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First, as concernynge the examples of holye scripture. Iesus, the eternall Sonne of the euerlastynge Father, in the godhede preached to Adam in Paradysc Tcrrestre, and constytute hym so welc an instructour as a father ouer hys posteryte. He proued him also after he had sinned, by dyuerse afflyctyons, and fynally promysed, both to hym and to hys, deliueraunce in the sede of the woman, which at the lattre in hys owne persone he louingly perfourmed, Christc the seyde Sonne of God contynually still taught, by the mouthes of the fathers and prophetes, tyll suche tyme as he hymselfe came in the fleshe.
Than was he aboue all others, of hys heauenly father appoynted a uniuersall doctor ouer all the worlde, and commaunded to be hearde, Math. iij. He followed hys vocacyob in most ample wyse, very cruelly was he of the clergie than persecuted, and gloriously delyuered in bys resurrectyon from deathe. The members of hys true churche, the prophetes and apostles, were in case like as he their head was, first called, than afflicted, and gracyously alwayes in the ende delyuered. He that shall marke the laboriouse procedinges of Abraham, loseph, and Moyses, of Dauid, Helyas, and Daniel, with the other olde fathers and prophetes, shall fyndc it no lesse. He lykewyse that shall dyscretely searche the doynges of Peter, lames, and Iohan, with the other of the apostles and dysciples, shall welc perccyue the same.
Hieremye for the olde lawe, Paule for the newe lawe, and Iohan Baptyst betwixt them both, were called from their mothers wombe to that heauenly offyce of preachynge. Hier. j. Luce. j. Gala. j. yea, they suffered extreme persecucyons vndre tyrauntes, and fynally were deliuered, in this lyfe from parelouse daungers, and in deathe from synne, helle, and dampnacyon. To rehearce the examples of the primatyue churche, and of the ages followynge, concernynge these matters, it wolde requyre much tyme, they are so manye, and therfor at thys present I omit them. Thus am I not alone in these 3. matters of vocacion, persecucion, and deliueraunce, but haue on my syde an kifinyte nombre of examples. Which maketh me the more a great dele to reioyce, like as I wishe them to do, which haue in these troublous* dayes the lyke. Neyther am I ashamed to tell my hrethenw, what God hath most graciously done for me, no mor than S. Paule was for hymselfe in hys owne Epistles, and Luke in the Actc^ for St. Peter, though 1 be farre vnlyke them. For I fare lyke the byrdo *bich is deliuered from the snare of the catcher. He flyeth to a bough, and reioyceth in his delyucraunce, and euen so do I. In the which reioyce, I make not only my selfe mcrye, but also all my louinge frinds. And as for my cruel enemyes the papistes, if I make them soryc in the rehearsal of my delyucraunce, I am not yll apayde thcrof. For it is better (they saye in Northfolke) that ypungc lydidernes wepe, than olde men. I call them yonge and not olde, for God is oldar than Sathan, if age may be attributed to his etcrnytc, as Daniel sayeth it maye, and Christe oldar than the Dcuyls vycar at Rome, their vngraCyouse father.
As we are in most thinges contrarie to these papistes, so haue we tejoyces contrary to theirs. They reioyce in helthe, prosperite, riches and worldly pleasures for their bellies sake. We in our infirt mytecs, afflictions, losses, and sorowfull crostes, for Christes veritecs sake. And thus maye we wele do, and boast of it also without offence, for so ded the forenamed S Paule. 2. Cor. 11. and earnestly willed vs to be his folowers. Phil. 3. First he boasted of his vocacyon, and sayde, God sorted me out and appointed me from my mothers wombe, and also he called me by his grace, to preach his liuely gospell amonge the heathen. Gal. 1. What if I shoulde in like case boaste, that he by his grace had also called me in this age, to preache the same gospell to the Irishe heathens, which neuer hcardc of it afore, to knowledge? I shulde not do otherwise than the truthe is. For I was put to it agaynste my wille, by a most Christen kynge, and of his owne mere mocion only, without sute of fryndes, mede, labour, expensis, or any other sinistre meane els. By his regal I power and authoritie, which both were of God, Ro. 13. was I both allowed and confirmed, and not all vnioyfully receiued of the people, which causeth me in conscience to iudge my vocacyon iust. Yet was not my reioyce so muche in the dignite therof, as in doinge, for the time, the office therunto belonginge. But now is it most of all in the leauinge of that bishopricke, the gospell being so vnthankefully of the prestes receiued, I so terribly of them persecuted, and my seruauntes so cruelly slayne.
Moreouer Saint Paule boasted muche of his persecucions, and described them at large, concludinge thus in the ende, Very gladly (saith he) will I reioyce of my weaknesse, that the strength of Christc maye 'dwell in me. Therefor haue I dilcctacion in infirmitees, in rebukes, in nedes, in persecucion, and anguyshes, for Christes sake. 2. Cor. 12. If I have lykewyse felte a great manye of the same afflictions, as I haue done in dede, maye not I also with him reioyce in them? Maye I not be glad, that I am, in sorowes for the gospell, lyke fashioned to him, and not pranked up in pompe and pleasures, lyke the wanton babes of this worlde? As at this daye is lecherouse Weston, which is more practised in the arte of breche burninge, than all the whores of the stues, to the great infamye of his virginall ordre. The truthe of it is, that, sens I toke that wayghtie office in hande, I haue bene syke to the very dcathe, I haue been greued with the vntowardnesse of ministers. I haue been in iournayes and labours, in iniuryes and losses, in peines and in penuries. I haue bene in strifes and contencions, in rebukynges and slaunderynges, and in great daunger of poyseninges and killinges. I haue bene in parell of the heathen, in parell of wicked prestes, in parell of false iustyces, in parell of trayterouse tenauntes, in parell of cursed tyrauntes, in parell of cruell kearnes and galloglasses.
I haue been in parell of the sea, in parell of shypwrack, in parell of throwynge ouer the boorde, in parell of false bretherne, in parell of curiouse searchers, in parell of pirates, robbers, and murtherers, and a great sort more.
Sanct Paule also reioyced, that God had so miraculously delyuered him from so manye daungerousc ieopardyes, and spareth not so to report them. 2 Cor. 11. and 12. Whie shulde I than shrinke or be ashamed to do the lyke, hauinge at Gods hande the lyke miraculouse deliuerance? Are they not left to vs for example, that we shulde do the lyke whan we fele the lyke? Whatsoeuer thinges are written aforetyme (sayth he) they are written for our learninge, that »e through pacyence and confort of the scriptures might haue hope, Rom. xv. He, in the cytie of Damascon, beinge layde waite for, by the liefe tenaunt of Kinge Aretha, was lete downe at a windowe in a basket, and so escaped his handes. Acts ix. I, in the cytie of Dubline, being assaulted of Papistes, was conuayed awaye in the nyght in mariners apparell, and so escaped that daunger by Gods helpe. Whan Paules death was sought by certayne lews at Jerusalem, the vpper captaine there commaunded ij. vnder captaines, in the nyght to convey him to Cesarea with 200. souldyers, 70. horsmen, and 200. spearemen, and so to delyuer him. Actes 23. In lycke case, whan the prestes with Barnabe Bolgar and other had sought my death at Holmes Court, and had slayne v. of my howsholde seruauntes by their hyred kearnes, the good suffren of Kylkennie with an hundred horsemen, and 300. fotemen, brought me thyder in the night, and so deliuered me that tyme.
As Paule, against his wylle, was put into a shippe of Adramitium, coupled with other prisoners of Iewrie, conuaied fourth into Italie, and there safely deliuered. Act. 27. and 28. So was I and my companyon Thomas against our willes taken into a shippe of Zelande, coupled with Frenche prisoners, conuayed fourth into Flanders, and so, at the lattre, safely there deliuered. As their shippe was caught betwixt Candia and Melita, and coulde not resyste the wyndes, so was ours betwixt Mylforde Hauen and Waterforde. As they had an excedynge tempeste vpon the sea, so had we lykewyse. As they were withoute hope of sauegarde, so were we also.
'As they feared syrtrs or daungerouse sandy places and rocks, so ded we. As they were almost famyshed and drowned, so were we. As God comforted them, so did he vs. As they were in conclusion cast into an ylande, so were we into S. lues in Cornewale. As the people shewed them kyndness at Melita, so ded they vs at the seyd S. lues. As Paule gaue thankes and brake breade amongst them, so ded we also. As the Captayne Iulius courteously intreated hym and gaue hym lyberte to go vnto hys fryndes at Sydon, and to refreshe hym, so ded our Captayne Cornelis vse vs very gentilly with all fauour and lyberte, what though he had so currishely and cruelly intreated vs afore. As Paule was ston^e of a bytyng vyper and not hurte, so was I of that viperous Walter, being most vniustly accused of treason afore the iustices ther, and yet through Gods deliueraur.ee not hurte. As he appealed to Cesar, so ded I to the throne of God.
As great dyspycyons were among the lewes at Rome concerning Paule, so were there afterwarde amonge the shyppers in our returne to their shippe concerning vs. As the souldyers gave counsell to kylle the prisoners, so were there some of our men that gaue counsell to haue drowned vs for our moneye, and of some to haue dclyvored vs vp to the counsayll of Englande, in hope of great rewardes. As Publius genfilly receiued Paule, and by hym was healed of all hys dyseases, so ded myne host Lambert receyue me also gentilly, and by me was delyuered from hys vayne beleue of purgatorye, and of other Popysh peltryes. As the people reported Paule to be a murtherer, and after changed their myndes, and sayde he was a God, so our wycked maryncrs reported me to be a most haynous traytour, and yet afterwarde in my delyueraunce called me the seruaunt of God. As he was for the hope of Israel ledde into captiuite, and at the last deliuered, so was I also for the same captiued, and in fyne deliuered into Germanie. As the bretherne met Paule with reioyce at Appij Forum, so ded they me in diucrse partes of Duchelande, and lawded God for my so miraculouse deliuoraunce. A» he sayde that he had committed nothyng against the lawe of his fathers, So saye I also that I hauc in this acte committed nothyng against the apostles and prophetes doctryne, I thanke my Lord God therof. Thus had I in my troublous iournaye from Irelande into Germanye all those ehaunces in a manner that S. Paul had in his iournaie of no lesse trouble, from Ierusalem to Rome, sauing that we lost not our shippe by the waye.
It Uclias, that wetherdryuen runnegate, remayne now in a foren lande in penurie with the Sareptysh wydowe, whyls Baals chatteringe chaplaynes and sorcerouse sacrificrs do dwell styl at home flourishing in prosperouse welth, lecherouse ydelnesse, and lordely dignite, maruele not of it, for so hath he done afore. I speake not thys for myne owne part only, nether vtterly exclude I my selfe, but I vttre it also for my exyled bretherne, of whom a great nombre is at thys tyme in Germanie, Denmarckc, and Geneua. The true churche of God had neuer sumptuouse hospitalles any longe tyme together but very simple cottages and caues, if ye marke the sacred hystoryes and ancyent cronicles. The pleasaunt possessions, and gorgious dwelling places, haue euermor remained to the glorious epicures, the very enemyes alwayes of Christea gospel I. We are not now to lerne how to take these our present afflictions in good part, for we knowe them afore hande, and haue had them long tyme, as it were in an exercise. Nether are we all barayne of friendly receptacles, for the heauenly doctryncs sake, though our aduersaries in Englandc with violence throwe stones at vs, and seke vtterly to destroye vs. They- are. truly much deceiued which thinketh the Christen churche to be a political 1 commen welthc, as of Rome and Constantinople, mayntayned by humayne polycyes, and not by the only wurde of God. Suche are they which now haue the doynges in these present controuersyes, and oppresse the most manifeste verite. God amende it.
I write not this rude treatise, for that I woulde rcceyue praise therof, but that I wolde God to hauc all the prayse, which hath bene a moste wonderful 1 wurker thcrin. For I am but a clodde of corruption, felinge in my self, as of my self, nothing els but sinne and wickednesse. I haue done it also, to declare my most earnest reioice in the same God, which by grace hath called me, by persecucion hath tried me, and of fauour, beniuolence, and mercye, hath most wonderfully deliuered me. Lcte hym that reioyceth (saith S. Paule) reioyce in the Lorde. For he that prayscth hjmselfe, is not allowed, but he whome the Lorde prayseth, 2 Corint. 10. Moreouer I haue done it, for that my persecuted bretherne might in lyke maner haue their reioyce in that heauenly Lorde, whiche mightelye hath wrought in them their saluacion, by his graciouse callinge of them from wicked Papisme to true Christianyte, and now tryeth their paciences by contynuall afflictions, and finally will delyuer them, either from tyrannouse molestacions, as he hath done me, eyther els into martirdome for his truthes sake. For God will be knowne by none other doctryne, than he hath sent hyther by hys Sonne, whom he so earnestly commaunded to be heard. He will also be worshipped by those rules only, which he hath to hys church proponed by hys prophetes and apostles. I besiche that eucrlastyng God for hys dere Sonnes sake, in the Holy Ghost, to rule vs, and alwayes to augment and preserue hys true churche confessing his only name. Amen.
I called vppon the Lorde in my trouble, and the Lorde hearde me at large. The Lorde is my helper, I will not feare what man doeth vnto me. Psalm 118.
Veritas Domini manet in sternum. Psalm 116".
Novit Dominus viam iustorum, & iter impiorum peribit. Psalm 1.
0 Lorde thu God of truthe, I haue hated them that hold of supersticiouse vanitees, and my trust hath bene in the.
1 will be glad and reioyce in thy mercye, for thu hast considered my trouble, and hast knowne my sowle in aduersitees.
Thu hast not shut me vp into the hande of the enemie, but hast set my feet in a large rowme. Psalm xxxi.
Stande by (O Lorde God of Hostes) thu God of Israel, to vyset the all heathen, and be not mercyfull to them that ofiende of malycyouse wickednesse. Psalm lix.
God is my helper
IN the Oldeand Newe Testament it is not expressed, that any iust or faythfull man euer yet toke vpon hym the adminystracyon of the beauenly doctryne, in teachynge the true worshippynges of God, and in persuadynge men to repentaunce, or amendement of their former lyfe, without the vocacyon and speciall election of God. No truly; Balaam, the notable sothsayer, coulde neyther curse, nor yet blesse, without Gods permission, as he apertly confessed, Num. 22. And to beginne with, the formest examples: Adam, our first progenitour, whiche had receyued most helthsome instructions of Gods eternall Sonne in Paradyse, and the fathers, him succeding in the righteous lyne befor the general! floude, aeuer had taken that high office vpon them, had not he therunto both called them, and alowed them. Noe, Gods true seruaunt, at his most graciouse appointment also, by the space of an C. yeares and xx. earnestly preached to the people of that age, exhorting them to cease from the abhominacions than vsed, as thei wold auoide the vniuersall destruccion whiche folowed. After the seyd floude, by vertue of the selfe same precepte and autoryte of God, Noe taught the people, than growne to an increase againe by longe continuaunce; so ded Melchisedech in Salem, lob in Arabia, Abraham in Chaldie, Iacob in Mesopotamy, and Ioseph in iEgypte; Helias, with the other prophetes, in Israel; Ionos in Ninyue, Daniel in Babylon, Zorobabel ia Persie, and Iohan Baptist in lev/rye: Marke the open places of the scripture coocernyng vocation and election.. , ..