Page images

servants, he hath broken hell, and set open the gates thereof.

Wherefore, seeing that we have so mighty a Lord and Master, we be out of all peril and danger. But we again, above all things, must study to obey our Lord and Master, and do those things which he commandeth. For he hath redeemed and bought us for this intent and purpose, that we should be just and holy, as he himself is holy. And he that is not obedient unto Christ's commandments, shall be sore punished: for our Lord Jesus Christ shall come again to judge both the quick and the dead.

Wherefore, good children, labour with all diligence and study, that when Christ shall come again to judge the world, he may find you holy and obedient: for then he will reward you with everlasting life. After this manner, Christ redeemed us from sin, and from the horrible offence of Adam, by whom we were all condemned; for by Christ's passion and death, and by his Gospel, we have obtained thus much that we may believe and trust in God, and trusting in God we have his Holy Spirit, whereby we may also love God. And this Holy Ghost reneweth us, and cleanseth us from all evil lusts and desires, that we being thus made holy and righteous, may keep God's commandments and serve our Lord Jesus Christ.

Wherefore, good children, believe ye with all your heart in this Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, our Lord, and doubt not but that he hath

suffered for our sins, and contented the justice of his Father for the same, and hath brought us again unto his favour, and made us bis wellbeloved children, and heirs of his kingdom. And when you be asked, how understand you the second part of the Croed? you shall answer, I believe that Jesus Christ, very God, begotten of God the Father, and very man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, which by his precious blood and holy passion hath redeemed me, a miserable and damned wretch, from all my sins, from death eternal, and from the tyranny of the devil, that I should be his own tryé subject, and live within his kingdom, and serve him in a new and everlasting life and justice, even as our Lord Christ, after he rose from death to life, liveth and reigneth everlastingly. Or else, if you will answer more shortly, you may say thus : " I believe that Christ was delivered to death for our sins, and rose again for our justification,”.


The third day after, he uprose again, alive in body also, and with many notable proofs, the space of forty days he abode among his disciples eating and drinking with them. In whose sight he was conveyed away in a cloud up into heaven; or rather above all heavens: where he now sitteth at the right-hand of God, the Father ; being

made Lord of all things, be they in heaven, or in eartb :, King of all kings : our everlasting and only high Bishop: our only Attorney ; only Mediator; only Peace-maker between God and men. Now, since that he is entered into his glorious Majesty, by sending down his Holy Spirit unto us (as he promised) he lighteneth our dark blindness; moveth, ruleth, teacbeth, cleanseth, comforteth, and rejoiceth our minds, and so will he still continually do, till the end of the world......

I say therefore, that both by these and other doings of Christ, two commodities do grow unto us; the one, that all the things, that ever he hath done for our profit and behoof, he hath done them, so that they be as well our own, if we will cleave , thereunto with stedfast and lively faith, as if we had done them ourselves. He was nailed to the Cross ; we were also nailed with him, and in him our sins punished. He died and was buried ; we likewise with our sins are dead and buried, and that in such sort, that all remembrance of our sins is utterly taken out of mind.

He is risen again, and we are also risen again with him ; that is, are so made partakers of his rising again and life, that from henceforth death hath no more rule over us. For the same Spirit is in us, that raised up Jesus from the dead. Finally, as he is gone up into heavenly glory, so are we lifted up with him. Albeit, that these things do not now appear, yet then shall they all be brought to light, when Christ, the light of the world,

shall shew himself in his glory, in whom all our bliss is laid up in store. Moreover, by his going up are granted us the gifts of the Holy Ghost ; as Paul doth sufficiently witness. (Eph. iv.)

The other commodity, which we take by the • doings of Christ is : that Christ is set for an

example unto us, to frame our lives thereafter. If Christ hath been dead; if he hath been buried for sin ; he was so but once. If he be risen again; if he be gone up to heaven ; he is but once risen, but once gone up. From henceforth he dieth no more, but liveth with God, and reigneth in everlasting continuance of glory. So, if we be dead ; if we be buried to sin ; how shall we hereafter live in the same? If we be risen again with Christ; if by stedfast hope we live now in heaven with him : heavenly and godly things, not earthly and frail, we ought to set our care upon. And even, as heretofore we have borne the image of the earthly man ; so, from henceforward let us bear the image of the heavenly.



In this is discoursed the whole mystery of our salvation and redemption, purchased by our Saviour Christ. Here is his holy conception described, his nativity, his circumcision, his whole life and conversation, his godly doctrine, his divine mira

cles. In this book of the New Testament is set out his death, his resurrection, his ascension, his sending of the Holy Spirit, his session in our flesh ou the right-hand of his Father, making continual intercession to him for us. In this book is contained the form and order of his last judgment, after the general resurrection of our bodies. These be the mysteries of our faith ; these be the grounds of our salvation ; these be thus written, that we should believe them, and by our belief should enjoy life everlasting.


For we believe that for our sakes he died, was buried, descended into hell, and the third day by a divine power, returned to life, and arose, and after forty days, in the sight of his disciples, ascended into heaven, that he might filk all things, and that the very body in which he was born, in which he conversed, in which he was despised, in which he had suffered most grievous torments, and a most direful death, in which he rose, and now ascended to the righthand of his Father, was placed above all princi. palities and power, and every name which is mentioned, not only in this world, but in that which is to come, in majesty and glory. And we believe that he doth now sit there, and shall sit there till all things are fulfilled ; and although the ma

« PreviousContinue »