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On the Misery of Man.
studies, that we may speak, think, believe, live and depart henée, according to the wholesome doctrine, and verities of them. And by that means, in this world we shall have God's defence, favour and grace,
, with the unspeakable solace of peace, and quietness of conscience; and after this miserable life, we shall enjoy the endless bliss and glory of heaven: which, he grant us all, that died for us all, Jesus Christ, to wbom with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, both now and everlastingly.
This Homily shews how the word of God teaches divine wisdoin, and excels the kuowledge of all science; that it is one of the greatest favours conferred upon mankind; and that whesoever reads it with deep homility and fervent prayer will discover the way of salvation, or that God will send an interpreter to jostruct him.
Sermon on the Misery of Man, and of his Condemna,
tion to Death Everlasting, by his own sin.
The Holy Ghost, in writing the holy scripture, is in nothing more diligent than to pull down man's vain glory and pride, which of all vices is most universally grafted in all mankind, even from the first infection of our first father Adaun. And therefore we read in many places of scripture, many notable lessons against this old rooted vice, to teach us the most commendable virtue of humility, how to know pusselves, and to remember what we be of ourselves,
... On the Misery of Man.
In the book of Genesis, Almighty God giveth us all atitleand name in ourgreat grandfather Adam, which ought to warn us all to consider what we be, whereof we be, from whence we came, and whither we shall go; saying thus, in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread, till thou be turned again into the ground : for out of it thou wast taken, inasmuch as thou art dust, into dust shalt thou be turned again. Here, as it were in a glass, we may learn to know ourselves to be but ground, earth, and ashes, and that to earth and ashes we shall return.
Also, the holy patriarch Abraham did well remember this pame and title, dust, earth, and ashes, appointed and assigned by God to all mankind : and therefore he calleth himself by that name, when he maketh his earnest prayer for Sodom and Gomorrah. And we read that Judith, Esther, Job, Jeremy, with other holy men and women in the Old Testament, did use sack-cloth, and to cast dust and ashes' upon their heads, when they bewailed their sinful living. They called and cried to God, for help and mercy, with such a ceremony of sack-cloth, dust, and ashes, that thereby they might declare to the whole world, what an humble and lowly estimation they had of themselves, and how well they remembered their name and title aforesaid, their vile, corrupt, frail nature, dust, earth, and ashes. The book of wisdom also, willing to pull down our proud stonnachs, moveth us diligently to remember our mortal and earthly generation, which we have all of him that was first made : and that all men, as well kings as subjects, come into this world, and go out of the same in like sort: that is, as of ourselves, 'fill miserable, as we may daily see. And, Almighty God commanded his prophet Isaiah to make a proclamation, and cry to the whole world : and Isaiah asking, what shall I
Gen. iii. Jud. iv. and ix. Job. xiii. Jer. vi. and xxv. Sapi. vii. Isa. xl.
cry? The Lord answered, cry, that all flesh is grass, and that all the glory thereof, is but as the flower of the field; when the grass is withered the flower falleth away, when the wind of the Lord bloweth upon it. The people surely is grass, the which drieth up, and the flower fadeth away. And the holy man Job, having in himself great experience of the miserable and sinful state of man, doth open the same to the world in these words: Man, saith he, that is born of a woman, living but a short time, is full of manifold miseries, he springeth up like a flower, and fadeth again, vanisheth away as it were a shadow, and never continueth in one state. And dost thou judge it meet, O Lord, to open thine eyes, upon such a one, and to bring him to judgment with thee? Who can make him clean, that is conceived of an unclean seed? and all men of their evilness, and natural proneness, be so universally given to sin, that as the scripture saith, God repented that ever he made man. And by sin bis indignation was so much provoked, against the world, that he drowned all the world with Noah's flood, except Noah himself, and his little household. It is not without great cause, that the scripture of God doth so many times call all men here in this world by this word, earth; 0 thou earth, earth, earth, saith Jeremy, hear the word of the Lord. This our right name, calling, and title, earth, earth, earth, pronounced by the prophet, sheweth what we be indeed, by whatsoever other style, title, or dignity, men do call us. Thus he plainly named us, who knowest best, both what we be, and what we ought of right to be called. And thus setteth us forth, speaking by his faithful apostle St. Paul, all men, Jews and Gentiles, are under sin, there is none righteous, no not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God,
On the Misery of Man
they are all gone out of the way, they are all unprofitable, there is none that doeth good, no not one: their throat is an open sepulchre, with their tongues they have used craft and deceit, the poison of serpents is under their lips, their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness, their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and wretchedness is in their ways, and the way of peace have they not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes. And in another place, St. Paul writeth thos, God hath wrapped all nations iu unbelief, that he might have mercy on all. The scripture shutteth up all under sin, that the promise by the faith of Jesus Christ, should be given unto them that believe. St. Paul, in many places, painteth us out in our colours, cailing us the children of the wrath of God, when we be born: saying also, that we cannot think a good thought of ourselves, much less can we say well, or do well of ourselves.''And the wise man saith in the book of Proverlus, the jast man falleth seven times a day. The most tried and approved man Job, feared all his works. St. John the Baptist being sanctified in his motiver's womb, and praised before he was born, being called an angel, and great before the Lord, filled even from his birth with the Holy Ghost, the preparer of the way for our Saviour Christ, and commended of our Saviour Christ to be more than a prophet, and the greatest that ever was born of a woman : · yet he plainly granteth, that he had need to be washed of Christ, he worthily extolleth and glorifieth his Lord and miaster Christ, and bumbleth himself as unworthy to unbuckle his shoes, and giveth all honour and glory to God. So doth St. Paul, both oft and evidently confess himself, what he was of himself, ever giving, as a most faithful servant, all praise to his Master aud Saviónr. So doth blessed St. John the Evange
Rom. iii. Gal. xi. Epes, ii. Prov. xxiv. Lukei, Matt, iji.
On the Misery of Man.
list, in the name of himself, and of all other holy men, be they never so just, make this open confession : if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us; if we acknowledge our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrightegusness: if we say we hare not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. Wherefore the wiseman in the book called Ecclesiastes, maketh this true and general confession, there is not one just man upon the earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. And David in ashamed of his sin, but not to confess his sin. How oft, how earnestly, and lamentably doth he desire God's great merey for his graet offences, and that God should not enter into judgment with him? And again, how well weigheth this holy man his sins, which he confesseth, that they be so many in number, and so hid, and hard to understand, that it is in a manner impossible to know, utter, or number them? Wherefore, he having a true, earnest, and deep contemplation and consideration of hiş sinis, and yet not coming to the bottom of thens, he maketh supplication to God to forgive him his privy, secret, hid sins: the knowledge of which he cannot attain unto. He weigbeth rightly his sjos from the original root and spring-head, perceiving inclinations, provocations, stirrings, stingings, buds, branches, dregs, infections, tastes, feelings, and scents of them to continue in him still. Wherefore he saith, mark, and behold, I was conceived in sins: he saith not sin, but in the plural number, sios, forasıpuch as out of one, as a fountain, spring all the rest. Our Saviour Christ saith, there is none good but God: and that we can do nothing that is good without him, nor can any inau come to the Father but by him. He commandeth us also to say, that
1 Jobo i. and ii. Eccles, vii. Psal. li. cxiii. xix, li. Mask x.