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convenient apparel for every state agreeable, but against the supersluity, against the vain delight to covet such vanities, to devise new fashions to seed thy pride with, to spend so much upon thy carcase, that thou and thy husband are compelled to rob the po.ir, to maintain thy costliness. Hear how that noble holy w oman Queen Esther setteth out these goodly ornaments, (as they be called) when (in respect of laving God's people) she was compelled to put on such glorious apparel, knowing that it was a 6t stale to blind the eyes of carnal fools. Thus she prayed: Thou knozvijl, 0 Ijord, the necesfity, which I am driven to, to put on this apparel, and that I abhor thisjign of pride and of this £rlorv which I hear on viy head, and that I defy it as a filtby cloth, and that I wear it not when I am alone. Again, by what means was Holosernes deceived by the
flittering shew of apparel, which that holy woman Juith did put on her, not as delighting in them, nor seeking vain voluptuous pleasure by them? But (he ware it of pure neceffity by God's dispenfation, using this vanity to overcome the vain eyes of God's enemy. Such desire was in those noble women, being very loth and unwilling otherwise to wear such fumptuous apparel, by the which others should be caused to forget themselves. These be commended in Scripture for abhorring such vanities, which by constraint and great necessity, against their hearts destre, they were compelled to wear them for a time. And shall inch women be worthy commendations, which neither be comparable with these women aforefaid in nobility, nor comparable to them in their good zeal to God and his people, whose daily delight and seeking is to slourish in such gay shists and changes, never fatissied, nor regarding who lmarteth for their apparel, so they may come by it? O vain men, which be subjects to their wives in these inordinate affertions! O vain women, to procure so much hurt to themselves, by the which they come the sooner to misery in this world, and in the mean time be abhorred of God, hated and scorned of wise men, and in the end like to be joined with such, who in bell, too late repenting themselves, seall openly complain with these words: What hath our pride. prosited us? Or what prosit hath the pomp of riches brought us? All these things are paffed away like a shadow. As for virtue, we did never (hew any tign thereof: and thus we are confumed in our wickedness. If thou fayest that the custom is to be followed, and the use of the world doth compel thee to such curiosity j then I ask of thee, whose custom
should should be followed? wise folks manners, or fools? If
thou fayest the wise; then I fay, follow them: for fools customs, who should follow but fools? Consider that the consent of wise men ought to be alleged for a custom. Now if any lewd custom be used, be thou the sirst to break it, labour to diminish it and lay it down: and more laud before God, and more commendation shalt thou win by it, than by all the glory of such supersluity.
Tbus ye have heard declared unto you, what God requireth by his word concerning the moderate use of his creatures. Let us learn to use them. moderately, as he hath appointed. Almighty God hath taught us to what end and purpose we should use our apparel. Let us therefore learn so to behave ourselves in the use thereof, as becometh Christians, always shewing ourselves thankful to our heavenly Father for his great and merciful benefits, who giveth unto us our daily bread, that is to fay, all things neceffary for this our needy lise: unto whom we shall render accounts for all his benesits, at the glorious appearing of our Saviour Christ: to whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost be all honour, praise, and glory, for ever and ever. Amen,
THERE is nothing in all man's lise, well-beloved in our Saviour Christ, so needful to be spoken of, and daily to be called upon, as hearty, zealous, and devout 'prayer, the neceffity whereof is so great, that without it nothing may be well obtained at (jod's hand. For as the Apostle James faith, Every good and perseel gift comcib from ahove, and proceedetb from the Father of lights; who Rom. x. is also faid to be rich and liberal towards all them that call upon him, not because he either will not or cannot give without asking, but because he hath appointed prayer as an ordinary means between him and us. There JIau. Ri. js no doubt but he always knoweth what we have need of, and is always most ready to give abundance of those things that we lack.
Yet, to the intent we might acknowledge him to be the giver of all good things, and behave ourselves thankfully towards him in that behalf, loving, searing, and worshipping him sincerely and truly, as we ought to do, he hath prositably' and wisely ordained, that in time of necessity we should humble ourselves in his sight, pour out the secrets of our heart before him, and crave help at his hands, with continual, earnest, and devout prayer. By the mouth of his holy Prophet David he faith on this wise: Hal. I. Call upon me in the days of tby trouble, and 1 will deliver thee. Likewise in the Gospel, by the mouth of his wellMau. vii. beloved Son Christ, he faith, yljk, and it shall he given you;
knock, and it shall he opened : for whofoever. ajketb, recciveth; whofoever secketb, findetb; and to him that knocketb, it shall he opened. St. Paul also most agreeably consentmg hereunto, ivilletb men io pray every where, 071U to CO71— 1 Tim. ii. timu therein with thanksgiving. "Neither doth the blesi'ed ptiit-ivApostle St. James in this point any thing diffent, but 0' earnestly exhorting all men to diligent prayer, faith, If Jam. i. any man lack wisdom, let him ask it of God, which giveth liherally to all men, and reproaehetb no man. Also in another place, Pray on: for another, faith he, that ye may he Jim. t. healed: for the righteous mans prayer avadetb much, if it he fervent. What other thing are we taught by these and fuch other places, but only this, that Almighty God, notwithstanding his heavenly wisdom and foreknowledge, will be prayed unto, that he will be called upon, that he will have us no less willing on our part to a(k, than he on his part is willing to give? Therefore most fond and foolish is the opinion and reason of those men, which therefore think all prayer to be supersluous and vain, because God searcheth the heart and the reins, and knoweth the meaning of the spirit before we aik. For if this fleihly and carnal reason were sussicient to difannul prayer, then why did our Saviour Christ so often cry to his disciples, Watch and pray? Why did he prescribe them aLukexxiu form of prayer, laying, IVhcn ye pray, pray after this fort: Mau.vi. Our Father, which art in heaven, &c. Why did he pray so often and so earnestly himself before his paslion? Finally, why did the Apostles, immediately afrer his ascen- A£Ui. sion, gather themselves together into one several place, and there continue a long time in prayer? Either they must condemn Christ and his Apostles or extreme folly, or else they must needs grant, that prayer is a thing molt neceslary for all men, at all times, and in all places. Sure it is, that there is nothing more expedient or needsnl for mankind in all the world, than prayer. Pray always, faith St. Paul, with all manner of prayer and fuppl'i- E.jhef. vi. cation, and watch theresore with all diligence. Also in another place, he willetb us to pray continually, without any ' Thess. v. intermiffion or ceajfing; meaning thereby that we ought never to stack or faint in prayer, but to continue therein to our lives' end. A number of other such places might here be alleged of like effect, I mean, to declare the great necessity and use of prayer: but what need many proofs in a plain matter? lecing there is no man so ignorant but he knoweth, no man lo blind but he seeth, that prayer is a thing most needful in all estates and degrees of men. For only by the help hereof we attain to those heavenly and everlasting treasures, which God our heavenly Father hath rcserved and laid up for his children in his dear and John lVj
well-beloved Son Jesus Christ, with this covenant and promise most affuredly consirmed and sealed unto us, that, if we ask, we shall receive.
Now the great necessisity of prayer being fussiciently known, that our minds and hearts may be the more provoked and stirred thereunto, let us briesly consider what wonderful strength and power it hath to bring strange and mighty tiiings to pass. We read in the txod. i. Book of Exodus, that Jolhua, sighting against the Amalekitcs, did conquer and overcome them, not so much by virtue of his own strength, as by the earnest and continual prayer of Moles, who as long as he held up his hands to God, fb Jong did Israel prevail; but when he fainted, and let his hands down, then did Amalck and his people prevail: insomuch that Aaron and Hur, being in the mount with him, were fain to stay up his hands until the going down of the lhn, otherwise bad the people of God that day been utterly discomsited, and put to ssight. Joshua x. Also we read in another place of Jolhua himself, how he at the besieging of Gibeon, making his humble petition to Almighty God, caused the sun and the moon to stay their course, and to stand still in the midst of heaven for the space of a whole day, until such time as the people were sussiciently avenged upon their enemies. i Chron. And was not Jehofaphat's prayer of great force and ix. strength, when God at bis request caused his enemies to
fall out among themselves, and wilfully to destroy one another? Who can marvel enough at the efsect and viri Kings tue of Elijah's prayer? fie, being a man subject to affec^' tions as we are, praved to the Lord that it might not rain, and there sell no rain upon the earth for the space of three years and six months. Again, he prayed that it might rain, and there sell great plenty, so that the earth brought forth her increase most abundantly.
It were too long to tell of Judith, Esther, Sufannah, and of divers other godly men and women, how greatly they prevailed in all their doings, by giving their minds earnestly and devoutly to prayer. Let it be sussicient at Aug. Ser. this time to conclude with the layings of Augustine and 26. de Chrysostom, whereof the one calleth prayer the key of Chr^.'sup. heaven; the other plainly assirmeth, that there is nothing Man. xxii. in all the world more strong than a man that giveth himself to servent prayer.
Now then, deiirly beloved, seeing prayer is Ib needful a thing, and of so great strength before God, let us, according as we are taught by the example oi Christ and his