in his sight.
The prayer of the poor goes out of their mouths and into his ears. His vengeance and defence shall come, and hastily at that.Eccle. 21. Exod. 5.
A simple man who merely works and labours, is better than the one who is flamboyant but hungry.Pro. 22. Eccl. 10.
You are the poor man’s help ( O lord ), a strength for him who is desperate in his necessity.Isai. 25.
You are his defence against evil weather, and a shadow against the heat.
The poor will not always be out of remembrance, and the patient waiting of those who are in trouble shall not perish forever. The lord shall keep the simple flock by their right, defend the children of the poor and punish the wrongdoers.Psal. 71.
The poor righteous people thirst for water, but find none, and their tongue is waxed dry for thirst : I the lord shall hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. Has not God chosen the poor of this world who are rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him ?Isaiah. 12. Jacob. 1. Eccl. 11.
Exhortation to the artificer and the craftsman.
In the sweat of your face shall you eat your bread, till you be returned back to earth from whence you are taken.Gene. 3.
Man is born for labour, just as a bird is for flying.Job. 5.
An idle hand makes poverty, but a quick labouring hand makes wealth.Prov. 10.
Whoso gathers in Summer, is wise, but he that is sluggish in harvest brings himself to confusion.Eccl. 31.
Be diligent and quick in all your works, so that no sickness shall happen to you.Rom. 12.
Do not be too proud to do your work, and do not despair in the time of adversity.Eccle. 10.
Whoso is slothful and reluctant in his labour, is akin to him who is a waster.Prov. 16.
Slothfulness brings sleep, and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.Prov. 19.
The devices of one who is diligent bring plenteousness, but he who is unadvised comes into poverty.Prov. 21.
He who does not labour, shall not eat.2. Tess. 3.
A man shall go forth to his work, and till his land until the evening.Psal 103.
You shall eat the labours of your own hands, so shall it go well with you and you shall be blessed. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine upon the walls of your house ; thy children like the olive branches round about your table. Behold, thus shall be blessed the man who fears the lord.Psal. 127.
A labouring man sleeps sweetly, regardless of having eaten little or much, but wealthy man’s abundance will not allow him any sleep.Eccl. 5. Job. 10.
Do not take excessive pains and labour to be rich.Pro. 23. Jere. 17. Eccle. 19.
A labouring man who takes to drunkenness, shall not be rich.
Do not delight in having sleep lest you come into poverty, but open your eyes, and you shall have bread a plenty.Pro. 15. Eccl. 32.
Exhortation to the religious or devout person.
This is the pure and undefiled devotion before God the father : to visit the friendless, and the widows in their adversity, and to keep himself unspotted by the world. If anyone among you seems devout but does not refrain his tongue, he deceives his own heart and his devotion is in vain.Jam. 1. This is a pure religion ordained by God. Other religions as coats, girdles, boots etc. are feigned hypocrisy. Eccle. 2.
Exhortation to the merchant.
It is enough, it is enough says the buyer, but when he has it, he doth praise it.Prov. 20.
A fraudulent scale is an abomination unto the lord.Prov. 11.
Do not deal wrongfully with your neighbour in quantity, weight or measure.Levit. 19.
When you sell anything to your neighbour, or buy anything from him, Neither deceive nor oppress him.Deut. 23. Levit. 19.
You shall not have in your pocket two types of weights, a large and a small. Neither shall you have in your house several measures, a large and a small, if you want to keep your life long in the land which the lord your God shall give you. But whosoever does so, is an abomination unto the Lord your God.
God knows both the deceiver, and him that is deceived.Job. 12.
Exhortation to the farmer and the planter.
Whoso tills his ground shall be filled with bread.Prov. 12.
Whoso hoards up his corn, shall be cursed among the people, but blessing shall light upon the head of the one who sells it.Prov. 11.
When you have gathered your harvest, if you have forgotten a sheaf on the field, do not turn again to fetch it, but leave it for the stranger, the fatherless and the widow, so that the lord your God may bless you in all the works of your hands.Deut. 24. Levit. 19.
Do similarly when you have plucked your olive trees and vineyard.Levit. 19. Deut. 24.
Exhortation to the soldier or the man of war.
When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots of the people more than you can count : be not afraid of them.Deu. 10.
Now, when you arrive nar a battle, the priest shall step forth and speak to the people, and say unto them. Hear ( O ye people ) you go this day into the battle against your enemies, and let not your heart be faint. Fear not, be not afraid of them, for the lord your God goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, that he may save you.Deu. 12. c Num. 14. 1. Man. 4. Deut. 25.
When you come up near a city to fight against it, you shall offer them peace. But if they will not deal peaceably and war with you, then besiege it.Num. 21.
When you must lay a long siege to a city against which you are in war, you shall not destroy the trees nor chop them down with the axe in order to eat of their fruit, for it is just wood in the field, not a soldier and unable to oppose you. But the trees which you know are not eaten by men, those you shall destroy, root out and make into ramparts against the city that wars with you, until you have overcome it.Deu. 10.
Let the man who is afraid and faint, turn home again.
It is a small matter for the many to be conquered by few, and indeed there is no difference to the God that is in heaven, to win by a great multitude or by small company, for the victory of the battle stands not in the multitude of the host but the strength that comes from heaven.Mat. 3. i. Reg. 14. Luk. 3.
Exhortation to the tax collector, toll official and publican.
Ye tax collectors and toll officials, do not take more from the people than is appointed to you.Luk. 3.
Exhortation to the banker, the money-changer, and usurer.
If your brother were poor and fell in decay beside you, you shall receive him as a stranger or guest, that he may live by you, and you shall take no usury from him, nor more than you have given, but shalt fear your God, so that your brother may live beside you. For you shall not lend him your money upon usury, nor deliver him your food at interest.Levit. 25. Exod. 25. Deut. 24. Ezech. 18.
Let no man take usury from his brother.Nehem. 5.
You shall take no usury from your brother, neither with money nor with food. Usury may not be used with any kind of thing, so that the lord your God may bless you in all that you take in hand.Deut. 23. Exod. 22. Levi. 25.
When one of your brethren is waxed poor in any city within the land which the lord your shall give you, you shall not harden your heart, nor withdraw your hand from your poor brother, but shall open your hand to him and provide him according to his need. Beware of having a tinge of Belial in your heart, that is, do not think that the man will never return the money to you. For if you do not look friendly upon your brother and give him nothing, then he shall cry about you unto the lord, and it shall be counted a sin unto you. But you shall give him. For because of it shall the lord your God bless you in all your works, and in all that you put your hand unto. The land shall never be without poor, therefore I command you and say, that you open your hand to your Brother who is needy and poor in your land.Deu. 15. 1. John. 7. Rom. 10.
If you give loan to a pauper ( says God ), do not go to sleep with what you promised, but deliver it to him before the Sun goes down, that he may sleep in his own clothes, and Bless you, so which blessing shall be reckoned unto righteousness before the lord your God. Lord ( says David ), who shall dwell in your tabernacle ? Who shall rest upon your holy hill ? He who swears to his neighbour and does not disappoint him. He who does not give his money upon usury, and takes no reward against the innocent.Deu. 14. Psal. 14.
If a man is Godly and does the just and right thing, he grieves nobody ; he returns the payment back to his debtor, he shares his food with the hungry, he clothes the naked, he lends nothing upon usury, he withdraws his hand from wrongdoing, he handles faithfully betwixt man and man. This is a righteous man, he shall surely live, says the lord God.Ezech. 18. Mat. 2. Psal. 13.
You have received gifts to shed blood. You have taken usury and interest. You have oppressed your neighbours by extortion, and forgotten me, says the lord God.Ezech. 22. Pro. 19.
Exhortation to the whoremonger and fornicator.
The lips of a harlot are a dropping honeycomb, and her neck is softer than oil. But in the end she will be as bitter as wormwood, and as sharp as a two edged sword. Her feet go down to death, and her steps pierce through towards hell. She gives no thought to the path of life, so uncertain are her ways that you cannot know them. Hear me therefore ( O my son ) and do not depart from the words of my mouth. Keep your way far from her, and do not come near the doors of her house, In the end, when you have spent your body and goods ), may you not and say, Alas, why have I hated discipline ? Why did my heart despise correction ? Wherefore was I not obedient to the voice of my teachers and did not listen to those who informed me ?Prov. 5. Prov. 7.
My son, why will you have pleasure in a harlot, and embrace the bosom of another woman ? For every man’s ways are open in the sight of the lord and he ponders all their goings.Prov. 5. Job. 31. Prov. 25.
The mouth of a harlot is a deep pit wherein falls he whom the lord is angry with.
A foolish restless woman, full of words and empty in knowledge, sits at the doors of her house, upon a stool above in the city, to call those passing by and walk straight in their ways. To the ignorant she says let him come hither ; and to the unwise she says : stolen waters are sweet, and the bread eaten in secret is delicious.Prov. 9.
But they do not consider that death is there, and that her guests go down to hell.
He who loves harlots, spends away all that he has.Pro. 29.
Turn your face away from a beautiful woman, and do not look upon the fairness of others. Many a man has perished through the beauty of women, for through it the desire is kindled as if with a fire.Eccl. 9. Mar. 5.
A whore is a deep grave and a harlot is a narrow pit. She lurks like a thief, and will bring own with her all those who are not aware.Prov. 2. Prov. 22.
Let us not commit whoredom as did some of those, twenty three thousand who fell away in a single day.1. Cor. 10.
The will of God is that you should abstain from whoredom, that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in holiness and honour, and not in the lust of concupiscence as the heathen who do not know God.2. Thess. 4. Ephes. 4. Tob. 6. Roma. 1.
Let no filthy communication proceed out of your mouth, but only that which is good for edification. And do not grieve the spirit of God, with which you are sealed for the day of redemption.Ephe. 3. Mat. 12.
Flee whoredom. Other sins that a man does are outside of his body. But he that commits whoredom sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is the Temple of the holy ghost, and you received it from God, thereby not being your own ?1. Cor. 6.
Adulterers, whoremongers, fornicators and unclean persons, shall not inherit the kingdom of God.Gall. 5. 1. Cor. 6.
Should I then for all this have mercy upon you, says the lord ? your children have forsaken me, and sworn by those who are no Gods. They were bound to me in marriage, and yet fell into adultery and haunted harlots houses. In the desire for uncleanly lust, they have become like the stoned horse, every man neighing at his neighbour’s wife. Should I not correct this, says the lord ? And should I not be avenged of every people that resembles this ?Jere. 5. Ezech. 2. 2. Jere. 9.
Exhortation to the drunkard.
Woe be to those who rise up early for purposes of drunkenness, and yet are further superfluous in wine at night. In whose company are harps and lutes, tabrets and pipes. But they do not regard the works of the lord, or consider the operation of his hands.Job. 21.
Woe be to those who are cunning to sup out wine, and expert to set up drunkenness.Prov. 3.
Where is woe ? where is sorrow ? where is strife ? where is brawling ? where are wounds without cause ? where be red eyes ? Is it not among those who are ever at the wine, ever going for where is the best, and busying themselves with drinking from goblets, glasses and cups ? Do not look upon the wine, how red it is, and what colour is in the glass. It goes down softly, but in the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. And when a man is drunk, he casts his eyes toward strange women, and reflects upon wicked things.Prov. 23.
Take care to not weight own with the excess of eating and drunkenness.Luke. 11. Rom. 13.
Wine is marvelous strong, and overcomes those who drink it, it deceives the mind, and brings both the poor man and the king to dotage and vanity. This happens to the servant as well as the free man, to the poor as well as the rich. It takes away their understanding, and makes them careless and merry, so that none of them remember any heaviness, debt, or duty. It causes a man to think that what he does is always honest and good, forgetting under whose authority he is, and that he ought not do such things. Moreover when men are drinking, they forget all friendship, all brotherly faithfulness and love, but once drunk will draw out the sword and fight. And when they are laid down from their wine, and then rise up again, they cannot tell what they did.2. Esdra 2. Prov. 20.
Wine is a voluptuous thing and drunkenness causes sedition ; whoso delights in it shall never be wise.Pro. 20. Ephes. 5.
Do not be a wine bibber, for wine has destroyed many a man.Prov. 11. Ephe. 5.
O how well content is a wise man with a little wine ? As the fire proves the hard iron, even so does wine prove the hearts of the proud when they are drunk.
Wine soberly drunken, quickens the life of man. If you drinks it measurably, you shall be temperate. Wine was made from the beginning to make men glad ( and not for drunkenness ). Wine measurably drunken, is a rejoicing for the soul and body.
Exhortation to every sinner in general.
The same soul that sins shall die. The child shall not bear the father’s offence, neither shall the father bear the child’s offence. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself also. But if the ungodly will turn away from all the sins that he has done, keep my commandments, and do the thing that is just and right, he shall doubtless live and not die. And I will think no more upon all the sins he had committed before. For I have no pleasure in the death of a sinner ( says the Lord God ) but rather that he convert and live.
A general exhortation to all men.
You shall accuse your brother when he sins, lest his offence spread to other men.
All of you, be of one mind, tolerate one another, love as brethren, have pity, and be courteous.
Do not repay evil for evil, or rebuke for rebuke, but on the contrary bless and know that you are called to that, even that you all should be heirs of the blessing. For whoso wishes to live, and would hope to see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking any guile. Let him eschew evil, and do good. Let him seek peace, and enact it. For the eyes of the lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers. But the face of the lord is turned to those who do evil.Gene. 12. Mat. 15.
¶ Luke. 22. Math. 6. Christ teacheth us in his Gospel, saying Pray, that ye fall not into temptation.
How a man shall behave when he rises in the morning.
When you rise in the morning, see that you kneel down with all humility of mind, and lifting up your heart, your hands, and your eyes towards heaven unto God the father almighty, pray in this manner.
The prayer for the morning.
O Almighty and most gentle God, we thank thee for the sweet sleep and comfortable rest that thou hast given us this night. And forasmuch as thou hast commanded by thy holy word, that no man should be idle, but always occupied in virtuous exercises every man according to his calling. We most humbly beseech thee that your eyes may attend upon us, daily defend us, in sorrow rescue us, cherish, comfort and govern all our counsel, studies and labours. In such a way that we may so spend this day according to thy most blessed will, without hurting our neighbour, that we may diligently and warily eschew and avoid all things that should displease thee, set them always before our eyes, live in thy fear, and ever strive towards what may be found acceptable before thy divine majesty, toward the praise of thy most holy name, through Jesu Christ our lord. So be it.
Another prayer for the Morning.
SEeing that thou ( O heavenly father ) are that one and alone almighty God, who are in every place, behold all plans, intentions, and works, yea the very thoughts of all men, and give to every one according to their deeds. Forasmuch as thou hast most graciously preserved us this night, we beseech thee that we may not spend this day after our own mind and pleasure ( which is always evil and wicked ) but earnestly look upon, and diligently follow thy fatherly will, your everlasting counsel, thy healthful word and pleasure, which is always good, perfect and holy. Fulfill it with good heart, that thy divine name may always be sanctified, both now and ever for us miserable sinners, through thy dearly beloved son Jesus Christ, our lord and savior. So be it.
After you have prayed in this manner, since we are all sinners it would be good to confess yourself as follows to God the father, if you have opportunity.
The confession of our sinners unto God the father.
O Almighty God, and heavenly father, maker of heaven and earth. I confess myself unto thee even from the very heart, that I am a miserable, wretched and abominable sinner. And have wickedly transgressed all thy holy commandments, and the divine precepts of thy Godly will. The sins ( alas which I have committed in my flesh against thee ) are so great and so exceedingly increased, that they are no less innumerable than the sands of the sea. And they pull me down even as an intolerable burden. In these wicked sins ( Oh lord God ) have I hitherto walked according to the will of the prince of the world, while I did what was pleasant to the Flesh and evil lusts, through vain thoughts, the blindness of my heart, the outward pretence of Godliness and feigned faith. This came to pass ( Ah wretch that I am ) because I never did earnestly strive against the suggestions of Satan, or the concupiscences and desires of the world, or yet the lusts of my flesh. But filthily obeyed them a thousand times more than the admonitions of thy holy spirit. O lord my God. It came to pass also, that I gave little thought to thy Godly counsel, despised thy holy name, and not even a little feared thy vengeance and heavy displeasure. But whatsoever I have in this behalf offended thy most Godly majesty, it sore repents me, and the fault grieves me even to the very heart. And if it were not ( O most merciful father ) that thou hadst laid up mercy of the bowels, blood and wounds of Jesus Christ thy son and our lord, for so many as unfeignedly repent and truly believe, be their sins never so great and many, I should see no other way but throw myself down headlong through desperation, into the bottomless pit of hell. But forasmuch as thou hast set thy well beloved son Jesus Christ to be our mediator and ground of mercy. And hast promised grace, mercy and forgiveness of sins to as many as ask it in his name, through faith in his blood. Therefore in this time of grace and mercy, I miserable sinner come now unto thee, and desire thee my lord God that thou will grant me, through that our lord Jesus Christ, a right and true faith. And for his sake forgive me all my sins and make me walk daily more and more in a new heart, and in the fruits of the holy ghost, that I may utterly despise all the ungodly lusts of this world, and that I may be found continent, pure of living, temperate, good righteous, honest, diligent in all goodness, meek, merciful, modest, humble and ready to forgive such as offend me, even from the very heart. And so live all the days of my life according to thy divine will and true fear.
That I may die to the world, to all sin, and to myself. And with a good confidence and merry heart, look for the coming of the lord and my savior Jesus Christ. To whom with thee and the holy ghost be all honour and glory for ever, and ever. So be it.
The prayer to be said when you go to bed.
O God the almighty lord, by whose order and will the night and darkness do now approach, wherein we shall give ourselves to quiet and sleep. We most instantly desire thee, that thou graciously receive us into thy tuition and keeping, that the prince of darkness do not hurt us with his terrors and fears. And although we must sleep because of our feebleness, yet let our heart and mind watch unto thee. Go thou before us and show us the way as a pillar of fire, that we may follow thee as well in rest, as in business and occupations of this life. And grant that we be not found in thy sight children of night and darkness, but of day and light, through Jesus Christ our lord. So be it.
When you go to your labour at work.
When a man is bound toward any journey.
THis our life most merciful lord, is nothing other than a pilgrimage and rest on the journey, for we have no abiding or dwelling place here. We are come from thee, and we must return again unto thee. But amongst or between all the traps, assaults, pits and snares, which the devil hath laid out and spread abroad, for us blinded in sin, promise thou, O Lord Jesu Christ, to lead us with thy right hand, for thou art a true, trusty, and sure friend. Open our eyes to not miss the pathway where you may be found, and lead us by thyself toward thy father, so that we all may be made one with thee and him, just as thou art one with him.
When a man comes home or is at his journey’s end.
Thanksgiving and prayer.
For Kings, Princes and Rulers.
For all teachers and preachers of the most holy word of God.
For all those who lie in the extreme pangs of death, or otherwise.
For all women who are pregnant and bound with the lord’s bands.
For all persons generally.
O Worthy bridegroom of all Christian souls Jesus Christ, who hast a singular respect to thy congregation which thou also promised that thou would never forsake her.
For the city or town wherein you dwell.
For all fruits of the earth.
O God almighty, good father and giver of all goodness, we poor ignorant worms of the earth, labour and take pains, dig and delve, till and plow, plant and sow, and can do no more.
A general confession.
O Lord God almighty, father of mercy & God of all comfort, we ye poor creatures resort unto the knowledging & confessing our selves before thy glorious majesty, ye we all are grievous sinners and can of our selves do nothing but sin. For all our imaginations, intents & thoughts are enclined and disposed unto evil from our youth up. Our damnation comes of ourselves, we our selves are not able to think a good thought. It is thou only ye doest work in us, both the wil and the dede. We are but earth & naturally the children of wrath. We of our selves are but vain yea lighter than vanity itself. We can do nothing without thee, there is not one of us whole, we are all unclean & all our righteousness is but as a filthy cloth. We have no more ability to do good of ourselves than a man of Inde has power to change his skin, or the leopard her spots. Now according of this evil and corrupt inclination of our nature, so have we lived in thought, word & deed. We have sinned, we have offended, we have gone back from thy law and have not harkened unto thy word. We have not loved thee ( O lord our God ), with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our power. We have been sore transgressours of thy commandments, we have not put our whole trust & confidence only in thee. We have in our troubles & nede not sought for help only in thee. We have not called only upon thy name, but with false confidence with vain superstition and unlawful oaths have we blasphemed thy name. We have prayed and sought intercession unto wood and stone, & made thy creatures our advocates and mediatours, contrary to thy word. We have reposed our trust & reliance in our own deeds & in such works as have been devised by men’s fantasies besides the scripture. We have wandered on vain pilgrimages offering up money, candles and tapers, to images and relics, with such like superstition. We have bene slothful in our business. We have not ben fervent and diligent in doing of our duty. Especially on such days as are appointed for the preaching of thy word, we have not plied ourselves wholly to learn it, nor occupied our time in prayer and giving of thanks unto thee. And as touching the love that we ought to have for all men and women for thy sake, we have not been earnest in at all times. We have not loved our neighbour as ourselves. We have not done as we would be done unto. We have been ungentle, impatient, uncourteous, froward, angry and displeased, we have rejoiced in our neighbours hurt, and been sorry of his welfare. We have been led with false doctrine and errors from the way of thy truth. We have sinned with our fathers. We have done amiss. We have dealt wickedly. Therefore our most dear father which art in heaven, forasmuch as we have blasphemed thee, and not sought always the glory of thy name, grant now that from henceforth thy name may be sanctified, and hallowed in us. Grant now that thy kingdom may come, and that instead of sin and error, only thou mayest reign in us, grant now that our will may be conformable to yours, and that in all adversity we may be heartily well content to suffer thy will to be done in us. Grant now, that we be never destitute of our daily food, but that we may always be nourished with thy word in our souls, and have such a competent living in this life, as is necessary for our body. Grant now, that we may even from our depths of our heart forgive one another all manner of trespass, as thou for Jesu Christ’s sake thy son hast mercifully forgiven us. Grant now that whereas the world, the devil and our own flesh doth daily tempt and provoke us to sin, we may through that strength be able to resist all their temptation. Grant now that through thy help and grace, we may be delivered from all evil, from all danger and peril of soul and body, from all sin, hell and damnation, from all pride, and envy, from all wrath and slothfulness, from covetous unmeasurable and filthy living. Grant now, that from henceforth we may be content with such fatherly provision as thou hast made for us already. Grant now that we may be temperate in eating and drinking. And of so honest and cleanly conversation, that we give no man occasion of evil. Grant now that instead of our old feigned works we may be occupied with such fruits of thy holy spirit as thy word makes mention of. Grant now, that according to thy wholesome warning of thy blessed apostle Peter, and of all the scripture beside, we may be faithful, true and obedient to the king, our sovereign lord and supreme head immediately under Christ. And not only to all officers sent by him but also those wholesome laws and injunctions as are made by his authority, for the tranquility and wealth of us his subjects. Grant now that we all may increase in the knowledge of thee, that our youth may be brought up in virtue, that children may obey their fathers and mothers, the servants may be true to their masters, that landlords may be gentle to their tenants, that husbands may be loving to their wives, and wives likewise to their husbands, that men may keep their household in the fear and knowledge of thee, that idle people may be set to labour, and that all such as be poor indeed, may be well and lovingly provided for. Grant that for the love of thee, we may feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, give lodging to them that be without shelter, bury the dead, visit them that be in prison, and help such as be in sickness. Finally, grant now most merciful father that whatsoever thou forbiddest, we may forbear it, and whatsoever thou commandest, we may every one in his calling perform it, and so continue in thy service till our lives end. That all our thoughts, words and deeds may redound for the glory of thee, now and evermore. Amen.Rom. 3. Genes. 6. and 3. Hosea 13. 2. Cor. 2. Phili. 2. Gene. 3. Ephe. 2. Psal. 52. John. 15. Eza. 64. Jere. 12. Daniel. 9.
The prayer of Job, in his most grievous adversity and loss of goods.
NAked I came out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return again.
The lord gave, and the lord has taken away, as it has pleased the lord so is it done ; now blessed be the name of the lord.
Prayer in prosperity.
I Give thee thanks, O God almighty who not only hast endued me with the gifts of nature, such as reason, power and strength, but also hast plentifully given me the substance of this world. I acknowledge O lord that these are thy gifts, and confess with holy S. James that there is no perfect or good gift that doth not come from thee ( O father of light ), who givest freely and castest no man in the teeth. I acknowledge with the prophet Haggai, that gold is yours and silver is yours, and to whom it pleases thee thou givest it, to the godly that they may be thy disposers and distributors thereof, and to the ungodly to heap up their damnation even further. Wherefore my most merciful God, I humbly beseech and desire thee to frame in me with thy holy spirit a faithful heart, and ready hand, to distribute these thy good gifts according to thy will and pleasure. Thus I will not aim to hoard up here, where thieves may rob and moths corrupt, but to hoard up in thy heavenly kingdom, where neither thief may steal, nor moth defile. I will do this to mine own comfort, and thou hast promised to reward me in thy mercy, to the good example of the humble and meek of thy congregation, and to the glory of thy name. To whom with thy son and holy ghost, be all honour and praise, world without end.
The manner or saying grace, after the doctrine of holy scripture.
Grace before the meal.
The eyes of all look to thee, O lord, and thou givest them their food in due season. Thou openest your hand and fillest every living creature with thy blessing. O our father which art in. &c
Grace before the meal.
I know ( says the Apostle ) and am full certified in the lord Jesu, that nothing is unclean in itself, being unclean only to him who believes it to be unclean. But if you make thy brother brother grieved because of thy food, then you do not walk with charity. Do not let your food repel from the faith, the one for whom Christ died. O our father which art in. &c.Rom. 14.
Grace before the meal.
Therefore do not let our treasure be spoken of in evil. For the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the holy ghost. O our father which art in. &c.Rom. 14.
Grace before the meal.
Food doth not bring us closer God. If we eat, we shall not therefore be for the better. If we do not eat, we shall not therefore be for the worse. But take heed that this your liberty be not an occasion of falling to the weak.1. Cor. 8.
Grace before the meal.
Food had been created by God to be received with thanks, by them who believe and know the truth. Every creature of God is good and nothing that is received with thanksgiving should be rejected, for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. Our father which art in. &c.1. Tim. 3.
Receive your food without grudging, Take care you never abuse it, Give thanks to God for every thing, And always praise his holy name. Who so does not, is much to blame No bad example you should give. Thus God’s word teaches you to live.
Whatsoever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of our lord Jesu Christ, giving thanks by him to God the father.Collo. 3.
Grace after the meal.
Thanks be unto thee, O lord God almighty ( most dear father of heaven ), for giving us our food in due season, for opening thy merciful hand, and for filling us with thy plentiful full blessing. And we beseech thee, for thy son’s sake Jesu Christ, not only to always preserve us from abusing it, but also to lend us thy grace, that we may therefore be ever thankful unto thee. Amen.
Grace after the meal.
Thanks be unto thee, O lord God almighty ( most dear father of heaven ) for certifying by thy blessed word that all kinds of food are clean, and we beseech thee lend us thy grace, that we may always thankfully receive them, not only without superstition or scrupulosity of conscience, but also without grieving or offending our brethren. And let us so walk in the way of Godly love and charity, that our food doth not repel from the faith our brother, for whom thy son Jesus Christ died no less than for us.
Grace after the meal.
Thanks be unto thee, O God almighty ( most dear father of heaven ) for opening thy blessed word to us, which is our treasure, our pearl, and indeed our riches more precious than gold or precious stone. And we beseech that although corporal food and drink be no part of thy kingdom, yet thou order us also in receiving them, that we never give occasion of slandering thy word or offending the weak. Amen.
Grace after the meal.
Thanks be unto thee O lord God almighty ( most dear father of heaven ) for laying up our salvation only in thyself, and not in any kind of food. And we beg thee, so guide us in the use thereof that we may follow such things as make for peace, and whereby we may edify one another. And never to give to the weak any occasion of falling from thy word.
Grace after the meal.
Thanks be unto thee O lord God almighty ( most dear Father of heaven ) for ordaining thy creatures to be the food and sustenance for our bodies, and hast sanctified them by thy blessed word &c. We beg thee make us so to increase in steadfastness of thy Faith, in perfect knowledge of thy truth, and in continuance of fervent prayer to thee, that they may be also sanctified and holy to us, and that we may ever thankfully receive them and virtuously use them, to the good example of others. Amen.
Blessed is he who exercises himself in these things. And whoso takes such to heart, shall be wise. If he do these things, he shall be strong in all. For the light of the lord leads him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.Eccl. 50. John. 14.
The servant that knows his lord’s will, and does not do it, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that fulfills the word of God, abides forever.Luk. 11. Jocob. 4. John. 2.
These things are written to the intent that we should believe, that Jesus Christ is the son of God, and that we through him might have life everlasting. Which the chiefest goodness promise to give unto all those who shall either hear or read this present little book.John 20.