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away, for lack of bodily meat, so doth the soul pine away for default of ghostly meat. But there be two kinds of enclosing, to let or hinder both these kinds of ploughing; the one is an enclosing to let or hinder the bodily ploughing, and the other to let or hinder the holiday ploughing, the Church ploughing.
The bodily ploughing is taken in and enclosed through singular commodity; for what man will let go or diminish his private commodity for a commonwealth? And who will sustain any danger for the respect of a public commodity? The other plough, also, no man is diligent to set forward, nor no man will hearken to it. But to hinder and let it all men's ears are open: yea, and a great many ploughmen, which are very busy, and would seem to be very good workmen, I fear me, some be rather mock-gospellers than diligent and faithful ploughmen. I know many myself that profess the gospel of Christ Jesus, and yet live nothing thereafter. I know them, and have been conversant with some of them. I know them, and I speak it with a mournful heart, there is as little charity and good living in them as in any other; according to the which, Christ saith in the gospel to the great number of people that followed him, as though they had an earnest zeal to his doctrine, whereas, indeed, they had it not. Ye follow not me,' saith he, 'because ye have seen the signs and miracles that I have done; but because ye have eaten the bread, and refreshed your bodies, therefore you follow me.' So likewise I think, that many now-a-days profess the gospel for the living sake, and not for the love they bear to God's word. But they that will be true ploughmen must work faithfully for God's sake, for the edifying of their brethren. And as diligently as the husbandman plougheth for the sustentation of the body, so diligently must the prelates and ministers labour for the feeding of the soul; both the ploughs must still be going, as most necessary for man. And wherefore are magistrates ordained, but that the tranquillity of the commonwealth may be confirmed, limiting both ploughs?
But now for the fault of unpreaching prelates, methinks I could guess what might be said for excusing them; they are so troubled with lordly living, they be so placed in palaces, couched in courts, ruffling in their rents, dancing in their dominoes, burdened with embassages, pampering of their paunches, like a monk that maketh his jubilee; munching in their mangers, and moiling in their gay manors and mansions, and so troubled with loitering in their lordships, that they cannot attend it. They are otherwise occupied, some in the king's matters, some are ambassadors, some of the Privy Council, some to furnish the court, some are lords of the Parliament, some are presidents, and some comptrollers of mints.
Well, well, is this their duty? Is this their office? Is this their calling? Should we have ministers of the church to be comptrollers of the mints? Is this a meet office for a priest that hath cure of souls? Is this his charge? I would here ask one question :-Would fain know who comptrolleth the devil at home in his parish, while he comptrolleth the mint? If the apostles might not leave the office of
preaching to the deacons, shall one leave it for minting? I cannot tell you; but the saying is, that since priests have been minters, money hath been worse than it was before. And they say likewise, that the evilness of money hath made all things dearer. And in this behalf I must speak here to my country, England, as St. Paul did in his first Epistle to the Corinthians, the sixth chapter; for Paul was no sitting bishop, but a walking and a preaching bishop. Yet when he went from them he left there behind him the plough going still; for he wrote unto them, and rebuked them for going to law, and pleading their causes before the heathen judges: 'Is there,' saith he, utterly among you no wise man, to be an arbitrator in matters of judgment? What, not one of all that can judge between brother and brother; but one brother goeth to law with another, and under heathen judges? Choose them judges which are most abject and vile in the congregation.' Which he speaketh in rebuking them; for, saith he, 'I speak it to your shame.' So, England, I speak it to thy shame. Is there never a nobleman to be a lord president, but it must be a prelate? Is there never a wise man in the realm to be a comptroller of the mint? I speak it to your shame. If there be never a wise man, make a water-bearer, a tinker, a cobbler, a slave or a page, comptroller of the mint; make a mean gentleman, a groom, a yeoman, or a poor beggar, lord president.
And now I would ask a strange question: Who is the most diligent bishop and prelate in all England, and passeth all the rest in doing his office? I can tell, for I know him who he is; I know him well; but now methinks I see you listening and hearkening that I should name him. There is one that passeth all the other, and is the most diligent prelate and preacher in all England. And will ye know who it is? I will tell you it is the devil. He is the most diligent preacher of all other: he is never out of his diocese; he is never from his cure; ye shall never find him unoccupied; he is ever in his parish; he keepeth residence at all times; ye shall never find him out of the way, call for him when ye will; he is ever at home; the most diligent preacher in all the realm. He is ever at his plough; no lording nor loitering may hinder him; he is ever applying to his business; ye shall never find him idle, I warrant you. And his office is to hinder religion, to maintain superstition, to set up idolatry, to teach all kind of popery. He is as ready as can be wished for to set forth his plough; to devise as many ways as can be to deface and obscure God's glory. Where the devil is resident, and hath his plough going, there away with books and up with candles; away with Bibles and up with beads; away with the light of the gospel, and up with the light of candles, yea, at noon-day. Where the devil is resident, that he may prevail, up with all superstition and idolatry; censing, painting of images, candles, palms, ashes, holy water, and new service of men's inventing; as though man could invent a better way to honour God with, than God himself hath appointed. Down with Christ's cross, up with purgatory pickpurse, up with Popish purgatory, I mean. Away with clothing the naked, the poor and impotent; up with deck
ing of images, and gay garnishing of stocks and stones: up with man's traditions and his laws, down with God's will and his most holy word. Down with the old honour due unto God, and up with the new god's honour. Let all things be done in Latin: there must be nothing but Latin, not so much as 'Remember, man, that thou art ashes, and into ashes shalt thou return.' What be the words that the minister speaketh unto the ignorant people, when he giveth them ashes upon Ash-Wednesday, but they must be spoken in Latin; and in no wise they must be translated into English?
Ŏ that our prelates would be as diligent to sow the corn of good doctrine as Satan is to sow cockle and darnel! And this is the devilish ploughing, the which worketh to have things in Latin, and hindereth the fruitful edification. But here some man will say to me, What, sir, are ye so privy to the devil's counsel that ye know all this to be true? Truly I know him too well, and have obeyed him a little too much in condescending to some follies; and I know him as other men do, that he is ever occupied, and ever busied in following the plough. I know him by St. Peter's words, who saith of him, 'He goeth about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. I would have this text well viewed and examined, every word of it; he goeth about every corner of his diocese, he goeth on visitation daily, and leaveth no place of his cure unvisited; he walketh round about from place to place, and ceaseth not. As a lion, that is, strongly, boldly, fiercely, and proudly; with haughty looks, with a proud countenance, and stately braggings. Roaring; for he letteth not slip any occasion to speak or to roar out when he seeth his time. He goeth about seeking, and not sleeping as our bishops do; but he seeketh diligently, he searcheth diligently all corners, where he may have his prey. He roveth abroad in every place of his diocese; he standeth not still, he is never at rest, but ever in hand with his plough, that it may go forward. But there was never such a preacher in England as he is. Who is able to tell his diligent preaching, which every day, and every hour, laboureth to sow cockle and darnel, that he may bring out of form, and out of estimation and request, the institution of the Lord's Supper and Christ's cross? For there he lost his right; for Christ said, 'Now is the judgment of this world, and the prince of this world shall be cast out. And as Moses did lift up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up. And when I shall be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all things unto myself.’— For the devil was disappointed of his purpose; for he thought all to be his own; and when he had once brought Christ to the cross, he thought all cocksure.
Now if I should preach in the country, among the unlearned, I would tell what propitiatory, expiatory, and remissory is; but here is a learned auditory; yet for them that be unlearned I will expound it. Propitiatory, expiatory, remissory or satisfactory, signify all one thing in effect, and is nothing else but a thing whereby to obtain remission of sins, and to have salvation. And this way the devil used to evacuate the death of Christ, that we might have affiance in other
things, as the sacrifice of the priest; whereas Christ would have us to trust in his only sacrifice. So he was, 'The Lamb that hath been slain from the beginning of the world;' and therefore he is called, ‘A continual sacrifice; and not for the continuance of the mass, as blanchers have blanched it, and wrested it; and as I myself once took it to be. But Paul saith, ‘By himself, and by none other, Christ made purgation and satisfaction for the whole world.'
Would Christ this word, by himself, had been better weighed and looked upon, and satisfaction to make them holy; for he is a continual sacrifice, in effect, fruit, and operation. That like as they, which seeing the serpent hang up in the desert, were put in remembrance of Christ's death, in whom as many as believed were saved; so all men that trust in the death of Christ shall be saved, as well they that were before, as they that came after. For he was a continual sacrifice, as I said, in effect, fruit, operation, and virtue. As though he had from the beginning of the world, and continually should to the world's end, hang still upon the cross. And he is as fresh hanging on the cross now, to them that believe and trust in him, as he was above fifteen hundred years ago, when he was crucified.
Then let us trust upon his death only, and look for no other sacrifice propitiatory, than the same bloody sacrifice, the lively sacrifice; and not the dry sacrifice, but a bloody sacrifice. For Christ himself said, 'It is perfectly finished.' I have taken at my Father's hand the dispensation of redeeming mankind, I have wrought man's redemption, and have despatched the matter. Why, then, mangle ye him? Why do ye divide? Why make you of him more sacrifices than one? Paul saith, 'Christ our Passover is offered;' so that the thing is done, and Christ hath done it, and he hath done it always, once for all: and it was a bloody sacrifice, not a dry sacrifice.
Why, then, it is not the mass that availeth or profiteth for the quick and the dead? Woe worth thee, O devil! woe worth thee, that hast prevailed so far and so long; that hast made England to worship false gods, forsaking Christ our Lord. Woe worth thee, devil; woe worth thee, devil, and all thy angels. If Christ by his death draweth all things to himself, and draweth all men to salvation and to heavenly bliss, that trust in him; then the priests at the mass, at the popish mass, I say, what can they draw, when Christ draweth all, but lands and goods from the right heirs? The priests draw goods and riches, benefices and promotions to themselves; and such as believe in their sacrifices they draw to the devil. But Christ is he that draweth souls unto him by his bloody sacrifice. What have we to do, then, but to eat in the Lord at his supper!
What other service have we to do to him, and what other sacrifice have we to offer, but the mortification of our flesh? What other oblation have we to make but of obedience, of good living, of good works, and of helping our neighbours? But, as for our redemption, it is done already, it cannot be better; Christ hath done it so well that it cannot be amended. It cannot be devised how to make that VOL. IX.
any better than he hath done it; but the devil, by the help of that Italian bishop, his proud chaplain, hath laboured by all means that he might to frustrate the death of Christ and the merits of his passion. And they have devised for that purpose, to make us believe in other vain things by his pardons; as to have remission of sins for praying on hallowed beads, for drinking of the bakehouse bowl; as a canon of Waltham Abbey once told me, that whensoever they put their loaves of bread into the oven, as many as drank of the pardon bowl should have pardon for drinking of it. A mad thing to give pardon to a bowl. Then to Pope Alexander's holy water, to hallowed bells, palms, candles, ashes, and what not? And of these things, every one hath taken away some part of Christ's satisfaction; every one hath robbed some part of Christ's passion and cross, and hath mangled Christ's death, and hath been made to be propitiatory and satisfactory, and to put away sin; yea, and Alexander's holy water yet at this day remaineth in England, and is used for a remedy to chase away spirits and devils; yea, and I would this had been the worst. But woe worth thee, O devil, that hast prevailed to evacuate Christ's cross, and to mangle the Lord's Supper. These be the Italian bishop's devices, and the devil hath pricked at this mark to frustrate the cross of Christ. He shot at this mark long before Christ came; he aimed at this four thousand years before Christ hanged on the cross, or suffered his passion.
For the brazen serpent was set up in the wilderness to put men in remembrance of Christ's coming; that, like as they which beheld the brazen serpent were healed of their bodily diseases, so they that looked spiritually upon Christ that was to come, by him should be saved spiritually from the devil. The serpent was set up in memory of Christ to come, but the devil found means to steal away the memory of Christ's coming, and brought the people to worship the serpent itself yea, to serve him, to honour him, to worship him, and to make an idol of him. And this was done by the marketmen that I told you of. And the clerk of the market did it for the lucre and advantage of his master, that thereby his honour might increase; for by Christ's death he could have but small worldly advantage. And so, even now, hath he divers blanchers belonging to the market, to hinder and stop the light of the gospel, and to hinder the king's proceedings, in setting forth the word and glory of God; and when the king's majesty, with the advice of his honourable council, goeth about to promote God's word, and to set an order in matters of religion, there shall not want blanchers that will say: As for images, whereas they have used to be censed, and to have candles offered unto them, none be so foolish to do it to the stock or stone, or to the image itself; but it is done to God and his honour before the image. And though they should abuse it, these blanchers would be ready to whisper the king in the car, and to tell him, that this abuse is but a small matter; and that the same, with all other like abuses in the Church, may be reformed easily.