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THE RIGHT HONOURABLE SIR WILLIAM CECIL, KNIGHT,
LORD HIGH TREASURER OF ENGLAND;
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE L. ROBERT DUDLEY,
EARL OF LEICESTER; TWO OF HER MAJESTY'S MOST HONOURABLE PRIVY COUNCIL, AND MOST WORTHY CHANCELLORS OF BOTH OF THE UNIVERSITIES
OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE'.
UNTRUE reports and slanders can neither give falsehood any credit among the wise, nor disgrace the due estimation of the truth. Howbeit, it seemeth there are some which hope it will turn them to no small advantage, if to other their secret and wicked practices they join a sleight of ill-speaking and of slandering the writings, the godly sayings, the life and the death of those whom it hath pleased God to use to the setting forth of his gospel, and thereby to the great comfort of his people,
Among others upon whom this hath been practised, they have made some especial choice of the late bishop of Salisbury, a man of famous memory; whose life and death is truly and sincerely written by M. Doctor Humfrey. Howsoever they dealt uncharitably with him in his life, christian and godly discretion would they should spare to reproach the dead. Or if not so, yet in wisdom they might foresee that, when matters are called to trial, such things cannot pass for current and lawful, whereof some due proof hath not been yielded.
Yet, as though the discredit of that one man (who in great humility aid acknowledge himself inferior to many godly fathers then living in this church of England) were enough for them to overthrow all that whole work, which the Almighty God hath by his right hand and strong arm established, they deliver by tradition certain false observations, of his either simple, or negligent, or wilful and malicious gathering, and abusing the holy scriptures of God, and the ancient writings of the fathers.
It is a hard thing for him that speaketh much to speak nothing worthy just reprehension. But it is much harder to escape the reprehension of corrupt judges, even when he shall speak most uprightly. His defence is abroad, published by himself. And, not withstanding the endeavour of a learned adversary was to impeach it, yet by his last and a moderate answer he avouched it good, and approved his plain and sincere dealing to the consciences of all men.
Whom it may please to understand after what sort he prepared himself to the accomplishment of those two notable books, of the Defence of the Apology, and the Reply, which are as two double cannons prepared for the battery of error and superstition, must needs confess his diligence and reverent proceeding in such cause to have been such, as for which he may well be compared with any whomsoever the former or this present age hath thought therefore worthy commendation. For, besides his advised observation of all such things, as in the adversary's books deserved answer; and besides that he disposed a summary and full collection of such matter as he would use for the disproof of the same, the which he conceived in short notes; this may be a notable testimony that he had purpose to set down the authorities out of the fathers and the quotations truly and plainly: whereas in times before he had gathered sundry books of common-places out of the Greek and Latin and later writers, he did peruse afresh the authors themselves, and made every where in them special marks, for the difference of such places whereof he made choice. Those were all drawn forth and laid to their themes by certain scholars, who wrote them out by such direction as he had given unto them. So reverent regard had he to do the work of the Lord and to defend the truth faithfully.
[? This dedication is here given from the first edition of the Sermons, 1583. It does not appear in the reprint of 1603, or in the folios.
With like reverence also did he, in all places where he was occasioned to preach, handle the word of God. Albeit his gifts of reading and understanding and memory were great, yet it appeareth he did seldom or never deliver any exposition upon any piece of scripture before any congregation in the meanest parish of the country, but upon diligent study, and whereof he drew his notes. In this his care God's providence wrought mercifully for his church, that so there might be some way to deliver in common unto all the fruits of those godly travails, which he gave forth to some one especial part of the church. Hereby it is that these his sermons, preached before her majesty and at Paul's Cross, come now to the reading of all such before whom they were once spoken; to seek that of them in true practice of christian religion, for which they were in their times uttered. Why I make choice of these among so many so excellent his sermons pronounced in those places, if any be curious to ask; let him advisedly consider the state of God's church amongst us in these days, and bestow his pains to read these which are offered to his christian judgment, and then make to himself a charitable answer. And if at such several times as that reverend father, in the fear of God, moved his petitions before the conscience either of her highness, or of your honours, or of any others, the good children and servants of God, he were so well acquitted, that he was thought to speak uprightly in true zeal, for the advancement of God's glory, and like a wise builder of the house of God; no doubt, in this rehearsal of them all together, they shall work that wholesome effect, if through the assistance of God's holy Spirit they be considered now with as great diligence as he was then heard with good attention,
Your honours have well declared, that you measured not your loving affection to him by the short term of his life; which giveth great hope that his humble requests, so many as are to crave aid and furtherance of authority, shall in good time be preferred. They are such as shew how desirous he was to see the peace and prosperity of Jerusalem, and that the kingdom of God might never again be taken away from us, He sheweth what things they are by which this may be brought to pass ; that among all the means which man's wisdom can provide, next to the high means of princely authority, the chiefest is that all particular churches may be furnished with sufficient, learned, and godly ministers; and therefore that tender and due care be had to increase the number of them. Their service is most needful in the overthrow of Jericho, the city which God will have destroyed, and in the building up unto God his temple at Jerusalem. The care which magistrates take hereof, and that labourers may be sent into the Lord's harvest, which may defend the cause of Christ against those which charge the gospel to be heresy, and that the things which he hath done for us are wrought by the power of Beelzebub; and which, as good watchmen attending their ward, may stir up the people to know the season, that the night is passed, and the day is come, that it is time to cast away the works of darkness and to put on the armour of light; shall witness for them what zeal they bear to the house of God. If the ministers be mindful to perform their duty; if the Lord's harvest be not neglected; if the defence for the gospel find upright judges; if all that give outward shew of zeal be indeed zealous, and work the fruits of zeal, what hope may they of Jericho have that their cursed dwellings shall stand? or why shall Israel mistrust that the temple of God shall not receive again the former and perfect beauty?
Now, because every where in these sermons he commendeth the necessary use of godly learning, and is an humble suitor for patronage thereof, I cannot but present them unto your honours, our patrons, and fathers, and right honourable chancellors of both the universities; that, seeing the benefit of this your gracious protection hath and doth and shall reach itself so far, to do so much good to the whole church of God, you may at home and with yourselves rejoice in the comfort of a good conscience for the manifold fruits of your favour bestowed in such sort, and all that have the love of the truth may earnestly pray unto God for your honours, that he will continue his goodness towards you, and give you long and prosperous days in this life, and, after, a joyful entrance into his glory. Your honours' most humble to command,
CERTAIN SERMONS OF
SERMONS OF BISHOP JEWEL.
Now? Hiericho was shut up and closed, because of the children of Israel ;
1 Sam. iii.
In divers manners God spake and opened himself to our fathers; by visions and dreams, by sacraments, by angels, by plain express words, by allegories, by secret and mystical understanding, where one thing is covered under another. And all this did he that he might condescend to our capacity ; that we might be converted and saved; that we might be guided in the right way, and not go aside neither to the right hand nor to the left. By vision God spake to Ezechiel, as appeareth in the first chapter of his prophecy: The wheels which he saw were horrible to behold, they were full of rings; "and the rings were full of eyes:" the four beasts were also terrible, they had faces like a man, like a lion, like a bullock, and like an eagle. In dream God spake to Samuel, saying: “Behold,
I will do a thing in Israel, whereof whosoever shall hear, his two ears shall Exod. xii. tingle,” &c. Touching sacraments God himself saith : “ Thou shalt shew thy
son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the Lord did unto me when I came out of Egypt.” “ Thou shalt set apart unto the Lord all that first openeth the womb, &c. And when thy son shall ask thee to-morrow, saying, What is this? thou shalt then say unto him, With a mighty hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. For when Pharao was hard-hearted against our departure, the Lord then slew all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of man even to the first-born of beast : therefore I sacrifice unto the Lord all the males that first open the womb, but all the first-born of my sons I redeem.” Sometimes he spake by angels, as by sundry examples it may appear.
Sometimes by himself in his own person, as he spake to Moses face to face. Sometimes by plain express words : “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." And again : “Thou shalt have none other gods before my face; thou shalt make thee no graven image," &c. These are plain words ; these are the words which our Lord God hath spoken. Sometimes he expressed his holy will, not in words, or visions, or in such sort as I have shewed, but only by some mystical or secret allegory, by some deed which the people saw done before their eyes; of which kind is this which we have now to consider. Therefore hath God said by the prophet: “What could I have done any more to my vineyard that I have not done unto it?” What should I do, but it hath been done? What should I say, but it hath been said ? What warning should I give, but it hath been given ? I have been careful for my people, that they should repent and turn to me, that all Israel should be saved. If they perish, I am free from their destruction; they perish in their own wilfulness, they have none excuse.
Now touching an allegory, whereof we are at this present to say: God opened his mind sometimes not by words, but by some notable kind of deed; and the people heard God speak unto them, not with their ears, but with their
The people of Israel, as they were passing through the wilderness, lacked water to
[ And ye shall compass all the city, &c., 1883.)
[' And, 1583.]
66 and 1 Cor. x.
drink, and were like to perish: there stood a mighty great rock of hard stone, which Moses smote with his rod: it opened and yielded out a great stream of water: the whole people drank of it, and was refreshed. The same people, being likewise in the same wilderness utterly void of bread and all other sustenance, was like to famish : God sent them manna from heaven above : they gathered it, they ground it, and they ate of it: it was sweet and delicate and full of comfort.
This was an allegory, that is to say, a secret and mystical kind of utterance. For by this manna and by this rock the people was led to understand and think on that bread and that water that should come from heaven. St Paul saith, “ The rock was Christ:" his side was cloven, his blood issued out: it is a Cor. x. water springing up into everlasting life: we drink of it, and live for ever.
So likewise that manna was the body of Christ : the people did eat of it, and lived by it. Christ had not yet taken upon him a natural body; yet they did eat his body: he had not yet shed his blood; yet they drank his blood. St Paul saith: “ All did eat the same spiritual meat," that is, the body of Christ; all did drink of the same spiritual drink,” that is, the blood of Christ; and that as verily and as truly as we do now; and whosoever then did so eat Christ lived for ever, not because the rock was turned into his flesh, or the water into his blood: it was an allegory, as all other sacraments be: the people hereby was taught to consider of other things.
When the people was stung with serpents in the wilderness, and were swollen, and heaved up, and perished in the wilderness without hope of cure, Moses erected up a brasen serpent upon a pole: the people beheld it, their anguish abated, their swelling slaked, and they were healed. Christ was this serpent, he was lifted up on the cross : whoso trusteth in him shall never be ashamed.
In certain of their sacrifices they had a lamb, they sticked him, they killed him, and made sacrifice of him: this lamb was Christ the Son of God, he was killed, sticked, and made a sweet-smelling sacrifice for our sins. Of him saith God himself: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matt. iii. Of him saith John: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins John i. of the world.” Of him St Peter speaketh : “ Among men there is none other Acts iv. name given under heaven whereby we must be saved.” In his righteousness only we are received as righteous; his blood cleanseth us from all sin : there is no other sacrifice wherewith we may be reconciled to God our heavenly Father. All these were allegories, that is to say, certain resemblances and significations of secret matters. That striking of the rock, that feeding upon manna, that lifting up of the serpent, that killing of the lamb, were certain mystical kinds of speaking. And let no man think these things are impertinent, or from the purpose: they are incident unto the matter, and grow necessarily of the things we have to speak of.
When Joshua, that noble and worthy captain, by God's special conduct had passed through the water of Jordan, and taken possession in the land of Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey, there to plant the people of Israel according to the promises that God had made them; the citizens of Hiericho, that stood in the frontiers of the country, rampired their wall, and placed their artillery, and appointed themselves to resist him, and to withstand his force. To assault this city Joshua practised a strange kind of battery. He commanded that the ark of God's majesty should be carried reverently about the walls seven days together; and that the whole host in armour should go before it ; that after them should follow seven priests with seven trumpets; that all the rest of the people should follow after the ark; and that thus they should do every day once. The seventh day he increased their labour, and bade them to go about seven times in like order. The people within laughed them to scorn to see their folly. At the seventh and last turn Joshua commanded them all to make a shout. Straightway, after so long silence, they lifted up their voices, and shouted with a great shout, so many hundred thousands of men, women, and children: the trumpets blew in every corner : the whole heaven and earth was full of their noise; and the wall fell down flat.
27 (JEWEL, 11.]
1 Kings xri.
2 Kings i.
Here let us consider and glorify the power of God: there was neither mine, nor ram, nor other engine, nor warlike force, nor worldly policy practised : only at thiş roar and sound of trumpets and voices of men the rampires were broken, the walls fell down, and sunk, and were made even with the ground: the soldiers went over and slew without mercy man, woman, and child, and cattle, and whatsoever creature they found before them : they fired the city, and consumed it, and burnt it to ashes.
Then Joshua sware at that time, saying : “Cursed be the man before the Lord, whosoever henceforth shall take in hand to restore this city of Hiericho: let him lay the foundation thereof in the death of his eldest son, and in the death of his youngest child let him close up and finish the gates :" let him
more rejoice in the fruit of his body, but let him live as a man accursed in the midst of the people: let his name and memory and all his posterity perish with him. This was the tenor of Joshua's curse.
Six hundred years after, in the time of the wicked king Achab, one Hiel (having no regard to his curse) set upon to restore Hiericho; and it came to pass even as it was foresaid by Joshua : God's curse fell upon him; he buried his eldest son, he buried his youngest son, he was left without comfort, even a man that the Lord had cursed: for God's will was that Hiericho should lie waste and desolate for ever, as an everlasting remembrance of his wrath, that all people should fear to withstand his will. This is the plain story only, according to the letter,
But as touching the allegory, or the matter which therein lieth covered, it hath a far deeper meaning. This Hiericho, whereof the story speaketh, was a city in Canaan, in a low, sour, barren ground, in the midst of a rotten and pestilent water, by reason whereof, before the same water was cured by the prophet Elizeus, the men that drank thereof died of sundry diseases, and the women also became unfruitful. This city withstood the people of God, and laboured to keep them from their inheritance that God had given them.
That Hiericho of which we have now to consider is a spiritual power of darkness, that resteth only in flesh and in worldly promises, that withstandeth God's people, and exalteth itself against God. For even in this life, as there is a Jerusalem, so is there a Hiericho: as truth hath her house, so is there also a house wherein falsehood and error dwelleth. As there is a glory of the light, so is there a power of darkness. This Hiericho of falsehood and darkness God overthroweth when it seemeth good in his sight: with the breath of his mouth and with the blast of his holy word he doth overthrow it; and whosoever will seek to restore it shall be accursed.
Three things therefore I have thought good by God's sufferance to treat of:
1. First, how high this Hiericho is built, and how strongly it is fenced, and yet how easily it is overthrown.
2. How vainly and how miserably they lose their labour that seek by any means to restore it.
3. What good remedies may be devised, that this Hiericho be not restored again.
Whatsoever my simple learning or utterance shall be, yet I doubt not but the very bare consideration hereof of itself unto the godly must needs be comfortable.
“ They that go down to the sea in ships, and occupy by the great waters, they see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the decp.” For God is marvellous in the surges and tempests of the sea; he is marvellous in the firmament of heaven; but much more marvellous is he in the surges and stormy tempests of his church. Here may we behold the work of his hands. This is the shop of his power, of his wisdom, of his light, and truth, and righteousness, and patience, and mercy. Here may we see the children of light and the children of darkness, the vessels of honour and the vessels of shame, the assaults of falsehood, and the glory and victory of truth. Here shall we see how God leadeth even into hell, and yet bringeth safely back; how he