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Sabbot or Satterday. But we Christen men in the Newe Testament are not bound to such commaundementes of Moses law concernyng dyfferences of tymes, dayes and meates, but haue libertie and fredom to vse other daies for our sabboth dayes, therin to heare the word of God and to kepe an holy rest. And therfore that this Christian libertie maye be kepte and mainteyned, we now kepe no more the sabboth or Saturday as the Jewes do, but we obserue the Sondaye and certayne other daies, as the maiestrates do iudge it conuenient, whom in this thing we ought to obey.
And to thentent you maye the better perceyue suche thynges as shall be spoken herein, consider I praye you howe wonderfull a commaundement this is. When worldly lordes and masters receyue men into theyr seruice, they byd theym not kepe holy day, but they set them on worke and appoynte theim diuerse labors to be done for their seruice and behofe. But our Lorde God doeth not so with vs in thys commaundement. He biddeth not vs to doo neyther thys nor that woorke, he commaundeth vs not, to gadde hether and thither on pilgrimage, to paynt, gylte, or clothe sayntes images, to set vp candels before theym, nor to exercise anye suche fayned mannes workes and false honorynge of God, (as the deceiptefull monkes and friars wer wont to teache vs) but he biddeth vs to rest from labours, and commaundeth vs to kepe holy day. But yet note good chyldren, that when you heare say that God hath commaunded to reste frome workes, you must not gather herof, that you shoulde cesse from suche good workes by the whiche your neyghbour is releued, as to gyue almes to the poore, to preache the worde of God, to instruct the ignoraunt and suche like (for God hath commaunded suche workes to be donne, and he doth ernestly require them of vs) but although we do these workes neuer so diligently, yet by theym we onelye serue and healpe oure neyghbour for Goddes sake. But
when we wyll serue God onely with suche a kynde of worke that perteineth not to our neyghbour but is propre and seuerall to God alone, than God commaundeth you not to set before your eyes any outwarde worke, but to rest from such workes. For this God requireth of vs in this commaundement.
And now good childerne listen vnto me and you shall know the cause why God doth thus. He is so riche a God and his maiestie is so mighty, that he hath no nede of our outwarde workes nor wourshyppinges. Againe he is sogentle, lyberal and mercyfull, that of his awne accorde he desireth to do good to all men, wherby his name is praysed and honored. Therfore he that wil do pure seruice and honor to God, let hym gyue himselfe to rest and quietnes, not workyng to be made holy by his owne outwarde workes, but let hym kepe holy day, let him suffre the benefites of God to be powred Tyberally and frely vpon hym, for to beleue that we receane all good thinges frely from God, and to acknowlege them with a trew fayth, and gladly to prayse and thanke God for the same, is the most excellent and highest honor, that can be yelded to him in this life. But it is not sufficient for vs to kepe the sabboth day. But the Lorde saith. Thou shalt sanctifie the sabboth day, that is to saye, we shall bestowe that day about holy heuenly and godly thinges.
Now yf ye desier to knowe with what holy workes you shoulde passe away this day, you shal vnderstande that we can do no geater holy workes than to heare the worde of God and to learne the trew feare of God, and the right faith in him, and to prepare our selues that we maye worthely be partakers of the Lordes table, therby to receaue great comfort to the quiet of our consciences and confirmation of our faith. And moreouer on such dayes chefly we ought in fayth and spirite feruently to pray to God, to gyue vs all good thinges that we lacke and haue
nede of, and to defende and deliuer vs from all yl thinges. And thus prayng we shal not faile to be hearde.
These be the chiefe holy day workes, by the whiche God rather serueth and worketh for vs then we for him. For when he by his mynisters causeth his wourde to be preached vnto vs, when he distributeth to vs ineffable gyftes of his sacramentes, when he heareth our praiers, he is rather beneficial vnto vs then we be to him. Therfore theffecte and summe of this commaundement is as God shoulde say thus. Good childerne, wil you serue me, and do that thing that may please me, then truste not in your awne workes, nor put your confidence in theim. For I haue no nede of your labour and workes. Come hyther I wyll teache you what ye oughte to beleue and to do, I wil comforte you with the maruelous giftes of my sacramentes, I wil heare your praiers, you can not giue to me greater honor, then to repayre to me, and to suffer me that I maye power my benefites vpon you, that you may acknowlege me to be your Father, that you may cast your hole affiance in me, and that you maye loue me as chyldren loueth their fathers and mothers. But of this mater you
shal heare more in the Crede or articles of the faith. In the meane tyme you shall specially marke, that although euery man hath nede to labour daily for his dayly fode, yet God hath gyuen vs sabboth daies or resting tymes, in the whiche he hath commaunded not onelye the maisters themselues but also their seruantes and cattell to cesse from bodily labores. And yet on those dayes he fedeth vs aswel as on the workyng daies. By the whiche, he signifieth vnto vs, that although we toyle not continually vntil we be wery, yet he wil gyue vs aboundantly al thinges necessarie, when we obey his will, and first of all, seke the kyngdome of God, that all other thinges may be gyuen vs.
Hitherto good children you haue bene taught in what holy workes you ought to spend the sabboth day, now it
shall be declared vnto you, how great a sinne it is, not to sanctifie the same. The whiche synne is then committed when we vpon the holy dayes do not heare with greate diligence and reuerence, sermons and the most fruteful woorde of God, when we do not gyue our myndes to prayer, and other godly workes, but to idlenes, eatinge, drynkynge, banketynge, dauncynge, lechery, dicing, cardynge, backebytynge, slaunderyng and other vngodly workes. For the which abuse of holy daies God is grieuously prouoked and punisheth vs greuously with dyuerse kyndes of plages, but specially with nede and pouertie. For so God threateneth in the. xxviii. chapter of Deuter-Deut. onomie, that men shall labour and toyle bothe daye and *xviii. nyght, and yet shall not be able to worke themselues out of pouertie. And it is no meruell. For when God gyueth them restynge dayes, they doo not sanctifie the same, they do not heare the worde of God, nor pray to him, but wickedly dispise God and his honor, spendyng the sabboth daye in the aboue named synfull and vngodly lyfe. wherfore God justly punisheth them in pouertie. But peraduenture you wyl say God dothe not punishe all the breakers of this commaundemente with nede and pouertie. Trueth it is in deede, some there be whiche God doeth not punishe in this lyfe, but defferreth theyr punishement vntill the houre of death, when they be vtterlye forsaken of hym, (whiche is a payne most horryble) and euerlastyngly condemned if they amend not in due tyme. Therfore good children eschewe these sinnes, that be so heynous in the sight of God, sanctifie youre sabboth daye, be desirouse to heare the woorde of God, praye continually, and giue thankes to God for all his benefites. In so doyng you shall surelye please hym, and he shall sende grace,
fauour and blessinge that all thing maye prosper wyth you, that you maye with ioye and gladnes serue your Lorde God, and enioy many sabbothes or restyng dayes. For God is wel content that we haue many
restynge dayes, so that we spende them well in holy and godlye exercises, and cause not only our bodyes to rest from labours, but also oure myndes from sinne. For we must kepe the sabbothe daye not onelye with our bodye but also with our hartes and myndes, which we do, when we bridle our owne wil and fleshely lustes, and with all reuerence humble our selues to Goddes wyll, so that when we reherse the Lordes prayer, we maye saye trewly and
hertely: Thy wyll be donne in earth as it is in heauen. Esa. lviii. For so God testifieth by the prophet Esaie in the. lviii.
chapiter sayng, yf thou wilt absteyne from doyng thy wyll on my holy daye, then thou shalt be called a plesant sabboth day, that is to saie, when we submit our wil to the holy wil of God, and patiently suffre those thinges whiche he worketh in vs and willeth vs to suffre, then we shall trewly kepe the sabboth daye and therin laude and praise our Lorde God. For this is no true kepyng of the sabboth daye, when the bodie cesseth from labors, and in the meane season a mans mynde is holly occupied howe he may deceaue his neighbour, how he maye obtayne his pleasures, howe he may reuenge himself on his enemyes. Or els when a mans hart boyleth with murmurynge, grudgyng and impatiencie, and doth not obediently bende him self to the wyl of God, nor paciently suffereth his workes, but tosseth and turmoyleth it himselfe with his awne cares, thoughtes and compassynges. For when shall suche an hart kepe a sabboth or resting day, or earnestly praise God ? wherfore let vs lerne to kepe holy day not onely from bodily labors, but also from all euell thoughtes and carnal desiers. But these matiers (good children) peraduenture doth passe your capacities. For men haue busines ynough al their lyfe tyme, perfitely to learne and practyse this lesson, wherfore at this time I wil require no more of you good childerne, but only to beare away this plaine and short instruction, that the cheuest worshippyng of God standeth not in outwarde